Monday, June 24, 2013


Dear Family,                                                                                                                         

Well this is it, last Monday after we wrote home, the zone leaders read us the transfer sheet. Drum Roll Please.....the whole zone stayed less one from a triple that was a temporary in the mission. Nobody will ever again get the fateful call to the jungle because the mission divides on July 1, and transfers next are July 30. I´ll never know the jungle, but the cool news is, in the jungle they don´t eat cuy (guinea pig) they eat monkey and bugs and turtle instead, but this week I had cuy. It´s a lot like pork but with kind of a natural seasoning to it that makes it a little more savory.  It was so good and the sister even showed me the head in a bowl, cue the ewww from Melissa ;) I had a foot still attached to mine, but it was fried pretty good, so the meat around the achilles was tender. Haha alright that’s all the gross I’ll give you, but really its super good.

I received the package last Thursday, about 2 and a half weeks right? Thanks soooo much for everything, I am cherishing each part and writing a bit for those in the ward who wrote me notes.

Elder Gaibor and Elder Nelson help cook
cow heart kabobs and entrails
I´m so glad to hear trek was a variety of experiences once again. My memories of the trek are all inspirational and teach me that I can do hard things no matter what might come my way. Those experiences prepare the young men for missions and the young women for missions or college or being a mom. That can be tough too, and we don´t give moms enough credit.  Mother’s day here is like New Year’s, its huge and theres festivals everywhere, that’s how it should be worldwide really.

This week is the second to last week of preparation for a triple baptism of primary and youth aged converts. Daniel is still having a few troubles with scary issues, but he is finally going to get baptized after wanting to for 3 years. He´s taught me a lot about the power of perseverance.  If we make an effort constantly, if we are anxiously engaged in a good work, it doesn´t matter how long we have to try, the Lord will reward us according to our faith. Narda is a dry Mormon, she turns 10 in a couple of months, and she has been coming to church with her grandparents for a year or two. She shows me the positive power of good grandparents, like the ones that I have. Thank you so much Grandma Nelson and Grandma and Grandpa Anderson, you´ve all been the best a grandson could ask for. Keep on being good members an honoring your covenants. Briseyra turns 10 today, and she has had a tough go of it already. When her grandparents moved out of the city, her aunts and uncles and her mom (single mother) all pretty much went inactive and her uncles started to drink once in a while. She shows the maturity of someone more like 13 or 14 years old, but she’s only 10. She is personally helping her mom to reactivate in the church and that’s incredible to me. They all get baptized on the 29th by relatives or friends in the church after having received their missionary lessons. 

Other than that, we have had really great experiences the past few weeks with references. For example we had mission correlation meeting with the bishop in our ward and as part of it we explained how we are trying to work with less active members in order to complete their families and also gain references from them. The bishop right there gave us 5 names of people who have been baptized, gone inactive and now have spouses or children that aren´t baptized. He had two or three more names even as we were closing the meeting. Pray for names to come to you for the missionaries, It´s so important I can´t even express how much for us to share the gospel with everyone. This week we visited one of the families and this week the kids went to church. The husband isn´t a member, but wants to change his life. He has a baptismal date for next month. I have been writing a lot more detailed in my journal, so really my journal and these letters will end up being companion volumes that show in parts my testimony of the mission work. First, that Jesus is the Christ, the living son of God, and that he has paid for our sins whether we accept Him or not. Second that the Atonement is more profound, more extensive than we will ever ever know. Third, that the family is the most important thing you can ever develop, and more valuable than all of the work or friends or "fun" anyone could ever have. This gospel is the only way that we can return to live with our Father again and remain happily forever with our families.

I love you all, I pray for you daily, I hope that my experiences her in the mission benefit you spiritually and that the blessings are forthcoming for each of you.

Love Elder Nelson

PS Read the Book of Mormon this week, I don´t know why but that´s really really important for me to write.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Kebabs and Entrails...yum

Dear Family

Well the truth is that I lost my first USB drive, but I have two more and that other drive only had a few pictures of the temple and of the choir that I directed, and the video of the choir. I´m totally okay with that and today the letter will be a touch shorter because I spent some time backing up photos on USB number 2. 

