Monday, January 13, 2014

Hello Family and Friends!

So we spent this entire week in beautiful Taxco, Guerrero doing divisions with our district leader and his companion. The city is beautiful. There is a rule that every house, if painted, has to be painted white. The streets are super narrow and the city is basically built into the side of mountain/hill so there are some wicked climbs. All of the taxis are like the super old white volkswagen bugs. There are some streets that are basically just stairs (like 300-400 stairs in a row). And the weather here is so nice and cool because we are at a higher altitude. The city is famous for selling silver and for a beautiful Catholic Cathedral called La Santa Prisca. I enjoyed myself and we had a ton of success but I was ready to go back to my area. And we are going to get to go back on Tuesday!

Impressions of México!

1) A famous dish that Mexicans love is called "pansita". It is the stomach of a cow. Enough said.

2) Usually the sign that someone is home is that they leave their front door completely open. Like if I'm home then my front door will just perpetually be open. Interesting.

We started an activity last Sunday to read the Book of Mormon as a zone. Like, everyone is assigned a chapter each day for about two weeks so by the end of each week as a zone we will have read the entire Book of Mormon. This week I was able to read Alma 24, one of my favorite chapters. After having gone through such an extensive repentance process, the people of Ammon decided to bury their "weapons of war" that they had used to kill others. They recognized that through the power of the Atonement that they had been changed. They were pure. Clean. Forgiven. They decided to bury their old sins and old way of life "deep in the earth". Never to return to what they did or who they were before. Then when the Lamanites came to destroy them, instead of running away or looking for their weapons, they: 1) went out to meet them 2) prostrated themselves to the earth and began praying to God 3) and praised God even in the act of perishing by the sword. These people had made a covenant with God that they would never return to their past sins or past ways of life. They kept their covenants. They were strong and faithful until the very end. I think sometimes that God will try us. He will see if we are really committed to following him by giving us really hard tests and trials. But I also know that if we endure to the end, that everything will be alright. Everything will work out for our good. He loves us and is watching over us.

This week one of our plans had fallen at about 8:00 p.m. and we asked the Elder's Quorum President here in Taxco if he knew any less-actives that we could visit. He said, "Actually, there is a sister that lives right in front of your apartment that has been inactive for about 20 years. You could visit her." We went to visit her and she accepted us in her home. I don't know. I felt the spirit so strongly in this moment. We started talking with her and she got very defensive saying that she "was" a member of the church, that she had already entered the temple and been sealed, but that she had already forgotten everything. But we were patient and only showed her love. We asked her a simple question about how her life has been since she had left the church and she put down her walls and started crying. She became very receptive and promised us that she would go to church this next Sunday. We also realized that her husband, the spouses of her four children, and all of her grandchildren (which are now grown) and their spouses aren't members. I know that if we want missionary opportunities sometimes we don't have to search far and wide. Sometimes they are right in front of us. They are literally all around us. If we really search for them, then God will grant them to us. The souls of his children are so precious to him. He is putting plans in place to save each and every one of them.

I love you all so much and hope that you have an amazing week.

Elder Nielsen

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