Monday, July 22, 2013

It is ICE COLD but all is well.

Hello all! How is it all going back in warm Sandy, Utah? Here in Linares it is ICE COLD but all is well. This week has been alright apart from the cold! The cold makes everything a little tougher but apparently August isn´t as cold as July so let´s hope that´s the case! Anyways we´ve found some new investigators that are pretty interested in the church. One day, we were talking towards our house when a little boy shouted ¨Hola!¨ My companion (yes he hates kids as well and tells me almost every day) just kept on walking. I was like hey let´s go talk to him. So we go talk to him and he´s a 5 year old kid outside with his mom. The mom invited us inside and told us that she had talked with a bunch of missionaries before and had gone to church. It was the quickest lesson and invitation to baptism accepted that I have seen. The 5 year old kid is named Andres.. and he LOVES me. Haha we have had about 3 lessons with her this week and sometimes it is hard to teach Luisa (the mom) because Andres is constantly climbing all over me and wanting me to play a game with him. He is way funny and gives me a picture of a superhero every time we go visit them. She couldn´t go to church because she had to go to the campo (country) and do something there. However, she has promised that she is going to go to church next Sunday. We also found a grandpa named Jose and his granddaughter Yazna. Yazna is 16 and has a baby.. yeah there´s tons of teenagers with babies here. Haha but they actually came to church with us and have accepted fechas for the 10th. Changes are the 12th and
 I´m guessing I´ll be leaving so let´s hope they come to church for 2 more weeks and are good with everything for the 10th. They have a problem with the Word of Wisdom that we know of and we are planning on teaching them about that this week. Also, there´s this really awesome family that lives pretty close to us. The mother got baptized, her 19 year old daughter, and her 11 year old daughter as well about a month ago. The dad is awesome.. haha soooooo funny but he wanted to wait a little bit. He drinks coffee in the morning and at night so the other elders are working with him on that. He is their investigator, and their recent converts. However, they invited us over the other day because it was the mom´s birthday. The dad is so freaking funny like I can´t even explain it. He watches movies all the time and he was asking me about all these English words. ¨What does **** you mean?¨ All those other words you can think of and he was saying them out loud. His boss only speaks English and he has been begging me to start an English class. There´s quite a few people that want me to do it but I don´t want to start it now if I´m going to be leaving on the 12th. He is planning on getting baptized soon.. and he only wants me to baptize him. I told him I might be leaving on the 12th so he is trying to do everything possible to be ready by then. We´ll see what happens! Next Monday, we are going to go to the mountains or somewhere around here with their family. The mom actually friend requested me on facebook recently so you can go look at some of her pictures if you want. Yes mom I got the picture.. haha I just forgot to tell you about that day! It was pretty cool and they seem to be like good misson parents. They are coming to Linares on the 27th to do interviews so I´ll let you know how that goes. I can´t think of a whole lot more that has happened this week. My companion is still hard to get along with. Elder M is the other elder that lives in my house. He is from Santiago, and we get along really well. Cousin Jordy served in Santiago right? Which mission? He wanted me to ask just for the heck of it. My chipped teeth aren´t really bothering me so I think I´ll be fine. That´s crazy Jeremy is planning on moving out on the 20th.. if he signs up for his classes on time. Justin getting married on the 13th? Freak that´s gonna be weird to come home to.. he didn´t even ask for my permission. It´s all good The Big Man I give you permission :) I would love the picture of the wedding invitation if you could find a way to do that. I´m sure Jon knows how to scan it and send it so that would be awesome. Freak Mom and Dad.. a condo in St. George would be dope.. just think about it! Haha I´m glad you guys were able to go to Dustin´s farewell. I´m glad he was able to use that story that I sent him.. freak I love that kid. We´ve had so many great memories and I´m so excited for him to get out here and serve the Lord. I´m nervous for him as starting off a mission in a foreign country isn´t the funnest thing in the world but that kid can definitely do it. I´m way excited that he´s learning Spanish as well and we´ll be able to both speak it when we get back!   That´s crazy all the people in our ward are getting ready to leave.. what day do Parker and Grifen leave? I think I remember Parker leaves the 31st.. and where they headed? If I remember right it was California and Mexico.  I think I´ll be fine without a dog taser mom.. but one more thing to the list. A jump rope would be cool.. I bought one the other day in Lider but it´s AWFUL. The things here are so cheap hahaha. Tell Christon congratulations for me.. that´s way cool to see the progress he´s made in the Gospel. I´m excited for him. I can´t believe my niece Brielle is almost here. It will be hard for me to not be able to see her but it´s not like I´m all that great with newborns anyways.. make sure to take tons of pictures that I can print off and stick in my photo album. She´s not here yet but I already love her! Have fun at the 24th of July party up at
