Saturday, December 27, 2014

Qué necesito hacer para prepararme para un bautismo?

Dear Familia,                                                                                                      

Things are going great this week, not much really to report that I can’t tell you in the call this week. I have been thinking and even though I love Kolby a ton and can´t wait to see him, If we can´t organize having a little bit of our calls this Thursday together then it doesn´t bother me too much, it is looking like it would take a ton of coordinating, and I don´t want it to be a stressful occasion.  I will probably be calling more around 5:45 Lima time, just to be sure. We are going to the Branch President´s house to do the call, but we are going at the same time as the other two elders, and so I’m not sure exactly in what order we will be calling. I figure I´ll give the priority to Elder T (this is his first call...after 5 months). 

As for Lima Christmas traditions, there’s turkey for dinner, and hot chocolate to drink, with Fruitcake (panetón), they sing Christmas carols in church, but there´s only like two songs that they sing outside of the Christmas hymns, so Christmas radio gets a little stale. They sing "Navidad, Navidad, Hoy es Navidad" to the tune of jingle bells, and they also sing feliz navidad. There´s a lot of versions of the two of them but that´s about all there is. I am so grateful for the English language and the many many songwriters that help us enjoy a variety of secular and religious Christmas melodies!

R and L are starting to take a greater interest in the baptism we have planned for the 10th of January. When we first put the date, they were a little skeptical. They didn’t want to say no, because they really do see themselves in the church in the future, but they didn’t want to say yes either because they aren´t sure about entering so soon. This last week, we had a family night with them and after watching the Finding Faith in Christ video, Hermana R started to ask questions about baptism, the first real interest she´s shown in a few weeks. She asked about if baptism has to be done laying back into the water and then if they were to get baptized if it would be the three of them on the same day. The last question she asked is what has us all excited. She asked "Qué necesito hacer para prepararme para un bautismo?" AHHH! It was so exciting to see that she is starting to accept the idea and try to prepare herself. She is really the key in this family because she had the most doubts due to her heavy Catholic background.

This week is D´s baptism. He has come a long way since having just a simple desire to be baptized without any real understanding of the ordinance to now when he understands why and a lot of the requirements to get to that point. His mom went to the mountain region this last week because his grandma is sick, and usually that would have meant that he wouldn´t go to church because being deaf it´s not really that much of a draw to him without his mom who can explain things without him having to read lips. We passed by his house in the morning and asked him to come to church with his brother and at first he said no, but then he said he would come to show that he wants to be baptized. He came and even stayed after his brother left after the second hour. Hopefully the branch members catch on that they need to help him become an independent church member to keep him active.

Tell dad that when I read about Cuba it reminded me of the conference we had with Elder Christiansen a year and a half ago. He talked about organizing the first branch in Cuba and visiting the first time with the Book of Mormon to tell them that it was their manual, the second time he came, they were all in suits and ties. He asked what made the difference from the first to the second visit, and they said that in the first visit they saw that a general authority wears a suit and tie, so when he came again, they already knew that that is what the Lord expects in His church. We have so much to learn from the general authorities, and sometimes we take for granted to lessons we can learn in how they interact with people when they visit different parts of the church in the world.

I love you all, can´t wait to talk on Thursday and I hope that everything is going well on Christmas prep. Try not to spoil Melissa before I get home, I´ve got to do my share as well :).


Elder Nelson

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Perseverance and Signs

Dear Familia,                                                                                                                                                              
I might go to the temple before Christmas, but I doubt it. The thing is that the temple here in Lima will be closing in the new year, but we don´t know exactly when, probably sometime in January. I hope to go, but if I don´t, I went during my last few weeks in the offices as well.

As for Elder H, well of course he remembers Kolby, so do Elder T (lived in the same house I think he said) and Elder F. Elder T says that his parents want to contact you just to say hi and swap stories; they´re from Spokane Valley. I´d say that if Kolby is making as few errors as he says then maybe he could be even more advanced than them.  The three of them are still with their trainers except Elder F. They speak rapidly but make mistakes, which really is a good combination, because you can´t really teach speed, but you can correct errors. Elder H says that Kolby and him always played against the Latin districts in soccer and usually won haha, he also said about some plans to go to a Sounders game in 2016/2017 (he´s from Bothell), sounds like he made a lasting friendship.

