Monday, April 25, 2016

Welcome to Caguas!

So this week was super loco!

Tuesday was transfers and as always it's a mess because everybody has more stuff than we can fit in the cars. So it was crazy. I got to Caguas at like 2pm and we went right out with Elder Noble who finished his mission. A recent convert took us out to get like milkshake things and then we went and talked to a few other people so that he could say goodbye to his investigators before he went home to the DR. I was super lost because Caguas is huge and Elder Paniagua (my comp) walks extremely fast and I have a hard time keeping up with him. Maybe I was just really accustomed to Elder Suero, hahaha.

The rest of the week was spent pretty normally, went around to all of the investigators so that I could get to know them and all that. The recent convert that took us out to milkshakes is super cool and has one of the strongest testimonies I've ever heard from a convert. It's really amazing.

Okay but the most interesting part of my week was Friday, I had an exchange with a Zone Leader because I'm a new District Leader and they have to train me and all that good stuff. So I went to Aguas Buenas, which let me tell ya is all hills and a lot of agua. I was not prepared for that day. We got up and did some P90X workout video which wore me out (remember this is at 6:30am) and then we went out to work and ended up walking up and down hills all day. ALL DAY in the rain. It was one of the most mentally stressful things I've ever done.

But the next day was the worst. My body was super sore and we went out to work and I just couldn't take it. And since Paniagua walks super fast that didn't help at all. But we worked and ended up walking a ton because nobody was home. This day also kinda stunk.

That's really the week right there. I'm pretty stressed out because the district has a bunch of small problems that we have to work out, we need to be better about finding new investigators and setting baptismal dates and having lessons with members. All things that will come, we just have to find the way to work through it.

But Caguas is super cool and the ward is really awesome. There a ton of members here and they love to help us. And Caguas baptizes a ton so hopefully we can baptize in the ward like every week. It's definitely possible here!

Love you all! I know this is the work of the Lord and that He is helping us in every step.

Elder Nelson

 Elder Moran and Elder Bogges with me and Suero before leaving Vega Baja (April 19, 2016)

Me and Elder Suero with Suero's Oregon hat that I forced him to wear all day on Tuesday, hahaha

Elder Paniagua "killing" Elder Noble, because he went home that day so he "died" in mission terms

Elder Ruiz and I after our torture, I mean exchange in Aguas Buenas

me in front of a fountain in Caguas

Monday, April 18, 2016

Miracles! (And I'm being transferred)

Wowwwww what a week!

So basically this week was a big miracle. We decided that because transfers were coming up, that we were going to leave Vega Baja the best we could even though we didn't know who would be leaving. So we decided to go all out and drop all the people that didn't want to progress. We contacted like crazy all week and found some amazing people.

It was so cool Wednesday I think it was, we went out to contact and didn't have a whole lot of energy. But we got to the area where we've been working and man somehow the energy just came and we found the faith to contact. And we were so blessed! We contacted one house and a teenage girl came out and then her mom and her dad and siblings and we ended up teaching the entire family. They have so much interest and ask the most amazing questions. They're literally prepared to be baptized. So we invited them to be baptized and they accepted a date and then accepted to come to church and wow. We were stunned. The mom in just one day, read all the way to 1 Nephi 13 and remembered EVERYTHING. Literally every part of every story and every name. It was crazy. Then Sunday they all came to church and they loved it! I was talking to the parents after church about how I will probably be leaving Vega Baja. And the mom said, "yeah when we get baptized I'll make sure to send you pictures!" We've only known these people for 4 days and WOW.

And the family of Waldemar and Milagros (part member fam) came to church so we had 5 investigators and 5 less actives in church on Sunday. A miracle. But now I'm getting pulled out of Vega Baja so the other elders and the sister missionaries are going to baptize all the people we found, because both Elder Suero and I are being pulled out of Vega Baja.

Elder Suero is going to San Juan as a Zone Leader and I'm being sent to Caguas as the District Leader there. But they're not sending other elders to Vega Baja, there will only be one companionship of elders here from now on.

Saturday was a super cool day because Waldemar (investigator) took us out to lunch and we ate Cuajo which is the stomach or the stomach lining of a pig. I think that's what it is but I'm not positive. It was so good. The members and investigators gave us so much food over the past 3 days, hahaha, it was great. It's been really cool to see how strong the relationships are that we have with some of the members. I'm gonna miss Vega Baja a ton.

That was basically it this week, contacted a ton so that we could leave Vega Baja with a lot of seeds planted.

I know that the Lord works miracles in our lives when we have the faith. These 2 families are true miracles and will be extremely strong in the church when they get baptized. This is the true church of Christ, the only one. He founded one church, and this is it. I know that with all my heart. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true. The gospel is truly amazing and blesses lives.

Love you all, and next week I'll be writing from Caguas!

Elder Nelson

So I think recently some letters have gotten lost in the mail and I have no idea what the address is in Caguas, so from now on if you have anything to send to me, the mission address is the most reliable and I think I'll just use that now.

Elder Zack Nelson
Urb. Jardines de Caparra
#500 Calle Marginal Norte
Bayamon, Puerto Rico  

The miracle family that we found this week that's super prepared! Jorge is the dad, Elizabeth is the mom, Julitza is 18, I don't remember the little girl's name but she's really cool, and Chris Michael is 4. Super cool!
 Devon (my greengo pal) and I

 Jose Torres (son of Hermano Torres)

 Me and Hermana Stevens who goes home to Utah this week

 con Suero

Itzel didn't want to cooperate with me because I made him stop playing in order to take pictures. He'll be grateful one day haha

 Me and Waldemar

con Waldemar (dad), Milagros (mom), Iraimi, and Itzel. Just missing Mia. Waldemar and Itzel are the investigators and will be baptized soon!

