Elder Jackson york Nielsen
New Jersey Morristown mission
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
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.