Elder Jackson york Nielsen
New Jersey Morristown mission
Hello it is me! Your spooky boy!
Man, I love Halloween. The best. But we're not allowed to go out past 6:00 on Halloween itself and Mischief Night, which is the night before. I would go knock on doors but here we are...with rules. But it's been a really nice moth? We had a really sweet baptism yesterday. Ibette is a really sweet girl and she was super fun to see the change that happened to her.
You’re probably wondering what’s happening with me. So I actually am going to Morristown! Wao. Definitely a different pace than Elizabeth. But I’m really excited. Elder Dove is leaving that area right now and I’m getting doubled in with mijo. Mijo means “Mi hijo” which means “my son.” Because I’m a trainer. I’m a dad again! Hello. But I really am excited! It’ll be super fun and I’m excited for new challenges and experiences because I get bored.
I sure will miss Elizabeth, though. I love the people and everyone has been so kind with me leaving. The Chico family all drew me pictures and for church everyone took pictures with me. I love my hispanics. We also had this killer lesson with the Sanchez family, whom are investigating. They gave me a few presents and it was just really sweet. I literally love being close to people. I’m still my normal introvertedly extroverted self, but I’ve really really really just learned to love people.
Today I’m throwing a halloween party for the zone. 8 months of being a zone leader is like literally so much but it’s been really great. Might as well go out with a bang. Everyone is going to bring a costume (I’m wearing my morph suit duh) and we’re going to have games like bobbing for apples and eating donuts off the string.
Other than the baptism this week, things have been normal. I’m going to miss Elder Hunt a lot. Like a literal ton. But I’m excited for my new companion as well. I’m sure he’ll be great and I’ll love him a lot. He’s not going to know any spanish which will be fun. Training is fun. I’m glad I get to do it again.
I confirmed Ibette yesterday. I love confirming people. One of the things I believe is not understood as a whole is the doctrine of baptism by fire. Sometimes we think it’s just “I just got clean and now I have a ghost friend.” But I’ve learned that the baptism of fire is definitely a process. It is a continual cleansing. When we say “I say unto you, receive the Holy Ghost,” I think it is better understood as a priesthood injunction. Like at that point we have received the capacity to do so. I’ve read a lot of really cool stuff on that. Takes too long to talk about though. I’ll save it for when I’m home and can sit on the foot of your bed and tell you how much I love you. But anyway. I like making that distinction when I confirm people.
Also one of the cool things Elder Rasband said when he was here was that there is no better way to gain motivation and improvement in this life than studying the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Because like honestly. What a wonderful man. I love Him. And I love what He taught and teaches.
I had a dream just barely of me coming home and meeting you in the airport. How nice that will be. But you guys also formed like a weird London-bridge-esqe tunnel that I had to go through. Lol. Don't actually do that. Weird.
I just love you so much. Do you know how much?? So so much. I hope you know like a fraction because it is incomprehensible as a whole. I have the best family. Ever ever ever. I win.
You have my ❤️. --@me
Here is the latest from Elder Nielsen. Thanks for all your support!! -K
I got the call last night to be a trainer again. My 2nd child. President alluded to the fact that I'll probably go to Bayonne, which is a walking area and the chapel where the branch meets is literally a building shared with a Quik-Chek. Lol so hard. So I'll probably be heading there, but we won't know for sure until next Sunday. The catholics get their cathedrals and the JW's get their Kingdom Halls and Elder Nielsen gets a Quik-Chek. All I know is that I'm being tapped out of Elizabeth and getting doubled in somewhere, probably as a district leader. Fun changes. ☺️ but the only thing that matters in the long run is the fact that my mom is sweet and I love her with all of my bean and rice filled heart.
Right now I'm laying on my nice bed writing my nice mom. Today Elder Hunt and I are going to go fishing maybe at this cute pond we found that's very peaceful and outdoorsy. And we'll probably end up going to get a smoothie or something nice because this is our last week together as companions and we have to treat ourselves. Que sad btw! I love Elder Hunt. But I love all my companions. We need to do something ~spooky~ because it's Halloween and I love Halloween. Our decorations consist of pumpkins we painted at a fair and a few spider webs that aren't fake. 👻
I don't know if I told you in advance but this week we had the opportunity to listen to two men from the 70 and also Elder Rasband of the 12. Really cool experience. We got the entire mission together and we took a nice picture with a nice apostle. He gave a sweet talk based on the one given last conference "By Divine Design". We all shook his hand and he told us of some cool mission stories, one of which happened in a city that is currently my area. He was just a really kind man. It was nice and it was cool to see that an apostle of the Lord doesn't need to be bursting with eloquence to be an apostle. The very firsts were fishermen. The Lord qualifies who he calls.
