Sunday, August 31, 2014

8/25/14 Address

I couldn't figure out how to send the pics on this computer this week but I will try to figure it out for next week.

The address here for packages:

Elder Tanner Nelson
Costa Rica San Jose Mission
De la Pops de Curridabat
500 mts sur, Oficina Isquienera
Edificio Trebol, Local #6
San Jose, Costa Rica

Address for letters:

Elder Tanner Nelson
Costa Rica San Jose Mission
Apartado Postal 249-2010
San Jose, Costa Rica

They say to only send things USPS.  If they ask what is inside say missionary supplies and treats.

Funny story that happened this week.  I was plunging the toilet because they have no suction at all here and a cockroach the length of my pointer finger crawled up the handled and onto my arm!  It was crazy,,, our house is infested with bugs.

Love you

Elder Nelson

Monday, August 25, 2014

8/25/14 Costa Rica!!

Hello everybody!!  I send my love from Costa Rica! Pura Vida!  Also, sorry for the quality of my future letters.  I am using a keyboard that I have to push really hard on and I cant find all of the symbols on this weird Spanish keyboard.  My computer has already crashed once on me today haha.
So I made it here to Costa Rica!  It is so awesome here!!  Oh my goodness I love it!  It is super humid and hot though.. I don't think that i have sweat so much in my life!  My companion's name is Elder Mejia and he is from Mexico.  I love him to death!  They sent us to the little town of La Rita on the western side of Costa Rica.  First I gotta say that it is not what you imagine at all when you think of Costa Rica.  It is a little pueblo and very humble.  The people don't have very much and it is crazy how much they share with us when we go to visit their homes.  It is all dirt roads and we do A LOT of walking!  My American candy that I got from my last package is the only thing that is keeping me alive haha.  

The food is super basic here.  For breakfast we eat rice and beans, for luch we eat rice and beans with some type of meat on the side, and if we have dinner it is usually rice and beans haha.  It is very humble and I love it!  We have a cocinera that cooks lunch for us every day and does our laundry every week.  She is super funny and a good cook.

So the living conditions are very similar to how it was when I was in Peru.   My companion forgot to pay for the water last week before I got here so he has been living without water for a while.  We finally got the water back on and luckily we have an attachment for the head of our shower to heat it up because it was suuuper cold before.

The church here in La Rita is awesome from what I have seen so far.  We have a great bishop that is very missionary minded and a great guy.  This area has been struggling for a while so we are trying to turn it around. For now we have our church meetings in the little school that they have here while we wait for the chapel that they are building to finish.  The chapel looks so nice!  I am excited to get going in it when it finishes.  My companion has only been in the mission for six weeks and we are figuring it out together!  Bringing people home baby!

I love you all so much and love hearing from each of you!  Keep strong!  The Church is true!!  

Elder Nelson

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

08/19/14 Viva Costa Rica!

Hey everybody!!
I made it to Costa Rica!  It is so beautiful here it´s ridiculous!!  But that rain though..  it is so strong.  Before we go out to work we have to put all of our supplies in Ziploc bags if we don´t want them to get ruined haha.  I have only been here for a couple of hours but I already am so surprised at how strong the rain is!
My preparation day is on Monday and that is when I will be able to write you and tell you about all of my experiences.  I get my new companion tomorrow and assigned to my zone! 
Love you all!  The church is true!
Elder Nelson

Monday, August 11, 2014

08/11/14 Miracles

Hey everybody!! I hope you are all doing well and enjoying life!  That is so awesome that you got to go see Nate at the White Coat Ceremony! Wow.. he is now officially a medical student!  He will do great no doubt!  Conner.. don't get married too fast.  I want to meet this young lady before she takes you away from me forever.  Haha I'm totally kidding, love you.
The work here in Florence is great.  One thing that I am learning is how to be an effective member missionary.  Because there are so many members here already most of our work goes through the members.  They give us referrals, go to appointments with us, and feed us every night!  They really are the key to our success.  Help your local missionaries!  Pray for missionary opportunities and they will come.
We have seen many miracles this week as a companionship.  As I was saying before, there hasn't been much progress here in the Spanish work for a while.  My companion and I were thinking about how we can spark the work and we decided we were going to reestablish expectations and put them on date to be baptized.  So we did, and conquered!  It was so amazing!  We went to the house of an investigator that Elder Sievers has been teaching for 5 months with no progress.  His name is Leonardo and he is super shy.  We went into the lesson and committed him to baptism!  He is on date to be baptized at the end of September because he told us he can't come to church until September because of his work. We were okay with that and on Sunday we were at the dairy trying to round everyone up for church when he gave us a call and said he wanted to come to church he "just needed a ride."  We franctically searched to get him a ride and got him to church on time!  That really was a miracle that we saw this week.
Another miracle that we saw happened on Tuesday this week.  All of our appointments were falling through so we were trying to make signs for our English class (they look pretty aweome by the way) and we went to the home of a recent convert named Manuel Ornelas for some help because he is a super handy guy.  Seriously I have never met somebody so handy.  One of my first weeks here we went over to his house and helped him change the transmission in his car.  He didn't know what he was doing at all haha.  He kept asking us if we can get on the youtube and see how to do it and we had to explain that we can't get on " the youtube."  But he figured it out all by himself!  Anyways when we went over to his house he had a friend there named Remundo from Tucson.  He just moved in with Manuel a couple days before and was looking for work.  We talked to him a little bit about the Plan of Salvation and asked if we can come back and share a message about the Restoration and he was excited.  We came back and gave him the lesson and he committed to baptism in the middle of September!  We now have three people on date to be baptized! I call that progress!
Missionary work is aweome!  I love all of you!  Keep being so great!
Elder Nelson

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

8/4/14 Pics

This is a picture of me in front of the Welcome to Florence sign. The second picture is a picture of me next to the home of one our investigators in Paisano.  They call it cactus forest and it is a lot of desert haha.  Love you guys!

