Friday, July 13, 2012

First Email From the MTC
July 10, 2012

Hello family and friends! Wow. These last five days have been amazing. I am so exhausted but very happy! Well first things first...on the first day here I was called as the District Leader for my District! It was very humbling but it's been amazing because all the elders in my district are funny and excited to do the work! My companion's name is Elder Davis and he is from the Salt Lake City area. We are both going to Cuernavaca as are 3 other elders in my district. The rest are going to either Veracruz, Mexico or Cali, Columbia.

The days here are absolutely packed! We are either studying Spanish, teaching our investigator (Luis...I'll talk about this later), studying the doctrine, etc. Our two teachers are Hermana Arroyo and Hermana Castillo. They are both amazing and have such strong testimonies of the gospel...also, they only speak in Spanish to us. Last night, Hermana Castillo took our district to this private foyer and read as Alma 13:3 and 3 Nephi 11:1-17. She told us that before this life began, we were the few to be called on missions. She said our friends in the preexistence that we were meant to find, turned to us and told us to not forget them and to find them and they made the promise that they would be there waiting for us with an open heart. She said that this work is so hard, but that it wasn't meant to be easy. She shared the scripture found in John 15:12-13 where the Savior talks about there being no greater act of love than giving up your life for your friends. In a way, that is what I and all the other elders and sisters are doing. We are giving up our lives and ourselves in order to serve and find our friends.

Now, onto our investigator and the language. I feel like the language is coming a lot easier each and every day. I've dedicated myself to learning it and putting my all into it. On the second day here, Hermana Arroyo told us that we would be teaching our first investigator Luis, en espaƱol solamente. I was SO NERVOUS. We went in there and it was so awkward in the beginning because my companion didn't known any Spanish and I could only speak very broken Spanish. I just started to read the story of the first vision in Spanish to him and I felt the Spirit so strongly that I began to cry. Even though I didn't know exactly what I was saying, I knew that what I was saying was true. Since then, we have taught him twice and it continues to get better each time. Already, I am able to pray and bear my testimony pretty well in Spanish which I think is amazing.

I miss all of you and want you to know how much I love you. But, I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I know I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. It's comforting to know that. That everything I am experiencing and thinking is supposed to be. I have faith that if I work the hardest I can, that Heavenly Father and the Savior will always be walking with me and teaching me through the Holy Ghost. The spirit is so strong here it is amazing. It is so inspiring to see Elders y Hermanas from all walks of lives chosing to let go of themselves and sacrifice for their friends that they knew in the preexistence and that they promised to find.

Some Other Fun Facts:

+Our Sacrament meeting and classes are done solely in Spanish.

+I have gotten up at 5:50 A.M. everyday since being the MTC.

+I have seen Elders Dunn, Parker, and other Elders I've known from BYU and they are all doing great!

 I love the scriptures. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that he died for me and that through this amazing plan we can be with those we love forever. I am beginning to love Spanish and I love the feelings of the Spirit in the MTC. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve. It isn't always easy, but is so worth it to me because I know that others need to hear the message that the gospel brings. I love you all. You are all in my prayers.


Elder Nielsen

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