Monday, November 30, 2009

First Week In Paraguay

Ha estoy en Paraguay!!! Can you believe it?! Wow ok..where do I start?? My area is Maramure which is in Luque. Ah and I finally found out who my compaƱera is! Hermana Case…she is so cute! She´s actually from Provo and she hits her year mark on Dec. 24th. I already love her and we are going to tear it up and have a white Christmas! Oh and my second day here I saw Tyler!! And he says hi to everyone. He is now the AP and probably will be for the rest of his mission. What a stud. It was fun to see him! Oh my we packed our stuff in the taxi and left for our area (it´s probably like 30 min. outside of Asuncion) and when we were getting ready to leave to go work, I realized I forgot one of my suitcases! Ha I would do that lol. So I still haven´t gotten it back yet…hopefully tomorrow! Lol it has a lot of my study stuff in it. But it´s all good. Ok are you ready for a description of mi vida in Paraguay?! Haha it´s awesome! There are chickens and roosters and cows EVERYWHERE! It´s hilarious..they just roam everywhere..and then there are occasional pigs and goats. Oh and they have their horses and wagons if they don´t have cars and a lot of people just don´t have any they´ve got buses! Oh man..that is an experience!! We ride a bus at least twice a day (to and from our area) and everyone just gets packed in the buses and the drivers are insane! Mom you would die. Haha you like step in the bus or out of the bus and before you get your other foot off or on they´re already driving away. It´s so fun!  Let´s see..yeah my feet are probably going to fall off because the roads are crazy..I´m so excited to take pictures and send them to yall! They don´t really believe in trash cans so the road is covered and there will be like shoes and soda cans buried in the rubble. It´s great. The sunsets are gorgeous!! And the people, oh my gosh the people are so AWESOME! They laugh at me every time I speak in Spanish..I think it´s hilarious. And I just laugh with them. The kids are so awesome, too! They make me so happy. They get so excited everytime they see you and they totally look like little Lamanitic children. The big problem in Paraguay I think is probably that they are just so chill, so when you invite them to be baptized, they´re just like sure, ¿por que no? But I don´t think they really understand what that means because after they get baptized a lot of them don´t even go to church anymore. Ha and they are such big fat liars…it´s hilarious! All these people told us they were coming to church and only 5 did! I need advice people!!! What kinds of things can I do to help them actually desire for themselves to do these things? I´d love to hear what yall think! Aver… oh my first day we were teaching this family (oh by the way you teach maybe 2 or 3 lessons a week inside somebody´s house)! Let me paint the scene for what it usually looks like; you go to their house and clap in the front and then the little kids come running up and invite you in (when I say in, I mean into the yard); and then they go and gather chairs! Ha I love the chairs because they´re all so old and cute! And man they are so polite and nice and offer you the best chairs and everything. Ok so back to the family; we sit down and this was my first lesson with kids and we sing ´I am a Child of God´ and it was so peaceful and there was a nice breeze and I almost just started bawling!!! It was just so tender and I was just looking at this family and their humble situation