Elder Jackson york Nielsen
New Jersey Morristown mission
So let me tell you how much I hate daylight savings time. I hate it. Can hate be genetic? Because I think I got that from you. Especially as a missionary when every hour of sleep is literally the most important thing in the world, losing an hour is a real low blow. On the bright side we still had a cute lil investigator at church despite the early hour. I’ll talk more about her in a second. But basically to quote that old and overplayed Script song with respect to how I feel after DST, “I’m still alive but I’m barely breathing.” Do you think when the millennium comes there will still be days and nights or nah? Probably not. That’s lame because I like the dark. I’m like a vampire. Maybe there can be an exception for me.
Anyway. It was a good week though. Taught some cool people. Regarding the woman that came to church: she knows it’s all true but 1. Needs to stop smoking and 2. Can’t get over the fact that we don’t praise like in a southern baptist church. Haitians and their churches man. It’s a struggle. But basically we’re helping her stop smoking right now. We’re teaching Sara and her family and they’re super cool. Niki, who is this super cool lady who is really funny and witty. Luigi who is an 18 year old kid. We’re teaching a lot which is fun. Always, a lot of things to do and a lot of people to see. This last week we had that GIANT snowstorm. Literally more snow than I’ve seen here in all my 2 years in any storm. Our bishop got more than 20 inches of snow. So we shoveled...a lot. The nicest thing is that it’s already melting. My kind of storm.
My mission has consisted of me trying to keep the church together with like 10 active members who all have like 3 callings each. Right now we (the missionaries) have been called to teach the youth of our ward which is really fun. I like teaching youth. That's nice.
Anyway, I’m a happy boy and I love my mom a lot. I'll write more later.
This week was pretty normal for the last week of the transfer. On Thursday we had TAC which is basically when we clean our apartments for 3 hours and is my favorite day ever. We had some good lessons this week. We met this little woman who was a member a really long time ago but has since joined the baptist church because she was kind of forgotten about but she is just the sweetest little woman. We came over and she had us sing her favorite hymns and give her a blessing which was really cute. Haitians, man. They’re cute. But through her we ended up meeting this other woman who speaks like 7 languages and is 84. We went over to her house yesterday and I think we said like 5 words in total because she just went off on the weirdest stuff. One of the skills that the mission teaches you is how to steer a conversation, especially when the person is very talkative (you ask a hispanic person a question about God and they’ll tell you about their childhood for an hour). So that was fun. I have never fallen asleep while looking at someone in the eyes until yesterday. She didn’t skip a beat though, even though I was 75% unconscious. Also this week we had this woman who was taught in 2014 who just walked into church during fast and testimony meeting and bore her testimony of the church at the pulpit and talked about how she is ready to be a member. Lol. Haitians, man. We’re teaching a few cool people and the members are really cool here. So it’s just a fun time.
Not much changed from transfers last night. Still here with Elder Merizier. But Sister Mendez is leaving and a little girl who did theatre in Davis High is coming up here. But for your boy it is the same old thing, which I’m happy about.
The storm here was pretty docile. A few trees were blown down that we helped with but nothing too big. Your boy is always very safe. It sounds like dad got the worst of it. Poor guy. He needs to retire and just hang out by the pool like a sloth. Maybe moss would grow on him. That would be cool.
So today is kind of busy because we have Zone P-day and we’re playing basketball so I’m going to go BOX OUT. I’ll write you in a little bit later though. You’re the best mom. I love you so much. Thank you for taking such good care of your missionary boy. He loves his mom.
I LOVE YOU.
Hi mom! It’s me! Your boy! Do you remember your boy? It’s been like 21 months since you’ve last seen me so it’s ok if you didn’t know who I was right away.
I’m sorry you’re sick. That’s no fun at all. I actually have been really lucky in the health department lately. I directly attribute it to the fact that my cute mom prays for me every day. That and the fact that my food intake is now only regulated by my personal desires instead of needing to inhale large quantities of meat to make people like us. Hispanics, man. We still teach a decent amount of people in Spanish though so I’m able to keep it up. I want to take a spanish class in fall semester because I’m pretty sure I can take a proficiency test and then take a few more classes for a Spanish minor which would look pretty sassy on any resume.
