Thursday, March 13, 2014

Beautiful Puerto Rico Sunset


March 10, 2014

hey!

it´s raining right now...

everyone sick huh? man. that sucks. sorry! if it makes you feel any better, i´ve had diarrhea for the last 361 days of my life! it all started on monday, march 11, 2013, when greg and i went with jake, christian, and matt to super china buffet haha. yikes. bet mistake of my life..

can you believe that i´ve been a missionary for a whole year!? crazy! half way done. thursday night im gunna burn a shirt! woo! a year ago, greg was staying home all day to watch prison break. man, i miss the good old days!

 so on thursday this week, some random dude gave us a ride to the pueblo, which i obviously didnt deny.. as we were about to get outta the car, he said can i pray for you guys?  we said yeah sure, dale (dah-lay) (it means go for it).. he starts out Oh eternal celestial father, beloved lord, jehovah papa, BLESS THESE YOUNG MEN AS THEY DO YOUR WORK. HEAL THEIR BODIES, TAKE AWAY THEIR DIABETES, HEAL THEIR KIDNEYS, THEIR BACK ACHES, THEIR KNEES, THEIR DIGESTIVE SYSTEMS, THEIR MINDS, GIVE THEM STRENGTH. TAKE AWAY ALL OF THE EVIL THAT SUROUNDS THEM. BLESS THEIR FAMILIES. HALLELUJAH!! JEHOVAH!! man. he was YELLING. but i mean, YELLING. for ten minutes straight. ten minutEs i a really long time to be yelling to god. man, it was nuts. when he started naming all of the random body parts to be healed, i was saying in my mind say shoulder say shoulder say shoulder hahah. i had faith in that dudes prayer. if he had said shoulder, i for sure would have been healed.... hahahah oh my gosh. it was so funny. wont forget that.

what else. i dont know. not too much happened this week. just routine. arroyo is really slow. i really hope my streak of being in my areas no more than 2 transfers keeps going. but, i figure that i´ll still be here for longer with my present comp becaue god has a sense of humor and does things that like :) haha. BUT, elder mello goes home at the end of this transfer, so there will be a space open in dominica. I´m hoping that i´ll make a comeback to dominica!! i really want too back. that´s for sure been my favorite place so far. pray for that!

my Portuguese book of mormon got here in the mail today. AHH YEAH. im gunna learn portuguese. elder tejeda speaks it fluently, so he´s been my teacher for the last little bit. woo hoo! O Livro De Mormon. Outro testamento de jesus cristo.

thats what i´ve got for this week. thanks for everything! i love you all! 

have a great week! 

Elder Nielson

president smartt, 

this week was great! on wednesday, we were able to meet the mother of one of the members here in the branch. Her name is eugenia. we talked to her about the plan of salvation. apparently she has been an investigator for many years, but never has been baptized. we had a really good lesson with her and this sunday, she came to church! it made me so happy to see her there. we havent seen too many results of our hard work, but having her there was awesome. there was also a less active member named Carmen who came tp church this week with her 3 kids. all 4 of us missionaries here were super happy. Litle things like that make it all worth it. 

On friday we went on exchanges, and i worked with Elder tejeda. he´s a really good missionary, and i really enjoyed the day that i had with him. we worked in patillas, and had some lessons with less active members. Elder tejeda is a lot like me, and i hink that´s why i enjoyed being with him. He has a really strong testimony, teaches really well, and uses his good personality to help him connect with the other people. I have noticed that sometimes missionaries try to change who they are and be super serious all of the time, but it sometimes seems like they´re being unnatural. but with elder tejeda, we were able to use our fun personalities to our advantage. Overall, great day!

this transfer hasn´t been an easy one, but overall i can´t complain. i know do complain a lot, but i´m trying to work on that. I´m really trying to work on gratitude and humility, which are definitely 2 things i can improve. And i can tell i´m definitely developing patience!

So this week i hit my one year mark. I have been thinking about what you said in my interview a while ago, and have been trying to set goals for the year that i have left. one goal is to strengthen my testimony of the atonement. I can tell that when i study the atonement, everything in life makes more sense. through studying the atonement, i have realized my need for developing more gratitude and humility. I am going to strive for that this year that i have left. 

Anyways, thanks president for everything! Have a good week!

