Write to Elder Nelson

Email: anelson136@myldsmail.net

Pouch Service:

Elder Austin Nelson
Chile Concepción Mission
P.O. Box 30150
SLC, UT 84130-0150

*Only postcards and letters that are single sheet, folded into three-panels, and taped at the top only (no envelopes), may be sent through the pouch or use dearelder.com.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Surviving an Earthquake!

Elder Nelson called us today and let us know he is okay.  (What a relief!)  He sounds really good and positive.  The power and water are both not working but members have been great about offering the missionaries food if needed. 

Elder Nelson said that when the earthquake hit, he woke up to everything shaking like crazy and just staying in bed because it is the strongest thing in the house and he is on the bottom bunk.  Everything in the house shook and stacks of Book of Mormons came tumbling down.  The house is still standing with minor damage.  The backyard fence was the only thing that crashed down.  Elder Nelson said he is about a 10 minute drive outside of Talca and his area was not as hard hit by the earthquake as Talca was. 

He said that the people are being nicer to them than ever before.  The missionaries always say hello to everyone as they walk by and now people are responding with a hello of their own.  Elder Nelson and his companion have stayed busy checking on the members and families they visit to see that they are alright. 

We are so grateful Elder Nelson and the rest of the missionaries were kept safe and are doing well.  We pray for them and all of the people of Chile that they might be blessed through this tragedy.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Major Earthquake in Chile

As you may have heard, there was a major 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile last night.  Elder Nelson is serving just outside of the city of Talca.  Talca is located just 65 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake.  We have contacted Church Headquarters and been told that every missionary is safe and accounted for in his mission.  We have not heard from him directly, but hope to soon.  We are relieved that all the missionaries are safe and are praying for them and the rest of those affected by this devastating event.

Great Zone Conference Inspires

Letter Received February 22, 2010:

Dear Family:
Hey, it sounds like you guys have been staying really busy and everyone is doing well.  This week went pretty well for me.  We stayed really busy and have been working really hard to find some new people.  We have been having a little luck.  This week we also had zone conference which went really well and I actually was able to learn because I could understand Spanish and what everyone was saying.  I learned a lot of things that I really needed to hear and it kinda reanimated me and I realized that I just need to continue with what I have been doing.  Keep the faith and keep working hard and try the best I can and the Lord will bless me and I know that I need to do more of what I can to show more love for the people. 
But yeah, we had a pretty good week because we found some good people.  But one fault is that we are having a hard time with this family that I have been teaching they have been really hard to find this week and they didn't come to church so we have to figure that one out.  But other than that we have been doing a lot of contacts.  Everything has been going really good here since conferernce and I am getting in the routine more and more for the mission.  
I have some really good news.  I GOT A BIKE FINALLY!  So, we can actually now see everyone that we need to see and expand our horizons and contact farther out.  So, that is really nice and I won't be getting as tired from walking all day.  As for the weather, it is still really hot here and not slowing down at all, ha, ha.  Sounds like you all are doing really well there at home.  Me and my comp are getting along really well.  I know that Brit is going to love the mission once he really gets going.  It is so crazy!  I have already got five months on the mission.  I don't feel like I have done enough in the time that I have been on the mission but it is all going really well here.  We have been really working hard to find a lot more people and we are having some tough investigators though that are having a hard time believing in Joseph Smith and they are having a hard time with the Book of Mormon, but they seem to be coming slowly.
But, that it is pretty much all that is new this week, nothing too big I guess.  Everyone is getting really close to baptism.  So, I think that once we get that first one, they will all just start rolling in.  Keep your fingers crossed.  
I will send a picture of my bike next week.  I forgot to take one before we left the house, so I will do that next week, ha, ha.  Sounds like everything is going really well at home and seems to be pretty busy.  But that is good because it keeps life exciting, it also makes time go really fast. But that is awesome that Lyndsay and Justin found a car that is working really well.  That is awesome that she is staying busy and Justin and the kids are doing really well in school.  That is kinda a bummer that Dad and Lexie have to go out of town again this week that doesn't sound fun at all.  But it will all work out for the best I know that.  Cool about the bathroom!  Send some pics, ha, ha. That's cool for Lexie that she got a different car.  What year is it?  Well, got to go but glad to hear that everyone is doing really well.  Not much I can tell you guys pretty much the same deal every week but we'll see if this next week goes different, ha, ha.  Glad to hear from everyone, keep them coming.  Love and miss you all much.
Elder Nelson

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Teaching a Family and In a Rut

Letter Received February 15, 2010:

Hey Hey:

This week has gone by really fast.   Happy late Valentines Day!  It was kind of weird here, it seems like the holidays aren’t really that big. Christmas was definitely bigger in the states.  Like you don’t see anything that resembles that it is a holiday. But yeah, this week went really fast, it seemed like before I knew it was Sunday.   

