Friday, November 29, 2013

Week 3 in the MTC


Happy Thanksgiving!! Whoop whooop! I read all your emails and it sounds pretty chill! Dad thanks for the updates on Ziggy I loved that! Im pumped that your training for Boston and working so hard. Youre gonna make it for sure. Hope your thanksgiving is as good as mine has been cause its been a legendary day, and its only 4 baby! We went to the temple again this morning and I did the whole thing in spanish! There were only a few parts I had a hard time understanding so I was pumped about that. We got back, and we had Turkey dinner! For lunch! Haha easily best meal weve here in the ccm and I ate like 4 slices of pumpkin pie and ice cream! Then after lunch we went and changed, then we went and played some turkey bowl football! It was so flippin fun! we had like 15 guys on each team. We played for like a solid 45 mins before a teacher came and told us we couldnt play anymore because were actually not allowed to play football here. I guess thats why they dont have any footballs lying around. But Elder Lloyd brought one so thats what we used. haha I got like a 50 yard TD catch from him so that was sweet. Anyways then right after that we went and played some basketball and I made a video of me dunking so I can prove it too you pops! Haha ill try and upload it.

Anyways I dont even know where to start for this week a lot has happened. I guess first off I can talk a little bit some of our responsibilities weve had this week as zone leaders. So on thursday night we had to welcome a new district and that wasnt hard at all, all we had to do was give them the low down of life here in the CCM. Then on Saturday this Hermana in our zone hurt her knee playing soccer so we had to help her out with that a little bit, but mainly her district did all the heavy lifting. So then on sunday we had a zone fast for her which was rough! haha never been so hungry in my life, but we made it all the way to dinner and I know well receive blessings for being diligent. On Sunday we also had to teach the knew district about worthiness right before they went in for interviews with the branch presidency. So that was interesting. . . Haha I branch president pretty much told us to just be as blunt as possible so we pretty much talked about everything. Yeah everything if you catch my drift. But luckily none of them went home after their interviews so they all must be doing good! Haha.

Thank you so much for the donuts! I was so pumped when they said I got a package! Thank you so much for sending the letter and package to Elder Acosta as well. It got here today, and so when we got back from the temple I went into our room, and sitting on our district leaders bed was the letter opened to Elder Acosta. On the envelope it just says to Elder Acosta or Elder Nielsen and he opened it! I seriously raged. I pretty much told him that if he ever opens a letter that says my name on it again im gonna fight him. Haha yeah I need to repent, seriously. But I dont know why it seriously just made me so mad. Hes the one who I have patience issues with. . . Me and beus both. But anyways I gave the letter to Acosta and he said hes going to pick it up in a little bit after he finishes emailing. I love you guys so much, that seriously meant the world to me and Acosta already told me that it means a lot to him too.

I feel like me and Beus are learning how to work a lot better together, and are become a lot better teachers. Last night we had TRC which is just real volunteer members come in and we talk to them and teach them just something about the gospel. The hard thing is just understanding them. They talk so fast! But I understood basically everything, and Beus was actually able to understand them, and teach well in spanish too! We were both pumped afterwards. Im so grateful to be zone leaders I love it! We get to meet a lot more people, and its good because it motivates us to be better examples and work harder.

Haha the ccm is hard but fun at the same time. Usually the afternoons are sometimes the worse but then every night our night teacher just motivates us hard core, and then every night in our casa is hilarious. Me and this other Elder Nielsen who lives in our casa play ping pong every night. Our table is just like a basic dinner table with pillows in the middle as our net. Haha so funny! I pretty much smoke him everytime with my left hand so its getting old.

I love you guys so much, and miss you a ton! But I just really try to focus on the work because this really is the most important work there is on the planet!  I love learning about the gospel and learning more how to listen and teach by the spirit. Its tough work to teach people not lessons, but Me and Beus have made it a goal to never leave a lesson feeling like all we taught was the lesson and that they didnt get anything out of it. Love you guys and thanks so much for the packages and emails!