 Grandpa´s. Thanks mom for the quote.. it´s awesome! I know through sacrifices brings great blessings and I am in the right place right where I need to be. It is extremely tough as I miss everyone so much, but the Lord needs me here in Chile at this time. Life goes on and there´s plenty of time when I get back. Thanks for the pictures Brian.. I always enjoy looking at them! Thanks for everything and I love you all! I leave you with ¨Tweety Bird´s Seeds of Wisdom¨: Don´t trust a man in a wheelchair with dirty feet okay? Just don´t.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Today was just a really good day!

Hello all.. today was just a really good day! We had an activity today with our zone and another zone at our church. We played soccer, basketball, and football. Basketball was HORRENDOUS. (Of course the whole time everyone was playing my companion was inside reading)  But I met this kid that went to Olympus and I get along really well with him. He is good friends with Ryan Nelson, a kid I know pretty well that plays wheelchair tennis. Anyways he played sports, loves fantasy football, and loves Call of Duty! Also there were a bunch of other gringos that I get along well with too. One was from St. George and he is pretty dope. I´m looking forward to the day I get a companion I really get along with and live with some more gringos! Anyways sounds like everyone enjoyed their week and enjoyed their night out at Texas Roadhouse for Jeremy and Jon´s birthday. This week the weather has been a little bit better but I´m definitely ready for the winter to be over. Mom, yes there are boots in the house here that I use when it rains, so don´t worry. The other day I did a mini-cambio with Elder S, from Florida. This is my 2nd mini-cambio with him. He´s super quiet but he´s still a pretty cool kid. We were in a lesson teaching some new converts about the temples when all of a sudden the members asked me how long I had been out on my mission. I told them I had about 3 months in Chile or so and then they said, ¨So why is your Spanish better than Elder S?¨ Haha he´s been out a year but it was pretty awkward. Anyways that was cool but I still have a LONG way to go. My difficulty is understanding the people still. I have told you it depends on the person.. old people are soooo difficult. Anyways Mom I had a question. I´ve had the wonderful opportunity of chipping my tooth in 2 different places.. no idea how it happened but it was about 2 weeks ago. They aren´t huge chips but is it something that could wait until I get home? I just want to make sure. Last week, we found a really awesome family of 4 that were so interested in the church and wanted to know more. The wife wasn´t there, but they told us she loves to learn about God. Later, we returned, and the wife won´t allow the family to see us. It´s super frustrating but it´s Trenton so it wasn´t too incredibly surprising. We are working hard with a couple named Sebastian and Bernardita. Bernardita was a less active but Elder L and I reactivated her. Sebastian is not a member and wants to be baptized. He does not want to get married right now but sometime next year. We are still working with him and we´ll see what we can do. I forgot to tell you this but when Jon talked to the member on Mother´s Day, the lady was pretty much obsessed with how good his Spanish was. She has told me about 3 times since how good my brother´s Spanish is. Also the other day, I was riding my bike and a dog started chasing me. I was concerned with trying to kick it away and defend myself, but I didn´t see the other huge dog on the other side! So I ended up getting bitten haha and it wasn´t the greatest feeling in the world. Gotta love Chile! Anyways I heard from Jose that Jeremy will be moving out in August? Is that true or what day is he planning on leaving my house? :( About Franco and James.. we haven´t been able to find either of them so I don´t really know. We also have been working with Constanza, a 23 year old lady. She´s way funny but is scared of making changes in her life. We had an appointment in the church and she said she felt awesome but 2 days later she told us she is mad at God and doesn´t want anything to do with him. Soooooooo that is that. Also we are working with a dad of a member that is Evangelico and is super straight in his religion. He has come to church 3 times in a row now but he is still being super difficult.