and I just fell in love! It was so cool! We´re teaching this kid named Emilio and he´s definitely the closest to being baptized. Man, he is such a stud!!! He´s 19 and he would just make such a good missionary! He´s having a lot of doubts about Joseph Smith, but he is like a golden investigator (meaning he really wants to know and learn and he´s reading the Book of Mormon by himself and has kept all the commitments). He said his friends told them if he got baptized they wouldn´t be his friends anymore and wouldn´t go to his baptism or anything. For him, he would have to sacrifice a lot. But man, this gospel is so true! And I just know he´s going to get it! I can see it in his eyes. And I just know that Satan is working on him because when Emilio is baptized he is going to make one amazing member of the church. Paraguay needs more people like him! I´m so excited for him! Ha oh I forgot to tell you about the food…oh man! Speaking of food, how was Thanksgiving?!!! Tell me everything! Ok so we usually get fed by members once a day and when I say fed I mean they top your plate with a ridiculous amount of food…think of how much you ate for Thanksgiving..yeah they put that much on your plate for lunch! Ha and that´s just for round one! Everyone keeps telling me my stomach is just going to grow because of how much you eat…and yeah you definitely don´t say no. You eat it all with a smile on your face even if you feel like you´re going to barf! And then when your done they look at you and smile and say do you want more and politely say no and then they smile again and add another huge amount of food on your plate!!! I wish I was exaggerating..but I´m dead serious. It´s hilarious. Yes, I´m going to gain weight! Yikes! And yes we walk A TON and yes it is a MILLION DEGREES outside. I sweat like you wouldn´t believe…ha it´s awesome. It´s definitely hard but I know that I´m supposed to be here and I love serving these people. Oh and everytime I show our family picture to them (the one we took when yall dropped me off at the MTC) they always think dad looks so young and that Alena is like 19. And then once they realize who I am in the picture they´re shocked lol because I look so different now! But they think I´m beautiful and I´ve never been whistled at so much in my life lol and they call me a Barbie..I´m gonna miss that when I go back to the states haha. Ok and one last thing that I learned yesterday. There are 5 things that make a successful missionary in Paraguay. 1. Being bit by a dog 2. Getting picque 3. Getting robbed …ok I can´t remember the rest lol..I´ll send those next week  Oh and yesterday we had church. It was great! We meet in the stake center and it´s really nice. I bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting (at least tried to in my best Spanish) and then Hna Case and I had to teach the gospel doctrine class (I guess that happens a lot because the teachers just don´t show up) ha that was fun…she taught most of it and I just shard a couple scriptures and stuff. They are really patient with me and my Spanish; it´s great. I don´t know how I´ll ever learn Spanish but I know I will so it´s all good! Ok my time is up! Love yall all so much!!! Have a great week and pray for me and the people of Paraguay!!! Oh and if you haven´t sent me a box yet please include a spray fan!!!! And also ped socks (but not the ones with the padding…just the regular black ones that come to the middle of your foot more in the front!) Gracias!Love, Hermanita Nelson

