Monday, May 30, 2011

The Unexpected

Dear Family,

Well, this week didn’t really go that well. We worked really hard, but we just didn’t see that many fruits. Friday and Saturday I got sick. Not anything too bad, just a sore throat and fever. But the fever wasn’t that high only like 99. The only problem was that I just felt super tired. The good news is that I am almost better, I am in the coughing stage so that means it is clearing up. Other than that it was a good week.

It has been really hot here, and hasn’t hardly rained at all. The people here say that we are breaking records for the heat and that it should have already started to rain everyday. I don’t really know because I’ve never been in Pachuca before. It has been about 25-32 degrees everyday and there haven’t been many clouds. But the good part is that means that people are in their houses. Saturday I think was the hottest day of my mission, but really I shouldn’t complain because the weather here in the central part of Mexico is the most temperate. It is really hot in Campeche and Chijuajua.

Also....I have some bad news....I have changes. I was really dumbfounded when the assistants called to tell us the changes and they said my name. At first I though they were joking...but they weren’t. So I’ve been packing up my stuff and getting ready to go tomorrow at 7 in the morning. I kind of excited, kind of disappointed and kind of scared. I like this area and the members, but if the Lord needs me elsewhere then I will go and do. I am going to miss the zone a lot, I love these guys. Pero ya ni modo. Also it is going to be my birthday this week, that is really weird. We are going to tacos tonight with some members to celebrate because I’m not going to be here Wednesday. Wednesday I think I will light my little candle with my little Debbie’s that you sent me to celebrate with my new companion. As you can tell the space bar on this computer doesn’t work very well and it is frustrating me a little bit.

The zone is doing well, we are improving a little by a little every week. We are really trying to get every companionship baptizing every week, and to change their mentality. They have to believe that they are going to be able to do it. They have to believe that they can teach more every week, they have to believe that they are missionaries of success. When they have that change in their mentality, that is when we will explode as a zone. I love my comp, he is a little weird sometimes, and we all have our challenges, but we get along really well, and I am sad to have to leave him after only 6 weeks. If you couldn’t tell I have never had a companion for more than 6 weeks except Elder Warr in the MTC. Maybe my next companion and I will be together for more than 6 weeks.

I’m 20, I’m old, where did the time go? Sometimes I wish I could still go play pingpong baseball with Cameron and Kolby in the backyard of the other hose, even though Cameron just wanted to go read and Kolby just wanted to go play pokemon. It´s is really weird how fast time goes. But that´s life I guess. And I wouldn’t be anywhere else doing anything else. This is the work of the Lord, and even though sometimes it isn´t easy and sometimes we have to go work even when we have a fever, and it is really hot and my nose looks like Rudolph, I wouldn’t trade this for anything. The Lord has miracles in store for us, and is showing them to us everyday. I am just going to forget myself and go to work, and love every minute of it. Saturday when me and my companion had a migraine and I had a fever and it was really hot and I just wanted to go home and sleep we decided to keep working. We decided to work in a fraccionamiento that we had never worked in before and knock a street. The last house, we found 2 families that were waiting for us. One of the dad’s wanted to know what in the world the purpose of our earth life was. And the other one had just separated from his girlfriend of 10 years and was really depressed about it. I felt the spirit strongly, and for that 30 minute period of time I couldn’t feel my fever, and my companion forgot about his migraine. Those are the kind of miracles we see everyday, but it is not always easy.

I will let you know about cambios this week that is coming, where in the world I ended up. I have a feeling that I am going to go to DF, because I have spent my whole mission in the fresa farming towns and haven’t had to be in the big city yet. But who knows.

Love you all so much,

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Dear Family,

Well This week went by really really fast. Time just doesn't ever slow down. That is really weird that Kyle Quigley comes home in 7 weeks...2 years goes by so fast. Tell him hello for me when he gets there. Mariners’ game? I remember when Kolby and I and Mom and Dad went to one of those for my 19th birthday, almost a year ago.

Speaking of birthday...I got your package!! Sorry, but I didn´t wait to open it. Thank you soo much. I think I am going to save the shirts for when I have holes in the one’s I’ve been using. I am going to send photos of the baptism we had on Sunday. You will notice that my shirt and my tie don’t match anymore, but it just makes me laugh. They don’t look bad unless I wear a white tie, and no one really cares how you look when you are baptizing. The garments will be useful, but I think I am going to save them for when I hit my year mark. This keyboard is really hard to type on so sorry if this letter is a little shorter.

Jesus is doing really well and is really excited. He was confirmed yesterday and wants to go on a mission. He is always smiling and it makes me really happy to see the changes that have happened.

