Elder Nelson’s Mother’s Day Phone Call – May 10th 2015
Chad- Here we go, I can hear you!! How’s it going?? I’m good. How are you guys?
Mom- We’re doing good! Did you already go to church today?
Chad- yeah, 9 this morning. Hi Lex! How are you ?
M- Are you at a member’s house?
Ch- Yeah, a really nice members house. They feed us food a lot. They are really nice.
M- we got a lot of pictures of you from Melissa (mission president's daughter)
C- I had an interview with President like 2 weeks in. He told me he was just going to ask me how it is going as a new missionary. I told him I was really close to my mom and it’s hard not being with her. He said he’ll make sure my daughter keeps her informed. When I went to his house a couple of days ago, (the trainer meeting), his daughter said you were really happy and you got a bunch of pictures. Did you get a bunch recently?
M- yeah, they are great. Everyone said you looked so happy. So are you going to be a trainer now?
C- No, the interview was just because I’m being trained. Just had a meeting to see how we’re doing.
M- I want to know about where you live. Your house. Does a bunch of people live there?
C- just me and my companion. It’s really nice. It’s hot. It’s outside. Our bedrooms are just inside at the door. There is a room; that’s where our bedroom is. Most of the house is just outside.
Lexi- I have a baby!
Chad- really? Is she there?? Yeah, you used my name!
Jessie- yeah! That was my first choice.
Chad- I always when I go to write you. Things are so normal I don’t know what to write you. It’s like… I’m having trouble finding words even though I don’t know Spanish very well. The area I’m in is pretty safe. Other areas have to be in around 6:00, but we can stay out till 9:00. Some areas are not very safe that go in early. My area is safe. We have a lot of drug people that haggle us, but other than that it’s really safe and the people are really awesome.
M- the ward is good?
Chad- yeah, it’s great. The ward, there’s usually about 110 people. They work really well with us.
M- did you get my package?
Chad- no. I know they are here. I’ll probably have to wait til change meetings to get it. Sometimes they can take months to get to us. Don’t make that mean you don’t send anything. I love to get stuff.
M- Oh, lots of people have sent stuff.
Chad- yeah, they probably have it. I just haven’t got it yet.
M- Tyler, Anneke and breanna are here. They are saying hi! (Tyler, Anneke, Breanna and Rimo were all on a different computer through google hangout and listening in.)
Chad- How is everyone?
M- They are all great.
Chad- I can hear them saying hi. It’s hard to hear them though.
M- I want to know how you like the food.
Chad- The food here is really good. Where I am, a lot of other places they have someone who cooks lunch once a day. But where I am the members feed us 4 or 5 times a week. Usually it’s rice and beans and chicken. But, it’s good. Outside our house, just down the street in the neighborhood people are just out cooking papusas just outside their house. They are some of the best things ever. I have lost weight actually. I think a lot of it is muscle wait.
M- Here is Navy.
C- Oh! Navy Kapri, right? Aww.. Everything went well with that?
M- Yeah! Everything went well.
J- Hi chad, everything went really well
C- Good Im glad. I kind of knew that your due date was that week but it wasn’t until the Sunday before that I remembered to write and see how it went.
Cindi: Did the pictures go through okay?
Ch: Yeah, I love getting pics through email. The cord that goes from the camera to the computer on my end doesn’t sinc so I had to use another elders who has a memory chip thing that I use to send pics. They are only ten dollars so I am thinking of buying one. The cord just doesn’t sync and it takes 15 minutes of my writing time.
Cindi: Do you need any extra money?
Chad: Yeah, I will let you know. I will need to get some cash out. (cutting out ).
Cindi: you are cutting out. It is choppy.
Chad: you guys are too. Yeah, I am going to get a backpack and a few other things
Cindi: Do you ride the bus or just walk?
Chad: I take a bus to the stake center but we walk around our area.
Cindi: Cool. When you go to the mission pres home is that back in san Salvador?
Chad: Yeah, that is a 3 hour drive. We wake up early to do that
Cindi: So that was cool to go to the temple
Chad- Yeah, we had the chance to go.
