Vina Del Mar, Chile

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Week 31: I got changed to.... Wait.... Villa Dulce?

Buenos Dias!!

Thank you everyone for all the birthday wishes and birthday songs :)

This week was a good one!! We had changes, worked hard, and had some success :)

This Wednesday we had changes. On Transfer days we get called in the morning, then pack our bags, then go to the meeting to find out where we are going. In the morning I had already packed my bags because I had been in Villa Dulce for 4 changes (almost 6 months) so it was guaranteed that I would leave. After getting the call I learned that... I wasn't leaving Villa Dulce, I am staying here another month and a half. I had to unpack my bags while my companion packed his bags. I was a little bit frustrated until I received a call from the Assistants.

Assistant: Elder Nielson?
A: We have and assignment for you
Me: Yeah, Okay?
A: You are going to train so you have to be in the training meeting at 3.
M: Alright Thank you elder.
A: Chao Chao.

After the call I got super excited. Yes I am still in Villa Dulce which is a little bit frustrating but I am training! 

So I am training a new elder named Elder V. He is a Chilean who is 19 years old. He is the only member in his family which means he is super courageous. He is a hard worker and we are going to have a lot of success together. He is ready to learn and to work hard. He has a thick Chilean accent and sometimes struggles to understand my accent, but I am sure that being with him is going to help me a lot with my accent :) 

This week we also got our water heater fixed!!! No more cold showers!! Woohoo! After 3 months of Ice cold showers we finally have hot water and can shower in peace :)

This week I decided that eating Oatmeal every morning for breakfast is dumb and that I have to enjoy myself :) So this week I have made eggs, toast, granola with apples and yogurt, pancakes, and more. It is crazy how much better my day is and how much happier I am after eating a delicious breakfast. Sometimes when I am having a bad day the only thing that keeps me going is the thought of my delicious breakfast the next day ha ha :) But I feel like quite the chef now ;)

This week something crazy happened. We had a forest fire in our sector... well 2 forest fires. One burned a whole hill and the other burned a large sector of land. Luckily no houses or building were burned. There were 3 helicopters, 2 airplanes, and 6 firetrucks dropping water on the fires to put them out. 

This Sunday I had to give a talk in church and was super excited. I wrote my talk and prepared scriptures, examples, and the doctrine to help the ward participate the the missionary work. I was the last one to give my talk and the first speaker spoke for a long time so I only had 6 minutes to give a talk. I decided to trash my talk because I didn't have the time to give the talk. I talked about the commandments and the blessings that we will receive by living the commandments. There are so many blessings to be gained by living the commandments and I hope that I helped the members realize that a life of living the commandments will be so much happier than living without them.

In April we are going to have 2 baptisms. P and M are going to be baptized the 12th and I am super excited. We have worked so much to help them come to this point so I am excited to see them progress :)

This weekend is conference and I am super excited to see it. I know that the Prophet is called of God to guide us in our lives and journeys. I know that he will answer our questions and help us know what to do. I invite you all, member of the church or not to watch conference, to listen to the prophet and apostles of Christ, and to follow there advice. 

I love you all! Stay golden! :)

Elder Nielson

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Week 30: I'm Late I'm Late for a very important ..... Zone Conference!!

Buenas Dias!!

This week was also a good one! I decided to stop being sad and to be awesome instead, True Story :) 

It started with Tuesday. On Tuesday we had a zone conference (A big meeting with lots of missionaries and... PRESIDENT and HIS WIFE). We have to be there at 8 in the morning to be ready for everything. The night before I set the alarm clock for 6 o'clock so that we could do everything we needed to and arrive on time. All night I was having nightmares that we were late to the conference and kept checking my alarm clock. 2:30... 3:30...4:30. After checking the clock for the 3rd or 4th time i decided to relax because the alarm was set. Then I woke up, the alarm still hadn't sounded so I figured it must have been about 5:55. I checked the clock and had a heart attack 7:52!! I couldn't believe my eyes! I checked the phone and my watch and they all said 7:52! I started yelling and running like crazy! We had 8 minutes to get ready and to get to the conference (It takes at least a half hour to get to the conference). I was brushing my teeth while eating breakfast while putting my pants on while tying my shoes all at the same time. I don't know how I did it, but honestly somehow I did. We didn't have time to shower (Gross I know) but we made it out of the apartment by 8 o'clock. We took the bus and made it there by 8:30 which was good because president hadn't arrived and the meeting hadn't started yet. I forgot to shave so I had a little shadow but President didn't notice which was good :) After the conference I checked my alarm clock and somehow the alarm had been changed to 10:34, So I think I might have changed it in my sleep.

