A long letter today with deep thoughts from our sweetest boy. We sure miss him but he's happy and healthy and we can't ask for more than that. -K
Today we woke up at 4:30 to go teach early morning seminary. I loved it. I've got to the point where I know a lot of bible history and I really like it. Like in 1 Corinthians was written between 55-56 AD which is between when Peter had established the church in Rome (43AD) and then a year later Paul went on his missionary tour to Rome to see that the church had apostatized within the vicinity of one year under Bishop Linus in which they had already resulted in baby baptisms and the worship of Saints. The church (based off the apostatized branch under the Bishop Linus) became the Roman Catholic Church. How interesting is that? But in 1st Corinthians was an address to the people of Corinth who had also apostosized and were experiencing severe divisions based on who baptized them. The history behind the Bible is super interesting. You're super interesting. I love you. But anyway. So we taught seminary today and it was super fun and I love the youth. I also have come to really adore teaching. Like I get super hyped about it. And Elder Harding has gotten so much more comfortable in front of people. I told him today that he's the Moses to my Aaron. He is full of quiet wisdom and if he leaves me alone for long enough I'll probably give everyone a golden calf to worship. Just kidding. Maybe. We don't know.
Want to hear a funny story that happened to me this week? So there I was: at 2 in the morning Friday night and I woke up in so much pain that I was honestly amazed. My back was on fire. When I was sleeping I somehow had popped a muscle in my lower neck out of place. So I went through the whole day without being able to turn my head at all. It was super fun. But then we went to this less active's house and he was like "hey I'll fix your back." and I was like "aight" so I'm laying down on this man's floor and he realigns my spine! Super funny and a little sketchy. But my neck was totally fine after! It was awesome. And then they came to church the next day for the first time in like 4 years. Like what? It was super funny. Also on sunday we had two baptisms! Camila and Helen. They are both my literal best friends. Camila is the coolest and she is super clever and funny, and Helen is the sweetest and funniest woman ever. When I was over at her house teaching her sister this week she was like "Elder Nielsen one day you're going to be a good father and a loving doctor. I know because God showed me." so like lol. She's from the Caman Islands and she speaks english so she is the AP's investigator but we're working with her sister and brother in law right now. So everything is going really good. We met this super sweet girl named Yomairy who is 16 and her brother who is 18 and they came to church on sunday and also came to seminary this morning! At flipping 5:40. I would have a hard time with that and they're not even members. So I'm super excited to teach them. So everything is going really good with everything and I'm a happy guy.
So Elder Harding and I like to listen to talks about a ton of different things. But there's this one that we listed to called the belief window, and it's about people's motives and it was super super good and changed the way that I teach. He talks about how everyone has a linear process of belief and action. It goes like this:
HUMAN NEEDS (which include 1. To live, 2. To love and be loved, 3. To feel important, and 4. Variety.) This needs are fundamental in the behavior of human beings. Human need segways into your "Belief Window", which is how you see the world. Your belief window has inscribed in it thousands and thousands of beliefs about the world that we gain from experience. This segways into RULES: which you set up to follow your belief window. This then leads to BEHAVIOR and ACTION, which then leads to RESULTS. And if you get good at this then you can predict behavior. Here's an example. Say you're afraid of big dogs. Why? Because of your need to live, probably. And somehow you ended up with the principal on your belief window that big dogs are vicious. So you'll set up rules to run away from big dogs. Your behavior reflects your rules. And the result of which is a fear of big dogs. But there are statements about this model that are super important for spiritual things.
1. Repentance is the process of changing beliefs on your belief window.
2. Sin (stemming from the Greek word which means "missing the mark", is the result of deep and unmet needs.
3. If our needs are not met, we have an uncorrect belief on our belief window.
4. Results take time to measure.
So basically in theory you can put any product of human behavior through this belief window. So sin is the product of deep and unmet needs due to an incorrect principal on our belief window. And repentance is changing beliefs. So this guy says that missionary work is the process of going into someone's home and saying "Hey so we believe that there are beliefs on your belief window that aren't correct. Do you mind if we take it off and look at it for a little bit and see if we can't prove our point?" I think that's funny, and I've come to realize how true it is. But the most important thing to know about this belief window thing is that the changing of beliefs on an eternal perspective is only possible through the atonement of Jesus Christ. I just really like that.
So this week was really good and I'm a really happy guy. Talk to you soon. I love you. -Jack
Here is the latest from our sweet missionary boy. Thanks for your continued love and support. -K
This week was really good for me. I'm just a happy guy. We had a lot of good lessons and met a lot of really crazy people. This one woman invited us over and then tried to convince us that the sabbath day was on Saturday for like 30 minutes and I loved that. We had a really good lesson with Betty and Marcos and their whole family in which we talked about the Plan of Salvation and they said that they want to be baptized! So that's really lovely. I also had to give a lot of baptismal interviews this week (since I'm the DL, I do all the
interviews) and I love them because people are super weird and it's just a time for me to just appreciate how weird everyone in NJ is and also I love them so it's okay. Also while we were walking this week a homeless guy blessed our foreheads. Honestly NJ is so funny to me. But everyone likes the missionaries.
