Sunday, August 30, 2015

Video of Elder Nelson's New Companion Arriving! And Updates from August 11th through August 24th!

Editorial note: Apologies for the delay in getting these updates posted!  It has been a busy time with job changes, new callings, school starting, doctoral program starting, and moving everything, including ourselves, out of the house in order to get our new flooring installed!  At any rate here is the latest!


Elder Nelson was a day late posting on August 11th, as they had transfers...
August 11th:
How's everything going? I'm on right now, but I might get off at 12 and get on later. We got changes. Elder Hartvigsen and I aren't companions anymore, because he is going to train a new companion, but I get to stay in Gualeguaychú with Elder Sosa from Barcelona, Spain. 

Things are super tranquilo. We cleaned the house yesterday, and it is going to be just me and Elder Sosa in the house for the next two days. Yeah it wasn't that scary (nearly being robbed) because it was midday and I don't think he had anything on him that he could hurt us with. 

OK, I'll think of a Christmas list and try to send it in a separate email so it doesn't get all mumbled up in this one. Wow only a month left? (until Josh shows his goat at the Madera fair) I would always prefer a goat that braces, over one that walks. because potentially with a bunch of other goats he might have the desire to follow. I honestly don't remember getting asked a ton of questions, (by the FFA judges) but then again I never placed super high in showmanship and I think that is where there are more prone to ask questions. Ask the teachers they probably know better than I do :P 

That's cool Josh got to go to the temple. THAT'S WEIRD ABBY IS ALMOST 2 YEARS OLD. oops on the caps lock. Thanks for keeping me in on the loop. Tell me what pictures you guys want in Dropbox. Thanks for updating it. Now I think we can store everything without a problem. Tell Ali hi for me and that Argentina is sweet. I'm sure she'll enjoy it. I love you and hope everyone transitions smoothly back to school.

August 17th to Mom:
He's cool (Elder Sosa). He only has 4 months left and doesn't appear to want to work as hard as I do but it is only week one together so we will see how things improve. We haven't done a ton of work these last two weeks because of changes, but I hope this next week everyone can start working hard and that we can get more people in the church.

Wow that's cool about Ali (Nomellini). Yeah, it's weird to think about how soon all of us will be coming home. I wrote the majority of stuff to dad so if you want to read it he should have it. That's cool you guys got to go to the temple. After six months of not going, I'm definitely looking forward to going back to the temple.
Well enjoy the mommy time with Destiny and Abby in the house. We are in a crappy cyber
today because it is a holiday and the other good ones aren't open. 
Take care and I love you :)

August 17th to Dad:
(Regarding remaining in his current area longer) I doubt it. The longest an Elder has been in Argentina is 4 cambios and this is my third, however in the system it looks like I'm the new
Elder so there's a good chance I have another cambio in Argentina. I like the people. In Artigas the people were cool but I didn't really develop any strong bonds with them so when I left I honestly wasn't sad. However when I have to leave Gualeguaychu I'll probably be
pretty sad. (Regarding how many companions he has had thus far) 4 in the field, 5th if we count my comp from el ccm. 
Nope, we are still living in the old house and don't know when we can move into the new house. It depends how fast the church lawyers work I think.  

The new elder is called Elder Smith. The poor kid is so lost. He can speak Spanish but everyone talks over him because if we wait for him to complete a sentence, we just lost 10 minutes of our lives. He's quite the contradiction. He knows a lot of popular stuff but at the same time is a klutz. For example, he tripped going up a curb today and then a minute later broke his umbrella because he didn't know how to close it. I'm glad I'm no longer an oro (greenie) and that the people can understand me and that I can understand them.  I feel bad for Elder Hartvigsen because he basically does all the teaching right now and will potentially do it for 2 cambios. Yeah Hartvigsen and Smith arrived jueves mediodia. Us and the hermanas were at the terminal to pick them up and we even made a sign for the kid so hopefully he feels welcomed.

It's weird that I haven't gone to the temple in almost 6 months. I sure do miss it. We are
still missing roof panels but I think guys came and fixed the roof so it doesn't leak anymore. Yeah everything was normal yesterday. However we had sacrament first for my whole mission it has been reversed but we received direction that we should have la santa cena
primera. We had 52 people in church. It was a little bit of a bummer because a menos activo came at 11 but didn't know about the change of the schedule. He stayed and the other elders(elder sosa and smith) visited him so hopefully we can start visiting them again. Their
whole family is inactive. They even have a daughter who served a mission and is inactive. I don't quite understand how you can serve a mission and go inactive but I guess it is pretty common. 

We saw Eladia at 5 in the afternoon Saturday but she didn't come to church and she isn't in my area anymore so I don't know how she is doing but she appeared good Saturday. Clara wants to go to church but her daughter was hospitalized)(more details below) so she couldn't go this week. Other than that a lot of people don't have desires to go to church and I don't know why.