Jose Ramon is the name of the person that was baptized this week. He is about 29 and is really a good guy. He started to investigate because his ex esposa is a member. He really wanted a change in his life, he was looking to find God. He is tired of feeling alone and tired of feeling like there is something missing in his life. I baptized him and afterwards he just kept saying, "I feel really different Elder, like I took a good long bath, fresh." He was so excited and so nervous, but everything turned out ok. In addition, I attached a picture of Jesus. Also there are pictures from the dinosaur museum we went to see today. It was really cool, and reminded me of my toy dinosaurs and my dinosaur poster that I had when I was a little kid.

There is also a picture of last Monday. Last Monday we had our zone activity. We played soccer and afterwards had a carne asada. The picture is of my companion and Elder Martinez cleaning up after the carne asada. This cambio has gone by so fast. Next Sunday we will receive the cambios for the zone. I am 95 percent sure that I won’t have cambios because I only have 3 months here, and I have only been with Elder Casillas 1 ciclo de cambios. I copied all my pictures to my next Monday we will go buy an sd card and I will send a package home.

On Thursday we were walking down the street when someone asked us if we thought the world was going to end that night at 7 30. We were a little puzzled until they explained that Wednesday on the tv they some religious group had announced that the world was going to end Thursday at 7:30 in the night. I laughed really hard. At about 6 30 it began to rain and thunder and lightening...what a coincidence. But the world didn’t then they announced that they had calculated it wrong and that the world would end Tuesday (tomorrow) so we will is crazy what some people will believe.

O yeah and I also attached the picture of the leadership training that we had Friday. It has President, the two assistants and all the zone and district leaders from Pachuca, Tulancingo and Tecamac.

But anyways, it got me thinking what it will be like when He comes again. I can´t wait. I hope you are having family prayer and scripture study and practicing your piano. I was also trying to be more grateful this week. I was thinking about all the things that have happened over the course of the last two years, and about that one time when I got staph in my armpit and they had to pop it and all that jazz. I wanted to thank Darci, because I never did, for taking good care of me. She really put herself in second place to take care of me, even cooking dinner for me after the whole thing was over. I know how busy she must have been and I really appreciate all that she did for me when we were at BYU together. That was probably one of the most painful things I have ever experienced, and I am just glad to know that I have family that I can count on.

I also did divisions with a brand new elder from Hawaii this week. He is struggling pretty bad with the language, and it made me remember when I had just gotten here. How frustrating it was. It´s funny how we forget our trials after they are over, not to say that Spanish isn’t a trial sometimes, but it´s not something I have to think about every day. It is funny to think about how much has changed in the 7 months that I have been here, but yet I don’t feel any different. I think that is the way God works sometimes, line upon line, so subtle that unless you are looking for things to be grateful for and looking for the good in life you will miss. Well, I love you all so much, I’ll let you know about the changes next week, I hope that I don’t have them. I love you all and can´t wait to hear from you next week,

Elder Nelson

Monday, May 16, 2011

Reloj (watch)

Dear Family,

I can´t believe it´s Monday again. It´s is really weird how time works...when we want it to go slow it goes fast and when we want it to go fast it goes slow. As for earthquakes we had an earthquake of 5.5 in DF the other day...we didn’t feel anything because we are so far away. But that is incredible that there have been that many earthquakes with people we know so close by. They have been telling us that even if nothing happens we should be prepared with water and money in the house, so we are being obedient. We have 4 garrafones de agua with 20 liters in each one. So even though I don’t think anything will happen, we are ready.

As for landmarks and churches, one of our wards, Loreto is in the oldest part old Pachuca. The houses are more than 100 years old and it looks a lot like Italy. The Reloj is also in our area which is a huge clock in the center plaza of Pachuca. There are a bunch of old churches and things like that but I don´t know their names. I would say that about 50 percent has graffiti, Pachuca is one of the cleaner cities in the mission. I will take pictures someday when we go there for P day. Sometimes there is grass, but usually not. Only the rich people have grass. But what they really need here is Jackson and Casey because they never cut their grass and it is always long and unkempt and gross.

Speaking of serving a mission in the states, I have a lot of respect for missionaries serving in "harder missions". There are a lot of missionaries here that have served in the states waiting for their visas and they have told me a little bit about what it is like. I can´t imagine it very well, I freak out when we haven´t baptized for 2 weeks.

This week we baptized a 16 year old named Jesus, he is really awesome. We found him one day hanging out with the youth from the chapel, I thought he was a member but one of the mom´s said, "Hey, Jesus, you should listen to the platicas." He said ok, and we just went with it. All his friends are members and he just felt something he liked. He read everything we asked and prayed. Just like that he got his answer that this is true, and wanted to be baptized. His family still aren´t members but we are working with his mom. When he got it, he knew it and he knew that God knew it and he could not deny it. He wants to go on a mission, and I am so excited about it. In his baptism his friends bore their testimonies and started to cry, and it was just so awesome to see the kind of brotherhood that the gospel is. I was going to send pictures but I forgot my camera...

