Monday, October 31, 2011

Better late than never...

Zone Leaders, APs and Presidente Hicken
Dear Family,                                                                                                               

Sorry about last week. We had some new missionaries come in on Monday who had been waiting for their visas and we had a missionary get sent home so we had to train the new missionary, train the new trainers and help President with the special changes. I have never missed a week before...but I guess one out of 104 isn’t that bad.

Well, last week President was gone all week at a conference so we got all the emergency and permission to do things calls. Tuesday...about a half an hour after president had gotten on the plane to leave we got a phone call from some zone leaders in one of the more dangerous parts of the mission. They told us that two missionaries had gotten arrested and were being held in the delegation. What a way to start off a week. We made some calls and got a hold of the number of Elder Tenorio, one of the members of the 70 in charge of Mexico and the number of the church legal department in Mexico. We called up the legal department and they sent a lawyer over to the delegation to bail them out. I guess they had been putting up flyers for an English class where they shouldn’t have...luckily the church got them out without too much trouble...but it kind of scared us a little bit.

It is starting to get a little colder I mean I have to use blankets at night and sometimes I wear a sweater to study in. But you know you’ve been in Mexico when 70 is cold. I have been using the socks Grandma Anderson sent last Christmas to sleep in and I still have my I think I’m pretty good. I got your package!!! Thanks so much. I love the Starbursts (they are gone now because Elder Bringhurst likes them too) and I have been enjoying hot oatmeal and hot chocolate in the mornings. Thank you for the EFY disc I love get kind of sick of the same songs over and over again so it is nice to hear something new. Thank you for the pictures, I put them up on my desk. Kolby is wearing my old shirt and Melissa looks way different. I also noticed that I look way different from my homecoming picture...that was almost 2 years ago and things change a lot in 2 years. 

This computer doesn’t have a picture port so I couldn’t send pictures of the baptism of Esthèr. She was so excited to be clean from her sins and it was really cool to see how the ward rallied around her to support her. We have been focusing a lot of working with members (bringing members to lessons and using them to answer questions and doubts and pick them up for church) and we have seen a huge difference in the investigators. Esthèr has come every single week to mutual, (the RS always gets together to learn some sort of recipe or sewing thing) and she just really is loving everything. Her home situation is hard because her whole family is Presbyterian and they are not supportive at all of her decision to be baptized. But she overcame that and an addiction to coffee (we gave her a box of herbal tea (which is not against the word of wisdom here) at her baptism). Our bishop got emergency released last week. He had been out of work for about a year and was unable to find anything because he was too busy being right now we don’t have a bishop for a couple weeks. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about a couple things. First of all the obra misional is really different in Mexico. Our ward doesn’t have a ward council because no one gets there on time, our ward mission leader doesn’t ever have meetings with us because he works (and because he knows we can baptize without him and thus feels less of a responsibility) and the whole culture here is different. When baptisms flow like water a lot of missionaries start losing sight of what it really is, a saving ordinance that will change the eternities of these people. They start looking at them as personal achievements and start worrying more about numbers of baptisms than people. Then there is the other extreme where they just say that baptisms don’t matter at all. They say we are here to help people and baptism is a plus...the result being that they go weeks without baptizing. The doctrine of Christ is as stated in D&C 33:11 He wants every single person to be baptized...but it is also as stated in D&C 4....everything has to do with our motives. Are we motivated to baptize by love of God and of all mankind? Are we no longer motivated to help others come unto Christ (and the only way they can do that is by have faith, repenting and be baptized)? It has to be a fire in your belly, a hunger, but motivated purely. I have been reading Acts...they obviously had the motivation to help others come unto Christ and baptized whole pueblitos...but only because the Spirit was with them. The Spirit cannot testify of impurely motivated missionaries...if baptized by impurely motivated missionaries the people are simply convinced...not converted. We are here to baptize every last person who lives within the boundaries of MME, but we are only to baptized converted, not convinced, people. I wish I could help the missionaries understand that. I wish I could be better at that. I know that the natural man attacks us everyday and it is a constant battle to keep our motives pure. But we are commanded to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him...our very salvation depends on the results of that battle. If we are not purely’s not worth doing it. I love my Savior and I am so grateful that He can accept me as I am, as imperfect as I am. But He accepts me not as I am....but as I can be. He accepts not my sins...but knows that I, Elder Nelson, can be clean and pure with His help and He never gives up on me. I love the atonement because it is exactly that.

