Saturday, December 31, 2016

Elder Nelson's Christmas Call, 2016

Chad’s Call, Christmas 2016

5:59 pm Chad is online.  We call Bean and Rimo.  And are trying to connect to Chad.  Not connecting……. 6:00pm.   

Calling Chad again.  6:02.  His companion still has 10 more minutes.  The connection is sketchy.  We’re going to wait til his companion is done for a better connection.  False alarm. 

6:20.  Trying again.  Connects and we get Bean and Rimo on too.

Done.  He looks great!  He has very white teeth.  And super smiley.  

Chad: Is that a new couch?
M&D:  Yes! 
Navy: Chad!! 
M&D: You waited for everyone else to go first? 
Chad: Yeah.  We’re within walking distance from our house, so it was okay.  My companion talks really loud.  He kind of reminds me of you, Mom.  
M: Oh… Good! Haha
Chad: I’ve just been sitting here waiting since about 1:00.  
M: For breanna it’s late.  Like 2:00am.  
Chad: Oh wow!  My bad.  I didn’t realize it was so late there.  
M: Were you able to give away the ties and candy canes? 
Chad: They were great.  Yeah, I was only able to give out a couple.  But I plan to give away the rest.  
M: How were the holidays different this year than last year? 
Chad: We went and ate at more houses this year.  We ate at like 5 houses.  
M: Your teeth look super white! 
Chad: I think it’s just a reflection…
Dad: We’ll get you to the dentist when you get home. 
M: We were hoping to do a little open house for you.  Is that okay? 
Chad: Yeah, as long as people come..
M: They will! 
Chad: Am I giving a homecoming talk when I get home.  
M: Yep! The 12th or something like that.  
Chad: great.  
M: I’m going to tell you really fast what I signed you up for…. 
Chad: (He’s not happy about the math and science courses….) 
M: You can change it later if you want.  
Chad: sounds good!  Sign me up for morning classes.. like not too early though.  
D: You need to meet your new niece.  
Chad: Hi Evelyn!  Bye Evelyn.  
M: Do you have a question Breanna? 
Breanna: Hiii!  No, but I’m going to be there when you come home. 
M: Have you had some baptisms? 
Chad: Yes. 
M: Did you take pictures? 
Chad: Yes
M: We heard you don’t eat hot foods there. 
Chad: Yeah, I don’t eat spicy foods here at all.  Some times I add hot sauce at home.  But, not at all.
M: Do you want an elk permit.
Chad: ….. yes. 
M: Lexi wants to know: Have you taken any pictures? 
Chad: I have.  A couple.  I have like 30 pictures of my mission.  Basically the ones I’ve sent you are all I have. 
M: Lexi wants to know, What do kids there do for fun? 
Chad: They color things.  They are called ‘trumples’.  The thing that spins. It took me three years to learn.  They spin it and battle with it.  I accidentally hit my companion one time and I was banned from it for a week. 
M: do you know if you’ll be changed this week? 
Chad: I don’t know yet.  Tomorrow morning.  I want to die in my area.  
Kai: Are you going to get food there? 
Chad: Yes, I get a lot of food here.  Chicken, rice, greasy oily food.  They take things here and cook it in oil then fry it in oil.  Then give it to you.  
M: Lexi wants to know, Have you taught any kids my age? 
Chad: No… um.  How old is she???  I’m teaching an 8 year old girl right now.  I have taught some kids her age.  
Tyler: Towards the end of your mission.  What things do you do personally to not get trunky (sorry, BAGGY)? 
Chad: It helps if you have a lot of people to teach.  We’ve had some baptisms and more in January.  That’s th best thing.  That’s why I don’t want changes.  I just want to stay and baptize them.     
M: Which companion have you clicked with the most?
Chad: Elder Markum.  He’s my best friend.  I still write him every week.  I love my companion now.  He’s pretty cool. 
M: Think about any companions that you’d maybe like to room with for Fallat BYU.   Dave, get the selfie stick.  
Bean: I have a question.  A few months ago, did you feel the earthquake.?
Chad: I was sitting eating lunch.  I thought my companion was moving the table with his feet.  My glass was going to fall over.  Someone screams really loud “There’s an earthquake!” and I realized that it was one.  It was kind of anti climatic.  I thought a wall would crash.  But, we’ve had a couple of earthquakes that I’ve felt actually.  
M: Breanna’s the one that told us about it on Thanksgiving.  Then your mission pres posted and said that everything was fine 
Chad: Yeah, it wasn’t too serious.  
David What kind of food do you want when you get home? 
Chad: Chicken enchiladas, sea food, smoked ribs.  I have a large list.  
Mom: When was the last time you spoke in church.
Chad: like 5 weeks ago.  I spoke a lot more in my last ward.  This ward, I've only spoke one time. 
Mom Do you have to teach a lot last minute?
Chad: Yeah, I usually do. 
Mom: What kind of things do you want to bring home?
Chad: I don’t know.  There’s like your typical picture of El Salvador that you see all the time.  But, there's a few things that I'm sure I'll bring home.  I'll probably gather a few things in January.
Mom: So you guys all got my a nativity from El Salvador for Christmas.  
Chad: Oh, Cool! 
Mom: How do they celebrate Christmas there different from here? 
Chad: Christmas here.. They eat make these things.  There's like lettuce and mayo and cheese and stuff.  I ate like 12 last night.  They have firecrackers. They do those in the street.  It’s a mix between fourth of july and new years.  They do it at midnight.   They all sleep in and not go to church the next day.   
Tyler: Same in Chili.  
Kevin: Yep.  All night long. 
Mom: How was the mission party?  The shirt looked cool. 
