Monday, February 9, 2015

Last and Final Letter... I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!! Chau Chau Chile... I´ll miss you‏

I´m here now feeling excited, sad, nervous, and all around mixed emotions. I just had my final interview with the President, and it was awesome. I love that man and he´s helped me out a ton on my mission. I just wanted to get something quick sent off since last week I basically shared everything I wanted to. I´ve just been hanging out with Elder H all day because we´re companions for the day. I brought my bags in today to weigh them and I was a little over, so I´ll be leaving a lot of garments because they´re all really old haha. Anyways it looks like I got them down to the right weight. I´m so excited to see everyone. I´m also a little nervous just to see how huge the boys have gotten but they´re still ballers no matter what :) While we were at the mission house doing interviews, the maid asked me what the first thing I wanted to eat was when I got home. I told her.. yep you guessed it.. Panda Express! Haha Hermana Arrington just laughed and asked what I liked there. So that was cool you guys had already planned to go to Panda Express when I get home. That should be fun! Mom, don´t even worry about the house. It´ll just be awesome being there inside in a nice house. I´m glad my room is all ready.. I´ve missed having my own room :) Last night I slept with the assistants, along with Elder H here in Concepción. From their apartment, I could see Santa Sabina and also Laguna Redonda. It was weird and brought back some memories. In about an hour, we have a class to help us look for jobs and stuff when we get home. At 6, we have the dinner with the president, and then I believe a testimony meeting. Then early in the morning tomorrow, my flight leaves.
   As for yesterday, yes Marcela got baptized and confirmed! Everything went well and the baptism was awesome. It was cool that I was able to have a baptism on my last day. I took a lot of pictures with members and stuff I¨ve gotten to know. I also had to speak, and I felt like it went really well. It was soooo hot in the church though I was like sweating. I was focusing on the young men, and I gave them 5 good points of why they should serve a mission. It was awesome. I had to say goodbye to Elder M, H, and G yesterday. Elder M and H are really good friends of mine now. The 4 of us really got along well and I know it was kinda hard on the 4 of us to split up.. Anyways that´s about all. I can´t wait to give Mother Teresa and Father Jeffrey a giant hug.. and also everyone else. I love you all. Don´t expect too much from Brielle seeing as it seems she´s pretty picky. Hayds, Teags, and Carter Boy are gonna be giant I already know. I love you all and I´ll see you guys on..... WEDNESDAY!!!!! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Thanks For Everything‏

