Monday, May 25, 2015

May 25th: First week in Gualeguaychú, with Elder Flores from Honduras!

May 25th:

There's 3 Argentina cities in our mission: Gualeguaychú, Colon and Conceptición del Uruguay (spelling is potentially incorrect but they are all really close to the border. We also have at least one city in Brazil called Quarai which is right above Artigas. 

Changes were loco. So I didn't leave Artigas until Wednesday night but I had already packed all my bedding Tuesday morning so I just slept on the mattress as was. We had to leave our house at 11 pm Tuesday night because missionaries were dying (leaving to Montevideo, to then go to their homes). I then returned and finished packing. Don't think I slept until like 1-ish. 

Three of us went to Argentina: Elder Bagget, Hermana Davidson (fellow californian) and me. I talked with Elder Bagget the whole first leg of the trip. We stopped in Salto, where I ran into Hermana Ubaldo from my CCM group. So I talked with her in the terminal as well as Elder Bedoya who was the ZL before I got to Artigas. There were other missionaries that went with us to Salto, but they left for different areas. We took one more train ride that day to Paysandu (horribly misspelled). That's where we stayed the night. I met some pretty cool people there. Bumped into Hermana Chase (also from my CCM group). Elder Merill and Elder Larea are ZLs there and I already knew both of them. Met two really cool oros, one I don't remember but the other one was called Elder Egito. So yeah we slept in Pdu for the night. We woke up and loaded all the suitcases on the Bus but only Elder Marim, Elder Egito (father and son both from Brazil) and I got to ride the bus. I was lucky because my passport still had 2 more tourist days from when I left the CCM so I didn't have any problems crossing. As for everyone else they had to walk the whole way, and wait for special papers (Argentina is strict about who can get in, the opposite of Artigas and Brazil). 

Anyways, I spent the whole day with Elder Marim and Elder Egito. We had to carry all the suitcases to the Hermanas' house and then back to the terminal at 6-ish when the others finally arrived. Elder Marim and Elder Egito were super cool. We had lunch with the 3 hermanas in the zone with a miebro familia. I helped them with English. We read the book of Enos and I helped them with their pronunciation. At 6, Elder Fawcett, Elder Bagget (our two ZL's) Elder Thompson and I took off for Concepcion. That is where I met my comp. They were having an activity in the capilla which was right across from the terminal. Anyways I was just standing around and then someone told me my comp was there. So not a grand reveal but I met him Thursday night. He's super short but really nice. I think we will get along well. We slept in the house of Elder Sasser y Elder Corera. Friday, we had our district meeting. Our district leader is Elder Berry, who is going to die this change. It's weird, I'm going to live in a house of 4 people again, and for 3 changes in a row someone will have died in the house. Anyways, after the district meeting is when we finally left for Gualeguaychú. Since then, I've just been getting to know the area. It is only a rama (branch) here, so about half the people that we had in Artigas. The area is huge. For example we worked 5 hours Sunday, yet only had 2 charlas (chats) each of which was probably an hour but still that's 3 hours of nothing but walking.

There's still horses here. Not as many, but today there was a whole festival of horses. Well not really, but I guess today is like fourth of July for this city here and they had a huge parade with horses. The work is a lot different. We basically only work with members right now. Not sure why, but that's just how it is. I think we have one investigator con fecha bautismal, but he still needs to get married but I don't think it is as much of a hassle as it was in Artigas.

The city is really cool. There's actually stuff to do here. There's a big central street with shops of every kind but at the same time if you walk to the outskirts of our area theirs houses and dirt roads just like Artigas. There's a lot more autos here than motos. The houses/people here seem to be better off money wise. Like there are houses here that I could see being in America, without standing out which I couldn't really say about Artigas. But yeah, I like Argentina. Don't know if I'll get any baptisms here but we'll see. Just have to focus on doing my best everyday and not get down on myself if I don't see the success that I want to see.

