Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Got Pesos?

"Hump-day" package arrives!

Elder Bringhurst

Back in Teotihuacan with President Hicken

Dear Family,

We got to go back to Teotihuacan this week to see the Pyramids!! It was so fun to go back and remember my time there. We went with President and his wife and their grandson that is here to visit for two weeks. He is 19 and is getting ready to leave to the Halifax Canada mission in December. It was really different because everything was green from all the rain they have been getting. I also sent a picture of Elder Bringhurst my companion because I don´t think that you have seen him yet. Going back brought back so many memories, so many blessings that the Lord has given me. I really was blessed to start my mission there. I learned so much there.

I got the half way package!! Thank you so much for everything you sent. I put the home made jam to good use on some pancakes I made the other was sooo good. Just doesn´t compare to the store bought type. I am very grateful for the charger also, I can finally take pictures again. I just kind of laughed at the hump day camel. It now has its place on my pillow everyday. Kind of strange to think how fast the time has gone by. Jacob is home...Jackson comes home in 10 months...time just goes by so fast that we have to make the best use of it we can. If you could send me more American stamps that would be nice, I haven´t been able to send my SD card or a couple letters because I don´t have stamps anymore.

We haven´t gotten any new missionaries...we usually get them every 6 weeks on schedule. But there are several that are reassigned in other missions waiting on their visas. They come whenever they get their visa and we don´t know until a day or two before that they are going to come. Elder Ward went to Wasca in Pachuca. I haven´t been there but I want to go before it´s too late. It is a waterfall on basalt columns that is really cool. It is up there in the mountains by Pachuca.

I see the mission home about 2 or 3 times every 6 weeks. President Hicken has family come and visit every couple months. His grandson is here right now and is going to stay with us to work a couple days this week. But other than that it is just President Hicken and his wife in the mission home.

This week we had some funny and cool experiences. We did intercambios with the Zone Leaders in Tulancingo which is about 2 and a half hours outside DF. President went out to Tulancingo to do interviews and so he gave us a ride. I had the thought before we left that I should grab more money because I only had about 100 pesos, but I forgot and never grabbed more money. Elder Cordon and I were coming back to our area in DF and Elder Bringhurst and Elder Gallegos stayed there in Tulancingo to work. Elder Cordon and I got to the Bus station and the Tickets cost 220 pesos, right then I remembered that I was going to grab more money and forgot. The Assistants pay for everything in intercambios so I started getting a little worried. I reached in my bag and pulled out the 100 pesos, and Elder Cordon only had 100 pesos. I looked in my backpack and pulled out every coin in there. There was exactly 20 pesos. The exact amount we needed for the bus. I also found metro tickets, so getting off the bus we went in the metro close to where our house was and took a taxi. When we got to the house I ran inside to grab money to pay him. It was a miracle. I think the Lord was just warning me to pay more attention the next time and to not forget the promptings that we get. It was very cool.

We have been very blessed this week and we have found some new investigators that really are very elect. We found a woman named Reyna and her husband Hector. We knocked their door in the housing complex (they look a lot like projects in Queens and Brooklyn) named "El Milagro." We taught her the first lesson and we just focused a lot that day on letting the Holy Ghost be the Senior companion. She loved it and prayed that night to know if the Book of Mormon was true and if Joseph Smith really was a prophet. She said she just felt all warm inside and knew that it was true. Now she is helping us to teach her husband that it is true...and she´s not even baptized yet! I can really feel the difference when we really focus on letting the Holy Ghost guide. We just go out and work as hard as we know how, and the Spirit puts us in the path of the elect and teaches us what we should teach them. It´s not a huge spiritual impression that we should knock a certain door or walk down a certain is a consecration of hard work, obedience and diligence. We don´t know that we were led by the Spirit until afterwards, but we were.