Chad: they took a bunch of pictures and put you in the front.  They are kind of ugly. But, yeah they're cool.  For the party we just played a bunch of games.  
Mom: Which scripture prophet do you quote most often? 
Chad: Right now I like to teach about Nephi.  And Isaiah.  And Paul.  
Mom: whose house do you enjoy spending time at the most?  
Chad: Where we eat at a lot.  They are a great family.  They have like 12 kids.  A few are on a mission.  Married and some younger.
Mom: Do they support you a lot?  
Chad: They do everything for us. 
Mom: How do the bishops support you? 
Chad: The bishop we have now does.  He does a lot of activities.  Most bishops we have served with haven't done much.   
Kevin: if you were speaking to a bishop, what would you ask him to do? 
Chad: Biggest frustrating thing is in ward council when they don’t talk about investigators.  It’s supposed to be about families and investigators.  When it’s just planning for activities and stuff it’s lame.  We just sit there.  But, when they talk about families that need help and stuff.  That’s the best thing.  It doesn’t really happen for us.  
Mom: Anyone you want to connect with before you leave? 
Chad: Most of them are here.  A few but they are far away.  
(Chad speaking Spanish to his companion… really fast.) 
Mom: I love hearing you speak Spanish. 
Mom: Is the town used to your blonde hair running around? 
Chad: they all make fun of me.  People in the street shout things at me.  I’m used to it now. 
Mom: I can always pick you out in pictures.  
Chad: I’m so white.  I just burn.  I haven’t gotten my tan yet. 
Mom: Do you have a lot of snow right now Breanna? 
B: Just that one big one.  That’s all so far.  
Mom: Anybody a question???  Any other stories you want to tell us? 
Chad:  No, I’ll tell you stories in person. 
Mom: You have to tell stories in your talk and bear your testimony is Spanish. … 
Tyler: Do you have a mission focus?  A mission scripture?  For example, on my mission, we had a focus to use the Book of Mormon mostly.  
Chad: We use the book of Mormon and bear testimony of it.  But not necessarily a focus.  We use the BOM a lot just so people can learn about it.  But, we use all scripture often. 
Tyler: Have you run into different denomination preachers who have torn in to you? 
Chad: Yeah, quite a few times they go at you with the bible.  But, we just slowly walk out all cool looking.  When I see people starting to fight, I just turn off the conversation.  But, I defend myself if I have to.  
Tyler: Do they have the people on corners that shout into microphones? Sometimes opposing churches on different corners yelling at each other.  
Chad: Yep totally.  
Tyler: Cool that sounds like fun. 
Kevin: I know your mission pres isn’t from the US. But has your mission president started to prepare you for coming back? I just wondered what kind of advice he’s given you. 
Chad: I haven’t talked to him about it much.  It’s bad here too, most RM’s go inactive within a year.  A lot are 30 years old and just don’t do anything.  It’s pretty bad here. 
Kevin: Just keep the faith. 
Chad: Oh, I will.  
M: Ecclesiastical endorsement? 
Chad: When we get into January, I”ll make sure he’s done it.  
M: Great.  As soon as you can.  Thank you.  
Navy: Hi Chad! (waves) 
Chad: Hi Navy!  Heey!! 
Dad: She can’t wait to meet you for the first time. 
Mom: We can’t wait.  We are so excited for that day.  Any questions for us?
Chad: No.  
Dad: Will you leave all your clothes there when you come home? 
Chad: Yeah, probably.  They are all torn and everything.  I don’t need them anymore. 
Mom: We’ll take you when you get home and get you everything you need.  Everyone asks about you.  People you don’t even really know really.  But, it is fun.  
Dad: you never told me what phone you wanted when you get home? 
Chad: new iphone. 
Mom: not the new one! 
Chad: I’ve waited two years mom.  I want a good one. 
Mom: we’ll get you one on sale... not the brand new one.  Right dad? 
Dad: I don’t know. 
Chad: We’ll talk about this when I get home.  I have 15 minutes.  
Mom: What’s your housing there? 
Chad: It’s a house.  We rent a house.  It’s smaller.  Cement and brick.  We have running water about 35% of the time.  I shower with a bucket of water. 
Mom: You’ll appreciate a nice warm shower.  
Chad: Houses here are.. the roofs are made of sheet metal.  They heat up and when it rains they make a lot of noise.  It gets really hot.  
Mom: Is it rainy season right now? 
Chad: No, though it rained today. 
Dad: How do you get to the airport? 
Chad: From my house to the airport?  The airport is about an hour away in San Salvador.  The taxi will take us everywhere we’ll need to go.  The last day we’ll spend a whole day with the mission president and go to the temple.  We spend the day in the mission pres. home.  There is four of us going home to the states.  And 2 latinos that are going home with me.  A few others are going home a few weeks earlier for studies or something.  
Dad: When you speak it will probably be with a high counselor.  
Chad: Make me speak last. 
Mom: We’ll get it figured out.  
Dad: Yeah.. about your room… 
Tyler: Dad turned it into a shell reloading station…. 
Mom: Seriously, that’s not far off.  We tried to preserve your corner.  
Tyler: That corner has gotten smaller and smaller.  Hahaha. 
Chad: But I was kind of worried I wouldn’t have anything to say.  So I prepared something for you guys.  (Pulls out a white binder and we all laugh.) I wrote a poem for you guys… I hope that's not weird..  I wrote this last night at like 12 in the morning.  Can you hear me well?  Because this is pretty fantastic and I want you to be able to hear it all. 

