Monday, August 12, 2013

Hello Family and Friends!
Tired, but content. Elder Nielsen has learned a lot this week. But first...

Impressions of Mexico!

1) So Saturday nights in little pueblos are not always the safest for the missionaries. For one reason and for one reason only...FIESTAS! If there is one thing that the Mexican people know how to do well, it would be throwing together a good party. They range from small, family gatherings, to shutting-down the pueblo, but you can be assured of a few things, they will be loud, they will have banda music, there will be mountains of tamales, mole, and tacos, and there will be many people drinking. Elder Lopez and I were walking to an appointment Saturday night and were about 30 feet away from a group of 30 men that were drinking in the street. I think right when I said "Oh no..." WHAMMM. One of them got angry and took out his anger by literally breaking a bottle of beer on the head of one of his friends. Fists and drinks started flying and Elder Lopez and I just looked at each other, turned around, and started walking as fast as we could. Crazy.
I know that Jesus Christ lives. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on what his life means to me during the course of my mission. I have learned what it means to let go of what we think we need or want and trust in the power of the Atonement to change us. I have seen those changes. I testify that the Atonement is real. Christ truly did give himself for every single one of us. He took it upon himself to provide the means so that we could experience joy, redemption, forgiveness, and eternal life. He did it to make us more worthy, more pure, more tried, more proven, and just better. Trusting that these changes will come with faith and hope is not always easy. It requires a constant, diligent surrendering of ourselves to God. And an inward confidence that helps us know that we are more powerful when we humble ourselves by the side of our beds and lay everything down at the feet of our Heavenly Father and Savior in prayer. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a witness of these things. To help people understand that lives can change, wounds can be bound up and healed, sins can be forgiven, help is always near, and that they are loved, cherished, sought after, and pleaded for by a loving Heavenly Father and Savior.

I have faith in those things. I believe those things. I am constantly striving to put my life in line with that of the Savior. I love when we teach people and they tell us that they feel different when we enter their homes. I love this gospel. It changes lives. We were teaching Lupita (our investigator with the really sick daughter that suffered a heart attack) and she is an example to me of someone with amazingly great faith. She believes that God is with her. She accepted the message of the Restoration and told us that she believes that God has been preparing her to accept this message. She accepted a date to be baptized. Those moments, when people say "Yes!", when people say that they are ready to change and start anew make me so happy. We can all change. We can all be different. We can all be healed. We just need to trust a little more. Love and serve others a little more. Be content and peaceful with what we have been given. Be obedient. And then watch and wait for those miracles.
I love you all very much. I am learning and growing and striving to be content every single day. I love the people I serve.

Elder Nielsen

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