Thursday, March 21, 2013

Moving on...

Elder Nelson with Hermana Ostler (a family friend)
They both entered the MTC on February 13.  She is in Chile now.
Well I guess I'll start with the biggest news so far then questions and then if I have time I will go into what's going on here.

I'm going to Peru on Monday the 25th!!! It's the 8:30 Delta to Georgia from SLC and then 3 hours later (roughly) from GA to Lima. I hope that's enough for you to be able to track the flight, I know you love to do that. I walked into class on Friday or Saturday and the intercom came on asking if I could go to the travel office, I was so worried the whole way there. Well not worried just wondering. I wanted to know what the Lord had in store for me. Looks like I wasn’t needed anywhere else other than here in Provo and in Peru. So that's really cool. I've been packing a little and trying to donate as much of my junk food to the rest of the zone as I can while keeping some to pack in my checked baggage like the fruit snacks (college level vitamins). The rest of my district other than the Chileans and Californians will be reassigned tomorrow, or they might stick around here, we really don’t know where.

Supplies are doing just fine, and if anything I was a little over prepared, but better over than under of course. I got the package...and I seriously don't know how to consume that much food in a week...or 4 days!!! Our room has been seriously pigging out a little, but we don't know what else to do with the food that we all have been getting in packages. Before I started trying to work down on the food I had gained about 8 pounds. Yep, I finally did it. I'm hovering around 145 now wahoo!! I guess sitting down for like 8 hours a day can really affect you physically.

I feel ready to leave the MTC. The Spanish seems to be plateauing a little bit, because there’s a slight shortage of native speakers to listen to. RMs can only do so much in the way of an authentic accent, and I know I sound a little Anglicized on my grammar practices. We teach though, and that really is the best practice. Our teachers are great and it’s going to be hard to move on, but necessary. The Lord needs us to sacrifice in order to grow. That means that we leave all of the comforts of home and the way that we have always been comfortable, and we try to explain to others how to find comfort in Christ. We have to learn to be comfortable out here so that we are able to give people the chance to be comfortable in the eternities. That’s a little of what I have been thinking about lately. It's been in several talks.
No hosting for me, because Wednesdays are my Pday. That’s kind of a bummer, I love watching new missionaries come in, it’s the best. We sang "Like 10,000 Legions Marching" on devo on Tuesday and it was specially written for that occasion. They taped it for some in between conference special so look for me then!

The priesthood is only ever for helping other people as best we can and with God's help, we can know their needs. The important thing about dad's blessings were that I always knew I could ask for one if I felt I needed it. I just didn’t take advantage of that often enough is all. It's so important to me that he was always worthy and ready for us growing up.

The donuts from Sister Hare were great, and a thank you card is in order, if I can get it written before I have to leave. If not, make sure she knows how appreciated it was!

For conference I will be in Peru, I just don't know if I will need to grow my Spanish vocabulary or not haha. It will be a stretch either way, always is and I love it so much. I'm eating well, and healthily. I'm just excited to be here. It's the very best time in my life and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to serve. I pray every night and let God know that. I write in my journal every night or the next morning, and I hope I can keep on that for my whole mission and after. It's so important.
Another don't worry...the clock :) that's one that shouldn't be too much of a bother, it only has to be changed three or four times while I'm gone right? (he is referring to the clock above our stairs..that only he could change standing on a very long 2 by 6)

I love you all, and I can't wait to find out where/when I am emailing next week. Keep up the good strong work and don't be afraid to open your mouth. You never know what the Lord will punt out of it.


Elder Nelson

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Blessings of....Blessings!

Dear Family,                                                                                                March 13, 2013

Yes I got the dearelder, but I received it after I had already written my letter, so I couldn’t really get it to you that I don’t need my other suit. It’s totally started to warm up here, almost mid 50s like it will be in Lima. My district is going to Chile, Argentina, California and just me to Peru. No more than two are going to the same mission. Hermanas Vincent and Vawdrey are going to Bahia Blanca, same as Casey did! We will all be heading out the 25th or so, it’s that Monday Tuesday or Wednesday for sure, unless they delay us. Thats so good for Mason! He will be a great missionary. I was wondering when I read that how his girlfriend is doing now that she is baptized, that was really great for him to be able to be a part of. As far as visas, the travel office now has a sign up that says there is no visa news from pretty much all of South America, not sure whether that means for a good long while or not. I should be getting travel plans in the next three days, so we will have to see how it all goes. I've been thinking how cool it will be if I have a mission memories from a couple of different places. That's so crazy about my new mission president's son. It really is a small world. Does Braden know him from before, or how did that situation turn out?