10 minutes after I write you guys I can´t even remember what I said, I just kind of write what pops in my head or what I am thinking about at the time. I am just an ordinary 19 year old, trying my best to de what the Lord expects of me. We are ordinary people doing an extraordinary work and seeing extraordinary things. I am like a passenger on this journey that is the mission, doing my best to deal with everything that the Lord puts in my path and trying to become who He would have me become, even though sometimes it hurts. But I am supposed to be a currant bush, not a shade tree, nor a fruit tree. Someday I will look up and say to that Great Gardener, thank you for loving me enough to mold me in what Thou would have me be. Thank you for not letting me become what I thought I wanted.

I just realized that in 2 weeks I am going to be 20...that is so weird. I am going to be old. I know that that is technically still young, but I don´t feel 20. I feel the same as I did at 16. I feel like I haven´t changed since then.

Several Administrative things....I sent out a lot of letters this week. I sent one to Grandma Andy, so she should get it in about a month or two. I got the letter from Jason and am writing a letter back. Also...Cameron I set a letter to some of my friends from BYU, Briggs and Marie but I don´t know their addresses. I put 467 Royal Ann Ct,(note from Peggy: Either he mis-typed or he has forgotten our address! That is not our correct address, so I hope they get here.) so when they get there could you please find their addresses from facebook or something and send them to them please? Also could you tell me if you read that so that I know that you are going to do it? Thanks.

The Church is true, we are preparing the way for the glorious second coming, and we are changing lives (or at least trying to). Do you family scripture study and family prayer every day. Kolby, Melissa, practice the piano. Just do it. I love you all so much and pray for you everyday.


Elder Nelson

Monday, May 9, 2011


Pachuca Zone and Presidente Hicken

Dear Family,

Thanks for the phone seemed like it went by really fast. It was really weird to hear your voices, like it almost wasn’t real. I guess it’s because that I get so caught up in the work that I forget and don’t think about home very much, but then when I heard your voices it all came crashing back. It kind of scared me a little bit because it made me think about what it will be like when I have to go home, but the good part is that I still have 14 and a half months here in Mexico.

Don’t worry mom, I’m not beating myself up, but at the same time I didn’t come on a mission to just waste two years and be mediocre, I came to have the kind of success that the Lord wants me to have. I guess I have come to be somewhat of a perfectionist on the mission. Nothing is too much for the Lord, no sacrifice, no trial, no price. It is all for such a small moment and then we will relive these 2 years the rest of our lives and the eternities.

There is a quote that I like a lot from D Todd Christofferson in the last conference (the currant bush talk).
"The final judgment is not just an evaluation of the sum total of good and evil acts-what we have done. It is an acknowledgement of the final effect of our acts and thoughts-what we have become. It is not enough for anyone to just go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances and covenants of the gospel of Jesus Christ are not just a list of deposits to be made on some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father wants us to become."
I will become what He wants me to become, no matter what it takes. I guess I’m a little bit of a fanatic these days. But I don’t care, that is how we have to be, that is the plan prescribed by Him for our salvation. I’m not shooting just for the Celestial Kingdom, but the top tier. I think I’ve always been competitive like that, and I guess that’s why I beat myself up sometimes, but it’s just who I am.

"I do wonder (and I forgot to ask you) what is people's biggest hang-up about joining the church is there in Mexico?" Well, the biggest reason is Satan. The real question I think would be ¿what is Satan’s greatest tool in stopping God’s children in their eternal progression? Well, I think Kolby got it right. There is really two reasons, 1 because people are really attached to their religion and two they are lazy. People here worship the Santos and the Virgin de Guadalupe, which supuestamente is the Virgin Mary. They are idols, and it is really hard to give up idols. They have so much faith in their Santos that the flaxen cord becomes chains, and they can no longer accept the restored gospel. This has a lot to do with the fact that 90 percent of the Catholics here are what they call creyentes. They never go to church, never pray, have never read the bible in their life. They believe in the Santos and that is enough for them. They have never read the bible, so when we show them where it says they should not worship idols they can’t accept it. Also, people are too lazy sometimes to do their commitments, so they never develop a testimony of the truthfulness. So I guess the biggest reason is ignorance and a lack of education that leads them to not be able to understand.