We had a nice week here. Lot of people to teach. We basically just go to homes where they let us in without knowing us and we teach and then I usually go to the kitchen and do their dishes lol. Haitians are great. There’s this food called Greole that’s really good and I eat at least once a week. They cover it with this stuff called “piklies” which basically means “spicy” and it’s like pickled onions and peppers and it’s really spicy and I think dad would like it a lot.
I finished reading the Book of Mormon again past this week. What a great book. I met this inactive woman this week who is literally the COOLEST lady. She’s an artist and has like 5 degrees. She has been inactive for a while and expressed concern about some doctrine and practices in the church. But basically we just talked about how cool the Book of Mormon is and the truthfulness of the record and it was just a lovely conversation. Also she gave me a Hindu book of scripture. Thanks, lady.
Anyway. I’m going to go get some groceries and whatnot. I’ll talk to you later today. Basically I love you so much and I can’t wait to see you in 3 months. The pictures are from us translating this week on Saturday and Sunday for stake conference. And stamped cards because I was tired of writing all our stuff on cards by hand so I literally ordered a stamp for like $10. And some other stuff I can’t remember. Ok I love you.
This Wednesday Jack drops to 99 days left on his mission. That's so awesome since we started at 730!! He's happy and working hard to finish strong. Here's the latest on our cute boy. -K
It was a nice week. SUPER busy and I’m sleepy. I went on an exchange with an elder in Passaic which was fun. He was teaching me how to solve a rubix cube. I also met this guy who Elder Hunt baptized and talked about ALL THE TIME. I love Elder Hunt (now known as Caleb). I had so much fun with that guy. My companions have been the coolest people. I’ve really lucked out in that department. Elder Hunt and I always talked about getting friendship sealed. Lol. Anyway. I had a meeting on Wednesday for the new missionaries and their trainers which was nice. I did that exchange on Tuesday and then went with our zone leaders on Friday which was fun. I was with Elder Nunes who is really cool and a good friend of mine. He spent half of his mission in the only Portuguese area in the mission. Super funny guy and we had several really good lessons that day. We also had interviews with president this week which was fun. He basically told me I’ll be here for the rest of my mission which I am happy about. President Hess is just the best of guys. He also went to our ward this Sunday and I had to translate his big word talk into Spanish (which is my job almost every Sunday). So it was a real busy week but it was nice and good.
On behalf of all of us at the Middletown apartments, thank you SO much for the food on Saturday. So our appointment at 7 canceled and the sisters needed help planning their baptism so we all went to the Noodle House and they brought so much food and then we took the rest to go. It was really nice. The food there is super delicious and everyone who eats there is oriental so you know it’s good. So thank you.
We had a huge snowstorm this week. Like at least 9 inches. The streets everywhere were impassable so we just went around and shoveled snow for people which was really fun. The high for Wednesday is supposed to be almost 70 degrees so it won’t be here for two long. You know what almost 70 degrees means? It means we are transitioning into the season where I see my family again and that thought warms my heart to way more than almost 70 degrees.
One of the senior missionaries here, Elder Jensen, is my guy. He calls me just to talk sometimes lol. He’s super funny and he actually is on the alumni board for SUU. He was a bishop down there for a while too. He gave me a few good places to go and other stuff for when I get back. I’m really excited for college because I can learn my lil brain out. But right now I'm going to concentrate on finishing my mission strong. 99 days isn't a lot to get everything done.
