Monday, May 30, 2016

Changes, pictures, work.. moving along in San Vicente

Hey everyone! Its good to here from everyone and im glad everyone is healthy and safe. I cant believe we are already going into June! Time flies by as long as you don't think about it too much. But yeah its flying by. Today we are staring another change! We did get the calls last night. I will be staying in this area for at least another change. But something we were not expecting is that Elder Letona has changes! He only has one change left so we thought for sure that he would stay. But he goes on Wednesday d i will be receiving a new companion. I don't know who it will be and im kind of nervous because your comp can make a break a change... but it will all be good! And more good news we are going to have 2 baptisms this Saturday!!  Kids Walter and Kevin that we have been teaching are going to get baptized and we are super excited. They are young but super smart and crazy, its quite a thing to try and teach them. Other than that..... well things just some how keep moving along here in San Vicente. 

HEY SOMETHING REALLY WEIRD HAPPENED TODAY. Last night super late we got a call from Presidente that said a guy was going to come to the chapel this morning to take pictures of San Vicente and that he assigned us to go along with him. We said okay and went this morning but when we arrived we realized that he was not just going to take pictures of the building but of us! Yeah... today i played missionary model. HAHA it was crazy I guess he worked for the church and the church wanted a bunch of photos to be able to put in Liahonas and the church websites and stuff like that and that most of it would be for the area of central america but some of it international. Anyways so we went and we just like contacted people and walked around our area and the whole time he was following us taking pictures. Our area is really interesting and one of a kind so he loved the pictures and he said he was almost sure at least one of them would come out in a liahona or something. MOMMY IM FAMOUS. Haha no just kidding but it was fun and who knows maybe a photo will pop up in these next couple months.

Well other than that the mission continues. Here in the ward we are having a problem with the branch that the attendance is dropping a lot. But we are working really hard with the branch President. He is awesome but we just aren't getting  a lot of response from the members. Do your home and visiting teaching people!!!! Okay thats all. Love you guys!!!

Elder Nelson

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Rat. Be Happy. Laugh. Serve.

Hello everyooonnnneeeeeee.  These weeks are starting to fly by.  I cant believe im already writing again. I feel like I say that all the time but seriously.... anyways. This week was really good. Lots of fun things happened. Mostly just me and my companiion making the most of things. Due to the lack of information received from the states I feel like everything is normal. im glad im not missing a whole lot. This week was interesting.
First off i really do get along really well with my companion. He has helped me a lot to loosen up and enjoy things as they happen. he likes to mess around all the time and so i think i have laughed more this change with him than in my whole life. And this week was the week of bad luck for me and heeeerrrreeeesss why. First off there is a rat in my house. Not a fan of this. We came home one day and it ran out from under a table close to where i sat down and i may or may not have screamed like a 4 year old girl.... you guys have no way to prove it. but my companion made fun of me for freaking out. (its not the first time that a rat has been in my house but i will never be okay with it.) So I made us go rat hunting to go kill it and I took a video. In this video you may or may not hear me scream like a little girl...I'll see if I can send a part of that to you guys for your daily entertainment. Then my companion was making fun of me all week for that and during a lesson with members he put a small dog that LOOKS LIKE A RAT on my lap and when i turned and saw it i may or may not have let out a girly scream. I got a whole bunch more people making fun of me. Apparently when a big gringo screams like a girl it spreads like wild fire in the branch here. Even when we came sunday to church our branch president was making fun of me. BUT ALL IN GOOD FUN what else is new?  this is my life here. Also my make shift pull up bar broke Friday morning so I fell from our roof on friday. That hurt. But im alive. Its just more ammo for my companion...
Okay enough rambling about that. the work is going good here. We have 3 baptisms set for June so we are pretty excited. We are finally starting to see progress and the key is we are going out of our way to visit members and do service. We are seeing they are really more receptive to work with us. This is the last week of the change and normally i would say that im going to stay here but normally in my life in the mission when things start going good i have changes to another area so WHO KNOWS. What ever happens im having a good time and its flying by. Thanks for all the support back home and the letters and emails and prayers. it all helps so much and im so grateful for an awesome family who I love more than anything in the world! Love you guys and hope you have a great week!
Elder Nelson

Monday, May 16, 2016

Hello Monday!

