Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanks for the Birthday Wishes! (plus pictures)

Hey Everyone! I am so so blessed for all the birthday wishes I received this week. I am not going to be able to respond to them all but be assured I took the time to read each and every one. I am so thankful for all the support, and its crazy that I will be turning 20. I dont feel in the slightest like i will be in my 20's... I am so old. But dont worry I still am a little immature in heart. I like to joke around. But I am so grateful for how much I have grown this year. I am almost positive half of you guys wont recognize me. I have been pretty resistant in waiting until the 5th to open my birthday stuff so I will send a picture when a take one this saturday. Cool story, we have a temple activity this saturday! Its another open house thing for the investigators so I will be passing half my birthday there, and there isnt a better place to do it. Also this week was thanksgiving. Although we dont celebrate it here, I took the opportunity to eat more pupusas than I should. I regret nothing. Anyways it really was great to hear from a lot of you and it sounds like things are going great there. We are going into the last full week that my companion and I will be staying here in Apopa and where we will receive a different companion. Im excited for the change but ill miss my companion, we really have been getting along great. 

This week we had a better asistencia in the church. We had a primaria program so a lot of people showed up, about 90. Its the most filled i have ever seen the ward. Also we have an investigador of gold, that is accepting everything we teach. His name is Jose Daniel and is an inspiration for me. We also have president interviews and it was amazing. I have such a testimony of my mission president, and when he talks to me I feel the spirit so strong. We received some wise counsel and I am going to apply it. We talked a lot about how to have effective studies and teaching and how we should be dedicated to Preach My Gospel.  My favorite is when, by the spirit, he promised me if I dedicate myself and consecrate myself to the work and my studies, I will bless my family now and my future family more than I can believe. It was a special experience for me that Ill never forget.

Anyways Mom I give you props on the tshirt, I love it. You never fail to be the best mom in the world. This week should be pretty awesome and I look forward to the upcoming season. It is a different spirit here in EL Salvador during this season. I love it. Its also getting really fresco here in the night and its nice not to sweat as much. Love you all!

Elder Nelson

Monday, November 23, 2015


Hey guys! Its good to hear from all you! I cant believe its already coming up to Thanksgiving. No it is not celebrated here but I actually get a lot of questions about it. People here actually have a lot of respect for the Holiday and love that we pass it with the family, they always say its the one holiday they wish they had. 'Merica got it right. Anyways thanks for all the concerns about the sickness. I do feel better now and was sick for a total of about 10 days. I still don't know what I had but apparently I wasn't the only one sick, in fact I feel like half this country is sick. We got added a bunch of new rules about what we can and cannot eat and other health codes to protect us. I was interested to hear about the post office being on strike.  I haven't heard anything about that but maybe I'll look into it. Us missionaries are all a little worried because of the upcoming Christmas season and packages and letters and all the fun stuff but it should all get resolved soon so I am not too worried. Being here I am very separated from the world and don't hear a lot of news but occasionally other missionaries or members let me know some things that are happening. Its clear to see that the world is getting worse, but its comforting to know that there is peace and surety in the Gospel. God has given us His plan, and that will never change.

This week was really good and it was nice to get back to work a bit after being so sick. We have been struggling a little again with the church attendance, for investagadors and ward. A year ago the ward had about 80 people coming regularly, but now we are about 55. Its hard to bring investigadors when the members themselves dont come. We are starting to see the times in Gods plan that the testimonies are being tested and the weak are being weeded out. Of the members I have seen here and maybe in all places.. honestly maybe 1 out of 10 does a good daily scripture study. I promise that if we dont have good daily nourishment from the scriptures and prayer, we will fall. The world is just too evil, and to go into battle without your armor is suicide. I promise there is time to study in your day, and as President Hinckley said you will find power in your lives. I have felt and testify of this. 

Anyways I wont lie this area is bastante difficult. We really don't have a lot of positive people and the positive people there are we can't ever find them in their house. But we are moving forward forever working, and maybe are going to change the focus to helping the less active come to church because this area needs it. I love the Gospel and have such a strong testimony. Being the type of person that I am that always thinks of the future I am so excited to have a Gospel centered family because I know of a surety the blessings it brings. I have put into practice the advice from GC-- during the sacrament i ponder, "What is keeping me from progressing?" "What do I need to change in my life to become a better missionary/disciple/brother/son/person?" I have had many spiritual experiences with the sacrament that are very sacred to me in these months, and hope everyone can have them too.

SO I opened my birthday package to take out the event stocking (BEST MOM EVER) and put it up. I love it and am so excited. The rest I love but didn't look too closely because I am going to wait to take it out for my birthday and I'll send a picture then. Wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving! 

Elder Nelson

Monday, November 16, 2015

What to say...

Well, hello everybody. Probably going to be a short letter this week because I dont have much to say but  I promise this wont be a regular thing. So this week was the first of the new change. We had to drop a lot of our investigadors because they werent coming to church and so we didnt have a lot of people to teach. I had been worried that my companion was starting to get ready to go home and didnt want to work very much, but as an answer to prayer and fasting we recieved a burst of motivation and worked very well. He is very determined to work untill the end of these three weeks and that is such a blessing because its one of the worst things to work with someone that doesnt want to work. But I have also tried to see things from his side of the ball and this has helped me a bunch. I find myself a lot more patient and we get along a lot better.  Oh the life skills that I learn here in the mission.

