Monday, June 29, 2015

Last week of training! + Pictures

Hello Friends and Family!

I am always so very grateful for the love and support I get from my friends and family back home. It hit me today that Elder Farnsworth is right around his year mark on the mission! thats crazy it feels like yesterday all of us guys were living it up in the summer time before we all went our separate ways. Now a lot of my boys are coming up on a year mark and we all have started serving our missions at the least. Its crazy how the time flies and i am so grateful for the example all my friends and family have given me. I wish all the best and always keep you all in my prayers as well.

So this week felt like it blew by so fast! As I mentioned in my last email, last P-Day we had the opportunity to go play paintball! Ill attach a picture of that. How cool is that that we got to get the opportunity to do so on our mission, who would have thought. Also the volcano cleared up without incident and now it is just hot, hot, and more hot. At times I have to wring out my clothes at the end of the day because they are filled with sweat, but I wouldnt have it any other way! Other than that, this week was pretty normal. We found a LOT of new investigators this week and some of them seem pretty promising. The Familia Zuniga, a family of 6, all came to church with us so that was pretty cool! We look for ways to extending the invitation to be baptized in this upcoming week with a lot of them. Its amazing to see how humble and how prepared some of these people are. Its quite an inspiration to me. Also I want of divisions the week the Elder Beecher! We had a lot of good lessons and I learned a lot. We are both blond hair, blue eyes white boys, so the people here loved to talk to us hahah we even had the experience that during one of lessons this family of about 7 was taking pictures of us! It was pretty funny, I love it here and it is gonna be weird to go back to the states one day and not have people staring at you everywhere you go.

Well the upcoming week is the last week of the change, and last week of of my training. I am really excited to be able to move on and get more and more responsibilities and opportunities to serve the Lord. My companion is awesome, and he teaches me a lot. Still, we have disagreements, and im not going to lie at times it seems there is no end, but at the end of the day we always pray to the Lord with each other and work out any problems and difficulties that we have. I am so grateful for the blessings of this gospel, one of which being the comforting power of the Holy Ghost. At times of deep need and trial, I can feel the loving embrace of Savior and Redeemer, who will never leave my side. I am pretty sure either me or my companion will have changes this week, and I actually have heard a rumor thats pretty exciting.... But im not gonna say anything until I find out if its true or not this week! So there is the teaser of the week from ELder Nelson. Well, that about sums up my week. Its great to hear from the family and im jealous of you guys for being able to go to Utah! I heard from Elder Beecher, who is from Logan, its really really hot there right now. Not that much different than AZ.

Well, love and miss you all. Thanks for all the love, support, and prayers. I look forward to serving the Lord this week with all that I have, and i encourage you all to do likewise. If you have a desire to serve the lord, ye are called to this work. Search and pray for opportunities, and you will see miraculously people in need placed in you path, and you will taste the true joy that comes from the Lord. I have the wonderful opportunity to do so every day. Till next week!

Elder Nelson

P.S. I climbed a sketch tower this week and got a cool picture of the volcano.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A baptism!, a volcano & a picture

Hello friends and family!

Happy Fathers Day (a little late)! Sorry I didnt say it last week but I have thought a lot of dad this week and am so grateful for the example he has set for me all my life. I love the pictures! and his new tshirt... hahaha Dad you look so good! Miss you all!

SO I have a lot to say this week! First off its no secret that these last two weeks or so have been a little hard.  We have just had a lot of people that didnt want to have lessons so it has been difficult to get people to be progressing through the Gospel. I have been keeping my spirits high though, even though sometimes it is hard because you walk and walk and talk and talk, people listen to us because they have a lot of respect for us but Its easy to tell that they dont want to do much more than that... Thats that hardest thing. The Gospel of Christ so something so easy, simple, and beautiful, but the fallout for a lot of people is it requires a bit of sacrifice. People dont want to sacrifice their time, efforts, habits to come closer to Christ. But there are people that do, and the change I see is wonderful.

All these weeks I have been praying for guidance and help, I have been trying my best to work as hard as can and be obedient. I dont accept average, I always want to push myself to do something more and accomplish more, which can be difficult at times because this work is not easy. But the Lord knows me, and knows all of us, every trial, pain, affliction, and error. He is our Savior, brother, Redeemer, and he loves us. God blessed us with a gift more precious than I could have imagined. This Saturday we had a Baptism. We came across an old investigator, who had been living all she needed to and wanted to be baptized. In fact, she was able to get baptized at the end of the week. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have in my mission to help others come unto Christ, The joy I feel as I see others get filled with this joy is indescribable. Her name is Gloria, and her husband is already a member. God always hears our prayers.

