Elder Jackson york Nielsen
New Jersey Morristown mission
This Wednesday Jack drops to 99 days left on his mission. That's so awesome since we started at 730!! He's happy and working hard to finish strong. Here's the latest on our cute boy. -K
It was a nice week. SUPER busy and I’m sleepy. I went on an exchange with an elder in Passaic which was fun. He was teaching me how to solve a rubix cube. I also met this guy who Elder Hunt baptized and talked about ALL THE TIME. I love Elder Hunt (now known as Caleb). I had so much fun with that guy. My companions have been the coolest people. I’ve really lucked out in that department. Elder Hunt and I always talked about getting friendship sealed. Lol. Anyway. I had a meeting on Wednesday for the new missionaries and their trainers which was nice. I did that exchange on Tuesday and then went with our zone leaders on Friday which was fun. I was with Elder Nunes who is really cool and a good friend of mine. He spent half of his mission in the only Portuguese area in the mission. Super funny guy and we had several really good lessons that day. We also had interviews with president this week which was fun. He basically told me I’ll be here for the rest of my mission which I am happy about. President Hess is just the best of guys. He also went to our ward this Sunday and I had to translate his big word talk into Spanish (which is my job almost every Sunday). So it was a real busy week but it was nice and good.
On behalf of all of us at the Middletown apartments, thank you SO much for the food on Saturday. So our appointment at 7 canceled and the sisters needed help planning their baptism so we all went to the Noodle House and they brought so much food and then we took the rest to go. It was really nice. The food there is super delicious and everyone who eats there is oriental so you know it’s good. So thank you.
We had a huge snowstorm this week. Like at least 9 inches. The streets everywhere were impassable so we just went around and shoveled snow for people which was really fun. The high for Wednesday is supposed to be almost 70 degrees so it won’t be here for two long. You know what almost 70 degrees means? It means we are transitioning into the season where I see my family again and that thought warms my heart to way more than almost 70 degrees.
One of the senior missionaries here, Elder Jensen, is my guy. He calls me just to talk sometimes lol. He’s super funny and he actually is on the alumni board for SUU. He was a bishop down there for a while too. He gave me a few good places to go and other stuff for when I get back. I’m really excited for college because I can learn my lil brain out. But right now I'm going to concentrate on finishing my mission strong. 99 days isn't a lot to get everything done.
Anyway cute mom, today we are going bowling and other stuff. I love you so so SO MUCH. I’ll write you more in a little bit. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!❤️💕😘😘💕
It’s me!!! Your boy!!! Do you remember me? That’s ok if you don’t because I remember you enough for us both! Wowza look at the rapidly approaching finish line! It turned from an inconceivable concept in Red Bank, NJ to a very tangible reality in New City, NY. Good job, us. We did a very hard thing. Remember when I wrote you that letter telling you that I was going to go on a mission? Look at us now. This honestly has been the best decision of my life to do this, though. I feel it was a pivotal life event. One I’m sure I will ever be grateful for. And I’ve loved my mission, honestly. It has been just a lovely time and very soon I’ll be able to hang out with my lovely mom and I’ll feel at home. Apparently I’m very nostalgic at 8:00am.
We had a really good week this week. Like every week! All the weeks are good. We’re working really hard and we find a lot of really nice people. My Creole/French is actually getting pretty good too! Enough to make people laugh and from there my companion does the talking and I nod my head a lot. I am being very safe and life is very good for me. Everyone is SO nice to us and they usually just let us in to teach them because everyone just loves God a lot! It’s very very sweet. And we’re seeing a lot of success. I’m like 99.999% sure that I’ll finish my mission up here and I think there are worst ways to do so.
Also this week we ate some peppers that almost sent my companion to the nurse. You would have been proud of my spicy tolerance. No longer a spicy baby am I.
Regarding the apartment for school, go for whatever one is cheaper. I literally just need a room to sleep in. I’ve lived like a nomad so my standards are close to nonexistent. I’m excited though! I can’t wait to go back to learning stuff in college. I feel like I’ve retained a large portion of what I learned my first year so hopefully I won’t have to skip too many beats.
It’s going to be a pretty chill day today. Probably am going to nap because I’m a sleepy boy. But I’ll be here whenever you send me a reply. I LOVE YOU.
— your boy!!!
First of all, let me tell you that I’m a happy boy. The happiest, in fact. I don’t think I could finish my mission in a better way honestly. It’s a really fun area and I’m with a really fun companion and I’m just swaggin' basically. We contact so many people a day y no me cuesta para nada because everyone is just so nice I just realized I accidentally typed that in Spanish oops but I think I’m going to keep it there.