I actually don't really need a sweatshirt. I have one that Elder clark gave me that gets the job done. Plus it is still pretty hot. I mean if there's room, you can send it but I really don't need it. If I need one I'll probably buy one in Argentina or Uruguay. A simple tie clip would be nice. Same with a tie saver (it is a thing the goes through the loop on the backside and buttons to your shirt buttons), gloves would be nice. A basic beanie as well. I don't know how cold winter will be, but it would be nice to have those two things as a precaution. Um, I think I might need a new razor head for my razor. The warning light recently came on, so I don't know what that means, but yeah. The instructions for my razor and camera would be nice. A white or silver sharpie to write on darker ties. I think that's all, but I'm sure I'll think of something once I leave the cyber, but for now I'm doing good on everything. Watch is doing great.

Eh, South America isn't a paradise either- as Dorothy would say "we aren't in Kansas anymore, Toto"  but no I don't really have the missionary depression that they described. I feel like we waste a lot of time walking each day and would could potentially contact more people but I guess that's just how we are supposed to do things right now. I wish I had more measurable success, but that really just comes down to the people. We can't force them to get baptized or come back to the church. Everyone has their agency, and ultimately it's up to them what they decide to do. 

Yeah I've met some pretty cool missionaries. A lot of them are older so I'll potentially come back and they will all be married, but it's cool. Yeah a couple Elder's said they wanted to go to BYU. Elder Amaral of Brazil( ZL in Artigas) might go, which would be super cool. Elder Finlay went to Rivera (another border Brazil town) to be comps with Elder Ratliff. He didn't even go to the bus station with me. We just said bye to each other in the house, and he packed and showered while Elder Amaral took me to the bus station. I've met everyone in my zone, but I only knew Elder Bagget and Hermana Davidson before we arrived in Argentina. 

Yeah my companion is from Honduras. He sometimes speaks with the "y" of Mexico rather than the "shh" of Castellano, but he's a native spanish speaker. Yeah, this area appears a lot bigger which would make you think there is more people to teach, but I don't know if that's the case. We didn't really do the 12 week training program but yeah, I basically know what to do I just need to get to know this new area but it's huge and has a million streets. It's way different than my last area, where we only had two main paved streets. 

And yeah I think the number of missionaries (in the Uruguay Montevideo West Mission) went down but I don't know how many left and how many came. Well this is a really long email. Hope the house continues to get fixed. Take care and talk with you more next week. I love you.

May 14th and May 19th- Elder Nelson headed to serve in Gualeguaychú Argentina!

May 14th:
Outside Artigas
It's working to upload photos but it is still super slow. I've been here for an hour already, and only 11 pictures have uploaded. Did you get a video? I thought it said it uploaded a video I took while in the CCM. Haha I could say whatever I want and you guys would assume it is spanish :P 

But yeah, my spanish is getting better everyday so that's a plus. Yeah it's easier to learn when no one else speaks english because than you don't have any other option but to learn Spanish. 

I will just go to one of the other zones of the mission but I still don't know where I might go. Are you going to the season finale of American Idol? Did Hunter Larsen actually make it on the show or what happened to her? Wow 19 days and school is over. That seemed like a crazy fast school year. Anyways I love you and need to go write president so send me
any other questions you might have. I'm glad you had a good mothers day. I love you

No I haven't got my patriarchal blessing yet. I was wondering if I should get it here in Uruguay, or wait until after the mish. I've fasted and prayed about it but haven't really received a firm answer. On one hand I worry that it could have stuff I could apply for my mission which would be useless if I didn't get it until after the mission. However you guys have always been at everything for me church wise, so I wouldn't want to exclude you guys from this. Also I'm not fluent in spanish and the church isn't that strong down here so I feel like it might not be a great experience. Let me know how you feel and I'll also take this up with President Smith. Wow that's pretty crazy, that Parker Lee is coming to the mission. When does he get here? I might be able to train him.  I'm not staying in Artigas. 

May 19th:
I'll be leaving for Argentina tomorrow morning. My new comp is Elder Flores. My new area is Gualeguaychú!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

May 11th: After the Mother's Day Skype, More Photos, and Some Deep Wisdom for a 19 Year Old...