Hello everyone. Sorry for getting on so late. We had some problems with the computers here but now we are all good. Sounds like all is going good there! Im glad Bree got to Germany safely and seems like everyone is nice and settled in getting ready for the Arizona summer!  This week has been pretty good and has flown by. I can hardly remember what happened so we will see how this goes...

Well on Wednesday we had a Zone conference. We got a call about 11 oclock at night on tuesday to tell us that President was going to be in our meeting so we had to move it to 8 oclock the next morning. So we had to wake everyone up in the zone in order to let them know and then we had to wake up at like 4 in the morning to get everything ready. I was so exhausted but it all went okay and everything turned out well. It always works out... so dont stress Elder Nelson. After that the week went by pretty normal. We actually had some really good planning sessions and some good ideas for our area and we are starting to see success. We have really tried to invlove the Lord in our area and ask him what he wants us to do and the direction that he wants us to take. We have seen small but very significant improvements. It always reminds me that this is the work of the Lord and that he will guide us if we listen to him. We finally got a investigating family to come to church this sunday with a girl named Rocio.  Rocio was progressing but never came to church and so we were thinking of dropping her. But she finally came and now we have a lot of hope. Also we found another less active family.... because they sell pupusas and we were buying dinner.... and we came to realize that two of the kids weren't members. So we asked if we could teach them and the parents agreed and we put baptismal dates for June so we are really excited. With all this success its making me feel like im going to have changes soon.... hahah... just kidding... kind of. 

Anyways this branch is really good and they are really good to us. Its hard because almost no members live in our area but we are going to be creative in how we are going to get them to help us and get some new people to teach. This change has flown by.  We are already in week 5 of the change and i feel like it just started. My baggy moment of the week is that i have officially broken into the stage of my mission that everyone tells me "Oh you just have a little left!" and I'm not quite sure how I feel about that. But right now we are just going to keep working. We still have a lot of struggles but we are being positive. Ill send you the selfie President took with our zone! Love you guys!

Elder Nelson

Monday, May 9, 2016

Happy Day After Mother's Day!

Hello people! It was great to be able to see you guys yesterday. It's always is an emotional experience for me but a good one. This time it felt a little bit more normal and I was able to get my mind back to the reality of the mission a lot quicker which always is a really big blessing. Thanks for being there family and Im glad it all worked out good! This letter probably wont be too long because I just talked to you guys and explained a lot of things but we will see what happens. 

Oh and thanks for all the advice that was given. I have been thinking about it a lot and feel a lot better. This week was a little difficult but good. We had our leadership meeting in the capitol this Friiday so we got up early and traveled all day. Today we all got together for Pday and I made hamburgers!!!!!!! It was fine and after we played futbol... lol what else is knew. But other than that we are pretty much just starting from nothing. Most of our positive inv. have problems with things we have no control over and other than them we dropped everyone else. We are kind of out of ideas so we are just doing service and visiting members trying to get them to share their referencias and work with us. EVERYONE AT HOME PLEASE HELP THE MISSIONARIES IN ALL THAT YOU CAN. IT IS REALLY HARD TO WORK WITH OUT YOU GUYS AND WE HAVE ALMOST NO SUCCESS. okay done. Anyways thats basically all that has happened this week. 

Well I just want you all to know that I am really happy here. I have been working a lot on developing christlike attributes and I'm shocked about how far I am from being like Him. I have never seen so many weakness in myself, but its not a bad thing. I know exactly what i need to fix. I know the atonement is real and it helps bad people become good and good people become better. it has power that is unimaginable and that can release people from pain they didnt even know they had. I love my Savior and know he is always there for me. Well this week should be a busy one that I'm not really looking forward to, but its going to fly by. it always does! Love you guys! 