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

estoy en Paraguay!!!

ha i cant do any of the right symbols or capitalizations but im in paraguay!!! oh my goodness it is so beautiful! im already in love with it. ha its super humid pero esta bein. i love it. its so green and there are beautiful sunsets. sorry i couldnt call again but i had no money on my card. triste. but pdays are on mondays so thats when i can email yall! be excited. we find out who are companions are tomorrow and where we are going! we got in tonight and came to the wades house and ate dinner. love the food. love the wades. and now i have to go. a lot more details next week. love yall mucho! love,hermanita nelson

A Few MTC Pictures

Here are the last pictures Amanda sent us from the MTC. Sorry I didn't get these posted sooner.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Last Week In the MTC- 4 Days Until Paraguay!!!

Hola!!! Can you beleive the time has finally come for me to head off to Paraguay!!! Woot woot! It's about time! I am SO READY! Oh and just real fast call Emily and tell her she has to send the package tomorrow and make sure that I'll get it by Saturday or else I won't get it!!! Oh and tell Bobby, Kimmy, Lauren, and Keri HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Oh and also I think you can send me DearElders in Paraguay for free..or that's what I've you should all probably definitely take advantage of that :) And I got Angela's packet!!! Omg LOVED IT! I loved the pictures!! Gracias!! And I got yalls too!! Thanks for the cookies!! Love them!! And cards and Christmas presents! Ah I just love packages :) And tell Sister Andersen thanks for her cuteness! Oh and send me everyone's phone numbers so I can call all yall...or tell me what the plan is. Are yall all going to be home or what?! If not send me Angela's, Alisa's, and Dad's. Ok and guess what?!! Our progressive investigator, Gabriel got baptized last Saturday!! haha it was sooo cool! It made me super excited. And it was cool because it was one of the teachers in our zone and he actually served in Paraguay so he was acting like a Paraguayan! Love it! Anyways oh my goodness! Can you believe I will be in Paraguay in 5 days!!! Ha I still can't! I'm so excited!!! Life is so good. I have been so blessed! It's going to be sad leaving the resort but shoot now I'm going to the celestial resort. RIght?! Well it's about to come that way anyways. I don't know a lick of Spanish but it will come! Ha it's going to be sooo cool! My life is going to be so different next week, I can't wait. I can't wait to be humbled..again lol. A mission is the best thing in the world! So we watched a fireside by Elder Bednar and he said, "Become a missonary, do not merely go on a mission." I love that. Become a missionary. And then he said, "when it's time to leave the mission-return to your home but do not leave the mission field" ha that is so going to be me!!! I had a revelation this week...I now want to come home weird! haha but I'm serious! How can you come home after serving the Lord with all your heart, soul and energy and teaching with the Spirit everyday and then come back and not feel weird listening to certain music or watching certain movies, etc. I know for me it's going to be like..wait a second..I finally just got the hang of Spanish and teaching good and now I have to go home? What in the world?! Yeah I'm definitely going to be weird. But I'm excited!! I want to continue being a missionary my whole life!! Elder Oaks' wife was here for Relief Society on Sunday and she said, "When we come to understand the basics of our religion, we begin to understand ourselves" and then she said this, "this church is not just a nice way to live, it is the reason we live." Wow I love that. This gospel is the reason we live. We live for this gospel. Dad said, "for a year and a half you have nothing to worry about other than proclaiming Christ and his restored gospel." Am I blessed or what?! It doesn't get any better than that!!!Ok and guess what?! Sheri Dew came on Sunday night!!! Talk about AN AMAZING WOMAN! I don't even know what to say. I wish I could just send you my notes. Inspirational. She helped put things into such a clearer perspective for me. She talked a little bit about the Atonement. The Atonement is something that has always been so INCREDIBLE to me. Christ died for me. For me. For me and for you and for everyone! And why? In order for us to be able to become clean and return to our Heavenly Father. What hope. The Savior's Atonement is so personal. So personal. He knows us. He knows us individually. He knows our weaknesses and our stregnths. He knows the pain and hurt we feel. He knows when we're discouraged and frustrated or when we suffer from heartbreak or sorrow. He knows what it's like to feel devestated. But he also knows our joy. He knows the joy of a family. Of a baby. Of a rainbow. He knows what makes us happy. He knows how to bless. He knows how to HELP US. He is who we can turn to when the going gets rough. Because HE KNOWS. Oh what joy the sentence gives, I know that my Redeemer lives. I know that my Redeemer lives. And that is the message I will share for the remainder of my days. I truly stand all amazed at the love Jesus has for me. Presiding Bishop, Brother Edgley came Tuesday night and said something that really helped me. He said, "once we receive a calling from the Lord, the Lord qualifies us for the work." Ha I love it because I am so not qualified for this great work, but I know that the Lord will qualify me so I can share the message of the restored gospel with EVERYONE! Ha I can't wait to speak the limited Spanish I know and just bear testimony to EVERYONE! I'm SO EXCITED!! I love yall so so much! Keep the love coming! Next weeks email is going to be awesome! Ha what is it going to be like?! I don't even know. The anticipation is killing me! I'll be in Paraguay!! Ah I know I will just love it! I love yall and thanks so much for your testimonies. Please pray for the people of Paraguay and for my new companion! Ha she definitely needs your prayers..I would be tough ;) Have a great Thanksgiving and eat lots of pie for me because I won't have it for 16 months! Woot woot! Love yall :) Hermanita Nelson

Thursday, November 12, 2009

10 more days!

