Here is the latest in the adventures of Elder Nielsen;
This week was absolutely wonderful. I know I say that about every week but this week was really great.
Early in the week we were able to talk to some new investigators and we ate basically hamster. I've eaten worse, honestly. But there was a point in the meal where I ate little kidneys. Elder Harding said it tasted like hamster smells. I'll leave that to your imagination. They seemed super interested though. We have another appointment with them this next week. This guy came in halfway through the lesson and he just sits down and after 5 minutes he was like "where's your church? I'm going to come." So that was really cool.
Wednesday we had a meeting that rocked my entire world. So we had zone conference and during lunch we watched the worldwide mission broadcast. So basically my whole life has changed. They made it so we only report 4 key indicators (investigators baptized, new investigators, member present lessons, etc.) instead of the usual like 10. Which is like CRAZY even though to the normal person it doesnt seem like much. When this is your whole life every little change is huge. And they changed the schedule which is like the biggest part. So listen to this. Basically they just give us time slots where we can do certain things and we can choose when and how we do things. Like there's so much agency. I'm amazed. So we started this week and we love it. It also seems to be super productive too. I love it. So basically my whole life has changed. But anyway. We also had this appointment with this super cool Dominican part-member family and we set up a noche de hogar with them every week. The non-member husband also came to church this Sunday so that made me happy.
Thursday we went on an all-day exchange with the zone leaders. Literally they are my best friends. Elder Brooks and Elder Justice. The new way we do exchanges is a companionship leaves their area and all four work one area. We had a super fun day and taught a ton. At night we were all in bed but couldn't sleep so we took a personality test because for some reason Elder Justice had one. It's the Myers-Briggs test. I ended up with INFP which stands for Introvert, iNtuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving. Also fun fact it is the rarest personality type in men. And I slept on a very small couch that night.
Friday we went to go do service at the food bank which is always a good time and then we got together and ate some really good pupusas. I love my district so much. They're all so nice and we're all good friends. We then had some lesson with some less actives, found some really cool new investigators, and had a noche de hogar at this members home. They're SUPER cool. The husband was like this scientist in Cuba so he's super smart. Love that guy.
Saturday we had this lesson with these super awesome people. We went with the APs because one of them is their investigator and the other two are ours. (One of them speaks English and the other two don't). We gave our investigator Evelyn a blessing and then after we ate some delicious Honduranian food. We also all dared each other to eat these peppers which were SUPER hot. Like hot even for Dad. We died. Attached is a video of Elder Wildman eating one and it's funny.
And Sunday, as always, was lovely. I love the Sacrament. We had a really good day at church and then taught a lot in the afternoon and it was just a good day.
That was my week. Pretty normal. I'm a really busy guy all the time every day. Which is a good thing. I sleep really well every night. Elder Harding and I both walk so much that our feet are destroyed which we think is funny. Elder Harding is the best. He's super funny in a really quiet way which is my favorite kind of funny.
So there's the rundown on this sweet boy. Thanks for your continued letters and prayers. They make all the difference. -K
Here is the spicy pepper video he talked about in his letter. "Holy St. Maria". lol
Time just keeps marching on. Here is the latest on Elder Nielsen;
I want you to know how happy I am! Because I really am so happy. Living with the AP's is the best. I love those guys. And the apartment is so nice and we have a weight room and my bed is so cozy and I sleep so well every night. We ran out of food and the end of the month is always super hard money wise but we're getting by. I love our area. We get to meet a lot of cool people. There aren't a lot of active members who live in our area so we have a lot of work to do with less actives and finding but we've been doing super good. And Elder Harding is the best. He is a super timid guy but he's improving so much. It's really fun to be his trainer.
I literally feel like P-Day was like yesterday. Time just goes by so fast! This week was really fun though. I'll give you the play by play:
So on Tuesday I taught district meeting and I've decided that I love teaching district meeting. I love being a district leader because I just love my district so much. Like everyone is so cool and our zone leaders are my best friends. I did an activity where people had to throw ping pong balls into a thing of water but one person from each team representative was blindfolded and had their hands tied behind their back to represent lack of faith and lack of repentance because baptism can only happen with the complete completion of both. So the teams had to teach the doctrine of faith and repentance using the scriptures and it was fun. I like teaching district meetings because I like to make them fun but also super spiritual and we cry.
Wednesday we met this family we started teaching and they're so chill. They like to feed us and they're super funny. They were taught back in like 2015 and the dad has read like 1/4 of the BoM. But we started teaching them and they are super prepared. We are teaching their whole family now. We also met this other cool family that is super chill.
On Thursday we met ANOTHER super cool family and they seem super prepared too. Tomorrow they're going to make us this food called Cui? Qui? No se. But it literally is like deep fried possum. I'm excited.
On Friday we had a super nice lesson with my favorite RC's, Oscar and Bridgett. They're so chill and they love to buy us food. Then we ate ANOTHER dinner at the house of an investigator where we ate mangu.
