Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Semana Santa!!

Happy Semana Santa everyone! Its been a pretty normal but good week here in San Vicente. This week was pretty good, it was a little different because most people didnt have work for the holiday week but just about everybody here celebrates by going to the beach. So it was interesting to see how everything was celebrated since last year I was in Guatemala during this time and didnt get the full affect of everything. One of my favorite traditions that the Catholics do here is they make these giant carpet things in the street made of salt and paint and sand and they look really cool. I didnt get a picture of one but you are welcome to search it on Google because google has all the answers. Anyways that was basically the only cool thing that happened other than trying the food they eat here. Thats always an interesting experience. Also this week we were informed very late on Saturday night the President Vasquez and his whole presidency was going to come to our ward the following morning so things got really hectic for us trying to prepare everything for them to come. But church was really good.

We had a cool experience this week. We had been struggling to find a lot of positive investigators and we were working so hard in contacting and working with members and everything we could think of in order to find more. We weren't having a lot of success and we were praying so hard for someone that was willing to accept a baptismal date. On Sunday we were sitting in church and about to start when a random guy named Esileo walked in and we went up and talked to him. Apparently he was an old investigator of the missionaries about a year ago but they dropped him because we never wanted to come to church. he told us he woke up one day this week and the spirit came over him and he made the decision he was going to come to church this week. He also had a dream where God told him he needed to change his life around. I felt such a strong impression that it was a huge answer to prayer. That same day we found his house and he accepted to be baptized on the 17 of April, and we are going to work a lot with him mostly so he can keep the word of wisdom. I know that god hears and answers our prayers and if we really do all that we can do and then reach out for divine help He will always be there. We still have a lot of work to do but we feel as if the Lord had blessed us with a sweet tender mercy. 

So this week should be an interesting one. Tomorrow morning we have interviews with Presidente Vasquez and we also have a temple trip coming up. It will be the first time I will have the chance to do a session in the temple since about August so we are really excited and hope it goes through. Oh yeah and on Thursday we also had another temple activity like we always do where we take invt. to the temple. It was pretty good but we got home late because we had to help clean up and then wander through San Salvador looking for a bus to take us cross country to San Vicente. That makes for some fun stories. I love the gospel and love being a missionary. I have found joy in the mission work when I am working hard and giving my all. I know that if we consecrate ourselves to the Lord's work he will bless us and we can be His tools in the work of Salvation. I love you all and am thankful for all that you do for me. Till next week!

Elder Nelson

ps here is me eating food.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday everyone! Im happy to hear from all of you and hear that things are doing great. I totally didnt even realize we passed St Patricks Day recently, I'm starting to forget how the culture is back home. I thought I would tell a little bit more about where I am i really don't remember what I wrote last week so I apologize if some things are repeated. I am in San Vicente and the zone I'm in covered a lot of distance, covering the whole district of La Paz. This past week or so we have traveled a ridiculous amount of time going to San Salvador or San Miguel almost every day. Also to get to some parts in our area we have to travel in a bus for about an hour so my body feels very worn down from constantly being on the move. This area is really small but the ward is large. It is a district so we are technically a branch but the average attendance is about 150, which is by far the biggest unit I've ever been in in this country. The chapel is a huge building which is nice. We share the ward with Hermana missionaries but their area is a lot bigger and has just about all the members because they are girls and sometimes life is just unfair. So we mostly teach the more humble parts of the city. Me and my companion are basically the same person, its kind of freaky. We love to study doctrine and any free time we have we just listen to Bruce R McConkie and Hugh Nibley talks and anything else we can get our hands on. News flash, I love listening to modern prophets and apostles. My mind and understanding of the gospel has expanded to levels I had never really thought possible before and it has completely changed my outlook on life. I am so thankful for the guides we have today. My companion also went to BYU before the mission and played lacrosse there. So we have that in common too.

Anyways this week was good. Tuesday we had a meeting with President and Thursday we had a zone conference and I think it went pretty good. I have found that i love teaching and I always volunteer to teach Gospel Principles when the teacher doesn't show up.... which is pretty common thing here. Funny story, my mission President is crazy and awesome. Tuesday we got a call late at night from the assistants telling us we had to get the zone to San Salvador in the morning . We get everyone there just to find out that President was going to take us all to the movies. Yeah... never thought I would have gone to the movies in my mission. Hahaha it was a lot of fun and I think it was more than anything to excite us because of the situation in the country. We don't get a lot of chances to do fun things. We saw, "The resurrection of Christ" which was.... interesting. Also we had a baptism Saturday. I forgot to mention an old investigador we found when I got here and found she wanted to get baptized. Now we are working on getting the family sealed. They are awesome. I love the members here. They make me feel so welcome and I get along great with them. They are already family. We are struggling finding new investigators.  We have hardly anyone to teach now so that is the focus we have. 

