Monday, May 28, 2012

Holding to the Rod

Titans of Tulancingo

Dear Family,                                                                                                                                                        

Sorry for this week it`s gonna be a little short. We did our zone activity in Huauchinango today and it took a little longer than I thought it was going to. It was a really cool activity. Remember that one time in Helaman`s camp where they did a representation of the iron rod? That`s what we did but we did it to the base of a huge waterfall. We collected letters from all the converts of the missionaries as the fruit. It was really special and at the end we had a testimony meeting. I sent some pictures. Everyone is making a T sign because we are the Titans of Tulancingo. I can explain more next week if you would like.
Hold to the Rod in Huauchinango

The Straight and Narrow path by the Rod

Thanks for all the E mail! I usually go and print it off in the morning to read it throughout the day but we didn`t have time today because I left for Huauchinango at 7 in the morning so I will read them tonight and respond next week.

I can`t believe it is going to be June...time is so weird. I also can`t really believe that I am going to be 21...I still feel like I am 18 and fresh out of high school. I guess not.

This last week we were going to have a baptism of Liset and her sister Ana (the one that I told you about in phone call that had a prayer answered to know that God is real). They are 17 and 15 ...they are the ones that I told you about where we didn`t really know what to do when she answered the door and told us to come in but we decided to teach them. They didn`t get baptized because they just didn`t quite get ready enough. They are having issues leaving behind the Virgin of Guadalupe and hadn`t quite progressed enough but we are going to work really hard with them to see if we can get them ready for this week.

Zone Conference in Huauchinango
We are also teaching Eusevio, he is 23. We found him through a ward activity and he just is super golden. He wants to change his life and wants to be baptized (that is what he told us in our first visit with him). The challenge is that he doesn`t know how to read very well...more or less like a first grader. We have been visiting him everyday and teaching him little by little and I hope that he can be ready for this week also. We had a finding drought last week but I had a cool experience on Sunday. I was sitting in Sacrament meeting wondering what we had done wrong or why we hadn’t been able to find new investigators this week. All of the sudden a calm assurance came over me and I knew that God loved me and was pleased with our efforts of that week. I felt very strongly that the trial was over and that we were going to have a week of miracles. Walking out of the chapel  I contacted the first person I saw...a man of about  50 wearing a plaid shirt dad would wear. I asked him if he would like a tour of the chapel and he said yes. Turns out he has been researching churches and wanted to know more about the Book of Mormon and had been searching for an opportunity to get to know the church!! Miracles that happen after trials are the best. time`s up for this week but I will have more time next week to respond to questions and letters. Thanks for everything....
I love you all and I am so proud of all of you. Congrats of the graduation and the scholarships Cameron and keep on keepin on to the rest.


 Elder Nelson

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Toaster Brings Much Happiness

Dear Family,                                                                                                                                                                                      

Sounds like everyone is doing well as school winds down. Cameron is graduating in 2 weeks! That is so the mission is just kind of seems like everything just kind of stays the same....but I guess a lot changes in 2 years. Enjoy your last two will be hard to leave behind the self and life that you have worked so hard to create...but bigger and better things await.  That is really cool that Jon got to be Laurel`s teacher for a day (From Peggy: I had misunderstood...but they did see each other!)...speaking of which I would really love to teach in the MTC. I know it is really hard to get a job there but if you could ask Jon what you need to do or whatever so that I know. I think that would be the coolest job in the whole world. As for domestic things I wish I would`ve known...not really. I kinda just learned whatever I needed to on the spot...or at least I made it up and it all turned out all right. I can`t really think of anything except for don`t freak out too bad about Cameron leaving...we never really truly leave. I am glad that you got my SD card...I know that you like it when I explain tings but that would just be too hard. I guess I can explain the rest when we have the chance.

We baptized a lady named Alma (she is about 40) this week. She`s one that I would love to tell you about but since her situation is a little delicate I will have to wait to tell you about her in person. She is a super super elect investigator. Every single time we would go over to teach her she would ask us "When can I be baptized?" We asked her why she wanted to be baptized so badly and she just said that she was sick of doing life the wrong way and wanted to finally dedicate herself to God. She has lived a pretty rough life and the gospel is the answer for her and for everyone else. After being baptized (I would send the picture but the computer I`m on is kind of dumb and freezes every time I try to attach it) she stood up and bore her testimony, she said "I am grateful to be here and I am ready to work, I never want to leave this church." Her sister came with her who is not a member and in part of her testimony she publicly invited her sister to listen to us and be baptized!! So cool!!

