Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas 2016 - Baptized Penelope!

Sooo this week was a little rough. We worked really hard to try and reach our goal of two baptisms, but in the end the second baptism ended up falling through and we only achieved one. But one is one!!

Penelope's baptism was super cool. It was really funny because we went with the ZLs to do the interview Saturday morning at Penelope's house and she was just super prepared. Like one of the smartest little girls I know. She went into the interview with Elder Ourth and he came out afterwards just smiling and was like blown away by Penelope and how much she knows about the gospel. Elder Ourth asked her why she wanted to be baptized and she said, "so that I can have the Holy Ghost", and then Ourth asked, "why do you want the Holy Ghost?" and she responded "so it's with me forever!" She's just such a cute and smart little girl!!!

Christmas in the mission just isn't the same... it's cool and all but it's just not the same at all. Especially when it doesn't get cold and there's no snow or even cold rain hahahaha. But I guess it was cool this year, we got to skype the fam and that was sweet! It's kinda awkward sometimes because it's like... what do I say hahaha. But I got to see some cousins and parts of the Nelson side of the family. All the cousins look like they're like 2x the size that they were when I left! We ate a lot of rice with these things that idk what they're called in English- arroz con gandules. Y nos dieron pernil (idk how to say that in English either) But whatever I just know that it was a lot of food so that was tight. We hung out with the neighbors quite a bit and played a lot of pool. I always ended up losing because I could never get the 8 ball in. I'm good up until the end hahahaha

Oh and transfers! I'm getting moved to San German, which is on the west side of the island. I'll be a Zone Leader and my comp will be Elder Corales (I think that's how you spell his name). Elder Colon is going to stay here in San Juan as District Leader and he'll be training a greenie! I'm gonna be a grandpa! So that's cool. It's sad to leave San Juan but I'm excited to have something new, and it'll probably be my last area before going home!

Hope everyone had a rad Christmas and was able to spend it with the family. I'm so glad to be a part of this gospel and His work. This is His church. He lives. He died for us and was resurrected so that we too can have the chance to live again. Thanks to Him, the promised blessings can be ours. 

Love you all!
Elder Nelson
Baptism pics with Penelope!  I baptized Penelope (age 9) on Christmas day!

 Elder Nelson and Penelope
Elder Colon, Penelope and me
opening presents on Christmas morning!
 me and Rafael Cuevas
 with Zadkiel (super cool 10 year old)
Elder Nelson and Elder Colon with President and Sister Boucher (23 Dec, Zone Christmas party)

More pictures from the San Juan Zone Christmas Party (Dec. 23, 2016)
 MTC group back together in the San Juan zone!
 w/ Elder Colon
 w/ Elder Gil
 w/ Elder Hanna
 w/ Elder Ourth

Monday, December 19, 2016

Cool Week!

Things have been crazy good here. Yesterday we were able to get 5 investigators to church and we have some super cool people that are progressing towards baptism. The sad part is that I'm probably going to get pulled out of the area this coming week. I haven't been this sad for transfers to come before in my mission. I've just grown to love some of these people over the last few weeks and it's been ridiculously cool to see them progress and learn about the gospel.

Coraimy is family of a member. We're teaching her and her ex-husband (they separated recently but he comes by to hang with the kids). Coraimy is SOOOOO prepared! She wants to change her life and be better and get closer to her Heavenly Father, so it's been really cool to work with her. We saw her desire the first time we met with her and so this week we set a baptismal date with her for the 25th. It's super close but it's possible! Or it was possible... She has a super strong desire to change and be better but this Sunday kinda messed up our plans. We had told her everything that she needed to do to be baptized, and she was all for it. But we forgot to tell her that she has to come to church a minimum of 2 times to be baptized. So we went to her house on Sunday morning to get her to come because her phone doesn't work. And we get there and told her that she had to come in order to reach her goal of the 25th. And she started to change her plans and try and get a ride but then her aunt went off saying that she's not ready to be baptized and stuff and never came and got her! We got her to want to come but then her aunt starts blowing up on us and it was a mess. But Coraimy is soooo ready. You'd never think that a member would get in the way of our miracle!! But oh well, she'll get baptized soon.

Gabby and Leti are a young family that are progressing a ton! They're super cool and want to find direction in their lives. They're accepting everything that we teach and Gabby came to church yesterday! They have a date for the 8th of January. Pretty sure they'll be baptized that day.

Ana Gomez and her family are progressing really well also. Ana and her daughter Nicole came to church again yesterday and love it. So it's been really cool to see, especially because at the beginning, we didn't see a ton of potential in them. But now they're really progressing! The dad hasn't been super interactive with us. He works a lot. They have a date for the 15th because we're pretty sure they're not married.

Penelope will be baptized on the 25th! She's doing well and just finished her 3rd grade finals this week, hahaha.

