Monday, February 27, 2012

A day in the life...

Dear Family,

Pachuca overlooking Elder Nelson's old ward
This week was really crazy again. I don´t think I´ve ever been so tired in my life, but I wouldn´t have it any other way. This week we went to Pachuca to do divisions (The picture of the houses is from the upstairs window of the zone leaders’ house looking out over my old ward) and to pick up Elder Perez. He is the only missionary who was scheduled to finish his mission this change and so President sent him home 3 weeks early to make the process easier. We left at about 8 in the morning on Thursday from Pachuca and got home about 11...when President called and asked that we bring Elder Perez to his house so that he could have an interview with him. (President has been really sick and couldn´t leave his house). We left then and didn´t get back to our area until about 5 when we ate really quickly and left again to go do a baptismal interview...we finally started working about 7:30 at night. The next day Friday we started working like normal until about 12 when Elder Jordan rubbed his eyes after touching a plant...his eyes were apparently allergic and started swelling up and getting all puffy and burned so that he couldn´t open them. We went to the doctor and got some drops for him and finally got it all sorted out. We started working again about 4 in the afternoon and finished the day well. Then on Saturday morning we dropped Elder Perez off at the airport at about 6:30 am and went from there to President´s house where we had a planning meeting. Then we got news that a new Elder was going to be coming on Monday (today). So we woke up at 5:20am today to go get him and bring him to President´s house for the training and breakfast. We finally got back to our house at about 3:45 and got about 2 hours of P I am really excited to go to bed tonight. At the beginning of my mission I would think..."if I am this tired for the next two years I think I might die." I guess you just get used to being tired.

Elder Crown, Elder Pukahi, and Elder Jordan
The other picture I sent was of Elder Jordan and Elder Crown (financial secretary) and Elder Pukahi (visas secretary) before we left for President´s house this morning...and of the computer I am using to write this email to you.

 Well to answer questions we only have 1 ward. Campestre Aragon (the best ward). I haven´t spoke for a while but usually when the speakers don´t show up they ask us to speak about 5 minutes before the meeting starts. As for my retainer...I started doing really well at the new year, but then I got really sick and I got paranoid of everything and thought maybe my retainer had something on it that made me now I´m not so good. But I will clean it really well and try again...but if I get sick again I´m never wearing it again.

I have a couple souvenirs...but I am not going to buy anything until the end because I don´t want to have to carry it around with me in suitcases until I know that my next transfers will be Richland. The temple is still open.
This week we had a cool experience on Sunday. We were working like normal Sunday after church just street contacting and looking for new investigators when a huge black man yelled us over. He was bigger than Elder Jordan. His name is Carl and he is from Haiti. He said that he had gone to church a lot of times with his uncle in Haiti but had never gotten baptized. He speaks French and Haitian…and is learning Spanish. He didn´t speak too well and it was kind of weird. But he lives in a little room and moved in about 4 months ago and was excited to come back to church with us this week.
I am happy and healthy and trying to get better. Also...I´m not dying (far from it) or anything but I´ve accepted that I will have to know about BYU and other plans and so feel free ask questions and to let me know what is going on and what classes or whatever you signed me up for.

I love you all so much and I pray that God will do according to His will with each one of is the only way to be happy. Tell me where Laurel goes.

Elder Nelson

Monday, February 20, 2012

Week of Miracles

Dear Family,                                                                      
This has been a week full of miracles. Really every week is full of miracles but this week we had more than normal. But first of all I will answer the questions so that I don´t forget. The basketball court was in a deportivo. They are places that the government builds for people to have fun and play sports. There are baseball fields and soccer fields and running tracks....sort of like a huge community center. Since there is no safe place to run or do exercise in the city (everything is concrete) the government builds green areas for the people. It was free...actually we played there again today. The reason why Elder Jordan was missing shoes and I wasn´t dressed to play is because we had just finished and I had already changed and was just waiting for Elder Jordan to finish. Don´t worry I not hurt. I did get the SD card. Thank you very much. I still have like 3 quarters of a gig left on the one I´m using....but I would have to buy a new usb drive to back up the pictures before I sent the other one home. So I don´t know. I don´t really want to buy a new usb so I will probably just bring it home with me. Yes I loved the tie. I wore it on Sunday. Elder Jordan is getting the hang of things pretty well. The trick to being an assistant is doing things in the moment they are asked of us and always being one step ahead of President. 