But anyways the conference went super well! We learned a lot, spent time with other missionaries, received lessons, advice and help, and did practices. Normally practices aren't too bad, you just get together with another companionship and practice teaching and learn what you do well and what you can improve. But with our luck we ended up doing practices with PRESIDENTS WIFE. I was beyond nervous!! We taught and did pretty well. She told us what she liked and what to improve and then we practiced again and had a good lesson! It was awesome and she said she loved it. So that was definitely a good part. Later in the hallway president commented to me that he heard that we did a good job teaching, which was great to hear :)

To end the conference that was so awesome was we got to watch MEET THE MORMONS in Spanish! It was awesome to watch a movie and the fact that I understood it in Spanish made me feel even better :) I loved it and the stories really inspired me to continue teaching and helping families encounter the gospel :)

I am still teaching English classes and doing everything that I can to make them interesting. This last week we took a tour of the church and they learned words of things in the church (Knife, fork, spoon, picture, oven, stove, plate, bowl, bathroom, toilet, sink, faucet, mirror, broom, and things like that) Then we learned some verbs and played charades. The best part was a younger boy (10 years old) was trying to say fork. But in the process he started saying it wrong and started dropping the F-Bomb! Knowing him he wasn't trying to do that and didn't know what he was doing. But I died laughing, it was super funny :) 

This week Sunday was wonderful and really strengthened my testimony about fasting. I fasted this Sunday and the blessings came. P an 11 year old investigator came to church for the first time and loved it. He has said he would come for many weeks but this week he finally came :) 

M couldn't come because he is in Santiago with his dad for the weekend but he is still going to be baptized on April 12th :)

A miracle happened!! On Saturday we were passing by future investigators and doing contacts and we went to a house and encountered a lady who the missionaries before us contacted. She told us that she didn't want anything, and didn't believe in Joseph Smith, that she believed in God and Jesus. My younger missionary self would have said "Okay thank you, have a good day" but the spirit told me to try to help her feel that the gospel is true. I started talking and sharing part of a lesson and then bore my testimony. After that she said that she really couldn't talk to us because her husband needed help with stuff but that she wanted to go to church to see what it was like. We told her where it was but I didn't expect anything out of it. Then on Sunday right after the sacrament the door opened and in she came! And not only did she come to church, but she brought her 2 sons and her husband! All four of them came to church! We have an appointment with them on Tuesday because right after church she turned to me and said "I loved it :)". I really believe that they are chosen by god and are going to accept baptism. Another reason to Fast! :)

All in all we have 2 investigators with baptismal dates, P and M, and we have the opportunity to talk to 4 more people (the people who came to church).

We have changes this Wednesday and I am pretty sure I am leaving Villa Dulce, but we will see :)

I love you all! Stay Golden!

Elder Nielson :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Week 29: Saving Souls .... and cats!

Buenas Dias!

This week was a great week. It was a week of miracles, success, craziness, and happiness. There must be many people praying for us, because this week was a complete opposite of the last week. I went from being inanimate and upset, to happy and encouraged. I thank everyone for their prayers and fasts because the prayers were answered. 

This week we encountered two new investigators, M, and P. They both have baptismal dates and both attended church this last Sunday!

M is the grandson of the lady that we talked to in the street. His family is inactive but wants him to get baptized. After talking with him and becoming his friend he wants to be baptized as well. He is awesome! He is 9 years old and likes to talk about God and Jesus. He attended Church this Sunday and is going to be baptized the 12 of April (I am probably not going to be here  because it is after changes but Oh well, I am happy for him). His family came to church as well so they are reactivating into the ward which is super awesome!

P is a 52 year old man who is married to an inactive woman. They were a reference from a member. She told us that we were going to eat lunch with them instead of with her. We ate lunch in their house (with the member) and then gave him a blessing of health. Then they asked us to share a scripture, so I decided to have a full blown lesson and he accepted the invitation to listen to the lessons. After a lesson with him he accepted the baptismal date of the 29th of march (I'm most likely not going to be here for his baptism either, but I helped him get started which makes me feel good). He came to church this Sunday as well with his wife which is awesome.

This week we finally saw results from all of our work! We had 108 people attend church which is 20 more than last week! It is the highest attendance we have ever had!

This week we also had some crazy events happen.

1. Saving cats...
This week we were walking by the church and heard meowing. Normally that would be pretty normal but it came from a water drain in the church that is blocked off by a huge grate. We decided to investigate to see what was up. We entered the premises and moved the grate, and as we suspected, somehow a cat had gotten stuck in the water drain hole (about 8 feet deep). Being the lover of cats that I am (NOT) i had the desire to leave it there, but I decided it needed help. So I climbed down into the whole, spent 5 minutes gaining the trust of the cat (Lots of experience with investigators ;) ) and then carried the cat out of the hole. So now I can add saving cats from water drains to my list of things I never thought I would do in my mission. 