 What day is the Big Man planning on getting married? I´m curious what day it is so someone please let me know! By the way Dad, the Jazz lost a lot of players, but have they picked up anybody yet? By the way, yes I have heard that we are going to have more permission to use online stuff now to spread the Gospel. I guess it depends on the mission president though.. so we will see. I have heard it would start next year or something like that. We haven´t heard anything from our mission president yet because I imagine he is new and still figuring things out. I will let you guys know as soon as we find out. I would love to do that as I love computers and working with them. We will see though. I imagine you guys will be sending me a package around Christmas time. A few early requests: A waterbottle like the one Jon has.. that would be awesome for the summer. Also more toothbrush heads for mine.. I need a replacement here pretty soon. I also was wondering if anyone had any good ideas that they used on their missions to teach certain subjects. Any ideas let me know! The other missionaries in our house have an investigator that goes to church every week and wants to be baptized but can´t right now because she isn´t married. Her boyfriend is in Santiago right now because his Dad has cancer and is taking care of him. However, she told us to go visit her because she loves talking with different missionaries because they have different insights. Anyways her daugher LOVES me. She is 7 years old and has told me  ¨ You are my favorite missionary.¨ She is super into English and I helped her with her assignment the other day. Haha she´s way funny. Anyways I can´t think of a whole lot more to say but thanks to everyone that wrote me! Dustin asked me for a little advice on his farewell talk so I need some time to write him. Anyways thanks everybody and I love you all! p.s. Some have asked about my health issues. Yes I still have horrible migraines almost every day and that stuff... but yeah. Tweety would like to leave you with a line of one of my favorite movies.. ¨Don´t you know any other gosh dang tune?!¨ Name that movie.. I´m expecting at least Jeremy or Jon to know which movie that is from. If not I will be disappointed.
p.s. How is the condo hunt in St. George going? I think that would be awesome and something that our family could handle/enjoy and make memories from! Let me know! :)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Walk all day in the pouring rain...

Hello my wonderful and awesome family! I hope all is well and that everyone was able to enjoy their 4th of July. I want to start off this letter by letting everyone know how awful of a son I am. Guess what I forgot to do? I forgot to wish the one who gave birth to me a Happy Birthday! Freak.. I was thinking about that all week. I feel so bad! Sorry Mom.. I hope you can forgive me! But thanks so much for all you do for me and for being my mother! I love you so much and am so grateful for you. Anyways it sounds like the 4th of July was fun as it always is for you guys. Guess what I got to do on the 4th of July? Walk all day in the pouring rain and through puddles of ice cold water because their is no drainage system here in Chile. Literally the roads are like a river. I didn´t have my camera that day because everything in my backpack gets soaked and I don´t want my camera to break. Actually, it rained 5 days STRAIGHT. You might think like during the night or for a couple hours it doesn´t rain, but that´s not the case. It literally rained for 5 days straight. One more thing.. haha it´s not light rain. It´s like the kind of rain that would normally flood the park. I am not exaggerating this ladies and gentlemen. Believe it or go home. So basically what I have to do is walk through a lake where my feet go completely underwater. But it´s whatever! It´s probably not good but I sometimes think of missionaries that are in the states, speaking English, and get a car. Freaking lucky.. haha anyways a little about my week and then I will respond to some of the questions you guys had in your emails. First off, I now have this nasty