Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Spirit of Missionary Work

Dear Family,                                                                                                                                                                        
It was really weird to see snow. It looks so cold I don`t think I would like it. I am so used to the temperate weather here that anything below 50 is cold enough for a sweater and an extra blanket on my bed. Usually in the morning I study with a sweater and the peacoat type liner that came with my rain coat. Mom....I honestly don`t really care what is in my room when I come home. I have been living with borrowed beds and blankets and furniture for a year and a half so I don`t really think it matters what I sleep in.

I am feeling better. I just have a lingering cough now. I was pretty much better by Tuesday which was good because on Tuesday we went out to Tulancingo to do divisions and on Wednesday we did divisions with Pachuca. Tulancingo is funny because the zone leaders are Elder Chambers and Elder Falslev, they just happen to be cousins that grew up about 3 houses apart. They both got their call to the MME and they both ended up being zone leaders....together. Funny how small the world is. Doing divisions out in Pachuca is hard for me because we have to take these huge greyhound buses which make me really carsick. Remember that one time when I was little and I threw up all over the inside of the brand new van of one of your friends when we went down to Utah? Luckily I have a little bit more control now. But since there are 3 zones out there we go out there once or twice every 6 weeks.

Elder Perez was with us for about a day while we got the special changes and trainer ready. It doesn`t happen that much, maybe once every 6 weeks or so. But actually on Wednesday at 5 in the morning we will be in the airport again to pick up a brand new Peruvian elder.

On Sunday Ema (grandmother of Fatima who were baptized a week ago) bore her testimony in Gospel Principles. She talked about how she saw us talking to a man and thought "I don`t want anything to do with them...I hope they don`t talk to me." She tried to hide by going around a huge water tank truck. The truck was parked on the side of the road in the middle of a line of cars. The only gap for 100 meters was a 6 incher in between the trailer hitch of the truck and the car in front of it. When she saw me and Elder Jordan squeeze through the gap and appear in front of her she thought "Well, if God wants to talk to me that badly I suppose I should listen." She let us in and was baptized in three weeks. Those are the kind of miracles that follow you if you will simply be obedient and work hard. People`s eternities depend on the decisions we make...and through our righteous efforts God can bring to pass the gathering of Israel. I sometimes think about what eternity will be like, how it will feel, what we will do. When I hear testimonies of converts it answers those questions. I will be with them, the feeling I feel will be the same as I feel when I know that what I did helped them to really and truly come unto Christ. It is something I can`t describe, I guess you could call it the spirit of missionary work. I know the feelings we experience when we think of sharing the gospel. Imagine how I felt in my first weeks in Mexico...scared, homesick, struggling with the language. I often thought..."how can I touch someone`s heart when I don`t even know how to tell them what I feel or explain logically how I know these things are true?" We all have obstacles to overcome...but the purpose of obstacles is to overcome them. It is the responsibility of each and everyone of us to 1, convert ourselves to the gospel and 2, to share that conversion with our brother and sisters. Maybe we think...it`s cause everyone in the US is too proud or too busy or too whatever. Those are lies from Satan. God will always prepare the way for us to share the gospel, he is always preparing people...maybe we have to be patient, maybe we have to be brave maybe we have to study a little more. Isn`t it worth it? Imagine how it would be to be with these people in the presence of God, or imagine how it will be without them. We have what they need and they will never get it unless we share it with them. If we cannot imagine that the gospel could help them in their lives, we are not truly converted. Until we have the courage to share that gospel with them we do not truly love God. I love this Gospel with all my heart. I wish I would have been a better missionary back home...I guess I just didn`t understand. I love you all, thanks for the prayers and emails and letters. I feel like I forget things to write about so if you think of a question let me know. I love each and everyone of you.

Elder Nelson

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sick :(

Dear Family,

This week was pretty tough. I was sick since Thursday on with a fever and body ache and nausea and an incredible amount of tiredness. I don´t really know what started it. It might have been that I was dehydrated or something like that. All I know was that I dragged myself around all day Thursday and Friday trying to get some work done. On Thursday we went home at 7:30 and I slept all night. (But we woke up on time). Then on Friday we had to stop working about 8 pm to do the same. I didn´t really know I had a fever until we bought a thermometer from a corner pharmacy...but it is in Celsius so I am learning to read thermometers in Celsius. The worst part about being sick is probably not being able to work. Or even when we are working the focus isn´t what it should be. Time is so precious. But before all that started we got to go the airport on Tuesday.

On Tuesday Elder Perez arrived from Honduras. He was waiting for his visa, and was excited to get to Mexico. It was a little tricky because there are two exits that the passengers come out of and they don’t tell you which one they are going to come out of...they are about 100 meters apart and so we were running back and forth trying to see if he had come out yet. We took him home with us and worked with him until the next day when we had a little training meeting with him and his trainer and we sent him out. Because he had gotten there on Friday we had to have a changes meeting for some special changes. 
Ema and Fatima, Elder Jordan and Elder Nelson
But aside from all the things that happened this week Ema and her granddaughter Fatima were baptized this week! Ema had been having a hard week because she kept having nightmares about changing religion...but she was so happy afterwards. She is such an elect person. She said after her baptism that she knew that changes were hard. Many changes were going to take place in her life but that she knew that if she placed her trust in God that everything would work out just the way it should .

