Vina Del Mar, Chile

Monday, February 23, 2015

Week 26: Where's Waldo

Buenas Dias!

This week was really calm, bland, and normal. Nothing really exciting happened but I am going to keep trekking along :)

This week I learned that my Spanish isn't too bad :) Our district leader had to make copies of some informes and was having trouble with that, so while he was busy I was talking to a guy on the street. We talked for an hour nonstop which was pretty impressive I thought. Even though I wasn't in my sector I gave him a book and he is going to go to church this week ha ha :) I love people who actually give you time to talk, because they will see that we are normal people and are just trying to share something that is going to improve their life :)

I am teaching English classes every Wednesday now and I have 5 students :) It is fun to practice my Spanish with them and to learn more by teaching them English ha ha :) We are hoping to get my investigators or less actives coming to the class to learn English and to feel the spirit. The last class I taught them to pray in English and started teaching them verbs and how to go to the doctor :) 

This week was a big game of "Where's Waldo." Looking for houses that don't exist, trying to pass by people when they are home, and even looking for an investigator named waldo! This week we had 10 appointments planned but none of the people were there. And actually 3 of the houses and numbers didn't exist. I don't like it when people lie about their address, I would rather receive a no because then we wouldn't waste a half hour walking to a house that doesn't exist. Because of that frustration I only set appointments with people whose houses we know. So hopefully this week we have a lot of lessons, but we will see.

Today in my study of the Book of Mormon I am reading in 3rd Nefi 11-15 and it was one of the best days of study I have had. In the chapters is when Jesu Cristo came to the Americas and began to teach the people. The spirit was so strong during the study and I wanted to be there more than anything. I have come to love reading, talking, and learning about Christ. I know he is our brother, our savior, our redeemer, and that he loves us so much. I cannot express in words the love I have for him and the gratitude for all that he has done for us. I encourage you all to read the chapters starting with 3rd Nefi 11 and imagine yourself there with Christ. And look for the teachings that his is giving to you. I promise you that you will feel the spirit and know that it is true, and will come to have a greater love for him.

I love you all!

Stay Golden!
Elder Nielson :)

Best Birthday Card a mom could ask for!

Familia "A" that Taylor is working with to come back to church.

Elders with "F"

Overlooking city with Elder "H" and "C"
Taylor Captioned this Model Status

Rapster Taylor since his encounter last week with the Fleighties

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week 25: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer :)

Buenas Dias!

This week was definitely a good one with lots of events! This week we had changes but I am still here in Villa Dulce with Elder H :) This means that there is a 90% chance that I will be changed the next change because I will have been in Villa Dulce for 6 months (WOW).
This week we attempted to visit the catholic family despite the protection of "The Wolf" and almost accomplished our mission. We went and "The Wolf" was sleeping. Elder H didn't want to go but I decided that we should try to sneak by the sleeping wolf. As we were going we made it past the wolf and let our guard down a little bit. We didn't notice the other dog and the other dog started barking. The barking then woke up the Wolf but before it could get up Elder H and I had already made it to the other side of the sector ;) So no we didn't encounter the family, but we got closer than last time! :)

This week we encountered a family who are members except for one son. We contacted them and the wife was talking to us outside because her husband doesn't permit Mormons to pass into the house (Because he is mad at the church). After talking a little bit she asked her husband if we could come in to get some water because it was hot. He permitted that and we passed. He began to talk to us and we talked for a good hour. He is mad at the church because a bishop was stealing money from the church and telling him he had to sell all his stuff to pay tithing (Even though he didn't have a job and wasn't making money). Normally I wouldn't believe that but I know who his bishop was and the bishop was excommunicated. Anyways with all the problems and lies that were going on his wife left the house for 3 years but now returned. For all these problems he is angry at the church, but he loves us, came to English classes (which I teach every Wednesday) and we have an appointment to eat dinner with them today. We are going to try to help them come back to the church and reignite the feelings and knowledge that he had from before, and then baptize their son.

This week has also been a big week of contacts! We have the goal of doing 20 contacts in the street every day. It is really hard to achieve that and even harder to convince yourself to do them. It is hard to stop strangers in the street, start a conversation that isn't weird so that you have their confidence, teach a short lesson, and then ask for their address. But this week with some guidance and practice I have gotten a lot better. This week from contacts (3 days of contacts) we have set 9 appointments and given out 8 Books of Mormon. I know that I don't want to do them, but it is how we are going to achieve success.