But yeah, working has been really fun lately. And we're working really hard to try and achieve what's called the "Standards of Excellence" which is basically like the goal for all of us to achieve. But we're having some problems because we probably won't have the 2 baptisms that you need to reach the goals. But we're really close and it's been super cool to try and reach the goals because they're quite a bit higher than what we normally achieve as missionaries.

Merry Christmas!
Elder Nelson
Only pic from this week was taken on P-day last week. We got serious playing chess on the floor. That's how the big dawgs role in this mission hahaahha

Monday, December 12, 2016

Things turn around! Christmas baptism scheduled!

The first part of the week was pretty rough. We've gone a few weeks without finding any really solid investigators and I was starting to get really stressed out about it. Like I was really stressed because we've just been teaching the same people for like a month without finding other people to bring to church! But things got turned around.

Like it's just my luck to go to a new area to contact and the few 5 houses we contacted say "You guys need to leave, they just shot a guy on this street last night." It was super annoying like everyone was super scared and told us to leave "for our protection" but they wouldn't let us in to share a message about Jesus Christ. So that didn't make a lot of sense to me. Dumb people. But it was cool because we found a few cool potentials, and contacted into an older couple that we had no idea was there, that go to a different ward on assignment from the stake. They gave us food and a ride home. Super cool people.

But yeah so the start of the week was rough. I was discouraged because Penelope (who's the 9 year old daughter of the less active family we visit) was like, "no, I want to be baptized on January 8th." And we were like WHYYYYYY but she was stuck on being baptized on the 8th! Even though it's like a month away so we just told her to talk with her parents and pray about being baptized on the 25th. Because like the girl is ready, she says better prayers than lots of adults I've met, hahaha. So we left her like that. It was funny because the girl is so cute but she was just firm on the 8th of January!

That was Thursday. At that point we still hadn't found new investigators. And I was stressed. But then Friday came around and we had a solid day. Although it started off really rough. We went to contact a giant apartment complex and it was hard to start out. Nobody even answered the door at first. We even thought about leaving but then we made a contact between buildings and it was super cool and I think that was the key. We just had to listen to the spirit and contact whoever we felt would accept us. So we just went off talking and we found some really cool people. One really cool family too.

Then Friday night we had a ward Christmas activity and Penelope tells me "Hey Nelson. I wanna be baptized on Christmas" and I was pumped. So that was a little miracle. And her dad was just reactivated and he's going to baptize her!

Saturday we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders and it was really cool because Elder Colon worked in our area with Elder Ourth and they came home that night with 6 new investigators and some really cool experiences. So all our contacts were really cool!

Elder Colon was really funny when they came home because he said that they taught a family that we contacted in the apartments, but it was a really weird lesson. But then on Sunday, they all showed up at church! We weren't expecting at all to see them in church. So that was tight.

Sunday was super cool too because the Primary did their annual program and it was super cool! There's a gringo family and the little kids were so cute speaking their Spanish hahaha and Penelope did great on her part in the program! So it turned out being a really really cool week! And we expect to have a lot of success this week.

And if everything goes well, we could be baptizing a girl named Diandra on the 18th. She's been like flying under the radar but she's progressing pretty well so we'll see if we can get her prepared in time.

Love you all, have a great week and remember the reason for the season!
Elder Nelson
Exchange with Elder Gil

Monday, December 5, 2016

It's all good

Hey everybody!

This week wasn't anything really special, we had a ton of appointments to go to but a lot of them ended up falling through even though we had confirmed that same day! So that was a little disappointing... but it's all good because we have some cool people that are progressing. So we're happy for that.

We're working with a less active family that is coming back to church slowly. We went and visited them on Tuesday and it turns out that while they were less active for 3 years, the daughter wasn't able to get baptized! So we're jumping on that and hopefully we can get her baptized on the 18th. Her name is Penelope and she's 9 years old. Super super cool girl. She talks a ton and is really, really funny! Super cute. And they're a really cool family so hopefully soon they can get to the temple and stuff. That'd be sweet!

We're working with a few families also, the hard part is just getting in with them to visit! Everyone has really weird schedules and they have babies and it's just not the best for meeting with the missionaries. But we'll see if they can progress because they have a ton of potential, it's just hard with their schedules and stuff.

There really wasn't anything special or funny that happened this week, we just worked a ton and walked a ton and it was really tiring and stuff. Really nothing special. Maria did get called as the 2nd counselor in the Young Women's presidency though! So that's awesome! They've already got her working and planning activities for the young women.

I think this week I've really realized how unique the Church of Jesus Christ is. Like we're really like no other church. It's completely unique and really is a church to help all get back to His presence. Everyone is there with one goal and that one goal is clearly shown by the services that are done in the church, the way the members are and the involvement we all have in the church. It was interesting this week to really understand that.

Love you all and hope you have a semana que sea super chevere!
 Elder Nelson

Carmen Ivette Ortiz came up from Caguas to visit Colon and I and took us out to eat in Plaza Las Americas on Tuesday! 

Elder Colon