Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Last meetings -- MLC and Zone Conference

Last MLC (Mission Leadership Council) on June 7.  Elder Nelson's last MLC and President Boucher's last MLC too.


Last Zone Conference - June 2017

Monday, June 12, 2017

Simple promise fulfilled

Welp this is it. 4 days left!

This week was really cool for us, mostly because of a super special experience that we had on Sunday. We've had a lot of investigators just fall through and not want anything after lots of time dedicated to teaching and planning in order to help them progress, but this week we visited a guy named Rafael that we've been teaching for a while. He always had commitments in the past with his other church and wasn't super excited to even try to come to church with us. But we visited him on Saturday and he told us that he wasn't planning to go to his church, and that he was going to stay home and clean the house. So right then we jumped in and committed him to come to church with us. He said yes and we were just pumped. It's really cool to see how the Lord works in different ways, because at the end of the lesson I remember promising him that if he went to church, he would feel in his heart that the things we're teaching are true and that this is the true and restored church of Jesus Christ. He committed and it was all cool and neither of us thought about the promise we made to him.

So he made it to church on Sunday and right away he found some members that he's known for a looong time. So it was perfect. Already got friends here. It wasn't like the talks were super good or anything special happened during church, but afterwards he told us pointing to his heart "I don't know what it is, but there's something in here that's telling me that Rafael needs a baptism here quickly." We were really happy but didn't really pay much attention to everything he said. But last night I was thinking and literally what he felt in his heart is exactly what we had promised him the night before! It was so special to recognize that a simple promise from two of our Savior's representatives was fulfilled and he realized it.

Without a doubt I know that this is His true church. I know that it has been restored and is the only true church on the face of the earth that has the power to do all the ordinances necessary to make it back to God's presence. He answers prayers. I feel and can see that the authority that was conferred upon me as I was set apart as a missionary and representative of Jesus Christ is real and works miracles in the lives of His children. He loves us and is constantly watching over us.

The greatest joy in this life is being able to help others come unto Christ and find the joy and happiness in this life that will one day transform into an eternity of joy and blessings. I love this work. I know that it is real. Our Savior lives and because of him we can be clean of our sins and one day resurrected to a perfect state, to receive the fullness of the blessings that the Father has waiting for us.

I forgot my cable to send pics soooo those will probs come when I get home haha

Puerto Rico ya tiene mi corazon gana'o... espero verles pronto, jamas podre olvidarme de las personas tan buenas que se encuentran en esta isla! Ya soy Boricua de pura sepa, la isla del encanto siempre sera mi favorita...

WE PUMPED. TALK TO YOU FROM OREGON ;)

Elder Zack Nelson
Puerto Rico San Juan Mission
2015-2017

Soccer with the YSA y amigos!





Monday, June 5, 2017

Nearing the end...10 more days

I don't really feel like writing a big email today... Just know that I love you all and I'll be home in 10 days hahaha

It was a good week though. We didn't actually get to work in our area until Thursday so that kinda threw us off a bit. Rafael apparently believes that his church is the true church. He's wrong, but won't accept it. So he fell through...

But that's not the end of the world because the zone is looking a lot better and there's some young elders that are going to be baptizing. So we're happy for that!

Love you all!
Elder Nelson

 10 dias papa jajajaa

me and Elder Beauregard 
Elder Cook with a lizard on his ear 

Pictures from last week's district activity --




Monday, May 29, 2017

Working to the end! And it's hot, hot, hot!

Se nota en cada foto de la actividad hoy que tengo el cuello super rojisimo pero blanco a la misma vez... por ser gringo jajajajaa

Wow what a week, honestly it was a really stressful week I think. We found some cool people and taught a lot... but in the end nobody came to church. We were expecting like 5 people, but in the end, nobody showed up. And it was like the most important Sunday they could have come to! Because President Gonzalez from the Presidency of the Area Caribe came and visited the ward in San German. He talked and gave lessons and it was just an amazing Sunday, seriously the spirit was soooo strong there!!

We're still working with Rafael, but he has to work on leaving the church he goes to right now. He loves the doctrine and has learned a TON! But still has a connection to the other church... People just don't change very easily. So he didn't come... if he had come he would have loved it!

We're still working with Rubi also. She's making progress but didn't make it to church because they were in San Juan this weekend.

But for right now those are the people we're working with a lot to get baptized before I leave!

Today we had a district activity in Cabo Rojo exploring some caves... but man it was super freaking hot and all I did was sweat. It was a really cool activity but man it was hot hot hot!

Gotta go because it's a holiday and we have to share the computers... love you all!