Elder Nielson

March 3, 2014

what up familia!
 
so, to start, i am really happy to hear that mom is an office addict. it makes me pumped haha. shes on season 9 and i'm still on 5 i think. or 6. i dont remember. i'll catch up soon.
 
so, no church again huh? i really wish we had snow here. i'm still melting under the 90+ degree weather here in the south of PR. it's ridiculous!
 
so this week. not too much happened. friday i had to do exchanges with the zone leaders, so elder lugo (colombia) came down from barranquitas and my companion went up to be with elder baldwin. we can just say that friday was the best day i've had in the last 3 weeks! i was happy all day long! it was wonderful! haha. elder lugo and I visited a less active lady in our ward, hna Rosa, who has been in active for like 3 or 4 years. she loves us, always cooks for us, and loves to have us over. her husband, hno pedro, is the most loyal member that we have here in Arroyo. Never fails. always here at church, noche de hogar, everthing.. but his wife, super inactive. she says that her husband isnt a good example of a christian, so to punish him, she doesnt go to church. ridiculous, i know. but it's what we have to deal with as missionaries haha. you wouldnt believe over half of the reasons why people go less active.. anyways, we had an AWESOME lesson with her about the sacrament and the holy ghost, and she said "you know what, i'll be at church this sunday." woo hoo!!! i was so pumped. until sunday.. hah. she didnt come. man, it made me so sad. i wish i just had all of the answers to give to people so they would just come! Ahh! sometimes i think the plan to take away everyones agency was a good idea! haha kidding. but for real. Just come!
 
no, i havent gotten the package yet. i went today, but there wasnt anything there. transfers are the 25 of march, so theres still time.
 
last night i had a meeting in san juan, with all the leaders of the mission. i saw a bunch of the people that were in the mtc with me. but freakin elder moore bailed on me and didnt show up. little poop stain. elder dypwick said that i look like a clown because my suit is so big on me now. took it as a compliment.
 
hey, can you guys find me sam stucki's email address? and bishop tanner? and bishop woodward? i wanna say what up to those guys.
 
can you believe it's march alreay? in 10 days i will have been out for a whole year! also, elder jewkes goes home that day. crazy!
 
so president lebron asked me to play the hymns in church yesterday again. i really hope this doesnt turn into a regular thing. i played josephs smiths first prayer, come follow me, and let the holy spirit guide. woooo.
 
so remember sister felix? the one in my group who got in a car accident and had to be reassigned to the florida mission? she had to go home again, so now shes done for good. she was super sick and had to go to the hospital a few times. the doctors dont know whats wrong with her, the tests haven tbrought anything up yet. just keep her in your prayers! 
 
so for the whole heavenly mother thing. this is what we know. D&C 131:1-4 says that in order to reach the highest part in the celestial kingdom (exaltation), we must be married. D&C 132:15-17 says that if we arent sealed in the temple, we will just be angels for ever, we wont reach exaltation. D&C 132:20-24 says that we will be gods. the plan of salvation is centered in families. why? that's the only way we'll be able to continue having children and progress on and on.. if god didnt have a wife, how would he have children? if god didnt have a wife, why would he command us to be sealed in the temple, to live with our spouse for all eternity? how did god become god? he was a man like us before, and reached exaltation? how did he reach exaltation? he had faith, repented, was baptized, received the holy ghost, got married, endured faithfully to the end, and reached exaltation. now obviously, that is pretty in depth for a new convert, but to answer your question, yes, we do have a heavenly mother. to say that HF doesnt talk about her because he's afraid of her name being mistreated isnt doctrine, but if you want to explain it that way, be my guest haha. it works for little kdis, not so sure about adults though.. you just got to think about it. why does HF have such a strict law of chastity? because he has given us the ability to create life, the same way that he can. it's amazing. that's why it's so important. hopefully that helps.. haha
 
anyways, have a good week! thanks for all of the love! tell grandma and grandpa that i'm sorry, but i dont have a ton of time to respond to them. next week!  
 
love you lots! GO BLUE!
 
Elder Nielson 

Tarantula

Found this in my room!!!