Here in El Salvador, 
Another Christmas is here.
It’s not the first time talking to my family
Let’s hope this time I don’t shed any tears. 
For 22 months, I have been on my mission.
I have seen ups and downs, miracles and blessings.
I have really tried to take seriously my commission,
I love this country and its people.  They are a sight to see. 
But a lot of people have died here.  Sorry mom,  I don't think you'll be coming back to visit with me. 
The food here in wonderful, but the grease and oil abounds. 
The papusas are so tasty; I’m sure you'll have noticed when you've seen I've gained all these pounds. 
I have learned a lot of things here since at this country I came,
I have come to love and worship my Savior,
Oh the joy it brings to preach and (prepare?) His name. 
A lot at home has changed.  My siblings have married.
That's all in the past.  Looks like I'm the only one single left.
I'm guessing you all have bets to see how long that will last.
There are now a lot of little kids walking all around.
Lexi and Kai, Navy and Evelyn.  Mom, your grandkids sure make a lot of funny sounds.
Well, I am running out of rhymes.  And I soon have to go.
It's been a pleasure talking to you guys.  But, wait Mom, listen up.  There's one thing you should know. 
…. (We run out of phone storage and have to run grab another phone.  We miss a few lines, but then…)
… But there's one thing I get to be the one to tell you. 
That Jessie is pregnant and you're going to... (can't hear the rest because of mom's screaming..)