By doing so many contacts you get to know and meet lots of different types of people and their lives. And this is where my title of the week comes in. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.

Something I have learned on my mission is that if you are ever in the street and come across a group of people that scares you the best thing you can do (Unless the spirit says not too) is talk to them ha ha :) This week we were talking to a inactive member and getting his information so that we could visit him. The whole time a group of fleites (Flightays) (Fightay is a person who is a druggie and is someone you wouldn't want to meet in the street if you were alone and it was night) was yelling stuff at us. "The Mormons!" "Beware the Word of God" and "Whisky is good!". After getting the information from the inactive, I was kinda worried because it was night and dark and no one was in the street but us and the Fleites, so what did I do? I went to talk to them :) I started talking to them and it was interesting. They were all like 19 and 20 and were all smoking marijuana and drinking beer. But I was friendly with them and talked gangster English to them and they loved it. Then one mockingly told us to teach the word of God, so I gave them all cards with questions of the soul and answered the questions and taught them about the plan of salvation. It was awesome and hilarious. Then they asked me to speak in English so I started to speak in English and when I did they started beat boxing and told me to Rap. Being the hardcore rapper that I am I threw down my hardcore white Mormon English rap and they all freaked out and loved us. They gave us hugs and offered us their marijuana and beer and were buena honda with us :) So I learned that you just got to talk to everyone and not judge them. But now they got our back and I am not afraid of the streets in that area anymore :) I know that as missionaries we are protected by god if we are willing to share the gospel :) 

It was a long tiring week but I learned that God protects us, loves us, strengthens us, and gives us courage. I know that I am doing his will and that I am here for a purpose.

I love you all! Stay Golden!

Elder Nielson :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Week 24: Bathing in Holy Water!

Buenas Dias!!

This week was a week of problems all around. Never have I been this tired on my mission and never have I been this stressed, but we are going to overcome the problems and the trials which will bring us blessings and funny stories! :) Boy do I have a good story for this week :)

This week as I said we have had many problems
1. Our water heater doesn't work
2. Whenever we shower water falls into the apartment below us so we had to cut the water to our apartment
3. There is drama in the ward that is really affecting us as missionaries
4. I have to deal with all of this in Spanish haha :)

I have a great story this week because of the second problem and because of it I bathed in "Holy Water" ;)

This week we had to cut the water to our apartment for about 2 days. This was frustrating because we couldn't use the bathroom or wash our dishes in the apartment. And to drink or do other necessary tasks with water we had to use emergency water stored in bottles. We made it through one day without water and began the second day without water. We quickly realized that we couldn't shower in the apartment and had to shower somewhere else. As we are not allowed to shower with member or go to other sectors to shower we were at a loss for what to do. But then the answer came to me... The Chapel has water!! Yes you may know where I am going with this... We had to shower in the Chapel. 

We gathered shampoo and supplies and went to the Chapel, went and found the janitors closet, found the water spigot to fill cleaning buckets and did what was necessary... Use it to shower. It was definitely a different but hilarious experience and I hope I never have to do it again. But it worked and we were able to shower with the Holy water of the chapel ;) 

This week I have been super tired and while I was sitting on a chair in the chapel waiting for my companion to finish using the bathroom I fell asleep without even knowing it. After about ten minutes I woke myself up because of my snoring haha. 

This week has been tough because we haven't had tons of time to work because we have been calling and trying to fix everything with the apartment and fix all the problems there.

We have been able to teach lots of less active members and been able to have super spiritual lessons with them and help them attend church again. This week hopefully we will have more time to work and have success :)

I love you all! Stay Golden!

Elder Nielson :)
The "holy" bathtub
At least we will be clean

Taylor?! Cooking?! Brownies :)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week 23: I would walk 500 miles ... and I would walk 500 more!

Buenas Dias!
This week has been a good one! I have really come closer to my heavenly father and have learned how to really pray and communicate with him. I believe that is a big reason that we have trials and difficulties, because when we have them we really turn everything over to God and rely on him a lot more.