I know this chruch is true and that its a life time calling to serve the Lord. I love the scriptures and know we are living in the latter days. I know if we base ourselves in the gospel we will be able to withstand all the troubles that will surely come into the world. I know the family is the basic and most important unit of the gospel, and we should try with all our might to strengthen the family against all the many temptaions in the world today. Love you guys and I am thankful for everything!

Elder Nelson

Chad's zone in Apopa

Monday, March 14, 2016

Big Changes

Hello everyone! It is so good to hear from all of you! sounds like it was a pretty good and normal and hot week. here in El Salvador A LOT of things happened this week and I hope I can remember everything to tell you guys so here goes! Ps.. Mom and Jess.... I'm digging the hair cuts.

So on Monday last night I got the call that I don't get very often... changes! I was told I would be moving areas. Only my third area in over a year, which is little for this mission. Anyways I had to move out on Wednesday morning. It was kind of nerve racking because without change meetings they still don't tell you where you are going. they just tell you you have to get to a certain meeting spot at a certain time and Good Luck! I was kind of nervous because i was put in charge of 6 other missionaries getting them and all their stuff to San Salvador in time for a bus. And just so you guys know traveling in public buses in this country with all your bags in the place that just got rated the most dangerous place in the world (Woot Woot!) is quite the experience. Anyways I said quick goodbyes to my area and when I arrived they told me I would be in.... San Vicente! Yes I am here in San Vicente which is weird because its like in the middle of no where. Not really part of Central or the East and the zone is really spread out so we take a lot of buses to travel from area to area. My area is really small but its good. I am excited to work here. My companion is Elder Xallace and he is from Idaho. He has about 17 months in the mission and he is really good. Actually we are exactly the same person which makes things kind of weird but cool. we get along really well. Oh and I am here as Zone Leader too. That makes things interesting. I am learning how to do that and I already went on divisions with the assistants to President in San Miguel. I saw a couple of people there from my first area and it was cool because they still remember me. Anyways that was my crazy week. Basically just going back and forth from my area to San Miguel to San Salvador all week. Tomorrow we have leadership meeting with Prez and then my first Zone Conference on Wed

The branch here has about 150 members which is huge and the church is really nice. Its a branch because we are in a District but its in the process of becoming a stake so I am honored to be a part of that transition. Note... Missionaries in this country play a big part in the decisions of the church. Anyways that's all I have time to say.  love you guys so much and thanks for all the support. I love my Savior and all the trust and help he has given me; with him all is possible. Love you guys!

Elder Nelson

Monday, March 7, 2016

One Year Mark!

Hello everyone! Sorry for not writing a big letter last week, im still alive. Dont worry. This week was good and bad. we had a lot of things to do this week so we didnt have as much time as I would have wanted to work. This is actually the last week of changes and they were supposed to tell us last night if we are staying or moving to a different area but they werent ready and will tell us today. Its likely I'll be moving areas but nothing is certain here. Ill let you guys know this week. We have had success getting our people coming to church but we lack support from the world and so its a struggle to get them baptized. There has been a rumor that they might close down our area again but I hope its not true because we really do have a lot of good investigatores. Thats basically all that went down this week. Our area has been a little more agitated recently with the conflicts here so we have been a little more on edge but we feel very protected. 

Im glad everyone is safe and sound. Loved seeing picture of Tyler and Anneke's baby. She looks so good and im sure you guys are so happy and very busy. Wish I could be there to share it with you guys. And also I passed one year in the mission! On Friday was my year mark, I cant tell if it has gone by fast of slow honestly. Time has flown by but to think I'm only half way is kind of daunting. I love the mission but it is also very hard and I miss my family. Sometimes I get down on myself becasue I feel I am not having as much success as I should but I try to stay positive. 

This week I have learned so much about the atonement and gratitude. I have found that if we give thanks its such a powerful tool to put our minds right and get the spirit. I listened to a talk from Elder Eyring that says we should practice saying prayers throughout the day just to give thanks and not to ask for more blessings.  Just give thanks for the many blessings we already have. I have put that into practice and felt great power. 

I love you all very much! Ill sent a 15 second cut of the video of me doing the traditional shirt burn (sorry mom). Turns out fire is hot and when you light things on fire it can get out of control fast.  Also, when you get a year in the mission sometimes your pants just kind of tear... ooopps. Love you guys thanks for all the support!