On Sunday we went to work after the baptismal service to try to salvage what was left of our teaching pool and try to aumentarlo (increase).  It started to rain and we had planned to go and knock some doors in a bunch of buildings called la Unidad Habitacional el Milagro. On the way a true miracle happened. We were walking and contacting just as we always do, not feeling particularly inspired to go down any one street so we went the way we usually do. On the way we contacted an older lady who started talking about how she had had the missionaries over before but had not accepted because of a misunderstanding over tithing. As we talked to her, her son came over and told us to come with them to their house. Once we got inside his house he told us the story about why he had accepted our invitation to learn more. On Monday he had tried to commit suicide. His girlfriend had left him for another and he felt as though nothing else in the world mattered.  Sunday he had been praying and asking God to please send someone to help him know how to feel better, how to cope. He said he didn´t know why he had left the house. He just felt like he should go outside....it was in that exact moment that he went outside that we had contacted his mom. He said that he knew that God had placed us in his path and that our encounter was a true miracle. Imagine that!! Had the Spirit punched me in the noise and told me to go down that street? No. Had it nudged me to tell me to contact the old lady? No. We were simply being obedient, doing what we should do and following the plans we had made the night before. God expects us to make the plans, make the goals and do the work. He expects us to do what we should and be obedient....and when we do He can consecrate our work. It was a miracle, but if we had not contacted her, or been diligent or not followed the plans we had made God would not have been able to put the people who needed us the most in our path. The miracles come after all we can do.

Well, I love you all. I hope you are doing what you should so that God can consecrate your actions. Kolby...have fun and don´t be stupid. I love you all so much. I pray for you everyday.

Elder Nelson

Today I feel a little better. I still have a fever a little bit but I am taking ibuprofen and lots of water. The work must go on--sick or not. Tonight we are going to President´s house so that tomorrow he can take us to Tulancingo for the interviews. We will do divisions with the Zone Leaders there and on Wednesday with Pachuca.

From a letter to Brett:

Thanks for the letter. As far as the responsibilities and leadership and work goes, I have alot more responsibility now. Before Elder Bringhurst and I were about equal. I was the senior companion but since we both had the same time as assistants it was the same. Now I am teaching Elder Jordan how to do everything,. We are working with his teaching and finding and administrative abilities so that when I leave he will be able to carry on the work. If something goes wrong or we forget to do something it is obviously my fault now. But I am getting used to it and Elder Jordan is a good companion so he will be ready pretty quickly. We only cover 1 ward, Campestre Aragon. We do get to know the leaders pretty well because we have to coordinate with them to visit our converts so that they know who they are and where they live. They accompany us on visits and we coordinate in ward council. We work mostly with the bishopric and the Relief Society president because for some reason all of our converts are relief society. I love them and they take good care of us. The Relief Society president took dinner to our house on New Year’s Eve and the counselor in the stake presidency invited us over for Christmas Eve dinner. We go with members on splits to pick up our investigators on Sundays...but other than that not very much. Also....tamales are really good, but much better if put in a rolls and made into a sandwich. The tamales from the US are way different from the DF ones...but they are all pretty good. I love you so much Dad and I pray for you every day. I love your letter and questions and I am glad for the example you have given me. Thanks, I love you.

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sing the Song of Redeeming Love

Dear Family,                                                                                              

Just so that you know I won the 2 week 6 pack contest. It wasn´t really even that close because Elder Bringhurst unfortunately couldn´t get rid of a little belly fat that covered up his 6 pack. I don´t know how good Elder Jordan is at soccer because we haven´t played yet but he is pretty good at basketball. He is about 6 foot 3....so he makes me look a little small in the baptismal photos. Yes I get the pictures you send and then I save them onto my sd card so that I can see them on my camera. I love getting pictures and my sd card is getting full again so if I can remember to buy an sd card I may be sending another one home one of these days. Today Elder Jordan completed 19 months in the mission...which is so weird because I knew him when he had 10 months back in Pachuca. Time goes by really fast...we have started a General conference countdown and today we have about 83 days left until the big day. Yes I did get the package with the calendar and the cd in it about 2 days ago. I love the calendar. I put it up on my study desk so that everyone who comes on divisions can see my family. 

In Mexico pretty much no one has internet in their house...and there are no libraries. So when people need to use the internet they have to go to an internet cafe, a business with just a bunch of computers. Usually they are pretty junky...for example Elder Jordan is using a computer with a floppy disk drive right now. Their keyboards are usually pretty abused so typing gets difficult. 