infection in my fingernail and when I press on it pus squirts out. It hurts sooooo bad. I had to call the doctor and he asked me if I could come in the following morning because he needed to check it out. I reminded him I am in the Concepcion mission, not Santiago. I´m too far so he told me to dip my finger in salt water and see if that helps. Yayyyyy I love the medical care here it´s so awesome. Also for the past week and a half, underneath my eyes have been really purple and little tiny bumps everywhere. Who knows what´s wrong but what can I do right? It´s all good though because if I was healthy that would´ve been weird. Okay onto Franco and James.. we haven´t been able to get a hold of Franco at all this week. We have no idea what happened but we are going to keep trying. It´s super frustrating.. I have been praying and fasting for my health and for our investigators but it seems like the investigators just aren´t progressing and my health is just getting worse. Mom, I have a favor to ask you if you could. The other day we were going home from an appointment and we randomly just stopped and we quickly visited a member. We had no plans to do this but we did it anyway. We got in there, and just started talking to her and her husband. She eventually started crying, and finally told us that her daughter that lived in Argentina had found out that she has cancer. She told us that she had actually prayed that day that the missionaries would go and visit her. It was pretty cool but she wants her daughter´s name to go on the prayer roll in the temple. Obviously it´s difficult here because the nearest temple is in Santiago.. but I told her I would ask you to put it on there for her since there are plenty of temples there in Utah.. we´re so blessed! Anyways her name is Maria Pilar Castillo, so if you could do that it would be awesome! The story of Brian in Lake Powell is pretty incredible. I know it was no coincidence that he was only 5 feet away from him, was able to drag him to shore, and give him a blessing. It is living proof that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, saw God and Jesus Christ, and that the Priesthood was restored to the earth through him. Being members of the church, it is our responsibility to exercise our priesthood to help others in need. That is a super cool story and one that I´m sure he´ll never forget. Not a whole lot happened this week.. so I´ll answer some questions now. Yes Dad, people are constantly watching soccer here in Chile! Haha they love their teams here. Colo Colo and University of Chile! And I´m definitely glad you guys chose to keep the corolla around.. I freaking love that car and have grown to be so much more thankful to have a car after seeing how many people don´t have one here. Please please please keep it around! Mom, I loved when I read that part about how our loved ones rush to or side in times of difficulty. I definitely have no doubt that that is true. Freaking Jeremy.. moving to Orem. Noooooooooooo.... don´t leave my house! Just kidding.. if that´s what´s best for you in this moment then do it. Have you decided what classes you´re gonna take yet? Trevor.. stay strong! Only a couple more weeks to go and you´ll be done with school! And ready for Brielle.. that´s awesome. I´m a little disappointed I won´t be able to see her, but remember to send pictures Heather! A new computer huh? What happened with the other one Mom? And that´s cool about the Ipod Touch.. if Dad would learn how to use it he would love that thing. They are so useful. What generation is it? Also, are you guys planning on going to Dustin´s farewell? I believe he told me that is in in 2 weeks, and I would love it if you guys could support him. I freaking love that kid and am so excited for him! How´s Grandpa been doing lately with the way Grandma is? Anyways I am going to try and send some pictures so I´ll talk to you guys all next week! Thank you so much for your letters, your support, and everything you guys do for me. I love you all so much!
                   Elder Neilson OUT!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

It's super cold...