M- Say something in Spanish!
Chad- No, I’m not very good.
M- what’s the most surprising thing there?
Chad- I expected it to be more rainy. But it comes later. We had one rainy day and at times it will be half way to your knee and the run off will go out.
M- but it’s still really hot and humid?
Chad- yeah, its one of the hotter places in El Salvador. It’s really hot out walking and I’m constantly sweating. Being from AZ, it’s not undoable, but I’m just constantly sweating.
M- Can you see the beach at all?
Chad- Not from where I am; not in my area.
Chad- The house I’m in is really nice. The hammocks are everywhere. I love those hammocks and always lay in ours.
M- are you able to sleep? Are their bugs?
Chad- I’m usually so exhausted that I sleep fine through the night. There are bugs and mosquitos, but it’s not a huge problem. It’s not as big of a problem here as other places.
M- Do you have to be careful with what you drink?
Chad- Yeah, we just drink from bottles or bags of water you can buy. 2 for 25 cents. It’s half of a liter, that’s how everyone drinks around here. Usually it’s cold; I enjoy it because it’s usually after a long day.
M – are there things you want us to send that you can’t get there?
C- My journal, sometimes in the future I’d like another one because I’m half way through mine. My Spanish scriptures, the bindings disinigrate because of the humidity. I’d like a journal without a glue binding. I’d like one with the rings or something. I have plenty of room now, but I’m going to run out. I probably have 3 or 4 months left but I’ll need more.
M- I have some chocolate for you from Germany… we’ll see if it’s a gooey mess.
C- It prob will be, but I’ll just freeze it and pick it apart. Seal it up nice so it doesn’t get everywhere. I can’t think of anything else that I need right now.
M- Have you been able to explore at all on your p-day?
Chad- Yeah, not a whole lot. Not much outside my area. It’s hard because the country.. there is a lot of problems with gangs. Some areas are pretty bad. So, the army presence it pretty heavy. They are everywhere. Oh yeah, they carry guns. Rifles that they all have. Even at grocery stores they have armed guards that work for security. But, this area I’m in is one of the safest areas. There are times that are more scary than others. But, I’ve never been threatened. There are missionaries with those stories. So, I’m sure I’ll have some of those too.
M- in those pictures from the mission home, there was a kid in a lot of those pictures. He had red hair.
Chad- he was in my district. He’s the only elder that came with me to Elder Salvador.
M- Where is Elder Beecher?
Chad- Yeah, he is in an area more north. He’s not in my area. When I saw him in San Salvador, that was the first time I had seen him since the MTC.
M- tell us more about your day. You can understand the Spanish pretty well?
Chad- Yeah, I can usually understand what they are talking about. I just need to learn more vocab. I can talk to most people now. Every country has their own dialect. The people here speak really fast and don’t say their ‘s’s. It’s taken me a long time to get used to that. Yeah, my Spanish is alright. I can hold a conversation as long as I have the words for it. Every day stuff. I’ve also learned to talk with my hands. They use their hands a lot so I’ve started doing that a lot.
M- when is your next big get together thing?
Chad- We have district meetings every week. Zone meetings are once a month. President is super cool. I’ve had a chance to talk to him a couple times. I can’t think of anything in the near future. We went down to San Salvador and got my visa. So I am official now.
Breanna- I want to know if you have a fridge.
Chad- Yeah, I do. I have basic necessities.
Breanna- Is it like the Best Two Years and you have to put it outside your house?
Chad-.. Nah, it would catch fire here! But, if I needed a microwave, maybe. It’s really weird. A lot of times the members will give us drinks and they will give us drinks in bags. You take it and bite the corner off and just drink it out of the bags. The drinks are probably my favorite part here. Everyone here drinks grape soda. Everybody! That’s just what they drink.
M- Do they have coca cola?
Chad- Yeah, but we are not allowed to drink soda/caffeine. We drink plenty of fruit flavored sodas so we get plenty of the carbination.
Tyler- empandas? Sopaditas?