My Best Friend


Elder Brizela 6 Months


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Comp on the Left


Big Blue


February 24, 2014

well, you would think that this week was better, but nah, it wasnt haha. man, i´m definitely in the ¨learning how to endure to the end¨ part of my life haha. to be honest, i´ve learned patience pretty well. i dont get upset, i handle things calmly, and try to resolve problems quietly. BUT, that doesnt mean i dont have the urge to punch people in the face sometimes haha. man. so tuesday was zone conference in caguas. it wa a pain in the butt getting a ride up there. we asked people in the branch if they could help us and no one would. one sister said ´yo no brego con aquellas cosas.¨  (i dont have anything to do with that).  awesome. thatnks for your help hermana.. finally got a ride up there from someone in the other ward in the other city over. ridiculous. anyways, in the car ride there, the member said I cant bring you back, but here is 20 dollars to help pay for the taxi ride home... cool beans. also, we got a ride from a sister, which i thought was against the rules, but i asked my zone leaders THREE different times if it was okay, and they said that yes, now it is okay. cool. so. we get in our zone conference and president smartt says alright, time for Q and A.. people start asking questions about doctrine, the scrp`tures, whther or not adam and eve had belly buttons, you know, the nornmal missionary nonsense. then my wonderful companion raises his hand.. President, the handbook says that we arent supposed to get rides with women, if there isnt another man in the car. why then, in certain districts, does the district leader say that it´s allowed?   President says Who says that it is allowed? It´s not allowed. At this point, the entire caguas zone is looking at me, because they know i´m his district leader. my comp says Oh, just certain DL´s say it´s okay...   President says who told you that that was allowed? comp says my district leader. Elder Nielson, who told you that that was allowed?  I just said No one, i made a mistake. i´m sorry. Presidert says No, it´s not allowed. Everyone clear?   So now i´m looking at my Zone leader like what the heck! i just got hammered in front of 70 missionaries by my comp. so now i thik that it´s over, but wouldnt you know, his hand goes up again.. President, it is supposed that we arent allowed to receive money from other people, other than the missionary fund that we receive each month. why then in certain districts, does the district leader receive money from other people?  President says how much money are you receiving?  my comp says it doesnt matter how much, it just matters... President cuts him off Yeah it does matter, becaus depending on the amount, i might come and work with your district leader for a day!!  haha (i love president smartt). he says No elder, missionaries arent to receive money because if youre here on visa, it´s illegal. so tell ¨whichever district leader¨ that is allowing that that it shouldnt be allowed..   WOW. i got tattled on twice in front of the whole zone. we go outside for our break (because the conference was from 10am to 830pm)  and my zone leader come up to me with some excuse saying that president said this, president said that.. thank you for not telling on me.. i was just like yeah man, it´s cool...   gosh. i´m not receiving a wage out here, i just took 20 bucks so i didnt have to walk home! it´s what they would have spent on gas anyways! and if i didnt use it, i would give it back, LIKE I DID. PLUS, i´m not here on visa, so it´s not illegal! haha joke.  but yeah. awesome.   later, my comp comes up to me and says Can i talk to you for a second?  Sure. whats up.  He says Sorry if that made you feel uncomfortable,but i took the chance i had to ask those question to resolve my doubts... i just said no worries, now we know..   man, that was one of those i wanna punch you in the face moments haha. Alright, just like with the other guy from last week, if there is a problem, TAKE CARE OF IT IN PRIVATE. my goodness. i dont understand whats so hard about that. best part about it? the next day, we´re walking home and a car stops and asks if we need a ride. it´s just a lady, no one else, and what does my comp do? hops right in! i wanted to strangle him. the rest of the night i didnt talk to him because i would have lost it. i wouldve done something really bad haha. probably just words, but still. i´ve been praying that the lord will help me love my companion, but it seems like it´s jut been getting worse. 4 more weeks and then transfers. i can almost guarantee i´ll be with him for more than one transfer, jut because i´m lucky like that..

what else. alright, so saturday night and sunday was stake conference. in cauguas. we didnt get a ride for saturday, so as you can guess, we didnt go. awesome. we had a ride, our branch president, but he called us saturday morning and said that he and his family wasnt goin to go to the conference. so we asked all day long, but no one could take us. miraculously, we got a ride up on sunday morning.  Elder Zivic, one of the seventy, was there. the stake president was conducting and said alright, we will now hear from the stake family choir. the choir stands up, and what do you know, the whole family of the branch president is there!!!  my gosh. i was just like seriously? if you´re gunna lie to me, at least think it through first. sheesh. but better than lying, jut look me in the face like a man and say Look, i dont want to spend gas money on you, and thats it! so yeah. then, president alvarado walks in, because he lives in humacao, part of the caguas stake. i went and said hi to him and he gave me a big hug, like 20 seconds long. it was cool to see him again. 