I attached a couple pictures of the latest baptisms and a tour of the apartment. It goes in order, entering the house the entrance room, then the kitchen and then the bathroom and then the upstairs landing/living room, then the bedroom and then the closet room. Also a view from my bedroom window and the mesa that I use to study everyday. You will notice that the bed that is mine is made and that the house is more or less clean. When I got to Pachuca it wasn’t clean because missionaries had been living here 15 years and there was a ton of stuff that they left behind. Thank you mom for teaching me how to clean. Right now I am sending this e mail and starting another one to put more pictures.

View from my Bedroom

Entry Room in our apartment

Study Desk (note the mask from Teotihuacan)

Note my bed is neatly made

Laundry Day!

Well, we are just going to work really hard this week. We are going to change some lives and change ourselves. We are going to be obedient with absolute exactness and we are going to have fun. I love you all. Grandma thank you so much for your letter, I am writing one for you right now but it might take a month or two to get there. Love ya bye.

Elder Nelson

Monday, May 2, 2011

Choose to Be...

Hello Family!

Well, just to let you know I will be calling home Sunday, Mother´s Day the 8th of May. I think that I am going to call you guys, give you the number from where I am calling and have you guys call me. To do skype, well I don´t know how...the only option would be to have someone make an account for MSN messenger and add me as a contact, then we can use the video conference function. I still don’t know if it will work so I will try and if it doesn’t work I will use regular phone like I said. I am soo excited to call you guys.

I got your package for Easter!!! Thank you soo much. I love robins eggs so much. I got the contacts and everything. Yes I got mail from Grandma Andy and am in the process of writing a snail mail letter back. I also got mail from the Mills, Sis. Grimmet, Elise McNaughton, Saydi Ostler....and I am writing letters to all of them but it might take a while to get there through regular mail. I got the Mormonads also, thank you so much I loved it all. I love getting mail. Also a comment on the "Dear Abby".....well I wasn’t embarrassed but it made me remember a lot of things. That was from Spanish 1 in Carmichael way back in 8th grade. It made me laugh a lot about the things that used to be important to me like passing notes and hiding them from mom. It’s a good thing we mature in this life. This letter might be a little bit shorter because I was trying to figure out how to use MSN.

This week I just want to share an experience I had. This week we worked really really hard. We were running basically in between appointments and talking with every one on the street. We taught 27 lessons and had 17 new investigators...which is a lot. But when Sunday came we ended up with 3 investigators in the capilla, 2 of which don’t even live in our wards so we can’t baptize them, and not one of the 17 news came to church even though we passed by the houses of 10 of them. I was pretty disanimated, and was almost crying because we had worked so hard, and I felt certain that we were going to have more. I felt like we were failing the Lord, not helping anyone, because no one is progressing and we haven’t baptized for 3 weeks. I felt just so helpless, because I know that God wants his children baptized and coming back to Him as badly or worse than I do.

So today I was writing in my journal when I had the impression to pray. I knelt down by my desk (my companion was taking a nap because it is p-day so I was alone) and I began to pray. Everything seemed to get quieter and I started to feel the Spirit so strongly as I asked forgiveness for anything that I may have done wrong and direction as to what to change to have more success. I felt such a feeling of love wash over me as I felt the impression that God loves me, that everything was going to be ok. We just have to keep being faithful and never let our thoughts become negative. The Spirit whispered, choose to be happy, choose to be excited, choose to be who you want to be. And then I had the impression to read my patriarchal blessing, looking over the things I need to develop to be the Christ like and powerful missionary that I know I can be. I ended up with 7 things I am going to work on this week.

Later I was reading through my journals of when I was at BYU and when Grandpa died. So many times I wrote of spiritual experiences that helped me to know that God existed and that He loved me. He, the creator of worlds without end and author of the universe knows and loves me, Elder Nelson, individually and immensely. I can’t get over that thought. What does my own life even matter when we are not engaged cheerfully and excitedly in the service of our God and our Master? He is aware of every thought, every impression and every wish and desire. He knows who He wants me to be, and He knows how to let my desires become His desires. His is a message of such joy and such goodness. It fills me with such excitement that I can barely contain my self. He lives and exists, His Son died for me and forgave my sins. He has filled my life with light and I love Him so much. I believe in the power of prayer, and in the value of a patriarchal blessing. Kolby, I don’t know if you have one yet, but go and get it. It will help you so much.

Cameron I am so happy for you...congrats on everything. 33 (from Peggy: ACT score) is outstanding and congrats in AP Chem. God is giving you a lot of blessings right now, so make sure to pray and be grateful. You have always been outstanding, don’t stop. We will have to echar la pachanga when I get back. You can pay for my food because you are saving so much money...I will be a poor man for a while when I get back.

Melissa I love you and am way excited to talk to you on Sunday thanks for your letter.

I love you all soooo much, talk to you Sunday.

Elder Nelson