Monday, January 28, 2013

Hello Family and Friends!

So, this week has been semi-crazy. Not totally crazy. Only semi. I will explain later. But first I have many, many impressions of Mexico. Enjoy!

1) So, for some reason, the members this week were feeling overly generous with their food. I am going to walk you through a typical day in the life of Elder Nielsen and food. So we go to visit Sister Yolanda in Atotonilco to ask her for a reference. We talk, finish the visit, and then she invites us to eat (once I again I will mention that it is EXTREMELY rude to deny food, even if you are not hungry). So we accept. She gives us tortillas, scrambled eggs, and beans. My companion asks for Round 2. Now I am in a predicament. I am literally double the size of him and if I do not accept Round 2 as well she will automatically be offended and think that I did not like the food. So out comes Round 2. Then, literally an hour and a half later, we go to the Comida. Steak, potatoes, lettuce, avocado, beans. So now I am overly full. Then we go to visit investigators. We enter the house and the mom tells us that she has just cooked up some pozole and tacos. When she sat the bowl down in front of me I am sure that my face was an exact replica of Bruce Bogtrotter when the Trunchable set down the giant Chocolate Cake in front of him in the movie Matida (you are welcome Gina Risetter for this reference). Literally, if you want to know how my eating experience was with the pozole, watch that scene from Matida.

2) Another fun food experience. Every Tuesday we eat with a Sister called Sister Minquiz. She owns a restaurant on the highway that leads to Tepalcingo. I will only say one thing about her food. She likes to use chili. Lots of chili. One day she served us, straight-up, gigantic chilis covered in cheese.

3) Another comment about food. If you want to get fat here in Mexico, the equivalent of the Twinkie, Hoho, Ding Dong, etc. are products made by Bimbo (awkward name right?). Maybe I indulge in a few of these at the end of really long days. Maybe I do not.

4) Chips here have one of two flavors. Lemon and Salt. Or different gradations of chili.

5) This week I saw a straight up, massive Iguana running up a wall. That was a new one.

6) It always picks my spirit up when members offer the missionaries something to drink and they suggest coffee. And they are not joking. HELLO PEOPLE.

7) So soccer. The rumors are true. Mexicans LOVE soccer. It is actually sort of amusing because every weekend there are huge soccer matches in the pueblo. But the players are not exactly spring chickens anymore. There are literally 50 and 60 year old men running out there with the 20 year olds. Also, they take it SO seriously, as if it were the finals of the FIFA World Cup or something.

8) Last story. And probably my favorite. We were walking out of Atotonilco to catch a bus back to Tepalcingo and this lady calls us over. She begins talking to us, tells us she was meeting with the missionaries before, and my companion says that we can come by and teach her again. She says (wistfully I might add, while extending her hand and rubbing his arm), "No, you boys cannot give me what I want." Later, in possibly one of the greatest Freudian Slips ever, Elder Romero means to say, "Ella tocó mi brazo" (She touched my arm) but actually says, "Ella tocó mi corazón" (She touched my heart).

So there was a lot in there. But there you go. So big news this week. Every year in Tepalcingo there is a massive Fair. Our little pueblo literally hosts the 2nd largest fair in Mexico. Millions of people come, from all over Mexico. During our interviews with President Kusch this week we told him about the fair. I guess he did not know the gravity of the situation because the next day he called us and told us that he will close the area and take us both out, probably within a week. So yes. I will be in my fourth area with less than 5 months in the mission field most likely in another week. I will let you know what happens!

On the brighter side of things. We are going to have baptism this Saturday! Her name is Nancy and she is twelve. Every member of her family are innactive members, and she is the only one that has not been baptized. She is an example to me. She has come to church 5 or 6 times without the support of her parents and she loves it. There are no excuses. When we want to do the right things there is nothing that can hold us back.

Well, I love you all. This week has been difficult for me. I came down with a super, big head cold and was physically exhausted. I just felt very ineffective. I hate that feeling. Also the knowledge that I will have transfers again and will probably leave this area in a week is affecting my desire a little. I do not want it to though. I have been praying that God will help me to remain focused and obedient always. I have such a strong testimony of this Gospel though. Even though I make mistakes and I am not perfect (by any stretch of the imagination), I have come to a knowledge of the Atonement. I love teaching the Atonement to people. The miracle of forgiveness. The knowledge of a Savior. I walk them through it all. Gethsemene, Calvary, the Resurrection. If there is anything that they understand, I want them to understand that. I know that Christ lives. I know that in the Garden of Gethsemene that he suffered for me and for you. Suffering so great, and so agonizing that it caused him to sweat drops of blood from every pore. He literally, one by one, saw our faces and then proceeded to feel what we have felt. Physical and Spiritual illness, pain, disappointments, regret, sin. He did it, because he loves us. It is the greatest example of obedience and love that we can ever find. Then, he was rejected. Crucified for us, and for the sins of the world. Then, he was resurrected. He conquered death and the grave for us as well. He did everything for me. I can do just a little for him. Every day I pray that he will bless with his love and with his attributes so that I can be a more profitable servant. I have no regrets about my mission. I have made mistakes, it has been so hard, but my personal growth has been great. I am not the same person I was 7 months ago. He is shaping me and molding me into the person he would have me become. Sometimes I just have to breathe, close my eyes, and say, "I trust you." And let him do it. It is so hard. But it is worth it. I do not understand why things have happened the way they have happened, but I have faith that there is purpose behind everything in this world. God is all around us. He is in everything.

I love you all very much.

Elder Nielsen

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