Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy Holidays!

I hope that you are all doing very, very well. Life continues on in our little pueblo of Coahuixtla! We worked extremely hard this week and the results are starting to pay off! We have four investigators with dates to be baptized currently, four in the chapel on Sunday, and we found seven more to teach during the week! We are truly being blessed right now. The Lord is watching over us. So...some impressions of Mexico!

1) My companion and I bought gas this last week to heat the water and I took my first hot shower in Mexico on December 06, 2012. Maybe I danced on my way to the bathroom. Maybe I did not. 

2) I have been making sandwiches a lot for myself in the mornings when I get hungry. This last P-Day we went to Sams Club to buy in bulk and I decided to buy some tuna for myself. I was actually super excited. Then, the next day, I open the can, and start to press down in the lid to drain out all of the water. Before I knew it, the can of tuna exploded all over me. I was dressed. I was showered. And I was mad.

3) This week we did two service projects. One was clearing out about 50 years of weeds at an elementary school. Literally though, I do not even think they can be classified as weeds anymore. More like large trees and bushes. We just left the mountain of debris in the center and the teachers said they would burn it later. We also helped a less-active member build a brick wall in front of his house. So I am pretty much an expert in masonry now if anyone wants to hire me when I return.

Anyway, this week was just like every other week here. Work, meeting different people with different takes on life, and having the wonderful opportunity every day to put the name of my Savior on my chest and represent him in word and deed the best I can. The less-active member that we helped this week with his brick wall told me something interesting that I want to share. At first I was a little hesitant to build his wall because I did not want to ruin it or make a mistake. He then looked at me and said, "You know Elder, I have come to find in life that when people say they cannot do something, it is just a polite lie to themselves. What they are really saying is that they do not want to. Now what do you say? Do you want to learn?" It humbled me and taught me a very important lesson. This life is about learning, making mistakes, and enjoying every step of the process. We really are a lot more capable than we think, we just need to take that first step and try. He also asked me if I ever imagined that I would be in the middle of Coahuixtla, Mexico setting bricks during December. Really, no. But I am so grateful for this opportunity that God has given me to be in the middle of Coahuixtla, Mexico, setting bricks in December.

Anyway, I love you all. You mean very much to me. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission and be a representative of my Savior for two years. Oftentimes I feel very inadequate. There is always something to improve, something that I could be doing better. But the beautiful thing about the Savior is his love for us where we are right now. He loves what we were, what we are, and what we will be be. He just loves us perfectly. And we have the beautiful promise that if we just continue on faithfully, keeping the commandments, with faith, repenting, and trying our darndest to follow the teachings and examples of our Savior, that we are all right. Everything is all right. That is the message I get a lot. Peace. Everything is all right. Because, as it says in John, we will never find peace in the things of this world, but we will always find peace in our Savior. Things are far from perfect here. Far, far, from perfect. But something that I have found is that if we pray, become present, and then ask Heavenly Father for peace, he will always grant it to us in one form or another.

It is my testimony to you all that God answers prayers. He has answered some prayers for me this week that have brought me consolation and have strengthened my resolve. It is also my testimony to you that God is always there. His love is everywhere. It is in everything. We need only search for it and we are promised that we will find it.

I love you all. Keep your heads up. Keep trying everyday to improve and love and serve others. Look out, and look up.

Elder Nielsen

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