Elder Jackson york Nielsen
New Jersey Morristown mission
It was a good week. Lot of good stuff going on. Coordinating a baptism and all that stuff. My homie Jimmy was at church yesterday and walked in holding his BoM and I laughed because he’s a funny kid. All good things. This next week is my last zone conference and I get to share my “dying testimony” which you give when you’re leaving which is SO WEIRD because I never thought I would actually get to this point. Surprise. I did. But in all aspects of missionary work my life is the quintessence of normal. I’d rather tell you about funny people in my life. So I will do that.
Let me first of all tell you a story of my favorite lil Haitian grandma that we visit. She was a member early 2000’s but hasn’t been active since but we found her and visit her regularly. She’s seriously so so funny. I don’t even understand her most of the time but my companion translates and it somehow retains it’s hilarity. She’s was telling how she loves eating too much for her age and when she eats too much sugar or something she goes and showers and gets in her prettiest clothes and just sits by the phone and waits until she feels something and then calls the ambulance to come pick her up. When she told us I literally died. She’s the funniest lady. Love her. Another funny lady is this investigator we visit that yesterday made us like a gallon of papaya shake (which used an entire can of condensed milk) and we drank all of it and it was so heavy that we all fell asleep while reading the BoM lol. She fell back asleep when my companion was bearing his testimony and he ended it by saying, “Aviole, I know all these things are true and they can bless you even though you’re asleep right now.” And it was just really funny. Last one I feel deserves mention is my man Peter. Peter is a returned war veteran who was in an explosion that left him a little off and he needs some assistance. But this man, who is like now 70-something, has no kidding, thousands and thousands of dollars of signed yankee memorabilia. The man lives in a basement with a rat problem but literally even the dust in the corner is signed by Mickey Mantle. I like him. Whenever we don’t understand him and he has to repeat himself he yells super loud like we’re super far away even though we’re right next to him and I laugh. We visit some funny people. I love them.
I love asking the question of "Have done any good in the world today". I think it’s important to remind ourselves of that. I’m very excited about the Church’s emphasis on lightening the burdens of others with the whole ministering initiative. I love the church for its doctrine and all that good stuff but I also love it for it's day to day caring level.
Today we’re going watercoloring with our artist lady. She’s funny and needs company and we aren’t doing anything today so why not. YOLO amiright.
Other than that, know that I am good and happy and healthy and I love you so so so so soso so so soso so osososossosososososososossoso much. Don’t forget it.
Talk to you in a bit! I love you!
Hi mom! Only six more weekly emails from me and we’re done! What a weird feeling! I’m really happy that I get to stay here in Nanuet for my last 44 days. I like it here. I’ll be staying with Elder Merizier as well and he’s a funny guy.
I’m writing you from my little desk looking out my rainy window. I like rainy days. This past week it got into the 70’s which was crazy because my body didn’t know how to handle it after being a cold guy for so long. We had a really good week this week! I literally had to make an investigator lunch so she would come to church lol. But we actually have several really cool people we’re teaching. Yzabelle should be getting baptized the 29th this month. She’s cool. And we’re teaching this 17 year old kid named Jimmy who is the only white person I’ve ever taught in my entire mission. He’s really cool and he and I are homies. We visit a lot of really cool people that I really love a lot. So life is really good. I went to Passaic again this past week which was nice as well. I do miss the spanish program quite a bit so I went out of my way to get some good tacos. I didn’t see any dead bodies. I got released as a District Leader last night (which usually happens so you can spend your last transfer just proselyting) and I am, for the first time since Red Bank, now a Regular Proselyting Missionary. Not a trainer or District Leader, or Zone Leader or anything. Just me doing me. Swaggin. So I’m excited for this upcoming 6 weeks.
I still teach a lot in Spanish and I translate every hour of church into Spanish which is super hard but also kinda fun. My French is ok. Enough to make people laugh and what else do you need? Not much.
I’m really excited to come home and be Sam's best friend. Gonna love that dude to pieces. Send him down to Cedar whenever you want to because I love him. I can take him to fun places. Speaking of family, Family Search just told me that I’m related to Wilford Woodriff so I'm going to check that out today. If so, that’s pretty lit. Wanna grow a beard like his.
I really like the scripture you shared and it’s been one of my favorites on the mission fun fact. One of the things that I think is really cool is that in Moroni 8:16 he says “and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.” And in 1 John 4:18 it says “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.” And I think that it’s cool that the same concept almost down to the wording was revealed to two different men at two different parts of the world at two very different times. When we say that the gospel is everlasting, it really is. And the influence of the Holy Ghost is prevalent in all time and space, even down to a repeating one-liner written on two different hemispheres at least 300 years apart. Pretty cool.
Sorry this took so long to get to you. Elder Merizier and I invested in a ping pong net and put our dinner tables together and we pong like it’s our job. I’m still dinner table pong king. Don’t forget it.