This week was a kind of disappointing for people at church.  This week we waited for around ten people to show up for church.  We only had two people show,  but still working hard, it seems that everyone just had unusual circumstances that wouldn’t allow them to come to church.  But that is how opposition works; it will get you how ever it can. 

We taught some good lessons this week it sounds like the problem that a lot of our investigators are having, is that they don’t have any desire and it is something that is hard to teach because they all have different things that they need to do.  But it all seems to come down to desire for all of them.  But we are going to figure it out.

Me and my comp are getting along pretty well but seems like I am kind of in a rut right now that I need to get out of.  I just need some more animation, I think, so today I am really trying to relax.  But that family that we are teaching is awesome but they seem kind of hard to find because they are really busy. Also, it is really hard to get all the people in the family to be there all at the same time because they are all busy like we are as a family.  We have been doing a lot of contacting and all we have found is a couple of people, it seems that we have been sharing once with the people then it is hard to find them again.  

We found this lady way out in our sector the place is called Carlos Gonzalez and it is way out there like an hour walk away, I kid you not. But we found a lady that was baptized like fourteen years ago and hasn’t gone to church for about that long and she has a daughter that is thirteen that we have only shared with them once, but the daughter is like a baptism waiting to happen because we invited them to church and it was on Saturday and they were like you mean tomorrow?  We were like yeah, and the daughter was like, “Can we please?” and she was like “I don’t know” because the dad doesn’t like religion but they both want to come to church because the mom wants to reactivate and the daughter wants to come to church and the mom wants her to be baptized. So yeah, they weren’t able to go to church, one reason was because of the dad, and also it is really far to the church from where they live.  We are going to teach them some more this week and see what’s up and how we can help them along.

We have been working really hard but I need to get out of this rut that I am in, and bump it up a notch, because I know that I need it.  But yeah, that is really this week, just some appointments and some contacts.  It’s all going good and I am praying a ton.  It sounds like you all have been really busy.  It sounds like Britt’s farewell went really well.  I know that he is going to do awesome out in Australia.  As for my bag, I use it every day.  It is awesome!  I love it.  It’s just what I needed.  It sounds like everyone has been really busy with work.  Ha, ha welcome to my world, just kidding. Just remember that you need to make some time for yourselves or you will not like yourself so much so make it fun and keep good attitudes and make time for yourselves because it will make all the difference.  Sounds like a lot of time spent out of town. I am excited for Britt.  Tell him good luck out there and why he is out there I want emails from him and tell him that the MTC is hard but just soak it in because I found that I didn’t know that I loved the MTC till I left, so love it. But sounds like you guys are all well and having good wholesome fun, ha, ha. But I love and miss you all a ton.     


Elder Nelson

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Things are Picking Up

Letter Received February 8, 2010:

Hey everyone:

It sounds like this week everyone has been really good and busy but yeah, this week has been really good but also just like the typical mission work, knocking doors and teaching lessons.  But it has been really good this week because we have some really good people that are progressing well and have been being prepared for us. You can tell the difference. Because I feel that we have been having some help from the Lord on where we should go more because we have been finding a lot more people.

I and my comp found an entire family that we have been teaching and they came to church this week and we only found them this week and they are really excited about the gospel.   They had so many questions that we were at their house for 4 hours teaching them just asking questions which was really awesome!  Because then you get to know their doubts and what you need to teach them. They where like, "We feel that this is what we need in our life.  We need a change."  And they want to know about where we are going in the after life because their Grandpa just died and they needed to hear from us. And we found them just at the right time and we taught them the First Vision this week also and I love teaching them because the Spirit is so strong and I feel real sincere love after we leave their house. But that is about it for that family but they are a family of four. But the youngest kid is five and she is so cute but is really shy.  They are awesome! 

I have other investigators that I want to tell you about but don’t have enough time to tell you about all of them. But it has been really hot here but that is nothing new ha ha but that is just the way that it is here. Today was combios and I and my comp are staying for at least one more change so at least together for at least another six weeks. We are getting along pretty well right now I and have been doing a lot better and working hard but also been a little discouraged with some of our investigators.  They will come around, they just need time so I am staying optimistic. We are really starting to get everything moving from starting from scratch so finally we are getting more help from our ward at being good friends for our investigators.

