Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hello family and friends!

Wow! It's been another amazing week at the MTC. I keep thinking about how strong the spirit is here and it continues to amaze me. Well I'll start of by responding to some questions about the MTC.

1) My companion Elder Davis: Elder Davis is from Murray, Utah and went to LDSBC before coming here. He's very nice, funny, and...farts ALL the time. Like...ALL the time. I didn't even think it was possible, but it is. Besides that, he has a really strong testimony of the gospel and of the mission he will serve in Mexico. I'm very grateful that he is my companion.

2) There are twelve elders in my district (including me). Four of them are leaving to go to the Bogota, Colombia MTC on July 24th so there will only be 8 of us in a little while. Two of the elders in my district are companions, cousins, and both going with me to the Cuernavaca, Mexico mission, which I think is amazing.

3) Funny Story: Last week before we were about teach our investigator Luis (who turned out to be our next teacher Hermano Piperato), Elder Dahlin said that he needed to confess something. He said that he was so nervous before teaching Luis for the first time that he pooped his pants and didn't even notice it. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life.

4) Investigators: So as I said above, our first investigator Luis turned out to be an MTC teacher named Hermano Piperato. Our other teacher, Hermana Arroyo is now playing the role of our second investigator Maria. They told us that they are acting like men and women that they taught on their missions which I think is really cool. It gives us a chance to know what a real experience teaching in the field would be like. For example, yesterday we met Maria for the first time at a door approach and my companion and I failed miserably. She was so shy and nervous and quiet and started looking at her phone while we were trying to say who we were. We didn't get in. So...we better figure out a good message to share with her to get in because...we are supposed to teach her tomorrow!

5) MTC Schedule: Usually, we are in class with an instructor for 6 hours a day. We usually teach an investigator once a day. Besides that, we have an hour of personal study, an hour of language study, and around an our of additional study. We also have an hour of gym time everyday which is so nice (I usually run...I know....I even shock myself sometimes).

6) District Leader Duties: I attend about three leadership meetings during the week. Conduct two district meetings every week. And hold an interview with each senior companion on Fridays. I love it. It's allowed me to get to know the Elders in my district and has allowed me to impart whatever wisdom and counsel I can.

7) Firesides: So apparently the month of July is the one that the General Authorities have big names have spoken at the MTC. Two of our devotionals have been given by emeritus 70s which were great, but, the one that I've enjoyed the most was given by Dallin H. Oak's daughter Jenny Oaks Baker. She's a world-class violinist and the whole fireside was about how music has shaped her life and testimony. She played 3 of my favorite hymns on the violin which was so spiritual. Then her four kids, all under the age of four, played "I Am a Child of God" with one playing the violin, cello, guitar, and piano. They were so amazing!

I'm not going to lie and say everything at the MTC has been easy, but it is so worth it. I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I think the hardest part is the Spanish but I know it will come in time. I can pray, bear my testimony, and basically teach simple lessons now and I am studying hard and growing each day. Sometimes I get down on myself because I'm not perfect at it, but then I put things into perspective and realize that I am speaking more Spanish now then I did after taking it for three years in high school...and I've been here less than two weeks! I've started reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish and have memorized D&C 4, the First Vision, the Baptismal Challenge, and the Missionary Purpose in Spanish already. I am so grateful for you guys in my life. I love you all and I pray for you. One scripture that was shared this week was really meaningful to me in Galatians 2:20. I want you all to read it and think about. That is the reason I am here and the reason why I'm doing what I'm doing. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I love my Heavenly Father. They mean so much to me and I want the people of Mexico to know what this gospel means to me and what it can do for them. I'm grateful for the growing experiences I've had in the MTC "all these things shall give me experience and shall be for my good." Love you all.

Elder Nielsen

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