Elder Jackson york Nielsen
New Jersey Morristown mission
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.
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.