Monday, January 25, 2016

Staying in Vega Baja

Hey guys! I almost have 7 months in the mission already. It feels like yesterday we were celebrating Christmas and now check it out like a month later time freaks me out.

But this week was good! It was hard because Elder Suero is sick again. I think I told his story in one of my updates but long story short in his last area he was sick. So he went to the doctor and they did a little operation on him and they thought that would solve the problem. So he came to Vega Baja with me and we had a lot of success but then in the last 2 weeks or so he's been feeling sick again. Sooooo, it's been really hard to work because he's in pain. So that's what really happened this last week. Spent a lot of time in the house because he's uncomfortable and all that.

And we found out transfers last night, and I'm staying in Vega Baja with Elder Suero another transfer. 3 transfers together hahaha we'll see if we make it out of the next 42 days. This transfer will be interesting because we have to go to a ton of doctor's appointments and stuff and so it kinda worries me for how much work we can get done. But I'm sure there was a reason for keeping us together this long. Together we're going to baptize Michelle and we have another baptismal date for the 13th of February for a guy named Freddy. So we have work to do but the situation is kinda weird for working consistently. We'll see.

This weekend was kinda funny because we had Stake Conference and like all the talks in the Saturday night session were about marriage! Like I know they're inspired to talk about certain topics but the congregation was basically all missionaries. We made up like 1/3 of the people that came to that session of conference! So talking about marriage and all the Sister missionaries were taking notes like they were going be tested on it afterwards, especially the sisters that are going home soon. Obviously some people learned from the talks.

Sunday was super funny because we went back to Toa Baja for the Sunday session and remember Marcelino? He got baptized about a month ago. Well he came to conference but stayed outside of the church the entire time. Apparently somebody told him to guard the doors so that nobody bad would come in, and that's what he did for the entire 2 hour conference!!!! He stood in front of the doors and guarded the church hahahahahahaha! I died when I heard that. He's a hoot and a half for sure.

Michelle is doing well, pushing through all the trials in her life. This week, to add to her list of trials, her father in law died. So she had to cancel all of our appointments and work on the funeral and stuff. Like what the heck idk how she can handle all of this stress, but she's showing a TON of faith to continue onward and set another baptismal date for the 27th of February. But on the bright side, her husband is really willing to cooperate with us to get married to her so that she can get baptized!

Ummm, but yeah not much else is happening here. Elder Suero is going to be the district leader this transfer and Elder Morales will have a new comp from Brazil. I think he's got about the same amount of time in the mission that I have.

That's about it I think. I love you all and hope things are good at home!

Elder Nelson

Our district after Stake Conference on Sunday. Me, Suero, Morales (the short one), Amaro, Hermana Stevens, and Hermana Lopez

Me and Suero with a family from the ward that always gives us food

Monday, January 18, 2016

Spirit fills the gaps

Hey guys!

This week was super long. Really long because tons of our appointments fell through. Like always. We contacted a ton because a lot of the people we thought would have potential have really fallen flat and let us down. But it was rough because we contacted pretty far away from the house and this whole area is full of Pentecostal people, so we really didn't find many people that will have potential.

Our investigator Michelle is having a really rough time with the trials in her life. We've told her lots of times that now that she has a baptismal date, Satan is going to work even harder to get her to fall away from this date and the things she has come to know are true. So this week her kids have been fighting (like really fighting) and she's been really sick in the hospital with migraines and stuff. So we only got to meet with her on Saturday because of all the things that have been going on in her life. And she was just crying and seemed to be giving up on herself. Luckily we brought a member with us and he was able to talk her down and really helped her to understand why she has so many trials in her life right now.  It was seriously a really spiritual lesson even though we didn't actually teach anything that we had planned. The spirit definitely guided that lesson. At the end, we had gone over the time she gave us by like 30 minutes, I was able to give Michelle a priesthood blessing so that she would feel better. And my Spanish sucked. Like it's a whole different form of talking when you give a blessing. So I did it and I think everyone could understand the things I said, but it was rough.  All I know, is that I could feel the spirit.