Elder Nelson

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day Call

Chad’s call on Mother’s Day, May 8 th , 2016

2:54 Chad logged on to Skype…
2:55 Chad went off line and back on again (mom is jumpy)
2:56 Off again.
2:58 Back on.
2:59 Calling..
Mom: Hi!!! You look great. We’re going to call Tyler.
All: Hi Tyler!
Mom: Hi! Oh, you look so great. We have some questions for you. We want to know
a little bit more about the town you are in.
Chad: It’s a little town.. very, very catholic. More catholic churches than anything.
Lots of farms, cowboys. We are on the edge of San Vicente. There are little tin huts
(houses) and we walk door to door.
Mom: Do the members treat you well?
Ch: Not a lot of members live here. The members can’t cross the ‘lines’. The gangs
will ask for your id and if they see that you belong to another area where a different
gang might be, they may kill you on the spot. The members are scared to go
anywhere outside their town. They don’t like to walk to church because it is across
those lines and they are worried they will get hurt. We believe them. That is our
biggest struggle; not many investigators or members will come to church.
M: The gangs leave the missionaries alone right?
Ch: Yeah, they ask what we are doing. Sometimes they’ll follow us around. There is
one group in particular and they’ll just walk into peoples homes and just sit in on
the lessons. It’s a different atmosphere. We don’t hide from them. We just deal
with it.
M: Is your comp there?
Ch: Yeah, but he doesn’t speak English so he doesn’t know what’s really going on.
M: Can you see Evelyn?
Ch: Yeah, She’s sleeping?
M: What’s a typical day?
Ch.: Uh… wake up.. Study. Our zone is really spread out. We usually go and visit
other districts. We don’t go to members homes for meals. So, we just work till
about 9:00 and eat papusas off the street.
M: What’s your favorite kind?
Ch: We can’t eat meat. Pig meat.. anything like that off the street. So we usually just
have the cheese and beans. If you saw the meat you wouldn’t want to eat it either.
M: Do you keep food at your house? What’s it like at the grocery store?
Ch: Yeah, usually just milk and cereal.
Tyer: I was looking at the map. You don’t have many towns right by where you are.
Ch: There is one about 15 minutes from us. That’s the other half of our zone.
Tyler: As zone leader then, you are spending most of your time traveling?
Ch: Yeah, we usually take a bus into Zacate. On Friday, we had a meeting at
President’s house. We woke up at 4:00am and got back around 4-5 in the evening to
our area. We do that about once a week. We don’t get a lot of sleep.
M: So, as zone leader you are over your district and one other?
Ch: Yeah, right now there are just the two.
M: What are your tasks as DL?
Ch: Glorified house keeper. Just making sure things are good. Check on
missionaries and make sure they are being obedient. Sometimes catch them
Kevin: You got to go to the temple right? Did you get to listen in Spanish? Isn’t it
cool when that catches on for you?
Ch: Yeah, it’s awesome when you understand and it’s just like your own language
M: What is your housing like?
(Connection really bad. He’s going to call back.)
Ch: yeah, the wifi went out on my end.
M: Okay, you are good now. I think I was asking about where you are living.
Ch: It’s pretty similar to my house I had before.
M: So it is a house?
Ch: Yeah.
(trying to figure out the video. We can’t see you Chad.)
Ch: Does Dad have crutches?
M: Yeah.. as a prop. Okay, so your house is like you had before?
Ch: Uh huh It’s just a house. We don’t share with other missionaries. Just me and
my companion.
M: What do you do on your p-day?
Ch: We play soccer. We don’t really go anywhere, which is why I don’t send many
pictures. We can’t walk with a camera while teaching. More than once my pack has
been jacked. So, we just don’t walk with it. Some days I will, but I know which
certain places that I wouldn’t take it.
D: So, how does that work with your transfers? Do you have to watch your bags?
Ch: There is a bus that takes you there. They don’t search our luggage. We just say a
prayer and hope we find the other guys with the white shirt and tie.
M: How are the buses? Still crazy?
Tyler: have you had to hang out of the bus?
Ch: Yeah, it’s crazy. There was one time… around 5-6:00pm and everyone is coming
home. Someone comes in and yells, “We need to get more people in! Everyone sit
on the windows!” So we get up and everyone is hanging out of the bus. And it’s
crazy and fast. Someone was saying that the buses here are the scariest.
Kevin: Are they all decorated with beads?
Ch: Yeah, it’s fun.
Daddy: Did you get your arm taken care of?
Ch: More or less. I called the doctor like 6 times, no one answered. Well, so I went
to the pharmacy and they gave me something and just said to drop the liquid on it.
It’s pretty common because of bad pollution and nutrition. They will just pop up on
your skin. They eventually need to get cauterized.
M: How are your clothes?
Ch: Pretty good. My shoes and pants are good.
Tyler: Here’s Evelyn. She’s awake.
(Cute little baby is “waving”)
Ch: Hi Lexi! You look really big. Thank you for writing me on Monday. How old are
Lexi: You are welcome. I am 5!
M: Here is Kai.
Ch: I like your shirt Kai. Is he eating an apple?
M: Yes, he’s eating an apple. We’re making him wait for dinner.
Kevin: So I have to teach on the first 10 pages of PMG. These are people that will be
leaving on a mission soon. Do you have like any 15-second advice on what direction
I should take?
Ch: I feel like our teaching purposes have shifted a bit. Instead of focusing on the
resoration or something, our purpose is talk repentance, repentance, repentance. If
you do that you’ll reach both converts and less actives.
Bean: Hi!!
Ch: Did you cut your hair?
Bean: No, just up braided.
Ch: I don’t recognize any of you. You all look different.
M: I remember Tyler saying that. We are getting her ready to leave on Wednesday.