This next paragraph is in regards to a few thoughts I shared with him regarding apologtics from a recent talk I studied;
I really like that verse in D&C where it says "reasoning with the people”. Because like God would never reveal a doctrine that wasn't rationally intact. Rational and critical thinking were the foundation of faith for me for a very long time. I like what part where he said, "Not everyone is interested in or has the ability to engage in scholarly apologetics, but all are under covenant to “stand as witnesses of God." Because it's true. There's a lot of people we meet, I would suffice to say the majority, who aren't interested in the logically soundness of the doctrine we teach but are more dependant on tribal and cultural influence. We are social beings after all. But that doesn't stop me from teaching the Restoration and Plan of Salvation as if they're the only things that could make sense. Because they are.
I'm going to go buy some cereal. Maybe a few snacks. I love you. So so much.
We had a good week this week. We had this hispanic festival thing in where we celebrated every nationality (which are many) with food from every country and dancing and music. Super fun. The problem is that our chapel is so tiny and there were like hundreds of people there which, for Hispanics is no problem but to Jack Nielsen, problem. When they lined up to get food it took forever and we weren't down to wait so Elder Hunt and I and the sisters all went to get pizza lol. Then we came back and took a bunch of food to go.
We are teaching the COOLEST people. Ibette is getting baptized on the 28th, and we met this woman named Ana who is the literal sweetest person ever. She's like 35 and Mexican and makes us food like every day. She's (hopefully) going to get baptized on the 4th. The other day we were talking about stars and astronomy and stuff and she was asking me a few science questions and asked what happens when a star dies and I tried to explain what a supernova is and in Spanish sometimes you can take a big word and end it with an -ia and it usually kind of works sometimes. So I (unknowingly) described this supernova as a "supernovia" which in Spanish means "Super Girlfriend" and she literally almost died from laughing. So that's a running joke here now. She's so cool.
Yesterday I taught primary and I decided that it is my divine calling. I love the primary. I also taught Seminary which was really good. Not to boast but the kids really like it when we teach. Who would have thought Jack Nielsen would be a good Seminary teacher. Not me, that's for sure. But it's fun. Developing a testimony in New Jersey is like Superman being born on Krypton. If you can then you're like super cool basically. And some of these kids genuinely do.
Yesterday we had a meeting with the Stake and President Hess (which we have every month as ZL'S) where we basically give a presentation on our units and zones and the Stake president told me that after my mission he would hire me to work for him. Lol hard. Dad would have been proud. I basically just copy the way he used to teach Sunday School. But I made this graph and spreadsheet thing and I airdropped it to everyone and forgot to change the name of my iPad so everyone got a request from "Solja Boi Tell 'Em". And I was like "you live in the hood so long you become the hood" and everyone laughed. Oops. Lol harder. Remember when you were my teachers? That was fun. Remember how difficult I was? Probably not as fun. But I have always loved my parents. So so much.
Today we're going fishing lol. Lot of ponds by us and like why not you know. We're also going to go tear up the sisters floor because it needs to be refurbished. I'm probably going to end up taking a nap at some point. That's how Elder Nielsen does pdays.
I love you so so much. SO SO MUCH. DON'T EVER FORGET IT. EVER. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Hi. I am writing you again from my cozy bed, just out of the shower wearing a really cool bowling shirt I got from the disgruntled ex-fiance of a meth addict. Don't worry I washed it. Last week we went with the English sisters to give a blessing to this super nice lady who was very sad because her boyfriend of like 9 years left her and took all her stuff and she loved us and gave us all of his things including really nice clothes and really nice shoes and really really nice watches. She insisted. #blessed. Thanks Daryl.
We had a good week this week. Zone Conference went well. We trained on working with Stake and Ward Leaders. Which is like the hardest thing to do ever here. It was fun. I also got to hang out with my bff Elder Spencer who is a ZL in Newark. Love that guy a lot. So it was fun. President announced that Elder Rasband of the 12 will be coming in 2 weeks! That's cool. We're having an all mission conference to listen to him. I also got a flu shot. Fun fact.