This week went by so fast, I feel like I just wrote you guys. But I´ve been reading my journal and have realized how many blessings I have received and how much I have changed. I realize just how much time really has gone by. So aprovecheré de cada día, trabajaré hasta cumplir la visión que Dios tiene para mí. Agradezco tanto a mí Padre Celestial por todos los oportunidades y bendiciones que me ha dado. Daré todo por el Señor con un fuego en mis huesos que no puedo contener. Les amo un buen... (each day, I will work to fulfill the vision God has for me. I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for all the opportunities and blessings that has given me. I will give everything for the Lord with a fire in my bones that I cannot hold.)…sorry for writing in Spanishm, but it is easier. My Spanish isn´t that good, but neither is my English anymore.
I am going to answer Dad´s question about splitting wards and stakes next week. Dad thank you for your letter. I love it so much when you write me. Mom you too.


Elder Nelson

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dear Familia,

Well, I am jealous that you all got to go to Nauvoo, that would be really cool. The good part is that while you guys were all doing baptisms for the dead we were doing baptisms for the living. This week Juan de la O and María Aracely were baptized. I don´t know if I talked about them last week. We found them as a reference from the Centro Para Visitantes, but when Elder Bringhurst and Elder Gonzalez went to check out the reference they didn’t want anything. I obviously didn’t know what they looked like and the next day without knowing it Elder Sosa and I contacted them in divisions. We contacted Juan, who is out of work right now. He was really upset because the occupant of the house he was renting out had just abandoned the house still owing 12,000 pesos in rent. He said he just felt a peace come over him when we contacted him and he led us to his house. That was 3 weeks ago, he is now finishing Alma in the Book of Mormon and he and his wife are really excited to keep growing and learning more about God. The good part is that they have 2 children and a grandchild who live with them and are also excited about the gospel. We are working with them and they should get baptized within the next couple weeks.

The Thunderstorms are awesome. It rains everyday starting at about 6 or 7 and stopping the next morning. I have been taking my umbrella everyday. I don´t always use it thought because me gusta mojarme. Me encanta la sensación de camiar en la lluvia viendo los nubes y contactar personas corriendo por sus casas. It´s really funny when we start to knock doors in the rain and people yell out "I can´t answer the´s raining."

I forgot to tell you last week I got sick. Not really sick, I just had the runs for 4 days. For that I laughed really hard when Cameron made that comment. (From Peggy: While in Nauvoo, we were commenting on the humidity and how EVERYTHING gets wet so quickly, like our water bottles, etc. Then Cameron said, "Our bedsheets are going to be wet." We laughed at it because it sounded like he was foretelling something.....) Luckily there were no accidents. What happened is that we have an investigator named Julio. He gave us water like everybody else does...just that this water was not normal water. It was water from vulgares or something like that. They are little funguses that when you give them piloncillo produce water. I took one swig and just about dropped the glass because it looked and smelled exactly like beer. I thought "crap...I´ve never had beer before and now the first time was on the mission." Turns out there isn’t alcohol, but I was still pretty freaked out because the last week we went to a first appointment with someone and they brought out glasses of beer for everybody. We didn’t drink the beer and he didn’t progress. The water did me harm though. Just another adventure in the life in Mexico.

Transfers went well, we helped out by going and picking up the new elders from the CCM in the temple at 6 in the morning Monday. We take them to President´s house and then we give a capacitation about the mission, the norms of the mission and to get them all fired up and ready to go work. Then in the changes meeting we sit on the stand with President and his wife with a sheet with all the changes on it and check to make sure he doesn’t make any mistakes. Then we help give the trainings to the new district leaders and the trainers afterwards. Most of all we are there to help president in any way he may need and make sure everything goes smoothly.

For this week we have one possible baptism. Efraín. He is the youth that was going to get baptized 4 weeks ago but couldn’t because he got drunk the night before. He hasn’t drank in 3-4 weeks and I think he is ready this time.

As for hitting my year mark...I still have 3 days before that so I still have time...but I haven’t gotten the package yet I will let you know as soon as I know. I remember the day you dropped me off and it seems like yesterday. I remember that I was just so excited, I just got my stuff out of the car and said "bye...see you in two years." and that was that. It seems like it has gone by so fast...but at the same time so much has happened. I have changed so much, and yet they say that the 2nd year just does by exponentially faster, I hope not.