but yeah, long week. but it wasnt all bad. had some good moments, but couldve been better. maybe they´ll demote me to normal missionary again. that would be fine with me. im sick of seeing how people try really hard to be in leadership, and once theyre there, act like theyre hot stuff. it´s stupid. to get up there in leadership they turn into a lambon (snitch) to prove that they are so much more righteous than everyone else. everyone has their weaknesses and makes mistakes. we should help them to overcome them and be supportive, not be a snitch and act like a hypocrite all the time.. 

anyways, thanks for the box! everyone was happy to get their treats. and the bars are working great. the only problem is that they are gunna run out on friday hah. so if you could send more, that would be great! my favorite are the normal chocolate crunch ones. so more of thoe then the rest, but i like them all. thanks!

oh, im gunna send you the letter from Jim morgan today in the mail. DONT LOSE IT. trust me. you´ll understand when you open it. make sure dad opens it too.. it´s for him.

 i hope that greg can feel better soon. just so you know bud, i´ve got a headache too. he´s 4 ft tall and live with me (hahah).. but for real, you´re in my prayers!

anyways, gunna get off antes de que me chotean. love you!

Elder Nielson

February 10, 2014

nah i havent gotten the boxes yet, any of them... i'm a little worried now haha. did it have a tracking number?

to be honest, i cant stand my new companion.. hah. but for real. these six weeks are gunna be really long..

nah, president didnt say anything to us. but i found out yesterday that Hno Alexis, the guy who accused us, went to Humacao and talked to PRESIDENT ALVARADO about us and told the other missionaries there that we are doing bad things. awesome, now all of puerto rico thinks we're chuecos. it's stupid. makes me really mad. its like, alright, if we have a problem, cool, we'll fix it. but dont go tell the whole world! .

but anyways, sorry for complaining! we're doing pretty good here. it's still super hot, still walking. we have zone conference tomorrow in Caguas, and we dont have anyone to take us! ahh! we need a freakin miracle. good think we're on the Lord's team out here..

in my studies i am now in the book of judges in the old testament, and i'm in Enos in the book of mormon. i wish i could just sit at home and read the book of mormon all day haha. it's a good one. 2 ne 29 is epic. 

how was valentines day? hope it was love-ly. ;)   i remembered the valentine greg made me last year in spanish.. "te amo, tu eres mi vida. puedo ver las estrellas in tus ojos. tu me completas" hahaha classic.

yesterday i had to play the hymns in sacrament meeting. woooh. didnt like that.. haha. i'm mad that i didnt listen to you and learn how to play the piano!

our air conditioner broke the other day. that sucked.. we live in a concrete oven. dad knows..

Yesterday in church i had to play the hymns. I didnt really want to, because i'm not that good at the piano, but i was able to do it alright. I played the first hymn fine, but the sacrament one i didnt know how to play. we just sang the song a capella. i felt kinda dumb for that, because i was sitting in front of everyone at the piano, but not playing. after the sacrament, i went and sat in the congregation, and thought to myself, "yeah, im not gunna play the final hymn, a capella sounded fine. I dont even play that well anyways." The second talk was given by hna Laboy. She got up and said "today i'm gunna talk about the importance of developing our talents. When we are given an opportunity to use our talents to serve others, we must do it, or our talents will be taken from us and given to someone else. It is crucial that we develop our talents the the Lord has given to us." Man, in my face hah. i thought, "Ahh alright, i might not be super good, but if i can serve the members here in the branch by playing the hymns, i'll do it." So i played the final hymn. Not a huge deal, but that had an impact on me this week. I had the opportunity to develop my talent before i came on the mission, but i didnt take advantage of my time. but now, when given the opportunity, i should take advantage of it and just give my best. That's all the lord asks of us, is to just do our best. Give it our all. Don't give up. 

