Monday, May 30, 2016

Pedro got baptized! And I'm gonna be a dad! (going to train a new missionary/greenie)

What a week...

This week went by sooooo fast! It really felt like I only went out to work like 3 times.

But so this week we focused a ton on Pedro, because he had the baptismal date for the 28th. So we really focused on him and preparing him to be baptized. It was super scary Friday when the Zone Leaders came to do his interview that he wasn't in his house and we couldn't find him. Sometimes he just leaves even though we tell him that we'll pass by. But so we couldn't find him Friday night and I was super bummed thinking that we wouldn't be able to baptize him on Saturday. But then at like 8:30 at night we found him in his house. So we made a ton of phone calls and got it all worked out so that we could do his interview Saturday morning and baptize him Saturday afternoon. It was all really crazy. But on Saturday he got baptized!!

Wednesday I had an exchange in Aguas Buenas with Elder Hanna and honestly it was super fun. We made giant cookies and found some cool people. Aguas Buenas is a really hard area, obviously that's why the Zone Leaders are there. And usually each week they find like 3 new investigators but Wednesday with Elder Hanna we found 3 new investigators in one day! We ended up contacting the whole entire day which was exhausting but it was fun. Sometimes it's fun to get away and talk in English with someone who understands you, hahahaha. At the end of the exchange Elder Hanna bought us a giant pizza and let me eat like all of it! haha.

Thursday and Friday were crazy. We spent a lot of time reviewing everything with Pedro so that he would be ready for baptism and his interview. And Friday we had a zone meeting with President Boucher about the pants and mosquitos and stuff like that. So they came and told us that the Elders can wear big floppy hats now, and sunglasses! It'll be so weird to see missionaries now with these changes.

Then Saturday we ended up doing service in the morning with a less active and one of their neighbors. The less active is Willie Berrios. He's actually a famous Puerto Rican singer and I know him, I think that basically makes me famous too. He's super cool and insanely funny. I don't think I've ever laughed while doing service like I did with him. Look up his name, he sang for us and has some cool songs. But he has one of the coolest houses with the coolest views in all of Puerto Rico. And he has a super cool truck and he took us out to lunch. The dude is awesome. In the afternoon Pedro got baptized, Elder Paniagua did the baptism. It was cool but because we weren't sure that we would have the baptism, not many members showed up, but the important part is that now he's made the covenant!

Yesterday we found out the changes! Elder Paniagua is going to Guayanilla and will be the District Leader there, and I'm going to train here in Caguas! Tomorrow I get to pick up my little greeenie! This transfer will be kinda weird because like halfway through, the Zone Leaders that are in Aguas Buenas right now, are going to move down to Caguas and live here and work here. I think they're slowly working to shut down the branch in Aguas Buenas... So then there will be 4 elders in the house!

There's not much more new here, we're working to baptize the good people, or as we say here "la gente buena".

But I'm sure next week will be full of stories and new information!

The church is true and changes lives. I love the way Pedro said after being baptized that he feels "restored". Really, baptism restores us to the way our Heavenly Father made us, the way we were when he sent us here to earth. Clean. What a blessing baptism can be if we truly work to keep ourselves clean, as our Heavenly Father wants us to be. Not to say that we won't get dirty, but he's always there to help us return to how we can be.

I love you all! Be good and share the gospel!

Elder Nelson/ Zack to the "gente buena" ;)

 Pedro se bautizo! (Pedro David Flores Alvarez)

Pedro and I :)
 Cookies on the exchange

Elder Hanna loves me

 me and Willie Berrios' giant Raptor that he said he'll give to me one day ;) hahaha jk

 me and Willie Berrios
an artsy picture of me and the view

Elder Paniagua and I on our last day together (today)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Preparing Pedro for baptism!

I think I say it like every week but time is literally flying....

This week went by so fast I can't even keep up with myself. It was kinda a hard week, really focused on getting people to come to church so our balance was a little off. We focused so much on that, that we didn't find many new investigators. So the balance is what we have to work on but man the transfer is almost over already!

The highlight of the week is that our investigator Pedro will be baptized this coming Saturday! I had some doubts about his commitment but this week he seemed to change and really showed his desire to change and be baptized! So we've been going hard teaching everything he needs and helping him to prepare for baptism. It was fun to teach the word of wisdom because we got to dump out all his beer and coffee and he was like "welp it's gone now so I can't drink it anymore" and we started yelling and shouting super happy stuff because he's super committed. So yeah he'll get baptized.

It's just a constant battle to get people to come to church!! We could have all 7 people committed to come to church and I bet you one would come. You have to be super tricky to get people to come to church in Puerto Rico. Like in Alma 18 it says something like how Ammon committed the King to believe in his words because he was a super good servant and would answer all his questions and stuff. Idk if I explained that well but the reference makes sense in my head.

On Friday the ward had an activity for the mothers and it was super fun and funny. Some of the guys sang love songs in Spanish and it's not like they're professional singers... Then at the end they did like a human puppet act and it was just a really cool night and super fun to serve the moms and talk with everybody.

But that's about it for the week. We're working super hard but man the transfer is almost over, next week we'll find out what happens with transfers and if there will be any changes!

Love you all! Be good ;)

Elder Nelson

My district

funny because Hermana Toribio is so short that you can't see her behind my head, hahaha

 Me and Elder Paniagua with the Zone Leaders (Elder Hanna and Elder Ruiz)

Pedro was somewhat confused by all the yelling and pictures as he dumped out his coffee, hahahaah

Monday, May 16, 2016

What do you do in Puerto Rico if the police don't show up?

Hey guys!

So this week was interesting, it wasn't our best week as far as numbers go, but we did work hard so that's what counts.