Grandma, thank you for your note in the package. Don`t worry about not writing me...we`ll have plenty of time to talk when I get back. I pray for you everyday ad I hope you are finding joy in the journey and happiness in the little things. 

I love you all so much, I pray for you every day.


Elder Nelson

Monday, October 17, 2011

Elder Nelson, the "Grandpa"

President Hicken and Elders Bringhurst and Nelson

Dear Family,                                                                                                                          

What a strange week we’ve had. But first of all before I forget I need to ask mom how much the little PMG cost and how much it would cost to send it here because several of the missionaries have asked me how I got it and how they can get one too. Also I would love it if you could send me in an email next week a bunch of great running quotes, I love how motivating they are to me and would like to read them again. If you go onto google and type in running quotes it should give you a bunch of them. 

On Wednesday President called us at about 7:30 in the morning. I had just put my eggs in the frying pan to scramble them up when I heard President say to Elder Bringhurst "I need you to go to the airport NOW!" That was that...I left my eggs uncooked in the frying pan and we took a taxi to the airport. President Hicken’s daughter in law’s parents are the mission presidents in the Puebla mission (pretty close by). He had called President Hicken in a sort of a panic because he had sent a missionary home and dropped him off in the airport....but the missionary never arrived in Peru. We only had his that made things difficult but after an hour of running around the airport asking questions and calling the secretaries in Puebla we finally figured out that he had missed his flight because it had been canceled but had gotten on the next flight at 2:30 in the morning and was going to arrive in Peru about 8 in the evening. Everyone was relieved and we got home about 10 to finish cooking my egg and go out to work.

Then the next day we are out working and contacting. We were contacting next to a secundaria (middle school) which I don´t really like to do because all the little kids stop and stare and the "guedo." But right in the middle of a contact a little twerp about Kolby´s size ran up behind us,  (Note from Mom:  he obviously hasn't seen Kolby lately :) slapped Elder Bringhurst in the back of the head and took of running! We were too stunned to take off in pursuit...then we laughed our heads off and kept working. Just a day in the life...
My Family "Tree":  My "son" and "grandson", Elder Ramos is a trainer now!

As for if I need anything...some more pilot g2´s would be nice. I love the ones you sent me but I am not sure if they will last the rest of my mission. Usually you think of everything I need so nothing really comes to mind right now. Crazy how fast the year went is almost Christmas again, but it was just barely Christmas last year. Elder Bringhurst hits the 18 month mark next week and the weeks are just flying by so fast.

Today for P-day we went to a plaza to buy shoes and shirts for a missionary whose family didn´t have enough money to send him new ones. The mission has a budget for that type of thing and we go to make sure the money is used for what it should be used for...but I love the look in their eyes and face when they get the new stuff. It is priceless.

I loved what Seth wrote. It is so cannot truly understand the atonement until you use it, and see it used in the lives of cannot really truly come to know of God’s love for His children until you become and instrument to share cannot describe a mission until you live it. It is something that shapes every good thing that will happen in my life forever after. I’m sure that Dad would say the same and that Joe would too....our mission is reflected in everything we do afterwards. 

Miguel and his family
Blanca Lydia
This week we did divisions with the Zone Leaders in Tecamac. I love going back to just smells like elegidos. We were working up on a hill that had a perfect view of the Mexican sierra that extends out to Pachuca. The sun was setting and threw shadows across the whole valley. The moon was out early and there was a slight breeze and I thought "how great is He?" God is a master of beauty and in a view like that I realized...just as Moses did that man was nothing. We are so small, even in just the expanse of Mexico city. Imagining my smallness on a global level brought it even more into perspective. Yet seeing all these people pass by my side...each one of them has a life...a wife...troubles in the work  in the family etc...Sometimes we get so caught up in our own selves that we don’t stop to think about what an incredible masterpiece God is weaving in the world. He knows each of the threads and wants each of them to be with Him again. We get to be the needles! We get to experience His love change lives, we get to see a part of His greatness. I love it so much...sometimes I wish it would never end. 