 i feel like this year has gone by pretty fast, but at the same time it's gone by SO slow. i definitely miss you guys, a lot. i know that this is where the lord wants me to be. sometimes i feel bad because there are days when i have almost no desire whatsoever to be here. i start thinking about home, you guys, byu, my shoulder, friends, or other stuff like that. but there are also days when i'm really happy to be here too. i dont know what the purpose of all of my trials are, but i know that one day i will realize what i needed to learn from all of them. sometimes it seems like the lord needs me to learn a whole lot because he keeps throwin all these curveballs at me, but i'm really trying to trust him. its funny, i teach the importance of having faith and trusting in the lord, and sometimes it's hard for even me to do that. i'm really trying though.  i'm learning a lot here and hope i'm making more good than i am making mistakes, because i'm making a whole load of them. sometimes i feel like i dont know whats going on, or sometimes i feel totally lost, but what always helps keep me going is when i remember that i am a child of god, and he has sent me here, has given me an earthly home, with parents kind and dear. He's helping me, guiding me, walking beside me, helping me to find the way, teaching me all that i must do to live with Him someday. i know i'm blessed and know that he loves me. He loves you too. always remember. 

I love you guys more than you think. i'm motivated by you guys. the harder i work, the faster time goes, and the faster i come home. Keep being the great examples you are to me and to the rest of the world. You will see the blessing from it, whether its now or later...

Con mucho carino y amor,

Jeff 

Patillas


Welcome To Puerto Rico


February 10, 2014

haha the jesus statue! that's what i'm talking about. i love the half mormon/half catholic religion here in PR..

well, i didnt get transferred, i'll still be kickin it here in Arroyo/patillas for at least 6 more weeks! so send me all of the things! but, easter will be in the Nextransfer after this one, so dont get too excited with the easter stuff just yet.. haha :)  but, my comp is leaving though, he'll be going to Levittown, and i'll get my new comp, elder colmenares. he's from aregentina too. so i'll still be living with 4 latinos. yayyy spanish.. haha it's cool though. i basically can't speak english anymore. they ask me to speak english to help them learn, but i literally can't. i just think in spanish. it's dumb. writing emails is hard sometimes! like when i had my interview with president smartt, he probably thought i was half retarded because i couldnt speak english very well haha.. but yeah, total boricua over here.

so what else. only one day of school, huh? lazy bums... 

so i was thinking, march madness comes up pretty soon.. be sure to send me a bracket! but, make sure it's not a link or anything, just a picture of the bracket so i can beat you guys..  Go Lopers!


you guys are in 2 nephi 15? not bad! i'm in 2 nephi 27. just got passed all of the isaiah. i'm also reading the bible at the same time. i'm in Deuteronomy 25, i think.. mas o menos por alli.  and jesus the christ, chapter 26.. and the book of mormon in spanish.. and preach my gospel.. ahh! too much to study, not enough time haha

oh, i finished the book of mormon in spanish for the first time on tuesday! in just under a year. watch out for speed racer.. haha.. nah, in dominica i didnt read AT ALL in spanish. so i did it in, lets see, april 24-june 5, then oct 4-feb 4.. so in about 5 1/2 - 6 months.. it's true! if you read the book of mormon in another language, you'll be fluent by the time you finish! i'm gunna start in mandarin..

so garret wrote me today and told me that i'm famous in Chile haha. he said that he told his comp about me, like some of the shenanigans we pulled, and showed him a picture, and now he is pumped to meet me. his comp is from mexico, but is gunna go to byu. he also said that some other argentino in his district is the same way haha. so your boy isn't just the big boss in the Northern Hemisphere, he's world wide!

As you can see, i'm still working on humility..

But yeah, that's my life. oh, so yesterday in church one of the counselors in the branch presidency pulled us into his office during the 2nd hour and talked to us. He told us that some of the members had told him that we have Ipods and Ipads, and that we go to people houses to listen to music and watch movies, and that we even have girlfriends. well, not have girlfriends, but that we are flirting with girls and doing un-missionary like things. Seriously? yeah right. if i were doing those things, my life would be a lot easier! hah. he said that he is going to call president smartt and tattle on us today. we havent heard anything from president yet, so.. it's not true though, so no worries. sheesh. 

so if you want something cool to check out on youtube, look up "la obra misional y la expiacion" by jeffrey R holland/henry b eyring. in english it's "missionary work and the atonement". it's like 10 minutes long, but it's GOOD. i'm halfway done, but lik ein football, after halftime, the score is always 0-0. gotta give it your all, through all 4 quarters. the party comes afterwards... 

Love you all and hope that you have a great week! here are a couple pictures. The first is the sign that has the name of my area, Patillas, with two bullet holes.. Welcome to Puerto Rico! 

