Vina Del Mar, Chile

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Week 18: Feliz Navidad!

Buenas Dias!

This week was a long week with low success. But I am hoping this next week will be better. We have changes on Wednesday and I have a feeling that I am leaving my sector. Anyways onto the week.

Monday we had a crazy moment when we were on the bus which includes road rage, a drunk guy driving, a hit and run, and fights. I am going to try and send the video of me telling the story.

Tuesday not many people were home. We taught a couple recent converts and then K our convert. Not much really happened.

Wednesday was Christmas eve but in Chile it is basically Christmas because they open their presents at midnight the 24th. We had a BBQ with the family that we have FHE's with. They gave us presents (Socks and Deodorant) which was awesome. Then we went caroling with the familia M. Everyone was wearing a Santa hat but I didn't have one so I wore my stocking :) After that we went to the M (Tata J) house for dinner and Christmas. I got a tie and gave Cristian sprite, skittles, brownie mix, and a little game for the secret Santa. It was fun and I ate tons of food.

Thursday was a great day because it was Christmas! We visited a couple people then went and skyped with our family! It was super wonderful! I just wish I had a little bit more than 40 minutes to talk with them but it was still great to see and talk to them. 

Friday was a long day because I was sick to my stomach because I had eaten so much food the previous 2 days haha. In the afternoon I felt better but no one was answering their doors and the few who did didn't want anything. It was a discouraging day.

Saturday was a long day as well. We were on interchanges so I was in another sector with another missionary. I was just really frustrated with the Elder because he had us stay at peoples houses and we just weren't being efficient with our time. But we almost put a baptismal date with someone which is awesome :)

Sunday was a day of Miracles. We haven't found new investigators in 3 weeks so we wanted to find new investigators. We worked all afternoon and night looking for new investigators but couldn't find any! We said a sincere prayer and then went back to work. We still didn't have success but we kept working hard. Finally to end our day we encountered an elderly couple and they agreed to have us come back and to read the Book of Mormon. Miracles follow Diligence!!

My spiritual thought for this week does not derive from scripture but it derives from some talks I have been reading and listening to. This past week I was leaving the house and being obedient, not to go out and get stuff done, but just to say that I was doing what I was supposed to until the day was over. I was doing this because I was super tired, but that isn't what the lord wants. He wants us to change and become better and to have the desire to do it, not just to do it. So I want to invite all of you, as well as my self, as we make new years resolutions, to not only work on changing a bad habit or desire, but to learn and change so that you love doing the better action. I promise that I will do it, now I just pray that you all will too.

I love you all! Stay Golden!
Elder Nielson

Yum BBQ!
Oh Yeah! BBQ with good companions and good people

It's all fum and games until you inhale smoke!

Christmas with M's

Tata J

Gift Exchange with C

Gift exchange with C

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Week 17: Wolf Gangs and Street Cred

Buenas Dias!!

This week was a good one and went by super fast!

Tuesday was a pretty good day. We went and did service for the B Family and then had lunch with them. We had Pastel de Papas (Potatoes and meat at the consistency of chicken pot pie) and I really enjoyed it. We had a lesson with hermana C and had a lesson with F (Santa) and it went well.

Wednesday was a LONG hot day. After the district meeting and lunch we went out to find future investigators because we didn't have any appointments. It was hot and no one was answering their doors. The cool part was we got to meet A, (Tata J grandson) who just got home from his mission on Monday. He was chill and is super pumped about missionary work still. We ended the day teaching Land K.

Thursday was a good day. We had a decent amount of lessons and some cool moments. As we were teaching a less active member his nephew who is like 4 ran to the back door, dropped his pants, and started peeing into the back yard! IT was hilarious! Thursday was also our day of "Street Cred." We were walking down the street when we ran into a wolf gang. (A group of dogs from 4 to 16 that guard/Protect each others territory together). The wolf gang of about 6 started barking at us and one tried to attack us but I lifted up my hand which had a huge rock in it (Kids, don't ever leave home without it) which scared all the dogs into their yards, and the leader dog ran scampering under his fence. After that we had to go down that street 3 more times and every time we walked by all of the dogs scattered and hid under their fences. Street cred achieved! The next item of street cred was when  we were walking home. When we were walking home a little boy, who is probably like 6 or 7, who we play soccer with for about 30 seconds every time we pass by him, saw us and called us "Tio" (Uncle) which is what young people call older people who are your super good friends. It was awesome :)

Friday was a pretty good day. We went out and worked and taught some less actives but we didn't have tons of success because no one was home or would answer the doors. At night we had a ward Christmas activity and F was Santa :) It was a fun night :)

Saturday was pretty good, I mean we got lots of food! We went and taught Tata J and then ate completos with them. After that we went to check on L and K. V (The little sister of K) Had had a birthday party so she gave us cake and then we had a good lesson.