(Chad and Jessie worked together for a month before the Christmas call to have it be a surprise for mom and dad.  Success.) 

Chad: My time is about up.  Yay.  See you soon! 
All: Bye!  We love you!!  See you soon!! 

Chad: Okay, here I go.. 3, 2, 1.  Bye!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas and Merry Baptisms and Merry Changes

Hello!!! I thought I would write a quick email because I was able to talk to you guys yesterday.. It was great talking with the family thanks for being there family all together to pass an hour wit me!! And I hope the little surprise at the end went over well... :) Also thanks to the Hunter and Jones family for the Christmas packages!! It was much appreciated. But here In Apopa I have officially started my last change and they just let me know I have changes... its kind of sad because I have been here for almost 6 months and I really like my area but I only have 6 weeks left and I think having to learn a new area and getting to know new people will help me stay in the game for these last days. I don't know where I will go yet but I will probably spend these last two days saying good bye to everyone. But this week was really good! We had a Christmas activity on Thursday as a zone and we got some pretty awesome t shirts which i will send a picture of. It was cool to get to see a lot of missionaries i had not seen for awhile. Also on Friday we had the baptism of Adonai!! He is awesome and had a lot of support. He had been investigating for about 30 years and finally took the decision to get baptism and I feel honored to have been able to see this change in him. Also Matilde and Belen got baptized!!! They are awesome and have suuupppeeerrr strong testimonies. They had a super spiritual experience at the moment of there baptisms.  and then on Christmas EVE we ATE A LOT OF FOOD YOU HAVE NO IDEA. I love the food here and a lot of people invited us to go eat so that was pretty much our day. Well that's all I got for now thanks for everything and I hope everyone has a safe and happy new years!!! 

Elder Nelson

Monday, December 19, 2016

Happy Early Christmas!

Well I guess I can say Merry Christmas because its officially Christmas week. i cant believe it is almost already here, its going by so fast this month. Sounds like back home people are buckling down with the weather and various people are a little sick. Hope everyone feels better by this Christmas! We Cant have sick people on the video call that's just not allowed!! Because you asked mom the call will probably be around 5 or 6 but I cant guarantee anything. Ill be able to give you a 15 minutes warning or something and we will have one hour to talk. From sad experience, I know that my words leave me in the moment of the call so be prepared in case i have nothing to say... yeah its the forth time around you guys know the drill. Also I opened up the Christmas package thanks a lot Mom! I love the ties and I already have a list of people i want to give them to. And the decorations are already put up around the house. This week should be awesome and its going to fly by. Tomorrow we have interchanges because we are going to have three baptism this week (!!!!!!) and thursday we have our mission Christmas activity. Saturday we already have 4 families and I'm sure there will be much more that are going to invite us to eat so we are preparing ourselves mentally for all the panes con pollo that they are they are going to give us. Yuuummmmmm most wonderful time of the year. ANnnnndddd Sunday we will be in the Church all day with the video chats because our zone is huge and we have to be there the whole time so that will be fun... 