We had a really good week. All my weeks are good weeks tbh. It was Elder Merizier’s birthday on Saturday and we partied hard. We knocked doors for a few hours and found some super cool people and he was just like through the roof excited. It was really sweet. And later we had dinner at this woman’s house who is the nicest lady ever and we had good Haitian food and it was fun. Fun times in New City. It was a good week and we had a lot of success. We also had a zone conference in Union City, my old area. I loved that place. I took Elder Merizier to a few really cool rooftops and to my old apartment. Fun times over there. On the way over I accidentally took the George Washington bridge and we got a nice little tour of Manhattan for a second. Oops. I also got a ~smartphone~ so I’m pretty hip. You can’t do much on it but texting is the nicest thing in the world now because I don’t need to use a sliding keyboard from 2007.
Also, on behalf of all of us here on 249 N Middletown Rd, we want to thank you for that delicious noodle house food on Tuesday. It was so good. Like so good. Thank you so so much. While waiting for the food, there were these giant goldfish that you could literally pet. Photos attached.
That’s cool that Dawn’s daughter is going to Ecuador! I love Ecuadorians. Most of the Hispanics in this area are either Ecuadorians or Guatemalans. If you meet someone from Ecuador then you can say, “de la sierra o de la costa?” And if they say “de la sierra” then you say “ahh ustedes comen el cui entonces” (which is the guinea pig I had to eat) and if they’re from the la costa then they eat cerviche which is like seafood. Boom. Instant friends. Never underestimate the bonds created from knowing the food from a country.
I can’t believe I have less than 4 months left. Wowza. Remember dropping me off at the MTC? Not fun. But this experience isn’t one I would trade for anything.
Basically just know that I’m a happy boy and I love my family with all of my soul. I am grateful for the sealing power because if I went to heaven and you weren’t there I would go John 2:15 all over that place. Just kidding. Or am I?
I love you. Here’s some funny pictures.
Here is a little video I received from him. All I can say is bless that guys heart. -K
It’s your boy! I’m writing you from my cute little apartment in NY. I’ve had the nicest week and I’m really excited to tell you all about it. But first of all let me tell you that I’m really really happy. Seriously. I’m just having the best time.
So let me start off by saying how much I love Haitians. I LOVE them. Seriously this is so fun. We just find a Haitian neighborhood and go talk to people for like the entire day. And we’re seeing a TON of success. Like people just automatically let you into their house when you say that you’re there to talk about Jesus. It happens all the time. Yesterday we met this super funny family that was just like “here’s an entire meal of really good Haitian food and now teach us about Jesus.” and we had like never met them before. Who just does that? Haitians, that’s who. I’m actually learning a lot of Creole too, which is really fun. Together we speak 4 languages so we can just teach anyone we find. We found some really cool investigators this week in all languages. Spring Valley has a huge population of Haitian and Spanish people so basically I’m in heaven. So fun.
My companion is such a funny guy! He’s from Gonave, Haiti but he moved here when he was like 12. He’s a super funny guy which honestly makes everything just a good time. As soon as we get home every night he like passes out. The other day he literally slept wearing his proselytizing clothes lolol. If anything, just know that I’m a happy guy. I’m probably going to finish my mission here with Elder Merizier and I can just tell it’ll be a good time. I can’t think of a better way to finish. But anyway. Fun stuff happening here in New York. We also live in the same apartment complex as some sisters who are also super funny; one of them (Sister Mendez) is hispanic and Sister Byron is Haitian. I also get to pump my own gas here which is honestly the best thing ever because i haven’t pumped my own gas in like 2 years. So basically my life is great. Throw all your worries away. Your boy is happy.
The facebook lady was just one of a ton of really cool stuff that has happened this week. But she was like “the only reason I opened the door was because i had a dream that two young jesus men came knocking at my door. What do you want to tell me?” So that was pretty cool. We also found a family that had a son that was a missionary. He lives in Utah now. They’re not members and were really excited to see us. That was cool. That street was in the middle of a Jewish neighborhood and we just felt like we should go. I’m talking super Orthodox Jews. So that’s cool. We just get crazy all day and it’s honestly pretty fun because everyone is happy to see us.
Today I’m going to get some Haitian lunch with the sisters and am probably going to take a monster nap (per usual). But I’ll write you more later. I LOVE YOU.
— your boy.
