Monday, March 24, 2014

Hello Family and Friends!

So yesterday I heard in a bus that we were taking that it was 44 degrees celsius in the shade here in Altamirano and Tierra Caliente. I was sweating like a pig so I imagined that it must be pretty hot. But I just wanted to check to be sure (the conversion between Celsius and Fahrenheit still hasn't clicked with me yet). So I pulled out our brick cellphone and did the conversion. 111 degrees Fahrenheit. In the shade. I literally felt that my skin was melting. We are entering the hot months. I might die.

Impressions of Mexico!

1) I have learned that when someone in Mexico tells you that they are "only going to tell you one thing" is never just one thing that they are going to tell you. It is basically their way of saying be quiet and listen to what I have to say. I think that it's funny.

2) Apparently if the puppy of a street dog dies, the street dog eats her puppy. I didn't believe it until I saw it this week.

3) There are a surprisingly large number of women here in Altamirano that exercise in skirts that reach their ankles. HELLO PEOPLE.

I really enjoyed this week. After being in an area for so long, you really get to feel like you're part of the community and part of the branch. I felt that way in Yautepec (8 months) and I have been starting to feel it here in Altamirano (6 months and counting). I've really decided to be super proactive and attack the situation here with all of my heart. My desire this week was to find good, new people to teach that are going to progress and God answered those prayers and desires. I literally tried to talk with everyone I saw and God blessed us with some new families and individuals that are interested in learning more. I've learned that when we approach a problem with confidence and faith instead of fear and doubt, that that is the moment when grace moves and we are blessed from on high. Of course, after doing all we can do. That grace is so important. It's fundamental. I recognize that even if I put in my best effort. 100% of Elder Nielsen. It still wouldn't be enough. After doing all I can do, I still need the grace of the Savior. That divine power that comes and helps me do what I could not do alone. That power and the Spirit have lead us to a family of four that are interested in reading the Book of Mormon. It has also lead us to another young woman. That I wanted to tell you about.

So we were teaching a couple of young men that have stopped progressing. One time when we went to teach them, one of them told us that he had brought the Book of Mormon with him to school that we had given him and that one of his friends in his class saw it, took it and started reading it. She asked him if she could borrow it because it really interested her. We visited with her for the first time this week. Her name is Marisol. She read the Book of Mormon and after asking her what she thought she told us that she loves reading it because she feels peace. She feels that it is true and that it is right. Even those these two young men stopped progressing which was sad, I believe that God put them as a medium to arrive at Marisol. Someone that we feel is ready. God is a God of miracles. And through small and simple things, he makes great things come to pass. His plans are always perfect.

I know that Christ lives. He literally came to this Earth. He suffered for our sins, pains, sicknesses, and weaknesses. I never get tired of studying, reading about, or reviewing the Atonement. I still don't understand it completely. But I have felt its power in my life. God works mighty changes in those who follow him and keep his commandments. We need to be patient. Those changes come with time, patience, diligence, faith, obedience, and hard work on our part. I love my Savior. I love his church. I know that this is his church. Because being of member of it, and serving within it has changed me. I have felt the power of the priesthood bless my life and I have seen it bless the lives of others. The Book of Mormon is true. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. God speaks to man today. That is very comforting to me. He has not left us in the dark.

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

Elder Nielsen

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