Hola!!! Can you beleive how fast time has flown by?!! I leave for Paraguay in 10 days!!!!! PARAGUAY..what in the world?! I am so blessed! This week wasn't super eventful but still an amazing week at the MTC! Have I ever told you that I love the MTC?! lol I'm so excited to go to Paraguay but I'm sad to leave behind all the amazing people I've met here! How am I ever going to be able to leave behind all of the amazing people I meet in Paraguay?!! I'm going to go back and visit for sure! I'm not exactly sure when I leave (WE GET OUR FLIGHT PLANS TODAY!!! SO STOKED) So I'll try to get back on later and email you what the deal is! But yeah Nov. 24 will be my first day in Paraguay and when Ty meets with the Bishop and Stake President; so cool!!! OMG yesterday I hosted AGAIN :) And I got to host Heather (the girl I worked with..awesome!) but before she came I was sitting next to an hermana and out of nowhere she says omg that's my family (looking at a van that had just pulled up) apparently her brother was entering the MTC!!! ha so her family jumps out of the car and is like sprinting up to her to give her a hug and she's like no you can't come up here but they attack her with love anyways! ha it was so great! I almost cried lol. And then her cute lil brother that was entering the MTC came up to her and gave her this huge hug! Made me miss yall mucho! It was great! it would've been so fun to have Ty in the MTC at the same time, pero esta bien! Ahhh NICK!!!! Russia!!! What in the world?!! ha that is so awesome!! I'm so stoked for you!!! And Ty omg I can't wait to see where you go!! Maybe Paraguay, too! Definitely South America!!! Oh AND Sister Curtis said that changes are on the 24th(when I should get there) so Tyler might be in the mission home and I can see him my first day in Paraguay!! That would be so great! And maybe he'll be a trainer to one of the elders in my district! Love life! Oh man I'M GOING TO PARAGUAY! The mission hasn't really felt like it's started yet and I can't even imagine how exciting it will be to teach real people and help them come unto Christ! Wow, it'll be great! We taught lesson 2 in spanish for the first time and it actually went really well, words were just coming out of my mouth; it was awesome! Ha I feel like I don't even know any spanish but it's all good because I will work really hard so I can teach the people effectively! Ahh but in the meantime when I'm struggling I know the Spirit will help me and relay the message that I'm trying to say in spanish to their hearts and they will know the truth of what I'm trying to say! Fabulous! A couple good quotes: "This isn't about people joining a church, we don't care about numbers, this work is about reuniting people with their Heavenly Father." Ahh how blessed I am to be a part of this work, the salvation of souls! Wow! And I like this next quote because it puts things into perspective for me; "the real 'mists of darkness' (referring to 1 Nephi) come after the people are baptized. Don't be satisfied or led to believe that you have accomplished your purpose when you have not." I bet that is so true. Once their baptized doesn't mean they're going to stay active for the rest of their lives. It is ALL of our responsibility to help eachother stay close to God so that we can ALL return to live with Him again! One more, "when Christ is all you have, you realize He's all you need." Ahh me gusta. When you feel like there's no one else in the world who feels the way you do, it's ok because Christ knows exactly how you feel! The Atonement is so incredible to me and is very personal to me. It's so hard to comprehend what our Savior did for us. He died and suffered for us so that we can repent and become clean and return to our Lord.Love it! Oh and I'm sending home a memory card with lots and lots of great pictures! BE EXCITED! And I don't think yall got the memo because this week I received the least amount of letters during my whole stay at the let me say it one more time :) I only have TEN DAYS LEFT!!! In other words, I better get A TON of letters and packages this week! Deal?! Perfect! Love yall so much!!! Thanks for your testimonies and examples! Love,Hermanita Nelson P.s. Mom Hna Galbraith's mom is going to add you on facebook so she can see all my pictures :) Love ya!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