Saturday we met this super cool girl named Glenda. She's been taught everything but she just has trouble accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet. So we talked for like an hour about a ton of stuff and we just blew her flipping mind. She's super cool and we're going to see her like 3 times this week.
And Sunday was really nice. We ate at a members home where they had a ton of people over including all the missionaries of Elizabeth and it was super nice and they had a cute bird. And then we ate at the Lugos home and they're the nicest. So it was a really good week. We walk like 10 miles every day. I actually really like it. Even though it snows and rains. All the time. I'm used to the cold though.
I just wanted to tell you how much I love you. Because I love you. The absolute maximum that a person can love in this life. And if I love you this much I can't even imagine how much our Heavenly Father loves us. Anyway. I just want you to know how honored I am to be your son and I will love you forever.
-Your boy, Jack
This video is a little bonus he sent to me later in the day. He's full of joy and love. I think you can see that here. I miss this sweet boy.
This week, Tracy and I were in NYC. We went to the top of the World Trade Building and I took a picture of New Jersey. When I sent it to Jack, he said he could see where he lived from there. It was so hard to be so close and not be able to see him, but he's happy. So if he's happy, we are happy. Here is what Elder Nielsen has been up to this last week.
This week was so busy and it went by super fast. So I'll give you the play by play.
Monday night we went to the Tlatalpas house and they had everyone over to wish me goodbye and I was super happy. They're all my best friends and they told me how much they loved me and it made my heart explode. And we ate a lot of food there and then I went home and packed. Tuesday came and we went to Short Hills and everything and I got my new companion! You guessed it. Elder Harding! Man I love this guy.
He's super super shy but super humble. And living in our apartment is the best because the AP's and I get along super well. I love those guys. There's this member named Elaine that calls them like 10 times a day and makes us pray with her and she's super funny. She gave all of us nicknames and I'm Seashore and that's pretty fitting I think. Elder Harding is Dodo Head. But we had a super good week! I love being in a walking area even though two days ago it covered me in snow. We were walking in the snow for a long time and then we went in to get some hot chocolate in a DD (Dunkin' Donuts) and this member from Jersey City was there and she bought us an entire box of donuts. Super nice. And we've been able to meet a lot of members and do a lot of good work this week despite being doubled in. ("Doubled in" is when both missionaries are replaced in an area.)
Attached is a picture of our double in notes which were a JOKE. Whenever missionaries are getting doubled out they're supposed to write some notes on what's going on in the area to help out the new missionaries and they are so funny. So we started with nothing but we've already made good friends with a lot of members and less actives. We also met some super cool people that we're going to teach this week. Also, I taught my first district meeting this week! It went super well and I'm super homies with all the members in my district. I know about all the people they're working with and I started this group-text-prayer thing which has been super cool. But anyway. I start working every morning at 6:30 and then I don't really stop until 10:30 at night. I fall asleep in like 2 seconds every night because I'm so tired by the end of the day. But it's super fun and I love Elder Harding and the AP's and my zone leaders and basically I'm just a happy guy. Elder Harding doesn't know any Spanish and he's super timid to talk in lessons so I've been talking a ton and I realized how good my Spanish is this week. Like I can understand even the fastest Spanish and I can express myself perfectly. I'm still learning obviously but being a trainer has helped me out a ton with the Spanish and with a lot of other things as well. I'm just a really happy guy!
So basically I'm just working really hard and loving my family very much. I love my area and I love my companion and I love my nice apartment and I love my Savior.
I asked Jack later what the happiest part of his week was. This is what he said;
The happiest thing that happened to me this week was when we were walking on the street late at night and this woman came out yelling from a house and it turns out she was a member that had lived in the US for 2 weeks and she was sad because she didn't know where the church was and she prayed that Elders would walk by her house and that same day we walked by. She called us angels and the smile on Elder Harding face made my heart grow three sizes.
Thanks for your letters and prayers to this sweet boy. It means so much to us. Have a great week!!
Our cute boy has been transferred and with new responsibilities. He will miss Red Bank, his awesome companion Elder Dove, and all of the people in that beautiful little town that have become like family to him. Red Bank holds a special place in this momma's heart too. I am so grateful to those that took such good care of him while he is far from his home. Here is an excerpt;
I'm going to Elizabeth Port! 614 S Broad St #303, Elizabeth NJ 07202 is the address of the apartment. Elder Dove served there for 6 months. Elizabeth is his Red Bank. And I am going to be a trainer! Wow! I'm getting doubled-in. That's cool. Being a trainer is a really important calling and I'm really honored that God trusts me that much. Voy a ser un padre. And to make things even more humbling is I got called to be a district leader! So I went from a regular proselyting missionary to a trainer/ district leader. I'm actually really excited. Also really stressed. But mostly excited. Time is going to fly by. Elder Dove is telling me all about Elizabeth and apparently the ward building (yes, ward not branch, there's like 150 people that come every week) used to be in a Gentlemen's Club. Which I think is super funny. And there's a lot of work to do there. Like a lot of work. So tomorrow we're going to transfer conference tomorrow and I'll receive my child (new companion) and then we'll go to Elizabeth and then on Wednesday I teach my first District meeting. In a new area. With a new missionary as a companion. Being senior companion. One of mine and Elder Dove's best friends (Elder Justice) is my zone leader up there and I'm so excited because I love him so so much. And the AP's are super cool and basically everything will be good and fun. Also, the AP's are my new roomates. It's going to be awesome.