Paisano, Arizona

Florence, Arizona

08/04/14 Arizona Sunshine!

Hello everybody!!  It's great to hear from you!  You are all so amazing and I love you so much!  Sounds like picking Conner up was an adventure!  Man that sounds so fun!  Conner really is a powerful guy and I'm glad that you got to see the effect he had on the Chilean people.
I am love the opportunity I have to be a missionary!  Each time I pray I thank my Heavenly Father for this wonderful blessing.  There is nothing else like it.  My companion and I are super blessed to be teaching a lot!  We have a ton of investigators and many times we find ourselves with too much to do in too little time.  Many of the missionaries in the mission aren't as blessed so we count ourselves lucky!
It is really hard to get a set appointment with our investigators.  They don't know their work schedule from day to day and they don't plan anything so we kind of just have to show up.  We keep five fold-out chairs from the chapel in our trunk and we set them up and start teaching on their porches.  They are very humble people but have had really hard lives.  These people have been in and out of prison and are looking for something to guide their lives.  That guide is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
In my last letter I explained a little bit about the dairy that we teach at.  It's a legitamate dairy farm.  The workers live in trailers on the side of the farm.  I think of dad every time I go there because he always talked about how he wanted to have a dairy farm.  We have five investigators over there and they are all related.  This dairy is infested with mosquitos!  I swear it is the only place in Arizona that is infested with mosquitos!  It is so bad..  I have over thirty mosquito bites on each leg!   They bite right through our shirts and pants, they're some sort of super mosquito haha. I have so gnarly pics but I'm not going to send them because I don't want to gross you out too much.   Anyways, we try so hard to help them, but they just don't progress.  Like this Sunday we drove over there before church to wake them up and make sure they are coming.  We knocked on Luis's door and he was showered and ready to go!  We were so excited and he said he was coming to church. Then he didn't show up and it totally broke our hearts.  All we can do is continue to help them as much as we can.
On Saturday, we visited the home of an investigator that we have had for a while, but this time his son was there!  We were excited and asked him if he wanted to sit in on the lesson with his dad and he said sure.  He didn't seem very interested at first, but as the lesson went on he was excited! Turns out he has a friend on a mission!  We gave the first lesson and he committed to be baptized!  The spirit was so strong!
My time is up and I have to go.  Feed your local missionaries and give them referrals! We have dinner every night at a member's home and they work very closely with us in the missionary efforts.  We are blessed to serve in such a great area.
I send my love from AZ!
Elder Nelson

Monday, August 4, 2014

07/29/14 Pictures

Here are some pictures!  The first one is with my new companion Elder Sievers.  The next one is Elder Carrion and I before he left the MTC and the last one is Elder Brandon Chamberlain and I.
By the way my address at the house I live is:
8060 W. Georgetown Way
Florence,AZ 85132
New Companion - Elder Sievers
Elder Nelson and Elder Carrion at the MTC
Elder Nelson and Elder Chamberlain at the MTC

7/29/14 The Arizona Life!

Hello everybody!!
Hope everything is well back home!  That is so crazy that you are already leaving to pick up Conner!  He has been such an amazing missionary and I love him so much.  I am so lucky to have such a great family!  I can't even believe it.  I am blessed.
So this week I arrived in Arizona! I love it here.  I arrived on Tuesday and we went through a lot of training.  We ate a lot of good food and spent the night at the house of a member that lives in Gilbert.  They sent me to one of the member's houses with an elder from Uruguay.  He will be serving in the English part of the mission, but he is still learning so they had me translate for him a lot.  Boy is that Spanish from Uruguay different!  I don't know how Grandpa did it on his mission haha.  The member that we stayed with lived on his own little farm.  It was pretty cool!  He has chickens and grows a bunch of fruit that I don't normally see. 
The next day we had our transfer meeting and I met my new companion!  His name is Elder Sievers and he is the man!  He is from Orem and is a funny guy. He is showing me the ropes of the mission and is great.  He lets me take the lead in lessons and make the committments.  We are super busy and I love it that way!  We always have people to see and lessons to teach. We are having great success.  
Let me tell you a bit about the mission.  The Arizona Gilbert Misson is an experiment by the church.  It is super small geographically and has a lot of missionaries.  For example, the ward that I am serving in has 10 missionaries!  It's crazy.  It's not a problem for Elder Sievers and I because we are the only Spanish speaking missionaries in the area, but the other missionaries have an interesting situation haha.  We are really lucky to be in the area that we are in also.  We are serving in the city of Florence which reminds me of what you would see in an old western movie.  It looks really old school and is in the middle of the desert. We live in a house about 15 minutes from Florence and drive into the city to work every day.  It's super hot but our Ford has some amamzing A/C!  Also, the Spanish here is a lot of slang.  When Elder Sievers and I were in the care driving down to the area he told me that I am going to have trouble because their Spanish is a lot of slang and they don't speak very well themselves haha.  Well he was right, but I have picked up on it and it is great! 
There is a dairy farm in our area that we teach at a lot.  We have been teaching all of the workers there and it has been a humbling experience.  Each of them works crazy hours through the night on the dairy and live in trailers on the side of the farm.  They are very receptive to our message and one of our investigators, Luis, has a baptismal date, but it is very hard for them to change and overcome their addictions.  We are trying so hard to help them and I know that the Lord will provide a way for them to overcome them.
Thanks to everyone for the support and the love!  I pray for you and hope for the best for each of you!  Read the scriptures and say your prayers!
Elder Nelson