HOLA!!! How is everyone?! Y'all can you believe it...I only have 18 days left here in the MTC!!!! Loco!!! Ahh estoy muy animado ir a Paraguay!!! So that means I'm only in the states for another two weeks...which means I'm expecting A LOT of letters and packages before I leave the country :) Perfect! Ok and I hosted yesterday! It was fabulous! And just guess who I hosted..yes two hermanas from St. George! McKayla Belen who is going to Korea(she's a year older than me) and Whitney Tanner who is going to Kentucky! Ha it was sooo fun and crazy! I didn't even know they were coming while I was here! It was really exciting! So hopefully I helped make them feel comfortable! Ha love St. George. Oh and I found out I can call home from the airport if we have long delays..which I'm guessing we will! So that'll be like the 23rd I think but I'll give you more details later! And it's crazy because next Monday two districts leave (my favorite district is leaving :() and we'll be the oldest district! Ha I can't believe it! I remember thinking that the older districts were so smart and knew so much, lol and I don't feel that way at all! The Spanish is coming..I'm hoping to get a Native companion! I know that would be SO HARD but it would help me learn the language so much better! But amazing how the Lord blesses us with the gift of tongues..and I got my testimony and the baptismal commitment down in Spanish so I figure that will be good enough for now :) Oh and tell Sister Curtis I'm excited for her letter and that right now I'm kinda freaking out because the reality is starting to hit in that in two and half weeks I'll be in a country where they only speak spanish so I'm studying so hard! And ahh so first tell Nick I'm still waiting for a letter..and that I saw all his information on the computer because my teacher looked him up! And tell Heather Hennrich that her class is in the same building as mine and she'll be living in the same hall as me!! lol my teacher hooked us up! That's so crazy that Nick is getting his call right now! I'm so excited to hear where he is going! Ahhh and I can't beleive Ty will find out in a month!!! Love it!!! That's so so exciting!!! Oh and mom you can probably just have them ship the shoes here! Ha and I'm so excited Sister Dickerson came to see you! She's so amazing!!! Her and her husband just blow my mind! They are so fun! And if you want to send like the makeup and stuff up with her or if you buy the shoes by then you can send that up with her! Oh and send me a pair of jean shorts!!! I found out I could have them in Paraguay and it's going to be SO HOT AND HUMID when I get there in 18 days! WOOT WOOT! They don't even know what's! Of course this week was amazing! The MTC is the best! I'm kinda sad to leave but esta bien! Some good stuff I learned this week; first tell Ty and Nick that one of the most important sections in PMG is the BOM section and they told us that all Pre missionaries should read it and become familiar with it before they come to the MTC! And oh how I love focusing on the Book of Mormon! "Be a BOM missionary" Stay in the BOM always and share scriptures with the people as soon as possible! It can change lives! President Dickerson told me something that really really has helped me! He said, "two individuals can do anything, if one of them is the Lord." Ahh so true! There is no way I can do this work by myself and learn this language by myself! Man it can be challenging and there are definitely struggles but it's ok because the Lord will help you because this is His work and he wants you to succeed. Ahh it's so cool! I have been called of God...I never realized how powerful that was before. Think about that for a second. I am a representative of Jesus Christ. Wow. Blows my mind. What an amazing responsibility and opportunity! Sister Smith (Mission president's wife) said, What level of missionary will you become? Tellestial, terrestial, or celestial. Sacrifice your comforts to do the will of the Lord. If we could truly understand the Atonement we would recognize how important ONE soul is to our Father in Heaven and we would seek out EVERY wayward boy and girl and DO ALL WE COULD to help them prepare for eternal ordinances. Today in the temple I couldn't help but think..this is what I want the people of Paraguay to experience, this is what I want my whole family to be worthy of. How great are the blessings and ordinances of the temple! How amazing it is to know that we can live with our families FOREVER! What a great work we are doing to bring souls unto Christ! Sister Smith closed with, "choose to become the angel you have been foreordained to be." Is that beautiful or what?! I just wanted to cry lol. What a great statement. There is so much potential in all of us. The Lord expects great things from us. We are his children and it is us who can help bring his precious children back to his presence to live with him again. Love it! At the fireside on Sunday night we talked a lot about gratitude! "Start a new day with gratitude" "gratitude begats divine guidance" Say a prayer of only thanks today! We have been so blessed! Take some time and tell your Heavenly Father how thankful you are for what you have. We praise the Lord when we give him our thanks! And last thing! Tuesday devo. we talked about being BOLD! ha I love being bold :) Brother Rasband said, "be a bold finding missionary!" In PMG it says "nothing happens in missionary work, until you find someone to teach!" Ha then he said "go into your mission with fire in your bones!" he said "take the fire of the MTC with you and breathe new enthusiasm!" "One missionary can make a difference" ahhh 18 days people!!! And yes I feel like I am on fire! I can't wait to be in Paraguay! How blessed I am! I love yall all so much and I'm so thankful for all your amazing examples! Can't wait for all the letters and packages! Love, Hermania