Vina Del Mar, Chile

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!

Elder Nielson :)
View from my apartment

Elder Nielson the Fliete

Guys who bought us treats

My Bad!!!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Week 56: I WILL SURVIVE!!! Earthquakes and Tsunamis Aint got notin on us!

Hola Buenos Dias!! :)

This week was a crazy intense week! For those of you who watch the news should already know most of my week. For those of you who don't, the title should explain and give a few hints ;)

But to start at the beginning of the week...

We were out working really far away from the apartment and my companion had to go to the bathroom really really bad. So we passed by all the members, investigators, or anyone we could think of to use the bathroom but no one was home. My comp said, lets just go to the apartment, I don't think Ill make it, but it is worth a shot. I just told him that we would keep asking people if they had a bathroom. We talked to a guy on the corner who looked like the owner of a little cafe and asked him if there was a bathroom there. He said yes and that we could use it. He took us to the cafe and told us to use the bathroom but the lady inside said no. We found out that it wasn't his cafe and that people from outside weren't allowed to use the bathroom. The lady kept saying no but the guy kept telling her that we needed to use it and that he was willing to pay her to let us use it. Then another lady showed up and started arguing for us as well. She told the lady who wasn't letting us use the bathroom that she was a horrible person for making missionaries who walk in the street all day hold it when they had to go really bad. It was kinda nice to actually have people arguing for us and not against us, I'm thinking it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. None the less the guy paid the lady 4 dollars so that we could go to the bathroom ha ha :) After using the bathroom we contacted him and he wanted us to pass by and teach him. We will see how it goes.

Quote of the week from some little kids... "Elder, You look like toasted bread!"

This week the big thing that happened. Lets just say I survived an earthquake and a tsunami! 

This week we were teaching a newer investigator and we were just about to teach about Joseph Smith when I felt a little bit of shaking. For Chile little "Temblores" or mini weak earthquakes are common and I have felt them before. But it started getting stronger and stronger so I looked at the investigator. He told us to be calm and that it was nothing. But then it got stronger and stronger and it felt like the whole world was shaking! He stood up and we all went to the door frame (Apparently the safe place to be in an earthquake). We watched his truck shake and look like it was about to flip over as the world was spazzing out! After 3 minutes of shaking everything stopped. We started listening to the radio when the tsunami sirens started going off. We found out that our apartment was in the tsunami zone and that we had to evacuate and get to the safety zone. We went to the apartment quickly to look for some basic things and went to a members house. While there we tried to get in contact with our zone to see how they were. The phone lines were crazy busy because everyone was calling. By 1 in the morning we had managed to contact about half of them. We ended up staying the night at the members house and the next day we went to the apartment. It was fine and the tsunami didn't make it up that high. But we learned that the center of Coquimbo was destroyed by the tsunami. We spent the next 3 days doing service in the center. Ill send picture because they can explain it a lot better than I can. But all in all Coquimbo was the second most affected place in Chile, after the city that was the epicenter of the earthquake. We are going to keep doing service, but there isn't too much that we can do. 

This week was also the 18th of September which is Chile's independence day celebrations. And President Diaz is awesome and gave us the whole day to celebrate and have fun. So we ate barbecue, played soccer, talked with members, and enjoyed the day. It was pretty awesome :) We also spent the morning doing service for the people whose houses were destroyed and who didn't have anything to celebrate. 

As a zone leader one of the things we have to do is make sure everyone is working hard but is happy at the same time. It is definitely a challenge. I came up with the idea of doing "Funday Sunday" "Wacky Wednesday" And "Fetchin Friday." On each of those days my companion and I make a recording of us explaining the challenge of the day in a fun way. We say it the same way every time so that it will catch on. We do it with background music and everything. Then we send the recording to the district leaders to send to their districts. This last Funday Sunday was to contact everyone that was wearing a soccer jersey and to invite the to be baptised. Most people enjoyed it, we for the first time in my mission, didn't find anyone with a soccer jersey, and some were lame and didn't do it. But we are going to keep going with them because I am pretty sure they will work, and then Coquimbo will become famous for Funday Sunday, Wacky Wednesday, and Fetchin Friday. :)

That is basically my week as much as I can describe with words. Ill send the pictures to explain it a little better :)

I love you all, Stay Golden! :)

Elder Nielson :)


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Week 55: Big Changes!

Hola Buenos Dias!!

This week was a week of some pretty big changes! 

This week as we know I had changes, I didnt expect to be changed but in the morning when our zone leaders called us I got the news that I was leaving. I was kind of in shock and kinda sad because I loved the ward and had many good friends there. But it is part of the mission so I packed up my bags (it was more like a wrestling tournament with my clothes) and went to say goodbye to people. Right after lunch we were about to head to changes when I got a call from Presidente Diaz! He called me to inform me that I was called to be a zone leader and asked me if I accepted. Of course I accepted and we went to changes. So after changes I am now a zone leader in a place called Coquimbo, that is in the north (a 7 hour bus ride from ViƱa). We left the change meeting at 7 at night and got to our appartment at 4 in the morning and slept 3 hours and had to wake up at 7.

