Vina Del Mar, Chile

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Week 69: Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad... Ch ch ch ch ch... Feliz navidad... ch ch ch ch ch


Buenos Dias Todos!

Hows it going there in the good old U.S. of A? I have heard that it is pretty cold and am a little bit Jealous. In this moment I am suffering one of the worst sunburns I have received in Chile with a little bit of sweat to cool it off ;)

This last week was a very standard week with a couple miracles that added a little bit of happiness to the routine :)

A Jorge a Day (A George a Day):
Last Monday after P-day we left to go work. Not having any appointments planned we decided to go visit some less active converts and to contact on the way. On the way the spirit told me to contact a man that I saw. As I started walking towards him he started walking towards me. He took out his headphones and started talking to me. At first he began to talk about how we are gringos and I was worried that he was going to start ranting about how the Mormon church is a church of the gringos. But to our surprise he started talking to us about Joseph Smith and The book of Mormon. In his own words he said "La historia de Jose Smith es Bakan, y el Libro de Mormon, tambien es Bakan" Translated that would be "The history of Joseph Smith is Fetching awesome, and the book of Mormon, is fetching awesome as well!" 

Come to find out he was an old Investigator who didn't get baptised because his family is Very Catholic but now that doesn't matter to him because he wants to continue with his life and do what he knows is right (He is 41). It really was a miracle and was amazing. It was a great testimony that God blesses us, because after 2 weeks of contacting like crazy, working hard, and not finding anything, he gave us someone who is more than prepared. He already knew everything. Teaching him is just paperwork basically. He is going to get baptised the 10th of January. 

M is also going to get baptised with her son the 30th of December! She received an answer to the book of Mormon and her prayers and has overcome many important trials to prove her testimony. Please pray for her so that everything turns out okay :)

This week we worked hard and took out the trash, teaching, contacting, and planning like crazy. I hope that the miracles keep coming.

A shout out to everyone who sent me a letter wishing me Merry Christmas. Thank you for your love, support, and testimonies! I hope that you have a fantastic new year! :)

I am stoked to talk this Friday! Woohoo! I have 40 minutes (short, but we will make the most of it) I will be calling at about 4 Chilean time. Please have questions, comments, and everything ready so we don't spend any of the call in awkward silence ha ha :)

Well only 3 days until Friday, But Smile, remember who you are, stay golden, and remember the reason that This season is important and choose the present that we are going to give to our salvador to consagrate our heart and mind :)

I love you all!

Love,
Elder Nielson :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 68: Teaching in the Muslim Mosque

Buenos Dias Todos!!

This week was a good week. Lots of work and talking to people, but lots of personal progress going on. 

Bueno, this week we didn't get to teach many lessons. We had lots of appointments with new investigators but none of them were home so we spent a lot of time in the street talking to people and looking for some good investigators. But it has been good because our work ethic has increased, our intensity to find people has increased, and our desire to help others has increased as well :) We are hoping that this next week is a good week to find lots of good investigators. 

This week we had a replica which is where we present the meeting we had with president, to our zone. It was very good and spiritual, and teaching the things to the other missionaries helped me understand a lot as well. So if any of you need a boost in testimony, go do your home teaching visits and teach, and you will learn so much and feel the spirit. It was a very good replica and we even made everyone breakfast. French toast, muffins, and juice was our 5 star continental breakfast. Not gonna lie, we are the best zone ever :)

The biggest part/highlight of this week was the presentation that we gave in the Muslim mosque. There was a cultural/religious meeting to talk about a theme with representatives from other religions. We got there and there was a representative of the Catholic Church (Pastor and college professor of theology in the university of La Serena), a 7th day Adventist (Anciano in the church and Lawyer), A representative of the Islamic Religion from the middle east, and us (19 and 21 Year old Missionaries). All in all it was really cool. I had to sit in front of a crowd of about 40 people and then had to give the presentation. I called my comp up to help me (We practiced it together) and gave the talk. The theme was "Be solidity with who, to what point, and in change of what." It went well but the funny part was in the end we ended with "In the Name of Jesus Christ Amen" And the crowd was awkwardly silent for a couple seconds and then some people said Amen. It was really funny actually. Then we listened to the other speakers and in the end they asked a question and I had to answer alone. 

The question was "If an atheist gives his whole life doing good, will he inherit the Kingdom of God?" 

The Catholic Priest said he didn't know, but it was most likely that he would achieve the kingdom of God.
The Adventist lawyer answered the question without answering (Like a good politician).
The Islamic Representative said that they would because in Islamic religious history a prostitute once gave a starving dog some water to drink and was saved in the kingdom of God.

After hearing all of those answers it was kind of intimidating to prepare to answer the question with the truth. I finally understood the situation of Jacob against Sherem in the Book of Mormon, or any prophet that had to deal with and Antichrist. I answered like this.

"Luckily I'm not God, so I don't have to judge, but we do know that Jesus Christ taught us by his example and teachings that we must make certain promises with God and live according to those promises to reach the Kingdom of God. Some of those steps being, faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Living true to those promises your whole life. Be it a christian, ashiest, or whatever person, one must complete with these to inherit the Kingdom of God. Like in the Bible when it says that "Unless a man be born of water and of fire he cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." I then talked about the need for everyone to have a chance to live those steps and that anyone who lived them could be saved, and anyone who didn't couldn't.

It felt awesome to testify and say something that most people find harsh or egotistic, but Knowing that they are true made it an amazing experience. It was also interesting to find out that we are one of the only religions that claim to be the only correct religion. All of the others said that it didn't matter what church or what religion. Crazy to think  how the world is changing. I'm just glad to be apart of the Church of Jesus Christ restored again to the earth, the only true church with the power, authority, and organization necessary to obtain the salvation. Can you say that about your life and path? 

