Monday, June 23, 2014

Hello Family and Friends!

It's gotten really humid lately. Like, you'll shower and feel really good, and then you step out of the shower and you start to sweat profusely. I just sweat always. Sitting, eating, walking, even in air-conditioned rooms. It doesn't matter where. But I still really love Acapulco.

Impressions of Mexico!

1) Something that has always impressed me about Mexico is how much people walk. The streets are always full of people walking around. I mean the majority of people don't have cars and even if they do have cars they only use them if they are going super far. And so to do their errands or anything else, they walk. 

2) Everyone that actually lives here in Acapulco almost never goes to the beach...there have actually been a large number of people that we've talked to that say they don't even like the beach.

I just started to think about what I wanted to write today and I was just filled with a lot of gratitude. I'm so grateful for my mission and everything that I've lived through, seen, and experienced. I've seen people break down into tears, telling me how lost and hopeless they feel. I've seen people break down into tears, saying how full and happy they feel that they have come to know the gospel of Jesus Christ. I've seen people that have lost everything, that live in poorly constructed homes with dirt floors, people that live in mansions, people that have lost family members due to violence, people that are tired of sin. I've seen happy people, peaceful people, funny people, sad people, lonely people, desperate people, depressed people, content people. I've seen things that have filled me with joy. I've seen things that have filled me with pain. I've cried with these people. I've laughed with these people. I've worked along-side these people. I love the Mexican people so much. Just sitting here, reflecting on everything that I've seen, heard, and experienced has just filled me with love and gratitude.

I think one of the greatest lessons I've learned during my mission is the importance of dedicating our time, attention, and efforts on things that matter most. There are so many that waste and wear out their lives on things that don't matter in the end. Money, power, sin, these things bring momentary pleasure, nothing more. They don't fill people up. They actually make them feel empty and tie them down. The gospel is the only thing that brings meaning to this life. It is the only thing that will lead us to eternal life. I know that this is true. I've seen it time and time again.

Above all, I know Christ lives. I know God lives. I know it. I love my Savior. I'm so imperfect as a person. I have so many faults and weaknesses. I need his grace and I need his mercy. Today, in our district meeting, the district leader asked me to share why I'm here serving as a missionary. I'm here because I recognize that the Atonement is real. That I have a debt that I can never pay with the Savior. The least I can do is serve him, strive to do what is asked of me, and help others come to know him and his gospel. I know that this church is true. It is the only church that has the power of God, his priesthood. It is the only church that has the power to lead men and women towards eternal life.

I'm excited to see you all soon, but I still have an important part to play in the time that I have left. I love you all very much.

Elder Nielsen

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