Monday, May 30, 2016

05.30.2016 No Time to be Trunky!

Hey everybody!

Good to hear from each of you!  You are great!  Sounds like you spent quite a bit of time in the car on the way to OKC.  17.5 hours!  I remember when we did that trip the first time.  Hopefully Conner didn't eat all of the Reeses this time hahahaha!

Well, everybody keeps asking me if I am trunky... no!  Haha I have had it about up to here with all of the trunky jokes from my district!  Today we were on the border and Elder Escarcega kept telling me to by all of the small containers of food because I will never be able to finish the normal size.  I have been thinking about it.. and there is no time to be trunky.  Right now this group needs a lot of nourishment and this area needs a lot of work.  We are working as hard as ever!  Elder Paiz is getting a little worried because his skin is getting a lot darker from the sun.. he doesn't like that haha. 

We found a great family this week!  We were working in an area and Elder Paiz started to get a little sick of rejection.  Each time somebody turned us away, he added another flower to his shirt pocket.  By the end of the day he had quite the bouquet walking around.  Finally he said "We are going to say a prayer and this house will have somebody ready to hear the gospel."  So we said the prayer and knocked the door.  A woman that is very strong in another faith opened the door and didn't want anything with us.  Great.  So we continued with the faith and finally arrived at an apartment.  The family quickly ushered us in and accepted the message.  Let's just say that when we left the house we had a bag of 25 avocados and a return date.  Ush!

This week Denia and Maicol came to church!!  We were so happy!  They said that they liked it and we are going to go visit them tomorrow!  They are so great!  

The members here are great!  There is a less-active family that we have been working with quite a bit.  The husband has fallen to alcohol, and is having a hard time staying active in the church.  However, the wife, Maritza, is a super star.  She is so funny!  She always is so positive and is running the ship solo in her house.  At first, she was shakey too in her testimony of the gospel, but she has come so far and is always at church each week with the children that she can bring with her.  I think I am going to buy some tubs of ice cream and take them over for the Family Home Evening that we have with them tonight!  The kids will sure like that!

All is well here in Jimenez!  I am getting in touch with nature haha and trying to keep the little monkeys away!

Love you guys!

Elder Nelson

Mi amigo mexicano siempre me decia "Que tal le parece la sopa de gallina?"

Saturday, May 28, 2016

05.23.16 Closing the Internet Cafe

Hey everybody!!

I hope that everybody is doing well!  Elder Paiz and I are doing well!  We are pretty good cuates (buddies).  I heard that Nate and I will be driving to Iowa in July.  Ussshh!!  Road trip!!  Karli is soon the have the baby.  Good luck Karli!  Let me know when you have chosen a name or I will keep calling her Gertrude haha.  And, good luck Conner in Houston!  Have fun driving town and eating in Crab Town with dad!  I remember going there and eating off of the table.

Well, the only internet cafe in Puerto Jimenez will be shut down tomorrow.  They just told us.  So, we will see what happens but honestly there is no other place to write in this little pueblo.  So, I might be falling off of the face of the Earth until I come home.  I will see if I can figure something out, but if not, I will see you all in a month!  No news is good news!

This week was good for Elder Paiz and I.  The woman that I told you about last week, her name is Sonia.  She came to church again this week with her son.  They accepted the challenge to be baptized by the restored priesthood authority and they have a baptismal date for the 15th of June. Elder Paiz and I are praying hard that she can be ready for baptism on that day. I will keep you posted.  We are also teaching the family of Elogio, Denia, y Maicol.  They are so great!  This week Elder Paiz and I went to make pupusas with them and they are progressing well.  Elogio and Denia need to be married, so we taught them about marriage and they said that they would discuss it and think of a date to be married! Ush!!  They have been together for 23 years, I have no idea what they could possibly need to discuss! 

This week Elder Paiz and I were in Jimenez searching for people to teach and he got a little down so we decided that we would pray to find somebody who is prepared to receive the restored gospel.  We continued with little luck, but at night we were walking by the dock and decided to talk to a family in a little house by the dock.  They are great!  They started crying as we testified of the divinity of Jesus Christ and the power of the atonement to heal all wounds.  We are going to take Presidente Conejo and his wife over to their house for a lesson this week.  We are praying for them!