This week hasnt been without struggle though. Always it can be difficult dealing with other missionaries, everybody just has there own idea in what makes a good missionary. But its been good, i really love the work. Sadly yesterday Ercelias husband returned to drinking, and told us that he doesnt want us to come by anymore, which is really hard on Ercelia because she wants to be baptized still. So now we are really praying the the Lord will touch her husbands heart, and we can continue to progress, but right now we just have to wait.

BUT HEY. Yesterday we noticed the sky was abnormally white. Apparently the volcano was smoking more than normal, and it distorted our view to the point we could barely see the volcano. We got put on a volcano watch! How cool is that! What other missions you get put on volcano watch and our given an evacuation plan, I love this country. But nothing happened, just a precaution. The volcano last erupted only two years ago. Also, because i am in the best mission in the world, I am going paint-balling today!!! President Vasquez not only approved it, but he is going to come play with us down here in San Miguel. I am so pumped. Never thought I would be able to do THAT on a mission huh. 

Anyways, like always its good to hear from everybody. Glad everyone is doing good, and you guys are always in my prayers. Love you all!

Elder Nelson

Monday, June 15, 2015


Greetings Family and Friends!

Its always so nice to get the opportunity to write home on Mondays. Mostly because here when the days are long and you arent having much success, sometimes some of the only things still pushing you along is the thought of all the people that love and support you and all the people that are counting on you to be the best you can be. Thank you all to everyone for the love and support, every letter, email, prayer, and thought that goes my way can at times physically lift me through my trials and I am so very thankful for everyone in my life.

This week I wish I could say was awesome, but the truth is it was really hard. There were high points this week, but also many low points. We have started to have what seemed to be awesome positive investigators, but as the week wore on less and less we could find people at home and more and more our appointments were being canceled. We work so very hard, and we try to be obedient as we can, at sometimes I found myself asking "What is God trying to teach me?" I know that every trial, blessing, moment in my life is a gift from my heavenly father and every night I thank Him for every struggle and blessing that crosses my path. In this moment my spirits are high and I have a lot of Faith that this week will be a good one.

One of our investigators Ercelia is such an inspiration to me. She has the strongest testimony still and is our most consistent attendee to Church, we are just waiting for some of her papers so she can finally get married and make the covenant of baptism. We are praying everyday that they come soon so that we have the opportunity to help her make this amazing step in this change. For me actually Ill admit the Spanish is coming along a lot better. I am far from fluent and mostly just lack vocab, something that will come from time and future Latino companions, but I have a pretty good grasp of the grammar which for a lot of people is the hardest. Im even starting to have at least half my dreams in Spanish which is an awesome and crazy feeling!

I also this week received some letters and even a package from Mommy! German chocolate is a good spirit lifter no matter what is happening. Thanks mommy! Also I received a bunch of letters which is the greatest feeling in the world. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to do so. Many from Grandpa and Grandma Sheldon, The Gages, Jessie and Kevin and Kai and Lexi, Tyler and Anneke and so many more. Right now in the moment, ill admit I cant remember the names of everyone. That's what happens when you rush in an hour of writing. But thank you all!

Anyways I am so grateful for the opportunity to be serving a mission. I have learned so very much and met so many people with stories and testimonies I never could have imagined and it is so inspiring. I know every day in my life is a blessing and I have the blessing to give back two years, a small part of everything He has given me, to serve others. The service of others and sharing the Gospel brings a joy incomparable to anything else in the world. Love you all! Till next week!

Elder Nelson

Monday, June 8, 2015

Three Months + Crazy scary bridge!

Hello all! It´s always really nice to have the oppurtunity to write home and also hear from life back in the States. Its weird to think that it is June there, summer time a year ago I was enjoying the life free from high school and I remember those times like it was yesterday. It really is amazing all the things that have come to pass in the time since then, and even more remarkable is how much my testimony has grown in the time. Looking back I question if I ever really even had one when i left, because compared to now I wouldnt be able to even recognize it. This week I passed three months since I was sitting in the airport in LA waiting to fly out to Guatemala. I distinctly remember thinking as my midnight flight took off in a plane full of people that spoke almost no English, "I am never gonna see America again". While occasionally I still have that thought in my head, I love the work, and dont want to leave anytime soon. There is so much work to be done. When the math is taken out there really is no time to waste, and every minute of the day is valuable time of the Lord that can not be afforded to be wasted. I am so very thankful for every aspect of this Gospel, and even more so the knowledge of eternal families, which is a knowledge more precious that anything else to me.