Well, here we are. Another week has come and gone, and I´m here writing you guys once again. I do not know if I will be writing next week. If I do, it will probably be something somewhat short. Thanks for all the letters and pictures, you guys are awesome. 
      I want to take this opportunity to share with you guys some of my thoughts, feelings, and most of all, my testimony. The mission has been awesome. It has been far from easy, but I´m so grateful for everything that I have learned. I will never forget the beginning of my mission. That time was easily the hardest time of my life where I felt so alone. I knew I could always rely on Heavenly Father, but with the health problems, culture shock, and language problems, it was tough on me. I missed everyone so much, and missed the close support I've always had all my life with you guys around, especially Mom and Dad. I knew everything would get better, and didn't want to disappoint everyone, including the people I would meet here in Chile. I prayed and prayed and prayed, and things got better. The mission is tiring. I've never been so tired or worn out in my life, but even feeling like that, you will never feel better or be happier. Giving everything to the Lord makes you happy. Day after day you don´t realize how much people you really are able to help. But as you look back on time, you realize the impact you had on people, and you notice the hand of the Lord in those things. As a missionary, things that happen just seem normal. As you sit down and think more about it, you realize it´s not so normal, and it was like I said, the Lord´s hands in all things. He´s always preparing people, whether or not you think He is. You leave everyday at 3:30 not exactly knowing whether or not you´ll enter in a house, or if you´ll be walking for the next 6 and a half hours under the hot son or freezing rain. What you do know though is that you´re a representative of Jesus Christ, and that´s what you need to be doing. You´ll get rejected by an incredible amount of people, you´ll find people to teach that won´t end up progressing, you´ll teach people that will progress but then decide not to get baptized, and you will teach people that want to progress and follow Jesus Christ. You will teach less actives that are just a little confused, you will teach members to help them strengthen their testimonies, and you will teach recent converts that have the desires to progress, but just need a little help. You will deal with many types of missionaries, which will lift you up, help you out, and also test your patience at the same time. You will learn leadership skills, how to teach a class or give a talk on the spur of the moment, and how to be a good teacher. You will learn how to ask good questions, listen intently, and respond how God would have you do. Many people think missionaries have all the answers and are perfect, but that´s definitely not the case. Missionaries are imperfect just like everybody else, and are in the process of learning how to be better people. These past 2 years have tested me mentally, physically, and emotionally, and I've learned a lot. I've met so many people that I've grown to love that I will surely miss, and I've grown to love and be more grateful for my own family. I have come to know that Christ lives, and He is our Redeemer. He suffered and died for us. He was completely obedient to His father, and we need to follow that example of obedience. I know that families can be together forever. I've said it sooooo many times, and written it in my journal a ton, but I´m so grateful for you guys. Mom, like you know I´m a little nervous and sad to be leaving. I love Chile, and I love being a missionary even though it´s hard sometimes. However, it´s awesome to think about all you guys and how bad I want to see everyone. Our family is so awesome, and never forget that. One of the things I am 100% and absolutely sure of, is that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that the Book of Mormon is true. I knew it before the mission, but my testimony of those 2 things has grown so much. I love testifying of the Book of Mormon. There is a power in that book unlike any other. It is the keystone of our religion, and I honestly love that book. It has the ability to change lives. If someone will just put to test Moroni 10:3-5, they for themselves can come to know of the truthfulness of the Gospel. If they know the Book of Mormon is true, they will also know the church was restored, and the authority to performing saving ordinances exists on the earth today. I have also come to love the temple. I haven´t had the chance to go to the Santiago temple, nor will I be able to right now, but the temple is so very important. I've been able to learn more about Family History, and the importance it has in hastening the work. We are so incredibly lucky to live in Utah and have so many temples nearby. So many people have a hard time traveling 8 hours to Santiago, and would do ANYTHING to go to the Salt Lake temple. They talk about it a ton here, and we´re so privileged to live right by it, and also plenty of other temples we can easily go to. I know a living prophet guides us in these Latter-Days. I know he receives revelation for us and is called of God. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father. He has a body just like us, and loves each and every one of us. I know Satan is real, and will do anything to get us to sin, in hopes we will fall and not return to live with our Father in Heaven again. I know sometimes we will have doubts or questions, but that´s when we need to ask in sincere prayer, and it will be given unto us if it´s God´s will. We will have a lot of struggles in life. God does that to test our faith and our patience. We just need to learn to put our trust in God, and our confidence, and He will help us. It´s all part of the plan, and we´re here to progress to become more like Him. The mission has helped me to understand these things even more, even though I don´t know everything and still have a long ways to go. I've put a lot of goals to keep studying, progressing, and strengthening my testimony no matter what. I've learned what really is important in life, and what really isn't. One thing that is important is obviously... THE FAMILY. I've grown to love the country of Chile, the language, and the people I've met. I've realized people are all the same no matter where they live. Before coming here, I always thought of people from different countries as just weird. But they´re not. They´re just regular people just like us, who like to do what we like to do, eat what we eat, wear the clothes that we wear, but perhaps just speak a different language. I´m grateful for all the experience I have gained and for all that I have learned. I've also learned to be grateful for all the little things. For example, Mom, thanks for writing me every single week, without fail. Dad, thanks for all your letters and advice. Thanks everyone else for all the pictures, videos, and letters as well. They kept me going. I´m going to give it my all this last week, and help as many people as I can. 

   I think next week I have P-Day until 3:30 or so, so I should be able to get a letter off. We had 3 people in church with a baptismal date. Church was awesome this week.. there was 235 people that attended. It´s usually like 180, but like 30 people came from other wards for baby blessings. Either way, we had more than normal. Next week, the ward mission leader asked me to give a talk. I was happy to because I´ll be able to have a little more time to prepare it, and also share my experiences on the mission. Tomorrow we have to go to Concepción for mission council, and we will be teaching zone class on Friday. Hopefully all goes well. I think we will be doing a zone fast on Friday to help all the people that came to church with a baptism date this week to keep progressing. Last week for a zone activity we went and played soccer, and this week a few of us went to have a barbecue with a few others from the other zone as a goodbye party for me and Elder H. I was looking forward to traveling back with Elder H, but his parents are coming to pick him up. Anyways that´s about it for this week. I´ll see if I can get a letter sent off next week. I love you all so much... and can´t wait to see everyone! ELDER NEILSON 

