Sunday, June 28, 2015

06/27/15 Mission Split

How is everybody doing?!  I love getting your emails and hearing about what is going on at home. It is super cool that Conner is in Houston.  He is such a stud.  It sounds like Nate is enjoying his break from school, touring around on vacation haha.  Karli taking summer classes.  Sounds like everybody is doing great!

I would like to start out by saying that this morning bright and early we were cleaning our house.  I was cleaning the kitchen and downstairs and the upstairs including the bathroom.  I now understand why missionaries are told to take shower sandals on their missions. When my companion was cleaning the shower, he lifted up some sort of a sponge thing, and out jumped tons of worms all over the place!!  Oh my goodness, good thing I have always been wearing sandals in the shower haha.  

So now it is official, I have been assigned to the Costa Rica San José East Mission, with President Hayes from Idaho.  The moment the wheels of his plane touch Costa Rica on Monday night, the keys of the work of salvation in Costa Rica pass to him and we will be under his direction.  I am sad to see the Wilkinson family go, but I am also very excited to meet President Hayes and to get things up and going with him.  He was the head of the Department of Religion at BYU-Idaho so he knows the doctrine super well.  I am excited to work with and learn from him as well.  I know that he has been called of God, and set apart under the hands of an apostle of the Lord.  

I talked a lot about the final meeting that we were going to have with the entire mission.  We had it on Tuesday and it was amazing!  President Wilkinson taught as if he were having a final interview with each of us.  He taught about the temple, covenants and the atonement.  I took good notes, but truthfully I probably won't remember much about that meeting in 20 years.  What I will remember is the strong spirit that was in that room.  It is hard to explain spiritual things, but it is enough for me to say that I know that my Savior Jesus Christ lives, and that through him we can live again.  The spirit testified of that to me, and it grew my faith.  I will remember how I felt in that meeting for the rest of my life.  Hermana Wilkinson also taught.  She pulled me up to translate for her and it went well.  

The rest of the week we were running to get things ready for the split.  Splitting a mission office is a complicated thing.  But I think we are almost done.  We are still running to get everything done but I know we will get it done.  There have also been a lot of last minute projects that have come up to get done before President Wilkinson leaves.  We have spent a lot of time this week in the office, but it needs to be done so we are working hard.  However, we were able to get out of the office most days to have some lessons.  

We have been teaching for a while a man named Uriel.  He was a referral from a recent convert and he is amazing!  He is a self-defense instructor and was named in the top ten in all of Central America. I know he is good, because he gave us some classes a couple of weeks back and I had some big bruises.  Anyway, because of his work he hasn't been able to come to church.  We passed by his house and asked him how he has been doing with his reading of the Book of Mormon.  He said that he has read some, so we inquired about how much.  He asked if he could show us in our Book of Mormon because he leaves his at work.  He flips straight to Helaman and said "I am here, I would be further but I had to read Alma again to understand it better."  I couldn't stop smiling. He was telling us how amazing the book is and how it really has helped him to be a better person.  He said that he was surprised that it talked so much of Jesus Christ.  He knows it is true.  We testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and how it is an essential part of a testimony of Jesus Christ.  It is the word of God and through it we can grow closer to our Heavenly Father.  I love the counsel from Elder Kevin W. Pearson in the last General Conference when he said, "Search the Book of Mormon and the words of the living prophets every day, every day, every day! It’s the key to spiritual survival and avoiding deception. Without it, we are spiritually lost." 
I hope that you all have a great week!  I love you all!
Elder Nelson

Mi amigo Mexicano siempre me decía, "No se duche sin sandalias, tendrá guzanos fijo."

Monday, June 22, 2015

06/20/15 Sarchi

Hey everybody!

How is everybody?!  I hope all is well on the home front and that everyone is doing well.  It sounds like Karli is in town this weekend.  That will be fun to spend some time together while Dad is with Conner in Houston.  The family is all over the place.  That is fun!  Everybody is growing up and moving around.  I don't know how I feel about that haha.  

This week was great in the office.  Elder Kepo'o has been picking things up really fast, so I now have time to do other projects in the office that need to be done.  Also, we are preparing for a busy week ahead.  The mission has a final conference as a mission on Tuesday.  This will be the last time that the Costa Rica San Jose Mission will be together as a mission.  President is now counting his days on his hands and we are preparing the arrivals of two new presidents.  In this last mission conference the mission will be split, and it will be the last time that many of the missionaries will see each other.  It looks like Elder Mejia, my trainer, will be in the other mission.  He is a Zone Leader in Alajuela so it looks like he will be split off.  We learned a lot together and he is my buddy.  Also, President will be teaching the mission for the last time, and from the sounds of it he will be bringing the house.  I starting to prepare spiritually for that meeting so that I can learn the things that the Lord would have me learn.  President will bear a last testimony as our mission president, and the room is sure to be full of emotions. 

On Monday there will be a pancake breakfast in the office for all of the zones that reached their baptism goals last month.  There are going to be 75 missionaries in here and we went and bought a lot of food to fill them up.

Today we were able to go to Sarchí with the Burts.  It is a cool little town in the mountains of Costa Rica.  It is known as the "city of art" of the country.  What really surprised me was how much art Romero Britto had all over the place. I was feeling like a connoisseur of art while explaining to my companion about Romero Britto and his art style haha.  But in Sarchí is were you find all of the typical Costa Rican wood workings and a lot of the culture.  They have some awesome painted ox carts and rocking chairs.  It's just a quirky little place and it was really fun to go.  It is a place that I'm going to have to take you to someday to check it out. 

