Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Feliz Navidad! 12/23/14

Hello everybody!

This week I don't have much time but it's okay because we get to talk on Christmas!  Vacationing in Saint George huh.. sounds pretty good to me.  Have fun!

This week we had our temple and Christmas activity!  We all went to Heredia to go to the temple and after we had a chance to eat a Christmas dinner as a mission and have a devotional.  The temple is such an amazing place.  The peace found inside is something that you can't describe. I also was part of the group that got to talk with the temple president.  We were a small group of missionaries but we sang a hymn and he shared spiritual experiences with us for a little bit.  It was truly amazing.  We then went to a chapel for our Christmas dinner and devotional from President.  He gave a powerful talk about searching for Christ in these times and then he told us that he had some news for us.  That morning the First Presidency announced the forming of a new mission in Costa Rica!!  It was such a powerful experience to hear the testimony of President Wilkinson.  He has so much love and pride in his missionaries. In tears he told us that he was so grateful for our work.  He said that every day he prays that Heavenly Father will send the best missionaries that he has to offer to Costa Rica, and he said that he has the best.  It is so amazing to feel the love and trust of a mission president like we did that day.  Then, we all knelt down as a mission to give thanks to our Heavenly Father for blessing us for our work.  It was so powerful.  Something I will never forget.  So the missions will be Costa Rica East and Costa Rica West!  Each of our names will be put before two apostles and we will have receive another mission call to one of the missions!  It is so exciting!

This week we had the baptism of Anllel!  He is so awesome!  He is nine years old and is so pure and willing to follow his Heavenly Father.  He wants to be a missionary and I am excited for him and his journey in the church!  This week we are preparing the baptism of Jose!  He is my buddy!  He is twelve years old and loves church so much!  Church starts at 9 and he is in the chapel at 7 waiting for us to come and sit with him!  Amazing young man!

Well I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!  I love you all and I'll see you on Christmas!

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

12/16/14 Walking in a Winter Wonderland . . . .

Hey everybody!

I love to read all of your emails!  You guys are awesome!  Hope you all have some good plans for Christmas, because I sure do baby!!

This week has been so awesome! We have been working super hard to find and teach all week!  When we get back to the house it is super hard not to just pass out, but that's missionary work!  I love it!

We are preparing an investigator, Anllel, for his baptism this week. He is super excited and we are too!  He's 9 years old but has a good support system with his grandma in the church.  We are working super hard though with his parents.  We had a lesson with him and his mom and she really wants to be baptized too, but she needs to be married first.  This is the biggest trial that we have as missionaries in Costa Rica.  Nobody is married.  I think I have met one, maybe two, families that are married that aren't members of the church.  The reason that nobody is married because they are all in what they call -union libre-.  Basically that means that every couple that has been together for at least three years receives all the rights and benefits of a marriage from Costa Rica.  So in their eyes marriage is just paying a lot of money for a piece of paper that doesn't change anything.  Sometimes it's a little frustrating but there is nothing that we can't overcome!

On Saturday we went to do some service!  Some investigators from the other companionship in La Rita were moving to San Martin.  So they asked us to help them build their house!  We went into the middle of the jungle with a pile of scrap wood and built a house in the pouring rain!  It was so sweet!  The only problem is that the mosquitos ate us alive!  All of us have super red and itchy legs!  I've never itched so bad in my life, but it was an awesome experience and the family is happy!

We are working with another family that is so awesome!  They have three little girls and every time we come they just talk our ears off!  They love talking to gringos haha.  It is such an awesome family.  Every time we are about to teach them I get so nervous!  We are working hard with them but they aren't married either so we have to wait for that.  Bring it on!

The weather is super rainy!  I personally enjoy it!  Better than the super hot sun that they have here haha.

I love you all!  Missionary work is so awesome!  Talk to you soon!

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

12/09/14 Cambios!!