I love you. Talk to you in a little bit. I love you with a perfect love.
I am writing from my lil desk in Nanuet. I’m very likely to stay here for the next 6 weeks so I probably will be writing you from this little desk until dad comes and picks me up. Last interview I had with president he told me that he was planning on keeping me here. Especially because no other missionary speaks creole (I mean, neither do I but I’m getting the hang of it) so I’ll probably just be here. I like it here.
So let me tell you about the weirdest exchange of my entire life on Saturday. I went to Passaic this last week with Elder Dominguez who is pretty new. He was born on 08/13/96 though so he’s 3 days older than me. Anyway he’s the coolest guy and we had a ton of fun. Started off the day by literally getting pooped on. Some wind blew some poop water on us from a nearby building. Had to shower again. Don’t know what I did to deserve that. Later we went to have this lesson with this excommunicated member who is 83 years old who lives in a frickin’ funeral home. Literally. Like, what the heck? This guy lives in a spare room in a funeral home. In order to get to his room you have to pass though said funeral home. So me, being curious, started just looking around and I found this door that was pretty small so I opened it and there was a small staircase and I thought, “I’m going to walk down these stairs. That’s what stairs are for.” So I go down into this basement and it’s dark and I’m talking to Elder Dominguez who is on the stairs and I turn the corner and I literally see DEAD PEOPLE. Like, there are 4 dead people down there on metal trays and I was like, WHAT THE HECK? It was so unexpected!! I was NOT prepared. Lesson learned to not snoop around funeral homes. But the day is not even over yet. We ended up checking out this once store that had a bunch of cool stuff in the window and I was like “Let’s just go check it out for a second” and we went in and it was the weirdest store I have ever set foot in. It was full of veneration statues for worship and stuff but there was also like Buddha stuff (which I liked) and then further down there was super sketchy stuff like bath soap that gives you good luck and dusts for spell casting. I know, you’re probably thinking “Jack why didn’t you just get the heck out of there?” My only answer is that was already halfway into the store and I might as well have finished it. But at the very back of the store was a giant shrine for my favorite saint, St. Death. Like why the HECK is there a Saint Death? Veneration in and of itself is a weird thing but to St. Death? Who thought that was a good idea? Who thought, “You know? I’m going to make a saint that is literally a skeleton. We need that.” Anyway. Pictures attached. We also had some cool missionary work miracles but this paragraph is already too long and those stories aren’t as funny.
Today we are having zone pday so I’ll be playing some basketball. I was actually hoping to order a new pair of glasses today actually. I have enough money because I’m not going to do Warby Parker because their glasses are super expensive. But I have a current prescription and everything and I am feeling a new pair. I like my ones I have right now too but it’s nice to have options. I have enough money for it though so don’t worry. I love you.
You’re so funny. I love you SO MUCH! Guess who comes home in 7 weeks? Me. In case you forgot. I’m excited. I love you.
I’ll talk to you more later today. I LOVE YOU SO SO MUCH.
Hello cutie mom! I love you! SO SO MUCH. Can you believe I come home in less than 60 days? That’s crazy! That’s so soon! Yesterday was like 50 degrees but we just got like a foot of snow last night so it seems I am eternally trapped in winter. I’m glad it is at least warming up for you.
I literally love General Conference as a missionary. It’s so fun. Also Nelson is getting sassy with all these changes! I love it. Making its way to being more ministrative instead of administrative. Which is how it should be. Also a Layton temple in our backyard will be pretty lit. My absolute favorite talk was from Massimo of Ugly. (De feo means "of ugly" in english lol). That one got me good. I know what it is like to be loved like that. That one was really good. I also loved a lot of the ones from Saturday morning. But all were good. They always are. A few things were said that can really help a lot of the people we teach. I liked when that one guy talked about the juxtaposition between our sacrament meetings and like a worship service with a band and loud music and whatnot because that’s how all Haitian churches are. If anything, the hardest part of teaching people throughout my entire mission hasn’t been LDS doctrine or anti or anything like that. The hardest thing is trying to change what people think is their culture because they associate it with that. It's hard but also ok and everyone is just doin their best.
I literally cannot believe that Sam has his drivers license. That blows my mind. To me he is still a lil 14 year old boy. Apparently life has still been going on while I’ve been here and I feel betrayed. Just kidding. But seriously. It’s like when you thought you paused your tv show and you go get some food and you come back and the show is halfway over and you’re like ????? I paused this??? That’s how I feel.
Also this week I didn’t drink any caffeine for like the first time of my entire life and I’m proud of myself. Now that I know I can do it I can keep drinking it. #goodlogic
Today I’m going to take like 12naps and maybe play some basketball. Chill day. Lots of time to write my cute mom whom I love.
Send pics of Sun Valley. I love you. SO much. Talk to you in a second. Xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox
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.