The mission... too dope!‏

January 26,2015
Hey hey hey how how how is is is it it it going going going? Thanks Mom for your letter.. first of all I´m glad to hear that Aftyn is doing well. I was wondering about that all week. One day out of nowhere I was just walking and I just got this distinct feeling that I needed to hurry and pray for her. It was so weird but it was SO obvious that I had to do it... so I did. I´m glad to hear she´s at home. What a baller. This week was pretty awesome. We worked our butts off this week.. and we found 2 new solid investigators. I had a mini.cambio with Elder M.. my son.. and we found an investigator named R. She is like 80, and she was so excited to see us so she hurried and let us in. She talked a ton, but the next day we went back again and committed her to church with a baptism date for February 8th. The bishop now wants baptisms on Sunday so that´s why. Anyways she came to church and LOVED it! She saw her neighbor there which was awesome, and she really enjoyed it. She had a book of mormon already in her house, and she´s a funny lady. We´re going to pass by again today, and see what she honestly thought of church. I´ll keep you posted. Another guy we found is named P.  We got the reference from Elder H, and we went to go find him. He let us right in, and had some of his own ideas. After talking awhile about baptism and about everything he already knew (he has read the entire book of mormon and told us he has studied the bible and BOM for 10 years), he told us that getting baptized would be a bad idea. We talked and talked and talked, and then he went to go get his other baptism certificate in a different church to show us. My comp looked at it, and said Hermano, we share about a restoration. We know that Christ´s church was lost, and restored again in these latter days. So was the authority to baptize. We testify that this authority is found in our church. Then out of nowhere, he said.. Let´s do it! I´ll get baptized. Haha it was so random but cool, and he said he wanted to get baptized on the 8th. We committed him to church, and he said he would come. Anyways Sunday came and he didn´t go, but we had an appointment with him afterwards, and he still wanted to get baptized on the 8th. We showed him the baptismal font and everything, and he really wants to do it, but won´t be able to until the 15th now since he didn´t go. That all depends too if he´s already living the Word of Wisdom.. we gotta see. But it was cool to see the power of the Restoration.. it just like clicked and he finally understood. It was a cool experience and I´m hoping he can keep progressing. He´s like 50 or so. Today we went and played soccer with another zone.. it was so fun. Elder M, the elder from Brazil, is really good and we play well together. We scored a lot of goals today and it made me realize I´ll miss playing soccer with latins.. they´re so good haha. Mom that´s cool about your story with Grandma.. make sure you write it down and remember it. I´d love to hear more about it later. About the Rootstech thing.. don´t worry about it. Yeah I wanna see the ballers play in their basketball game.. should be fun. Cleaning day went well... we cleaned the whole house! Let´s just mention it´s already kind of dirty again. The important thing is that it was clean at one point :) What´s up with this cleaning day when I get home? Haha just kidding I¨m down.. cleaning is fun.. but with music. That´s how I roll. So yeah I got my travel plans.. looks like 10:30 am on the 11th.. if I understood the plans right. Will everyone be able to be there? A couple of my friends are asking me about it because they wanna be there.. are they invited too or is this just some type of family thing? Thanks again for the new bed Jeffrey and Teresa.. is it way big or pretty normal? Well, I´m gonna get this letter signed off. Gotta keep working hard and taking advantage of how awesome the mission is. Even though it´s really hot. I´ve gotten used to it though. Thanks for everything you guys do.. and also thanks for the pictures of the kiddos. I´m definitely so grateful for you guys and miss and love you guys a ton. Mom, I loved the list of 34 ways to be a happy missionary. I definitely have the SICKEST family. Talk to you guys next week!!     Elder Neilson
Heading to play soccer on p-day

Monday, January 19, 2015

Get better Aftyn! :(‏

Hey everybody! Just wanna give a shoutout to my niece Aftyn for fighting through everything. Just know I continue to pray for the Lund´s and obviously for Aftyn. It´s obvious she´s a baller. I feel bad for Robyn and Brian, and my nephews. I´m sure they´re looking forward to having everything back to normal again. Love you guys! Anyways thanks for the updates and the pictures. This week was pretty good. We went all out trying to find some more investigators, but when church game around, only one came. His name is J. He´s a really old guy.. like 80, and he showed up to church on his own early. He left after sacrament meeting, and he seemed to really enjoy it. He keeps talking about going up north for awhile, but he´s not sure when he´s going to be going. Anyways we showed him the baptismal font and he liked it, but he´s already been baptized like 3 times in his life. Anyways we´re working well with a member so he can help him, and we´ll see what happens. We haven´t heard any more about J, so that´s weird. As for the things coming up this week... we have zone conference tomorrow. There I will be giving my final testimony which will be really weird. Also tomorrow, we have a mini-transfer with the assistants. They´ll be coming here to be with us for the day, so we have to plan extra today since we´ll have 4 missionaries in our sector.  Cleaning day is on the 22nd. We´ll all be cleaning our houses in the morning that day, and that´s about it. It´s a deep clean so after that day our houses should be all good to go. Elder S is just a senior missionary that studied teaching and did that for work our something, so he teaches us how to be better teachers. We always have his class once every 6 weeks. So last week on Monday we left to go work and had a cool experience. We left and I really needed to go to the bathroom, so we stopped by an old investigator we had. We got in, and after we started sharing a little about family history with her. She looks at us, and says, ¨I have a question to ask you guys.¨ I see you guys walking back and forth on this street, and I decided next time you guys stopped by, I would ask you guys. My husband doesn´t know, but lately I´ve been seeing some weird things. During the middle of the night, I wake up, and I see my ancestors standing there in my room. One of them was in a white gown, and they´re just there. I don´t know what to do, and I don´t know why they´re visiting me because they must of died about 40 years ago. What do you guys think about this? I want to know why you guys think my ancestors have been visiting me.¨ At this moment the pamphlet ¨My Family¨ was just sitting on the table after we had explained why we do family history. My companion and I just look at each other, then at the pamphlet, then just kind of smile. Hahaha it was a cool experience and we obviously explained to her that they wanted her to get baptized so she could go to the temple and do it for them too. We invited her to be baptized on the spot, and she was sooo much more receptive than she had been before. She said she didn´t want to make the decision quite yet because her husband doesn´t really let her do stuff on her own, and she realized it was a big decision. She agreed that God was sending her a sign, and that that´s why her ancestors were visiting her. Anyways we agreed to pass by last Saturday, but she wasn´t there :( Sooooo... we´re still waiting on that. Anyways it was pretty cool. We found some more investigators too, but none of them were able to come to church. We went to play basketball and soccer on Saturday morning like always. We usually just play soccer but there´s a less active teenager that invited his friends to come play against some gringos in basketball.  I´ve gotten a lot better at soccer.. I wouldn´t really call it soccer though. It´s basically we play inside on a small basketball court with a soccer ball, with smaller goals. It´s really fun though and I´ve grown to love it. Thursday we went with member to go do some visits kinda far away from our sector. It´s in our sector, but it´s out in the country. He´s in a wheelchair and drives with hand controls, but he´s a cool guy. He always needs a parter to do his visits with, and we need a car to do all the visits out there, so it works out for the best of us. While we´re with him we´re able to visit 2 recent converts, so it´s nice. Whenever we´re with him though, we always take soooo long because he talks a lot, so we usually always get home late. Like 2 weeks ago we get to his house for lunch, and he tells us we need to start doing the barbecue. It took so long and we got back to the house like 2 or 3 hours late haha. On Friday we did 3 different types of service in the morning, one that included lifting the heaviest piece of metal I have ever seen and carry it inside the house. Another one we painted some rooms in the house, and another service we fixed a light bulb thing. Okay so that´s once again all I can think of. I´ve been thinking a lot about Aftyn and wondering how she´s doing. I got mom´s email about an hour ago that said it´s looking like she´s improving, and they took her out of the PICU. That´s good news and I hope she continues to get better. I would like to share a scripture with Robyn and Brian.. and invite them to put their name in where it says Shiblon. It´s helped me a lot on my mission, and I hope they have a chance to read it. Alma 38:5. I know that if we trust in God, He will help us overcome our trials. I love you guys so much just so you know! I wish I could be there to help with everything, but I´m glad Mom and Dad were able to get some days off work to help. Too bad for Carter and Brielle too with the flu... everybody get better okay? :) Anyways I love you all and I´ll talk to you all next week!