Wow, Colin is already home, I think S P should probably be pretty close too, if not already home. I think the wave of my friends should already be starting to come home, and maybe come April/May it'll be at the height of the movement. There´s a lot to think about between now and then, but I´m staying focused during the week.

You shouldn´t need shots or water purifying tablets to come to Perú. Water obviously is only safe when it´s bottled or boiled, but it´s about 1 sol (30 cents) for a bottle, and theirs stores on every block to buy from. Shots...well there´s not really mosquitos in Lima, there are...but very few and according to the doctors before the mission, it´s well outside the malaria zone.

Well this week we had a great experience and a frustrating one, but determination to fix things up. The great experience was that R and L got married. Wahoo! We left the area at 9:30 to get to center of Lima at 11:00 for the wedding. They went through the line to get to the register clerk and signed their papers, Elder N and I were the witnesses so we signed next and then the ceremony of the actual wedding happened. The frustrating experience happened later that night when we passed by their house to pick up a piece of cake to go...their family members, whom they had told that they don´t drink, brought alcohol, and they were already a little tipsy by the time we got there. It was so disappointing to know that they willingly, albeit with pressure, chose to disobey a commandment they had just learned. So no baptism this week, or next. We are hoping for maybe the 27th or in January. We have a plan this week to visit them frequently and help them to see the error and get ready for a different baptismal date. They got over one hump and baptism is next!

We are also teaching D. He´s Deaf, but learned to speak through 13 years of therapy. He´s also 22 years old and the son of a member. His dad isn´t a member, but his brother and sister are, and they have been really supportive in being able to help him come to church and listen to us. I don´t know if I told you about W in Tahuantinsuyo, but the sisters there taught and baptized a deaf/mute there too and I ended up learning a few signs related to gospel things. Well, for a good reason, because now I am learning more signs than ever! D is also preparing for the 27th of this month and he understands everything soooo well. About 4 years ago he decided to start reading the bible and studying "how to be good" as he terms it, and now we have him reading the Book of Mormon and watching videos online. The good thing is that he reads lips incredibly well and while he isn´t the most patient of investigators, he catches all of what we teach. He´s awesome and it´s so cool to see someone that hasn´t understood the gospel before outside of a few basic explanations or videos from Easter week come to understand the great plan that´s been prepared for us!

I love you all, I am super happy to be here and to be helping people realize their goals to have happy families and to recognize the help they receive from their Father in Heaven.


Elder Nelson

Also, I set up the Christmas tree you sent and took some pictures :) Enjoy

Monday, December 8, 2014

Obedience Brings Happiness...It's the Only Way!

Dear Familia,                                                                                                                                                                     

We too got to see the Christmas devotional, however, we were out teaching just before and got to the stake center late (we are the furthest except for one companionship) just in time to catch from 8:30 forward. It was inspiring and definitely a golden opportunity to bring investigators and less actives to see it.

This week we did a work visit for the afternoon on Friday and Elder H came to my area. Yes, Elder Hthat Kolby knew in the CCM in Mexico. He as well as Elder F and Elder T are in my zone and well, with three of us from Washington, there´s quite a bit to joke about. Elder H has the same time as Kolby does obviously, and it was a good visit to have with the branch council and also a couple of lessons to people that we haven´t been able to teach in a while. We taught this lady that we have been teaching for a while, but she just doesn´t seem to want to make decisions. She has a boyfriend who is a trucker, and he comes into town maybe once a week or every two weeks, and obviously she can´t get baptized if that´s happening. She has a super strong desire to be baptized, she´s reading the book of Mormon actively, she hasn´t come to church in a couple of weeks because he has been in town on Sunday for some weeks. He´s from a different church and honestly I don´t think I´ve met another adult as childish as him. He says that he can´t get married with her because that´s a lot of work, he sometimes makes up sicknesses while he´s on the road so she will send him money and worry about him, when she calls about what we are teaching her, he says that she´s only doing it because we are two young men (she’s around 55). Well, they fought over the phone again the other day and on top of that, her daughter who is 19 ran away leaving her two year old son behind so that she could do what she wants, drinking and hanging out with a bunch of questionable men. We testified strongly that all of these things come from not keeping the law of chastity in the first place, but it still doesn´t seem to have gotten to her. I just don´t know why people don´t understand that keeping the commandments is the only way that they are ever going to find happiness. Well, that´s kind of been the theme for this week, admonishing and warning people of the consequences of sin. We are still working with R and L, they should be getting married this weekend and then baptized the next week hopefully.