Elder Nielsen

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Week 2 in the MTC


Wow I honestly dont even know where to start, so much happens everyday, so its hard to summarize a whole week! Well probably the first thing that happened since I last wrote, was that we got called as zone leaders last thursday night!! Crazy, so that means were in charge of making sure all the Elders and Hermanas in our zone are doing alright, and aren´t breaking any serious rules. So right now theres 2 districts in our zone, and another comes in tonight. We have to help the new district get settled in, and introduce them to our branch presidency. Our branch presidency is awesome and im so excited to work with them on a regular basis now, because basically were the ones who let them know whats going on in our zone\branch. Our branch president is awesome hes this little mexican guy who is so short, named pres. Torres but is a spiritual powerhouse, and he loves baseball!! the night we were called as zone leaders me and Beus literally talked to him for an hour about baseball, and he told us how growing up him and his brothers wanted to play, but the only league they could afford to play in played on sundays, and so his dad said that they werent gonna play because they needed to keep the sabbath day holy! So righteous! So know his sons are in kind of the same predicament, but he went to the head of the baseball league by where they live, and asked if his sons could get special permission to not have to play on sundays and they did! So know his oldest son has committed to play at some really good college here when he graduates and his other 2 sons are in the league now, and he says their doing really good. That was a testimony strengthener for me that the Lord rewards us when we keep his commandments, and are willing to give up things of the world.

Anyways as zone leaders me and Beus didnt really have to do much until yesterday. We went to one of the districts to meet with their district leader because were supposed to do that once a week, and he wasnt there! He had to go home because of personal problems the night before. So sad their district was distraught so we talked to them for a little bit about it, and then made sure his companion got put in a trio with other elders in their district so we got that worked out. The only thing know is we have to talk to Pres. Torres to have him call a new district leader for their district.

I´m not gonna lie there have been a lot of fun good spiritual experiences this week, and there have also been a lot of tough times. The days seem to go so slow at some points, and then at other times it seems like before you know it the day is gone. me and Beus came up with a specific language plan that has daily and weekly goals that were trying to accomplish, and theyre difficult goals so theyre putting us out of comfort zone. Some of our daily goals are to learn at least 10 new words, and memorize 3 gospel phrases speak only spanish for at least 2 hours, and then complete 2 and half activities on tall (average is 1 and a half). So were working hard in that regard, but what has been frustrating for me this week has been getting along with other Elders in our district, and teaching Investigators. Just like you predicted Mom, yes I am struggling getting along and being patient with others! haha what else is new! I just get frustrated when people waste their study time, but then brag about how good they are at teaching, or at spanish, or being obedient, and sometimes I just want to yell and tell them to flipping humble themselves!! I know I cant though, and I just try and sing Hymns to calm down, and focus on the work. My biggest struggle with teaching is being able to understand the needs of the investigator. Because we had 2 lessons this week where they were the first lessons we had with them, and we only had 15 minutes to teach. so usually it takes like 5 to 10 minutes just to get to know them personally and their beliefs, then once we get a feel for what they need we can give them a short message, usually about just 1 or 2 topics from the restoration, and then teach them how to pray, and invite them to pray or read the book of mormon. But where it gets difficult is the language. Because I can be talking with an investigator and understand exactly what theyre saying, and then understand Ok they need to know that God is our Loving Heavenly Father, and that The Gospel Blesses Families. But Elder Beus wont understand what the Investigator is saying, so he doesn´t really know what they need. So then Im the only one who ends up talking, and the lesson doesnt go as well as it could have, and we leave feeling like we didnt work together, and we didnt teach well enough by the spirit. Its really easy to get discouraged, but were doing our best to just rely on the Lord, because this isnt our work its His, and we just want to do all we can to be instruments in His hands to bring others to Christ.