Anyways as far as this week, well as much I didnt want to say anything about it i feel I need to in order to say how my week went. Although my spirits are high, my body hit a low. About tuesday I was hit with really bad stomach pains and a fever very high. The next day i had a mild fever that was pretty constant all day too. After I began to have stomach pains and nausea and the doctor of the area had me do some testing for parasites. Oh that fun stuff again. Brought back great memories. Anyways the tests came back negative and right now we are still not sure why I have stomach problems because I have tried to be pretty careful with the food. I havent had much desire to eat and while I dont have fever or anything anymore I still am not a 100 percent. But the Lord blessed me to be able to work all day yesterday for the first time the whole week and we were able to put 6 baptismal dates, which were desperately needed. Anyways, Mom, if you have recovered from your minor panic attack be sure that I am very fine here and well looked after. Just thought you deserved to stay posted. 

Anyways that was pretty much all the things that happened to me this week. I should be able to work all this week so I am very excited for that, and I hope you guys know how strong my testimony is no matter the hard or great weeks. Thanks you for everything and love you all very much!

Elder Nelson

(After being asked about his housing) Well... at least its a house. Its big. It has a second story but thats where the bats live. I dont really like it but it could be worse i guess. The shower is like a rusty faucet hanging over the toilet so I mean its convenient... you can go sit on the toilet and go to the bathroom and take a shower all at the same time. Great time saver.

Monday, November 9, 2015

News from Apopa

Hello everyone! It's great to be with you guys, in a figurative sort of way, because I am another country in case you guys forgot. Anyways, This is the first week of a new change! And so you guys know I will be staying here in Apopa with Elder Rodriguez. Elder Rodriquez will be ending his mission after this change, so I will be his last companion. Its easier said than done. But ill make the most of it. This change is actually one of four weeks instead of the normal six weeks because the date fell really close to Christmas and the plane tickets were too much. There is a good chance ill be staying in this area until Late February or March, so Ill probably pass my birthday, Christmas, and my year mark in this area. That's pretty crazy.

Anyways this week as far as the work went there isn't much to say. Quite honestly, we didn't have the chance to do very much because my companion sent the whole week sick. SO I got a lot of extra time of studying. It has been pretty hard as I have seen the affects of ending the mission has on some people, losing their desire to work very hard. But I'm determined to make the most of it. But this week we did have a stake conference and Elder Cordon of the seventy came to talk to us. It was very good, and VERY direct. I can see as these times get harder and the world gets worse, We have to really know where we stand. A big problem here is the Day of Reposo, and he called us out on it. I saw things that i was doing in my personal habits that I wasn't doing exactly right, and I have the desire the change. I finally see the importance of the Sabbath Day. Also he talked a lot about the law of fast, how its a way to train the natural man, and feed the spiritual man. The natural man is an enemy to God, and the fast is how we tame him. I encourage all of you when you have the chance to have a sincere, heartfelt, prayer and a 24 hour fast. I promise God will speak to you and answer the questions or problems you have. Like Christ taught to his Apostles, sometimes the toughest demons we have can only be taken out through "much fasting and prayer". I have seen the blessings of this profoundly in my life. 

Anyways time flies. I cant believe we are already coming up on Christmas here shortly. By the way I got the chance to meet and talk a lot with Temple President and his wife here in the the Temple of San Salvador (see photo). He is from Costa Rica and really nice and really energetic. Anyways that's all I got. Love you guys and am praying for you! Thanks for everything!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The bat story continues...true story

Hey everyone! Happy Tuesday!  Its a little weird to think that it already Tuesday and I feel so out of place! But here I am. SO its crazy that halloween passed already, nobody here celebrates it so its like it doesn't even happen. But people here celebrate a different holiday... more info to follow on that. It is great to hear from everyone! Congrats to Tyler and Anneke with the baby girl that's awesome! I'll be praying for you guys! And I loved seeing Kai and Lexi and Navy! Glad everything is going good there and that even the sports are going good. 

Anyways this week was an interesting one. So that you guys know, this weekend we had an activity in the cemeteries. All the missionaries went to their local cemeteries and we were explaining to people about Family History. We had a little video and everything but it basically turned into an activity of contacting. It was really good and we found a lot of referencies, so we will be busy contacting this week. It was a long day because we were out there in the sun basically the whole day and I was dead tired. In the weekend that passed, all the people here go to the cementaies to put flowers and visit their passed loved ones, so It was a great chance to talk to them about a way they can know about their past ancestors. The goal is to get them to come to the activity at the temple in December so they can learn about the Temple work that can be done for them. 

Other than that, the week was pretty normal! I have had a pretty cool experiences really focusing on my prayers and communicating with God. I have learned the importance of the prayers and talking with your heart open and not just saying the words. Thats the way that God can respond to you and guide your prayers. My nightly prayers have become something I look forward to at the end of the night so that I can express all my concerns and doubts. I have really felt His Presence in these times and is something I will forever cherish. Anyways this is the last week of the changes already! It has flown by so fast. It is very likely that i will stay here with my companion in this next change since it is the last of his, but ill keep you guys tuned.

For those of you who are regulars here if there are any, you will know of my constant struggles with the infamous Bat that haunts me. I thought i had him defeated. I woke up in the night with my companion to the noise of something hitting the walls. When we turned on the lights we saw the bat going crazy and hitting everything. We got it out of the house, and in the morning i woke up to the surprise of seeing it dead on our floor. Who knows what happened... but anyways after bravely prodding it with a 10 foot rod we were in a rush so left and were going to take it out of the house when we returned. When we came back that night, to my haunting surprise, it wasnt there, and we found no trace of it. I don't live with a Bat, but its actually a Vampire. Happy Halloween.

Love you all and wish you the best! Till Monday!

Elder Nelson