Yes mom I heard about Braden being engaged, I just thought I would play a little trick like Braden with Rosi, haha. (*Braden never responded when we told him we got a new dog, Rosi) Ashley by all reports seems like a wonderful girl and as a prospective missionary she probably is really deeply rooted in the gospel, which is really the foundation of a good marriage. With the several talks Braden and I had in between Utah and Washington,  he´s ready for marriage and I´m extremely proud and excited for them both. Please welcome Ashley into the family as warmly as Joe. The news had me distracted much of Pday, but now its only when it comes time to pray. I love to hear wonderful news like that.

News about Lima East: all of the ward members have told me it includes the majority of the sierra, so expect a frio fuerte and lots of mamitas like the tradicional pictures of Peru. That's a bit for Christian.

As for fathers day, this one might strike a chord and I´m sorry if it does. Has anyone visited Grandpa´s grave for a while? I´d like someone to do that sooner than later. It seems like he occupied my mind for a while on Father´s day. He provided well for his children and even afterward provided for his Grandchildren. I know I don´t even realize the privileges that have come to me as a result of his decision to work hard all of his life. I love him now while I am here in the mission field that he loved so much more than ever. Dad I feel the same way about you. You have worked so hard for our family and I´m positive that I didn´t say I love you or thank you or I´m sorry enough while I was home. You always chose to be the bigger man in any disagreements we ever had. This may seem a little small to you, but if my other blog doesn´t have an entry on Fathers then it was on my list of subjects I wanted to write about. You are my biggest example of a righteous man and a covenant keeping father and I love you.

My experience of the week for this email is more of a group of experiences. We are working right now on completing a few less active families with the hope that completing them also activates them. The investigators are two 9 year old daughters a father a 16 year old son and a 17 year old cousin who lives close. Each one is a different family and each one has specific challenges. Teaching the youngest ones is giving me a chance to really fine tune my Spanish and explain the gospel in a simple, easy to understand way. It´s helping me to get back to the basics. The best part is that in all the cases except the dad, there is a worthy priesthood holder whom we've asked to do the baptism. It´s the best of all worlds and I know that in that way these kids will remain active in the church. The father is a really interesting one. Arturo is an adventista, which usually means that he would want to bible bash a while before opening up. I don´t like that because A it gets rid of the spirit in a hurry and B I can´t do it because I don't know the bible well enough. The difference with him is that although he has a beer every once in a while like maybe two times a month, he's a really regular guy, he has seen how those who know the church have less complicated lives and that appeals to him. He has had a lot of things going badly lately and that bothers him, but he knows that when he prays he feels calm about things like that. Basically he's the most prepared you can be to getting baptized, he's just missing the lessons and attendance. We have had one lesson with him and one with the rest of his family because of the work schedules, but already his family has come back to attend at least once. I love that he knows what a difference the gospel makes in life, and I hope he continues in his good decisions.

That picture at the coast is actually me and a zone leader, Elder Tana, or Elder Tanita because of his height. He's about 4´10´´ I think. He´s so great. Our mission president gives permission to zones to visit specific parts of the city for Pdays because our mission doesn´t cover any of the historic parts of the city. For that reason we made it to the coast on that pday. No, my companion is about my height and has about 40 pounds on me. I´ll send pictures next week of us cooking anticucho (cow heart on kebobs) with a member. They also cook the entrails with a vinegar baste. Its a little of a delicacy here, and its soooo good :) We do get a long better than Elder Arce and I, and he actually spent ten months in Lima before the jungle, but he definitely prefers it here, which is a real blessing because he will likely stay here. He says the jungle was really cool and great to look at, but the work isn´t the same, people inactivate quickly and its just different.

Well time is short and so´s the letter this week, I promise I´ll write more next week. Tell Aubs it´s okay, parked cars can really jump out at you from my experience. I love you all and pray for you constantly.


Elder Nelson

Monday, June 10, 2013

Satan's Subtle Tone

Coastal Lima

Dear Familia,                                                                                                                   

So much mission news! Megan will do great in Provo, it’s been her dream to serve for a long time and I´m excited for her to be in P-town, where memories are made. Tanner Gill is too young to serve a mission, wow time flies there doesn´t it.  And Christian, if there was one youth in the Tri-Cities that exemplified temple worship even before he understood the full importance of it, it´s Christian Burrup. He´s going to be a Seventy someday or something. Such an example to me of a spiritually minded young man.