The pictures I sent were from last week..the huge family is Miguel..Just us is Hector and the woman is Blanca Lydia. I am also sending a separate email with a picture of me and Elder Bringhurst and President that we took after the Zone Council.

I love you all so much I pray for you all every day. I urge you all to help the Master in His Him put the threads in the right place to be find people and help them get ready to accept the restored gospel. Be member missionaries and feel of the love and the excitement of the obra misional. I love it so much...I hope you are all doing well and are happy in doing what’s right for the right reasons.

   Elder Nelson

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Dear Family,                                                                                                              

Tomorrow I will complete 1 year in Mexico. Wow...that went by fast. My visa actually expired back in April. I think we will go to the immigration office next week to renew our visas. It is not an issue if I am illegal right now, but if I were to try to leave the country they probably wouldn’t let me...but I’m not leaving the country any time soon so I’m fine. I’m definitely not native...I have a pretty good gringo accent to go along with my blue eyes and white complexion...unfortunately I don’t think I will ever be native. 

Happy Birthday Dad!!! I remember that last year I forgot your birthday because I had just barely gotten to Mexico and was a little overwhelmed with all that was going on, but now I remembered. The big 5-0. Wow. I probably shouldn’t make any old people jokes so I will just say ¡Felicidades!

This letter might be a little shorter because we have to be at an interview with President at 4:30. Today was Elder Bringhurt’s birthday so we went and did his favorite thing, we ate tacos. But these tacos are super good, they are chopped up costilla with melted queso oaxaca on a big flour tortilla with beans and potatoes and a really good guacamole. 25 pesos and I am stuffed. It´s great when you and get really full for 2 bucks. He turns 21 today. That’s old (sorry dad). When I turn 21 I will only have 2 months left in the mission and time is just flying by. 

This week we had 3 baptisms. I would have sent pictures but this computer is slightly broken and doesn’t want to attach a file. The first was Hector, the son of Ami who was baptized about 4 weeks ago. He is 13, and when we first started teaching him he was really closed and didn’t like to talk very much. We brought him to the mutual night and got him to know the other jovenes and most importantly in the first lesson we left a Book of Mormon with him and told him to read and pray. When we can back the next time we asked how his prayer had gone and he just told us with a smile on his face "I felt something right here (with his hand on his chest) and I felt really good." He had been looking for a change in his life and he found it in the Book of Mormon.

The next was Miguel. He is about 14 and is the cousin of one of the youth in our ward that always helps us out with divisions and things like that. Actually we invited Miguel´s aunt to go with us to the first appointment with Hector because her son is about Hector´s age. She just happened to bring Miguel along to see what the missionaries taught about. Cha ching. He read the Book of Mormon and prayed to know if it was true...and it obviously is. He felt it too and decided to be baptized.

The last was Blanca Lydia. She is about 65 and we found her by knocking her door. She let us in and we didn’t really think she was going to progress because she was a little bit out of it and was taking bible study classes from the Christians and the Jehovah´s Witness. But we left a Book of Mormon and asked her to read it and to pray. When we came back she told us she had read and prayed and received an answer...then she asked what she needed to bring to her baptism!! She always calls us her angelitos which makes me feel good. 3 more converts for the Book of Mormon. It never fails us because it is true. It´s pages were written for us, and for these people. It does not matter what your problem is or how long you have had it or how bad you think it is. It´s answer is in the Book of Mormon. Of course the bible is true and we use it too....but no one else has the Book of Mormon.

I love you all so much. I am soo glad that every one is doing well. To those who have written real letter recently...sorry I haven’t written back but we have been super busy. But that’s how it should be. I love you all and pray for you every day.


Elder Nelson  

Monday, October 3, 2011


We received an SD card in the mail with over 700 pictures and videos from Elder Nelson.  We asked several questions about some of the pictures and he answers a few of them.

Dear Family,                                                                                                                          

I am so glad that you got my SD card. The reason why it took so long to get there is because one of our secretaries forgot to take the mail upstairs for a week...but we got that fixed. As for the man singing on the bus that happens all the time. People come on board singing or telling jokes or selling little food items in hopes of winning a couple pesos. That’s what they live off of so it is pretty sad...but entertaining.

