Sunday, May 31, 2015

05/30/15

Hey everybody!!
How are all of you doing?  It sure seems like you have had quite the time in the last little bit.  Contrats Conner for getting engaged!  You are the man!  I won't be there for the wedding but I'll be there in spirit!  It also looks like you had quite the boys weekend out in Oklahoma!  I hope you ate a lot for me!  That Oklahoma food is so good!
This week has been so great.  The mission is getting closer and closer to splitting and we only have one more month with President Wilkinson.  This week we worked a lot with him as we have prepared to set up the new stakes this month.  We have had some very long days, but it is all worth it.  Elder Alonso from the Area Presidency arrived yesterday and he is now on a tour with President Wilkinson of the new stakes. President said, "I'm going to show him the beef."  The excitement of the mission is really high!  All of the missionaries are praying and fasting for the stakes, and we are so close to completing the most successful month in the history of the Costa Rica Mission.

It is super sad to see President Wilkinson preparing to leave, but all good things come to an end and I am positive that the new presidents are inspired men that have been called by God to lead the work of salvation in Costa Rica. 
Lately, we have had to spend more time in the office than usual.  We are doing our best to maximize the time that we do have in the field to find and teach.  Truthfully, I have never been so tired in my entire life.  But it is good to be tired haha, more blessings.  We will start to train the new secretaries for the other mission next week, so this week I will be preparing for that.  It's going to be great! 
Tomorrow we have the baptism of Estefania before church.  We are all super excited for that and excited to see her act on her faith.  Her entire family is athiest, but she was always attending a church and trying to get closer to God.  To close each lesson, we knelt down and invited her to ask God if our message was true.  She received her spiritual confirmation of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  My testimony grew as well as I felt the spirit testify to our hearts of the truth.  I know that God loves us, and that he has restored his everlasting gospel in preparation for the second coming of Christ.  I feel it daily and it amazes me how God leads us to his elect. Everyone always says that we must search for the elect.  Recently, I have been studying what that really means.  I found great counsel in Doctrine and Covenants section 29.  This teaches us how to discern who truly is the elect.  It says:

 And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts;
My companion and I are putting this principle in practice.  We are searching for the elect of God.  And we have faith that the Lord will lead us to them.  The elect are they that listen, and allow the word to touch their hearts, or to let the spirit testify to them of the truth.  I know that God has prepared His elect from the beginning, and that He will lead us to His lost children.
I love you and hope you have a great week! 
Elder Nelson
Mi amigo mexicano siempre me decía "No estamos acá para luchar sino para recoger a los escogidos de Dios."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Happy Birthday Elder Nelson!!!!

Hi Brother & Sister Nelson,
 
     We had a fun little party last Friday here in the Mission Office, provided by Elder y Hermana Burt. That green sack was stuffed full of American Chocolate Candy! That's me in the back, Elder Nielson, I'm sure you know of, Hermana Markle, the official Mission Nurse provided the foto per her camera & that's her companion in the white top. This cute little Latino Hermana was laughing about "which one of these doesn't look like the others?" I take the phone calls from the "Gringo" missionaries having health concerns, just as a side note. I love my association with all these "hoven" missionaries.
 
     You should know what a great young man & missionary your son is!!! He & I have compared a few memories about our Youthlinc experiences. We both know the Birminghams & Elder Pete & I have gone as mentors in the past on 4 Youthlinc trips. The first to Kenya, the next 2 to Peru & the last, to Cambodia. A great organization for sure! I'm sure you're very proud of Elder Nelson & miss
him dearly, but the blessings he's bringing to so many here are unmeasureable!!
 
Thanks for sharing him!
 
 (Your neighbor just up the road in South Weber)
 
Hermana Diane Petersen, RN
Fondo Perpetuo/Autosuficiencia Centro
Mission Nurse Specialist
Costa Rica San Jose Mission


05.23.15

Hey everybody!!