Hilda and Ulises are doing really well, they are always there in the mutual activities and church services and are just so happy to be in the true church. The girl that I told you about in my phone call Ana, the one that received an answer about how God really does exist and love her came to church with her family this week. They are scheduled for baptism for this week and so we will see what happens. I want them to be baptized so badly because I have seen how much progress they have made and how much of a blessing the gospel will be in their lives.

Well I just realized that there is less than two weeks left until my birthday which means that there is only two weeks left of Jackson`s mission....I feel bad for the poor guy. He must be freaking out right now wondering what will happen after the fat lady sings. Good thing that`s not me that`s all I can say. Life just doesn`t really exist after the doesn`t really seem real.

Well Cameron looks a lot different in those pictures than I remember him. Tell Kolby to keep practicing his piano because there are not very many missionaries and less members that know how to play. We need more piano players in the world. Also is Cameron playing very much guitar these days?

Tonight we are going to travel into DF because Elder ReidReynoso has to renew his visa tomorrow in Polanco so looks like it will be a long bus ride. We will be staying with the secretaries so it will be fun to see them again and catch up on old times. Zone Tulancingo baptized 8 people this week. (Last week we baptized 3 and the weeks before that 8) so we are finally starting to see some progress. The expectation is that every zone baptize about 12 a week so we are on our way. With Elder Cataldo we were averaging about 4 or 5 a week and this week the zone has 14 people with a baptismal date. We are also focusing really hard on making sure that the missionaries are baptizing quality people and not just people that are willing. We want to be a help and not a burden to the ward and stake and baptizing the "low lying fruit" (remember when you talked to me about that a long time ago when I was still in high school?) is only a burden. We want to see the church explode in Tulancingo and that requires more than simply baptizing whoever.

Not a lot happened this week so I`m sorry for not having any exciting or dangerous or funny stories. Time is just going by so quickly that I don`t really realize it. It is just work work work and then it is Sunday...the work work work and then it is Sunday again. I guess time flies when you are having fun. We bought a toaster this week so I am way excited for that. ya.


Elder Nelson

Monday, May 14, 2012

No Pasa Mexico!!!

Dear Family,                                                                                                                                                      

Well I feel like there isn`t much to say but I guess there were a couple of stories I forgot to tell yesterday.

Yesterday we were walking to the food appointment when we see a man of about 40 bear hugging a girl of about 18 from behind. She had something in her hand which she threw across the street at which point the man let her go and went to go pick up the phone which she threw. The phone landed about 5 feet from us and the girl was crying hysterically...she ran over to us, grabbed on the arm of my companion and started speaking to us in English. We were so shocked we didn`t really know what to do (when was the last time a girl sobbed on my companion`s arm?) So I astutely asked "Are you ok?" At which point she started speaking in English telling us that he had hit her and taken the phone (this whole time she is just clinging to the arm of Elder ReidReynoso) and she just kept asking us for help and then after 2 or 3 minutes of asking for help and sobbing she just said "Pues, ya me voy a mi casa..."  (Well, I'm going home) and just left. I just about died of laughter from the look of shock and helplessness on my companion`s face when she latched on. I don`t really know if she was lying or what the deal was...but I guess we`ll never know.

The other funny story of the week was that we were contacting in our area when we contacted an older lady. We asked if we could accompany her to her house to share a message of Jesus Christ and she just said "well, I don`t think you actually want to go to my house but let`s go...." I thought that was kind of weird so I started to ask her if she had a mean dog or a mean husband or something of the sort and she just kept saying no, but you don`t want to come to my house. I kind of started getting the feeling that she was taking us to her church...I was right. She took us to the Catholic Church "El Sagrado Crozòn de Jesucristo." I tried explaining to her that we couldn`t go in because we had a rule that said that we can`t preach in the churches of other churches. But she wouldn`t take no for an this point there were a lot of people staring at us wondering why we were there and they just kept saying "no pasa pasa nada." (Nothing happens…nothing happens) I said no...but she just grabbed my arm and dragged me in and I didn`t really want to make a scene so I just thought "what the heck" and in we went. She took us above the church to a little chapel where the altar to Cristo Rey was set up. You can look those up on the internet without fear..not the same as Tepito...they are Saints that they pray to. Basically they are idols. This one was a four poster bed type thing with gold ribbons and places to kneel in front. She started telling us that we were very misled and that we should come back to the only true church...the catholic one. She asked us why we didn`t come visit Dios (she was referring to the altar) and we briefly tried to explain authority and how to recognize the true church...but upon seeing that she wouldn´t listen and seeing that she tried to force Elder ReidReynoso to kneel on the altar we took our leave. Everyone just kind of smiled at us in a "I don`t know what you are doing here but you`re idiots" kind of way on our way out. Just another adventure of contacting in never really know what is going to happen.

