Vina Del Mar, Chile

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!

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.

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!

Elder Nielson :)

BLTCHP table spread


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 :)

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!

Elder Nielson :)