Hola mi familia! Thanks for all the letters and the support from home... you guys are so dope. It has been SUPER cold here in Linares.. like unreal cold. Completely opposite of good old Sandy right now it sounds like. It´s super cold outside here, and normally to get warm you´d go inside a house right? But nooooo.. they don´t have heat in their houses or insulation. Oh well I´m hoping the winter goes by fast here. Real quick I´m super confused.. Dad told me that he won an I-Pad.. and Heather mentioned that he won an Ipod Touch.. which is it? There is definitely a difference there haha. This week the work here has been decent. We´ve found a lot more people to teach and are working with them. Mom, I can´t remember James´ last name.. but as I still want to work with him, my companion does not. The first day with my new compnion, we had a meeting with James. Right after, he said that he didn´t want to meet with James anymore. I was like ummm no? He even mentioned it to the zone leaders, and they told him he was being ridiculous. The Z.L. took me aside and told me that I´m going to have to be extremely patient and take care of my companion. Like I said, he´s known around the entire mission for being extremely impossible to get along with. Last night, we got in a huge argument about whether or not to use bikes anymore. Our whole zone uses bikes, and he refuses. We were basically yelling at each other, and I mentioned alright let´s call our zone leaders and let them settle this. He quickly shut up about that and later apologized. These next 6 weeks need to hurry by and I will be praying and praying that I get transferred. Oh more on that.. we had a meeting with our ward mission leader yesterday in the church. I love our mission leader.. he´s such a cool guy. He started off by asking us what the good and bad things are about the branch. When it got to Elder B, he said ABSOLUTELY nothing good about it. Every single thing was negative. Anyways later on the finish the meeting, the mission leader told him he needs to be careful or the members will not like him. Anyways we found a really awesome guy named Franco. He is actually the son of one of my old investigators that we tried to get back into contact with. He is 26 years old, and he came to church yesterday. We showed him the font, and he asked if he could get baptized really early Saturday morning because he works the rest of the day. He actually knew some people from the ward and we are having Family Night with them and Franco tonight. However, yesterday I was talking to my companion and he asked me, ¨If Franco progresses, would you like to baptize him or me?¨ I mentioned that I would maybe like to because I hadn´t done it yet here in the mission. He proceeded to tell me that he won´t let me do it because he wants a ward member to do it. Like for real bro then why did you ask me in the first place? Oh well I just have to be patient and keep pushing through like I´ve been doing. Yeah Mom the mission conference to say goodbye to President and Sister Humphrey was awesome.. I´m going to miss them but I get to meet my new President on Wednesday in Chillan. I forgot to tell you about the bus ride there.. hahaha oh my gosh it was horrible. We had to leave at midnight from Linares and arrived at the church in Concepcion at 3 in the morning. We then had to sleep on the tiny, cramped, freezing bus for 4 hours until 7 a.m. There was no leg room and the seats were soooo uncomfortable. To make it worse I had to pee sooooo bad the whole time and there was nothing I could do about it. At one point I just started laughing because of it... hahaha. The other day I was studying and my companion put a CD of music in and started playing it. I was in the kitchen, and went into our room and Homeward Bound was playing.. A little after I went upstairs to grab something, and came back down and A Child´s Prayer was on. It made me think a lot about David and Grandma Smith.. I know for a fact they are both helping me on my mission right now as I am struggling. I also know I need to rely on the Lord as much as possible. Mom, don´t feel bad you didn´t write me last week.. that was my fault because I was told our P-Day would be on Tuesday, not Monday night. Dad, that´s too bad about Grandma. I´m hoping she can make it until I come home so I can see her again. (In this life) I went today and printed off a bunch of pictures of the kids and a couple of Bella. Tell them I love them and miss them so much! It´s almost the 4th of July.. I´m hoping everyone has a good day and enjoys the holiday. I have been thinking about that a lot and am a little bummed I won´t be there with the whole family. It is one of my favorite holidays and I look forward to spending the day with our family enjoying the festivities that day. I´m hoping I don´t get too homesick that day and can focus on the work here.. anyways I gotta go but thanks for everything you guys do for me and all the support from home! Real quick.. we were teaching one guy and he was super interested in us as missionaries. He was asking about my family and he then said, ¨You have that big of a family, and you´re paying money to be away from them for 2 years?¨ Like thanks for putting it that way bro! Haha he was a pretty funny guy.. I leave you with Tweety´s Seeds of Wisdom.. Tweety would like to leave you with some lyrics of one of my all time favorite songs: ¨I´ve been to that place before, in spite of luck, and it was hard for you to swallow. You feel like you´ve hit a wall, but you survive, and you awake a new tomorrow, I Will Not Surrender. -AVA   I love you all!