Hello again... I feel like my letters are all basically the same thing every single week haha. Anyways first off, I´ve been praying for Aftyn every single day so I´ll continue to do that. I hope all is well and she´s recovering. Thanks for all the letters and pictures.. I love reading through all the emails.. definitely a highlight of every week. Well today, we went and played paintball. It was pretty fun.. I felt like I was in Call of Duty.. we played in the woods and it made me miss my xbox... hahahaha just saying. Anyways we went with the whole zone and it turned out well. It was really hot though but I think the zone enjoyed it. As for our investigators... well we haven´t heard from J. She was doing really really well, but she didn´t show up to the appointment we had with her. We heard from a member that knows her that her grandma got really really sick and was in the hospital. That´s probably why.
She had problems with her phone before, so it´s been a little tough to get in contact with her. We´ll figure it out though. F didn´t come to church because his family is on vacation. S wasn´t able to come to church this week because she was sick, but N came and is progressing pretty well. We´ve been talking about the priesthood with him and he still wants a little more time, but he´s good to come to church for all 3 hours by himself now. It´s still incredibly hot but I´m getting used to it. We just try and plan some good appointments at the hottest times of the days. The sun takes a lot of of us though and by the end of the day we´re just dead. The thing that keeps me going halfway through the day is a nice ice cold coke.. :) so goooooood.  This week there´s not a whole lot going on.. just keep working to see if we can find some more investigators and help them progress. We´re going to go all out this week to find people so we´ll see what happens.
    Hopefully Utah basketball can keep it going.. that´d be sick to beat Arizona and ASU. March Madness is gonna be SICK! Yes, I did get the pictures of the kids in my Christmas package. I loved them. I even loved them so much that I had to show them to the other missionaries I live with haha. They thought the kids looked like ballers... obviously. Travel plans I don´t know.. I haven´t heard anything. I´ll keep you guys updated. When I get the plans, you guys probably will too. And with the temple.. like I said, go ahead and send off a little message.. I think that would be a good idea. I wanna go so bad. I´m glad Gleagal´s homecoming went well.. he emailed me and says he´s doing well. I also get emails from his big jay. He´s so funny hahaha. That´s all I can think of for this week. Just been doing the same old same old enjoying the mission life trying to not get too hot. How´s the weather there now? Is it pretty cold? I think that´ll be awesome going from here to there.. it´s so ridiculously hot like I can´t explain it haha. I love you all though and I hope all is well with the Lund family. I will continue to pray for you guys. Keep doing work back at home and I´ll talk to you guys next week!!!!! 

