Monday, September 26, 2016

Puerto Rico sin luz

Well this week things were a little nuts here in Puerto Rico. We lost power on Wednesday at about 2pm and it seemed like the whole world was going to end! All the Puerto Ricans got in their cars and started driving around for no apparent reason, I assume just to have air conditioning haha. But then we started hearing rumors in the street and we come to find out that a power plant in Salinas blew up and that we were going to be without power for up to a week! So that night and the next night we ended up sleeping on the porch of the house with our mattresses out in the open air where it was somewhat, not a lot, cooler than inside. We loaded up with bug spray and slept outside and honestly I slept great.

But as far as missionary work this week... it was a little complicated because a phone company cut all services and so a lot of the phones weren't working as we tried to coordinate things. And people were always out buying ice and stuff and idk why everybody thinks that when the power goes out we have to get in our cars and drive around for no reason but that's how it seemed to me.

We have a family we're teaching and they're super cool, the mom and the daughter have a baptismal date for the 9th of October, but we have yet to be able to set the date with the dad. The mom is super excited and wants to be baptized really bad, her name is Maria Roman and she came to church and everything on Sunday. She brought her grandson and everybody loved him and I think that made her feel really accepted in church which was really cool to see.

We're working with a 12 year old boy named Ariel who is part of a part-member-family in the ward here. He's been coming to church for like 4 months now and wants to be baptized, but his dad is putting up walls and doesn't want to let him be baptized. And Ariel is scared to tell his dad what he wants to do!! So we're kinda at a standstill until we can convince the dad to let him get baptized. Because the kid is ready, just need the signature from the dad.

We finally got power back on Friday I think... but as we go around town there's still places in San Juan that have yet to fully receive power so it's still kinda shaking things up. As we walked through San Juan with the power out it was soooo loud because all the buildings have giant generators... and apparently when there's no power everybody goes to the bars. So the streets were really loud with tons of people in the bars. Satan has power wherever and whenever he needs it!

Sunday was really cool because the talks that were given in sacrament meeting were super good for our investigator, and I got to translate for some greengos! I got to go to primary and everything and translate for 4 boys super full of energy. It was pretty fun but man they were a handful, hahaha, I did more teaching than the teacher did.

I really felt this week that the Book of Mormon is true. It just hit me again and again that it's true. That the prophets are real and called of God. I know that this is His church. I know it and there's nothing anyone can do to disprove that. I'm so thankful for what I have!

Love you all!

Elder Zack Nelson

Mi distrito!!
Suerrito had a birthday! (Elder Suero and Elder Nelson)
 San Juan skyline kinda
Heyyyy look it's Elder Trump hahahhaha

Monday, September 19, 2016

following His example

Sooo this week was a lot better! We actually had a really cool week, and I think we had a week that seemed to be helpful to everyone in the district!

One super cool part of the week was one day I had mentioned to the sisters in the district that we were going to try and find references for them. So then we went out that day and began to work and the first person we talked to was a woman. But as we taught her on her porch a little about us and the Restoration, she accepted a baptismal date! And then as went continued throughout the day we continued contacting and found another super humble woman who was super duper receptive to the message. So we invited her to be baptized, and she accepted also! It's really cool when you can see the Lord working through others or even yourself and your companion to be able to help other people. We're super excited to be able to pass these ladies off to the sisters so that they can teach them. We see small miracles every day! I think that was huge this week. The sisters then trusted us with a 12 year old boy of a part member family that they've been teaching, but think that we can help him even more. So this week we really kinda discovered how to work together as a district and help each other to achieve our goals!

We also have a super cool family that we're teaching, a family of 3. It's funny because while I was outside of Hato Rey on an exchange, Elder Munoz went with Elder Lopez to visit the family and Elder Lopez is awesome. They taught more about baptism because they already have a baptismal date for the 9th. So as they were teaching, (and I'm quoting because I wasn't there) Elder Lopez says “hermana, I'm going to be really direct with you. Your baptism isn't valid” and she understood perfectly and didn't argue it!! Really showed me how when you're really humble and full of the spirit like Elder Lopez is, you can have a huge impact on the people you teach. He definitely helped this family to understand the meaning of baptism.

Other super cool moment was on Sunday. The Zone Leaders have been teaching a 13 year old buy named Rafael for about 2 months and he was baptized on Sunday. The baptism was really cool, but super spiritual at the end because he bore his testimony of the gospel and just broke out in tears and the spirit just hit me super hard. He just cried and cried and just about everybody in the room broke out in tears. Baptisms are the best!

Today we had a really cool district activity playing soccer and shooting hoops in the sun. The elders from Pontezuela cooked food and brought it and surprised everybody because it actually tasted good, hahahaha, I don't think anybody really expected that.

I think that's about it! Really focusing on the simplicity of the gospel is changing things for us. Now we teach around baptism. Christ always taught the Atonement and then baptism. So, following His example, we're now working to do the same. And it shows. I love the gospel and I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ. It has been restored through Joseph Smith. He was a true prophet. This is the Lord's work. He guides us and works through us. I love being His servant. I know that this is the only true church, and the ordinances that we do are the only ordinances that will allow us to return back to the presence of our Heavenly Father.

Love you all!

Here's some pics from the district activity!

