Monday, November 24, 2014

Family: That's what it's all about!

With my companion, Elder N

Zona San Felipe

With Elder P

Centro de Lima

Before and after "sweeping" the shoes
Dear Familia,                                                                                                                                                    
So this time, I was a good American and remembered about Thanksgiving the day of the holiday! Sad to say, but the 4th of July passed me by these last couple of years and I remembered halfway through the day. I was thankful to be here. Sometimes members mention (I hope exaggerating) some of the strange and worrisome changes that are happening in the states, and it makes me grateful to have that anchor, to be able to look to the gospel plan and know that all of the other "afanes" en esta vida are temporary, passing, and that they won´t affect the big picture if we are faithful to the covenants we have made.

I don´t think I can accurately describe the levels of poverty that I´ve seen here, but yes, that´s the well off part of my area in the pictures. Some of the people we teach hardly have what you could call a house, but they are willing to set aside a part of their day to listen to us. We are so incredibly grateful for them. Our apartment by comparison is middle of the road in terms of the people that go to church with us. The owner wanted to charge us more for the hot water heater we have and so we disconnected it...summer is coming (we hope). Just one more motivation to do exercises in the mornings. haha. Our apartment is large, but like you said, unfinished. It´s very normal not to have more than just a concrete floor. If it´s your own house, you might save up and put in tile, but if you are just renting it out, no. The last assistant to finish out in the field actually came here to finish, and he ended up buying an electric pan like the one you use for chicken patties, so we use that to cook just about everything.

Before I forget, thank Grandma A for the birthday card, they are so great and I´m glad they are in good spirits!

I haven´t received a Christmas package yet, but that doesn´t mean that it isn´t in the offices right now waiting for delivery. I sent a package the day of changes, November 4th. I sent it with the contact that you sent to me, I think his name is Pedro? Yeah, I paid the shipping and everything, so it shouldn´t require any extra charges. Go ahead and ask Vanessa if she sent it on after getting to SLC.

This week we kept going with Hermano L and Hermana R. I don´t know if I´ve told you about them. Elder N found them with his other companion and they have a big family that lives nearby. They are a young couple and all of L´s family lives close, all young families. R and L listen really well to all the things we teach them and have been slowly getting ready to get married in December. They are fun and different and have two little daughters, F and M (10 and 3).

This week we taught them all about the gospel of Jesus Christ and we started working on helping them to recognize the spirit. One of the things that has been most emphasized recently is that the investigators should be truly ready for their baptisms, not just have a more or less desire, but to understand the doctrine and be willing to take that step to follow Christ not for the next 3 months, not until I lose my job, not until there is some sort of crisis, but until the end of my life. We have been preparing them for that kind of covenant, and they are gaining a little bit of an understanding. They aren´t 100% ready yet, but they say that they want to continue listening, and they came to church again yesterday without us passing by to pick them up, so I´d say they are taking a liking. We are so excited and happy to have a family coming to the branch and to prepare them for this decision! I think if more missionaries knew what it was like to prepare an entire family, there would be a lot more families joining the church.

I love you all, I know that the family is the center of this plan and that if we dedicate the time to make our family celestial here on earth, then eventually we´ll get to the other side of the vale in family again. Have a great week, and look for ways to strengthen the family!


Elder Nelson

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