Descansaos! 

Elder Nielson 

February 3, 2014

SEA-HAWKS! SEA-HAWKS! SEA-HAWKS!

ahh yeah son. the seahawks are so thug. peyton manning.. boooo haha

i thought that the super bowl was next sunday, until elder moore texted me during church and said "man, i'm more homesick for the super bowl than i was for christmas!"    and i was like "ahhh it's today!" haha. man, can't believe i missed the superbowl. sports, man. it's killin me. 

so this week went by pretty fast, but not much got done hah. for real, i dont understand how little we've got going for us here. we've been here for 5 weeks, and still NO ONE wants to listen to us. we go, contact people, set up a day to come back, come back, and they either ignore us or just straight up tell us to buzz off hah. sheesh. but nonetheless, we're doing what we can.

this week we had interviews with President smartt, in our apartments. that was a little nerve racking, but everything went well. even when you don't do anything wrong, it's still always a little nerve racking when the Big Boss comes to your house hah. my interview went well. the way that he does interviews is like this: we pray, and he says Alright, this is your interview. what do you want to talk about? if we have questions, we ask them, but if everything is cool, then we pray and that's it. my interview in november was about 30 seconds long haha. but this time, i came prepared. i had 6 deep doctrine type questions.. they were doozies. he answered all of them though. it was cool. he told me that he was impressed with me, and impressed with the types of questions i had. he said that he can see that my mind is focused on the things it needs to be focused on and that i'm switching my mind from thinking emotionally to thinking critically. he told me that this was an important attribute to develop. he said he knows that this area i'm in isnt easy, but he told me to just smile and keep doin what i'm doin. we can't fail when we're on the Lord's errand. we also talked about my patriarchal blessing, and he said that by how i described it to him, he thinks it sounds like an extraordinarily appropriate blessing and that there is no need to worry. when patriarchs get too specific in our blessings, it can rob us of agency. like if my blessing says "you will have 4 kids.."  what if i only want 1? or if i'm crazy enough to want 14? he said not to worry about it, and just trust in the lord that he gave me exactly what i need. Overall, at the end of the interview, he told me that he is proud of me and that he is impressed with my progress as a missionary. So all in all, it was a good interview!

so also, i started reading the Bible because i never have. this morning i finished numbers, and im starting Deuteronomy. i found out why Zach is the favored child in the family! Check out Leviticus 25:19. that explains it all!  but there is some weird stuff in the old testament..  check out numbers 23:22. Unicorns..

so elder mello called me again last night, and told me that Tina and Hailey are getting baptized this saturday! Ahh!  man, that means that now there were 9 people in dominica that i taught that got baptized! I miss dominica, and really hope that everything keeps going well there! it's things that that keep me going through the hard times here in Arroyo. I'm glad to see that the effort we give will make an impact at some point in time, whether it be now, or down the road. im glad that I have been able to the some of the fruits of my labors  here while i am still on my mission. 

anyways, i hope that everyone had a fun weekend, that every one has a safe week, and that you all continue to be good example to every one else!

Love you!

Elder Nielson 

Great News!

ahhh i almsot forgot to tell you! my investigator Luis Sanchez, from Juana diaz, got baptized on saturday!!!!! he called me right after and thanked me for helping him, and told me that he missed me. man, that was the highlight of my mission so far. saturday night.. also, elder mello called me and told me that 3 people that i was teaching in dominica, Masika, Helen, and Karen, all got baptized too!!! man, i might not be seeing things hee in arroyo, but i'm seeing seeds that i planted a while ago sprout into trees.. man, it was so awesome. The gospel is true!

January 20, 2014

Earthquake? HAHAHA i felt like there were a bunch of cindy nielson's running around out here this week. my gosh. everyone was freaking out, but no one felt a thing. greg has farts that measure more on the seismograph than this thing did..