The group is doing well.  Last week I gave a talk about our commitment to our Heavenly Father as His children. It was good!  I invited the members to increase their level of commitment to our Heavenly Father, and that commitment promotes progress.  In this case, spiritual commitment produces spiritual progress and we grow closer to our Heavenly Father.  I invited the to remember the (OLA, Orar, Leer, y Asistir a la iglesia).  Or for you homegamers out there (Pray, Read, and Attend church).  As we pray each day individually and as a family, read the scriptures, and attend church, we will progress spiritually and become stronger rooted in our faith.  I know that to be a true principle for I have felt the spiritual strength that comes from the basics.  Hopefully each of us can remember the OLA.  

Well everybody, I hope that all is well for you!  Keep strong in the faith!  I love you guys!

Elder Nelson

Mi amigo mexicano siempre me decia *Hay que pedir los milagros del cielo.*

05.16.16 The land of pinto and pupusas





Hey everybody!

Sounds like good things are going on at home!  Karli is going up to visit on the weekend!  Hope that you have fun and enjoy the grand kids!  Hope that everyone is well!

I am here with Elder Paiz in Puerto Jimenez!  He arrived in Gofito on Tuesday morning at 5 am and we had district meeting before loading his suitcases on the boat and heading to Jimenez.  He is from El Salvador and is a convert to the church.  He is amazing and I am learning a lot from him.  He is a big jokester and every once in a while he will say "turn down for what" in his thick Spanish accent.  I don't think he knows what that means haha.  He is going to teach me how to make Salvadorian pupusas.  
Yesterday, we were invited by a sister from the group over to her house to eat Sunday lunch after church.  She made us "rice and bean."  It is so good!  They actually call it "rice and bean."  Basically it is just gallo pinto cooked with coconut milk instead of water.  We ate it with a fried fish.  Honestly I think that the fried fish tastes pretty good.  The only weird thing is having its little eye stare at you while you eat it.  Oh well.. I enjoyed it.  Elder Paiz loved it and grabbed a second fish and slammed it down.  

This week we dedicated much of our time to finding new investigators here in Jimenez center.  We had a little bit of a miracle.  The sun was so hot and we were sweating so much that we were just trying to find somebody that we could teach in the shade.  We found a woman who has been suffering from brain tumors and as we taught her I felt really bad because she looked like she was in some pain.  Well, we left her with a blessing and she came to church on Sunday!  She made friends with the Relief Society sisters and she is going to got the activity on Saturday with them.  

Elder Paiz and I are doing well here!  I hope that al is well with you and that your find joy in all that you do!

Elder Nelson

Mi amigo Salvadore├▒o siempre me decia "El pescado frito me cayo tan bien."

05.09.16

This is our chapel, when all of the zone came to the conference here.  President and Sister Conejo are in the back of the room.  


05.09.16 Wildlife in the south!

Picture of our district in Golfito and of the monkey feeding adventure.




Hey everybody!

I don't have much time to write because I am across the gulf in Golfito waiting for the arrival of my new companion, Elder Paiz from El Salvador.  It will be a short email, but it is okay because we just talked a couple of days ago.

So a couple of hours ago, Elder Gibby and I were making some spaghetti in the house and saw a pack of wild monkeys across the street in the trees.  So, we booked it to the closest store and bought some bananas.  We ran back and fed bananas to a pack of wild monkeys.  It was such a cool experience!  Now I know that monkeys really do like to eat bananas!

The work is well!  I hope to learn lots from my new companion.  I brought him into the mission in the office so I already know him.  He is a ball of energy!  

I love you guys so much!  Keep the faith!

Elder Nelson

Mi amigo mexicano siempre me decia "Siempre hay que tener bananos a mano por si acaso lleguen los monos!"

05.02.16 Conferencia de Zona Puerto Jimenez 2016

Upe buenas!!

I hope everybody is doing well!  I loved hearing about how you guys went to the gun show this week!  When I grow up I will have to get me a bb gun haha.  It sounds like the Nelson family is strapping in to prepare for a lot of excitement in the coming months!  Graduations, babies, and construction projects!  