This week we have been studying the DVD´s from Preach My Gospel. There is one part where the elders are talking about how they have not had a baptism for 2 months or more and they feel so frustrated. They had been working so hard, feeling like they were becoming the best missionaries they had ever been but were having less success. He talked about how through his struggle he came to know God and to develop a relationship with Him. It made me think about how much they depend on Him. I thought about how in this mission we just work so hard, and the baptisms are relatively easy. Sometimes I think that we do not have that pressure to depend on Him and we think that through our hard work we have success. Do I really know God? Do I depend on Him everyday? Am I dependent on His Spirit to teach us and lead us and help us out? I know that God exists, I know that He is our Father. I know that He has an intricate plan worked out for each of us individually. Yet I need to develop that dependence on Him. I need to be more humble and realize that I should turn to Him in all things. We cannot execute that intricate plan unless we really develop a relationship with Him that allows us to know Him. He has plans for me much greater and much different than I have for myself, but unless I learn to follow Him and depend on Him, I will never become what He wants me to be and do what he wants me to do and accomplish what He wants me to accomplish. I love you all so much. Darci I hope you feel better...I know how you feel trust me. Cameron.....please don’t wet the bed.


Elder Nelson

Monday, July 11, 2011

Living In Mexico City=Normal Life

Dear Family,

Well I am going to apologize before time because this letter might be a little bit shorter because today the new missionaries got here and we didn`t get to start P day until about 4. Not that I am complaining because I would much rather pick up new missionaries than have a normal P day. I will start with the questions first.

First of all to answer Grandma`s question, when we go to other zones to do division it really depends on where we are going as to what mode of transportation we will use. If we go to Pachuca or Tulancingo we will use the subway (metro) to get to the bus station and take a big tourist bus to get where we are going. All the others we use the subway and then a micro or combi or all depends. Almost always we use public transportation...there is a lot more public transport here in Mexico City and it is actually easier to use it than to have a car. When we go to President’s house, the secretaries give us a ride in the mission van or we drive the Corolla. But we use micro (like mini buses) and subway (it is kind of like a roller coaster just that there are so many people that it is more like a mosh pit than traveling) the most often. I love going down 4 flights of stairs and waiting on the station just like in the movies...we usually get to see some pretty funny looking people. Also there are always people selling things in the metro...they get on with a back pack full of speakers and play music trying to sell pirated discs. They also sell a lot of cacahuates (peanuts). Sometimes bums with guitars or drums get on and play and sing to beg for money, it is quite entertaining.

I have not been back to Teotihuacan still, but I still write letters back and forth with the Family Martinez Avila and they are really excited and preparing to enter the temple the 7 of November!!! They are just such special people and I love them so much.

As for who we are teaching, this week we have Juan and Marìa Aracely scheduled for baptism. They were a reference from the Centro para Visitantes. They are an older couple (about 55....jaja I know that`s not that much older than you guys but it is older for me) and they are really cool. Juan isn`t always all there and always gets distracted in the lessons and starts talking about random things that don`t have anything to do with what we are teaching. But he has read up until Jacob in the Book of Mormon and knows it is true. Aracely is super elegida, (select, choice) she just is never there because she works a lot. But she knows the church is true and wants to get baptized. We usually tell people that we are going to pick them up for the church the 1st time so they don`t feel alone...but they showed up without our help and love it.

Julio was another reference. He is about 21 and went to church with his sister, felt the spirit and wants to be baptized. The 1st time we went to his house he said that when he reads the Book of Mormon he just feels an awesome burning sensation in his chest and knows that it is true. How cool right?!