We also went to Tepito today with a brother from our ward that works there. Tepito is a huge huge place where they sell everything imaginable. It is in the center of DF.

A week ago we were knocking some door is a habitational unity called "El Milagro" when we contacted a lady named Magdalena. She said she lived in an apartment building that is always always locked and that we can never get into. She said she would be back in 20 minutes because she was going to the papelería. She said she lived all the way to the top in the apartment 402. So we came back in 20 minutes to see if she was good for her word and just as we got to the building someone came out of the huge gate locking the building and let us in. So, taking advantage of the opportunity we knocked every door in the building...arriving to the door where Magdalena lives we were met at the door by a lady who was not Magdalena. She said that there was no one named Magdalena who lived in that building...weird. She let us in and we found out that she was a less active member from Oaxaca who was making a come back to the church. She was here in Df for only that day visiting her son who had moved into that apartment about 2 days before. Her son was also a less active member. She told us to come and visit her son and non-member wife. On Saturday we went back to find him. Just as we got to the building a man who was listening to loud music and smoking weed leaned out the window and asked us if we wanted to enter the building. He tossed us his keys so we could get in. We found Pablo (the less active son) and as soon as we knocked on the door he opened it and said "come in." He started to cry and said that it was time to come back to church but he just needed someone to invite him. He went to church yesterday and bore his testimony in Principio del Evangelio. God knows and loves each one of us and really truly will put the medios para que podamos regresar al camino verdadero si estamos dispuestos a poner nuestra parte.  (the means by which we can return to the true path if we are willing to do our part)   I was touched by how many miracles had passed just so that he could come back...I think that each of us has had experiences like that if we will just look for them.

Also on Thursday of last week we received a call from Elder Haslam who is the secretary. He was in the offices when he received a call. The man on the other end of the line said that he wanted to know more about the gospel of Jesus Christ and wanted to join the church. It just so happens that he lives in our area. Jorge worked in a pasterlería in front of the temple in Aragon. He passed by so many times and had the curiosity to know the church. He had stopped going to his Christian church for several reasons. We went to go visit him and he told us of how he had went to the temple and asked for the number to the just so happened that they gave him our office number and that he had the courage to call. He went to church on Sunday. We are teaching the family but his wife couldn´t go to church on Sunday.

Also we were checking some old investigators when we knocked the door of Mercedes. She is about 75 years old and reminds me a lot of Grandma Nelson. She told us that when we had come before she was too caught up in her traditions (Catholic) to really listen to us. But she had realized that she had never been baptized in the Catholic Church and she knew that she needed a baptism to be saved. She said she just really didn´t know anything about God and had a need to know about Him. She went to church on Sunday too. We have working really hard with the members to accompany us in visits and this week we didn´t have to pass by for anybody and we ended up with 12 investigators in church because the members went and picked them all up.

We also contacted a family this week who were baptized about 2 years ago in a different ward. They moved and lost contact with the ward. They were so excited to come back to church. The best part is that the father lives with a different wife now who is not a member of the church and his mother is not a member either and they are excited about being baptized to receive a remission of sins. So many people are just waiting for us to talk to them. I know with all my heart that God and his angels are preparing people as I write this to be found as soon as we leave from the internet café. This work can never be stopped until Christ will declare it done. It has the potential to change our very self...because the real purpose of missionary work in conversion, conversion of oneself and then conversion of many others. We are shaping our souls. There was a quote in the quote book Aunt Janet sent me that says "It makes all the difference to eternity whether we choose right or wrong today." I know that choosing right puts me where God can bless and protect me.  I love this work so much and I am so glad that I was called to this mission.

Tell Mitchell that I am way excited for him!! He will be an awesome missionary. Obedience and work are the secrets to a successful mission. I will be excited to know where Laurel is going. Mom, I love you too but hugs can wait 5 months. I love you all so much and I pray for you. I just want to be the kind of missionary that my mother thinks I am...we can never go wrong with that attitude. I love you.

Till next week,

Elder Nelson  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Acorns of Faith

Dear Family,                                                                                                                                                                      

I am still with Elder Jordan for at least another 5 weeks. I have a sneaking suspicion that I might have changes this next time around...but I guess we will find out in 5 weeks. Our week went well. We found a couple good families...but they didn´t go to church so we will have to make some plans to get them there next week. I got my package!! Thanks for everything. The fruit by the foot are soo good. Tell Aunt Janet and Uncle Rick thanks for the quote book. I started reading it an there are some good ones there that I will probably use in capacitations and things like that. Grandma thank you for your card and letter and candy. Also tell the Priests’ Quorom that I finally got their letter from Christmas.