Goodbye Elder Bringhurst :(
I sent a picture of Elder Bringhurst all packed up and ready to go. I also sent a picture of Osvaldo and David who were baptized this week. It was quite a trick getting them baptized because we were going to do it Thursday...but when we got to the chapel there was no water. So after calling around to check how fast the missionaries in other buildings could fill up the font and finding out that 3 hours was the fastest we decided to postpone the baptism until Sunday. David is 8 and Osvaldo is 9 and they had been going to church for about 3 or 4 months. We didn´t even know that they needed to be baptized until Osvaldo told one of the sisters that he would like to be baptized. His mom in less active because she has to work on Sundays...but this week we changed schedule to 8 in the morning from 11:30. Since she can go to church in that schedule she activated and was very excited for the baptism of her children. Osvaldo was also really excited for his baptism on Thursday  and was pretty let down when we told him that he needed to wait until Sunday. But we waited until Sunday and held the service during the Primary. The kids prepared a special musical number and we got a priest to do the baptism. At the end Osvaldo said..."I knew that there was a reason why I wasn´t baptized on Thursday, eso fue bien padre." 

David and Osvaldo
Elder Jordan and I have been working really hard. I love being with him because he is so humble. This week I have been really analyzing my mission. I think back on the little scared have no clue about anything 19 year old self that left Richland in July 2010 and on the 17 month mission experienced self that I am now and I do not see very many changes. I always hear about people whose mission saved their life, or changed them forever and I want that type of converting experience. I have been studying Alma 5 all week this week to really focus in on what is repentance and what is a change of heart. It teaches us that the everlasting word touched and taught them to experiment with repentance. It says that the chains of everlasting death were broken and their souls did expand. The only thing limiting us from fulfilling our true potential is sin. When we can understand (though reading and understanding the scriptures) then our souls will expand to fulfill our potential. Sin limits our souls, souls really means your body and spirit put together so what could that also mean? That changing requires physical and spiritual changes. It must be a total and complete consecration to the Lord and his commandments. With the mira puesta unicamente en la gloria de Dios. That is when we can truly be free and truly feel to sing to song of redeeming love. I want to sing that song, I want to feel His love and atonement work always.

I love you all so much. I pray for you and your success. I hope that everyone is happy and righteous.


Elder Nelson

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Dear Family,                    

Here we are again on a Monday writing again. It seems like I just did this but here we go again. The a on this board doesn`t work very well so I might just start omitting it and capitals also. Elder Bringhurst`s mom sent him the zen garden in his Christmas Package and we put up with our Christmas decorations. 

My new companion is great . Elder Jordan is from Ramah New Mexico and is 6 foot 3. He is really happy and excited all the time so I am learning lots from him. It was really weird not having Elder Bringhurst as a companion anymore. I kind of was struggling with it for a couple days but we are gelling pretty well now. It`s just when you are with someone every hour of everyday for 6 months you kind of start to like em. But elder Jordan is a really great missionary so I got lucky. His Spanish is not as good as Elder Bringhurst so I am trying to help him out. We are both learning together seeing as how my Spanish isn`t perfect. 

These weeks have been a little rough since the holidays are Satan`s favorite tool for messing with missionary work, but I have been able to learn several important things. 2 weeks ago we had about 15 people with a baptismal date....now we have 3. I have had to learn the hard way once again that I of myself can do nothing and that all and every success comes from the Lord. To truly be successful you must entregarse a si mismo totalmente. (Surrender yourself completely).

Mom as for an experience where the Spirit has guided me....look for my letter where I talked about going out to Axapusco and finding Maria Elena with her dream. Many times the spirit has not shouted at me to knock a door or to talk to a person....many times the spirit simple tells you what is already written...talk to everyone. I usually don`t know that the spirit was guiding me until afterwards...when I can look back and see the hand of the Lord in my actions. For example this week we were out contacting....talking to everyone like it says in PME. We were talking to a man when we saw a woman cross the street and go behind a truck so as not to talk to us. No one escapes us. We talked to her and she looked really startled and let us into her house. On Sunday in her first visit to the chapel she stood up and bore her testimony saying that she knew that God had led her to the true church. She said that when she  saw us she thought "I don`t want to talk to anyone" but when she saw us in front of her she thought "well if God wants it that bad...I will follow Him." She is so prepared to hear the gospel...yet the Spirit didn`t hit me in the back of the head or appear in front of me telling me to talk to her....we were simply doing what we were supposed to be doing in the place we had planned to be. Maria Elena was a different case. I felt the spirit tell me....go to Axapusco I don`t care if you have never gone I don`t care if you don`t know how to get there...go. I went and the result was exactly the same. The trick is doing what we are supposed to and learning to recognize how the spirit works in us. 

I hope that was enough for a family night. I don`t have much time today because we had to cut our hair. PS if Darci could get me into an astronomy class I would like that too. Well, I love you all.

Love eldr nelson