Today we went to play soccer on a Fut-7 field with a bunch of 14 -15 year old jovenes. (They were already there and wanted to play against the gringos). We whooped them. It was kind of funny to see their frustration on being beat by a bunch of gringos at their own game. That reminds of another funny story that happened this week. We were knocking doors when we passed by a bunch of little kids. They all stopped talking and stared at us like they usually do...but then about 5 minutes later a little boy with his older sister came up to us (The little boy obviously had a question for us but was to embarrased to ask us) and asked us "¿Ustedes son gringos?"  (you are the gringos?) and we answered yes. They jus tsaid ok, and they left. It was funny and gave us a good laugh.

Well it was great to see and hear all of you yesterday. I guess that`s the last time I will get to skype home from Mexico so I hope ya`ll enjoyed it. Melissa sounds so much like Darci I thought it was Darci that was speaking at first, Cameron, I hope you`re studying PME because you`ll need it out here. I couldn`t tell if you and Kolby were wearing my clothes or not but I am going to need those in a couple months so don`t break anything. It was good to see Darci and Joe still happy and together like it should be. Tell Grandma I will come help her in her garden when I get home.

I love you all so much and give Chika a belly rub for me.


Elder Nelson

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Rosario

Morning Smoke from the Fields in Tulancingo

Dear Family,                                      

Well...I`m gonna answer all the questions first.  I am excited for the phone call. As for release date I`m sure it is the 21st Saturday that I will be traveling....just they haven`t bought my ticket yet so I don`t know about that. I actually just had to fill out a survey today about which airport I would be flying into and all that fun stuff.... Elder Haslam or Elder Hicken should be giving you a call to tell you my travel plans. I always understood that they bought the ticket at the beginning of the last change of the missionary...for me that would be around June 9th but who knows what really goes on in the offices these days.

My new companion is Elder Reidreynoso. He is from Sacramento California (about an hour from Elder Bringhurst) and he is really a great companion. I sent the baptismal picture from this week and he is in it. He baptized the mom (Hilda) and I baptized the kid (Ulises). He is pretty much a normal American and I love him. He has about 17 months in the mission and so he`s still a young spring chicken. He is kind of going through the same things I went through when I got here because of the drastic change in environment (he comes from DF). I don`t know what else to say so you`ll have to ask questions.

For 5 de Mayo they didn`t really do that much except go to misa...

Elder Reidreynoso, Hilda, Ulises, and Elder Nelson

Hilda and her son are just awesome people and I am so happy that they got baptized. They were a reference from a recent convert. She lost her son about 2 years ago to suicide and a week later lost her father to sickness and so she has had to live through some major trials in her life. When her son died they put a rosario around his neck that smelled like roses, it was a special and unique scent. He was buried in the rosario. While she was preparing to go to our first appointment together she started smelling the same smell and just kind of brushed it off as an afterthought. After our appointment her mom asked her if she (this was independent because she hadn’t told anyone about the smell) had smelled the roses from the rosario of her son that afternoon. She said that she had and realized that her son was with her and wanted her to take this step of faith to be able to do the work for him. Cool huh?

All right in the phone call ask me to tell you about the experience we had with the crazy lady from the sagrado corozon de Jesucristo.

That is a crazy coincidence about Elder Swenson....the world is too small. He finishes up about 2 weeks after Jackson I think. (Elder Swenson is a friend of Braden's from BYU who is serving in Jackson Ostler's sister's mission.  The Ostler's visited her mission over spring break and happened to see him in the offices.  I sent Braden their picture.)

Well....sorry this is such a short letter....I had to do a couple of other paper work things with my hour of internet this week but I figured it was ok because I will be talking to you on Sunday anyways. Nice vest Kolby and Cameron. Talk to ya soon (and don`t worry I`m not gonna stop working hard till the plane hits the`s the only way to show my love for the Savior.....and I still have 11 weeks left (that`s a long time))


Elder Nelson