Chad – No! Mostly just the papusas. Just beans and cheese in the middle. They are really, really good. At members its usually rice, chicken and some kind of vegetables.
Tyler- Is it really bland? Spices?
Chad- it’s usually pretty bland. They don’t really like it spicy. They like it hot (temperature) but not spicy. It will be like 100 degrees and they give you a big bowl of hot steamy soup with a piece of meat in it. You are dripping sweat. They are asking, “oh do you need a drink?” and then they give you a steaming cup of hot cocoa. They do some ice. But, they just love the hot cocoa. It’s 100 degrees. You’ll see an old dude dripping sweat and he’s drinking hot cocoa. It’s weird! Do they not know there is a volcano right here?
M- Do you like the face towels?
Chad- I love it for wiping my face. So far they are holding up really well.
Chad- Hey. Talk to me. I can’t see you but keep talking.
M- Do you get pb there?
Chad- No, I would like some of that.
M- My little chocolate dipped peeps probably didn’t make it.
Chad- No, probably not… it’s the thought that counts.
Jessie/Mom- We love your emails. They are so great.
Chad- I try to bear my testimony. Before my mission I didn’t get told things that would be hard. But, it is hard and I want people who might be preparing for a mission to be honestly told how it is going to be. Personally thank Brother Foster for me. We have a lot of similar experiences and what he tells me really helps me a lot. I don’t get it across very well how much I appreciate it. I try to be honest. A lot of it, to be honest, is really hard. I don’t want people to come out and go home because they don’t expect it to be so hard. The rewards are so worth it so I want people to know it. I try to get that across. It’s hard and can be really disappointing at times. You are constantly receiving blessings and miracles that you remember that’s why you are here. I don’t know who reads them outside of family, but I will try to bear my testimony.
M- That’s great. They want to hear your testimony and hear your experiences.
Dad- Patriarch Smith wanted me to tell you that they really enjoy reading your letters.
Chad- my grammar is probably horrible. I don’t have time to check them.
M- that’s okay, Jessie fixes them J
Chad- I gave the link to Gage. I’ve been emailing him a little bit. I wondered how he was doing.
M- I’ll add him to the list. I can add his email. Send it to me if you can.
Chad- I’m glad people care. I get a good amount of emails. I mostly hear from Family. I hear from Trevor.
Chad- I always thought that Utah would be the worst mission. But, now that I’m here I think Utah would be the best.. it’s civilized, they get food all the time and have great places to live. That wouldn’t be so bad!
Chad- I’d love to hear little updates from other missionaries that are out. I occassionaly get a chance to email my other friends that are out. I think a lot about the youth in our ward when I write my emails. I think a lot about Cade going into his junior year.
Chad- I really appreciate brother foster, I want you to tell him that. So, I got my haircut on Monday. See how it’s really short on one side? There is a member in one place and it’s free. I told them what I wanted. The style here is to have the long hair on top and spike it up. So they shaved around the circle and barely cut the tiniest bit off the top. They said, Okay you’re good! I wasn’t so sure, but I just went with it. They just thought that’s what I meant.. But it was in Spanish so it could have come off wrong.
M- we did notice in the pictures…
Chad- Yeah, most of the missionaries have it that way here.
M- we got lots of pictures from the president’s daughter. We might go see her on her mission.
Chad- she’d love it.
Chad- alright, my time is about up!
All- We love you!!
Chad- love you too. I don’t know if you could tell.. I have really been homesick. You know me. But, I am doing really good. Working helps a lot. I really miss you guys. I really miss you, Mom. I’ll never come home. I’m happy to be here. I think of you guys a lot. I am here because of you guys. I know you receive the blessings and that’s really important ot me. I’m glad I got to Skype you two months in.. I’ll hopefully be fluent by the time we Skype next time. I’ll be safe. I’ll work my hardest. I love you guys.
M- we love you and pray for you all the time. We are so proud of you.
Chad- love you too! Happy mother’s day too! Mom, it’s been hard not to be there. I miss you.
M- I really miss you too, but I know that’s where you are supposed to be.
Chad- Alright.. I’m going to go now.
All- We love you!!