Yesterday was so crazy. I ate a ton for lunch. We ate lunch with 
Familia Monti. I love this family. Normally we eat  Sundays with Presidente de Rama but he couldn't for some reason. This family pulled through in a pinch. We brought whatever food supplies we had laying around in the house, but she was already cooking when we got there. The mom was inactive at one point but she got reactivated and her daughter both got baptized a year and a half ago. Her son doesn't have a ton of interest in the gospel but we are all praying for him. I actually get along with him super well. He's a really cool kid but I don't know what he has against the church. The dad is also super cool. He looks like a gringo. He and Carolina recently got divorced like 2 months ago. Apparently he also isn't  a fan of the church but I
get along super well with him and I've heard he hasn't gotten along well with elders since like 4 years so that makes me feel pretty special. Maybe some day they will be baptized or at least that's my hope. Anyways we ate a ton of food.  I'm talking like two mini mountains of pasta mixed in with pancakes and then jello and chocolate cake for lunch. We also did choir practice because we have to sing at the end of this month for stake conference so we have had like 4 practices so far and we are sounding pretty good. So yesterday we were going to visit Clara and Ema, but we forgot so we 
promised we would go today. It was 6:30 and every taxi was telling us we would have to wait 15 minutes. Well that wouldn't give us the time we needed. Normally this family has a car, but the dad had it who was
traveling to Buenos Aires. We decided we were going to run for it. Elder Sosa doesn't run so we did on the spot divisiones. So me and Harty became comps again. We were going to take one bike to the hospital and I would be on the handlebars but that wasn't an option
so we literally just booked it to the hospital. I'll never forget that run. I was so full of food. My shoe was also broken. The bottom part is separating from the upper part so it was like running in a flip flop. Halfway there I wanted to walk but we had to get there before 7, because that's when visits stop. Anyways, halfway there I said a prayer in my heart that I 
could continue running and that we could make it there in time. We arrived at the hospital at 6:55, found the room, I gave the daughter a blessing of health and we said a prayer
and t
hen had to scram because the hour of visits finished. I'm grateful I've always kept the word of wisdom- I doubt if I was a smoker I could have made that run. 

We then visited Aslin. This was a super interesting experience. We got there and she got robbed of 800 pesos which by the bank trade rate is 100 dollars. It was the money of her daughter or the money that the dad of the daughter gave them. We prayed with her, we were going to share 1 nefi capitulo 3 with her, but she was a little too unfocused. so we didn't get to finish We offered a blessing of comfort and right as we finished the dude that stole the money showed up. He was really scrawny and not intimidating at all. Anyways we left them to settle stuff out. We also met her dad Juan during this time and he is making us steak next Saturday. Pretty cool dude who is just offering us steak and he barely even knows us. Oh apparently they think I look like their German neighbor. The world is a crazy place, dad.

Anyways I love you and hope you keep taking care of yourself and the family.

August 24th to Mom:
Hey mom. I'm doing good. I might get (the Patriarchal Blessing) this next week but we'll see.
If it arrives or not it doesn't matter a ton to me. It would be cool to study it, but I've lived 19 years without it so a month or more doesn't bother me a ton. Just another opportunity to develop patience. 

I'm still making the list. I honestly don't know what to ask for. Yeah more ties are always nice. Ties are kinda expensive here in Argentina. Well everything is kinda expensive in Argentina because the peso to dollar change is screwed up. The bank only gives you 8 pesos for every dollar but I traded with a member the other day for 13.5 so it's basically better to just do it that way.

Below is a email that I sent to Makenna Petersen, but it in it I basically explain our only success of the week which was that we had an investigating family of 5 in the church for the first time.

"Ha ha this week I shared it en principios del evangelio because it was about the word of wisdom this week. We sung the Spanish hymn 202 which made me laugh a little bit. Elder Smith speaks English fine but the poor guy just thinks a ton when speaking in Spanish. Sometimes he goes through all the forms of a word for example (puedo, puede, pueda) he is trying to use present subjunctive a ton which I don't know if that's the best idea as a beginner but not my kid, so what do I care. We walk quite a bit. I trashed a pair of shoes already. The bottom part is almost completely separated from the top part but there is a dude on the street corner that can potentially fix it so I might give it to him. This week we had a family of 5 in the church for the first time. We did divisiones, and I was with the new
missionary and we gave them fecha for 19 de septiembre and they accepted. The guys concern was that he was baptized catholic and thought that would be a problem. Luckily we had a hermana with us who has been a member for like 5 years and she was also baptized in the catholic church so her testimony is kinda what sealed the deal which was sweet. P-days are pretty stressful. There isn't a ton to do here but p-days always seem to go by so quick."

I honestly don't have a ton to report to you guys this week. Luckily we didn't have rain all this week so that was a blessing. This upcoming Sunday we have to sing in a choir because we are having a stake conference I believe to call the new aposteles or stuff like that. Oh one day we gave 3 blessings: one was to a baby(Lucio) and then to Presidente Aragon and
then to Hermana Richards and gracias al poder del sacerdocio (thanks to the power of the priesthood) all of them are doing better now. The priesthood is a pretty cool deal and I'm glad I have many opportunities to use it during the day. Even people who aren't
baptized, yet have testimonies or experiences of the power of the priesthood. 

I'll try to get that Christmas list to you. I love you and I'll be praying for you guys and the house this week.

