Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I know where we are going to go and eat baby!  Found this in San Jose and had to take a pic!

01/27/15 Great week!!!

Hey!!  How is everybody!!  I love reading all of the letters each week!  You guys are the best!  I know that all of you are killing it in all that you are doing! Keep it up haha!

So this week we were working super hard to make sure we could get Moises and Marisol to church for their confirmations. So it turns out that at the beginning of the week their little baby was super sick and they were not going to be able to both come and be confirmed because someone had to stay at home with the baby.  To make things worse her entire family is really against our church so nobody would watch the baby for an hour so they could come to church.  So we were in need of another miracle to be able to get them confirmed this week. By the end of the week the baby had recovered but they could only bring it to church if it wasn't raining.  We prayed and prayed and on Sunday morning that beautiful sun came out!!  It was such a great experience!

We have transfers this next Monday so next Tuesday I could write you from a new área.  President says that it is a sin to think about transfers so that's all I can say on the subject haha.

As a mission we are really trying to work hard in the retention of recent converts.  In Costa Rica there is a huge retention issue.  The country has roughly 50,000 members and only 9,000 are active.  That is what you call an uphill battle haha.  We visit several less active members weekly to help in reactivation but at least here it is much harder to reactivate than it is to retain from the get go.  In Costa Rica many people think that it is just too hard to be a Mormon so they just inactivate.   We testify that they can do it with the help of the Lord but many just give up. That's the hardest thing for me to see.  But there is always hope in Christ and we will get them going again!

I love you all and I love the church! Have a great week!!

Elder Nelson

Mi amigo mexican siempre me decía:  Porque esta llevando una sombrilla?  Para bautizar y retener!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

1/20/15 Marriages and Miracles !!

Hey!!  How is everyone?!  Man I got some pretty good emails this week hahaha it sounds like there have been some pretty funny things going on at the house!  You gotta love it though haha.

This week was by far the most crazy week that I have ever had on my mission.  As we had planned, we were able to have the baptism of our investigator couple Moises and Marisol!  Can I just say.. there is a reason that they don't have missionaries plan weddings!  Man!  That stuff is hard!  I now have so much respect for wedding planners!  You would not believe the amount of obstacles we overcame to pull it off.  I know that the Lord made it possible for us to make that wedding happen.  Firstly, nobody in Costa Rica has any of the documents that they need to get married nor does anybody know what they need haha.  We were on the phone with the lawyer trying to learn how a wedding works from the beginning and all sorts of problems but we overcame them and it was a success.  We finally got to the chapel and they had the wedding and everything was good!  Then she taps my shoulder and says "Elder, is this almost over?  I left the baby home alone and she is sick?"  Elder Carter and I pulled our jaws off of the floor and had to hurry and get the baptismal service going so she could go and save her 4 month old baby that she left at home!  Man some crazy things happen down here haha.  But the best part is that we saw her in the street later that night and she said that she felt like she was living a dream and she was so happy.  They are great!  It was a total miracle and as Moroni explains in chapter 7, miracles have not ceased.  We just need to put our faith in the Lord and through him we can work great things.

27 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men?

 29 And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.

This week also we found a young man named Brandon in the street.  He took us straight to his house and we taught him and his family.  We came back a couple days later and he was eating at the table.  When he stood up I about died.  He was wearing a BYU t shirt!  What are the odds of that?!  We have to teach him a lot and get him excited about church but I think he has promise!

So our landlord came by our house in the morning about a week ago and asked us if he could use some of our electricity to do a little maintenance job behind our house. The next part of the week we see him setting up a fence behind the place.  He had tapped into our electricity and was using a jumper cable to weld the fence in the middle of the rain.  Now I'm not an expert or anything but I would say that he was playing with danger haha.  

Well I love you guys!  Have a great week!

Elder Nelson

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

1/13/15 En la obra!


How is everyone doing!  I hope that everyone has had a great week!   It's awesome to hear that the remodeling of some rooms in the house is done!  That is so sweet!  I would love to see some pictures too.  Sounds like all sorts of things are happening at the Nelson home! Glad that all is well.

This week has been great.  Right now we are searching as hard as we can for new families.  The purpose of the góspel is to bless families and to allow us to live together forever as families.  The church is very focused on the family, but we can see that living the góspel as a family brings many more blessings and provides more support to recent converts.  These people that are baptized have to turn their lives around completely, and doing together as a family is the best way!  We just need to help people to understand the importance of families and marriage. With the help of the Lord we can help them to receive all of the blessings that a family in the Church can receive.

This week Elder Carter and I had a pretty funny experience.  We were walking down the road and a guy in a big truck called us over to talk to him.  He kept asking us all of these weird questions like if we were from the U.S. and if we had girlfriends.  Well in the end he told us that he has two daughters that he wants us to marry them haha.  I hope he wasn't too disappointed when we said no haha.  I have always heard of that happening to people but I never thought that it would happen to me.

So yesterday I was in the house and I thought that I would go to my box and get a little treat to nibble on.  Well there were only a couple of treats left in the box and when I stuck my hand in I had a great surprise.  When I took my hand out it was completely black with huge ants!  They bit me so bad.. I was running through the house trying to get them off of my hand.  My hand stung so bad for a while after that haha.