I'm glad to hear that you had a great time in New York!  By the sounds of it you were running around quite a bit!  Hopefully you weren't too stressed out on your vacation, if stress is involved it is not a Nelson vacation haha.  But I'm sure it was great all the same.  I hope you have fun in St. George this weekend as well.

This week was quite the normal week in the office.  However, I had a day full of excitement on Thursday.  So I am in charge of keeping everybody in the country legally, but there are some complications when it comes to senior couples.  The senior couples that work at the temple have to be in the country on visa or with residency to be able to drive their cars legally.  So every 90 days they have to leave the country to go to Panama if their residency doesn´t come through in migration.  So all of the temple couples have been to Panama once to renew their visas but did not want to go again.  So they called me every other day asking if their residency had come in.  Every time I had to tell them that we are still waiting for it to come out of migration.  I was always calling the lawyers trying to get them to push it through faster.  So, I have always been stuck in the middle between the lawyers and the senior couples trying to get this pushed through.  Finally, this week their residencies came through and I told them to meet us at migration on Thursday to get their residency.  That is just the background information.

On Thursday morning I came to the office and I was going to take some other missionaries with me as well to take out their residencies.  One missionary comes into the office and isn't looking too good.  I truly didn't think that much of it, I'm pretty good friends with the Elder and so when our bus driver came I told everyone to hop in and off we went to meet the senior couples at migration.  When we got to migration, I met with all of the senior couples and told them to wait for me while I go inside to talk the migration person that always helps us, Mariana.  So I took the Elder in with me to the migration building (lots of people and long lines).  I begin to talk with Mariana and she wasn't too happy because the lawyers did the paperwork wrong and she wasn't going to give the residency to the senior couples.  I knew that they were going to be upset to hear this news so I was trying to figure out any possible solution.  I was on the phone with the lawyers, talking to the head of religious volunteers in migration, and doing everything I could.  The next thing I know Mariana starts getting worked up because the Elder I brought with me into migration was sitting on the floor looking as pale as a ghost.  I was just thinking "one emergency at a time."  So Mariana demanded that I take him to the nurse there at the building and so I took him over there.  He couldn't even walk without me holding him.  I finally got him to the nurse’s office and got him some juice and crackers.  I left him with another missionary and went back to try to figure out this problem in migration.  After talking for a long time she finally let them get their residencies without the correct paperwork and I was super relieved.

So as each of them passes through to sign papers and talk with Mariana she get really angry at them because of the sick Elder.  She kept saying stuff like "You don't feed them enough” and "they all look ill."  These senior couples that don't speak very much Spanish looked a little surprised to have this lady yelling at them haha.  It was quite the scene.  So everybody passes through to get their photo taken and I´m feeling relieved that it all worked out.  We go outside for them to call our names so we can leave and the next thing I know that sick Elder is laying on the ground.  We were just making all sorts of scenes that day.  Finally the Temple President decides to take him back to the office.  Another Elder and I hauled him out to his car and off they went.  The only problem was that I had to fight to get his residency card without him being there, but no worries, I got it.  I got back to the office and I was so exhausted but with the help of the Lord everything worked out.  It was quite the day in migration.

In the field we have been seeing so many miracles.  I told you about the investigator that we found with the sign outside of her house that said "I love Jesus."  Well, we are planning her baptism for this Saturday.  She definitely is one of the elect.  We are going to see if we can have our recent convert, Jorge, baptize her this Saturday so we are excited!


I love you all and hope the best for you!

Elder Nelson

Mi amigo Mexicano siempre me decía "Tienen que alimentar mejor a los misioneros, si no, se van a desmayar."

Tuesday, May 19, 2015



05/16/15 Zona Sur!