August 24th to Dad:
I'm doing chill. Not much is happening. However yesterday we had 5 new people in the church. It was kind of a miracle. We were doing divisiones and I was with the new missionary. We went to this family that I found with Elder Flores and we got them to accept a baptismal date of Sept 19. What really saved us was that Hermana Evangelina was there and explained that she was also baptized in the catholic church but that she then got baptized in our church. After that the dad accepted and hopefully by their baptism date they'll be solid. I'm stoked for them because that's literally the only success we had this week. 

Elder Sosa is chill. Kinda quiet and doesn't have a huge desire to work, but I'm trying my best to love the dude. Elder Smith is doing pretty well. He's catching on. He has a desire to work which is good. The other day he wanted to buy juice, but refused because he was convinced we couldn't visit everyone we had planned for if he bought juice. 

Yeah I was studying in the bus(we were traveling from Concepcion to gualeguaychú) and I just felt a really strong impression that good stuff was going to happen that night and stuff just kinda fell into place. Yeah, I'm motivated but discouraged. We had 52 people in church but 10 of those are people that aren't actually from our ward or aren't regulars. I'm just not seeing a huge change in gualeguaychú and I think we need to start working harder if we want to actually help this branch.

Alright keep doing your job as a dad.  Anyways I have to go, so I hope you guys get everything worked out. I love you.

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3rd! Elder Nelson Narrowly Avoids Being Robbed! Yikes!

Elder Nelson to Dad: 
Yesterday some dude tried to rob us. We were just walking and there was a dude on a bike. He asked for our cellular and we were like, "no." He kept asking, but stayed on his bike the whole time. We turned right, and he followed us, but we were on a side walk deal and he stayed in the middle of the street and we had a car in between us. He kept asking for wallets and the cellphone and we just told him no. I looked at Elder Hartvigsen and asked "Qué quiere hacer?"(what do you want to do). He asked "Quiere correr?"(wanna run) to which I responded "Cómo no." (Why not?) but I was super tranquilo. Eventually the guy said voy a pegarte(I'm going to hit you) but then he rode off. We jogged out of that area but it was honestly the lamest attempt to rob someone. We decided next time it happens we are going to fake fight one another in English or pull out the cellular and pretend we are the FBI (the people actually think we are the FBI) and call for backup. I'm honestly not that concerned. He was super scrawny and Elder Hartvigsen and I wouldn't have any problem defending ourselves against this guy. 

Glad to hear the surgery went well. I was praying for you and I asked the other elders to do the same. No I'm not trunky. (homesick) I wish I had more success at this point. I feel like in 6 months, I haven't really done much of anything. It seems like I still just started, but it is weird to think that Morgan and Makenna only have a year left in the mission. We've found a lot of new investigators recently, but I don't know how many of them are going to progress to baptism, so potentially with some of them we are wasting time, but I think this week we are going to drop some. 

Elder Crockett should be coming tomorrow, and I think we are going to look at houses tomorrow, so hopefully we can move out of the house we are in now. I don't know if there are any big things happening in the mission. President emailed me this week saying that we are either following Christ or the devil. I find that thought to be really interesting. We are always changing either for better or worse. 

Right now I'm studying chapter 11 of PME (Preach My Gospel in Spanish) which is how to help people make and keep commitments. In comp study, we basically just share what we studied in comp study. I'm sorry I don't have a ton to share about my studies, I'm normally thinking about how to help the investigators.

I don't know how to apply the stuff to you guys. I guess the sabbath day. This week a guy from the stake came and taught about el dia de reposo. One of the questions was what signal are we sending the Lord in this day? We rest from our labors, but that doesn't mean we do nothing it means it is a day to do his work. I would say visit people Sunday. Make sure people don't go inactive. There are like 50 soild people in this rama but 500 people in the register so that's pretty bad retainment.  I love you, take care, and keep losing weight.

Elder Nelson to Mom: 
I'm doing good. No I don't need anymore dessert recipes. That was only for my other area, and now we don't have a functioning oven, and we barely eat with the members and they don't require that we bring anything. Well, one guy thought we were going to bring food and cook for him. He's special though, so we couldn't really get mad at him. He gave us 3 potatoes to eat. That didn't fill us up at all, so we bought Sanduba after. However he had a lot of well known songs in English so that made up for it. I've gained 30 pounds I think. I don't know what is fat and what is muscle. I'm getting fed well but that's because we eat out every day. So I hope you aren't expecting me to buy awesome gifts because basically all the money I have taken out has gone to food, or taxis/buses, or minutes for cellular. 

Naw, I'm not really discouraged. I would rather have the people tell us no. What happens is almost everyone is willing to listen to us which is great, but at the same time we want them to change, and that's the part that they fail to do. It would be easier if they told us no so we could focus on finding people who are going to progress. 

Sounds like all is good at home. Hey you guys should tell me what pictures you want becuase at this point I don't know what pictures I've sent and which ones I haven't, so if you request stuff and I can try and send it. You guys should have the missionaries teach Ayami the lessons when she comes back. I think it would be a good experience for the whole family. I love you, and hope you enjoy your week. if you need help with the flooring I can help you choose which one. Nos vemos madra mía