Ch: All the questions go out of my mind when I see you guys.
M: Tell us more details.
Ch: The town is a little boring.. in the middle of nowhere. It’s hidden unless you go
there. It’s actually pretty chill here compared to where I was before.
Tyler: What is it known for? Like job-wise. Where do people work?
Ch: IF they work.. most are just really, really poor. They work in a sugar factory.
Most hardly have houses. A lot of people go into San Salvador to work. A lot of
farmers, basically.
M: Our wards are doing this thing where they take the pre-missionary YM and they
take them to go to the member’s homes and have them practice teaching. It’s
actually a little hard because we are trying to respond as investigators. Afterwards
they ask what they can do better.
Ch: the youth in this ward.. there are very few active. None of the priests are active.
There is one active teacher. That is the hot age for gang members. Some of them
can’t even cross the street in front of their house. It’s hard to include them in
lessons because they can’t leave their street. Our ward just got denied from being
made into a stake. We have about 120 people that come to the ward on Sunday. No
one does their home teaching/visiting teaching which is why they got denied. The
church is so simple. People don’t come to church because someone “looked at me
weird” but they’ll come back if they someone is nice to them.
M: How is Antonio?
Ch: He is in my other area. It all (investigators) changes week to week.
Tyler: Is the volcano active where you are?
Ch: Yeah ,technically. It’s not as active as San Miguel.
Ch: My mission has been extremely difficult. As far as success, when it comes to
numbers I have very few baptisms. I can count more than 10 people who have
committed to baptism but who can’t because they can’t get past the #4 interview
Jessie: How have you changed after a year of being a missionary?
Ch: I’ve learned that I tend to stress my self out that I need to develop Christ-like
attributes. I’ve seen a lot of pridefulness and I’ve been working on that. Stuff like
that has helped me. I’m not going to say it’s been easy. It’s been hard, really hard. I
know the success isn’t in the baptisms, but I had really high expectations. I know
that there are successes.. For example, our mission has progressed a lot. When I
came here a year ago we were 16 th as a mission in central America. Now we are
number 8. An average good missionary that works hard usually leaves the mission
between 25-40 baptisms. I know I shouldn’t compare myself, but sometimes I have
to ask myself what I’m not doing right.
Jessie: I’m sure you can see relationships that have developed and are strong. You
can recognize those right?
Ch: I do. Yes. I see that I can get a long with people really well. I cry and they cry. I
don’t usually have terrible numbers, but I want converts. I have to teach people how
to baptize. But, it’s hard that I’m not able to get there. But, I get a lot of compliments
and leaders that want me to progress.
Ch: It truly is hard. I don’t want to be a downer. I really am doing well. But, it is
really hard. We actually have a lot of missionaries going home right now—being
sent home. Just it’s hard to handle and we have some disobedience.
M: I know you can handle it. It’s one of the reasons you were sent there.
Ch: Thanks. I am doing well. These last few changes have been fun. They have
flown by.
M: So do you have anything big coming up soon?
Ch: Not really. Just normal stuff.
M: Do you get to meet with your mission president often?
Ch: He comes by a lot. He is in charge of this district. Even today, one of his
counselors was here. My President is awesome. We had a general authority come
and say that he is one of the best presidents here in Central America. I’m happy to
have him here. He goes home in July after I leave.
Ch: We are in the dry season right now. We are moving into the wet season though.
Tyler: Do the streets flood?
Ch: Yeah, sometimes.
M: Did you ever get new running shoes?
Ch: No. I don’t really care.
Jessie: What kind of cereal do you buy?
Ch: I buy plain corn flakes. When I go to the store I just usually buy milk and fruit. I
usually get served other fattening stuff other places. I try to avoid that stuff when I
buy my own food. I’ve been buying the milk in jugs. The carton goes too fast. The
powder stuff just takes longer to make. It’s not too bad.
Kevin: On my mission, I would buy a bag of cookies in a pack and pour them into the
milk. That would be my breakfast.
Bean: Are you wearing sunscreen? Wear your sun screen!!
Jessie: Are there tourists?
Ch: One time I saw a big bus full of white people. A long time ago when I first got
here and only that one time. There’s not a lot of touristy places here. I’ve never
been to the beaches. I guess they are really pretty, but I wouldn’t know.
M: Do you hear from Hunter at all?
CH: Yeah, he’s doing great!
Dad: Something you said about not wanting to be an AP. Something to think about..
there might be a reason you need to be an AP. You have a great work ethic. There
may be something you need to teach other missionaries.
Tyler: You seem really converted. Your conversion is more and more towards the
Gospel, I can tell. That is probably something you are teaching your zone.
Dad: A good leader does more missionary work than a missionary. You have great
M: I have more people comment on your testimony. We can feel it and it blesses
those that read.
Ch: Okay, I have to finish up here and start saying goodbye.
M: The hard one. You are doing great. We’re really proud of you. I don’t want you
getting down on yourself.
Ch: Thank you. Okay, bye Lexi and Kai and everyone.
M: So you are doing okay?
Ch: Yeah, I’m good.
M: We sure love you!
Ch: Happy Mother’s day! I love you too. Bye everyone! Thank you for being here.
M: We are very proud of you. We love you.
Ch: Thank you. I’ll be fine.
M: You are doing so much good work there.
Ch: I hope so. Thank you. Okay, I’m going to go now. Love you!