Monday, April 11, 2016

I'm pooped!

This week was nuts and full of ups and downs and not sleeping well but all in all we had a lot of success!

Monday was amaaaaazing. We went to the Indian Caves in Arecibo for the Zone Activity and it was super duper cool. We got to wear regular clothes for once which was maybe one of the best parts of the day, hahahaha, but the view was super cool. I think the view was cooler than the cave. Makes me really want to see the other cave in Arecibo someday. It looks even cooler from what I've seen.

Wednesday I had an exchange with Elder Reyes which was actually really cool. We ended up contacting a ton but this day really built my testimony of good planning. We planned and talked about the things that we wanted to improve on during the exchange. Then we worked on those things obviously forgetting to do them constantly, and we saw the results of our efforts! It was cool because we talked about contacting with more faith. And the first house we contacted, they let us in to share our message. Then we walked a little more and Elder Reyes began to yell in front of the house like you have to do to contact in Puerto Rico and the lady just said "come in come in come in" and we just stood there surprised because that doesn't happen. Her and her family didn't want much though hahaha but maybe there's a miracle waiting!

The miracle that was so amazing this week is in the family of Waldemar and Milagros. Which is ironic because Milagros means miracle in Spanish. But yeah, Milagros is the mom and she got baptized when she was 13 or something and is now inactive. The 2 daughters are also inactive. 2 weeks ago Waldemar came to church with the kids and now we've been teaching them and each lesson is amazing! Waldemar has a gift that I've never seen before. Actually the whole family. Reyes and I taught them on Wednesday and Waldemar was crying and the kids ask questions that are so deep and ahhhh this family is amazing. Then we went back Friday and Waldemar cried again just watching a short video about the Restoration! Then Sunday night Milagros cried while she was testifying to Waldemar about eternal families. They're perfect. This family is so ready.

Friday we went out to contact like normal but we ended up walking the hour and a half to get to the area because we couldn't find a ride. While walking it began to rain very hard. And it didn't stop. So we kept walking. Then we got there and it was still raining. So we were already wet and began to contact. ONLY ONE PERSON TALKED WITH US. And all the crazy lady said was "hey you guys should get out of the rain you're gonna get wet". Hahahahaa thanks lady. She wouldn't even let us stand on her porch to get out of the rain. Just full of advice this lady!

So Saturday I had an exchange with Elder Moran (Zone Leader) in Vega Baja and we went out and contacted but I woke up feeling sick. But when we got out contacting it all went away and we found lots of cool people that have potential to be taught. It was a really cool day.

That's basically it. Not much new, just lots of pics and rain and exchanges and learning and contacting and all that fun stuff.

But seriously this week made me a better missionary. I think that's what I really got out of this last week. And a nice tan, haha. But I know that the Lord has His hand in everything, EVERYTHING we do even if we don't know it.
Love you all!

Elder Nelson

Transfers are next week so if you have anything to send me, send it today or tomorrow so that it gets here before I leave (if I leave). If not just wait until after transfers and I'll get you all my new address!

Zone activity! (April 4, 2016)

 da view

 Vega Baja district, best district in Puerto Rico
 With my companion, Elder Suero

Also I lost a bet with Elder Reyes so I had to wear these fake glasses all day and lemme tell ya they drove me crazy

 an awkward pic with Elder Boggess
 Elder Moran and the flag of the great and mighty Puerto Rico

Suero, Moran and me

Wow que pinta

 me and Elder Higgins 

 Gordito after all the rain hahaha (Elder Suero)

 This is Vigo

 me and Hermano Laureano

 District photos otra vez

This pic after the exchange with Moran turned out really awkward but yeah this was after the exchange

Monday, April 4, 2016


So this week flew by, it was super busy and interesting. And Conference was awesome!

Monday was the normal pday, we didn't do much.

We didn't seem to have a lot of time this week to work, at least it felt that way. Wednesday we had to drive to Caguas again to go to the doctor at 8 in the morning so we had to get up at 5am and it was a super long day. President always tells me he's tired of being in the doctor’s office with me, hahahaha, but this time he gave us 20 bucks for Wendy’s so we went and spent it all.

Last Sunday it was really cool because a less active/part member family came to church on their own, like we hadn't talked to them since December. But they came so we set up an appointment and went over and it was one of the best lessons ever. The non-member dad and son both want to get baptized and so we set up a date and it was just super cool. The dad is a big macho man but he was bawling telling us about his life. Baptisms soon!

We ended up working the entire week in the area of this family, and found a ton of people! It's cool how different people can be in each neighborhood. The people accepted us here really easily so we'll see how everybody progresses. But it was really cool to see people wanting to talk to us.

Then Saturday and Sunday was Conference! It was so good! I don't have my notes with me right now but the talks by President Uchtdorf and President Monson and Elder Holland were my favorites. President Uchtdorf had a serious sense of humor! And Holland too. It's amazing how much we can learn from the prophets in just 2 days, and how they answer whatever question we have! I know that my questions were answered and will continue to be answered as I apply their teachings to my life and continue to study their talks.

I know we have a living prophet on the earth! He received inspiration for the world and we are honored to be able to sustain him and his apostles as witnesses of Christ!

If we just understand a tiny bit of how much they love us, we will be able to better apply their teachings. WE ARE LOVED by the leaders of the church and even more by our Heavenly Father. What an honor it is to preach His gospel, and have the opportunity to help others come unto Christ. Remember that we ALL have this opportunity!

Love you all! Today have a zone activity and we're going to some caves in Arecibo so it should be cool!

Nos vemos!
Elder Nelson

Me and Elder Suero (yes, we have matching ties)

Me and Elder Reyes (he's the greenie in the house, but served 3 months in Guatemala before PR)