Also yesterday I got the cutest message from my recent convert Luz, who moved back to Colombia this last week. She went to church in Bogota and brought her husband who is now investigating! She told me how much she liked it and thanked me and everything and it was just really sweet. She met the Elders down there and everything too so they'll be visiting her this week. What a fun time. I love seeing things happen.
Lol so hard at Jason. Nice guy. He just sent me a funny email. Missions are good. Just like the church. I love the community of the Church. I really really do. To me it's like the point. I mean of course we have saving ordinances which are necessary, but it's nice to watch a living church with living people give living love. The really funny CES response guy said it best when he said,
"I will always be grateful for a ward that rallied around my family when my oldest daughter injured her spinal cord in a skiing accident and was left partially paralyzed. None of [what they did] has any bearing on whether the Book of Abraham is an accurate translation or not, but I think it’s important not to lose sight of what the Church really is on a practical, day-to-day level. On the whole, it makes bad people good and good people better."
(But also I love the Book of Abraham fyi)
But anyway, just know I'm happy. Life is good and missions are nice and my family is cool and Jesus is perfect. I love what he taught and I love what he teaches.
Sam looks so old! And also wears all of my clothes! That's fine though. I have Daryl the meth addict's so hmmm.
I love you mom!!!!! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
Hi sweet mom! It's me! Your boy! I'm currently sitting in Seminary at 5:30 in the morning. Honestly these kids are so cool for coming here so early. Most of them don't want to be alive right now but that's ok because they're here anyway. Our chapel doesn't have a cultural hall because it's very spatially limited due to the fact that it used to be a gentleman's club. But there is a nice spirit here and I admire these kids immensely.
We had a good week this week. I LOVE CONFERENCE. It's literally the biggest deal when you're on your mission. I wanted to get foam fingers and facepaint. Just kidding. Mostly. But it is the best. I only have one more in the mission field! Wow. Soon I'll be hanging out with you! I really like when my homeboy Holland said, "Every one of us aspires to a more Christlike life than we often succeed in living. If we admit that honestly and are trying to improve, we are not hypocrites; we are human. May we refuse to let our own mortal follies, and the inevitable shortcomings of even the best men and women around us, make us cynical about the truths of the gospel, the truthfulness of the Church, our hope for the future, or the possibility of godliness. If we persevere, then somewhere in eternity our refinement will be finished and complete." I like that because we're all just here to try to be better.
We had a good week. Lot of cool people we're teaching. We fill our days, that's for sure. Yesterday in between sessions we went for lunch with the other missionaries to the house of a member in the bishopric and he is a funny guy. And there's this other member that's super old and kind of reminds me of Grandpa if Grandpa was Cuban and turned his hated of Bush into a hatred of Fidel Castro. And Yomairy was there and her friend Lenin who got baptised after she did and is getting ready to go on a mission. It was just a nice time and conference was great.
I got home from Seminary and ceased to exist for a few hours. My bed is nice. Our apartment may be insanely small and sometimes you have to do the dishes in the bathtub but nothing beats a nice bed. Today we're just chilling. Probably will take the majority of my day sleeping.
I've actually thought a lot about what you sent me in regards to God's perception of heartache and pain. Even Enoch when he saw God weep he said, "How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?" To which God said, "Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency; and unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood." And later, "wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?" That's the really cool thing about God, and it was a concept that was relatively lost until the Restoration. That God is not a punisher nor an amorphous presence void of human emotion. God is an Empathizer. True, He is the Man of Holiness, and unlike us He is not prone to the irrationality that our emotions so often bring us. But he definitely feels. I think He feels with us because He loves us. There's some kind of cool communicative divinity that comes from that. I mean God almost always communicates through feeling and emotion. And that whole "Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy" thing basically just says that you need bad to have good. So I mean one cannot properly develop their emotions, their strongest communicative power with the Divine, without hardships. Which is why I think so many strong and faithful people have had it so rough. I mean even Joseph Smith had like the hardest life. And nothing holds a candle to that of Jesus Christ. So it's all just really cool.
I feel like the luckiest boy in the literal entire universe. I have the best mom and best family. How did I get so lucky. I don't even know. We are chipping down on 8 months now. We can do that. Thank for your nuts package. Literally lol. Thanks for all your packages. You're so nice to me and I feel so loved. So so loved. So thank you.
I love you. XOXOXOXO
-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.