The priesthood is such an incredible power. It can do literally anything that God’s children want to do righteously on this earth. There were a couple of missionaries in our branch who were having a tough time with the change of life, and as soon as each of them had received blessings, they changed so much! One is completely fine now, and the other is finding ways to deal with homesickness. It's so important to have faith in blessings. I didn't ask for as many as I should have growing up, and that’s a little bit of a pride issue that I am working on. I know I was pretty fiercely independent, but that's something the Lord is teaching me to let go of. Why would we come down to earth like we do, and live in wards and families guided by the priesthood if we weren’t supposed to use it to bless others and ask for it to bless us from others?
Jackson Ostler (Braden's roomate) found Elder Nelson
at the MTC this week and texted us a picture!
I was reminded the other day that I won't see the world cup of soccer this time around. Those were good memories with Kolby for sure. I'm glad that they’re off to a good start and that Melissa is recovering. World events don't seem to matter quite as much anymore...except for that changing to an Argentinian pope thing...I’m going to have to double check that email. I'm so grateful that dad and others in our family are worthy priesthood holders. It’s just so great! Other than Melissa’s finger, is everyone else doing well health wise?
I'll remember to send my SD card home, should I do that in time to send it back here? Like with around a 6 day total time? Things like that are a little harder to get used to. The slower pace of communication is such a blessing, it allows us to really focus on what we say, and remember things like....HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! I realized that yesterday it was coming up, and I'm so stoked. I remembered one time we had everything green for dinner, including green marshmallow salad. That stuff is so good, but it has walnuts here, so no dice there.

You asked if I wanted anything in my package, and I can’t really come up with anything at the moment, I live a simple life as a missionary, and its soooo refreshing. We can get so wrapped up in everything fast paced in life, and we forget that when Christ came, he didn’t have a megaphone or a TV station, he had a still small voice that pierced to the center. Anyway time is coming to a close. Dad, I love your letters and you are so right about being so busy the day flies by.

I love you all and can't wait to write again!

Love, Elder Nelson

I love my District!

My MTC District
My companion, Elder Cazier
Dear Family,                                                                                                   March 6, 2013

I had such an incredible week! I only hope I can send a journal home completed so that it can tell you all the things that I am learning and doing. Elder Aidukaitus of the Seventy came on Tuesday night and gave a devotional all about the three kingdoms of glory. That was spectacular; he said that God loves His children so much that even those who reject Him and His commandments he has prepared a kingdom of glory beyond their comprehension or imagination for. How loving and charitable of him! That's the attribute I am working on this week. I want to love people that I don't even know, and I know that that is only possible through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Another talk that I listened to was Missions are Forever by Elder Holland, I think it was April 2006 if you can find it. I recommend it especially to Kolby and Dad and Braden as prospective missionary and RMs. It’s an incredible perspective on what our missions are and should be.

Before I forget, a few housecleaning items: The picture shows my district here, Elders Lee and Richardson are the redhead and the darker haired ones and Elder Cazier is the giant next to me. The sisters are harder because I can't see the picture and attach it at the same time, so Hermana Kalama is the Polynesian and her companion is Hermana Hardy, with the frizzier hair. Hermana Vincent is the rounder faced one with the thinner eyes, and her companion is Hermana Vawdrey. Hermana Cleveland has darker brown hair and Hermana Miner has the ombre hair. I hope that worked haha. Thank you Melissa for your letter! You win again and have tied the family for total letters ;) I will be writing a paper letter home for you soon.

I hope the cruise is so much fun, Hermana Vincent has been telling me about her trip to Belize this summer and I think that is about the same area. She did a sports camp and taught English to little hispanic islanders, so cool! I am learning so much from my district here, and I don't even know if I want to go on to the CCM in Peru anymore. I mean if it happens, then it is for a reason and obviously the Lord knows what's best, but I feel like my district and zone here have so much for me to gain from them. Each of them is connected to me in some strange way from before the mission, and I can't help but believe that we are sent to our MTC districts by inspiration alone, and that we knew each other up above. I love this gospel so much.