Well everybody it sounds like things have slowed down a little bit at the house.  Things are more quiet around there now that Thanksgiving is over haha. Sounds like you've got exciting plans for Christmas too!!  Good stuff!
This week we had changes!  My buddy Elder Mejia took off for San Jose central. Sounds like kind of a rough area but he will figure it out.  Seriously though we were a little sad to get the news of changes.  I mean after four and a half months with the guy we were pretty good buddies. The poor guy didn't want to leave right before Christmas because we are going to eat a lot of tamales coming up here in La Rita haha!
I went to San Jose on Monday to get my new companion!  You will never guess who it is!  It's a gringo!! But not only a gringo.. it's a gringo that came with me in my group!  But even more than that we followed each other on instagram before the mission.. so I guess you could say we are pretty tight haha.  His name is Elder Carter and he graduated from Timpview this year.  He likes to work and we are ready to tear things up in La Rita!  But this next transfer is 8 weeks so by the end of it I will have been in La Rita for 6 full months!  I feel so good here!  Definitely the best area in the mission.. at least to me!
This week we had a lot of powerful lessons.  We are working hard with one of our investigators named Bruno.  He is sixteen years old and is super excited about the gospel!  When we met him he was super closed off to the world and told us that he didn't know for sure if there is a God.  Well now he loves to come to church, stopped taking drugs, and took out his gauges!  He is the man and he invites us to his house for a lesson and a treat!  Killer!!

The weather has been pretty rough the last little bit.  We haven't seen the sun for a while.. lots of rain! It's a different feeling because at night it is freezing and I haven't felt cold in all of my time in Costa Rica until now.  But it'll heat back up I'm sure!

This last little bit I've had to rely on my Spanish more than ever because it's just us two gringos and I don't have someone to save me anymore!  But it is awesome and I'm learning each day!
I love you all and I hope all is well in your preparations for Christmas!

Elder Nelson

Mi amigo mexicano siempre me decia:  Espero que su espaƱol es lo suficiente para explicar los principios del evangelio

Thursday, December 4, 2014

12/2/14 Holidays!

Hello everybody!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving dinner and good times with the family!  Reading the letters was awesome, it sounds like the grandkids are so cute and cuddly!  Bentley is starting to talk?!  That is so awesome! Here we had an awesome Thanksgiving!  It was so awesome that the Zone Leaders called and said that they wanted to come on divisions with us to help us "plan."  They just wanted some Thanksgiving dinner from the best cook in the mission!! Hoo-rah!!

Some crazy things have been happening in La Rita.  There is a young man in the ward who is totally our buddy!  Well he has had some difficulties growing up and he was a drug dealer for a while.  Well as of a couple of months ago he decided to turn his life around because he wants to serve a mission!  But he still owed the equivalent of 30 dollars to the drug guys.  So one day we passed by his house and he looked like he had just seen a ghost.  He wouldn't talk to anybody and we found out later that night that earlier in the day the drug guys had passed by and threatened him at gun point for that money.  Well he doesn't have that money so they said they would come back at 10 that night for the money.  But it turns out he got the money and now he's in the clear but it stressed us out a little bit haha.

Also, we just found out yesterday that we have been teaching some sort of leader of bad guys in La Rita.  One of the members in the ward found out that we have been teaching him and basically told us that we should never go back haha. So now we know and we won't be going back haha.

Other than that we have been working super hard in the area.  We started working a new area and are starting to see the fruits.  We contacted a recent convert that lives in the area and now we are teaching her cousin that lives in the same house.  She has gone through some rough times lately. She separated from her husband because he was aggressive and she has a young child.  We were teaching the lesson and focusing on the true nature of our Heavenly Father.  The majority of the people here have the idea that God is somebody angry that wants to punish us.  We always have to explain first the true, loving nature of our Father in Heaven and then we build from there.  So at one point in the lesson Elder Mejia asked her that if Heavenly Father was here right now, what would you ask for?  She began to cry so much.  The Spirit was so strong.  She wanted a second chance at life, and we taught about baptism and that we all have a second chance.  We are super excited to work with her and help her to progress in the Gospel.

Well I love you all!  Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Nelson