Monday, January 5, 2015


January 5, 2015
First off, I just wanna say how much I wanna see baby Aftyn. She looks so freaking cute.. I can´t believe I have 2 nieces I don´t even know yet.. it´s crazy. I´ll give you guys a quick update on the week real quick, then just some thoughts I had while reading your letters and looking at the pictures. The week has been pretty good.  Saturday was EXTREMELY hot. Sunday too... it got up to about 104 degrees on Sunday, and like 100 on Saturday. To top it off, Saturday was fast sunday so we were out from 3:30 to 10:00 in hot weather without water. It was difficult I´m not going to lie, but we just kept at it. At 9:30 we get a call from a member telling us our clothes are clean and then we need to go pick it up. We drop our plans we had, and go pick up our clothes. On the way, we contacted a guy named V. Anyways he told us he wanted to hear our message, and then we could pass by anytime. He actually lives 2 houses down from the member that had our clothes. We get our clothes, and start walking home. Then we think.. why don´t we just go to him now? So we turn around, walk 10 minutes back to his house, and share with him. We shared about baptism, and he said he would get baptized if God answered his prayer. We invited him to church, and to be baptized on January 24th.  He came to church and enjoyed it, and after sacrament meeting he had to go home. I asked when we could go back, and he said he wanted to meditate a bit in his house and stuff first. We haven´t talked to him since, but he seemed to like church. I´ll keep you guys updated. J is doing really well. She had to work on Sunday, but she said that should be the last Sunday she should have to work. We had an appointment with her, and she told us that she had read the chapter we left her in the Book of Mormon. She said she continues to feel that warm feeling when she reads. She also said she feels so good in the church (that´s where we meet with her) and she´s feels super tranquila... (tranquil? Or just calm or whatever I don´t really remember the word) She´s progressing really well. We verified about her baptism date on the 24th and she said she was talking to her friend about it (returned missionary of 10 meses) and that she had told him she feels it MIGHT be a little soon, but the member told her that was Satan putting those doubts into her mind. She proceeded to tell us that she felt pretty good about the 24th, but will continue to pray about it. We brought a member with us that actually lives by her, and after the appointment they went to basically Walmart I guess and went shopping. Haha we´re excited for her so pray for V and her. S came to church and so did N, so they´re also progressing well. The mission is awesome when you have people progressing and people to teach. I know how much I´m going to miss it. It´s also very hard, stressful, and tiring. Walking 6 and a half hours a day in 100 degree weather obviously isn´t the most exciting thing and won´t be something I miss, but teaching people, seeing the changes in them, making an impact on their life, and just all around Chile is something I will definitely miss. Anyways, we had mission counsel today again. We learned a little bit more about how to work with the members. We will be teaching zone class this Thursday, so hopefully all goes well. They took some pictures of a balloon activity we did to help us understand the work with the members even more so you can look at the blog and see if they post them. That´s about all for this week. We´ll be meeting with J here pretty soon, and she´s definitely our best investigator. Also F's parents came to church to do a baby blessing, but he couldn´t because he was with his real dad. 
       While reading Mom´s letter, and seeing the pictures, it made me really think about our life before coming here. I started thinking about how sad we get when someone passes on from this life. That made me think of all the people that were with Aftyn at 8:05. I obviously pictured Grandma Neilson for one, and just thought how hard it probably was for her to say goodbye to Aftyn. I´m sure they understand God´s plan well, but I imagine it´s still pretty hard for them. The joy we get as we see a new member come into the family is amazing. We know that child is so pure as it just came from God´s presence. As people here, it´s honestly a privilege to be here on this earth. We know that we need to learn a lot, and progress and become more like our Heavenly Father. It is hard yes, we all know, but that´s why we have families, the Gospel, leaders, the scriptures, and prayer. The veil obviously impides us from remembering our life before we got here, but that´s why we must act on faith. We must act on faith in order to be able to overcome our trials. We are born into this earth pure, we learn and progress, and our mortal bodies grow old. How great it is to be able to read Alma 40:11-12 and have that hope that one day we will live with our Father in Heaven. For us to be able to do that, we need to do what we are asked on this earth. We need to learn how to apply the atonement in our lives. Many people believe in Christ, but don´t know how to apply the atonement personally to them in their own lives. (Jon touched this subject with a quote he sent me) That is why we have this Gospel. The Gospel helps us to learn more about Christ, his atonement, and to progress and receive the saving ordinanes that we need. That is why it is so important to raise children in this Gospel in a loving and caring family, like I have been. I´m so grateful for that and the mission has definitely helped me to understand that a little more. We all have weaknesses, but as we rely on prayer, those weaknesses become strenghths. Anyways, those are just a couple thoughts I had. But wow, Aftyn is freaking adorable and I just wanna hold her and Brielle at the same time :) I´m glad all turned out well.. I was definitely praying for you guys. 
        Thanks for the updates on Utah. Sounds like they´re freaking killing it in basketball. Can´t wait for some March Madness... gonna be so sick! As for football, hopefully Whit stays and can hire some good coaches. Keep me updated. So Gleason´s home.. that´s crazy. Jay emailed me and told me how awesome it is to have him back.. Jay is such a baller. As for the bed situation, go ahead and get the new bed. I think it´ll be nice having a longer bed for my long legs. It´ll be better to have the double bed in the other room for the nefies. (nephews)  Yes Mom, you´re the only one that tells me I¨m the cutest missionary... :´(  hahaha anyways I love you all and I´ll talk to you guys all next week!