That's about it for this week. The M and her son are still good for their baptisms this week, we are hoping that everything keeps going well with them :) 

Some announcements. On Christmas we are planning to call around 4 o'clock (I'm pretty sure that is like 1:00 in Idaho). And this next week we have a Christmas activity with some of the zones on Tuesday so instead of writing on Monday I will be writing on Tuesday :)

I love you all, Stay Golden!

Love,
Elder Nielson :)
Muslim Mosque where meeting was held

Presenting at Conference
Presenters at conference

Fleite Friends

Fleite Want to be's

Saying Goodbye to a friend
Fort Lambert

Fire Power Fort Lambert District Date

Companion with the Choking force

Penguins at Fort Lambert

Jumping off Wall at Fort Lambert

District at Fort Lambert

Popeye the Taylor Man

Zone Replica

 
 
 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Week 67: My Walk with God!


Buenos Dias Todos!

This week was a good week with very few changes! I am still with my companion and in the zone of 16 missionaries only 2 missionaries got changed! It is going to be a good change because we have a great zone :) Actually one of the new missionaries is Elder M who is an elder that was in my district when I was district leader :) So I already know him and he is doing very well :)

Bueno, The funny moment of the week was during a lunch with some less active members. We were reading the scriptures about the need to pray to be strengthened, to bless our families, and to overcome temptation. The son who is 11 wasn't paying much attention so we asked him lots of questions to make him start paying attention. We asked him why it was important to pray, and after many answers we told him it was important to pray to overcome temptations and asked him "It is important to overcome the temptations of who?" and after thinking for a moment his parents started giving him clues "The arrow headed tail" "The long tail" (Both nicknames for the devil). And after hearing these clues the young man yelled out.... "MICKEY MOUSE!" HA HA HA we all started dying! His mom embarrassed asked why he would answer in such a way and he said "You said the long tail, and mickey has a long tail!" We died laughing and received new revelation. So for all of those at home, we want to invite you to pray to overcome the temptations of Mickey Mouse, because if not he will slowly lead you to everlasting misery ;)

Thank you mom for the presents! They are all sitting on the floor, waiting for us to put up a tree :) It really is amazing what presents can do to bump your happiness, even if the present is something like sticky notes ha ha :) And thank you for the music, we have been jamming out to Christmas music for the past couple days :)

We had a conference with President this week and it was very interesting. We didn't really receive that much guide on what president wanted us to do with the mission. He just taught us the similarities between Joseph in Egypt and Joseph Smith. Lots of missionaries were kind of confused on why, but it was good because even though the training didn't talk about all that much stuff I learned a lot from the Spirit. The spirit taught me the need to go out and give it everything, have no fear, and to take out the trash. I really had the desire to have more success and share with everyone. It was the beginning of a good change of heart that will definitely help me more in the mission :)

Our investigators are good! Myriam is going to get baptized with her son this month and she loves church and class and the members :) We also found a young man who is awesome and is mostly gringo so he speaks English and everything. It is pretty weird teaching in English, but it is exciting as well :) The family E is also doing well but need prayers to have a change of heart. We had a great lesson yesterday about the influence that the gospel could have on the family. The dad analyzes everything too much and the lessons become answering an onslaught of doubts instead of letting the spirit testify that the message is true. But we talked about the proclamation to the world, and he only had 1 small doubt that had nothing to do with anything, so we answered it and were able to have a spiritual lesson about the changes that could happen in his family by following the guide provided to us by a prophet of God. It was really good but your prayers would be appreciated.

But the best experience of the week by far was definitely my Saturday night. After a lesson I was kind of frustrated with my companion for some of the things that he had said. So I decided to think. We had a half hour walk to make it back to the house and it was dark with the stars out so it was a great time to think. I decided to think for a little bit, but then just talk with God. I talked to him about the day, how I felt, what I thought about the situation, what I wanted out of the situation. Then I got the impression, "But is it what I want, or what God wants?" It hurt to accept the answer, but I know that the answer is what God wants. Like it the song "Savior may I learn to love thee" In the end it says it clearly "Lord, I will follow Thee." In that moment I realised I needed to calm down and to be more humble, to change, not because I was wrong in what I was doing, but because I was wrong in being so stubborn. In that moment I Knew that God was listening, caring for me, and guiding me. That in whatever moment I can talk to him and tell him anything, and he will listen and respond. That was my walk with God that changed my week and will continue to change my experience here in the mission :) I am so grateful for the blessings that I personally receive by living the small simple principles of the Gospel every day.

I love you all! I hope everything is just the bomb diggity!

Stay Golden, I love you all!

Love,
Elder Nielson :)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 66: I peed on a bus wheel, without shame... well actually with a lot of shame!!

Buenos Dias!

Sorry but this week I don't have much time to write, but I know that what I write is true and valuable (Like the Prophets in the Book of Mormon)

The investigators are good, progressing very slowly, being very difficult, but progressing. "M" a lady came to church and liked it. So if you could pray for her so that she can get baptised this month with her son that would be awesome :)

This week I had interchanges in a place called Andacollo. It is known as a place that has no success because it has a giant catholic church there and even has its own virgin (The Virgin of Andacollo) so it is known as the dead sector. Anyways I got there (After a 2 hour bus ride) and one of the rumors that I heard was true. I had heard that Andacollo Is like Lehi's dream. And it is true! I has a big tree by a river, with a shining silver hand rail that leads to the tree, with a giant catholic church nearby, and a river next to the path. I laughed out loud when I saw it because it literally was the dream :)

Anyways we had a great interchange! We took out the trash and found 2 new investigators, taught some others, and contacted some good families! It was amazing to see how much potential a dead sector really has if you work hard.