Sorry for the lack of explanation, but the museum was a museum of the Catholic Church history in Peru like all of the museums here haha. All of them have some kind of connection to that church but yeah that was the confessional of Peru, hace muchos años. torture them until they admit that they aren´t a Catholic, it was really sad, especially the one with lash marks, that made me think of what Christ endured for us and the fate of the martyrs of the ancient church. Center of Lima is all the buildings, it’s the old part of Lima but all of it but the palace and the Catholic church that fits like thousands have been converted into a shopping broadway.

Miraflores area of Lima
This week for Pday we went to where the money is in Lima, on the coast to a place called Larcomar. The differential of money is astounding. We even went bowling, but my score was pretty rank, I came in second with only 109...I going to have to relearn a few things. In the next email I’m going to try to send a panorama that I took of the coast, super cool. The Marriott is to show dad that there’s a space to the right that he could build and we could visit....;)

Dinners are exactly the opposite, now we have pension and that means we have a sister that cooks for us for dinner. It´s perfect we go buy like 60 cents of fresh bread an maybe an empenada for breakfast and have that with the evaporated milk drink (they call it leche de gloria) and then dinner is something that the hermana fixes up for us. Also I need the recipe for pancakes stat, a sister wants to treat us to pancakes and homemade pizza and I don´t know how to do pancakes other than a mountain of flour and eggs and milk, but flour plus what is like bisquick? Anyway, a recipe would be nice, thanks :) I mark the receiving date on all the mail that I get, and it looks like on average it´s three weeks, this time with grandma´s dear elder a little more, if you send a dear elder please put the date, there’s no stamped date usually and so I have no way to know when you sent it.

This week we had this crazy experience with an investigator who went to seminary for two years and then stopped going to church and seminary because his parents stopped him from getting baptized. In the past year, he started listening to metal music (note: be careful of the things you let Satan suggest to your mind through the subtle power of the musical word or tone...that’s an original) and he felt powerful when he listened to it. Lo and behold he started to see a dark figure in the streets but never face to face, only from behind. Then he and his family heard noises after leaving their apartment with nobody inside after one of our visits, like someone pacing on the metal roof. It gets freakier, but the end of the story is that we dedicated the home against the power of the adversary and he (15 years old) gets this super strong headache after the prayer. We gave him a blessing and it subsided to this feeling like a wrestling match inside of his chest. Friends and Family, the power of the adversary is real and strong, but it is absolutely and unequivocally insignificant in comparison with the magnificent and God-given power of the holy priesthood. Guard yourselves against any slip that might carry you down this path that leads to nothing but misery and regret. Our friend Daniel erased all of the music from his computer, all images of darkness and even his facebook account. He has a very long road of recovery to go, but you all don´t even have to glance at the other fork in the road for a moment to know that you don´t want what´s at the end of it.

Super glad they are on the other side of the fence :)
I am having experiences that will shape and mold the rest of my life here in Peru, and it´s all thanks to my Heavenly Father, who has blessed me with family, friends, teachers and leaders who helped me to see who I could become. Now my companion helps me to learn more and more every day. He understands quite a bit of English and is super super obedient, it shows in the results we are having in the area. We get along really well except for that he walks a little slow...we are fixing that bit by bit :)

I love you all and hope that your decisions bring you closer to that awesome Being who created us.

Elder Nelson 

Monday, June 3, 2013


Hola Familia!                                                                                                               June 3, 2013

Switching apartments
Elder Arce as he leaves for Argentina
Things got a little crazy here this week. As a result, I have a new room, a new companion, a new laundry sister, and now we have medio pension which is pension just for Dinner. So from the beginning, last Thursday I think it was, Elder Arce got a call from his trainer, Elder Garcia, who is leader of a zone in the offices area. It was a warning that the other elders destined for Argentina were leaving in the morning for their mission and that we would likely get a call soon from the zone leaders. Well, he was dead on, but we had already started moving rooms because of the twice weekly fiestas above our old room. So half of our stuff was in the old room and half in the new room. Well the end of the month was approaching pretty fast, so we called the bishop and we moved all of the stuff except a desk and a couple of things for hanging clothes, and the water heater for the shower to the new room. It´s a pretty small space, so we played “tetris” for a while. For a reference, the two rooms are like my old bedroom with a bathroom that’s probably about 10 square feet. Also we fit two beds and two desks and an armoire in the space. It´s a little cramped, but cozy and easier to clean than the other one. So elder Arce left for Argentina early on Thursday morning and then there was a conference with President Blunck all day on Thursday. I was in a trio for a day and a half and then waited at the offices for three hours for my new companion from the jungle. His name is Elder Gaibor, from Equador, yes it rhymes and is great fun to say under my breath :)

