Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hello Family and Friends!
This week has been very important for me. Elder Lopez and I worked so hard and gave it our all. We came back looking and feeling like zombies because we were so tired but it was so worth it!

Impressions of Mexico (forgive me if I begin to repeat, I have been here for a while you know)!
1) It is really common to find young men with squirt bottles and rags at every major intersection in Cuautla. They anxiously await for the signal, and if you say yes, they literally swan-dive on top of your car and clean your windows in 4.5 seconds. You should see it sometime. Truly amazing.

2) The equivalent of 7-Eleven in Mexico is called OXXO. There is literally an OXXO on every street corner and they are amazing for one reason. They have AC. And the AC is turned up to full-blast. So you can imagine what we sometimes do when it is literally 100 degrees and we have been walking for a long time...and then happen to pass an OXXO....

3) People here think that when you have the hicupps that someone that loves you is thinking about you.

4) We taught a lesson this week in a cement bathroom, outside of the house, on the side of a hill.

5) In Mexico every single person has two last names. They inherit the first last name of both their father and mother. For example if my father is Kurt Nielsen Wolsey and my mother is Mary Synold Holman, my name in Mexico would be Jacob Nielsen Synold. Everyone is shocked to find out that I only have one last name!
I had a really powerful experience this week that I want to share. We received a reference from a less-active sister in the branch named Wendy to go and visit her friend named Guadalupe. When we went to visit her, and I saw her situation, I literally got so emotional. Guadalupe is a single mother with two little girls, the youngest is named Noemi. Noemi is four years old and recently had a severe heart-attack that left her in a vegetative state. When we walked in, we saw them living in a small  room, and we saw the little girl lying on her back in the only bed they have. She had tubes leading into her throat and stomach and it was so hot (the roof was made of pure metal). Guadalupe sells clothes in order to make enough money for the treatments and special diet of her little girl. The first time we visited her she broke down into tears and told us that she still has faith that God can heal her child. That she has already been making improvements and is beginning to see a little and feel little things like flies landing on her feet, etc. We taught her the Atonement and then set an appointment at 12:00 pm to return the next day with the Relief Society President. That night, the sister missionaries called us and told us that there was a sister in the ward that wanted us to give a blessing and if we could go with them at 10:30 am the next day to give the blessing. Turns out that the sister in the ward took us to Guadalupe. When we arrived she was about to leave with her daughter to go the hospital because she had been vomiting, convulsing, and had not slept the entire night.

This next part is very important to me, and something that I will never forget. We were able to sit by the side of that little girl and give her a blessing of health with consecrated oil. I literally felt so much love for both the mother and the child. I felt something different during the blessing, I felt that God was literally working through Elder Lopez and I to bless this child. Immediately after the blessing, the little girl calmed down, she stopped crying and convulsing, and immediately started to sleep peacefully. Had we arrived at 12:00 pm that day, we would have been too late.
My testimony has been strengthened even more. The power of the priesthood is real. How grateful I am that God gives me the opportunity to bless others and serve others. That he brings us directly to those that need our help. How grateful I am that my mission has also taught me to love and minister unto others and to give all of myself in their service. Even thinking about it makes me a little emotional. Sometimes we do not think that we are growing or progressing as fast as we would like, then God gives us opportunities to see that we have, and that the growth will continue.

We are starting to see growth again in the branch. We have found new families to teach and we continue to try and strengthen and reactivate the less-actives and new converts!
I know that Christ lives. This life is just a small little blimp in the eternities. The choices we make truly have eternal consequences. So I think that we all need to focus a little more on eternal things. Christ rose from the tomb and because he did, we will all be resurrected. We will all be with those we love again. The Atonement is real. It is so real. I can feel the hand of God changing me day by day and helping me become a new creature in Christ. I will forever be grateful for the people I have met, blessed, served, and taught while serving as a missionary in the restored church of Jesus Christ.

Elder Nielsen

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