Hey everybody!
I hope everybody is doing well!  You all looked well on the phone call so I am happy and it was a great experience!  Love you lots.
Well like I told you on the call, this week President sent us on an errand to Zona Sur.  Zona Sur is on the boarder of Panama and is 8 hours away from San Jose.  We went down there to take the movie "Meet the Mormons" to the wards down on the boarder.  Each ward was able to have a movie night and to enjoy the movie together.  We just had to take the video down to them.  So we were preparing for our 16 hour road trip to Zona Sur and on Tuesday afternoon we took off.  We were also really excited because President recommended a few restaurants for us to try on the way in Quepos and Jacó. 
So our plan was to stop and stay the night with the Elders in Quepos and continue down the rest of the way in the morning.  The most interesting part of the trip is that Elder Burt gave us a new GPS from the mission to use on our trip.  So we put Quepos in the GPS and started off.  We thought it was really weird that the GPS was taking us through the mountains and not on the freeway, but didn't think too much of it.  So we pressed forward with excitement.  Well before we knew it we ended up on really rocky dirt roads.  However, we had never been to Quepos so we kept going forward thinking that everything was fine.  It turns out that we were in the mountains of Costa Rica on dirt roads that were the steepest I had ever seen in my entire life.  After about three hours in we started to think that we were going the wrong way.  Now, when I say that we were on dirt roads, they weren´t nice dirt roads. They were terrible!  Really rocky and they frankly freaked me out.  They had potholes the size of craters, but we kept moving forward.  At one point, we found ourselves in the middle of the mountains, getting dark, weak cell phone coverage, fog rolling in, and looking a little low on gas.  We stopped to ask one of the houses that were sparsley scattered along this road if we were close to Quepos.  They said "Yeah, just two more hours on this road."  At this point we realized that our GPS was on the setting "shortest distance" not "fastest way." Oh my goodness I was going to get sick.  Up and down on the bouncy mountain roads didn't sit well with me.  It didn't help either that the Burts gave us a HUGE bag of chocolate and my companion and I ate it all within the first hour of the trip.  So we kept going, pressing forward with faith.  We had to take the car through some small creeks and cross some not-so-safe looking bridges but we were getting close. Finally after weaving through a bunch of palm trees and the help of some Costa Ricans we were able to make it out in Quepos 5 hours later.  We were so relieved to see civilization.  The drive was actually quite beautiful because you could roll down the windows and hear the monkeys, birds, and frogs.  Amazing experience.
In Quepos we were able to visit with some members, and boy was it hot.  My companion and I were drenched with sweat the second we stepped out of the car.  But it was so beautiful.  We stayed the night with the Elders there and woke up very early the next morning to continue down to Zona Sur.  We rolled in to Zona Sur around 7:30 and headed right back for San Jose.  On the way back we stopped in Quepos for the restaurant and it was beautiful.  I will have to take you there someday.  It was looking over Manuel Antonio National Park and was made in an old airplane.  It was a great experience, extremely beautiful. We also stopped at a famous bridge that overlooked a river filled with crocodiles.  They were huge.  And there was a local there that was throwing steaks over to them and it was wild to see.  Then we made our way back to San Jose (this time on the freeway) and got to work.  Elder Nielson and I were so grateful for the opportunity we had to go and see much of the mission and to help members see the movie. 
Recently, we have been seeing a bunch of success in the field.  We have some great investigators and I love teaching them.  The Lord is very good to my companion and I.  He truly does show us miracles daily and I am so grateful to Him for all that we have.  He gives me so many great opportunities to serve and to grow and this week I was amazed as I saw all of His beautiful creations as we drove to Zona Sur.  The Lord is smiling on Costa Rica and hastening His marvelous work.  How lucky I am to be a part of it.
I hope you all have a great week!
Elder Nelson
Mi amigo Mexicano siempre me decía "Qué hace en esta calle de piedra, tome la pista mejor."

Sunday, May 10, 2015

05/09/2015 Happy Mother's Day!

Hey everybody!