So this week was pretty boring, i'll be honest. not much happened. actually, nothing happened haha. we just walked around all week and talked to people, no one wanted to listen, or we set appts, and went, but they weren't home, you know..  so yeah, hopefully this upcoming week will be more productive..

yeah, so about the music. we can listen to church stuff, instrumental stuff, stuff that's chill. i think i asked for the cd called the work, by nashville tribute band, but i already got the music for it haha. but yeah! some mo tab, or some john shmidt, or other stuff would be sweet!   but, dont send anything to the office anymore. since there isnt any way to go up to the office to get the mail, we're just gunna get stuff sent here to our houses. i'll get the information and let you know..

also, i hope that greg has a happy birthday this week! and happy birthday to grandma G as well!  Also, sunday is the anniversary of the greatest night of my life. Jan 26th, 2013, staples center, LA, 7:00pm. classic. then the next morning mom got all mad at me cause i didnt fill up the tank with gas hahah  

anything else.. crystal gets set apart tonight and leaves to mexico on wednesday! 
Garret turned 21 last week..
Emilee is asian..
i'm boricua. 
ya tu sabes que la que hay nene.

love you all! have a great week!

Elder Nielson

Earthquake

14 January 2014
Dear Missionary Parents,
On Sunday, January 12, 2014, at approximately 12:00 a.m., Puerto Rico experienced an earthquake which registered 6.4 magnitude.  Fortunately, the quake was out at sea. It was approximately 35 miles north of the Puerto Rico shoreline and 17 miles deep in the ocean.
There was no major damage. Some homes did receive minor damage such as broken windows, but we were very blessed as the entire Puerto Rico San Juan Mission experienced no damage and no one was hurt. There is no reason for concern on your part concerning your missionary. We know that Heavenly Father watches out for those who are performing His work.
We love our missionaries. We appreciate your prayers and support for your missionary and the mission. On behalf of Sister Smartt and me, we thank you.
Best regards to you and your family.
P.K. Smartt
President  Puerto Rico San Juan Mission

Friend


Rocky Shore


Joselito & Cheche's Baptism


January 13, 2014

what up familia!

alright, so this week was better than last. didnt take much for it to be better, but yeah. i conducted my first district meeting this week, and we studied chapter 6 of preach my gospel, which is the chapter on christ like attributes. i divided it up the day before and gave everyone 2 attributes to study, and then be prepared to teach us about it in the meeting. during the meeting, everyone realized they were being total bums and needed to be better. they definitely weren´t where they were supposed to be, but there was a little bit of improvement. if we have a little bit of improvement, everntually we´ll gt there. 

so this week we walked to patillas almost every day. long walk haha. lost 6 pounds this week.. anyways, we found some of the less actives, and two of them came to church this week! that was way cool. good to see them there.

also, theres a 16 year old kid here named Newil, and he´s exactly like greg haha. it´s hilarious. he plays basketball, and we played the other day. i realized that latinos really arent that good at basketball haha. it was fun though. anyways, we´re working with him because we want to help him to get ordained to the aaronic priesthood soon. so yesterday, we went to his house to make sure he was awake for church. he wasnt haha. his grandma said yeah he´s tired. we said we came to wake him up! shes all like √§lright cool! his room is the first on the left. go ahead!   we went and knocked on the door, but nothing. she said is it locked(questionmark) here, move..   she grabbed this massive knife from the kitchen and picked his lock hahah  we woke him up, and he was super mad haha hes all like, are you serious(questionmark) ... dude, you have 15 to get to church, get dressed!   long story short, he came to church! ahh yeah son. it wa super funny. classic Gre, i mean, Newil...

what else. oh, saturday was a baptism! Joselito and Cheche, his 9 year old son. super cool. i evn made these super crappy baptismal programs. legit. i got to do their baptismal interviews on friday night. that was pretty cool. it´s cool to see people share their testimonies with you when they have been converted. the church is defiitely true.

well, my time has expired. good luck with the rugrats, Dad. good luck to mom in utah. tell grandma that I love her and hope that she feels loved!!  


Lov you all!!

Jeff



also, if you need something interesting to study, check out the book of moses... wild stuff..  