So anyways this week was pretty good. The flores Family is going to get baptized and they are super awesome. They are going to do it on the 24th in the morning and they are super excited, already preparing themselves to go the temple. Also we have been teaching this guy named Adonai. He is the bishops uncle and knew thew church 30 years ago but never stepped foot in the church building. Anyways something changed in him and the Lord has prepared him. He hasn't missed church for almost 8 weeks. We just couldn't quite get him to commit to baptism. This Sunday he came up to me and told us he wanted to get baptized on Thursday and had made his decision, he wanted to surprise his family for Christmas. I almost cried. The people here in El Salvador are the greatest, hands down. Also we had a cool experience, we were eating dinner last night and it was 8.30 or so and the name of a sister that has cancer and has had it for a long time kept popping in my head. I wasn't sure if it was the spirit or not but told my companion and we decided to drop by on the way home. When we knocked on the door it was all dark, and quickly the husband of her quietly wanted to shew us away. supposedly the day before they discovered  the cancer had come back and came back hard and they hit her with another round of Chemotherapy, she hadn't moved for almost a day. She heard our voices and with strength she didn't have she shouted "I need a blessing, God sent them here, God answers prayers". She sat up and came out and with all the strength she had she sat up to receive the blessing, and after wards collapsed because she had no strength in her. We silently slipped out and let her rest. I felt the Spirit very strongly and knew that God had led us there and was happy we had been obedient. This Christmas I hope we all can all think of the people that are sick and afflicted that don't have, that need. I feel and have felt more the Christmas spirit now than I have in any other time of my life. I want everyone to feel it too. Thanks for all the love and support! Merry Christmas! Talk to you guys this Sunday!!

Elder Nelson

Monday, December 12, 2016

Happy Day

 Helllloooo everyone i just want all you guys to know that you are awesome. okay. Glad everyone is enjoying their december and getting ready for Christmas.  I cant belive that it is going to be in less than two weeks.... time flies... especially since these weeks are going to be pretty busy and I dont think we are going to feel the time. This week was really good.  We found a family that is supppperrr positive and two of them are going to get baptized on Christmas!!! *sings im dreaming of a white christmas in his head* this family is one the coolest families ever and when we taught them the first lesson about Jospeh Smith it ended with them testifying to us that he was a true prophet and they had found the trrue church. its one of the greatest feelings in the world to see people willing to accept the restored Gospel and really is what brings joy. They were willing to drop all their bad habits at the moment we taught them so that they can get baptized. They have helped my own testimony grow. Also this week we went out with the ward to decorate the houses of some less active and inv houses and then after the primary kids went and sang to them. I love Christmas time. It seemed to have worked because we had about 10 inv in church and a bunch of less actives that came. We stayed pretty busy this week taking a couple long bus rides to get out to Chalate which made me super tired but the time has flown by. Also we got to see the Christmas devotional because they replayed it.  We brought a whole family with us that is preparing to get baptized in January  This week we have a lot more activites as a ward and then the week after we have our mission christmas activities. Becasue im totally not baggy and my mom asked i will say that my Christmas call will be on the 25 in the night/afternoon depending on how everything goes. Well thanks to everyone for the support hope you guys enjoy this Chirstmas season!!!

Elder Nelson

Monday, December 5, 2016

Happy Birthday to me?

Hello everyone. First off I wanted to thank EVERYONE for the birthday wishes. You guys are all awesome and thanks for remembering that i am not an old guy.... Not to sure how I feel about that still. Its been quite the week and i guess i can start from the beginning. Well first of all working this has been a really good. We could find a lot of really good people. Me and my companion have really focused on being better teachers and we have seen the spirit bless us greatly in the efforts to do so. The spirit brings true joy. If you have not had the opportunity to feel that for a while or ever, i invite you to look for the Spirit so that you can feel of true joy. What better time than this Christmas. So we have been working pretty hard and this week we had consejo de lideres, which i think it will be the last one. It was super cool, and super weird because Melissa, Presidents Daughter, came home from her mission. She was left about the time i finished my training and i cant believe she already finished the mission and is back home... wow time flies. But the meeting was super good and we learned a lot from Pte Vasquez, he is such an inspired man. Sunday we got 6 inv to come to the Christmas devotional only to find out that the signal in the church didn't work and it got canceled so i never got to see it. That was kind of a bummer but at least they had time to interact with members and so all was not lost. Annnnndddddd today is my birthday. Its been pretty good haha some people in the zone bought a cake and piñata so we had some interesting times with that this morning. These upcoming weeks we have a lot planned to do with the Ward.  We are going to go the house of less active families and sing songs and then decorate the houses with Christmas stuff we made. It should be pretty cool and im excited. Well that is all I got right now but ill try to send some pictures.  thanks for all the love and the support. And thanks family for the videos!!!  Love seeing you guys and miss you guys a bunch!!! 

Elder Nelson