But anyways on the way back from Andacollo (A 2 hour ride) I had to go pee super duper bad! But there was no bathroom on the bus so I decided to hold it. I was about to pop so I decided to look out the window to see how far we are from the house and we weren't even moving!! We were stuck in traffic and were still like an hour from the house. I had to give up my dignity, walk in front of everyone, ask the driver if there was a place to pee, only to have him tell me to get off the bus and to pee on the wheel. It was sooooooo embarrassing! I almost died! And seeing the smirks I got from everyone when I got back on was the worst! But it was hilarious! and Horrible at the same time :)

Sorry the letter is so short, I have no time at all! 
Stay golden,
I love you all! :)
Elder Nielson

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 65: Holding down the Fort

Hola Buenos Dias Todos!! :)

This week was a great week of teaching, crazy activities, and funny thoughts :)

This week we went to a Muslim mosque (Spelling?). In Chile there are 3 different Islamic buildings and one (The only mosque) is in Coquimbo where I am serving :) Normally I might have gone there on a P-day but the Mohammad association there is putting on a religious convention which will be kind of like what President Eyering did in the Vatican about marriage except we are talking about loving and helping others. It will be interesting because besides the audience there will be a representative from the catholic church, the 7th day Adventist church, the Islamic religion, and my companion and I. It will be interesting because we will be the youngest people there talking about the theme, but I am pretty stoked :) When we went to go get details the lady gave us a tour of the Mosque and it was interesting, it was pretty cool, but it was weird to me to be in such a sacred and religiously important building and not have an overwhelming feeling of the spirit. It made me realize that I am really grateful for the temples and the spirit that I feel when I am there :)

This week we have been teaching a lot. There is a lady who is 29 who is awesome and not awesome at the same time. We have spiritual lessons with her, she gets really excited to do the stuff and then doesn't do it, so we have a lesson about the importance of acting on the knowledge that we have and she does it. But now she is saying that she is too busy to come to church on the weekends because she got back together with her boyfriend who lives about 2 hours away and that she is going to be there every weekend. We are just praying that they break up, because from what I have heard he doesn't treat her all that well so it would just be better for everyone if the broke up :) 

We also have been teaching a family that has been progressing. The mom is super awesome and believes and accepts and acts on everything that we teach. The son is cool, but is a little bit... Lets just say there is lots of space and cobwebs in his cranium, but he is willing to follow his parents example (he is 19). And the dad... Is super awesome, but super doubtful. He wants vision or scripture to answer everything. He looks for every doubt that could exist and wants us to have an answer for it. We can answer every doubt, but isn't accepting anything until he runs out of doubts. He is praying to receive an answer to the Book of Mormon, understands what the answer will be like, and is willing to act on that answer and follow the teachings of the Book of Mormon when he gets the answer. So if we could have your prayers that he can receive his answer, that would be awesome :)

This week a spiritual experience that I had was when I learned the kind of happiness that the gospel can bring us. The bishops dad has been an investigator for a long time because he has depression and sometimes falls into deep pits of depression making him lose will to do anything. But after listening to him we found out what he thinks God is like and what he thinks of himself. He thinks he is a failure, weak, idiot, who has done no good, and can do no good, knows what is right but is too weak to follow it. It made me sad to hear that, but at the same time, I knew that he didn't understand God, because I could feel the love that God has for him and how much he wants him to succeed. I know that God is our Heavenly Father, that he wants the best for us, and has given the way for us to achieve that. And loving us even more gave us a way that after falling short, failing the test, or giving in to a weak moment, we can come back to him. I know that he lives and loves us, I know that he wants to see us progress, and I know that for that reason he gives us ways out of trials, difficulty, sins, but at the same time doesn't personally take us out of those situations, he just reminds us of how we can take his way out.

This week I also had some fun moments!

Holding down the Fort!
This week I was on interchanges with an elder that has been in the mission for almost 4 and a half months and we worked really hard. After getting back to the apartment, having a good planning session, and having a spiritual discussion, we decided to have some fun. To have fun and stay within the rules in the mission takes a lot of creativity and short activities. Which is why we decided to flashback to the little kid days and make a fort out of blankets and sheets and to sleep in it. It was pretty legit and alot of fun :)

Last P-day after writing we decided to play Ultimate Frisbee and it was the bomb. We had 2 sisters that played with us as well and it was hilarious because they were more aggressive with each other than any of the Elders were. But we all enjoyed it and had a great time :)

Ha ha ha probably one of the most memorable moments of the week was when we were on a bus. We were on the bus from part of our sector to another part which was far away. While on the bus an old lady got on and someone got up to give her his seat. When he got up it ended up being a big buff black guy in fleite pants and a hat on backwards. He had a normal t-shirt on but was so buff that it was tight and looked like the sleeves were going to rip. I noticed that my companion was looking at him too. I leaned over and whispered
"He's Huge isn't he?!"
my comp replied "Yeah super huge, and black"
Me "And fliete too"
My comp "Yeah super fliete"
That's when I decided to confess something to my comp
"That's what I feel like when I wear my fliete pants"
Comp "Big and Black and Buff and Fliete"
me "Exactly"

Ha ha it was funny because it is how I feel when I have my fleite pants on. I just feel super gangster and awesome, but then I have to remember that I'm a little skinny white kid with sweats on ha ha :) But I thought it was hilarious :)


Anyways, Shout out to my dad! He is rocking his birthday this Saturday, so wish him a happy birthday! :)

But I love you all! Stay golden and love life!

