Monday, October 27, 2014

Bolivia, Montero—Week 3

Dearest Family and Friends,

This week was good. Went flying by as usual.

All our hard work this week was worth just seeing the “D” family (recent converts) sneak in behind us in sacrament meeting! The dad came with his wife and kids for the first time in 3 weeks. These are the most happy times for me in the mission. Sometimes I almost lose hope and think that all of our work is for nothing. But then, the people surprise us.

I feel like the theme of this week was “opposition.” There really is opposition in ALL things. And, as missionaries, we see it in all places and experience it in all things. It´s not easy, but I´m learning many things.

I’ve started reading the Book of Mormon again and reading about Nefi reminds me that I need to have more faith and patience in my trials. He was such a great example in all things, and he could have given up many times, but he just kept going. I know I can do it. And I know that you all can do it as well. Prayer works. And I know that our Heavenly Father is listening.

I have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and of the plan that we accepted before coming to this earth. Like Mom said this week in her email to me, we already know which side is going to win in the end. But many are still deciding which side to join. Sometimes what seems easiest or the most pleasant in the moment is what we choose to do, but if we could just remember in every moment which side is going to win, we would be able to choose the right. But, unfortunately, it’s not always that way. We are human and we make mistakes, but, we have the knowledge of the gospel. We can repent. Christ suffered and died for us. Personally. All we need to worry about now is trying our best to stay in the straight and narrow path that will lead us to his presence again. I love this gospel. I love the opportunity to repent and be better every day because I truly need the Atonement every day.

I love you all. Share your testimony with someone this week. And I’ll do the same.

Xoxo Hermana Nelson

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bolivia, Montero—Week 2

Happy Birthday, Logan!
We have been busy opening up this new area, but our hard work this week paid off—four less-active members we visited came to church! Also, quite a few of the recent converts came as well. No investigators yet, but hopefully next week we’ll have a few at church.
We are working with many people here in Montero. If you’d like to help us, please pray for them. I know they will be able to feel your love and prayers. Thank you so much!

“M”—She is a reference we received a few days ago. She is fantastic! She was investigating the church in Venezuela and had a baptismal date, but had to come back to Bolivia quickly because of all the problems there. It was just a fluke that we met a member from another ward who gave us her name. She said that she had been praying to know what to do because she knows the church is true, and she’s missed it a lot. I know that God places us in the right place as the right time to fulfill his purposes. Really! We weren’t even going to go to that street, but my backpack broke, so we went to go get it fixed. That exact moment, the member passed by on his moto. I know that it wasn’t just a coincidence.
Family “D”—A family of converts that were recently baptized. They are having a super rough time. Lots of problems in their marriage and Satan is attacking them so hard. I feel really bad for them and I hope they can work everything out. It’s hard to be a missionary in these situations. I don’t know how to help or what to say. I hope we can help them somehow. I know that the Gospel can fix any problems we are having. But if the people we teach use their agency to go against the gospel principles, that’s when there’s really nothing we can do. It really is all up to each of us. We can obey and receive the blessings we need—or not. It’s our decision.
You know you’re in MONTERO when . . .
—Everyone (except for us) is riding motorcycles (MotoTaxi)
—You almost get killed trying to cross the street
—You try to protect your face by using sunscreen, only to have the humidity wash it away ten minutes later
I LOVE you all! Have great week!
xoxo Hermana Nelson

Monday, October 13, 2014

Bolivia, Montero—Week 1

Dearest Family and Friends,

I’m sorry I was late emailing today. We couldn’t leave our houses until this afternoon because elections were yesterday. The internet is super slow, so I can't send any journals or pictures. I'll try to send some next week.

Well, I’m not in Paraiso. I got transferred to Montero, which is about one hour from the city. I’m serving with Hermana Cumatz, from Guatemala City. I’m happy and excited, but a little sad at the same time. That’s just how transfers are. 

Recent Convert “R”
We visited “R” for just a bit today to get to know him (and to eat some of the soft serve ice cream he sells). He was offended by something a member said to him, but then he read a message in the Ensign about forgiveness and offense. He’s now a bit more receptive.

Member “E”
One of the YSA from the ward helped us get to know the area better. She leaves in December for her mission to Columbia. She’s great.

Hermana “M”
She makes us lunch and dinner and not just us, but four Elders as well. She also washes our clothes by hand. I can tell what a faithful member she is. Her dad is also a member (and most all of her family, but most are less active) and he is a spirit so strong. He’s 71 years old and can’t remember things too well or talk too much, but there’s a spirit when I talk to him.

I’m loving it here already! I hope you all had a great week. 

Love you all!

xoxo Hermana Nelson

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bolivia, Paraiso—Week 10

Dear Family and Friends,

Sorry I’m getting so bad at writing! I guess it’s just that now I literally have a best friend who listens and knows exactly how I’m feeling and who I can tell everything. So sometimes I forget to write down my thoughts and feelings. This week has been good, though.

“G” Baptism
Well, he finally accepted a baptismal date. It’s going to be in a few weeks and hopefully he can get an answer by then. Next week we can’t go to church because it is election day and the whole country stops everything to vote. We also can’t even leave our houses, so we had to program his date for the week after.

Familia “L”
Well, their dad almost came to conference, but then he backed out. It was so sad, but his wife and son came and they enjoyed it lots. We had Sunday lunch with them in between sessions and they are a really great family. We have instantly connected with them.

I miss Conference at home (Alyssa mentioned her favorite things about Conference—listening to our prophet and leaders, watching in PJs, and eating strawberry waffles), but we all have to go to the chapel and watch in church clothes. I love Conference. It’s my favorite time of the year!

Today was the first day of General Conference. It was so great—literally amazing talks! Every one of them touched me so deeply. Some of the things I liked:

The Church is focusing so much on home and family. Really, this is the most important thing. All learning and applying the gospel starts in the home. Parents need to help children understand the importance from their own personal examples.

We cannot make excuses for not keeping the commandments or doing what we’re supposed to do. Maybe it’s hard, maybe we’re tired, maybe others aren’t doing it, but it’s our personal salvation we are fighting for—not anyone else’s.

The Church is really emphasizing the importance of being Christlike. Although Christ knew the people were doing things He didn’t agree with, he still loved everyone.

Service is the key to being Christian. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard that we shouldn’t give to the poor or homeless because they have brought it all upon themselves or haven’t done what they could have to make a better life. We just can’t judge and we should give freely.

I didn’t get transferred, yet. We will find out next Wednesday if we will or not, but I’m still with my favorite Hermana Bingham.

Scripture:  2 Corinthians 2:14, 17
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

I love you all!

XOXO Hermana Nelson