This week was full of excitement.  It was great!  We had our missionary activity this week.  It was also a district activity so we bused in members from the other branches on the other side of the gulf to participate with the members here in Puerto Jimenez.  Honestly, we are the most exiled missionaries and group in the entire mission and country.  So we wanted to get the excitement running through the veins of these members and the missionaries in the Rio Claro district because we are working towards a stake!  It was a beautiful activity.  We had a stage, speaker set up, giant screen and projector, live music, typical dances, and some famous members from around the country that came to speak and to accompany us.  It took tons of planning, but it was amazing.  President Hayes came to visit us and the rest of the zone was able to come to enjoy the activity and to prepare for the zone conference the following day held in our chapel.  We wanted to have a good turn out so that we could share our beliefs with the community in a fun way and we had a good turn out. We even contracted a car with speakers on top to drive around the entire town blaring the news about the activity.  In the end we had hundreds of people that came and we have some great references to contact.

We had the zone conference on Saturday in our chapel and we received great training's from President and other missionaries.  Sister Conejo cooked food for all of the missionaries so we were enjoying the Panamanian cuisine.  

Sunday was great!!  We had a couple of miracles!  Some less actives that we have been visiting came back!  Usshh!!  The chapel was full and the testimony meeting was powerful.  There was not one pause in the testimony action.  Gotta love it!  The members are really doing good!  I love working in this small group because we don't have a list of hundreds of in-actives.  We know who each of the in-actives are and we are working with each of them to return to church.  The members are doing a great job as member missionaries and the ward/group council meetings that we have here are some of the best that I have been a part of in this country.  The members are so willing to work!

This Thursday we will be starting up doctrinal Thursdays/Noche de grupo.  We will be having this activity each Thursday in order to foster faith in Jesus Christ, to learn the basic doctrines of the church, and to fellowship members with food.  What more could you ask for?  A member will teach a brief principle out of the Gospel Principles book and afterwards we will have a little potluck!  We are trying to get these members out of their houses as much as possible and doing spiritual things to learn more.  We are hoping it will be a success!

I love you guys so much!  Keep the faith!

Elder Nelson

En Costa Rica hay que aprender a decir Pura Vida para todo!

04.25.16 Hermano Ronald y la Hermana Lily

Hey everybody!

I am excited that Karli is going to graduate!  Woot!  Good job Karli! You are the best!!

This week was great!  Elder Carter and I have been working hard and praying hard for spiritual growth and maturity among the members.  This group may be small, but it is working very hard to do everything in the Lord´s way.  There are some members that are inactive and have not returned to church since the group was shut down 4 years ago.  One of those families is that of Hermano Ronald and Hermana Lily.  When the group was shut down back in the day, they were faithful members of the church that had been sealed in the temple.  The church being shut down here really made them feel hurt, so they have been very hesitant to jump back in.  We have been visiting them throughout the week and are always in contact.  He has been so willing to lend anything to the church, but never has returned with his wife and Elder Carter and I have been losing sleep over it.  Well, this week we had a miracle!!  They came to church!  Elder Carter was directing the meeting and from where I was sitting I could not see the door.  When they entered, Elder Carter could not keep it in because he was so excited.  I had no idea what all of the commotion could be about. When I saw them I couldn´t hold it back either.  They looked so good dressed up in their Sunday best!  Elder Carter and I have had Ronald in mind as the future branch president for a long time.  We hope that he continues to join us each Sunday regains his strong faith.

 Elder Carter and I are preparing a large scale activity this week.  He has a friend from Draper that will be flying in and helping us with it.  It is a community activity with emphasis on the church and the family.  It is going to be fantastic.  President Hayes will be coming along with all of the missionaries from the zone, and the following day we will have a zone conference here in Jimenez.  So, it will be a very busy week.

Love you guys!  Keep the faith!

Elder Nelson

04.18.16





Hey everybody!

These past two weeks have been absolutely full!  I will try to hit the important points so that you know what is going on here in Puerto Jimenez!

So Elder Carter and I had a little bit of a miracle last week.  We were teaching some investigators and walking back to Puerto Jimenez central on a sandy road that leads to the beach.  The funny thing is that we were talking about what it would be like to be a missionary in Utah and to see members all of the time.  About two minutes later a large, white Land Rover that is passing by full of surf boards and gringos starts yelling at us and stops.  We were talking with them for a minute and they were members from Bountiful, Utah.  They were so excited to see missionaries on their vacation.  Well, it turns out that after talking to them for a couple of minutes the father of the family moved the surf boards from blocking his face and it was Jon Schmidt from the Piano Guys.  You know, the piano player from the Piano Guys.  We met him here in Jimenez and talked for a little bit.  Long story short we got in contact with him and before he left we shot some video with him to use in the activity that we are going to have in the community here in Jimenez.  Great family!