Love,
Elder Nielson :)
 
Coquimbo Beach

Coquimbo Missionary beach Bum

Coquimbo by the Sea

Chinese Food with Elder W

Holding Down the Fort

Holding Down the Fort 2

Muslim Mosque

Muslim Mosque 2
 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Week 64: Mythbusters Saved me from Cold Showers


Buenos Dias!!!

This was a great week full of crazy experiences, teaching, eating, and A BAPTISM! :)

To start off we had a good week because it ended with a baptism :) On Sunday P got baptized and it was an incredible moment. After all the preparations and the opening ceremony we went to the baptismal font. I entered first and then helped her in. Then we were there with everyone watching us. It has always been  hard for me to know where to look while I am baptizing someone, I don't know if I should look off into the distance, look at the people, look at the paper that has the prayer on it to make sure I don't mess up, or If I should look at the person I am baptising. When I started saying the prayer I saw that P was looking at me, so I decided to look at her while saying the prayer. Best decision ever. As I looked into her eyes I could feel Gods love for her, I could feel her joy at making the decision, but most of all... I saw her spirit jumping for joy. Never have I felt so much love towards someone in the way of Godly Charity. It is an experience that has definitely changed my mission. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve the lord and help others experience this joy.

This week Not  only did we have spiritual experiences, but we also had some pretty awesome moments.

BLTCHP's:
Last P-day we went to the house (Well apartment) of a member that has a great view of the ocean and the beach and we made lunch. The week before I had made myself a BLT sandwich (Bacon Lettuce Tomato) and it was super good but I thought it missed something, and right I was. So after some serious thought and group counseling we decided that it also needed Cebolla (Onion), Huevo frito (Fried egg), and Palta (Avocado). So with the member we made Bacon Lettuce Tomato Onion Fried Egg Avocado Sandwiches and they were super delicious. We then played Uno and had a good time :)

I broke my first dish :(
Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon, the little dog laughed to see such sport, and Elder Nielson broke a dish not the spoon. Yeah the title says it all... After a year and 3 months in the mission I finally broke my first spoon. Personally knowing me I think that is a pretty good achievement to go a year and 3 months without breaking a single dish. But eventually it had to come to an end. We were in lunch and afterwords we were talking and I was talking very enthusiastically using my hands a lot. In the process I knocked over my cup and when it fell on its side it broke in half. The members were really nice and didn't make a big deal of it but I was pretty embarrassed. And I was kinda sad because I broke my streak of a year and 3 months, but everything has to come to an end sometime no? :)

The Break in:
This week while Our apartment was locked someone climbed the stairs to our porch, opened the window to the roof, climbed carefully on the roof, traversed the edges and the rafters, and made their way to a window that we had left open to air out the bathroom. They entered through that window and got into our apartment... Yeah... that person was me :) This week my companion left the keys in the apartment and the door got shut by the wind locking us out. So I had to climb and make my way carefully across the roof to get into the apartment through the bathroom window to open it up. I am just learning how to become a pro thief here ;)

Mythbusters Saved me from Cold Showers:
Well this week we ran out of gas for cooking and warm showers. Normally we would have bought more gas but this week we had a lot to do and no time to buy gas. We ended up living for 6 days with ice showers, but thanks to mythbusters I didn't suffer :) I remembered a myth busters episode when they were testing the power of swear words and pain. The test was that if you swear the pain isn't as strong. They also tried it with severe heat and cold and it also worked. So every time I took a shower I just let out a stream of bad words and everything was okay!.... ha ha not. I decided that it wasn't the bad words, it was just the exclamation of something to let out some of the feeling. So I made sure to sing really loud while I was in the shower to see if it made it less cold, and what would you know. The shower was much less cold :) So this last week Every morning all my neighbors could hear me singing/Screaming Efy Songs. But at least it saved me from cold showers :)

I have photos so that will add a couple thousand words ;)

I love you all, stay golden!

Love,
Elder Nielson :)
 
Baptismo

BLTCHP table spread

BLTCHP

The Break in

Ocean front view

Friday night pizza party1
 
 
 
 





 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Week 63: I sing for Other Missionaries Family Home Evenings ;)

Buenos Dias!

This week has definitely been a roller coaster ride of a week, especially emotionally but I have learned a lot and my testimony has definitely been strengthened :)

This week on Monday I called the sisters to see if they had talked to all of their investigators because they had been scared to talk to them every day. When they answered I started singing "Keep Holding On, you know I'm there for you I'm there for you, Just stay strong, You know well make it through make it through..." The song by Avril Lavigne. As I was singing I heard the sister put it on speaker phone and I thought that she was doing it so that her companion could hear my horrible singing voice as well, but I kept singing. After I finished the song the sisters started laughing and after a pause she said "Elder, Our investigator wants us to tell you that you have such a beautiful voice!" Come to find out that they were in a family home evening, and when they put it on speaker phone the whole family of the investigator heard me singing (Well more like screeching knowing my voice). I was singing for like a minute! And they all heard me! It was kinda embarrassing, but it was pretty funny :) But now I know that I am worthy of singing in Other Missionaries Family Home evenings ;)

So  P still hasn't had her interview so we are trying to have it happen this week so that she can get baptised on Sunday. So your prayers would be greatly appreciated :)

We had a conference with President and the Assistants and the focus was on the Book of Mormon. They did an analysis on the difference between the Book of Mormon and the bible in teaching basic doctrine. We learned that Faith, Repentance, the necessity of repentance, baptism, the necessity of baptism, and enduring to the end are mentioned 2 to 3 times more in the Book of Mormon than in the bible. We talked a lot about the need to have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and to help the other achieve one as well. It was a good conference and I learned a good amount.

