Monday, November 25, 2013

Elder Nelson meets Elder Nelson

Dear Family,                                                                                                                        
Why in the world did you send my letter at 2 AM? Just been noticing the time stamps on some of the letters I get...thinking what mom is doing in her scrapbooking room at 2 in the morning writing a letter :)

Well as all the missionaries that know me in the mission put it, my "Grandpa" came to the mission this weekend. If you follow church and world news closely, Venezuela rejected a visit from Elder Russell M Nelson and Elder Ronald A. Rasband probably for some political reason. They asked the area president, Elder Uceda where they could go to visit on Saturday morning, and well, Elder Uceda must have a soft spot for the Mision Peru Lima Norte, because he said right here. Yep, we had a visit from the three of them as well as our Mission President on Saturday morning. We had to wake up at 4:45 to get there on time because it was held in the Limatambo Stake building, which is pretty far from the mission. There was a plaque there so I took a picture of that, hope you can read it, it’s a piece of Peru church history. Anyway, we got there and in the course of things after greeting old companions and being seated, in walks Elder Nelson, Elder Rasband, ELder Uceda, and Presidente with their wives. They requested that all of us come and shake their hands (He said I know to take care of the name). Then started the training or discourses. Wow! I´m still in awe at it all. They were all in English apart from President and Elder Uceda. 

Elder Rasband talked about how the mission work has changed from the mission work of missionaries and mission work of members to the mission work in general, and that as such, we have to leave old things behind, in order to learn the new way of doing it. Like when they changed from memorized chats to PMG, it wasn´t gradual, it was a complete change, nobody was giving half and half lessons. He also emphasized that the missionary purpose with the obra de salvacion, extends until the families are sealed in the temple, not just until they are baptized and confirmed.

Sister Nelson talked about how Jesus Christ has changed each of our Lives, and there were two suggestions in order to help us make sure that they didn’t change back.1) fall in love with the scriptures as the source of answers in our lives. For 30 days, before studying say a pray in which you thank our Father for the scriptures, ask for the Holy Ghost to guide you, and then ask a question that weighs on your mind. Then she said open your scriptures and read, using footnotes or just reading until you find the answer. In a notebook in four columns write the date, the question, the answer, and the scripture reference. Suggestion number 2: increase your understanding of the atonement using a plan, like Elder Scott said in his April 2010 conference talk. She said to read Tad R. Callister´s "Infinite Atonement". Prayerfully study and search one page every day, it ought to take about a year. (Please buy it for me in English for my cubby :) )

Then Elder Nelson spoke about the necesidad for a real conversion, and that its true we ask people to be baptized in just three weeks sometimes, but in reality, the conversion takes place in little time or lots of time, and we should never baptize someone who hasn’t exercised faith and repented. He also talked about why it’s so hard to find investigators when we have the truth, like really they ought to line up to hear us right? He taught from Judges chapter 7 and said the ratio (1:500) of the battle that they fought after God fixed how many they had in their army (you can fix the pronouns in this sentence right?) is almost exactly the ratio of members to nonmembers in the world today. God knows His vineyard, and He knows exactly how His laborers should be working.

Jerica Paz's Baptism
He then called a sister from our zone up, asked her where she lived, and proceeded to describe the nearby lake to her, and that across the lake is Liberty Jail, then he asked her to give the scripture reference for what God told Joseph Smith when he was in the jail under inhuman conditions. It just confirmed to me that he is a prophet of God. He told us he has seen who we were in the pre existence ( see DyC 138:48, 55-56), who we will be in 50 years, and who we will be in 50 million years. He told us to save the fact that Peru now has 12 missions, 100 stakes, and 1 temple with two on the way to tell our grandchildren because it won´t seem like anything when you really know His plan for the world. He taught us that we are protected, like Dad said in his letter, and that He fights our battle for us, but lets us suffer to gain experience. He left an Apostolic blessing on us that I felt from my ears to the deepest recesses of my heart. 

Right after that we came back to the area, ate lunch and headed to the church to have a baptism. Jerica Paz was baptized to join her family, and the bishop gave permission to confirm her (I did it!) the same day because there weren´t church meetings due to voting on Sunday (voting in Peru is mandatory and any reunion by any organization earns an automatic fine from the police).

My Companion hard at work....
Letter to President Excerpt:
All in all things are going really well. We know what it is we are expected to do, and we are focused in making sure it gets done. We work hard, and come home absolutely matados, but we feel good, we are working in His work, and trying to find a way to work better with the members in our ward at the same time. His blessings are upon us, and we feel them on a daily basis.

The Members stand as witnesses constantly because they are a minority. Those who expect that someday the church will be a majority are sadly mistaken. The true church, according to prophecy in the scriptures will always be a minority, and that´s okay, we are strong in our position because we know that God has confirmed our prayers.

Work hard, sleep hard....
As for promptings I have received and things to say, we can use the example that we have points to teach in the lesson, but I honestly don´t have a detailed plan to teach it, just the points, a bunch of scriptures that I can pull from and the spirit. Examples come to me in the moment, and I usually use examples from their lives of my investigators. There are two investigators that are sisters, almost twins but not quite, I used them to say that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are similar, but different, that example hit home better than a more general example like they are similar to my hands, left and right but performing functions to reach a goal.

Well that’s all I had time to write, but know that I love you, I pray for you, congrats to Melissa on her Young Womanhood Recognition award, you´re the greatest, little sis! I got a letter from Brooklyn Hirschi and the wedding announcement from Brooklyn Dyck, Thanks guys, love to hear from you all!


Elder Nelson

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