p.s. I got my harddrive... thanks so much!!! :)
Baby Aftyn 6 days old

What the freak Utah? HAPPY NEW YEAR!‏

December 29, 2014
Hello everyone.. it hasn´t been very long but how´s it all going? I enjoyed talking to everyone on Christmas.. kinda difficult talking with everyone at once but what can you do with a big family like we have right? Anyways it was nice talking to you peeps and seeing everyone. Seems like you guys all enjoyed your Christmas.. and are now getting ready for baby Aftyn and the New Year!!! I can´t believe it´s already 2015. Thanks for making all the adjustments to be able to be there to talk. Okay.. so like you all know.. we have transfers this week. And.... I´m a little disappointed. Elder S, who I get along with really well, will be leaving to go to Andalien, which is right next to Santa Sabina. I wanted to stay with him another transfer here, but oh well. My new companion will be Elder G, from Argentina. I know him quite well because he was a district leader for 3 transfers when I was his zone leader in Concepción. He´s a really nice kid. I know that´s what was supposed to happen. Elder H´s companion from Mexico went home because he finished, so his new companion will be someone from Brazil. I don´t know him, but we´ll see how this transfer goes. I´m kinda disappointed because Elder S and I were working really well and gaining the trust of the members, but changes are always good too.. just after getting adjusted. It's hard sometimes having to adjust ALL THE TIME to new people and places on the mission, but that´s just how it is haha. Yes, our activity was pretty fun. We played some fun games, and some sports, and it turned out pretty well. I think all the missionaries enjoyed it. Anyways there´s not a whole lot more to tell you guys.. we´ll be working hard with our investigators we have, and also with S and N, who got baptized recently. We´re still working with F, who is a 14 year old son of less actives. He had a baptism date for January 17th and was committed to church, but for some reason his family didn´t show up. We plan on going by today to see what happened, because they weren´t answering their phone. As for J, we´ve had troubles getting a hold of her.  I´ll keep you guys updated. I´m kinda confused with the whole Utah Football thing. Like I get what´s going on but what the freak. If Whittingham leaves, I have a feeling we´ll have a rough couple of years. They should just figure that out. Please keep me updated... sounds pretty crazy.  
 I´ll be praying for Robyn and baby Aftyn. I can´t believe I´m going to have another niece I don´t know. I leave with 4 nephews, and I´ll go back to 4 nephews and 2 nieces. So crazy... hope all goes well. I want lots of pictures by the way!!! I didn´t know Cody got married.. who´s his wife? Have I ever seen her? I don´t remember. Yeah I´ve been writing to Gleason.. he´s getting ready to go home and is pretty excited. I´ve been in contact with him and he has seemed to enjoy the mission.   Well, I hope you guys all have a good week and enjoy the New Year. Be careful and like I said... make sure to take lots of pictures of baby Aftyn! I love you all and I´ll talk to you guys all next week!! 


December 22, 2014
Sara's baptism celebration
 Two-nosed dog
 Nelson's baptism
 Sara's baptism