2. Dancing to help a sister with depression
This week while visiting a member she said that her sister (A less active) Needed help because she was suffering from a depression attack (Feeling super sad) so we decided to pass by to share a motivational scripture. When we got there her husband wasn't home so we couldn't go inside, so we started talking in the door. I was doing everything I could to make her laugh and was having great success, but I decided that she needed to die laughing, so I started to talk about dancing and how I cant dance. She didn't believe that i was bad at dancing because of my personality, so I decided to show her. I dropped every single cheesy dance move that I have (The Lawn mower, The shopping cart, The shopping cart with mom, The sprinkler, The credit Cards, The shower) and every goofy move that you can do. After dancing in her doorway (and getting lots of crazy looks from people walking by) We left her smiling and crying from laughing so hard. I felt so good knowing that we had helped her feel happy. Don't worry, the next day we shared scriptures and had a lesson with her so we helped her spiritually as well ;)

3. La Verguenza! (The shame/Embarrassment!)
This week while doing contacts in the street I decided to contact two ladies walking together. The sun was really bright so I couldn't see well and I asked them if they were sisters or friends. After an awkward silence one of the ladies said... She is my mother in law... After another couple awkward seconds my compaƱion said "ooooohhhh" and I was so embarrassed! I turned around, walked away 3 steps and said loudly "UHHH LA VERGUENZA!" Then walked back. They thought that was funny so we talked some more. In the end they didn't want to share with us, But I learned not to use that question any more ha ha :)

Also this week was interesting because WE FOUND THE CATHOLIC FAMILY! One day we passed by their house again and there weren't any dogs and the apartment seemed a little different. She answered the door and said she couldn't share in that moment but could share on the weekends like she had told us in the contact. And that she had been waiting for our visit 2 months ago. Apparently we had been going to the wrong apartment for 2 months!! Both are labeled as apartment 40 and we were going to the wrong one. It gave me hope that they want to share with us. We will see this week! :)

This week I finished reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish and had the opportunity to pray to receive and answer if the Book of Mormon is true or not. I prayed multiple days and didn't receive a strong burning feeling like I did the first time I asked, but when I was reading the Book of Mormon I received my answer. I had a thought and a feeling, "You know this book is true, you have read it and tested its teachings, right now you are happy and successful because you have followed its teachings, it is true." It may not have been the big spiritual answer that most people wait for, but it was an answer for me. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know it is inspired of God and that it will guide us in his path and never lead us astray. I know this church is truly the Church of Jesus Christ and that through his grace and our obedience we can live forever with our families in His presence.

That was my week! Thank you all for your prayers and support. I love you all!

Stay Golden!
Elder Nielson

Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 28: Haircut!

Buenas Dias!

This week was a little bit better than last week, it had some good and some bad haha. But I am persevering and following the guidance I receive from the leaders and from my prayers.

This week JP moved to Santiago... so no more investigator with a baptismal date... that was frustrating and sad. But this week we encountered J who accepted a baptismal date.

By the end of the week we had 2 baptismal dates set, but none of them came to church which was frustrating. So right now we have no baptismal dates set, and even if we set more I wont be here for them. That is a little bit discouraging but I will keep working hard and doing my best. 

This week we did see a miracle. One day we were in the street and my companion was talking to a member on the phone when a lady walked by and said "Hello Elders." Normally I would just say hello and keep going, but I decided to talk to her. After talking for a little bit I found out that she is a member and is part of the family isn't members. She then asked us if we wanted to see where her house was and I accepted. We went to her house and she introduced us to her grandson who isn't a member. She went inside quickly while we talked to the grandson and then she came out and said "Well he isn't baptized and needs to be baptized, so next week, Wednesday at 6 we are going to start the lessons" It was an awesome blessing a truly a miracle. It strengthened my testimony about prayers and I know that they will be answered!

This week while sharing with a less active member we started talking about cooking and eating. She then gave us millions of recipes to cook stuff quickly and easily! So this week we are going to try to cook some of the stuff. I am going to try to make Chilean pancakes which are like thick crepes. 

This week we had a ward activity and we were in charge of (Well I was in charge of) The lesson and it had to be about missionary work. I was a little bit stressed because the last ward activity involved in the missionary work was boring and the members didn't really like it. So we did an activity with tug of war and then an inspirational movie and some talking and the members loved it. It went really well and the members participated! Even a grandma participated in the tug of war object lesson! it was hilarious!

Then this morning we needed haircuts and being poor missionaries we decided to cut each others hair with a hair cutter that we borrowed from a member. C was there to help guide us and teach us how to cut hair so it turned out really well. The only thing is we choose to have short hair, but it ended up super super short, almost a buzz cut haha. According to the missionaries right now I look like a drug dealer because I am dressed in fancy clothes with a super short hair cut. So this missionary might encounter some people trying to buy drugs this week haha :)

This week I read about faith and prophets who have seen Jesus face to face to receive instruction. I thought about how awesome that would be to receive instruction from Jesus and to see him face to face. But then I realized that I was receiving his instruction in the scriptures and that I don't need to see him face to face. I know that the scriptures really are the word of God and a testament of Jesus Christ and that we can learn from them and really change our lives by living the principles that we find in them.

I love you all,
Stay Golden,
Love Elder Nielson :)

Sad Day
Haircut time
Buzz Cut!
Master Barber

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Week 27: 3 for 3!