I've been reading "Jesus the Christ" again and there's a few quotes in the first chapter that I wanna share with you.
"Nevertheless, man never lived of whom more has been said and sung, none to whom is devoted a greater proportion of the world’s literature. He is extolled by Christian, Mohammedan and Jew, by skeptic and infidel, by the world’s greatest poets, philosophers, statesmen, scientists, and historians. Even the profane sinner in the foul sacrilege of his oath acclaims the divine supremacy of Him whose name he desecrates."
I really like the first chapter of the book because it really just talks about Jesus's influence on culture and modern philosophy. Which is something you don't really hear about as much because the most important thing He ever did was descend below all things so that corruption can put on incorruption. However from any point of view that you look at Him, within His 3 year earthly ministry he accomplished more and influenced art, philosophy, and modern thinking more than any person that has ever lived. And all of which becomes immensely more meaningful when we can come to know that He is the Son of God and the Savior of the World.
This week was super good! We had my homie Nelson come to church and that's a huge thing. He's going to be baptized this next month. And I had a lot of really good lessons with some less actives. Marta bought us pupusas because I'm leaving and we ate together and she told me how much I touched her life. And tonight I'm going to the Tlatelpas and they're going to feed us a lot of food. So basically I just feel very loved. I'm going to miss it here but I'm also ok with leaving now. 6 months is a long time to be in one area and I feel like I've done all that I needed to do here. And this area is expecting several baptisms coming up and that makes me happy because it hasn't baptized in like more than a year. So I feel like I fulfilled my purpose.
Right now I'm eating a peanut butter and jelly quesadilla and it is surprisingly good.
I love you so much. SO SO MUCH. I think about you every second of every day and I am just so thankful every day for my family. Here are some pictures and know that I love you.
Our first letter of the new year didn't disappoint. He's busy and happy and we couldn't ask for more. Here is a little bit of what he's been up to. Happy New Year!!
Happy 2017! This week was really good. I'll give you a play-by-play.
On Monday (last P-day) we had a little Christmas party with the Sisters which was really fun. We had a secret Santa thing and I had Hna Fernandez and I got her a bunch of catholic themed things because I'm a funny guy. I got a Newtons cradle and a stuffed dog and a little blanket. It was really fun.
Tuesday we ate with the Plazas and they are always so nice. Then we went to go see my favorite little people and I love them with my entire heart. They wanted to take us out to food but we couldn't because we had an appointment with Nelson and Rosalina. They said they want to be baptized! So we put them on date for this next month. Nelson's a homie.
Then on Wednesday we saw my girl Marta and she made us this really yummy honey lemon drink and we talked about daily blessings and on Thursday we went to go see Justo and Celia. I love those people. I told Celia that I would probably be leaving next week and she got really sad. But we talked about getting Justo baptized and he's literally so stubborn. He was like "Yeah I need to be baptized!" And we were like "YUP" and then he said "But we just don't know when that will be..." I don't think he understands that it's a choice. He said he wants to learn to read and answer questions in Priesthood before he's baptized lol. But we have a lesson with them again this next week. And then we had this bomb lesson with Mirna. Mirna is a homie. Her daughter is baptized and she wants to be baptized so bad. But there are all kinds of road blocks in the way. We brought the Plazas with us and I was blown away at how many people they know to help her. Here's the lesson report I wrote in the Area Book, "We taught the Plan of Salvation and Erika and Victor shared a really awesome testimony. Then they started talking about all the things that Mirdna can do to get her life started here in the states. Our members got those hook ups yooooooo. Super clutch. They also took Mirdna to church this Sunday. $$$$$$$$$$$." I like making funny lesson reports. But it was awesome. And next time we meet with her we're bringing a member who knows how to get her and her husband married. And she came to church this Sunday and loved it. She's super prepared and is going to be baptized within this next month probably if we can get everything worked out.
Then on Friday we found this super chill investigator Fernando that is super interested in everything we have to say. He is super nice and reads the BoM every day. And also on Friday was perhaps one of the most heart-touching lessons I've had. We went to Marta's house to give her a blessing because she's been sick for like 3 months. Elder Dove anointed and I sealed. She cried for a really long time and told me that I was sent to Red Bank to heal her physically and spiritually. And that really touched me.
And on Sunday we had a ton of people that we've been working with come and that made me happy. When I first came here the ward attendance was super slim but now they're going to be made into a ward instead of a branch! That makes me feel like I've done what I was supposed to do while I've been here. It's just been a really good and touching week.
I didn't take a lot of pictures this week but attached are a few videos of Elder Dove and I being dumb and also us eating five guys and also us trying to balance a small tree. None of these I really have an explanation for.
I love you. your boy -Jack
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.