My friend Helen is getting baptized next week! She's been taught by the english elders for a long time but we started teaching her sister Evelyn who speaks Spanish and Evelyn is going to come to the baptism next week and that makes me happy. And everything is going super well everyone else we're teaching. Basically everything is wonderful.
Transfers were last night! Elder Harding and I stay, which we already knew. But there are some changes that will be super fun. We have a new AP i.e. a new roommate. I'm still the district leader. Elder Harding is still the best. A kid that came out with me and was one of my roommates in the MTC has to go home because he's dying basically which is sad. Also Elder Johnson (MTC comp) is going to RED BANK! Elder Dove is now a zone leader in Newark. But mostly my district is the same which makes me very happy.
Right now we're emailing really fast and then we have another appointment to go to at 5 and we're going to eat again. Basically I'm just a busy guy. However, I am never too busy to write my mom. Even though it sometimes seems like it. I'm going to send you a video to make up for my lack of writing in just a little bit so watch for that. But I just want you all to know that I love you and that I miss you all the time and I can't wait to be able to hug you again and I promise I'll never let go.
Your boy, Jack
Not a lot of correspondence today from this cute boy but he's happy and staying busy. Here's a short update;
We got up today at 5:00 with the APs so we could have a longer p-day. So we went to IHOP super early and then we went home but my wifi wasn't working so I was so sad! And then we got together with our friends and went to this super cute restaurant and I had sweet potato fries and they were super good. And now I'm here at the church writing the cutest mom in the history of mom's.
This week was really nice! I love my mission so much. Seriously like I love it so much. I'm just a really happy guy! This week we had a really fun Valentines party where we sang karaoke and it was cute. We had my homie Glenda come and Glenda and I are HOMIES. She loves meeting with us. She's met with misioneros before and she knows a ton and we're trying to get her to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormón. She's the best. And we are also teaching a ton of other people. We're hoping to get Evelyn and Eddie baptized pretty soon. We had a really nice lesson with them the other day and it was really cute. Our mission is blowing up with baptisms right now. A few of the people we found in Red Bank are getting baptized soon and I'm really excited for them. I had to give 4 baptismal interviews this week to people and they are all so nice. I love giving baptismal interviews. Basically everything is good and I'm happy.
The fact that you and dad are the youth dance coordinators makes my heart sing. The mental image itself kills me. I only went to one of those and it made me want to leave my body. Not a fan. I miss talking to you but that's ok because pretty soon I'm going to talk to you for 50 years non-stop because I just love you so much. So so so so so so so so much.
I'm online whenever you are and I want you to know how happy I am. ❤️
Another week come and gone for Elder Nielsen. He had a busy P-day so the news was a little thin, but he's a happy guy and that's how we like it. Here is a little excerpt from his letter home;
Email days are my favorite days because I get to talk to my family. Everything is so good with me! I'm really happy. Right now I'm with Elder Justice because we had an exchange yesterday and now we're just hanging out and having a fun time. I love Elder Justice. He and I talked late into the night and it was funny and now I'm tired.
My life is so nice. We had a lot of really nice lessons this week and we were able to meet a lot of really nice people. I love the people here! Hispanics are so nice. I love them. And everyone is really nice if you treat them kindly. Kind of an eternal principle.
I can't believe that the patriots came back from such a deficit. I wish I could have watched it with you guys. But everything of valuable significance requires sacrifice. Truthfully, I didn't even know that the Super Bowl was yesterday. I'm so uninvolved. I also think it's such a huge blessing that I'm uninvolved in the news because I would lose my mind and hair.
My apartment is wonderful and I sleep so well every night. I do this thing where I stick my head basically out the window when I fall asleep and it kind of feels like alone time and that I'm sleeping outside. I don't eat meat unless people give it to me for meals and I feel super good all the time because of it. I eat a lot of fruits and veggies and basically I'm the epitome of health.
Elder Harding is the best. He's still really shy and very scared but he and I are really good friends. He's a cute guy. I went on an exchange with Elder Oakley, this funny british guy, this week because I'm his district leader. He goes home in the next transfer and he's very ready. But we had a good day but it just made me realize how glad I am to be in the Spanish program because we just talked to a ton of racist old white people all day and it was gross. My soul is Hispanic.
My week was really good. We worked really hard and found a lot of new investigators to teach. Lots of walking. I had to go to the doctor this week for a few minutes because I had a mean ingrown toenail that he took out. But now it's healed and I don't have any pain which is good because we walk like 8-10 miles a day.
I love my area. We get a lot of investigators to come to church which is pretty cool. I love the people so much. I hope I stay here for a long time.
Hope all is well and you know how much I love all of 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.