So boy oh boy do I have news for you! So let me start by telling you that I’m leaving to New City, New York!! It’s the only area in the NJMM outside of New Jersey and I’m pretty hyped because I get to pump my own gas for the first time in like 20 months. BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE. I’m getting called to train (again) speaking FRENCH/CREOLE. There is a Haitian coming in and no one knows French or Creole in the mission and president I guess was just like “Elder Nielsen can figure it out.” So for the next 4 months I’ll be assigned to teach in French, Creole, and Spanish. Lolol. One of my friends here says that one of his friends is in the MTC as my trainee’s companion and he says that he’s super funny so I’m really excited. It’ll be an adventure, for sure. So far all I have is, “I know the BoM is true — mwen konnen liv Mòmon an vrè” and, “I know what my comp said is true — Mwen konnen sa konpayon mwen te di se vre.” And do you need to know anything else? Probably not. I’m basically fluent.
Other than that huge news, everything has been really normal. I found out I was leaving basically at the start of the week so I’ve been saying goodbye to all my homies. I told a lot of them that I’m going to come back and visit them, including Omar who is my favorite guy ever. He’s the one who was almost a catholic priest but instead married a member. He told me that I’m part of his family yesterday and it was really nice. I’ve met the nicest people here! I’m going to miss them. Missionary work is hard because you get to know people really well and then you just have to go! But that’s ok.
Tonight I get to hang out with some of my favorite old people so it’ll be a good time. One of the highlights of my week is going to the old folks home to do some service and hang out with my girlfriends there. I sang some Frank Sinatra last time and they loved it and it’s just really fun. Anyway. Tangent.
I’m glad you liked the Evan Hansen musical! I’ve heard it’s really good and I want to go see it with you when I'm home. We’re almost over the 4 month mark! It’s weird being able to see the finish line. My goal is to work real hard until I leave though. And then go home and sleep for 3 months straight and only wake up to tell a lot of stories to my cute mom. That’s you.
Alright. I gotta run to the mission office and then we’re going bowling but I’ll email you after. I love you so so so so so so SOSOSOSOSOSOSOSO much!!!!!!!
Started the week in the same time zone as this cute boy and I can attest that it is COLD! Thanks for supporting him. We are grateful for you! -K
Welcome to my literally freezing side of the country. You get used to it, honestly. It’s so cold and our TIWI (which basically tells us whenever we’re driving to fast or if we need to buckle our seatbelt or if we utter blasphemy (just kidding. I think.) keeps sucking out our car battery so when it’s cold we have to jump it every time we drive. I have a portable battery and I am the fastest car-jumper in the world. But don’t worry about the cold weather because I’m just chilling, quite literally. It doesn’t really get to me anymore. Plus last winter at this time I was walking everywhere I went so this is nice in comparison.
I had a really nice week though! I mean it wasn’t too crazy but it was a good one. We had this girl named Jasmine come to sacrament with her mom and that was super cool because she’s a super smart 13 year old and wants to be baptized really bad. She told me last time that when she goes to bed she can’t sleep without praying. Cute. Other than that fun thing, we’ve met a lot of nice people and eaten a lot of food. It was just a good week. Also this week I went on an exchange with Elder Jensen who is from Layton and we played basketball so we spent some time reminiscing on that beautiful little town I love so much!
ALSO YOMAIRY’S MOM IS GOING TO GET BAPTIZED! WOW! That’s so fun! She calls me “mijo.” When I found that out my soul almost burst out of my body. Fun to see how things happen.
Also I’m thinking on coming home and taking CNA classes so I can start doing that sort of thing. I’ve got a good Plan A, B, and C. I’ve also been taking these finance classes (teaching them, actually. Lol.) and I’ve learned some good principals. Don’t be fooled though; I’ll come home the same punk but one with a better testimony and maybe a little cleaner and better with money.
Well, that's what is happening. I hope you have the best week. I'm happy and working hard. I love you guys! love, your boy
The news you consume about the east coast weather is very accurate. It’s very very cold. However I’m always sure to dress warm and thanks to the hand warmers you sent I am very toasty. This week was busy busy busy. I spent a day in Dover with a friend of mine which was really fun. And Saturday I was with one of my really really good friends who is my zone leader right now and it was SO FUN. Funniest guy ever. We played a lot of chess. And we had a snow day this week where we weren’t allowed to drive so we had to stay in our apartment all day which was kind of crazy. Our car is being dumb and we have to jump it every time we start it lol. We have this portable battery we lug around with us. Good times over here. But basically I dress like a lil marshmallow every day so you shouldn’t worry at all. On the snow day was the day of my dentist appointment so they had to move it to the 18th which is fine because transfers are the week after and if I leave then I can just handle the other stuff over there. Busy week though. Met a lot of really really nice people. Played a lot of Magic with Elder Swain. Thought about my mom a lot. The usual. But just know that my week was really good and I’m a happy guy.