That is pretty much all that is new for me here but it sounds like everyone is doing well and staying busy. Sounds like you guys had a pretty good trip to the temple and Salt Lake. It’s weird to me to think that you guys have snow. Because it is so different here but yeah. Oh yeah, guess what!  The cold showers continue and now our sink is broken so now every time we turn the water on to our house there is a lake in our bathroom so we are going to try and some how get that fixed and the gate to our house is broken so we are in the one house in the area that is crumbling down ha ha but that is the mission for you.

I don’t think that I am going to recognize the house when I come home because little changes to you guys is like a big change to me because I am not there. But that’s cool.  Change is a good thing.  Sounds like the Super Bowl party was really good.  Sounds like Britt is ready to go. He is going to work miracles in the field.  I just know it. He is going to have a ton of success. But sounds like everything is good there.  It was awesome to hear about everything this week kind of felt like a long one and I am missing you guys. Love you all a lot and miss you tons thanks for everything.

Love, your favorite missionary,

Elder Nelson

We asked Elder Nelson for some ideas for a package to send and he came up with the following:
A big jump drive
Sour patch anything sour patch
Not much chocolate because it melts
Guitar picks and a kapo ask dad or Jace they will know what I mean
Lots of socks
Some good scripture markers they are called hi gliders they are really good
Swedish fish
Starburst stuff like that junk food wise
Work gloves for service
Rice krispies
More cds like josh groban
Cds are always good I would like
And any church dvds are good too.
Some guitar tabs any because I am sick of playing all the same ones ask Jace.

But that’s what I have written down.  Thank you so much! 

Elder Nelson

So Close to a Baptism!

Letter Received February 1, 2010:

Dear Family:

It was so good to hear from you all and it sounds like life has been really busy for you guys and it has been for me, too.  But this week we have been having some upsets but I am still optimistic. But yeah, it has been really really hot here and it is really weird to even think that you guys are in cold weather right now.

But this week we found some really good people and we were supposed to have a baptism this week but he fell because he decided that he was going to go on vacation and apparently he has been planning on going on this trip for like two months and he decided to tell us the day before his baptism that he was leaving the next day. And he has some doubts about Joseph Smith but he is reading the Book of Mormon and so he is asking questions but I think that he is expecting like some big vision for himself and yeah. But he has another date for after his trip.  Maybe him going on this vacation will give him a clear mind so that he can decide what he wants to do.

But other than him we have found about five new people that are really good and could become some likely candidates for baptism really quickly. But other than that just been contacting.  Still not loving the food though still struggling with that every lunch.  This week was especially bad because we had the same soup for 4 days in a row and on top of that hot soup in like 110 degree weather.  Awesome idea, huh? It was like this bean soup and I was like not again but we just have to be thankful because they are giving us food and so I just eat it.

But today we went and were able to play tennis with a member today that was a blast because I have not played tennis or any sport in forever so that was really really fun.  But I have been working really hard and reading a ton to better myself for my investigators.  I have been praying a ton and praying for the Lord to bless me with a lot of people to share with and for you guys. 

It sounds like you all have been really busy.  Dad, sounds like that you have been working and staying busy with projects; and your bike, that sucks about the cracks though. And sounds like that you and Lexie have been going out of town a lot which doesn't sound too fun. But none the less you guys just have to look at it like job security. But also it's like no good for family time. Lexie, it sounds like you are feeling a lot of stress. The way that I have been handling that is just take it one step at a time make big things small. Then it will be a lot less stressful. Do what you can and the Lord will provide. Mom, sounds like you have been staying busy, too, with projects and what not which sounds really good.  I am scared that I am not going to know home when I get there, ha ha ha.  But that is good that you are keeping things fresh with the house with new projects.

But it sounds like the house has been kinda quiet since me and Tyson left.  Which I haven't heard from him in a while but it sounds like he is doing really well but still struggling with the food.  I am missing him a ton though. I really miss all of you guys. But I am doing what I know right now I should be and am really thankful to be here. If I had the choice to come home or stay right now I would definitely stay. Sounds like you all are staying really busy.  Tell Britt and everyone hi for me and tell him that I wish that I could be there for his farewell but yeah. Ha ha, just tell him I want him to work hard and to email me when he can and times get hard.  He will get homesick but it leaves in time and if he will pray for help with it the Lord will help him in his deepest moment of need. Sounds like everyone is doing well, just know that I am doing well and working hard.  I love you all and can't wait to hear back again from you next week.


Elder Nelson

P.S. -  What's going on with Reed?
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