See you in 17 days!
Elder Nelson
District activity today in Cabo Rojo.  Me and my companion, Elder Arteaga
 Elder Willes, Bradford and I
 me and Elder Bradford
 Exploring caves in Cabo Rojo today
 just a part of the district... Hna Rodriguez, Elder Bradford, Elder Bauregard, Elder Murillo


The elders in action


Monday, May 22, 2017

Hot, Tired & Happy.

IT'S BEEN SO HOT LATELY

I feel like I'm gonna die literally every day. I think the 2 years has just taken a toll on me, plus the extreme heat that has hit me like a brick wall lately...

This week we had some disappointments as usual, but it was sad for us (for me especially) because Michael, who has been progressing really well lately, told us that he doesn't want to hear anything else from us. Just out of nowhere told us that he's done. I thought he was going to be baptized for sure but obviously that's not quite what he has planned apparently.

But we spent a lot of time finding new people to teach this week and we were able to find a man named Rafael, who's super special. I think he's missing an eye (ironic that I'm not super sure because I couldn't see very well hahahhaa). But he's super cool and knows a ton about the bible and stuff, but the best part is that he loves the Book of Mormon and wants to read it. He says it just makes sense! He accepted a date for the 10th of June and has loads of potential. Super cool guy. It just shows that you can't judge anybody! When I contacted him on an exchange, he was all sweaty and gross and obviously missing an eye. I had no idea he would be so cool!!

We also found a cool family on our exchange and went back and taught them on Sunday and it was another super cool experience! It's really amazing how a true testimony can help someone to feel the spirit and want to learn more. The mom of this family was asking all the right questions! Honestly that's like the best feeling in the world as a missionary, when your teachings work and contacting lead you to someone who has the questions that our message answers... it's cool!!

Rubi is progressing towards her date for the 10th, but she's in the middle of graduation stuff so it's been hard for her to come to church. But I'm confident that she'll make the date!

I'm super happy to be here on the mission. I have like super mixed feelings about coming home but I really know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ. El la dirige y se han restaurado todas las cosas necesarias para poder regresar a la presencia de Dios un dia. Se que El vive y sufrio por nosotros para proveer el camino para ser personas nuevas y limpias del pecado! Somos hijos e hijas especiales de Nuestro Padre Celestial y el quiere que lleguemos a ser como el un dia! Amo poder servir como representante de Jesucristo.

Les quiero a toditos! Espero que google Translate les sirva!

Elder Nelson

Elder Arteaga and I with Ramon, who was the baptism of the sisters Rodriguez and Medina here in San German
 ELDER BRADFORD (the big one, a giant stud)
Elder Bauregard (greenie, mas chiquito)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Happy Mother's Day! (30 more days)

Welp, this week was rough. We worked super hard and saw some really amazingly cool miracles but I'll just tell ya right now I don't feel like typing today hahahahaha

We're teaching a less active member from the DR who's here for like 6 months living with his wife and daughter who aren't members. So we've gone by and taught like twice now and it's one of the most interesting things ever. Because the wife doesn't quite believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God it makes the lessons really interesting. It's kinda like teaching Herbert again because she asks tons of questions and we really have to think in order to answer them. But it's all good, the daughter named Angie has a son that's 5 years old named DiAngelo and he's super cool. But at the end of our last lesson she asked "so how can I know if this is true?" which is like the best question an investigator can ask. So she's got some potential!

We found a lady this week named Lillian and she told us that she's Catholic but "doesn't reject the word of God" So we taught her and it was a super solid lesson and she felt the spirit as we talked about the restoration and then she says "I know that God must have sent you to me for a reason" and then she accepted a date for the 3rd of June! She's super cool and really sincere and has a whole family that we're going to visit tonight!

Michael is 18 and has a lot of interest in the gospel. He understands everything really well and it's just cool to see how it's making sense in his head. He's just such a good guy and wants to do what's right, I really hope he can be baptized in May. He has a date for the 28th so we gotta get him to church!

We've faced a lot of obstacles lately as we've tried to teach more young people... there's always some kind of family member that gets in the way of their progress, but it's been fun to work around the obstacles and see how their testimonies shine.

This week I was able to do an exchange with Elder Hortin in Isabela and it was really cool to be with him. Last time I did an exchange in Isabela I was with Elder Glissmeyer and we found a 24ish year old girl named Isabel who lived in Utah for a year on an internship and had gone to church once and has friends that are Mormons and will be going back to Utah in the winter to work and live, so she received us really well. This last Saturday I was able to go back and teach her again and it's just really cool how the simple invitation that her friend in Utah made to come to church and receive a Book of Mormon has helped her to receive the gospel here and be really interested in it. Honestly even though the attempt of her friend in Utah to share the gospel with her might not have born fruits at that time, I know we were led to her on the exchange and that she was being prepared to receive the gospel here in Puerto Rico! She's super cool and we're hoping that soon she'll make the decision to be baptized!