Last Monday some members took us up to their farm!  It was awesome!  We picked some mangos from the trees, dug some holes and cut some trees with machetes.  A typical Costa Rican day!  They took us to a hidden waterfall that they know of and it was beautiful.  This place is amazing!

This week was a little disappointing.  Several investigators that we have decided that they no longer wanted to continue in this path.  They felt that it was too hard to make the necessary changes to put their lives in line with our Heavenly Fathers commandments and to take up the cross and to follow Jesus Christ.  It breaks my heart to see these families decide that they no longer want to try.  Even though they might not completely understand what they are missing, we do!  We know what they can become and what the Lord Jesus Christ can make them.  Now to continue finding those elect of the Lord.

I love this work!  The Lord is so good to us!  I hope that each of you continue to kindle your faith and to follow the Lord!

Love you guys!

Elder Nelson

04.11.16

Hey everybody!

This week was great!  We had some amazing moments and lessons.  Honestly, I have no time to write.  We are healthy and happy and working with the members to teach investigators and to strengthen testimonies.  I will write you more next week about the specifics!

I love you all so much!

Elder Nelson

04.04.16 General Conference Blessings- Puerto Jimenez





Hey Everybody!

I feel extremely sad for the loss of Grandpa and Grandmas house.  I have sweet memories eating Sunday dinner, taking ice cream orders for desert, and (of course) eating treats out of the chicken bowl.  Many fond memories took place in, and around, that place.  Thank goodness that we have a foundation in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The knowledge and faith that we have keep us moving forward through the trials of life as they present themselves daily.  We may remember that these trials and difficulties were the very essence and purpose of our Heavenly Fathers plan for us.  May He pour all of His blessings upon you as you continue with faith in Him and His plan and move forward with faith.

This week felt long!  On Tuesday, we headed to San Jose to attend the temple.  There isn't much that you can do to prepare yourself for the nine hour bus ride.  Much of the way we were on our feet due to the amount of people on the bus and the lack of seats.  All of the passengers were able to get a nice look at the missionaries and I hope that that we could of had even a tiny influence on them.  Wednesday morning we were in the seven o clock session and we were back on the bus at 4 back to the south.  We stayed with some other missionaries in the zone in San Vito and in early Thursday morning we started down the mountain to Golfito and across the gulf on the boat.  It was tiring, but worth it to attend the temple.  The Spirit was sweet and my testimony of the that holy house grew bigger.

General Conference was magnificent!  We were once again in the hostel next to the chapel and the internet worked for us.  This is the first time in years that general conference has been shown on the peninsula.  The kingdom of God is growing.  There were very few technical difficulties.  I was very impressed with the results from the group and the great turn out that there was.  I do have to admit.. the people that were staying in the hostel probably didn't know what to think with all the white shirts walking around in there haha.  They are going to go back to Europe and already know who the Mormons are. Oh yeah!  Watching general conference was great, but watching it in Spanish just doesn't do it justice.  For somebody who has heard their real voices for so long, listening to the translator just isn't the same.  I am excited to download all of the talks and listen to them as we prepare for each day. 

Today we did our monthly shopping in Panama.  Really, we just go to the free zone on the boarder that is kind of part of both countries.  Each month we can go to buy our things there the first week because everything is half price.  Everything in Costa Rica is jaw-droppingly expensive.  And, as you know, Panama uses the dollar so it was a weird throw back.  Elder Carter and I stopped at McDonalds for a quarter pounder with cheese, so we are doing pretty good.

The members here are amazing.  I truly feel like they are the most willing members to serve the Lord that I have ever worked with.  We are teaching pure references from members.  They are all progressing very well and we are seeing results.  Several of them accompanied us to the conference and I am sure that the spirit testified to their hearts of the truth.  How lucky are we to learn from modern prophets.  Amazing.

I love you so much!  Keep being great!

Elder Nelson

Mi amigo mexicano siempre me decia -Cuando vayas cruzando el golfo en la lancha, aseg├║rate que tienes puesto el chaleco salvavidas.  El mar se pone bravo a veces.-