So the next day Michelle came to church, which surprised me because she was so sick. But she told me that she felt better and wasn't stressed out, and didn't have her headache anymore! I know that Heavenly Father completed that blessing, no matter how badly it was spoken. He answers our prayers and knows our intentions and is always there to fill in where we lack. Honestly the mission is the best example of that. We as missionaries lack in so many things, but the spirit will always fill in what the people need.

Also a little tempo change here- the nutty guy that trapped us in his house to paint it, HE FOUND US AGAIN. He calls like every other day and we ignore it because he doesn't understand that we're missionaries and not for hire to paint his house. HE FOUND US IN A LIBRARY ON PDAY AND SAID "HEY NELSON, WHEN DO YOU THINK YOU CAN COME PAINT AGAIN?" Ha, I was like no way Jose and it's funny because his name is Jose. I think. At least that's what he told me but Suero doesn't trust that that is his real name.

Ummmmm what else happened.... Sunday night we had a ward fireside and a guy from Cayey (which is in the middle of the island basically) came and talked to us and he's super cool and funny. It was a super cool night with him. Hermano Zayas is the seminary coordinator for all of the Caribbean islands. Super cool guy.

Um, but yeah that's about it. I turn 19 in like a week and a half so that's cool.

Love you all!
Elder Nelson

(transfers coming up so don't mail anything to the house address until you hear from me)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Prayers are answered

This week was long. We set really high goals for the district in Vega Baja and have had to work really hard to achieve them. Although we didn't exactly reach the goals, we worked really hard and are seeing the fruits.

This last week we really sat down and thought about  all our investigators and ended up dropping a lot of them because they don't show interest and aren't allowing us to help them progress in the gospel. It's sad, but there are always people out there who are prepared to hear the gospel, and we can't lose time trying to teach people who aren't going to progress. So we're kinda back to square one, finding. We spent 3 days in the sun for like 4 hours each day, contacting and trying to find people. But it's ridiculous how many people will reject 2 teenagers talking about Jesus Christ!

So that part of the week was kinda disheartening but I have a lot of confidence in our work and I know the Lord will put people in our path to teach and baptize. We just have to put in all our effort.

This week we had really cool ward activity where we taught the Plan of Salvation and then did some activities and had a lot of fun. Our goal now is to really get the ward involved in the missionary work. Because the missionary work is not just for the missionaries! That's one of the problems a lot of people have, thinking that the missionaries can and should do everything!

One of the days we were contacting and we had been out for 4 hours with literally no success. I WAS RED AS A LOBSTER. And we found a miracle. We had been praying for a family to teach, and the very last house we contacted, we found a family that appears to have interest. Prayers do receive answers!

Oh other milagro: we went and taught Michelle this week, and last minute we got Hermano Torres to go with us. And he's the coolest, he was pumped because we told him we were going to teach Michelle the Law of Chastity. So we got there, and he taught the entire lesson! He had the perfect stories and everything and it was such a good lesson. He made her cry and I know that she now knows what she needs to do to change her life! It was super cool.

Sunday night we went over to Hermano Torres's house and ate dinner with them and Suero made him laugh so hard he had to go take a pill, hahahahahahahha he's nuts.

But yeah that was the week. Crazy that I'm almost to my first birthday in the mission. I don't feel 19 at all. Like the mission hit pause, I don't feel like I'm growing but idk.

Anyways, that's about it! I love you all and hope that everything is going well at home for each and every one of you!

Elder Nelson

Elder Nelson

Elder Nelson and Elder Suero

Monday, January 4, 2016

My first baptism!

Hey guys!

The last two weeks have been nuts! All kinds of weird crazy awesome cool stuff happening in the area. And I have some really cool news to share!

So two weeks ago was Christmas. A lot of people think that Christmas time is the best time to share the gospel, which in a lot of ways it is. People are more open to listening to gospel stuff and all that. But dang Puerto Rico shuts down during Christmas time! We couldn't find anybody! We went like 3 days straight without being able to contact our investigators. But all is good, because the Sunday after Christmas I had my first investigator in the church! I've been out for 6 months and Michelle was the first investigator I've ever had in the church on Sunday. Which says a lot but anyways she loved church and was super accepted by everybody and she was really emotional about it and she just loved it and she's going to get baptized we just know it. She has such a strong desire to change her life and follow Jesus Christ!