So always make the effort to share the gospel and don't get down when you don't see the results right away!

Love you all and Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! You're the best!

30 days man eso esta brutal ;)

Elder Nelson


May 2017 MLC (Mission Leader Council)

Monday, May 8, 2017

T-MINUS 5 WEEKS PAPA PERO NO ESTOY TRUNKY

I WAS SO TIRED THIS WEEK.

Tuesday and Wednesday we spent like 22 hours in the car in total and man that just sucks the life out of me. But the rest of the week was pretty cool! We were able to set a lot of baptismal dates this week with new people, and we found a lot of young people to teach and work with!

We have Michael who's 18 and is a gymnast and actually is friends with a member. He accepted a date for the 28th of May.

Adrian is 25 and lives in a house that Hermano Olmo has rented out in Sabana Grande. He's a really cool kid and knows a ton about the bible and stuff, so it's really easy to teach him. He came to church yesterday!

Juan is the Dominican who's super cool and came to church 2 weeks ago. This week we weren't able to see him because he was in the DR running in a competition all week. But we heard from the other Dominicans that live in the apartment that he won his races! So that's cool. We're still working to get him baptized this week if everything goes well.

German is a guy that's like 45 and really wants to be baptized! He is working on quitting smoking and drinking coffee so that he can be baptized on the 20th. He wasn't able to make it to church because his uncle came and picked him up at 8am yesterday unexpectedly. Next week!

We're now starting to work again with Rubi, who is the daughter of a recent convert family that wasn't baptized with everyone else. She's insanely smart and knows everything about the lessons and stuff. She just has to recognize her answer I guess. Her date is June 10th since she won't be in San German for a few weeks due to registration in the college in Ponce where she'll be studying soon.

The zone has a goal to hit 27 baptisms in May! We had a total of 7 in April so we just have to quadruple the baptisms in order to get the 27! But really the zone has changed a lot lately and we already have 31 baptismal dates for May, just waiting for the missionaries to get all their investigators to church... That's the hard part! But with lots of faith we'll definitely be able to see miracles in each area.

Herbert is still Herbert... super funny and always making jokes! Sometimes he seems to be like too smart for some of the lessons in church because he thinks too in depth hahahahahaa and then the teacher has to find some super in depth way to explain the example or something.  Always on your toes with Herbert!

Natasha is good as well! Loves to work with the Young Single Adults and stuff.

Love you all! Que tengan una semana bien brutal brodel porque la vida 'ta goofia'o y hay que disfrutarla jajajajjaja

LES AMO
ELDER NELSON

T-MINUS 5 WEEKS PAPA PERO NO ESTOY TRUNKY

Live action pic on the church couch waving what I think is a handmade toilet paper holder... Pic creds again to little Vicky, hahahaha

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Miracle of Herbert's baptism

It's been super crazy lately. This last week was pretty nuts but I think it was one of the most important weeks of my mission as far as learning and working goes. We did an exchange Monday night thru Tuesday, and then another Tuesday night thru Wednesday and it was just super nuts. We were like all over the west side of the island working with different missionaries trying to help everyone see the goal of the mission and get excited about the work. I did an exchange one day with Elder Perez in San German, and the next day I was in Aguadilla with Elder Mancilla.

Herbert got baptized! That was a serious battle. On Monday we found out that his heart was enlarged and he wasn't getting proper blood flow through his body. So we were super worried, like what if this old man dies on us before we can get him baptized! We prayed a ton that things would go well. Then we visited him and found out that he was probably going to need open heart surgery to fix his problems... Even worse. At this point we were just scared that we were going to lose our friend Herbert, because the outcome didn't sound very good! We visited him on Tuesday and got him to realize that we love him and God loves him and has given him the opportunity to be baptized and change his life. So he committed to be baptized, but we couldn't get him to accept a date. On Wednesday they went back to teach him after he came back from the doctor and Elder Arteaga and Elder Flores told me that he accepted a date for Saturday!

Turns out, he went to the doctor and he doesn't have to have the open heart surgery! They let him go without any problems! It was seriously a miracle... We have no idea how the results changed but I think it all had to do with his desire to be baptized and make this covenant with God. So, we got him ready and on Saturday he was baptized!

After he was baptized they gave Herbert the opportunity to bear his testimony and I think it blew everybody's socks off... He got up and just talked so powerfully and really you could tell and see the conversion that he went through as he made the decision to be baptized, it was super cool.