(Suero's camera has some weird filter on it, we aren't really that colorful)

I have a lot of pictures, some going back to Caguas --
 Gladys from Caguas
 Noel from Caguas, super cool dude!
Elder Colon, Elder Suero and I at transfers

Pictures from Hato Rey --
 Me and Monica Puig who won the gold medal in Women's Tennis form Puerto Rico!

wow que artsy
 Us at Viejo San Juan in 'El Morro'

 check out my pano skills

big walls and lots of sun

Elder Orr, Elder Suero and I at transfers

 I went on an exchange and I got a bunch of free tshirts, this one dad will like I think

My companion, Elder Munoz, from Mexico

 we attempted to take an Abby Road pic but the timer didn't work

It started to rain super hard as we were walking around El Morro the other day, so we kinda got soaked. But just so you can see the storms that randomly roll in!!

Our attempt at an Abby Road pic like the Beatles.... some funky Australian dude took the picture and with a serious Australian or British accent said ¨wowwww rad!¨ hahaha

 Elder Munoz and I in Viejo San Juan

Old San Juan under a lot of rain!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Contacting and talking and time in the sun

Pues esa semana fue algo dificil. Estamos encontrando in monton pero nos hace dificil encontrar estas personas de nuevo. So es in poco dura la obra cuando no encuentra las personas listas.

But on the bright side I'm on the mission and I can speak Spanish so that's good.

But this week was actually pretty fun. We did find a cool couple and had a solid lesson with them and a member, so hopefully they'll be able to progress soon! Ooohhhh and a family that's super cool, the mom of the wife is Mormon and is super strong in the church in the Dominican Republic, so she committed really fast to come to church next week, so we'll see!

The rough part is not having baptismal dates and investigators in the chapel coming to church with us. But we'll change that fast this week. I realized that as we plan we set goals, but then we don't push ourselves to reach those goals. That's what we're going to focus on this week.

But I think something really cool from this week was the stake conference. A lot of people in Puerto Rico wonder when they're going to have a temple here instead of having to fly out of the island. And the answer that the stake president gave super fuerte was "pay your tithing. If you don't pay, if you reject a calling, or are failing to keep any of the commandments it's because you don't have faith". Like WOW he just told everyone that we need to change our lives and be better. But it's true. When we fail to complete our callings or we don't push ourselves to keep all the commandments it's because we lack faith! We think we know better! We all lack the vision that our Heavenly Father has for us. If we truly have the faith that the Lord will help us and will provide for us, the commandments shouldn't be a problem. Obviously it's a ton easier to say than it is to do. But the concept remains! I think I mentioned this a while back when I wrote something about faith. If we don't have the faith, what we want is never going to happen without the faith in order to achieve it. Like Elder Bednar said in an article in the Ensign, we need to have the faith to be healed, but also have the faith to not be healed. We need to have the faith to accept the will of the Father! But in the long run, we need to know that however things happen in our lives, is how it's meant to be. In the end if we don't have the faith to accept His will, we will never have sufficient faith to receive what we want. There's a reason that faith is the first principle of the gospel. Without it we can't achieve anything.

Honestly that's about it. There wasn't anything super exciting from the week and I really don't remember everything we did. It all seems like a blur right now because it's a lot of contacting and talking and time in the sun.

But that's about it! Love you all!

Have lots of pictures but haven't been able to get on a computer that allows me to plug in and send them

Elder Moss and Elder Nelson on an exchange the other day

Monday, September 5, 2016

Lots of contacting

Hey everybody!

So this week was pretty good. Still a lot of contacting because there was really nothing here when I got to the area. So we're working hard to find the people that are really prepared to hear the gospel. And this last week we did find some cool people, so hopefully they'll progress this week!

There wasn't anything really special that happened this week I don't think. This week I did do an exchange with Pontezuela, which is part of my district that seems to struggle a lot to find people to teach and don't baptize much. So it was a cool exchange to be able to work there and help them to find more people to add to their teaching pool. I think one of the coolest parts was during the weekly calls I have to do on Sunday nights, I called them and they said that a guy named Angel that we visited on the exchange who's been investigating the church for 3 years got up on Sunday at church and bore his testimony and said that he thinks he's going to get baptized soon. It was a really cool experience with him because he expressed his needs and then we talked about a solution after the exchange and then the elders there went and did it. And it showed immediate results! It's really cool how things like that work. He's a super cool guy and loves the church but just needed that little push. And so it was cool to be a part of the solution there.

We're teaching a guy named Juan here and he wants to be baptized and everything and he's super cool but he's going to be in the DR for like 3 weeks so it kinda throws off the whole goal to baptize him quickly. Although we'll see what happens.

San Juan is cool, it's got some really funky people and some really cool places to visit. Today we were able to go to El Moro which is a big castle thing on the coast of San Juan. It started to pour on us so that made it interesting. I have tons of pics but they don't let us connect things to the computers here sooooo I'll send them sometime soon.

We had a super duper cool conference with the new President of the Area of the Caribe. And he was super cool and really funny. But had some really good points about missionaries. I don't have my notes with me but he said something like "the missionaries are the key to the salvation of the people here in Puerto Rico. No matter how bad they want to be baptized, they can't do it without the missionaries". I liked that, and it gave me a lot of desire and energy to continue working.

I know that this work is the Lord's work. He guides us and works with us here in Puerto Rico and with every member in every place in the world. I love this work and wouldn't change it for the world. The gospel is the greatest blessing we have in this life. It's true.

Love you all!

John and Tracy Melville visiting from Utah, he's a YSA Ward bishop and they were really cool. They just said "hey let's take a picture and send it to your mom!" So we did. In this ward there's always greengos visiting.