The other thing that made this week more difficult was that I got flippin sick!! I was on the toilet for at least 3 hours out of the day on Tuesday and Wednesday! Haha but I feel better know. K enough of the complaining because I really do have so much to celebrate and be grateful for!! One of the biggest things Ive been grateful for this week are my teachers! Hermana Murillo and Elder Enciso. They are amazing, and I have learned so much about teaching, following the spirit, and just doctrine in general from them. They help us feel encouraged, and motivated as missionaries. Were seriously like best friends with them. The other thing I have to be so grateful for is my spanish! I love speaking spanish so much, and I feel like I have improved exponentially already! One of the coolest experiences for me was on Sunday we were in Priesthood meeting, and pres. Torres was talking about the Jacob 5, and he was speaking in spanglish, like going back and forth between in English and spanish because his english isnt very good, so whenever he cant explain something in English he explains it in spanish. But I didn´t realize til the lesson was almost over that he was doing that! I was just focusing so hard to listen that my mind was able to switch from spanish to english without even recognizing!! I was so pumped, gift of tongues is real!!!

Well I love each and every one of you so much. Tell Kenzo and Maddie to send me an email if they can again because I want to hear from those knuckleheads! I miss you, but I know that this is where im supposed to be, and that im participating in the Lords work. This gospel is true, and I feel the spirit testifying the truthfulness of it too me everyday as I study, ponder, pray and teach. Im so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ, and that I have the opportunity to teach others of the joy that they can receive as they use His  Atonement. We were trying to find a chapter that we could Invite one of our investigators to read from the Book of Mormon to help her understand the happiness the Atonement can bring us, and immediately my mind went to Alma 36. I love that chapter so much, and would invite you guys to read it, because it talks about how everyone can feel if they repent. I have felt the joy that Alma talks about in that chapter, and that is why I am here, to help others find it as well. Love you all!!

Elder Nielsen

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Week 1 in the Mexico City MTC (or CCM)