Monday, May 2, 2016


Hello everyone! Sounds like it was a pretty good week for everyone! Congrats to Tyler and Anneke on the baby blessing! Im sure it was awesome to have all the family and grand kids there. And yes everyone looks so grown up its crazy!.... *pause* except mom and dad... you guys look nice and young. *subject changer*. Yes mothers day is this week! Here mothers day is actually on the 10 of may which is Saturday, but we are planning a big mission activity on that day so we will be skyping on Sunday. We are going to be starting at 12:30 my time so I would be ready by then, but it depends also on the support we get from members because if they don't bring laptops and what not to let us use we are going to be stacked up waiting for the whole zone to finish first. So just be ready for whatever. It always works out. We will have 45 minutes,  so have your questions, because you already know me and emotions and crying and time limits and talking just isn't a mix that goes very well with me. Cant wait to talk to you guys!

Anyways this week was good but also very very difficult. We had a multi zona this week that was really good and I received a lot of revelation. We focused a lot on consecrating ourselves which is our mission President's favorite term. President Vasquez is an awesome man, completely inspired of God and a huge role model. When he testifies he can so quickly and powerfully fill a room with a spiritual force. It penetrates at times to the very soul, a sensation so warm and rewarding. Afterwards we worked hard and the week was normal. This area really is hard, (I know that I say that a lot but I have always had those hard areas no one wants to go to, but I wont get into that too much). Elder Letona and i worked really hard, but i have been dealing a lot with stress. I have never felt so much stress and pressure and feelings of inadequacy and fatigue like I have been feeling. i put really high expectations on myself sometimes and get mad and impatient with myself when I don't reach them.  Which makes me at times kind of just shut down. SO I have been really working on that and felt a lot of comfort from my fast that I did this weekend. I hope everyone is doing their monthly 24 hour fast.... its really important. I remember receiving a lot of councils especially from Uncle Gage about how the mission will pull out all of your weaknesses to make you see them and work on them and humble yourself. I've come to know i have a lot of weaknesses. So I have a lot of work to do, which isn't always a bad thing. 

Anyways that was my week, thanks for all the support! You guys are awesome. I am doing great here and love it here and the people. The difficulties are part of the work! See you guys on Sunday!

Elder Nelson