This week on Sunday we were able to help a young man who is 19 and has aspergers. Work on his Duty to God. It was an incredible experience. His desire to finish it, to follow God, and to have success in the church was incredible. I loved the experience and it really made me want to be a dad :) I know that even though what we did was something little that we made a big difference in his life :)

This week we had 3 investigators in church and that was great! P and M have baptismal dates but B doesn't have much time to share. 

This week I loved church. I learned so much! I learned the need to love one another and have charity and to look at the good that people do. That has been something that has always been hard for me on the mission. People are always telling me where I am failing and what I have to do better and why I'm not the best, so it is hard for me to hear that and then turn around and tell people why they are good. But I am going to work on it. A story that someone told really helped me. It was the story of the tools.

There was a hammer, sanding paper, a screw, and a tape measure all in a carpenters shop. They were talking and decided that they were going to try to make the shop better and that the tools that didn't help would have to leave. The screw started talking and said that the hammer should leave because it was loud and just hit everything. The hammer agreed and decided that it would leave, but before leaving he said that the sand paper should leave too because the sand paper was always rough and rubbing things raw. The sand paper agreed and decided that it would leave but before leaving it said that the screw should leave too. It said that the screw had to go in circles and in circles before anything could get done. The screw agreed and decided it would leave but before leaving it said that the tape measure should leave. It said that the tape measure was always measuring up to the rest and let people know if they didn't measure up. The tape measure agreed. But before they could all leave the carpenter got to the shop and used all the tools to work. By the end of the day he had made a beautiful piece of furniture. When the carpenter left the Tools began to talk again. "Well maybe we do achieve some good" I mean the hammer gives strength and structure to the work, and the screw gives unity and support, and the sand paper finishes the details and makes everything smooth, and the tape measure helps everyone be precise and fit perfectly. In the end all the tools realised that they have strength and weaknesses, but when they worked together focusing on the good they could do, they achieved a beautiful work of art.

That story touched me a lot and made me realize that not only is it something that I should do, but is something that will help us have lots of success :)

I know this church is true, I know that God loves us, I know that he personally gave us weaknesses, but also gave us a way to overcome them personally, and with our families and friends. I know that we need to look for the good and that if we do, we will achieve greatness.

I love you all! Stay Golden!

Elder Nielson :)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Week 62: Hitchhikers guide to Baptisms!


Buenos Dias Todos!! :)

This was a good week with a lot of work and a lot of seed planting for good results next week :)

Anyways The goods of the week :)

Hitchhiking:
Our investigator P lives in a part of our sector that is a little  bit farther away so we have to take a bus to get there and to get home. But the problem is that she can only talk to us in the night time and the buses stop passing by at about 9 o'clock. 

Anyways we finish a really good lesson and have some really spiritual moments and when we leave we look at our watch... 9:40... We have to be back in our apartment at 10. We sprinted to the bus stop and were waiting for something to pass by but nothing was passing by. Pretty frustrated I just threw my hand into the air with the 2 fingers sticking out (The signal for a bus to pick up 2 people) hoping that there was a collective that I couldn't see. Right after that a truck pulls over and asks us where we are going. After explaining the situation he told us to hop on in and he would take us home. So We rode with J to the church while he explained that his nephew is a missionary in Colombia and that he wanted to help out. He isn't a member and didn't want anything to do with the church, but he was friendly. It was pretty cool seeing that there are people who have compassion and take care of us. And it was cool hitchhiking for the first time in my life :)

This week we had interchanges and I was with a new elder. He is Chilean but it was a tough interchange. I found out that he didn't have any knowledge of the gospel but had a lot of desire to help people. I was excited to help him out in his goal. As we were teaching he wouldn't talk and wasn't willing to try to say anything. It was hard teaching with him but I learned a Valuable  lesson. We are not perfect, Not even close. But God knows that. While we are weak he doesn't expect us to be perfect. He just expects us to try. If we have the disposition to try to learn, to make mistakes and keep going, he will have more power to mold us into who we need to become. But on the opposite side, if we don't have the willingness to try, to change, to progress, to be humble, no changes can be made, and the weak person we are stays in the state of weakness. It is my prayer that we can choose to change, choose to accept the weakness, choose to accept the advice, and push forward.

This week during church we had to leave to give a health blessing to a man that is in the hospital and has been there for 3 months in a coma. We went and gave the blessing and when we left we met his mother and his sister. They were loving and ever so grateful for our service. We are going to visit them this week. But it is interesting how God can use the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, to touch and change our lives in everything :)

P didn't have her baptism this week because she has to have an interview with our mission president, but she is super awesome so there shouldn't be any problems with that and the baptism should be this Saturday :)

This week we had the opportunity to share lunch with a family that is from Venezuela and who are ever so loving. They were having some marriage problems and were not getting along well. After lunch we shared some scriptures about charity and then talked about the need to be like Christ, and not expect charity from others, but to give it to them. It was such a spiritual moment and the family realised that they could progress so much more together by looking to help the other people in their family instead of looking at themselves. I know that the Book of Mormon can give us guide in all our life, in our spiritual, temporal, matrimonial, and mental sides of life. It is true, and I invite all to read it, look for the guide and the help in their life, and to ask if it is true. Weather you be member, less active, inactive, non member, or Atheist. I know it will make a change, and that you will not be able to deny it.

If  you all could pray that this week we can find a family to teach. We have found many single investigators, but we know that the gospel is for families to progress together. Please pray for us so that we can find a family :)

That's it for this week :) I love you all! Stay Golden!

Love,
Elder Nielson :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Week 61: I am on a bus!

Buenos Dias!!

This week was a week with lots of changes and lots and lots of bus rides and late nights! 

