Monday, July 7, 2014

Hello Family and Friends!

It's really weird for me to think that this is the second-to-last letter that I'm going to write home. Time passes by quickly. I feel so grateful. Yesterday I was able to bear my testimony in sacrament meeting in my last fast and testimony meeting in Mexico. I just felt so much gratitude in my heart for all that God has given to me and taught me during my service as a missionary.

Impressions of Mexico!

1) I repeat again, because I just experienced it today, that there is nothing more frightening than playing soccer against Mexicans. They have no mercy when it comes to a soccer game.

We're going to have a baptism this week! His name is Rogelio. I've talked a little about him before. He's 25 years old and is the friend of a young man in the ward that's preparing to serve a mission. His friend started working in the same store where Rogelio works and invited him to go to church with him. He accepted the invitation and attended sacrament meeting and has not missed a sacrament meeting since. Rogelio is a really great example to me of someone that is humble and teachable. There are so many people today that are so set in their ways. They think that they know everything and are really difficult to be taught. It's such a breathe of fresh air to meet and to get to know and to get to love people that truly are humble in their hearts. That are willing to be taught and act. I'm so excited to see him enter in the waters of baptism!

Something else that I've been pondering a lot this week is the idea of perfectionism. I think sometimes we get caught up in the mindset that we must be perfect, not make mistakes, or be special in order to be deserving of love. I've found that this way of thinking can only really bring great pain to the individual. Because if we think this way, then we are never really going to be happy or content. When the love that the Savior has for us is described in the scriptures it is described as not needing money and not having a price. If we are scared of others seeing our imperfections or our weaknesses because we fear that they will not love us or accept us, we should think for a moment on Jesus Christ. He saw everything. Our weaknesses, faults, sins, and pains. Everything. And yet, his love for us is perfect and is given freely. I know that that love can transform lives. When someone really starts to feel it and understand it and comprehend it, they start to have the desire to live his gospel. We don't need to be perfect in order to be loved. 

A member of the 70 said in a recently published talk, "The word perfection, however, is sometimes misunderstood to mean never making a mistake. Perhaps you or someone you know is trying hard to be perfect in this way. Because such perfection always seems out of reach, even our best efforts can leave us anxious, discouraged, or exhausted. We unsuccessfully try to control our circumstances and the people around us. We fret over weaknesses and mistakes. In fact, the harder we try, the further we may feel from the perfection we seek....The Greek word for perfect can be translated as “complete, finished, fully developed”."

I'm so grateful for my mission. I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I've been given to serve my Heavenly Father and come to know him on a deeper and more intimate level. I know that when I open my heart to him that I will always feel his love and receive answers to my prayers. I need him always. This life is literally meaningless without him, his guidance, and the gospel of his Son. Jesus Christ lives! I know he lives. I have felt the power of his Atonement time and time again. Not only helping me feel forgiveness, but also strengthening me, teaching me, comforting me, and helping me feel his love which enables to me to truly live.

I love you all so much.

Elder Nielsen

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