BALLIN. How´s it going? Thanks Mother for your letter.. I always seem to get Dad´s a week late... I´m guessing he writes me at work when he gets the chance. Anyways, this week was.. yep you guessed it. Busy. To answer your question Mom, we played basketball last week! It was so sick. We played against a high school, inside, but on a crappy and slippery court. Anyways we ended up winning! It started out a little rough, and I was so rusty, but we picked it up towards the end. They were actually pretty decent.. better and bigger than I thought they would be. Elder D, who also played basketball in high school and I just did pick and roll all day. It was awesome and it felt SOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOOD to get out and run and play basketball. Before the game, we all went and bought sick snapbacks (hats) to show up to the game.. hahaha yeah we´re pretty sick. About my tooth.. I set up an appointment for Wednesday in the morning to go see him, but I don´t think I´ll go. You mentioned it would probably be better to wait to see Dr. Baugh, and I agree. I talked to Elder B here in the zone who went last week, and he said they charged him 30 bucks just to space the tooth out, and he also has to go back in again on Wednesday. And he said they don´t even have an X-Ray machine, so I´m thinking I¨ll just wait. Is it dangerous to wait too long if you have a cavity? Well I know it is, but what´s the time limit? 
     So this week we´ve been working hard to find more investigators.  I told Elder S early on that if we just worked hard and did all we could, I felt like we would get a reference from a member at the Christmas activity on Friday. We worked really hard, but nothing happened at the activity. I´ll explain more in a second. At that activity we had a family night, which consisted of a movie, talent show, and food. There were like no members that participated, and right before, I taught all the missionaries the skit we did in Laguna Redonda, my last sector. We did it again, and wow the members absolutely LOVED it, just like last time. Hahaha we definitely saved the talent show because all the members that were going to participate flaked out.  Elder H is really good at the piano, so he played a couple songs and the members also enjoyed it. Anyways S came to that activity and she said she fell asleep right before our skit, and when we started screaming and acting she woke up all scared. Haha she´s such a funny lady. Anyways we had put a goal at the beginning of the week with the zone. We have been doing really well with baptisms this month, but don´t have hardly anybody progressing for January. We put the goal of having 12 new people in church with a baptismal date, which would be 1 person every companionship. We didn´t achieve it, or even get really close, but we were trying really hard to find one new person to bring. Anyways, after church, a member from a different ward, comes up to us, asks us if a certain street is in our sector, and after we say yes, he says, ¨Merry Christmas¨ and points to his friend that´s a girl. He told us she had interest in the church, and that he had already told her the first discussion. By the way, he´s a returned missionary of 10 months that served in Brasil. He works with this girl, and she´s awesome. She woke up Sunday morning at 5:30 just to read the Book of Mormon, and had loved church. (She went to church in a different ward in the stake where the returned missionary is from). Anyways we got her number and we need to call her to set up a return appointment so we can teach her, and possibly her family. We´re excited for her and hopefully she progresses. Pray for her please.. her name is J. N is doing well. He had an interview with the bishop about the priesthood, and we also talked to him about it, but wants to wait a little bit before he receives it. He came to church yesterday, and seems to be progressing pretty well. For this week, it will be really busy. We have the Christmsa conference tomorrow, which will last from 9-4:30 about. We made our skit which will be really funny, but haven´t had a ton of time to practice it. We´ll have to get there a little early tomorrow to practice it. On the 24th, we should be going to a hospital to sing as a zone. We had to do a service before the 25th, and what we had originally planned out isn´t going to work out. S´s daughter yesterday told us we weren´t going to be able to do it where she works, so now we´re left to hurry and see if we can go to the hospital to sing. The 24th in the night, we´ll be eating dinner with the ward mission leader´s family, which is awesome. That´s what they all do here... they eat dinner the 24th like at 11 or 12 or so. We have to be in the house at 11, so we´re obviously going to do it earlier. We will also be skyping from their house, and it looks like we decided to do it at about 2 our time. So Mom, that would be 10:00 your time. Like always, have the email pulled up and everything so we can communicate if something doesn´t work right. Also, have all the phones and everything there in the house disconnected from wi-fi. It should be pretty good internet at the ward mission leader´s house, so hopefully all goes well. It will be crazy talking again... it´s been 7 months or so. I´m not sure how long I´ll be able to talk for, but we´ll see what happens. Don´t count for EXACTLY at 2, because we need to fix our lunch schedule so we can eat earlier. Just somewhere around 2 we should be calling. If it´s later, or even like at 3, don´t worry. I´ll figure it out. For the activity that day, it will last 3 hours. The first hour we will be doing minute to win it games, the second hour a movie (We don´t know which one yet), and the 3rd hour, we will play sports and eat some food. It should be fun, and today we gotta go buy some stuff for the minute to win it games. 
     I loved the story of Teagan and the presents.... hahaha he´s so funny. Tell him I would love to see him open the presents when we skype.. I can´t wait to see those nerds. By the way, Happy Anniversary!!!! I actually thought about this week, and hope you guys enjoyed the day 33 years.That's all I can think of to update you guys on. We´ll be talking on Thursday so it´s all good! Is DJ Teaskie gonna be there? I hope so. I´m gonna try and send some pictures of S and N's baptism. Thanks for everything.