This week we were able to reestablish contact with a family that we haven't been able to teach for a while.  We started to teach the parents when the mother started to break down.  The family has been passing through a tough time and the parents are set on getting a divorce.  The mother and daughters committed to come with us to church this week, and we are still working on the father. Teaching this family has helped me to be grateful for the home that I grew up in and the influence that the gospel can have on a family.  I know that true joy in a family comes through living the gospel, and it also brings peace and understanding to our lives as we learn and grow together.  

Have a great week!

Elder Nelson

P.S.  Happy Father's Day dad!!  You are the best there is!

Mi amigo Mexicano siempre me decía "Los dos se llaman elder?  Son hermanos?"

Monday, June 15, 2015

06/13/15 Buenas de Costa Rica

Hey everybody!!
How is everybody doing?  It sounds like there is a lot of excitement going on at the house.  It is funny to hear about the grandkids coming over and wearing you out.  Now I can just imagine how Grandpa Bob felt after taking us around for a bit.  When they are old enough you can take them to the dollar store and McDonalds after school haha.  Also, I like the sounds of the plans for the backyard.  It will finally be done it sounds like.  Good stuff!
This week was another changes week.  I found that it was more hectic than normal, it is hard to try to explain things to Elder Kepo'o while running around at a thousand miles an hour.  But everything turned out great and I am happy for it to be over and to take a deep breath. 
Today Elder Nielson and I went to San José to buy some things.  A big part of San José will be a part of the other mission starting in a couple of weeks so we had to take adavantage of the opportunity. 
This week we had a couple of exciting experiences with sending home the missionaries that finished their missions.  Each time that a missionary leaves, they need to give back their active residency card to the mission.  These cards last a year and then they have to get them renewed.  Well the Elders usually get them renewed because they are in the country longer and the Sisters don't.  So the Elders get to keep them, but the Sisters don´t.  Anyway, to make a long story short, the Sisters were not happy that they didn't get to keep their cards.  Now it is a joke of the office about how much they hated me, but I truly was being so nice.  They shot the messenger is what happened.  I couldn't believe that they got so upset about giving it back, but oh well, they finished their missions haha. 
We have received some good referrals that we are going to go contact today and hopefully we see some fruit from them.  I'm excited to get back out in the field this week to get things up and going in the area. 
I've got to get going, not a lot of time today!  I love you all and hope the best always!  The church is true!  Families are eternal!  The power of God has been restored to the Earth!  The Spirit has taught me these truths, and the Spirit can and will teach everyone who asks with faith.
Elder Nelson
Mi amigo Mexicano siempre me decía "Mis nietos me cansan, pero me encanta verlos."

Saturday, June 6, 2015


Hey everybody!
Glad to hear that the boy's trip to Oklahoma was a success.  Lots of eating and relaxing, sounds good to me!  Also, the changes that you will be making to the house sound good as well.
This week was a great week in Costa Rica.  I recieve my trainee on Wednesday, Elder Kepo'o.  He is from Hawaii and is a super great guy.  Whenever we do something cool he says, "That is so dawg."  It's starting to rub off on me so don't be surprised if I come home saying that things are "dawg."  We have spent the week preparing for the changes on Monday and teaching him about all of the things we do.  He is catching on really fast, and we have a busy week ahead of us.  We have 19 new missionaries arriving in the mission, the biggest group that has come in for a while. 

Last night we were able to have a ward missionary activity in the chapel.  There was ping-pong, soccer, home-made root beer, Mormon messages, games, the works.  It was super great and had an amazing turn out.  We can see the difference in the ward from when we came.  The members are becoming more involved in the missionary work and it is amazing to see.  A bunch of investigators came and it was an all-around success.
This week I took 11 people to migration to get their residencies.  But this was not any normal trip to migration, it was more exciting that that.  Every time I go to migration with missionaries it is a 4-5 hour process.  This time we went, and ten of the eleven missionaries got their residency cards at the normal time, but they lost the card of the eleveth.  When we asked for it, they said that he had to go through the process again and we would have to wait another hour.  But, it was raining really hard, and when they went back to reprint his card the machine had been flooded by rain.  Finally they dried it all out and it worked and right when they called his name to get his card a "flash mob" broke out of Costa Rican marachi and people in giant puppet costumes.  It was quite the experience haha.
The work that we are doing in the field is going well.  We were finally able to get in contact with Noelia's daughter.  She is 23 with two kids.  We are excited to start teaching her and the rest of her family.  My companion and I are continually looking for new investigators and trying our best to open our mouths with all that we see. 
The work load is going up and up in the office as we count down the days to the new missions.  At times it is stressful, but it is really good and is teaching me a lot about planning and organization.  On the 23 of June, President Wilkinson will call the entire mission in for a farewell meeting.  He is going to bear his final testimony and it will be powerful.  Working with him has been the greatest privilege that I have had.  He is such a great example of a priesthood man.  He has taught me so much..
I love you all and hope that you have a great week!
Elder Nelson
Mi amigo mexicano siempre me decía "Ser misionero el lo mejor."