Monday, March 4, 2013

Hello Family and Friends!

Well, I can probably say that this has been the longest and the craziest week of my mission thus far. And I am about to tell you all about it.

Impressions of Mexico!

1) So, the dogs. Sometimes they are sweet and cute. Sometimes they look and act like they are going to kill me. There is a colonia in our area called the Huizachera, and it is notorious for having the most vicious dogs in the street. So, earlier this week, Elder Romero and I were trying to pin down a reference we received that lives in the Huizachera and we start to walk down their street. Immediately, two dogs start getting into the attack position and begin growling, snarling, and barking. We continue walking down the street and all of a sudden, four dogs run out of surrounding houses and begin growling and barking at us as well. Well, by this point, I am breathing really heavy and just focusing on staying calm (as Elder Romero told me...they can smell fear) and we finally make it to the end of the street. We ask two people where the house is and they point at a house....that is at the beginning of the street. So...we had to return. And needless to say, we experienced the same experience, with the same six dogs all over again.

More next week. I am actually really short on time but I want to share the big news of the week. So...on Thursday...I got the call...and it said...that I am going to train this transfer! The next day, Elder Romero and I head to Cuautla, I drop him off, we say goodbye, and then I head with Elder Becerra to have a meeting with President Kusch in Cuernavaca for the new trainers. After the meeting was over, the zone leaders told me that I had to stay with another Elder named Elder Azuara who was companion-less like me in the center of Cuautla. And today...I received my new companion and just arrived back in my own area for the first time since early Friday morning! Crazy huh?

So, my new companion is Elder Lopez and he is from Veracruz, Mexico. He is very nice. Very shy. And very quiet and nervous (I plan on working that out of him). But he seems very excited to be here and a little shell-shocked. I suppose all the same feelings that I had when I got here so I can definitely relate. I really am so excited to be with and train a new Elder. I have been thinking a lot about how I can help him and what I can do to make him feel comfortable and understand what it means to be a missionary. I did not have the experience that I wanted when I was trained and I do not want him to have the same experience. So I am going to work hard. Be obedient. Love and listen to him. And help him in any way that I can. I am actually super nervous as well. This is the first time that I have been the Senior companion and leading everything. But I know that my Heavenly Father will provide for me.

This week I have been thinking a lot about opposition and the knowledge that whenever something good and grand is about to happen that Satan is always there, pricking and poking at us, and trying to make us falter or lose sight of what is important. I have always been particularly drawn to the story of the encounter that Moses had with Satan in Moses Ch. 1 and the story of the first vision and Joseph Smith. I know that this principle is very true. That darkness, opposition, and struggles will always abound for our entire lives. But I have also come to know and understand another principle which is even more important to me. That God is greater and more powerful than any opposition or doubt that Satan can throw into my path. 

It is my testimony that God lives. That he loves us. That he truly, truly cares about us. In difficult moments, in moments when I have felt the weakest and most dependent, these have been the moments when he has made me feel the strongest. I absolutely love my Savior Jesus Christ. The more I learn of him and the more I teach of him, the more I love him. I truly, truly love him. And I want to be more like him each and every day. He is the Savior of my soul. My Redeemer. And I am willing to put everything on the line for him and the atoning sacrifice he made for me and for every single person that has lived, is currently living, or will live someday in the future.

So my family and friends, wish me luck! And pray for me! I need and feel the power of your prayers and thoughts in my life. I love you all very much. Until next week.

Elder Nielsen

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