Monday, June 17, 2013

Hello Family and Friends!

Well, this week was difficult for Elder Lopez and I, but we are pushing through it! The bitter always has to come with the sweet!

Impressions of Mexico!

1) If you want to start a business here in Mexico...sell beef jerkey. Everyone here loves it. They ask me repeatedly to tell my parents to send it to me so they can have some. Because honestly, it does not exist. 

2) T-shirts are commonly used here as mops, rags, and towels.

I am grateful for weeks that are trying. They remind me really of who is in control. We had to stop teaching a family of five this week that we have been teaching for almost 3 months. They are wonderful and we love them but they have just stopped progressing and have lost the desire to be baptized. When we left their house, after telling them that we would not be able to pass by very often, I truly got a little emotional. I feel love for them and it hurt me to see them make the wrong choice. But we have to keep moving forward right?

I think about those early pioneers and saints that crossed the United States in order to make it to the Salt Lake Valley. Their faith and determination amazes me. They were willing to leave everything behind and keep pressing forward through every type of adversity imaginable because they knew what was right and they knew what they wanted. They had a goal. They wanted to reach Zion. And so they were willing and obedient. They sacrificed. They put everything on the line for the Lord. Sometimes that it was what we have to do. Keep walking forward, but with good cheer. This life is meant to try us to the core and prepare us for something better but we have also been promised that in those moments of trial, we are entitled to the peace of the Holy Ghost if we are faithful to the commandments and to our Heavenly Father. We are also meant to find joy and happiness and beauty on the trail.

My mission has caused me to reflect on how much I still have to learn and how much growth I have yet to experience. It has been hard and trying as it should be. But I can not deny the absolutely beautiful and spiritual moments that my Father in Heaven has granted unto me. I would not trade away this experience for anything. Because, if nothing else occurs, I can say with a smile (and sometimes tears) that I know my Father in Heaven lives. Jesus is the Christ. The Savior and Redeemer of my soul. It is through his atoning sacrifice that I can be made whole again from the hurts and struggles of this life. I will forever be grateful for the strength and healing I receive through the grace of his Atonement. God loves us. And because he loves us, he chastens us so that we may become stronger and more like him day by day. I hope that we can all press forward. Peaceful and content with trusting in God and his timing for us. And know that there is always a chance to change. 

I love you all very much.

Elder Nielsen

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