There are others but I will have to describe them next week. We find people to teach by contacting in the street. We dedicate about 2 or 3 hours everyday to just contacting and we are always contacting in between appointments. We don`t really knock doors because it is much more efficient to talk to people in the street. But most of all we just talk to everybody that moves. I don`t really know what tracting I don`t know if we do that. As for whether it is safe or not, I have never had anything really dangerous happen. I`ve never seen a knife or pistol pulled on me. I have heard lots of stories...but the Lord always protects the obedient according to His will. I don`t really even think about danger anymore. I just live here in Mexico City and it is normal. I love the work, I love the daily miracles. I love my companion and we are working hard with the goal to work harder and harder everyday. There are always ups and downs in the mission, but I am happy. Changes are tomorrow and this will be the first time that I will have a companion for more than 1 month and a half and I am so excited about that. My room and bathroom are clean and I am reading my scripture and saying my prayers everyday, so don`t worry about me I am doing well. Love you all so much,


Elder Nelson

Monday, July 4, 2011

Pure Motives

Querida Familia,

Wow, this week has just been really busy. This week we officially became the new Misíon Mexico Este, gaining Ecatepec and losing 3 zones. We had the last consejo of zone leaders on Wednesday and it was weird saying goodbye. I am getting really good at saying good-bye, that is one thing the mission teaches you how to do really well. When I said good-bye to my trainer Elder Llanos I cried, but now it is strange because I know I will never see them, my friends and former companions, ever again. But it doesn’t feel like it. I guess we just get so used to saying good-bye that it just gets normal.

I went with President and his wife Friday to the interviews with Ecatepec so that I could get to know them and help out. Elder Gonzalez and Elder Bringhurst stayed behind to work in the area so I had to be without a companion for a day. It was very strange. They seem like good elders, but they have been bounced around a lot. A lot of them started in the west mission, then in the division went the northwest, and now they are in the east. I guess the Lord just wanted them to get to know many parts of the city.

We are just preparing this week to send Elder Gonzalez home to Monterrey. Helping him to finish strong. Today for his last P-Day we went a special taco stand where they sell huge tacos with steak and cheese and guacamole. It was so good. Also, I withdrew money from my card, so don’t worry no one stole it.

It rained a lot this much that I had to break out the umbrella. I really like to get wet, but after several hours in the rain one gets very cold.

We had a kind of disappointing week this week. We had a youth all ready for baptism this week. He passed his interview and everything.......then Saturday night he got drunk. He still came to church Sunday which is a good sign of repentance, but he obviously wasn’t quite ready yet and just hadn’t told anyone. The good thing is that he told us Sunday in church and didn’t get baptized after getting drunk the night before.

Hey Mom, I know you just sent a package so I’m sorry, but I forgot to ask if you could find another mini Preach My Gospel. I loved the one I had...but there was an Elder that needed it more than I did. If you could find another one I would love it, if not then don’t worry about it. There was one other thing that I can’t remember...

I got Jackson`s letter and it made me soo happy to hear how well he is doing. I know he is just the best missionary and I wish I could be more like him.

I just have been thinking so much this week about Christ. I have been doing a lot of self relexion (reflection?) like in Alma 5, and I have been surprised with the results. What was the purpose of Christ? He came to do the will of the Father, and even in his deepest suffering in Gethsemane he said, -if it be possible, if there is another way please let me do it, nevertheless thy will be done. Am I like that? And why did Christ do what he did? He did not do it because he knew he was going to be the greatest example of all time, he did not do it because he knew he had to do it. He did it for love. There is a scripture in Peter that says that faith works through love. I have just been thinking so much about why I am here, and what my true motives are. I know that Christ is my King, my Savior. I know that He suffered so greatly for me, for my trials, my problems. I know that he did it all simply because he loves me. For no other reason. Could I ask a favor of all of you this week? Could you write me about your motives? Tell me what you are doing for God and most important of all, why? I am on the tip of discovering the great secret to the life...pure motives, but I have a long way to go. When we truly love the Lord, the fire in our belly is automatic, the fe sumamente grande is a byproduct. I love you all so much..sorry this letter is a little short.


Elder Nelson