Our first actions on the night after he got here (Friday night) were to teach a few lessons. But the morning after, we moved the rest of the stuff. I´ve taken icy showers for about a week, but it was the same my first week here, so no biggie. We also spent some time making our beds so that we aren’t sleeping on the floor on mattresses. The zone leaders are finding pieces to a bunk bed for us so that we can have a touch more space soon as there is only a foot in between the two beds and at the foot for movement. The climate change from the jungle to Lima and the lack of clean air here messed with Elder Gaibor a bit and so he spent a day laid out in bed and I spent the day studying and prepping lesson plans and organizing the room. I gave him a blessing in the morning and he started to feel better toward the end of the day, so we went to mission correlation meeting and taught some less actives a lesson then headed home. Sunday however, was great, Elder Gaibor is really teaching me to ask EVERYone for references. With him we are having a lot of success with the members, even less actives. He has about a year in the mission and it shows.
Juan and Maritza and us had a lesson last night that was really good., They told us about some miracles that happened surrounding their baptism that we hadn’t known about, and I bore testimony of the importance of keeping a journal of the blessings that our Father gives us.  Juan told me that he will plan to do that starting that night. However, here’s a couple of the miracles that happened for them.

Juan is a machiner, he builds machines for companies that hire him to a specific purpose. At his job site this week (in between his baptism and his confirmation) he was cutting some steel pipe (about 4 inch width) and he had this thought come into his mind to be careful. Well he thought to himself that he was always careful with this particular machine because of the dangerous nature of the beast. He was checking the sides of the cutter when the steel pipe bent in half instead of cutting. The pipe passed on the side of his arm not even but almost grazing it. But his head had been in the spot at the same moment seconds early and it would have crushed his skull. How incredible is that! He said he knows now that the same feeling came over him during his confirmation that came over him when he had the thought to be careful.

The two parents have seen some incredible changes happen in their home because of their listening to the missionaries, and they’ve also noticed that during fast and testimony meeting, almost all the testimonies have the usual common things and in addition they mention the change that’s happened because of the missionaries (almost our entire ward are converts of varying times in their lives) Juan and Maritza say that their daughters are always kind to each other but now, they are extra careful to serve one another. Also their daughter Yubiza left her work, which was a stress on the family and on Sundays, specifically because she wanted to spend time with the family. It’s incredible the things that they have done even without us asking, and its evidence to me that our Heavenly Father works in us constantly to mold us into the people we have the potential to be. 

The family even have introduced us to the brother and sister in law of Maritza to teach. They attended the marriage, baptism and even the confirmation. He’s a former Jehovah´s witness but left their church because he watched his aunt get shunned by his grandma for committing a single sin. The whole congregation apparently doesn´t talk to you ever again if you sin. You can attend but nobody will acknowledge your presence. It’s super sad, but its opened a door for this brother and his wife to be able to listen to us with open hearts.

So in answer yes, we are always  working with new investigators and with less active members in order to gain new investigators. We do a lot of work trying to reactivate converts who aren’t quite fully converted, but he majority of our work is with less actives and investigators.

Yes my pen is ballpoint.
Hooray for cocoa, its super expensive here. oh and a drink you ought to try: Evaporated milk with a couple of spoons of sugar like a third of a cup or less of the milk with the rest of the mug filled with hot water. That’s super common at breakfast here with nesquick or milo (fortified nesquick) if you want some other flavor to it. It´s super good, but I’m sure super fattening haha. 

I love you all and pray for each of you often, just know that I am safe and happy and working in the Lord´s vineyard to brings souls from the harvest.


Elder Nelson