Monday, May 20, 2013

Hello Family and Friends!
This week was huge and I am absolutely physically exhausted. But first and foremost...Impressions of Mexico!

Impressions of Mexico!
1) To travel between Yautepec and Cuautla for our district meetings, we are usually forced to take this large bus named Estrella de Roja. Well, it is very common during these bus rides to have people get on just to sell something for 5 minutes and then they hop off again. I have had flan, bread, and various fruits that I still cannot identify by name shoved in my face thusfar.

2) I would say that if I could classify a group of people that are the most scared of us, it would have to be Mexican woman that are 75 years old or older. I do not know why, but everytime we pass by they give us the most piercing stare. And so, naturally, I smile and say ¡Buenas Tardes!...and...they just continue staring. Literally, they do not even flinch.

3) Images of the Virgin Guadalupe are to be found literally everywhere. Some common examples are:

A) Hats B) Mugs C) Painted obnoxiously large on walls D) Notebooks E) As Stickers on Cars and Buses F) In protected glass cases, surrounded by Christmas lights, in front of the houses of strong Catholic families.

4) Speaking of the Virgin, I saw the greatest sign ever above the door of a house we passed by; and it read: We do not accept missionaries or religious literature of any kind because in this house we worship the "la Virgen de Guadalupe". I wanted so badly to knock on the door but my companion convinced me not to.
So, as I said before, this week was really big for me. One of the highlights was the chance that I had to go with my District to the temple in Mexico City and spend the day there. The Spirit in the temple is so strong. I remember crying because it was so nice to be out of "the world" for those few precious hours. I remember looking in one of the eternity mirrors and having the thought come to me of what God sees for me. He wants me and all of us to be with him for eternity. Perfect, pure, and proven. Sometimes I am so caught up in the now. How I feel right now. What I want right now. What I want to change right now. That oftentimes I forget about eternity. God is preparing, teaching, and tutoring me so that I can be prepared to be with him again. I know that I have challenges to face and mountains to climb that will test me to the very core. But I understand even more now the necessity of these challenges. They polish us, refine us, and prepare us.

I also received a phone call from President Kusch this week, I will be serving as a District Leader starting this next transfer. I was so nervous because the thought came to me of all the things I have to change and be in order to be a "good" leader. Then the thoughts came to me, "just love my missionaries" and "be who I have made you to be".
I love you all so much. I know God lives. My relationship with him has developed so much because I have been, in a way, forced to rely on him and his love. I have literally had to walk with my Savior each day. I do not know what the future will bring for me, but one thing I do know is that I can have peace if I am striving to be faithful and loyal and loving in all that I do. I truly have so much love for the Savior. I was watching Finding Faith in Christ this week and looking at all the miracles that the Savior did. I was so struck by one scene in particular. A leper approaches the Savior and tells him, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." And the Savior responded and said, "I will. Be thou clean." That is the promise that keeps me going. Restoration. Healing. Cleanliness. Purity. I know, that one day, I will see my Savior and be so grateful for every trial that has come my way. I know that I will feel his love even more profoundly than I have felt it during my life. He lives. Jesus is the Christ.

I love you all and will talk to you soon.

Elder Nielsen

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