Um so I'll start with the funny part of the week. Sunday night we came home after working and all that to find a homeless man sleeping in front of our house. So we told him "hey, when you're done can you clean up the cardboard and all your food wrappers?" and he said yeah. So okay everything's good. Then Monday we get up to go run, and the guy left all the cardboard and garbage. Okay. No problem. Then Thursday night, he had been sleeping there all week. We got a text from the landlord saying "the homeless guy is doing drugs in front of your house. Call the police please". So I was like ummmm okay. I called President Boucher and he said that I should follow his directions. So I called the police at like 9pm Thursday night and they said that they were on the way and everything. Then I went about doing my business, making phone calls and all that. At 10:30 they hadn't shown up so I texted President "what do you do in Puerto Rico if the police don't show up?" and he said "go to bed" so I was like welp alright. The police just never showed up and the guy continues to sleep leaned up against our house! Hahaha

This week we had 5 people lined up to come to church with rides and everything. Then Sunday rolled around and only Pedro came. So hopefully we can get him to be baptized the 28th, all the other people that have baptismal dates will have to be changed or dropped if we can't get them to commit. It sucks when people commit and don't follow through. But such is life.

We had a really cool zone conference on Wednesday and I learned a ton. And we made it a goal to put everything we learned, into practice. And we did and it was really cool how it changed our lessons! It's easy to do with new people that we're teaching but I found that it's a ton harder to implement something new when you're teaching someone that you have like a month teaching. Interesting how the mission is.

But yeah that's basically the week. We had a cool lesson with Pedro the other day. He likes to talk A LOT and it makes it hard to teach him. But we watched the Restoration video with him and it was super cool, it always is cool to watch that video. So simple but you can feel the spirit super strong. Just confirmed my testimony again of the truthfulness of the gospel.

But yeah this week wasn't super interesting. But man time is flying! Almost a year already!

Love you all!


These are our greengo friends Bryce and Chelsea (I think their last name is Hoer or something like that) They're from Utah and he's here studying medicine

us with Hno Enrique Vasquez and Benny Vasquez (we call Enrique "abuelo", he's the ward mission leader)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Happy Late Mother's Day

Thanks to all of the mothers out there that make the mission easier for me and their missionaries! You guys rock, keep being cool, we love you.

This week was super cool but felt extremely fast. I have no idea where to start soooo this week we ended up contacting in the neighborhood where the sister missionaries live. Every elder thinks of this as restricted territory but we went in and said a prayer, like a really strong earnest prayer to find people to teach. After the prayer we both turned our heads and saw an open door. We contacted them and they said that the sisters always walk by but have never stopped to talk to them about the church. LIKE WOW #blessing. So we talked with them and they asked really cool questions and are super awesome. Then we continued contacting. Contacted a house and out came a mom and her 3 year old daughter. Her husband is a less active and she's willing to have us back by the house. So we have an appointment with them. Miracle number 2. The 3rd miracle in this area came when we found a reference that was given to us like 2 weeks before. Super cool older couple that are super prepared.

We have an investigator named Pedro. Pedro likes to talk. A lot. He has a super strong desire to be baptized and he comes to church and all the activities but the guy talks sooooo much. We visited him 3 or 4 times this last week and barely finished the first lesson! He just doesn't let us teach hahaha. But if the guy has desire then ya gotta baptize him!

The biggest challenge we have is getting our investigators to church. Basically none of them have cars and they're all older, mostly. Except for the people we found this week. Honestly finding this week was better than ever. On a different day we found a super cool super young family. And we went in and talked about the family and the Proclamation to the Family and they loved it. The mom and dad were super into it and yeah they'll probs be baptized soon.

Saturday we found another couple who are medio-loco but we'll see what happens with them. They're weird but she has good questions. Finding was just amazing this week.

This week we also had a meeting for recent converts and less active members with Elder Hugo Martinez from the area 70 of the Caribe. It was really cool, he shared his entire conversion story and he's really funny so it was super cool. Then on Friday I got to go to a District Leader meeting in San Juan with Elder Martinez and it was super cool, I learned so much. But somebody messed up and told us the meeting was at 12, it was at 2:30 so we got there 3 hours early. And then I had a baptismal interview to do for an investigator of the sister missionaries that night and we got back to Caguas at 7 and we couldn't find the house and then we found it and the guy was asleep so we were screaming in the street to wake him up but then it all went well and he got baptized on Saturday!

And skyping with the fam was super cool. As always. They're nuts but cool and it was a super cool week. Things are great here in Caguas and I'm stoked to continue working here and sooooooon we'll be baptizing!

Love you all!


Pictures of our house -
 Study room



Monday, May 2, 2016

Keep moving forward!

Hey peeps so I've been out for 10 months now that's like the big news.

This week was good, we worked really hard to get people in the church on Sunday but things didn't exactly pan out as we had planned. But, that's the mission and I learned from it and we'll do better this week!

So Tuesday I had to direct my first district meeting which I was kinda nervous for because I hadn't ever directed a meeting before in the mission. Like it's only ten people but ya know ya still want to do your best. I just didn't know if what I had planned was my best. But it went well and my prayers were definitely answered. Everyone participated and it was all really good and I think we all learned a lot from the meeting. And then the Sisters brought snacks for after the meeting but brought croutons. So we all ate croutons after the meeting hahahahha it was weird but we all enjoyed it and my first district meeting was a success!

We contacted a lot but didn't find a lot of people. We did find a pastor of his own church and so that was a fun lesson, but his family is cool. We tried to visit all 5 of our investigators that have baptismal dates as much as we could, but things seemed to be hard with them this week, we weren't able to contact them as much as we wanted. And then they ended up not being able to come to church. But we learned.

We had a huge ward activity on Friday and I ate a ton and it was awesome.

I don't have anymore time because we need to go grocery shopping, but I love you all and keep moving forward!

Elder Nelson