Coquimbo, at least my sector, is richer than any other sector I have been in. Some of the houses even look like American houses and they actually have yards with GRASS! It is a cool area. As a zone leader we are in charge of 16 missionaries and 2 district leaders. I am still learning alot but I am getting the hang of it and it is pretty fun :) I am here with Elder Allred. We were together in the MTC and have the same amount of time in the mission. He is cool and from an island called Utah ;) He likes basketball and is a good missionary. It will be great working with him :) I still dont really know the investigators or the ward but I will keep you guys updated with that in the future :)

This week I got to do interchanges with an elder named Elder McMurtrey who is incredible. He has been on the mission for 4 and a half months but already talks well, teaches well, and loves everyone. He really taught me alot about loving everyone. We had an amazing interchange with a couple highlights.

Karma is a Jerk:
In the interchange he didnt have lots of appointments so we did lots and lots of contacts wich actually ended up being really good. We walked by a house where a dad was outside talking to his younger boys and elder McMurtrey said we should go back and contact them, so we did. The man was very rude and told us to go away in a mean way. As we were walking away one of his younger sons walked up to him and hit him... well where it really hurts for the men.. and the dad fell down in pain. It was so hilarious! I almost started laughing out loud. But It was a testimony that "Karma is a jerk"

It was also a great interchange because the spirit was so strong. It was guiding us all over the place, who to contact, what to say, and where to go. I could literally feel guiding thoughts or feelings that werent my own. One of these promptings guided us to contact a man vacuuming out his car (like I said, rich sector) We did probably the best contact that I have done in my life. We gave him a book and found out that he is evangelico (people who are really against mormons) but he was interested. When we gave him the book we asked him what he would ask to Jesus if he was right there and he asked a question that I never thought would come. "What do I need to do to achieve eternal life?" I know that this man was ready to hear the gospel. But it also taught me how wonderful it is to have the gospel in our lives, that as a 19 boy I could honestly tell him that I knew what I needed to do to live with God again, and that he a man, didnt have that knowledge. This gospel is true, whether you like it or not, doesnt change that it is true :)

This Sunday I showed up to church and the bishop came to greet me with a "Hello Elder, nice to meet you. A brother isnt going to show up today. Could you give a 15 minute talk on the scriptures?" All I could think was "Welcome to the ward elder nielson!!":) But I accepted and gave a talk. I thought it was pretty good and some people told me they were going to start applying some things that I had said. But it went well and I loved church. The ward is very friendly with the missionaries so I am sure I will get to know them well :) 

I am safe and happy and well :) I love you all and hope that you are even better than I am :)

stay golden!

Elder Nielson :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Week 54: Street Soccer=Street Contacts

Buenos Dias!!

This week was a great week full of miracles and success!

Last Monday after email we left and there was a fight in the street right in front of us. It just started and was getting pretty heated but luckily one of the guys just walked away and left. After that we went and played 500 with the Frisbee. It was fun but there weren't many of us so it ended pretty quickly. 

But this week we tried a different manner of contacting. Street soccer. One day we were close to the church and had to go to the bathroom. We decided to go to the bathroom in the church and when we came out there were some kids playing soccer on the soccer court. We started playing with them and after about 5 minutes we had a total of like 5 kids. We then decided to make a deal with them. The missionaries and 1 of the kids against 4 of the kids. If the missionaries won the kids had to come to church on Sunday. If the kids won the missionaries would make them completos. They agreed and we started playing. And the kids scored the first goal (first one to five) So we turned up our game and ended up beating them 5 to 2 :) They all agreed to come to church. We finished and started talking to the 2 oldest ones (15 and 12) and made an appointment with them. On Friday we had the appointment and they are awesome. We invited both of them to be baptized and they accepted. On Sunday we were waiting for them and neither of them showed up which was kind of sad. Until right after the sacrament the 15 year old showed up and loved church. After church he accompanied us to all of our visits and wants to be a missionary. He has plans to be baptised on the 20th! :) Street soccer lead us to a baptism :)

This week we had interchanges and I went to the other sector with Elder M from Brazil :) We taught, contacted, and enjoyed ourselves. In the nighttime we had a disco party! We blasted EFY music with the lights off while Elder M used his laser pointer with fancy tips to make a light show. It was short because we didn't have tons of time, but it was fun while it lasted :)

This Friday we had a very successful day! We found 4 new investigators and gave out 3 Books of Mormon. We found a 10 year old and his mom. They are going to read the Book of Mormon and ask if it is true. If it is true they accepted to be baptised! The funny thing is we found them by playing soccer with the little boy in the street. Maybe we are going to start playing soccer in the street more often ;)

So this week I had fun mixing work with play and having success from that :)

This Wednesday we have changes so we will see what happens. I don't think me or my companion is going to be changed, but you never know! :)

I love you all, stay golden!

Elder Nielson :)
Saw my trainee at a meeting

Me at the edge of the world