This week we had changes and my good friend Elder A got changed. He got sent to Quilpue (About 40 minutes from Viña). It was a sad change and I will miss him dearly but that is just part of the mission. But I have a new comp now named Elder S. He is from Portland Oregon and has a year and 8 months in the mission. He is pretty cool, really calm, passive, and pensive. It is an interesting companionship  because I am like a happy enthusiastic bomb, and he is excited and loves the mission, but outside sometimes it doesn't seem like it ha ha. We will definitely take some getting used to :) 

This week was really long because I spent 3 nights in a row on a bus without sleeping. Leaving at 2 in the morning to get to Vina just in time for an all day meeting and then getting back at 3 in the morning. Working a whole day and then leaving at 2 in the morning for another all day meeting, then getting back at 3 in the morning. It was very tiring, but with my máte I managed to make it through :) 

One of the meetings was a change meeting (When Elder A Went away and Elder S Came) and the next was a new zone leader meeting where I learned how to be a better leader and to help everyone. Basically it was be kind, loving, a hard worker, a good friend. There was a quote that I really liked. It said

"Be so good at what you do that everyone wants to be you, then be humble so that everyone wants to be with you." 

I am hoping I can continue becoming a better leader and helping my zone progress.

P is progressing really well and is most likely going to be baptised this weekend! She has come to church 4 times and really believes the stuff now. It has been an amazing change in her life, because she didn't receive a big answer that the Book of Mormon is true, but she has seen the changes in her life that have happened from reading and acting on the teachings of the Book of Mormon. 

Besides bus rides and meetings not much happened this week. But I did like church this week. I learned a ton and was very touched.

One of the members gave a talk about work, being self reliant, working hard to be the best we can be, and being grateful for the work that we have. He said

"Choose the work that you love, then love the decision to work." 

It made me think of the mission and that I chose this, and that I should love it. Then I thought that the work I do really is the people I meet. I asked myself if I really love the people I am teaching and contacting. I decided to make that my focus this week and to work on loving the people. Not gonna lie, it was really tough as we have contacted some of the meanest people this week, but it was a good test. Lets just say ill keep working on it this week too ha ha ;)

This member also said "Get along with everyone!"

Often times people don't get along with us, but we sure can make the decision to get along with them. There will be times when we will make someone mad or offend someone for doing the right thing but if we work hard the majority of the time we will get along with the majority of the people. It isn't a natural thing, it is something we work at. I am definitely going to work on it :)

The best part of Church was in Elders Quorum. The teacher had us close our eyes and imagine that we were in the Celestial Room in the Temple. Then he told us to imagine that we were talking to God while we were there. I immediately began to talk to him about the mission, the difficulties, what I could do better, what my zone needs. It was such a spiritual experience and such a wonderful moment. Something that I noticed was that while I was talking with God it wasn't like a slave to a king or anything like that. We were both just sitting on one of the couches talking like good friends having a heart to heart. That really made me realize that I have gotten a lot closer to my heavenly father and that by praying, talking, and having confidence in and with my heavenly father I have a friendly family relationship with him. Never have I felt more worthy, more friendly, or more close to my heavenly father and for that I am grateful. 

I would like to invite all of you to do the same. Take a moment, just a couple minutes of your day, and to close  your eyes and imagine yourselves talking to your heavenly father. What would you talk about? How would you feel? What kind of relationship would it be? Would it last hours, or just minutes? Would you look him in the eyes or turn away? Would you listen to an answer or just talk and let him listen. I know that by doing this and asking these questions that not only will you receive revelation, but also will take into account the kind of relationship you have with your heavenly father. Then I invite you all to take measures into your own hands, be it hard or easy, and improve that relationship with your father in heaven. Your life will change, not for minutes, but forever.

I love you all and want the best for all of you. I only share from experience that which I know to be true.

Keep strong and stay Golden!

Love you all!
Elder Nielson :)
 
 
All we need is love!

Bus stop essentials

Oakley!

New Comp Elder S
 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week 60: Firepits and Prank Calls


Buenos Dias!!


This week was a pretty standard week with spiritual lessons, and progressing investigators, but also with a lot of heart break and unique trials.

This week we had a very tough beginning. On Monday O invited us over with the bishop and told us he didn't want to get baptized and that he didn't want us to say anything. After listening to him and ending with a prayer (Pulling an other side of heaven teach in the prayer tactic) We left. Since then he still doesn't want anything, so he didn't get baptized. It was heartbreaking, but maybe it just isn't his time.

This week we had wacky Wednesday and it was raining  hard so we read part of the story of Noah and the Flood and told everyone that the flood was going to occur starting next month and that we had to invite everyone we could to get baptized this month. We had a decent amount  of success with that one. More to come in the future. 

This week we had great Interchanges and I was with Elder V (Elder Darth V). It was a great interchange because he is still in his first change in the mission. He is a great missionary and wants to be obedient and have lots of success. He speaks Spanish really well. The only problem is he is having trials with his trainer because they have different visions of the mission and the new missionary has higher vision of obedience and work. But we are helping them out with that. We had an insanely spiritual lesson with an inactive member and we were really guided in the lesson by the spirit. The Lesson was exactly what he needed and he even told us that. And that the lesson is what he had been worrying about for a couple days. He made the commitment to come to church, and on Sunday, he actually came. It was a great moment in the interchange.

This week we had miracles happen every day like it says in my  ponderize scripture (Alma 37:40) when we had all of our appointments fall we ended up running into some ex investigators and having a good lesson and inviting them to be baptized. I know that because we were diligent and didn't give up that we were blessed with this small tender mercy miracle.

It really was such a spiritually powerful week and I am so grateful for the blessings the lord gave us. But it was also one of the funniest weeks of my mission. I don't think I have laughed so hard in a long time. 