This week I just wanted to write a short little letter because I get to talk to you soon anyways.  It has been a great week and I continue to be amazed at how often we seen the hand of the Lord in our lives and in our work.  My testimony strengthens daily that this truly is His work and glory, and He guides us to His prepared and elect.

Yesterday, we were having kind of a rough day with little success all day.  My companion and I were walking at night in Zapote on our way to our correlation meeting with the Ward Mission Leader.  We were walking really fast because we were late and had a 25 minute walk ahead of us.  So we get going and not more than 3 minutes down the road we get yelled at by a couple in a Chinese restaurant as we passed by.  They told us to come over, so we did.  To give some background information, here in Costa Rica the church has commercials on TV that are little mormon messages.  They said that they love the commercials and they got online to mormon.org to ask for a Book of Mormon and it never came.  So we gave them Books of Mormon and talked with them for a bit.  They started to ask us all of the hard questions that everyone tries to confound us on like coffee and tithing.  So we quickly explained some of the reasons we do the things we do and they were so receptive.  We told them how the Book of Mormon came to be and they were so interested.  They are a really young couple and they said that they have been looking around for a church to go to, but they haven't really found what they are looking for.  So they are coming to church on Sunday and we took their information.  Then they gave us a ride to our correlation meeting in their car and we kept talking and they were amazing!  It's like one of those moments on The Best Two Years when the phone rings and they all look up and the angels sing Hallelujah.  My companion and I were stunned.  We hope that they progress and have the spiritual witness that we know they can receive.  It brought to life what President Wilkinson always says, "How can a missionary be discouraged, we are in the Lord's work."  We are in the Lord's work and as soon as we recognize it, we can develop faith and know that He knows better than us.  In the end, if we are obedient and try our best, all will fall in to place as the Lord sees fit.

I have to give a special mother's day shout out to my mom.  I love you so much mom!  Thank you for all that you do for me and the family.  You truly are the best person I know.  Thanks for sitting through years of football practices and teaching my how to be independent.  Thanks for all of the opportunities that you and dad gave me to grow and to succeed, and for the countless sacrifices that you made so that the family could have the best.  Love you lots!

I love you and hope the best for you all!

Elder Nelson

Mi amigo Mexicano siempre me decía "Tenga fe, el Dios de Israel nos dirige."

Monday, May 4, 2015


05/02/15

Hey everybody!!
It sounds like good things are happening at home.  The fishing trip in Oklahoma sounds super exciting and fun.  I hope all goes well and you have a big catch and a fun time.
So we just completed another changes week in the mission.  Boy was it hectic.  It was a pretty small group and we got it all good to go.  We weren´t able to get out in the field as much as we wanted because of all of the activities going on in the office.  However, we were still able to get out and talk with a bunch of people and find some great new investigators. 
We are now in the last full change that President Wilkinson has and are really close to splitting the mission. We keep finding more things to do and new things to make better before the split.  President has already picked the other secretaries for the other mission and we will be training them starting next change.  It will be a bit of a challenge to train them in 3 weeks, but I know it is possible, we will just be running a lot to get things done and have them trained in half of the time. 
In the area we found a really good family and we are very excited to teach them.  We found them one day while contacting some houses.  We set a return appointment and went back to teach.  When we went back they were super interested and asked so many great questions.  She told us that she felt such a burden, and she was very confused about religion.  So we taught repentance and baptism.  She accepted and really has the desire.  We asked her if we could come by on Saturday and when she said "yes,"  her daughter said "no we can´t we have an activity in our church on Saturday."  Quickly the mom said "we are not going to play around, we are in this now so you won´t be going to that activity on Saturday."  We were stunned and amazed at her great faith and we are excited to continue teaching the family.  They do have a hang up because they are not married and her boyfriend is like thirty years older than her, but that is normal for Costa Rica.  We will just have to teach better for them to understand.
Well, I don't have much time today.  I hope that everyone has a great week!
Elder Nelson

Pic from upstairs in our house where all of the missionaries sleep when they come to the office.