Monday, February 17, 2014

Hello Family and Friends!

It's starting to really heat up here in Altamirano. Every time I mention the heat to people here they just start laughing and say, "This is nothing Guero (their word for white boy), just wait until April and May come around." I am literally terrified. They say that during the height of the heat it gets to be about 120 degrees. Luckily the new house we moved into has air conditioning (it's a luxury here in Mexico)!

Impressions of Mexico!

1) Valentine's Day in Mexico is called The Day of Love and Friendship. I sort of like the title a little more here.

We are going to have a baptism this week in Altamirano! Her name is Luz María. It has been such a blessing to teach her. She's actually a reference from President Kusch. He came here to Altamirano in September and felt inspired to stay in a different hotel. When he asked a worker in the hotel where he thought a good place to eat was, the worker referred him to the restaurant that she owns. When Elder Millan and I arrived, President Kusch told us that we should go contact her. I love her so much. She has so much faith. She will be such a strong blessing for this little branch. She has a desire to serve the members and has already accompanied us to teach other investigators and invites people to go to church and to meet with us every time that she gets the chance. Things that at the beginning she told us that she would never even consider she has now committed to do (close her restaurant on Sundays to honor the Sabbath for example). The Spirit changes the hearts of people. I feel so joyful. I love baptisms. They are such beautiful moments. These precious sons and daughters of God show that they are willing to leave their old lives behind. That they have repented and that they are willing to remember the Savior, keep the commandments, and serve others. Truly beautiful. And absolutely necessary as well.

We are working really well as a companionship. We are both motivated and we have seen a lot of miracles as we have acted in faith and followed the Spirit. One example of that happened this week. We were going over our plans in the morning during our studies and a less-active sister suddenly popped into my mind that we had visited a long time ago but that had expressed 0 interest in returning. When we arrived at her house, she told us that it was a miracle that we had found her because she had decided that morning to not go to work. We started visiting with her and everything seemed completely normal. There was a moment of silence and then I felt inspired to ask her "And how have you been spiritually?" She opened up and told us about some serious difficulties and suffering that her family had experienced recently. As she did, she cried. I felt the Spirit very strongly. I felt a lot of love for her. When we follow the Holy Ghost everything turns out alright. I know that that is true. She is now more willing to return to church. 

So many people suffer in this world. I won't go into details, but I just want to say that so many horrible things are happening in this world. Without a knowledge of God, the Savior, and the Plan of Salvation, this world would seem very hopeless and very dark for so many. I know that God is real and that he loves us. I know that everything that is unfair about this life can be made right through the Atonement of Christ. I know that it is hard sometimes. Sometimes we feel so alone and we feel that it is unfair. I felt that way when I arrived here in Altamirano. At the beginning I felt that it was so unfair. But yesterday, hearing Luz María say that she knows that this church is true and that she is ready to make a covenant with God by being baptized, I realized why I have been here for so long. God is fighting for his chosen sons and daughters. As I knelt in prayer yesterday I just told him "Thank You". And that I will never doubt him or his plans again. Everything has been alright. Better than alright. Things have been perfect because they have been the way that God has wanted them to be.

I love you all so much.

Elder Nielsen

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