I love you all, sorry for the short week, but I had to devirus my companions USB and do a few other informes for the #HeistheGift campaign. Hopefully next week it´ll calm down a bit. Next week, I´ll try to tell you when I will be calling so we can coordinate with Kolby.


Elder Nelson

Thursday, December 4, 2014

#ÉleslaDádiva (#HeistheGift)

Dear Familia,                            

There´ll be 45 minutes to Skype for Christmas, and I´d love to Skype at the same time with Kolby, I think that it´s just as easy as the the Mother´s day call, when I connected with Braden and Ashley, Darci and Joe. I think I just sign in and then start a call to the two different lines. Hopefully that should work out. Skype doesn´t really have problems going over foreign lines, just with slow connections. The package I sent isn´t necessarily a Christmas package, it´s all of the recuerdos (souvenirs) that I´ve received or bought over the time I´ve been here, so sure you can open it when it gets there. I haven´t decided to whom everything will go yet, but there’s a present for Mom that should match the great room furniture well...I think haha now that I think about it, I really don´t know if the house is still standing anymore what with Melissa home alone sometimes. I already opened the Christmas package here, so I can´t really stop ya´ll from opening it there right? Just don´t go distributing stuff yet, I think I´ll have to explain a few things first. I have a full list of what was in the package, so there shouldn´t be anything lost in shipping.

Elder S (in the offices, who we are corresponding with over travel plans) studied in an English institute before the mission. He´s self-conscious about his English, but he defends himself just fine. I don´t know how I could get you from the offices. I know that if I were to meet you in the airport, I would go as if I were leaving the country, but just to meet you there. It would depend on the time your flight gets in. The dinner with President usually ends at 6 pm, and then the missionaries come back to the offices and the North Americans wait an hour before going to the airport. If that´s how we do it, I could come to the airport and pick you up then I could hail a taxi to get us where ever we are staying. If not, I don´t know how I could send a taxi unless I send a member to the airport to pick you up and bring you to the offices. It all depends on timing. I have a mountain of plans for Lima, some like visiting converts and others like going to the center to a marketplace. I´ll be prepared to fill whatever time you give me! Will it just be you and Dad or Melissa too? I have a ward in mind to attend on Sunday that could go well. That way we don´t miss the sacrament.

This week went by flying, it seems like there´s more to do than ever, and the area is so big that we have to plan well every day to keep from spending too much time walking from one appointment to another. We have a few families that we are teaching and starting to integrate into the ward. R and L are doing great, they have been to church 3 times now, and their daughter F keeps asking them every Saturday night to get everything ready to go to church. We love this family and right now they are taking care of some of the paperwork for their wedding. If all goes well, they should be getting married on the 12th and baptized on the 20th. We hope that before then, they get a stronger desire to be baptized, obviously that’s one of the keys to helping them join the church. Right now, they want to be members, but they don´t know about just yet, they say that the church is in their plans but they want it to "Nacer de ellos" basically let it be born of them the desire to go and join the church. We are helping them along the way with experiences that should help them to realize the huge change that´s already happened in their lives.

As for everything else, there was a multizone conference this week with president and I didn´t have to prepare a talk...until the end when he announced that it was the last multizone until February and that those who are finishing in the next two changes were invited to give their testimonies. I got up and it was like all of the changes that I have gone through in the mission just hit me, I didn´t realize and still don´t recognize fully what Heavenly Father has done to change me in these last two years, but for a moment, He made me see, and I bore testimony of it. I felt moved by the mercy that He has for me and for the many, many plans that He had in mind that I didn´t even comprehend. I´ve felt more purpose in these last two years than in the 18 years before, and for that purpose I give thanks. Now I just hope that I can figure out what kind of purpose I am supposed to have afterwards. According to my conference questions, I just need to wait and see, because He reveals everything in His own time and according to his own purposes.

I love you all, and I know that He as well has many many purposes  to share with you. Pray to know in what way you can serve and it will be revealed what purpose you have at this specific time in life.

Elder Nelson
P.S. the church bought the Youtube channel on the 7th of December, go support He is the Gift on all of the social media you can! #HeistheGift    #ÉleslaDádiva the video is in English and Spanish at and at Go watch it!

Stretching after eating rice....silly boy with a silly camera!