So this week was actually an interesting one. First off, this week welcomed in the good ol' rainy season of central America El Salvador. Almost everyday there has been drizzling contstatly, sudden crazy downpours, and some of the most amazing and intense thunderstorms I have ever seen. i love it even when I am out working and soaked through all layers of clothing. This week was actually slightly a long one. God knows of my lack of patience at times especially with myself and the progress of our work (wonderful traits I attribute to my beloved Mother) and so this week that patience has been tried. I will admit although I love the work and every aspect of it, there are times I feel so very inadequate and other times to the point I want to test the hardness of the concrete floor with the body of my companion.... but its amazing to learn how to draw upon the atonement in every aspect of my life. There are times that I have had to plea with everything i have to have the patience and longsuffering to deal with trials that come from being a missionary. This week we are making progress with our investigators, but no where near where i personally want to be. We have two people that really want to get baptized and have been coming to Church pretty well but we just have to wait for a few papers to come through for Nicaragua before they can get married. Annnddd there has been days where we walk for hours and hours in the hot humid muddy streets for hours without finding anybody in their house to teach. Those have been some of the most testimony building experiences.

ALSO, this last saturday i got to go on divisions with Elder Kauvaca, one of ZL's. It was awesome, and I learned so very much. Elder Kauvaca is a big polynesian Elder that is from Utah and he is a great missionary. One of the coolest things was that he was telling me about his first almost 8 months of his mission and it was almost like he was reading from a script of my life. It was such a comfort to my soul.  That was a huge answer to my prayers. I am very grateful for every trial I have, because when you stop and look at things you realize every trial is just one of the biggest blessings in your life waiting to be realized.

Well, thats all I have time in the moment to sum up the week. I know this Church is true, and all the answers, doubts, questions we seek in like can be answered through prayer and study of the Book of Mormon. It sounds as if all is great and fun back home, which is so very awesome to hear. 

One last thing i got another big grouping of letters, which was AWESOME. Thank you all that send them. I do read them and they uplift me like no other. I know there are a lot that havent come yet, because I have some that got sent 3 weeks ago and some that were sent to me when I was in Guatemala. But they usually all come, I just have to wait! Love You all and thank you!

P.S. here are some pictures of the adventure I have of crossing a super sketchy bridge in my area every week! Love it here. 

P.S.S: I love you Mommy! You're such as awesome influence in my life and I am so very grateful for everything!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Another Change in Paradise + Pictures

Hello Family and Friends!

First of all for my letter this week, I want to take a moment and talk out Elder L. Tom Perry. Yesterday in church one of the members came up to us and told us he had passed away, and this was actually very sad. I thought about how for my whole life I had seen Elder Perry give talks and be an apostle of the Lord and I was more sad than I thought I would be. i said a quick prayer in my heart and got such a confirmation of the Plan of Salvation. I know that after this life is a glorious beginning, and death is not somethiing to ever be sad about with the knowledge that we possess. I am so thankful for the testimony of Elder Perry and my prayers go out to his family. 

Anyways, changes were this week but I am still here in San Miguel with Elder Acosta. It was actually a little anti-climatic because almost nobody despite about 2 people in our zone got changed. It was a little hard at first knowing I had another 6 weeks here with certain people, but I know the Lord has so much to teach me froom these people and this area. Mom, you wrote me that Faith and Belief is more of an action. This is something i have such a testimony of. When we have Faith in something, true Faith compels us to do an action. I have Faith that i am here with my companion in the area for a reason, so I decided to be as obedient and work as hard as possible to find that out. This is how i chose to show my Faith. Anyways with our last change, we did not have barely any success. It was really hard, because i demand a lot of myself and i think I was being taught humility. With this change, me and Elder Acosta decided to start nuevamente with our area, like we were just opening it. We dropped all our investigators that werent progressing (almost all of them) and got to work. It was slow at first, really hard. But we were obedient and we are starting to be blessed. Just yesterday we had 3 old investigators come to us expressing  their desire to be baptized and come to church. Also another family, Family Gonzalez, told us that three in that family have a desire to be baptized in the upcoming month. When you do what you should, Heavenly Father will bless you. 

Also! I got a cool new Camo backpack.... yes even here in El Salvador i think i am a redneck. And proud of it. Although i have had a few comments about with my build, buzz cut hair, and camo backpack I look like a military insurgent... should probably watch that. Anyways i have gotten a lot of questions about my sickness. I am perfectly fine now, took the medicine that was needed. We werent careful enough with what we were eating and we got a lesson in obedience. Really we just shouldnt eat or drink anything that we havent prepared ourself to aviod it. Im learning.

Well anyways its going good here. Im coming up here on three months which at times im like "WOW. Already three months!" and other times "Yeah... i may never leave". But thats all mindset, when you lose yourself in the work to be honest sometimes I dont ever want to leave. This whole week we have had to enter in our houses at 7ish because its dangerous, mostly problems with the gangs. Yeah we see a lot of gang memebers and stuff even though this place isnt the worst and we have to be careful. to be honest they have a lot of respect for us as missionaries of Jesus Christ and most of them leave us alone and others want to be friends with the gringis which can be scary. But we are always protected. Love You all and Happy June!

Elder Nelson