 27 And it came to pass, as the voice was still speaking, Moses cast his eyes and abeheld the earth, yea, even all of it; and there was not a particle of it which he did not behold, bdiscerning it by thecSpirit of God.
 28 And he beheld also the inhabitants thereof, and there was not aasoul which he beheld not; and he discerned them by the Spirit of God; and their numbers were great, even numberless as the sand upon the sea shore.
 29 And he beheld many lands; and each land was called aearth, and there were binhabitants on the face thereof.
 30 And it came to pass that Moses called upon God, saying: aTellme, I pray thee, why these things are so, and by what thou madest them?
 31 And behold, the glory of the Lord was upon Moses, so that Moses stood in the presence of God, and talked with him aface to face. And the Lord God said unto Moses: For mine own bpurposehave I made these things. Here is cwisdom and it remaineth in me.
 32 And by the aword of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of bgrace and truth.
 33 And aworlds without number have I bcreated; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the cSon I dcreatedthem, which is mine eOnly Begotten.
 34 And the afirst man of all men have I called bAdam, which iscmany.
 35 But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I aknow them.
 36 And it came to pass that Moses spake unto the Lord, saying: Be merciful unto thy servant, O God, and atell me concerning this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens, and then thy servant will be content.
 37 And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying: The aheavens, they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man; but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine.
 38 And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no aend to my works, neither to my words.
 39 For behold, this is my awork and my bglory—to bring to pass the cimmortality and deternal elife of man.

District Leader


Dear Dear Brother and Sister Nielson,

I am pleased to inform you that your son, Elder Jeffrey Paul Nielson, has been assigned as a District Leader in the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission.  District leaders are crucial to the success of this mission.  District leaders interview candidates for baptism, conduct weekly district meetings, supervise two to six other missionaries and coordinate missionary work with ward/branch mission leaders.

I deeply appreciate your son and the work he has done.  I have full confidence in his ability to perform well.  I ask you to continue to support him in this new leadership assignment.  Your prayers and letters of encouragement are now more vital than ever.

May the Lord bless you and your family as you support Elder Nielson in his new and important calling.

Sincerely,

 

P.K. SmarttPresident, Puerto Rico San Juan Mission

Ponce East


January 7, 2014

Hey family.

Yesterday was dia de los Reyes, which is some random holiday they observe here because everyone is apostate and worships the three kings haha. anyways, today is our p day because of it.

anyways, my new area...

I'll be honest, this has been the longest, most frustrating week of my life. Tuesday, i get to Arroyo, get my stuff settled, and we go out to the branch presidents house fopr dinner. on the way home, i run over a 3 inch screw and my tire pops. awesome. now we're walking home. remember, tuesday was new years eve. we're almost home when i get a freakin firework thrown at me by some little homo. it hit me in the hand and exploded. so i burned my hand. awesome. then, wednesday morning, i get a call from the zone leaders. i'm thinking they're calling to tell me to come up to the office to pick up the car i was going to use here in arroyo and patillas. patillas is my area, and it's like 30 mins away in car. they didnt tell me that. they said "hey, so it has been decided that the puerto rico san juan mission will no longer be using cars OR bikes, everyone will be on foot. you have 6 weeks to sell/give away/throw away your bikes. by February, they need to be out of your houses. also elder nielson, president smartt wants you to be the district leader in arroyo. Have a good day."    Awesome. I went out and told the other elders i live with (2 argentinos and one salvadoreno) all of the stuff. they got PISSED and started talking bad about president, about the zone leaders, about me cause i'm a gringo and i'm their leader now...    seriously. so frustrating. all week they have just been whining and complaining about everything. then, thursday, i get out of the shower and they're listening to eminem super loud. are you kidding me? bad language flying here and there. what are the neighbors going to think about us? gosh. i told them that they shouldnt listen to it, but they dont listen to me. they listen to regaaeton (spanish rap) and bachata in the house too. Today for p day, they left the house in normal clothes, even though the rule is is you're going out in public on p day, it's missionary clothes.. one of them always calls me bad names in spanish, cause he thinks i dont understand. he always makes fun of me when i make a mistake in spanish and always calls me gringo. our brnach president asked us when we got to church on sunday, and we said at like 9:50. he didnt see us, so went out looking for us, thinking we were walking still. when he got back, we said yeah, ask elder brizuela, we got here before it started. Brizuela lied, telling him that we got to church a half hour late, so now the branch president thinks we're liars..its just been really frustrating. i dont know what i'm supposed to do. I have felt like crap all week because i feel responsible for them, and it seems like there isnt anything i can do. plus, i dont know anyone here and my area is 3 hours away on foot. i've got massive blisters on my feet too, which adds to the excitement. 

anyways, i dont mean to complain, but i needed to get that all off of my chest. it's definite;ly been a week, thts for sure. i really hope that things can pick up here and that they can start being more obedient. i'm just trying to be a good example and hopefully they will follow.

Anyways, i hope that you all have a good week! Congrats to everyone on their basketball success!

I love you all!!

Elder Nielson