With his first companion Elder Beus
Hola Familia!! K right off I have to say sorry that this all just
going to be in one huge bunch because I somehow picked an computer
with a broken return key!! Anyways thank you all so much for the
amazing emials!! I got your Dear Elder email mom, but I never got an
actual letter so if you want to tell people they can just email me
than that would be fine. We get an hour to send emails so it should be
plenty of time since I can type fairly fast. Wow I don´t even know
where to start so much has happened since that first night that we got
here and the first thing they told us to do was send an email. But
yeah the first person I saw was Hermana Jones. So good to see her!
When we first got here they gave us a huge packet with all our info
about everything in it. So I just went with some of the other Elders
who were on my same bus here to dinner, and then we went and tried to
find our companions because a bunch of people got here at different
times during the day. Anyways I found him, and his name is Elder Beus.
He lived in Highland, UT and went to Lone Peak, and played football.
We ate dinner together that night, and just talking to him I knew we
were going to work well together. I got all my stuff unpacked, and yes
Mom I remembered where everything was. While unpacking though I
realized I only forgot one thing. . . My toothbrush charger!! I was so
ticked, but if you try and send that to me that would be great because
thats one thing I can´t buy here. First night I layed in bed for like
an hour kind of in shock. Haha I wasn´t really sad or anything I was
just kind of in shock. So our first day of class was good. Our teacher
is named Hermana Dominguez, and she barely speaks any english. So we
walk in to class and she starts speaking in straight spanish and I
understood most of it, but then I look at Elder Beus and his eyes look
huge, and he was in straight shock. haha he literally knows no
spanish!! Our class is everyone in our district which is 6 elders and
3 hermanas, and we all know spanish pretty well except for Elder Beus!
So I´ve been helping him out a ton. We also live in the same room in
our casa with 2 other elders that are in our district, and they´re
both literally fluent, so they´ve been helping us both out. I´m so
grateful that I´m speaking spanish because I already love studying it
and speaking it and am learning really quickly. Anyways I´ll tell you
what our typical day is. We wake up at 630 get ready, then go get
breakfast. usually the only thing they serve here thats good for
breakfast is just scrambled eggs. And to make them actually taste good
you have to dump this sauce called Valentino on them. They also have
cereal, but they only have 3 kinds and its always fruit loops frosted
flakes and corn puffs. After breakfast we go to personal study in
classroom for an hour. That sometimes can be rough because it´s hard
to stay focused for an hour or sometimes were just really tired. Next
we have morning classes. our morning classes which basically last til
lunch. They vary from day to day but Hermana Dominguez always teaches
us during the morning. Then lunch is always the biggest meal of the
day. Most of the time its just meats that use to make tacos with, and
then they have rice and beans and sauces that you use to make tacos.
The rice and beans here are always good, but sometimes the meats can
be a little sketchy. After lunch we have Language study on the
computers, then after that we have additional study time which is you
just study whatever you want, or whatever you feel you need to. after
that we have more language study time but this time its out of the red
language books they gave us. Me and Elder Beus always study so hard
during language time because he seriously knew nothing about spanish.
But we´ve both already learned so much already! next is gym time which
is always sick. We only have an hour, but you can play basketball
lift, play football, ping pong. Pretty much everything. Me and Beus
like to lift though. Haha were literally like exactly the same! I
seriously can´t say how grateful I am to have such a great companion!
We´ve also played some basketball during gym time, and I dunked for my
first time on a 10 ft hoop 2 days ago. Haha it was so sick! Yesterday
during gym time me and Beus had a dunk contest on this basketball hoop
behing our casa thats around 9 feet tall and it was rad. Anyways after
gym they give you awhile to shower and get ready, and also plan out
your next day. Then dinner. Im not gonna lie weve had some pretty
awful dinners. haha one night we had hot dogs and I literally took one
bite of it, and then felt like I was going to vomit it was so nasty.
So pretty much we usually just try and feast on tacos during lunch so
if its nasty dinner we can just eat a nutella sandwich and be chill.
Then after dinner it´s my favorite part of the day, we teach our
"investigator", and have companionship study til 930. I put
investigator in quotes because hes not actually an investigator, hes a
member who pretends to be. But I love it because everytime we teach I
feel the spirit so strong. We literally taught him for our first time
our second day here. haha beus still didnt know how to say my name is
Elder Beus in spanish!! So our first lesson I did most of the talking
but since then its only gone up! our last lesson was amazing because
we got him to commit to baptism, because the lesson before we invited
him to pray to know that the book of mormon was true. Beus taught the
whole first vision to him in spanish. That shows how rapidly hes
learning because it had only been a week. Im already so excited to go
out into the field and teach real investigators about the gospel in
espanol! then we go home at 930, usually try and trade ties with some
of the other elders in our casa then go to bed at 1030. Today has been
really good because its been our first P day, and we got to go the
temple this morning. The session was in all spanish, so they gave us
headphones so we could listen in English, but I took mine off, and
could actually understand most of it. So im excited for next time we
get to go, and ill do it in all spanish! The drive to and from the
temple were awesome because it was a 45 min drive to get there so we
got to see a lot of Mexico City, and let me tell you it looks about
the same everywhere. Everything is concrete and dirty, and has
graffiti on it. I seriously couldnt imagine having to live there
because its so loud, so crowded and so dirty. then you get to the CCM
and we just have this huge perfectly maintained campus and its all
fenced off with barbwire at the top and everything. Anyways im gonna
try and send some pictures now in a seperate email, but I hope this
email was good enough, and send me some feedback on what I can do so
the next one is better!! Let me know how everyone is doing because I
really want to know! I love you guys so much, and think about you
every night when I flip through my book of photos! The church is true,
and I know that with all my heart, and I know that God answers our
prayers. All we have to do is ask with real faith, and a sincere
heart!! Love, Elder Nielsen
Mexico City Missionary Training Center (CCM)
Mexico City Temple

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Arrived at the Mexico MTC for 6 week training

I am here at the Mexico MTC. It already feels amazing to be here! I just finished watching a little intro video about whats going on, and they told us to write an email letting you guys know that were alive. The flight here was great. Haha as soon as we left Utah I fell asleep for the majority of the flight. Guess I was just tired from all the goodbyes! The only part that was a little stressful was the drive here from the airport. Mexico streets are nutty! No lane markings anywhere, people changing lanes at random times, people walking through the roads selling random crap. Haha one guys was selling toilet paper so that was neat. The best part about my flights was that I was with 2 other elders going to my same mission! Elder Stewart and Elder Corey. Great guys. Well anyways hope your surviving without me, and te amo!!
Elder Nielsen