Anyway cute mom, today we are going bowling and other stuff. I love you so so SO MUCH. I’ll write you more in a little bit. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!❤️💕😘😘💕
It’s me!!! Your boy!!! Do you remember me? That’s ok if you don’t because I remember you enough for us both! Wowza look at the rapidly approaching finish line! It turned from an inconceivable concept in Red Bank, NJ to a very tangible reality in New City, NY. Good job, us. We did a very hard thing. Remember when I wrote you that letter telling you that I was going to go on a mission? Look at us now. This honestly has been the best decision of my life to do this, though. I feel it was a pivotal life event. One I’m sure I will ever be grateful for. And I’ve loved my mission, honestly. It has been just a lovely time and very soon I’ll be able to hang out with my lovely mom and I’ll feel at home. Apparently I’m very nostalgic at 8:00am.
We had a really good week this week. Like every week! All the weeks are good. We’re working really hard and we find a lot of really nice people. My Creole/French is actually getting pretty good too! Enough to make people laugh and from there my companion does the talking and I nod my head a lot. I am being very safe and life is very good for me. Everyone is SO nice to us and they usually just let us in to teach them because everyone just loves God a lot! It’s very very sweet. And we’re seeing a lot of success. I’m like 99.999% sure that I’ll finish my mission up here and I think there are worst ways to do so.
Also this week we ate some peppers that almost sent my companion to the nurse. You would have been proud of my spicy tolerance. No longer a spicy baby am I.
Regarding the apartment for school, go for whatever one is cheaper. I literally just need a room to sleep in. I’ve lived like a nomad so my standards are close to nonexistent. I’m excited though! I can’t wait to go back to learning stuff in college. I feel like I’ve retained a large portion of what I learned my first year so hopefully I won’t have to skip too many beats.
It’s going to be a pretty chill day today. Probably am going to nap because I’m a sleepy boy. But I’ll be here whenever you send me a reply. I LOVE YOU.
— your boy!!!
First of all, let me tell you that I’m a happy boy. The happiest, in fact. I don’t think I could finish my mission in a better way honestly. It’s a really fun area and I’m with a really fun companion and I’m just swaggin' basically. We contact so many people a day y no me cuesta para nada because everyone is just so nice I just realized I accidentally typed that in Spanish oops but I think I’m going to keep it there.
We had a really good week. All my weeks are good weeks tbh. It was Elder Merizier’s birthday on Saturday and we partied hard. We knocked doors for a few hours and found some super cool people and he was just like through the roof excited. It was really sweet. And later we had dinner at this woman’s house who is the nicest lady ever and we had good Haitian food and it was fun. Fun times in New City. It was a good week and we had a lot of success. We also had a zone conference in Union City, my old area. I loved that place. I took Elder Merizier to a few really cool rooftops and to my old apartment. Fun times over there. On the way over I accidentally took the George Washington bridge and we got a nice little tour of Manhattan for a second. Oops. I also got a ~smartphone~ so I’m pretty hip. You can’t do much on it but texting is the nicest thing in the world now because I don’t need to use a sliding keyboard from 2007.
Also, on behalf of all of us here on 249 N Middletown Rd, we want to thank you for that delicious noodle house food on Tuesday. It was so good. Like so good. Thank you so so much. While waiting for the food, there were these giant goldfish that you could literally pet. Photos attached.
That’s cool that Dawn’s daughter is going to Ecuador! I love Ecuadorians. Most of the Hispanics in this area are either Ecuadorians or Guatemalans. If you meet someone from Ecuador then you can say, “de la sierra o de la costa?” And if they say “de la sierra” then you say “ahh ustedes comen el cui entonces” (which is the guinea pig I had to eat) and if they’re from the la costa then they eat cerviche which is like seafood. Boom. Instant friends. Never underestimate the bonds created from knowing the food from a country.
I can’t believe I have less than 4 months left. Wowza. Remember dropping me off at the MTC? Not fun. But this experience isn’t one I would trade for anything.
Basically just know that I’m a happy boy and I love my family with all of my soul. I am grateful for the sealing power because if I went to heaven and you weren’t there I would go John 2:15 all over that place. Just kidding. Or am I?
I love you. Here’s some funny pictures.
Here is a little video I received from him. All I can say is bless that guys heart. -K
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
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.