Sunday was a great day! At church L and K got confirmed and Tata J got the Aaronic Priesthood. It was great to see all the converts progressing! After church we went to lunch at the M house. I felt really comfortable (It was the 3rd time we have eaten there) so I talked a lot which gave me a good chance to be funny. I made them die laughing which made me feel great. Then I gave the best spiritual thought I think I have given on my whole mission and they really liked it. Then we visited Tata J
which was good.

This week I was reading in 1st Nephi and marking diligence, obedience, and commands of the lord. I love the first 2 lines of chapter 19 Verse 1 "And it came to pass that the Lord commanded me, wherefore I did." We need to have the same attitude. When we have a commandment from the lord we must do. I know that if we do we will receive the blessing of heaven in our lives.

I love you all, Stay golden!!
Elder Nielson
Elder Cropper and Elder Nielson with Santa

District 2

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 16: Bautismo

Buenas Dias! :)

This week was a great week because every day that passed made life that much less stressful :)

Tuesday was a stressful day because I was in charge. We were on interchanges so it was another missionary and I in my sector. It was stressful and pushed me a lot but we did well. We taught 7 lessons in one day, which is like 3 to 4 days worth of work. Then we had a lesson with an investigator who found out that I love completos and that we have Mondays free, so he invited us to his house some P-day to make completos, what a bro :)

Wednesday was good as well. We had lessons which went well and then we had a special one with Hermana C. She is a mostly deaf member and she loves missionaries. Anyways she got E' Cropper and I gifts (not Christmas gifts, just random gifts). She got us mugs of our soccer teams. To explain, there are 5 main pro teams in our part of Chile and everyone always asks what team you are from (support). As a missionary you just have to choose a team and go with it. I am from "The U" (The University of Chile) so she got me a "U" mug. It was a good day.

Thursday was a long stressful day because we were getting everything prepped for the baptism. We filled out all the paperwork, cleaned the font, and took care of some details.

Friday was a good day. We had the Christmas conference where we got gifts from the mission (A tin of cookies, a pen drive, and a hard cover copy of the Book of Mormon to read and mark) and lots of learning. We learned that starting next year the mission is going to change giving missionaries more control and less guidelines (like the next step of PMG). We had practices, which is kind of nerve wracking when an assistant to the president is sitting right next to you. After everything we got a big delicious lunch and went  back to our sector. L had her baptismal interview and Passed!

Saturday was good. We passed by lots of less actives, inviting them to church. After that we taught P, and 11 year old boy and he said he wanted to come to church (but then he didnt) and then we taught tata J who is doing well.

Sunday was a great day. Tata J came to church, the ward had a primary program which was super cute, and L and K got baptized!!!! It was awesome but also stressful because I had to give a short talk for L and then I had to give a 15 minute presentation to the ward by myself, without Elder Cropper there to save me, while they changed their clothes. We ended the day with a FHE with the B family and that was a great end to the day.

Spiritual thought for the week. We have all been given talents and gifts from God. As we know from the parable of the talents it is our duty to grow our talents and to gain more. It is our duty to figure out which gifts God has blessed us with and to grow them, while gaining the others. I encourage you all to read D&C 46:11-33 and Moroni 10:8-18 and look for which gifts you have been given. Then pick one that you would like to have and grow them, develop them. I know that if you do that you will become a better tool in Gods hands and that he will give you an opportunity to use that gift.

Stay Golden! I love you all!! :)

Elder Nielson

Christmas Tie

A member gave us fixing for hamburgers YUMMY!

My "U" mug

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Week 15: A Murphy's Law sort of Week!

Buenas Dias!

This week was a tough one, by far the toughest one I have had so far. But we need these kind of weeks to learn and to grow.

Tuesday I had an interchange with Elder Call our district leader in his sector. It was a pretty good day. We had lunch and then some studies and went and taught some lessons. We walked a lot, but the lessons went pretty well. I got sunburned pretty bad, but oh well :)

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are the days that made this week so difficult. They were emotionally taxing which was really hard and they are days that I definitely don't want to relive ever again. Mission work wise they were good days, but these days my comp and I had lots of discussions, we discussed what we needed to improve, what we needed to be more obedient in, and stuff like that. This made us kind of down, and after a moment of frustration with each other we had a good heart to heart talk where we both almost cried because we found out how each other felt. It was good to have this talk and helped us feel better :)

After these tough days we began Saturday with a little more Animo. In the morning we taught Diegeo (Lali's grandson) for an hour and basically taught him everything he needs to know to get baptized. After that we played soccer with him for a half hour until mutual started. After lunch and studies we went and taught Lali. In the lesson she said she was going to attend church which was great, but then we found out some information that makes getting her baptized a little more complicated. We now have to get our mission president involved in the process. Everything just seems to be as hard as it could possible be. Thanks Murphy for your law.