I hope you all have a great week!  I love you all!

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

1/6/15 Feliz año nuevo!!

Hello!  Como les van todos?!!
I hope everyone is doing well.  I can't wait to see all of the new changes in the house!  It sounds like they are going to be great.  Things are going to be pretty quiet at the house now it seems like.  It's okay, everything will be awesome!  I wish Con Dawg luck living at  BYU.. go get em buddy!  Also Nate and Karli in school as well!  This week I got the package with the Christmas card from Karli!  Man her little boys are so stinking cute.  From what I can tell Nixon is the next Karl Nelson haha.  I also got all of the missionary plaques!  That is so awesome!  I have them all hanging above my desk to remind me of my awesome family.
So I found out why nobody celebrates Christmas here in Costa Rica.  It's because they were all saving up their energy for New Years Eve.  We couldn't find anyone at home.. everyone was out getting ready to party.  And at midnight the entire town went crazy.  I personally don't know because I was in a deep sleep but my companion says that our room was like a strobe light from all of the fireworks and everyone was yelling.  He didn't get much sleep haha but I was fine!
This week was great!  We got a lot of good work done and have been preparing to have success in the month of January.  Elder Carter and I set a goal to teach 50 lessons last week and we were working super hard to hit it.  We were on track and working hard all week with short, powerful lessons.  We were totally going to hit it too.. but on Saturday we got a call from the zone leaders that we had a service project to do in Guapiles. We went and it turned out that we were setting up EFY Costa Rica in Guapiles.  It was such a cool experience.  It is being held at a private school there that the church is renting out for the week.  Right now all of the school kids are on their -summer break- and everyone is going to the beach and cool things like that.  But this week they are having EFY and all of the youth from Costa Rica are going to come and have a fun time.  We were there with the local scout troop setting up 180 tents and a cot for everybody.  It was super cool because all of the scouts were asking us if we did scouts in the States and if we were Eagles and all that.  Scouts is like the super cool thing to do here so they thought we were pretty awesome. 
This week we saw a miracle in our area.  We have an investigator named Moises that we have gone to visit since I have been here in La Rita.  He has never been able to have work off nor is he married, so we would pass by every now and then to see how he is coming along and if he has been able to get work off and come to church.  This guy is the man.  The first day that the missionaries went to his house he read a ton in the Book of Mormon and he is still going.  His only problem has been being able to come to church on Sundays.  Well this week we went to see him and he said that he was finally going to ask his boss to have Sundays off.  The thing is that in Costa Rica work is very hard to come by, and the bosses are super harsh so for him to ask for work off on Sundays was a super big leap of faith.  The Lord blessed him for acting on his faith and was able to have Sundays off!!  He has to work til 1 or 2 in the morning some days to be able to have Sundays off but he is so happy!  Right now we are planning his wedding and he is super excited.  He always says.. new year, new life!  He is so great!
This week we also found some thick jungle in our area.  We are planning on going exploring next p-day with some machetes.. tarzan style.  One day we were just walking to some of our investigators and we found a road that we had never seen before.  It leads back into some farm area and jungle area too.  We found an awesome family over there and they told us that there is a lagoon back in the jungle so we are super excited!  Also, the farms that we found were aloe vera farms so if you have ever wondered where the aloe vera comes from you can think about Elder Nelson in La Rita!!
I hope you all have a great week and I love you all!
Elder Nelson
P.S. They announced the new mission presidents.  One is from Idaho and one is from Honduras!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

12/30/14 Prospero año nuevo!

Hello everybody!!
It was so awesome to talk to you on Christmas!  It looks like all is well and the nephews are growing up to be big and strong! I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and have a happy New Year!
Christmas here was great!  In Costa Rica the traditional food to eat on Christmas is tamales.  Everyone makes a ton and gives them to everyone as gifts.  Its like tamal heaven!  Most commonly everyone buys a pig to cook and they eat pig and tamales.  One day this last week Elder Carter and I were walking down the road and contacted some people that looked like they were having some fun.  We walk back there and it turns out they were gutting some huge pigs!  I like to eat pig and all but this isn't your typical luou pig in Hawaii.  Especially after seeing them dismantle it and they were not very sanitary with their procedures to say the least.  Every pork tamale that I ate after that day made me think twice haha. 
Christmas in Costa Rica just felt a little strange.  It is super hot and nobody does anything different than any other day.  There was no Christmas Spirit!  Our day was pretty much the same as any other day because people here don't make a big fuss about Christmas.  They just keep on doing their every day routine. It just made me appreciate Christmas that much more!
On Thursday we were able to have the baptism of Jose!  He seriously is the man!  He has so much faith!  We are working with his family but for now he is the only one that comes to church.  He wakes up super early and is there before we even get there.  It makes me think about how I was on Sunday mornings haha.. sorry mom and dad ;)  He already has a goal set to serve a mission so we are so excited for him and his journey in the gospel!
I love you all so much!  The church is true!
Elder Nelson