Also second part of the miracle of Herbert's baptism: I don't think that we would have been able to achieve his baptism if it wasn't for Elder Flores. He came in and was able to give all the right answers and help Herbert see that this was the right thing to do. The Lord put Elder Flores with us so that we could see this miracle in our area!

Over the two weeks that we were with Elder Flores we saw him change a ton. From an elder that wanted to go home and abandon the mission, to an elder that is now determined to make the most of his mission and fulfill the purpose that the Lord has given him here in Puerto Rico. We had tons of spiritual experiences just talking with him every night and it all gave me a really new perspective on the mission and our work here!

Oh, and Juan the Dominican runner came to church on Sunday and loved it! So we're hoping that he can progress towards his date for the 14th!

On one of the exchanges, I was walking home to the Aguadilla house with Elder Mancilla and on the side of the road was a guy with a bloody leg and a 4 foot alligator all duct taped up on the side of the freeway! I guess he saw it, stopped and got out of his Mercedes Benz and tackled the alligator... and apparently it got a good chunk out of his leg. But he caught it, hahahahaha.

That same day as I was in Aguadilla and Elder Arteaga and Flores and Higgins were in San German, they were walking over a bridge when they saw what looked like a horse drowning in the river. So they went down and found an 18 year old kid pulling a yellow rope connected to his horse in the water... AND THE HORSE WAS SWIMMING hahahahaahaha so they taught the kid right there by the river and set a baptismal date with him!! Crazy things happen in PR.

Love you all!
Elder Nelson
Los guapos, sabios, finos jajajajajajaja
Transfers with Elder Flores
 Con los Mexicanos mas duros!! Elder Munoz is now zone leader in Caguas and I got a pic with the stud ;)
 We went to La Parguera again but this time we did more exploring
 Elder Gil esta muertooooo
sending off Elder Stringam to his house this morning!
I drove for like 16 hours on Tuesday doing transfers and my eyes hurt like crap, so Elder Flores gave me these glasses that seem to be helping hahahaaha we put 645 miles on the car in 2 days and did 2 loops around the whole island hahaha wooooooooo
 Todos quieren a FLORES
It's a play on words in spanish...

 dude with the alligator he caught

 
Elder Flores and I in a big E
P O N C E 
 Arteaga is always messing around when it's time to be serious. Pic creds to: Little Vicky

Monday, May 1, 2017

Herbert got baptized! (and all of PR is on strike today)

HEY so I won't be able to write a lot today because all of Puerto Rico is on strike... so the libraries are all closed. So that means that we have to get 5 missionaries to write their families on one computer in the chapel. I'll write more on Wednesday, but pa que lo sepan, HERBERT GOT BAPTIZED IT WAS A MIRACLE

It was a good week
Talk to ya on Wednesday!

Elder Nelson

Herbert got baptized!




April Zone Conference

Monday, April 24, 2017

Bautizamos Papa

BAUTIZAMOS PAPA

I'm doing a little blog because they're about ready to kick us off the computers here in the library....

This week was really interesting. On Tuesday we got a new companion. So we're in a trio. His name's Elder Flores and from what we understand he was put with us because he made a mistake and wanted to go home. But after a week of working with us, today he called President and said that he wants to stay in the mission! It was really cool to be there.. we don't know what made him change his mind but we're just proud that he wants to stay!

Oh yeah and Natasha got baptized!! It was really cool. The baptism was packed and we had a lot of people there participating in it! Natasha was seriously a miracle... she just got here from the states and it was really cool to see the blessings of the gospel in her life as she learned and accepted the doctrine of the gospel! Her and her family will be huge parts of the ward here in San German!

We're teaching a 19 year old Dominican guy named Juan, he's part of a program that's here representing a few countries as runners... like these guys run like 10 meters per second. Idk what that is in US terms but it's fast. One of the guys he lives with is the 2nd fastest runner in the DR. You could say we're hanging with the famous guys. They're like Olympic runners... But anyway Juan has a baptismal date for the 14th of May and he's super excited for it! It's super fun to teach Dominicans... One of them is a super tall Guatemalan!! They're all really cool.

Herbert is still allli alli... he came to church, we just have to get him to accept to be baptized this next week and we'll be golden!!

Lot's of good stuff happening lately, and it's been fun to work lately!

Love you all!!
Zack

T-minus 7 weeks HAHAHAHA WOOOOOO not trunky

 So here's Julio (recent convert of  Elder Corales) ready to baptize his daughter Natasha Gomez

 Cabo Rojo district meeting!


 in the hands of my companion
 Exchange with Elder Glissmeyer!
 selfie pa ti
 me and Nestor el viejito
Chuleta from the Chuletada after Natasha's baptism! (btw chuletas are really good)