As for going to the temple there are a couple families that look like they will make it there before I go home form this ward. The Garcia family and the Carrapia family. One goes in June and the other in July so we will see if they make it before I have to go. There are several others that will go to the temple for sure....but I will be home before that which is too bad. But I guess that´s just a part of life. We used to get a couple referrals a week from the visitors center...but they closed it in January for extensive renovations and won´t open it again until November. We used to take people there almost every Sunday. It is only about 15 minutes away in micro...walking would probably be about 45 minutes.

This week we had a baptism. His name was Marcos and he is incredible. Elder Bringhurst and I taught him about 4 months ago...but since he couldn´t go to church because of his work (he is a professional soccer coach) we never went back. He seemed pretty interested so Elder Jordan and I went and taught him and his family but he still couldn´t go to church so we invited him and didn´t go back. Then about 3 weeks later he showed up to church all by himself. He said that he was looking for a change in his life and that he felt good about what we had taught him. We are still working with his wife. She has been Catholic her whole life and is having some trouble leaving behind her traditions...but there is nothing the Book of Mormon and the Spirit cannot do. It felt so good to baptize a future priesthood holder. For some reason most of the people I have taught and seen baptized have been women...probably because they are more sensible to the whispering of the spirit. But we are going tonight with the ward missionaries to start the hand off to the ward and I really believe he will be a strong addition to the ward. He was so nervous his first time in the church and so nervous for his interview baptismal...but after his baptism he said "I am now more convinced than ever that this is what I should be doing."

By the way I did not forget the birthdays of Darci and Kolby....I remembered them when they happened but then I forgot when we went to write. But Happy birthdays anyways.

Stockton and Malone???
Today for P Day we went and played basketball on a wood court! It was so awesome. I had never heard of a wood basketball court in Mexico but there happens to be one where we can play for free about 10 minutes from our area. All the courts in the churches are outside and concrete with metal back boards that don´t have nets. It was nice to have a glass backboard and a nylon net for once. We played 3 on 3...but there were 11 so Elder Jordan and I were a team of 2. Sort of like John Stockton and Karl Malone. We beat everybody.

Well...I wrote really well in my journal this week but I can´t remember anything else that happened so I guess I will have to write things down for next week. I love you all and I pray for you. I want to know when Cameron gets into BYU and where he is going to live and stuff like that. I read a quote in my quote book this week that I liked a lot. I may have modified it a little bit..but it says "The power of 1,000 mighty oaks lies with 1 acorn." Shall we not go forward in so great a cause? What we are doing right now will change everything. The ripple effect will go out of control if we just do what´s right. "It makes all the difference in eternity whether we choose right or wrong today." We cannot even see the mighty effect our efforts will make...but some day we will. We have to give everything to the Lord, we must do everything in our power to serve Him and save His children. It makes all the difference in eternity. I love you all and hope you have a great week.

Trying to plant some acorns,      
Elder Nelson 

Monday, February 6, 2012


Dear Family,                                                                                                                               

This week was crazy. A lot of things happened and we were soo busy all week. But first of said you were in a really busy city. Mexico City is a really busy city. It would have been kind of funny if you would have come here...but then again not really because I don´t really want to see y´all for a while. But really where did you go?

I have not yet gotten the Valentine´s day package but tomorrow is change so maybe I will get it then. Mexico does celebrate Valentine´s day...except a little different. It´s called "Día de la Amistad" and it is not so much a romantic thing as it is a friendship day. But we´ll see if I can think of something funny to do to Elder Jordan for Valentine´s day.

I sent the picture of Carolina who was baptized on Friday. Another elder and I found her on divisions and she is really really quiet. It is really hard to teach her because she is so quiet that it is hard to know what she is thinking. We ask her how she feels about the Book of Mormon and she just smiles and says "good." She kind of surprised me because I thought she wouldn´t be ready for this week but we asked her if she wanted to do it and she just smiled and said "yes." She is really cool though. We always teach her in the furniture store where she works and she and her daughter always read the things we leave with them several times so that they can understand them. When we first found her we asked her what she wanted most out of anything in the whole world and she just looked at us and said "change." We explained what the Atonement was and what we have to do to achieve change in our own lives. The Atonement is so powerful and coupled with the Book of Mormon there is basically no person that truly understands what we teach that will not get baptized.