Sundays on the mission are always stressful. Trying to get investigators to church, making sure they have friends, and making sure they know where to go, all while maintaining a good relationship with the members is difficult, especially because some members get offended easily. After church and lunch we had studies and lessons. We taught Tata Juan who is doing well, but is feeling kind of sick from Dialysis. 

Monday morning we played soccer with the ward and it was super fun. I had a blast and did well! They were all surprised that a "Gringo" could play like I did ha ha :) It was a great morning and I feel like I impressed some of the members which was good :)

All in all it was a good week with a really rough patch. I'm glad that such a long week is over and I'm ready to start a better week :)

Love you all! Stay golden! :)

Elder Nielson
Local Gas Station Market

Pictures drawn by investigator of Elder Cropper and Taylor

Picture of Taylor and girl. Taylor said that those are his freckles :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 14: A Michael Buble' Christmas

Buenas Dias!

This week was a pretty good one. I was suffering from a "Man-Cold." but I persevered even though I didn't have my mommy there to make it better :( But we are definitely getting into the Christmas spirit! We bought a Christmas tree and decorated it with ornaments we made out of paper haha :) We jammed to the only Christmas music we have "Michael Bublé Christmas" haha but it was great :)

Tuesday was good! We encountered a new investigator named Matias who seems pretty interested. It was nice to encounter another new investigator. After that we had a lesson with Lali. It was awesome because she was awake and animated and smiling, unlike the tired, sad, droopy Lali who is normally there. She talked about church and members who called her to check on her. It is awesome to see the gospel changing her life for the better. I'm also forever grateful to the members who called her. Member support makes a huge difference in missionary work.

Wednesday was a good day as well. We taught Lali and she is still doing great! She had a couple other lessons which went well. My throat started feeling better but my body was exhausted. 

Thursday was pretty good. We had lunch with a member and it is the most I have eaten in forever! We each got half a pan of lasagna and it was a ton of food! After that we met with a lot of less active members and we taught Matias some English (Everyone in Chile wants to learn English). After all the lessons we went and got completos and ended the day.

Friday was pretty good, it was a roller coaster ride of emotions. We had a 3rd companion for part of the day because his companion had a meeting. He is from Bolivia and it was great Spanish practice. We were all talking and I felt good, but then we had a lesson with Matis and I felt like I Botched it so I was feeling pretty frustrated. But then I got a Christmas package from home! We put the gifts under the tree. I also got letters from my teachers quorum and I loved them :) Then we ended by celebrating Thanksgiving (A day late) at the Riversos because they wanted to celebrate a gringo holiday with us :) We ate pizza and had a great time. I always love it there because I feel comfortable so I am myself and make them laugh.

Saturday was a good day. All of our appointments fell through... Puro exito! (Pure success) But we stopped by some less actives and they appreciated the visit. The best part of the day was the night. My companion and I don't really like to do street contacts but we were challenged to do 4 on Saturday. We did 5 and I started the 1st one! I started 3 of the 5 and participated in all of them. I don't mind contacts anymore :) It was a good day because I can honestly say I completed my motto and had "-No Regrets."

Sunday was a frustrating day. None of our investigators came to church. Then after church we had to stay after because of some ward drama that has to do with our (Elder Cropper and Myself) secret assignment. I don't think I have mentioned this before but Elder Cropper and I are here in Villa Dulce on a specific (kinda secret) mission from president because of some stuff that happened with a family here. Anyways things were getting pretty delicate so we had to stay around for awhile. We then ended the day with a FHE with a family. I will give the whole lowdown of our assignment next week.

My favorite scripture right now is Alma 48:17 which says if we are like Moroni then Satan will have now power over us. Alma 48:11-13 teaches us how Moroni was and how we need to be in order to overcome Satan. He forgot himself and worked for the well being of his people. I know that if we overcome the natural man, or in other words, forget ourselves and serve others, Satan will have no power over us and we will receive a new level of blessings.

Overall it was a great week! I love you all and hope you are all golden! :)

Elder Nielson
Fun with Graffiti

Take me to your leader!!
Our Christmas tree.

My first mission homemade ornament!