I’ve dealt with a lot of less actives and inactives over the past year and a half. The inactivity rate in NJ is literally ridiculous. But there’s a pattern I’ve noticed. I had this really good conversation with an active member who is now part of the stake, but he was inactive for like a huge amount of time. But anyway he just told me about the conversion process we all go through and sometimes it’s really hard and sometimes we don’t try as hard as we could but God is patient and loving. We need to make a goal to read the scriptures and pray always. By small things, great things come to pass amiright?
I read the book of Proverbs today, which is one of my favorites even though everyone in the Old Testament except for Moses is a literal FOOL. But I got thrown down on in Proverbs 6:9 and Proverbs 20:13. Rude, Solomon. (FYI..those scriptures are about sleeping lol -K)
What show is Sam doing this year? Will you be sure to get a recording of it so I can watch it? Theatre comes in handy on a mission, more than I would have thought. It’s a fun thing. Lol at costume checks because I have flown by the seat of my pants since August 16, 1996. I think if I ever find any free time I would like to be a part of a musical down in SUU. I feel like I’ve always been pretty independent in personality. I learned that from you.
Anyway, I’m about to take a giant P-day nap because Solomon doesn’t know anything.
I love you, mom! Have a good week.
-your boy Jack
Last week we traded our email for one hour of FaceTime and it was so great to get to see and talk to this sweet boy face to face. For 564 days I have waited for 2018. Somehow it seemed if I could just get to the YEAR he was coming home, it would all be okay. And here we are. Only 4 months and 29 days left. So Happy New Year. I have a feeling 2018 is going to be a great one. -K
Hi cute mom!!! It’s me! Your boy who loves you so much! Literally it is 2018. If I could caps lock numbers I would have just there. It is 2️⃣0️⃣1️⃣8️⃣. There we go. Better. But literally. Remember June of 2016 and how FAR AWAY this year seemed? And here we are. Good job, us. I think we both deserve ice cream today. Wow, we are now able to say 4 months left! (And like 30 days lol) that's crazy! I think we can do that. I think we can do anything if we can be apart for 2 whole years. It'll be a good year.
So, it's like impressive how cold it is. It gets to the point where your first thought isn't "wow it's cold outside" and more like "wow I am going to stop existing" (because when something theoretically gets to 0 degrees Kelvin then it literally ceases the exist.) that's me. But I keep warm though by wearing a lot of clothes and being outside as little as possible lol. If you try to talk to people outside then they won't even stop but if you go by people's houses then they let you in instantly because they don't want to stand at the door and let the cold invade their house. So that's pretty easy. This week this really sweet Bolivian girl sent me a message and was like "Hey Jack [people just call me Jack sometimes and I don't correct them because I mean, it's my name] you don't know me but I've been looking for a church here in Morristown and I see you go to church here and I would like to go." So that was cool. She came to church yesterday and she really loved it so I'm excited to teach her. Basically things are good and we had a good week and I'm staying moderately warm so you don't even need to worry.
I had a really spiritual experience yesterday when I reflected on the changes I've made since last year and the year before and the year before and I just feel so proud of myself! (In a humble way lol). But I just took a little but of time to pray and reflect on how I feel now as compared to past Jacks and who I've become and I just feel like a mentally healthy, capable, and responsible person. People always ask me what's one of the biggest miracles I've seen but I think that maybe the biggest has been redemption. I quite literally and frequently "stand all amazed."
Also, I love what you said about the excess Protestantism still found in our thinking. I've actually noticed the same. A lot of opinions are based on these really obscure views on Diety. I think we all need to take a lesson from my nice mom and see the Godhead for what they truly are: Merciful.
Anyway, I love you. I have to go buy some groceries. 😛. I love you. So so much. Sos sososososososooosso much.
It was a short email this week from Elder Nielsen but we are counting the days to be able to Skype him on Christmas Day. This will be the last call until 2 weeks before he comes home so the next time we talk we will be asking him what he wants for dinner! Yay!! Here is a little bit of his letter home. Merry Christmas friends! Thanks for supporting our sweet boy. -K
This week was pretty good. I really love the members here and they're all so nice to us. One of my favorite families gave us a little christmas present that was just so sweet and we have like 2 dinners on christmas eve and 2 on christmas lol. Whenever I eat food by myself I always have the smallest portion sizes because I'm so tired of being full. So it'll be nice. I sang a solo at a Christmas fireside last night in front of like 400 people and it went really well. I sang Angels We Have Heard on High. I accidentally changed the line "and the mountains in reply" to "and the mountains in disguise" but they're both as abstract so hopefully no one noticed my shout out to undercover terrain formations. It was nice though.