The "Board"
In other news we got up at 4:45 today to go pick up the new Mexican missionaries. They seem pretty good and I am hopeful that they will be pretty powerful. Tomorrow are the changes. No new Americans got here this time so that was kind of weird.

Hey I was wondering if Darci was dead. I haven´t heard from her in a while and I am starting to wonder.

So this week Elder Jordan and I have more work than ever...we are starting a new campaign against disobedience but it´s going to be different this time. We are going to kill it or it is going to kill us. There is a no tolerance policy going into effect so we will we working with the zone leaders on that along with the changes meeting and the other 2 zone conferences this week. Life is good, I´m happy. Love ya.


elder Nelson

What Really Matters

Dear Family,
As far as my sickness...the doctor said that it was probably a viral respiratory infection. But it is gone now, I feel 100 percent.

This week was pretty crazy. On Wednesday Elder Jordan and I went to the airport at 5 in the morning to pick up Elder Terry. He is from Peru and was waiting on his visa. We picked him up and took him to our house where we studied a little bit and then left to go do divisions. I went to Ecatepec, Ward Izcalli with Elder Castillo from Pocatello Idaho. The area is really cool...basically all hills and full of people. We had a good day and found a couple of new investigators. Returning from Ecatepec on Thursday we went to Aragón where we picked up an Elder that had to go home for health problems. We worked the rest of the day as 2 companionships and at 5 in the morning on Friday we went to go drop the elder off at the airport. Then we went back to Aragón where we trained Elder Terry with President and the secretaries and conducted the special changes meeting that had to take place for the new Elder Terry arriving and the missionaries that had to go home for health. Finishing up the special changes meeting we took the other Elder that had to go home to the airport and finally about 4 in the afternoon on Friday we got to work in our area as a companionship. Today we are going to the secretaries house in Naucalpan because tomorrow we are going to have a planning meeting with President and on Thursday we will have the Zone Leader Council. On Monday (a week from today) we will be picking up the new elders and taking them to President´s house and on Tuesday are the changes. I have never been so busy and so happy and so involved. I feel like time is going by so quickly and I don´t know what to do to make it go more slowly. Everything is just coming up so quickly and I just don´t want to think about it. I have seen so many elders finish their missions....the last 6 months have been so telling as to who is truly converted. I want to finish well so badly. I want to work so hard that my companions are whipped afterwards. A lot of elders get to this point and start relaxing....but that´s not how I feel I will do it. It has to be a total and complete 24 month  mission for me or I will never be satisfied. Since I only have one chance to do it right I need to nail it. I think we can´t really appreciate the mission unless we are actually on it. It is something powerful and incredible, something life changing, something you can´t describe. When you put all your heart might mind and strength into it, it is hard to imagine that it will actually end. I feel like I will be a missionary for the rest of my life and that is the end of the story. Nothing from back home except my family is really important to me anymore. I could care less who won the Super Bowl or how the Mariners did. I couldn´t care less who is running for president and who is leading in the opinion polls. I don´t care...what is important is finding people who need to gospel...being prepared to teach them with power to the point where they are baptized for a remission of their sins and make changes in their life that will bring them to the very presence of God. What could be more important than that? How could you possibly give that up? It is not possible to comprehend the significance of this work or its implications in this life and the life hereafter. I love it with all my heart and soul. I realized that it truly has changed me...I could never be the same as I was before because I know. I know that God has restored His church with the authority on the earth today... I know that the only way we can obtain happiness in this life or exaltation in the life after is por medio de obediencia a los leyes y ordenanzas del evangelio y un esfuerzo constante por siempre seguir progresdando.  (through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel and a constant effort to always follow progress.)

I actually am wearing a different belt because my other belt broke and the other one is lost or stolen. I had to go get a new one. The only ones they had were ones with belt buckles so I just picked the most conservative one I could find. Also I did renew my visa about 3 months ago so everything is in order. I won´t get deported upon arriving home. Well I love you all so much. I pray for you and I know you pray for me. Hope you have a great week and I hope you find someone for the missionaries to teach this week.


Elder Nelson