Currently, I can teach a fairly smooth lesson in Spanish-only with Elder Cazier, and though it might seem slow to a native speaker, it is pretty fast for me before the MTC. (I'm sorry that I can't write more, I spent some time writing Darci an email response to hers to me.) I promise letters will get longer as I have more things to write about, I just don’t know how to fit it all into one letter! I just need to carry a video camera with me and send hours of tape home!

I love you all and can't wait to write next week when I have a little more time and material.


Elder Nelson

Sunday, March 3, 2013

So Many Mission Calls

Dear Family,                                                                                                      February 27, 2013

I’ll just apologize right now for the atrocious spelling you’ll see in this letter. (Mom fixed it for him-he didn’t even spell his own name right.) The keyboard isn’t very good on this computer and so I'll just doing the best I can with sticky keys. It sounds like you’ll be having quite the adventure in the Indies on your cruise! Do you plan on bringing a book of Mormon with you to share? I think that that could be a really great opportunity for you as a ward missionary dad. I can’t wait to share my interest in the culture at Peru. As of right now, I’m not sure where I will finish my MTC stay, mostly because I checked with the visa office and they said they haven’t heard anything from Peru on Visas so just to continue here until I learn different.

That’s so exciting for James and Cody! (James Madsen got his mission call to Cordova, Argentina and Cody Bake received his to Taiwan) They will both do so well in those missions! I have an elder in my district going to Cordova named Elder Richardson from Bingham high school here in Utah. Really solid elder reminds me a little of Braden on a basketball court. He’s a runner with athletic ability in a lot of other sports. The MTC is pretty crowded. They said that it is about 3600 right now and that by June they will have 8000. Also they are going to be adding another set of beds to every room or more. It’s such an incredible thing to see missionaries streaming in every week on my P day. It’s not super crowded now but the lines for food will get longer and several things like for computer time training will get longer, but it really doesn’t bother me too much, just teaches everyone patience.

Travel to Peru will probably be alone, unless there happens to be other missionaries going there on the day I go. I met the new president’s wife for the Cusco mission, but I can't remember where I wrote it down, she said to look them up if/when we go down to Macho Pichu. She was super sweet. A lot of the mission presidents and their wives are here for language immersion for the new missions. Dad mentioned that Iquitos is a new mission, which I learned through so I don't know where I’ll end up. I hope that the Lima north mission retains some jungle areas, it’d be a shame if I was to go to a city only mission. I know wherever I go it’s for a reason though and that the lord will let me know in time why I go where I go. It worried me for a couple of days but then I realized just how personal this mission process is for the lord. These are His children and we are sent to bring them home.

My Spanish is coming along really well. We track how much percentage we speak every day in our district and yesterday was probably around 75 or 80. We speak a lot and we learn a lot, and it wouldn’t be possible without the gift of the spirit. We just come up with words in lessons or in class that we didn’t know before and it’s only by the spirit that that could happen. I think maybe that’s how Braden did so well on his quiz the day I checked in. We all are being blessed on a daily basis with spiritual gifts, we just don’t always realize it or stop and think about it. I also have no idea what the sequester debate is, already being cut off is a little strange. I used to be really really informed, but now I realize that I’m super informed, just about a better set of information.

I’m really sorry that this letter is so scattered, the keyboard and typing it in the laundry room where the computers are available this week has got me a little here and there. In other random things, it’s really cold really cold. This morning on the way to the temple I had gray hands like that one track meet in middle school when coach Carneau had me wear her white gloves for the race. Remember that? I’m sorry to hear about Melissa’s finger. Hopefully that will heal soon so she can get back out there, but it’s probably for a reason, maybe there’s someone off the court she needs to fellowship? Who knows. The Lords mind and purposes are absolutely everywhere and it amazes me when I realize it.

No pictures today because I found out for the computers to attach a picture I need a card reader, available for $7 in the bookstore. Thanks for complimenting me on my handwriting, I guess I get neater when I write smaller, I’ve never felt like it was overly neat. It’s begun to sink in for me too.

This week another district in my zone left and they were the one that my district were closest with. It was super hard to watch them leave but I know they will all do so well out there. One of them is headed home because he had shoulder surgery and needs added recovery time. I felt bad but he probably will meet someone in the field that he wouldn’t have otherwise. I just realize that every district that leaves could be me depending on whether I get my visa or not this week. So crazy and I’m excited for what lies ahead. I love you all so much and I love hearing about what's going on. Don't hold a single thing back!

Love, Elder Nelson