Fire pits:
One morning we were studying and I was sitting there reading the scriptures when my armpits started feeling really hot. As I kept studying and trying to ignore it they kept getting hotter and hotter. When they felt like there was a lit match in my armpits I ran to the bathroom and ripped off my shirt to see what was up. And as I was watching my armpits were turning red and burning like crazy! I had no idea why so I washed them off with water and walked out with my arms up to air them out. When my companion turned around and I was walking around shirtless with my hands in the air he was really confused. Then when he saw my pits he did what any good companion would do... he pulled out his camera, took some pictures, and then made a video. I looked so silly and just didn't know what to do. But eventually the pain went away. The nurse said it was probably a chemical reaction between my soap and deodorant... but I don't know.

Prank Call:
On the day that O told us he didn't want to be baptized some other things went wrong so we were kinda bummed. All of a sudden our district leader called us and asked us a normal question. Instead of answering his question I started a fake conversation and  started freaking out

"Your investigators isn't going to get baptized this week? Why Not? What happened? Oh No, I cant believe that that happened. ETC"

While I was saying that he was really confused but then they caught on. While I was talking my comp starting freaking out and started praying right away that the  lady would get baptized!

Afterwords I told him that it was a prank and he died! I started laughing so hard and he was kinda upset with me but it ended up being funny.

I am out of time :(  But I will relate the other stories next week!

I love you all so much!

Stay Golden,

Love,
Elder Nielson

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 59: Its raining Miracles, hallelujah its raining miracles!

Hola Buenos Dias Todas!!!

This week was a great week! So great that I was thinking about writing my whole letter in Spanish and seeing how well google translate let you guys know what I was up to, but then I decided that wouldn't work so i will write it in English!

To start I will start with the funny moments :)

Lentes (Glasses):
I don't know if I have mentioned this before but awhile ago I bought some hipster glasses that have plastic lenses. Every once and awhile I wear them, especially if it is sunny  because the provide a little bit of protection so that my eyes don't get burned. Anyways I wore my Glasses to church and I was there standing waiting for someone. While I was waiting a girl came up to me, told me I look cute in glasses, hugged me, and then tried to hold my  hand. It probably would have been an awesome experience if I didn't have to break the heart of this little 5 year old girl. Yeah I somehow manage to win all the little girls here in Chile. "E" always runs up and hugs my leg and tells me I look cute ha ha. She is so precious :)

Punny Day:
This week I was on interchanges with an elder who is in his first change in the mission. He is from Spain and he is awesome because his name is elder Pan which  means (Elder Bread). Anyways we were working in his sector and I was just so punny all day! I could not stop saying them, they just naturally happened. Like we were talking to a guy who said he has some animals at his house. I asked him what kinds and  he told me tons, but one of them was ducks. I told him that I love holding ducks and would totally love to go to his house to hold a duck (And baptise him). But then he said that the ducks bite so it would be bad. I then asked if that meant it was a bad duck (Pato malo) Because a bad duck also means a dilinquent (a kid who behaves badly and robs and smokes weed). We all died laughing and we went on our way. Then in the night a lady was complaining about her dog that ate some tin and was having stomach problems. Lata means tin in Spanish but "Que lata" means what a nuisance. So she said "El está teniendo tantas problemas porque comió la lata" (He is having a ton of problems because he ate the tin) and my companion was about to start sympathizing with her when I just blurted out "Que lata" (How frustrating). I don't know if that made any sense. But in Spanish it was hilarious and we all died laughing again :)

This last month we have had tons of mini earthquakes that make the house shake or the ground shake. It is pretty trippy  but exciting at the same time. The worst one was when I was in the shower and one started and got pretty strong. By the time I resigned myself to run out into the street naked, it finally stopped and I was saved the embarrassment.

This week was really a week of miracles because of fasting, praying, and working! This week we had an investigator come to church, we had a baptism, and we had a guy who has refused to get baptised for 7 months decide to get baptised.

While on interchanges with Elder Pan we worked really hard an invited someone to be baptized and they accepted. When I called my companion to let him know he was freaking out and said that our investigator who has refused to get baptized forever (The bishops dad) accepted a baptismal date! We screamed together and celebrated over the phone :) Then on Sunday we  had our other investigator that has a baptismal date come to church and she participated a ton! She stayed and watched the baptism and she could possibly get baptised this next Sunday! The bishops dad is getting baptised this Saturday and the lady could get baptized this Sunday! 

I know that fasting is hard, but I know that God completes and will bless us. I know that he personally answer us and will always bless us with  what is best for us. 

That was our week and I am looking forward to the next one!

Love you all! Stay Golden!

Elder Nielson :)
 
Taylor's apartment in Coquimbo

The Kitchen

Miracle  Baptism

Oh yeah!!

Hipster Glasses

Exchange with Elder P

Map of Zone
 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 58: Not enough Time! Better letter next week!

Buenos Dias a todos! :)

This week was a really good week with a lot of things that happened, so it really just flew by!

This week we had a moment of reversed roles ha ha. Usually the investigators try to hide from us while we look for them. But while on the way home we were a little bit late and didn't have time to talk when all of a sudden we saw an investigator that always talks a ton. So we switched roles and this time the missionaries hid from the investigator. Running in "Stealth Mode" we skirted by hiding behind a truck and ducking and maneuvering in a way that would make the PDI Jealous (Chile's Version of the FBI). We had a good laugh thinking about the reversed roles.

This week we had something called Consejo (Council) which is where all the zone leaders have a meeting with president and learn and give advice and talk about how the zone is doing. It was super awesome and the spirit was so strong. Presidents wife gave a training on the fact that we are called of God to be in this zone and showed a video of President Eyring baring his testimony about that. The spirit was super strong and I know that I am in the place God wants me to be.