Elder Nelson: I think Elder Finlay was able to get a hold of everyone but his dad, but from what it sounds like he wasn't too broken hearted. Yeah I'm pretty much fully adjusted and now just trying to nail down Spanish to better teach the people of Uruguay.  (When he started to speak in Spanish and had to be reminded by the family hosting his skype that that we speak English...) Haha sorry I was just trying to show off my improving spanish skills.

Well, the second point of the restoration of the gospel is that the gospel blesses families. So I think about you guys a lot. There's also a lot of people here that are poor but they spend time with their families and seem pretty happy. We have Familia Rodrigues. His name is Hugo, and he doesn't really have a job right now but he doesn't like to go to stuff alone so anytime there is an opportunity to bring the whole family he does. So I've come to realize you can be the richest person in the world and still be incredibly lonely, but on the other hand you can be the poorest person on the planet yet have everything you need right in your family.

I would still like to professionally play paintball, but eternal life edges out that desire (to play on the Sabbath day) by a little. I don't even know what a fitbit is but whatever gets you motivated to live healthier is good. What happened with Grandma? I barely/talked to her. Anyways I think photos are uploading but I did create a new folder. I might just have to do that everytime. Shoot me any other questions.

I love you guys and it was cool talking with you. I tried downloading Google hangouts but I don't think myldsmail allows the google play store to work. However skype worked just fine so I'm not too worried about it. 

No it wasn't weird talking to you guys, because you're family, but yeah it was weird. Destiny will probably forget about me because she didn't even want to look at the computer. Abby is getting pretty big. Nana and Pop pop look the same. I have a photo with all of them for my birthday- I'm just uploading the pictures in chronological order.

Today is Sunny with a nice wind so we might eat outside. Next week we might go back to the Brazil buffet and eat so much food until they kick us out. How many leaks in total now?

(Regarding accepting new Facebook friends) I don't really care who sees my Facebook it is all just mission stuff now and that's nothing I care to hide. My dad (Elder Finlay) should die in 5 or 6 months depending on if he extends or not. Take care and talk more later.

May 4th (Week 16): The pictures come through!

Elder Nelson to Dad: I'm only going to be on for an hour because the cyber closes at noon. Uploading pics right now but it says it will take 2 hours for this one folder, and I have 3 more folders to go plus my other SD card but at least it is working it appears... It's chill. I'm not stressing out about it. (The package arriving) I got cards from Bryan, Marilyn and the girls, so please let them know I received it and appreciate their prays and thoughts. I also think Family Cobb sent me 5 lifesaver candies, but I honestly don't know who it is from and it didn't come with a card. 

(In the photo of the whole mission) I'm in the left back corner where the door hole/gap is. There's me then a really short dude and then my dad in the grey suit. (Elder Finlay) 

I'm Pretty sure we call through skype. No idea what time. I don't even know if I remember all my skype information but we'll see. 

Yeah from 1 to 4ish 5ish basically everything is closed down. Soccer games are prohibited for missionaries here: I believe too many injuries and such. Training is good I guess. Almost done with it so should be getting a new companion soon. 

Nothing new from president smith. As missionaries we write him every week and sometimes he writes back but it generally is just like "I'm glad you're serving keep up the good work we love you." Stuff like that. 

Anyways, I love you and if all goes well I should talk with you Sunday.

Elder Nelson to Mom: Haven't gotten the package but I'm not too worried. It will either get here or it wont, but I´m doing fine either way. I will call you at 4 o clock my time which should be 1 o clock your time, and I will try skype first, but I should be able to video call you guys through google as well so either way should work. 

I keep praying about the house as well. I had to give my first blessing in spanish this week which I'm pretty sure was a train-wreck but está bien. 

Congrats to Josh and Ayami on the straight A's. That's cute about the girls. I hear Dad is still thinking about his the job. Just make sure he doesn't sacrifice money for family. That's always a bad trade. Anyways, I love you and I think 40 something pictures and a video uploaded today. I still have a ton more but I think it worked today. I love you and talk sunday at 1 (right after church for you guys)