This week I have been praying like none other to have blessings and miracles, I have been trying to be one hundred percent diligent and to put the rest in the hands of the lord. This week I received the answer to my prayers and in the process learned that God has a sense of humor :)

On Tuesday in the morning I pleaded and begged to find a miracle during the day so that we could have someone to talk to. During the day we were contacting and looking for people to teach when we began to talk to an old lady. After talking and doing the contact she said that she didn't want anything and wouldn't let us pass by her house. To be nice I always ask their name and when I asked her name I was pretty shocked. 

"And what is your name?"
"Yeah, funny huh?"

So my prayer was answered, I found a miracle and talked to someone, God answers prayers ;) After that I decided to be a little bit more specific in my prayers ha ha :)

As we continued in the week we continued working hard and praying hard and finally encountered our miracle. It all began Thursday night. To finish the day I prayed for our companionship prayer. It was the most personal, conversational, sincere prayer that I think I have ever given. After the 10 minute prayer of expressing my frustrations, desires, plans, and willingness to do whatever I was asked to do we ended the day. The next day the miracle came. We encountered our investigator (P, an investigator of about 6 months) in her house and she let us in (Miracle 1). After having a lesson with her we started talking about baptism. I was scared to death to have this lesson because when she hears the word baptism she normally shuts down (We have attempted to put a baptismal date with her 5 times) but this time she listened and participated. I was guided by the spirit and felt like I should try to put a baptismal date with her. She accepted! (Miracle 2!)  She said that if she receives and answer to her prayers that this is the true church and the church for her that she will be baptized the 15th of February :) So please pray for her and that she can receive her answer before that day. I know that the answer will be yes when it comes, because I know the church is true, but Please pray that she will receive it before that day.

That was my weeks work in a nutshell, not much, but definitely a start.

Ive decided that since I have so many encounters with dogs that I am going to start sending with my letter my weekly dog story of the week! This week was dog filled so I have 2 dog stories of the week ha ha :) 

Dog story 1: El Lobo (The wolf)

This week we went to go pass by the catholic family that we contacted the week before. As we were about to arrive to their apartment there was a big dog right in the middle of the path. As we focused on the dog we started leaving the path to avoid the big dog and to make it to the apartment without startling the dog. As I was walking I heard a growl, a deep low scary non normal dog growl. I looked to the left and almost had a heart attack. While I had been focusing on the big dog in the path I hadn't noticed the even bigger dog that wasn't on the path. The dog looked, sounded, smelled, (and I'm pretty sure tasted and felt)  Like  a wolf! Its growling turned into barking as it started walking towards us. It wasn't a normal dog because it didn't charge, it was like a wolf, just walking towards us with its teeth threatening to kill us and eyes filled with hate! We backed up slowly and after throwing rocks at it (Which didn't stop it at all) we got our bags ready to fight it and I prepared myself to wake up in the hospital without a leg. Somehow we managed to back away and Fight it off without incident. Afterwards I had to sit for 5 minutes to let my heart calm down. But know I know how scary wolves really are!

Dog story 2: RUN!

This week as we were walking down a small street a ton of dogs were barking at us, which is super normal, but we weren't worried because they were all behind fences. As we continued walking we figured out we were going the wrong way so we walked back the way we had come. As we were walking a dog behind the fence began to bark and growl, and we noticed that the gate wasn't fully shut. The dog jumped and started pushing the gate open so that it could get out to attack us. My comp noticed just in time and slammed the gate shut and shouted "RUN" as we ran I heard the barking getting closer and closer! The dog had gotten out and was chasing us. We ran down the street, turned the corner and jumped down 2 flights of stairs with 1 jump! We escaped the dog but left some stuff behind... our pride and dignity. Never before had I literally run away from a dog. But Now... I have.

This week I had to give up using my first pair of shoes! I did the math and I have walked about 700 miles so far and have a lot more to go! But I love it and wouldn't trade it for everything! On to pair of shoes number 2! :)

This week really was a better week than the others and I hope it continues to improve! I am working hard and striving every single day to do better and better! I appreciate all the support and prayers that I have received!

I love you all! Stay golden!

Elder Nielson :)

First 700 miles

Socks became the new sole