Other than that, this week was nice. This area is a lot like Red Bank so I know what I'm doing but I got so used to places like UC and Lizzy where there's just seas of people outside that the change is notable. But challenges are fun and I'm a happy boy so what else do you need amiright? I was a part of this cool Catholic tradition on Saturday night with some members and nonmembers and it was so fun! Also we ate yummy food. So basically my week has been good. I miss family but that's ok because I talk to them next week!!! So excited.
So basically life is good for me and I just really love you a lot ok.
Your boy. Jack. ❤️
Here is a little from Jack's last email home. Love this kid. -K
First of all let me express my upmost appreciation for the Christmas countdown packages. It makes every morning of mine so fun. I can tell you put a lot of work into it so i just want you to know how much i love it and how much i love YOU!! I love the Christmas season! And it’s especially nice as a missionary because you’re really involved in everyone’s lives and everything you do is about Jesus and it’s just cool. I have this family that I LOVE here and they’re moving to I think Orem in June which is going to be cool because then I can hang out with them there! They’re going to go check it out next month. They’re super nice and love us and their little kid got glasses that look like mine lololol. I think my favorite part of missionary work (aside from talking about what a nice guy Jesus is) is just being involved with people. And missionary work just flows when you just love people and you help them do things that will make them happier and it’s just low stress and kind and nice. Anyway I just love people. The most magnificent work of a Creator of worlds without number is the human condition itself. And maybe dogs.
So transfer calls were last night! Surprise surprise I’m staying with Elder Swain! (Not actually a surprise at all). I’m excited though because I got called to be a district leader again and that’s fun because I love being a district leader! It’s like the most fun assignment because you work really close to missionaries and also can be fun with stuff. I was only a DL for 2 transfers (like a year ago wowza) and then got moved to ZL so I’m excited to do it again, probably for the rest of my mission. Ojalá. Ojalá means “I wish, or I hope” in Spanish but it’s actually Arabic because one of the Muslim civilizations of North Africa of mixed Arab descent conquered Spain in the 8th Century and influenced their language. ~history~.
Speaking of history, I'm super into the Old Testament right now. IT'S LIKE SO COOL. Man like it's literally the foundation of modern civilization as a whole and the building blocks of everything we believe. I dedicate time at night and time during meals when we're not with someone to just reading it because it literally just makes sense to me now, which is a big deal because I've always strongly disliked the old testament because of the excess violence and weird things like when a donkey talks (Numbers 22:25-31) or when a drunk, naked Noah curses his son for covering his drunken nakedness. (Genesis 9:20-25) literally lol. But I don't know I just think that I have grown a lot spiritually and am able to understand things a little better. Like a lot of the Restoration of the Gospel is all about the Gathering of Israel and how are you supposed to understand that when you don't understand the Scattering of Israel? Or even like what Israel is? Or the scriptures that Jesus and the Book of Mormon prophets used? Wow very large tangent sorry. But look how cool things are!
Yesterday I went to a Christmas fireside in Newark and it was SO. NICE. The actual program was just alright but it was mainly awesome because several of my recent converts were there; including Marié! She is literally one of my all-time best friends ever. I had this whole spiritual confirmation where we came to the conclusion that we knew each other in the premortal life. She is literally exactly like me lol. She's getting married to this RM who is a chef and is moving to Finland! What the heck? Finland? But she is just the best and I literally served my mission to find and teach her. She's getting her endowments out in April and I'm excited to be there with her. I hadn't seen her since like June when I left Union City so it was just really nice and sweet and teary. Her sister was there who also got baptised and she's super cool too. And all my missionary friends were there and it was just the best night last night. Aww.
Anyway. That's my life right now. Fun. 😊 fast week and just keeps getting faster. This last transfer went by really quickly, which is nice because soon I'll come home and pretend to have nightmares so I can sleep on your floor.
Do you know that I LOVE YOU? SO MUCH. SO SO MUCH. WOW SO MUCH. I can't wait to hang out with you for the rest of eternity! I wouldn't accept anything less. I love you!
Called to Serve June 2016-2018
My son is currently serving a 2-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This Blog is for family and friends interested in following his adventures for the next 24 months.