That was the only dead possum I have ever seen in Mexico...but I just thought it was funny. I did replace the bike. I can take funds directly out of my savings account and I didn’t have enough in my I just took the money out of the savings. The mission pays for new scriptures because they are essential for the work.
All creatures need to learn the Plan of Salvation sooner or later...

In Pachuca it was hailing about the size of marbles and raining super super hard. I was staying with some other missionaries because it was right after Elder Hunt went home. WWE is super big here. It´s called la lucha libre. If you watch Nacho is way more true than you would think. We will all get copies of the conference Liahona.

Also even though I would love to have you guys come down and pick me and see the areas where I served the rule in the mission is that parents cannot come pick up missionaries. Maybe we can plan a trip for a couple months after I get back.

Ok I will describe my day today. We had a "dead" missionary (one that was finishing his mission) with us last night. We woke up at about 4:30 to go to the airport to drop him off and pick up an Elder that was arriving from Colombia (The secretaries were in the MTC picking up the other 11 Mexicans that arrived in our mission today). We left the airport at about 7 and there was traffic all the way from the airport to President´s house so we got there about 9:30. Sister Hicken fixes a big nice American breakfast of waffles and eggs and bacon. Then afterwards the secretaries give a presentation on their specialty, finances or materials or administrative things. Afterwards Elder Bringhurst and I give a capacitaion about trusting in the process of the missionary work and obedience and diligence using D&C 33 and 123. I love D&C123 so much it is so powerful. Also I love the part in 33 where it says "Arrepentíos y bauticese, cada uno de vosotros por la remisón de sus pecados..." God wants every single person in the world (but more importantly Misión Mexico Este) to repent and be baptized..that is a lot of work we have to do. We finish by telling them why our mission is the best mission in the whole world and then we practice contacting people in the street. Then President talks. Then we take them to the temple square at about 2:30pm where missionaries from surrounding areas are waiting to take the Mexicans with them until the cambios meeting the next day. The Americans usually arrive about 4 pm in the airport and sometimes we go to help pick them up sometimes not. Tonight we will be sleeping with the secretaries (because they live close to where president lives) and we will be at President´s house tomorrow at 7 am sharp (President hates it when we are late) to do the whole training thing over again with the Americans (in´s really hard). We take them to the temple square at about 12 and the cambios meeting starts at 1. We are in charge of directing and making sure President doesn´t make any mistakes because if he does it is our fault. Then we train the new district leaders after the cambios meeting and finally about 4 pm Tuesday we get to go to work in our area again. That´s about is way fun and way exhausting but such is the work of God. I always get so excited when the new elders come because they are so excited to be here. They just want to get out and help people right away...some with fear others with uncertainty..but all willing overcome everything in the name of serving their God. They are so willing to learn. Everytime they come I realize how much I wish I could be the new elder again and how quickly 6 weeks passes. It is going by way too fast. I will complete 1 year in Mexico in a week! How crazy is that?! It seems like 2 months ago I was with Elder Llanos on a crazy rickety old bus heading out in the middle of nowhere speaking a language I didn’t understand...but time goes fast when you are busy. 

I was really happy to hear about Elder Ostler, I love those guys so much. I never really realized just how amazing they are until I got into the mission. Well, we still have to go to the corner store and get out working by 6 so I guess it´s that time again. I love the mission so much and wouldn’t rather be anywhere else doing anything else with anyone other that Elder Bringhurst. The Lord truly knows how to bless us, and I know that He has blessed me in so many things.

One day I put my shoe on...about 5 minutes later I felt something struggling inside of my shoe....I promptly took my shoe off and poured out that cockroach which I then killed. It gave me the chills....eewww. The other pictures are of us with secretaries and Elder Bringhurst doing things for the new missionaries in President´s house today. 
The cockroach in my shoe

President Hicken addresses the new missionaries
Preparing for the new missionaries and transfers

The mission secretaries and Assistants

I love you so much and hope we do everything we need to, be as obedient and diligent as is necessary, to be together as a family forever. I love you all so much.


Elder Nelson

ps I only have 1 pair of contacts left...sorry I keep forgetting to tell you. Also I love starbursts and skittles if you happen to send contacts. Thanks Mom love ya a bunch.Also if there is a new EFY cd out (Kolby) I would love to listen to it.