Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013

President Smartt,

            This week was a little frustrating with trying to get our visas extended and what not, but we got it all figured out and we’re now legal to stay here and focus on what we need to do.

            We visited Owen this week up in his home in Capuchin. Owen was one of the older locals that was pitching the church van idea pretty hard last week. Anyways, he has prostate cancer and isn’t feeling well at all. Here on the island they don’t do much to help out with cancer patients, so he’s in a lot of pain. He doesn’t have frequent visitors, either, because of the distance he lives from the main town. He was so happy to see us and to spend some time with us. Last Sunday was his 10 year anniversary of being baptized and has a picture of his baptism prominently displayed on his wall, next to a picture of President Monson and the temple. He doesn’t have a car, andSunday public transportation is a joke here, so most of the time he walks the 6 miles to church down the “road.” He is 70 years old and has been doing that for 10 years. It is amazing to me that he has a strong enough testimony and is willing to make that kind of sacrifice to be able to come to church and partake of the sacrament. I’m not sure how long he’ll be able to hold on, but now that we will have a vehicle we will be able to go up and visit him more frequently and I am really looking forward to that.

            Kelly told us this week that she doesn’t want to have “bible study” anymore with us. We were confused and called her to see what was going on, but we couldn’t really understand her. She did, however, come to church this week for the first time in a while. She explained the situation more there. Apparently, one of her neighbors told her that if he saw us coming by again, he could come over and harass us and make us feel bad in front of her. She doesn’t want that, so she asked us to not come back anymore. We still need to talk to her more and figure out what we are going to do. We didn’t have a chance after church because we had to leave Portsmouth early to make it to Roseau sacrament meeting. We met the branch there and started to get a feel for what it will be like there. We look forward to helping the group to become a branch and strengthening the members here.

Elder Nielson

Happy Birthday, Mom! I hope you had a great day. I was braggin to everyone yesterday at church that it was your birthday, even if they thought i was a little weird. 
Well, more news.. so apparently the most consistent thing in this mission in change, my heavens. As of now, we've been informed that no new elders will be coming to the island and that we will both be moved to Roseau startingthis sunday que viene. Let me tell you the story of how we figured that out. but before i tell you that story, i have to tell you this story..
So. when we arrived on the island, we were supposed to have 3 months on our visas. well, we realized last week on sunday that they only gave me 2 months and only gave fournier 1 month. So, that was a problem hah. he's been living here illegally for a month. anyways, we went to the immigration office and waited in a super long line, only to find out that we have to fill out some information sheet. we did that and then waited in line again. when we got to the front of the line, they asked for our return tickets. What? to extend, you must have a return ticket already purchased to prove you'll leave the island. so all of that for nothing. we wasted a whole day. You think the DMV is bad, come to the immigration office in Dominica, or anywhere in dominica for that matter haha.. anyways, we came back to the seniors apt and called the office and told them that we needed an itinerary like yesterday, so we can extend our visas and not go to jail. we ended up staying the night here in Roseau and were going to go back in the morning to the place, but the office never sent us our papers. so we had to go back to portsmouth for the day. at the end of the day, we had to come back to roseau. im not sure if i've explained the drive from portsmouth to roseau to you. it's like the Ortega had a baby with Lombard street in san francisco. it's terrible. up and down, left and right. it's terrible. plus we're crammed into these tiny buses where they cram at least 16 people before they'll leave, and pick up stragglers along the way. we're like sardines in there. plus, im fat, so it's miserable. anyways,thursday, we finally got it all squared away. we went back to portsmouth with the senior couple.
alright, now the other story. so we went with the martinez's to our new apt to get the lease all signed and finalized. we sat there for an hour and went through it all and got it all signed. literally 12 seconds after we shook their hands, we got a phone call from the office saying "dont rent that new apt because president smartt has changed his mind." do you konw how embarrassing it was to look at Marcus (the landlord) and say "oh nevermind." He had just got done explaining how happy he was to find tenants that would be quiet and respectful, and how just the day prior a guy came and wanted to rent that apt, but he had to tell him that we already took it.  we're also lucky that we were able to take it back, because usually if you sign a lease, it's signed! So now we dont have a place to stay in portsmouth, because we already gave our landlord here 30 days notice. My gosh. so we have to live in Roseau. BUT, we're expected to be in sacrament meeting in both portsmouth and in roseau. problem is, P is at 10, and R is at 11. it takes and hour to drive the 28 miles between towns. so yeah, not sure how that will work. also we got a letter today from president smartt saying "it was great to meet you last week. you and your companion are great missionaries. i'm glad to know that the island is in good hands. keep working hard and get ready, because in the next few weeks more will be expected of you."  whatttt? our life is already impossible as it is! ahhh. so idk what that means, that'll be interesting to see what happens. but yeah, i dont believe anything now until it happens haha
We met the Roseau group yesterday (they arent even a branch, just called a family group). there are only like 13 members that come. we're going to change that though. gotta get them to be a branch. One sister is named sister walther. shes from switzerland, but has been living here since 2003. shes from near Zurich. I told her that dad lived there, but i didnt know anything else about it. so if you could give me a couple details about that that would be cool. from what we've heard, shes a pain in the neck and if you're on her bad side, it's no bueno. so if i could talk to her about that and get on her good side, that would be ideal. i can hardly hold in the laughter when she talks though with her funny accent haha
Sounds like everything is going well for everyone. oh yeah, i do have an issue with greg getting a NEW CAR. WHAT THE EFF. are you kidding me. he better have to pay for ALL of his gas. i dont want to hear ANY complaints about moving. i'm upset.
Keep working hard and stop buying new cars, unless you get me one too.

Much Love!
Elder Nielson

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