It´s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.... not.‏

December 15, 2014
Well well well... how are the dudes back in Utah doing? From the updates I got, sounds like everyone is doing well, and a little busy with the Christmas season. I, also, have been so extremely busy. We´ve had to do so much stuff to get ready for all these Christmas activities and such, and it´s a little stressful. Anyways, I´ll talk about that a little later on. This week, N got baptized!!! He was baptized on Saturday, and was confirmed yesterday. It was awesome, and he seems to be doing really well. I have some pictures, so if I have time I´ll see if I can send them off. We´ve found a couple new people to teach, but none of them were able to come to church.. pretty normal. Anyways we had done a family night with him, his girlfriend (a member in the stake), and our ward mission´s leader family. It went really well. The ward mission leader here is awesome.. and so is his family. All the young single adults in the ward are always hanging out at their house, and their son reminds me so much of Jon. He plays the piano, and is just like Jon haha it´s weird. Anyways the ward mission leader is really good and is always willing to help us. As for all the Christmas stuff... we have the conference here in Chillán with all the mission on the 23rd. We have to come up with a 3-5 minute skit or song, so we all met together and practiced.  I love all the other missionaries in the zone. We´re all way cool with each other. We came up with a good idea though.. and it should be pretty funny. We haven´t quite figured out about the service on the 22nd or so quite yet.. we´re still figuring it out. Also, we have to plan out the activity on Christmas for all the missionaries in Chillán. It´s honestly so much going on, added on to all the other responsibilities, and it´s been pretty stressful. Oh well.  It´s crazy Christmas is almost here.. I´m pretty excited. It´s weird with how hot it is. I did get my Christmas package, but haven´t quite gotten the hard drive. It´s probably in Concepción, and they´ll be bringing it on the 23rd or so. I´ll keep you guys updated. Anyways we´ve been teaching another less active family that has a 14 year old boy and an 8 year old girl that aren´t baptized.  The parents said they want to return to church, and they´re doing pretty well. It had been a little tough because she was pregnant and like last week finally had her baby. She was way overdue. Anyways the little girl loves when we go over because I do magic tricks to her with my cards. (Does a certain someone remember my magic tricks I used to do?)  Yes, Heather, I knew you would :) They all came to church, but F didn´t because he said he was tired in the morning. It might be a little tough because every other week he´s at his Dad´s house, because they´re divorced. We´ll see what happens. Yesterday at church, 5 minutes before starting sacrament meeting, the 2nd counselor comes down to us and tells me and Elder Sperry they need one of us to speak for 15 minutes. Elder S shared a little message in N´s baptism, so it was my turn to speak. I hurried and TRIED to prepare something, and as they go to announce that it´s my turn, they out of nowhere announce Elder S would be speaking afterwards too. Haha the face of Elder S was sooooooo funny. Anyways the talks turned out well considering how little of time we had to prepare.  We were going to watch a rebroadcast of the Christmas devotional in the church, but N didn´t end up showing up with his girlfriend because they couldn´t, so we left to go visit some people. I heard it was good though. I´m glad you guys enjoyed the Muppet thing.. sounds like it was fun. A member in the stake talked to another missonary, and is the principal of a high school year. Anyways they wanted to get some missionaries to go play a real legit game of basketball against their high school, so we´re playing here in like 2 hours. We got permission from the president, and we´re pretty excited. There´s 8 of us that´s going to play from our zone. I´m not sure how legit the game will be, but maybe I´ll get some pictures and send them next week. It should be pretty fun. As for Skype on Christmas, we´re not exactly sure what time we´ll be calling because we still haven´t quite planned the activity. I´m not sure the hour difference between here and there, but the activity here will probably start at 4, and we´d probably like to skype before. It would probably be around 2 or so we´re thinking.. hopefully everybody would be able to arrange that. The other possibility we were thinking was doing it after the activity.. which would be around 7 or 8, but we´re leaning towards before. Would that be possible? I loved all the pictures.. of Bella, our Christmas card, and the ballers balling it up. Bella is so freaking cute. Does she still like to play with frisbees or has she gotten lazy? I´m proud of Carter for giving his talk... sounds like he´s a genius haha. Anyways can´t think of anything else, just keep pushing and doing your thing my homies.. hope all is well and that you guys are enjoying the Christmas season. I love you all and I´ll talk to you all next week!!!!! 

When it seems the magic´s slipped away.. we find it all again on Christmas Day

December 8, 2014

Hey family! Thanks for the updates on the warm life back at home.. and the picture of Dallin. Haha he looks so funny. What a nerd. It´s really really hot here... but I´m getting used to it. Also, I was disappointed hearing Utah is going to the Vegas Bowl to play a MWC team.. haha but anyways good luck and they better wreck Colorado St. So this week was....
.. NOT VERY EXCITING! Haha just a regular week. Actually an activity that we did on Saturday turned out really well. All week we were going into government buildings and such to get permission to do the ¨He is the Gift¨ video in the plaza. We finally got permission, and it turned out awesome. We went in the morning, set up a projector and everything, and we got a ton of people to watch the video. I was honestly surprised how many people actually... (I can´t remember the word in English)... paid attention to us? Something like that but it was cool. We got a lot of references for other sectors so we´re happy about that. As for the devotional, we weren´t able to see it, but I think our ward is going to rebroadcast it and we might go. How was it? We had a family night with N last night, and he´s good to go for his baptism this weekend. He´s progressing very well. We´re excited for that so I´ll let you guys know how it goes next week. The interviews with the President went well. We had to teach him a little about the atonement. Afterwards, he took us as zone leaders out to lunch with the assistants at a nice restaurant in our sector. He basically told me to keep working hard until the end, and I told him that was one of my goals. Anyways, we have been finding some new people to teach. We are going all out with the ¨He is the Gift¨ video trying to show it to all the members and get some references.  We haven´t figured out what we´re going to do for the Christmas activity yet.. we´re still thinking about that. 
     By the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO HEATHER!!! 30 years old... Wow Heather... gettin up there huh? Just kidding :) Hope you had a good day on the 6th.. keep killing it and being a baller. When´s Robyn´s baby due? I can´t remember.. I feel like you guys told me but you guys should tell me again.. :) As for the picture you want Mom.. I didn´t bring my camera with me... but we´ll see maybe if I can next week. Or I´ll see if I can find a picture on one of my pen drives.. if it´ll even show up on the computer that is haha. But yes by next week I´ll for sure send a picture to put on the Christmas card. Just a recommendation.. maybe a different picture other than the one at the cemetery.. that might be better.. just saying. I like that quote by President Kimball Mom.. that was cool. It´s definitely true. That´s cool about the Christmas concert at the conference center.. the muppets?? Haha that´s random but I bet the church will make it cool. Anyways that´s the weekly update I got for you guys... tell Hayden I´ll for sure be giving him some pointers on basketball. How have they been doing? I´d maybe like some pictures if possible too. But thanks for everything and for all your prayers.. I love you all and I´ll talk to you all.... NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!!!