Thanks a ton for the card and the John Bytheway talk! I love it and am jamming out to it every morning :)

This week We had miracles during conference. We had 10 people who had promised to come to church to watch conference. In the afternoon of the Sunday session none of them had showed up yet. My companion and I were disappointed but we started praying a ton. After the session we went to see if anyone showed up and our two investigators with fechas (dates) came to church and our prayers were answered.

This week I don't have lots of time to write because I had to do alot of paper work, but next week I will write a lot more and let you know whats up. But make sure to ponderize every week! :)

I love you tons!

Elder Nielson :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Week 57: Imaginary Friend Probs #They wont answer me!


Buenos Dias!

This week was an interesting week! After a few more mini earthquakes we are now roofless, but I am happy :) Son bromas, son bromas. Just kidding our apartment is fine, but I really am happy :)

This week we have been experiencing what are called replicas or mini earthquakes that come after a big earthquake that range from so small that you wouldn't know if you weren't paying attention, to so big that the house is shaking and we have doubts if we are going to experience another earthquake or not. But I know we are protected by the lord so we are safe :)

Last Monday we went to a thing called the Pampilla, which is like a fair where people sell things. But we went to Remate which is the last day so everything is cheaper :) I bought myself a soccer jersey, some fliete pants, and some sweet RayBan's and Oakley sunglasses :) It was fun, and now with my soccer jersey and fleite pants I look like a typical Chilean fleite or choro. 

This week Wacky Wednesday and Funday Sunday were huge successes!!! Probably the best success I have seen in a zone :) On wacky Wednesday we called the elders and asked them how many girls they have kissed. If it was a high number, they had to do that many contacts, if it was a low number they had to give out that many Books of Mormon. Lets just Say I thought I was going to be one of the highest after having kissed 6 girls, but boy was I wrong. I think I had the seconds lowest, after many people having a list of more than 30 and some elders having kissed multiple girls at the same time. But it was hilarious and everyone was excited to participate and to not kiss as many girls when they get home ;) And to the sisters we asked them how many drunks had tried to kiss them in the mission and they had to give out that many books. Some sisters had to give out 15 books ha ha :) And then on funday Sunday we challenged everyone to do 20 contacts but to make every single one laugh before the contact ended. Only 2 companionship's had 100 percent laugh rate (We were one ;)) but everyone had a lot of success in that. On those days we have found more investigators, invited more people to be baptized, and more people to progress than in any other day :) I really believe these days were revelation :)

This week we had interviews with President Diaz in our apartment. After many hours of cleaning and quick clean up (Imagine the best 2 years when they have to clean up quickly, that was us ha ha). The interviews were quick but good. President Diaz wants us to teach in every opportunity that we can, and to be happy while doing it (I think funday Sunday and wacky Wednesday will help :)). I asked for permission to start doing The workout video "insanity" and I got permission :) 

This week we started doing Insanity to get our "BEACH BODY" (Its a rule that you have to yell it like a man) and it is so hard! We are so out of shape that the first time we did it we only made it through the warm ups before calling it quits. Then the second day we made it through 10 minutes (of the 22). In like a month we are going to be skinny, buff, and have our "BEACH BODY."

While we were talking about how to improve our relationship in the companionship (Something we do every week even though we are total bros) we didn't know what to do to make it better, so we decided to do "Friday night pizza night!" So starting now every Friday we are going to order pizza for the apartment :) It should be pretty awesome :)

This week we had probably one of the funniest things ever happen to us. We went to a less active members house and her mom answered the door. Her mom is pretty old and we asked her if her daughter was home. She told us to wait a second and she would ask. She went inside for a couple seconds and said. "I don't know if she is here, they didn't answer me. There are only a few people here, but you can ask them if they know where she is." So we walked to the door and looked inside and the house was completely empty. The old lady walked towards the table (Where no one was) and said "Is L here?" Me and my companion looked at each other slightly confused, and slightly trying not to laugh. Then she turned to us and kinda frustrated said "See! They aren't answering me! Maybe you can get the answer out of them." Ha ha we decided that talking to an empty table wasn't for us so we decided to pass by another day. It was so hilarious to see how sincere the lady was and frustrated that the people wouldn't answer us, even though there wasn't anyone and that she was crazy ha ha :) I guess sometimes we even have problems with our imaginary friends ;)

This week we had an investigator named C come to church. It is his second time and his mom is a less active. Church was the best thing for him. He met some friends, felt comfortable, felt the spirit, and felt the importance of going. It was the best thing to help him progress. He is going to get baptized on the 10th of October :) We have some other investigators but none of them fulfilled the promise of going to church.

The kid named K who was going to get baptized in my last sector got baptized!! It is good to know that I helped him take that step in his life :)

This week I was on Interchanges with a district leader who was kind of discouraged in his sector and said that the people were hard and not loving. We did some great contacts and met some really receptive families! We did a contact and a lady gave me a statue of the final supper, and we ran into some people from the south who after seeing us climb a hill bought us some soda and some treats and then took a picture with us. After the interchange he was encouraged again and realised that blessings come with hard work :) I learned the importance of being humble, but at the same time having some confidence in yourself to be able to do what God wants us to do :) 

I really am so happy :) I have never been more happy in the mission. My comp is awesome, my ward is awesome, My mission president is awesome, I am working and am confident in my work, I feel the spirit guiding, and I feel like I am helping the mission progress. After talking to my comp and my other leaders I haven't met anyone who had a year as difficult as my first year, but I know that it was for my good and so that I could help elders going through the same situation. But this next year is going to be the bomb :)

I love you all! Stay golden!

Love,
Elder Nielson :)
 
View from my apartment

Elder Nielson the Fliete

Guys who bought us treats

My Bad!!!