Also on Christmas I got to skype the fam and that was super fun! Even though Tanner sounds like he's 22 and on steroids, it was cool.

Like 2 days before Christmas we were contacting in an area and we contacted this house and we could hear the guy inside say to his kids "don't talk to the Mormons, they're bad". So we contacted the house again (which in Puerto Rico is yelling 'buenas' in front of the house) and this guy screamed "what was that?!?!" and when we asked if we could give him a card with a picture of Jesus, he yelled "No. Leave!" Hahahahha oh the good people of Puerto Rico. Gotta love em.

Also the same day that Michelle came to church for the first time, one of the investigators of the sister missionaries asked me to baptize her! Her name is Kaneesha and she was one of the first people that I met in Vega Baja and she's really cool and her family is really fun to be around. So she asked me to baptize her which is really cool because she's my first baptism! On January 2nd I had the opportunity to baptize her, and Elder Morales baptized a guy named Marcelino who's super cool and funny. So, 2 days into the year and the ward already has 2 baptisms! And on the 16th Michelle will be baptized and everything will be awesome here.

Me and Kaneesha Segui Martinez before her baptism, Jan. 2, 2016.  My first baptism!

On Tuesday the 29th we got stopped in the street by some random guy and this encounter was really weird because he only wanted to talk to me because he only wanted to speak in English. So here's the situation - he asked us if we do service for people. Obviously as missionaries we said yes. So he said "awesome. I need help painting my house because I have back problems. I've done almost all of it already, but I need a little more help. Can you help me tomorrow?" So we said yes and the next day he picked us up and took us to his house. But this guy is nuts! He told us that he had done almost all of it himself, but we had to stop twice on the way to his house so he could buy two 5-gallon buckets of paint! Like, wouldn't you think that if the guy had done most of it already he would already have the supplies at the house???? So we got to the house and the guy hadn't painted anything!!! ZERO. There was no paint on the walls. And we told the guy "we need to be back at 1:30". This guy pulled some big tigeraje to get us to stay until 4! HE ABUSED US. And when we finished with the 2 rooms that we got done (we only got 2 rooms done) he said "so when you come back tomorrow you can finish all this and work until 6, esta bien?" LIKE WHOA DUDE WE AIN'T COMING BACK TOMORROW. He just wanted to use us and use us and use us. And the dude really rubbed Suero the wrong way because he's from Puerto Rico but is racist against Latinos. Like that doesn't make sense at all. But whatever. And he's called us like 10 times since then and so we blocked his number. He just wants to abuse us. He even lied about his name to us! Like come on man.

Then it was New Year’s Eve and that was extremely long and boring because we couldn't do anything. But at 11:55pm it got exciting when the fireworks went off and the drunk neighbors knocked over a firework that blew up in the street and freaked out all the drunk ladies on the front porch.

On January 1st I completed 6 months! Crazy how fast time has been flying!

Soooo that's it I think. Basically. I probably forgot a lot because it's been like 3 weeks since I wrote a blog email. That's all the exciting stuff I think.

All in all I know that the church is true and that it changes lives. I'm seeing it change the life of Michelle as she commits to the things that she needs to do in order to be baptized and receive the blessings of the gospel. It's changing her life and at the same time is changing mine as I see her determination to be better and follow the example of Jesus Christ.

I love you alllllllll the mission is great and hard and awesome but I love it and I love you all!


Elder Nelson

Me and the Boucher's at the Christmas party!

Christmas party at the President's house.  Elder Suero, Amaro, Morales and me with our Christmas presents.

Me and Elder Suero at the Christmas party

Christmas Eve I treated Elder Suero and me to a dessert from Church's called the Volcano or something like that

New Years Eve with the neighborhood dog that always sits in front of our house with the neighborhood cat.  They're buds.

Me hanging with the neighborhood cat on New Years Eve.  Cat hangs out in front of our house.

We went out with a couple families last P-day (Dec. 28) to a farm and hung out there all day and then had a cool Family Home Evening with all of them in a cabin thing

Me and Marcelino who also got baptized on Saturday.