Monday, July 27, 2015

7/27/2015 Moved into First Apt.


                                             Name Tag

Taichung from Apartment View


                                           Chapel at Fengjia

                                             First Apartment - sheets from Annie!

                                                   Subway in Fengjia

Hello Family!!!!

Well another week is in the books. This week was a lot better than last week for sure. Im pretty much over my sickness and have adjusted to the timing of everything. 

Senor the story you shared about your mission and the analogy about the race were awesome. Seriously just what I needed to hear. I just gotta keep trying my hardest and put one step in front of the other, giving it my all every day. This week I was getting pretty nostalgic thinking about the fam and stuff that I would miss out on but then I just decided (again) to give it my all while Im here. This is an experience that only comes once and I really want to do my best.

Sounds like you guys are all a bit sick I hope everyone recovers relatively quickly! haha senor your discription of the scooters is much more accurate, no motorized skateboards.

Yup the Kongs are right, we're right by a university. We actually teach a lot of students in the area. Not sure if we're technically allowed to proselyte on campus or not though so we don't really.

So happy about Phil! Hope everything continues to work out for him!

I do live in a high rise, and luckily the AC cools the room that we sleep in. Im desperately trying to make the peanut butter last as it is very gui (expensive) here, like twice as much for a quarter of the amount. Actually hilarious because a family had us over for dinner this week and we ate peanut butter sandwhiches, mango and drank this tea (dont worry its mormon tea) and it was quite delicious. Speaking of which all of the members are awesome and treat us a lot.

Ummmm so as far as some tidbits for the week - Right now im working on finishing this thing called phase 1 (not sure if i already told you about it) which is basically just PMG in chinese. We have to pass it off with our Zone Leaders so thats kinda stressful but after i finish that i can start working on more normal vocabulary as well.

Workouts have been a hard adjustment as we only have 30 minutes but im doing my best to not get too fat haha. One of the problems is its rude to reject food even if its unhealthy and the cheaper the food the worse it is for you generally. Also hard to get a lot of veggies.

A lot of people here have seen the missionaries before so thats cool. A good reminder to always be a good representative of Jesus Christ.

Sooooo many people here smoke. Definitely going to get cancer from all of the second hand smoking. Gives me a stomach ache sometimes.

Everyweek on wednesday we teach english for our service. Its actually really cool, because a lot of people come since its free. We're in the advanced class so we only speak English and its a great opportunity to meet people who might want to hear about the gospel. Every class ends with a 20 minute spiritual thought.

Oh also no one drinks cold water with their meals here because they think its bad for you. They just finish everything off with warm soup. The urge for a cold glass of water to wash everything down is unreal haha.

All of the garbage trucks here play the fur elise.

We have a lot of lessons here at the mcdonalds because the people's apartments are too small and we need a public place to meet. The mickey D's here are actually pretty nice tho and have multiple floors haha.

Oh yeah i also forgot to tell you my first meal in Taiwan was a mimic american diner burger. Lets just say that it did not taste like an american burger haha.

The coordination meetings here are a little different than in the US i think. They just rush them as fast as possible. Like theyre just like "okay what lessons do you need a member to attend? ok good closing prayer time" Members are seriously critical in missionary work so I hope you guys are helpin out ;)

The weather here really is pretty similar to Texas. Im just more sweaty because im always biking around in church clothes.

Oh mom how much were those frog toggs? I got full rain gear here (top, bottom, shoe covers) for less than 20 american dollars. although to be honest I really havent needed them so far...

I wish i could tell you guys everything but just so much happens. We have an investigator with a baptismal date set for the 8th of August, so pray that she can hang on strong. Shes our age and super cool and has a twin sister, who has also expressed an interest to learn. 

Ill just tell you about two more of our investigators to try to give you a picture of what Taiwans like. One is this bro that we met at a burger place. We were just waiting for a lesson and i saw him looking over so i went over to talk to him and he was a total bro. Super interested in what we were doing as missionaries and asked us a lot of questions. We set him up for the following week, and since then have taught him the first discussion and set him up for this week. It just goes to show the power of talking to people. We seriously try to talk to EVERYONE. Every stoplight we're trying to get numbers and handing out tracks.

This other guy is a father of two and likes to learn about our stuff but says he literally just has no time to pray for 2 minutes a day or to read the scriptures for a minute each night. Its super frustrating but this is kinda what Taiwan is like. People work so hard here its amazing. Like even high schoolers have no free time.

So as far as something that I learned from the scriptures this week would probably have to be in Mosiah 24:14-15. It talks about Alma and the people of Helam. They had been righteous and kept God's commandments but the Lord still chose to have them experience some afflictions. He knew that this is what would help them the most. Moreover, it says that the Lord "did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the lord." I know that as we remember the lord and that all of these experiences are part of his plan for us we will be able to obtain the strength we need to overcome our trials.

Anyways i miss and love you guys a ton! Your prayers and support give me strength to press on!

Elder Nelson


Monday, July 20, 2015

First Week in Taiwan 7/20/15

                                                 Departure at MTC

                                              Plane to Toykyo

My goodnessssssss I am so overwhelmed. Not gonna lie, this week has been one of, if not the hardest, yet on the mission. First of all, the day before i left the MTC i got sick so that made the plane ride pretty brutal. On top of that, jet lag absolutely SUCKS. Ive had a massive headache since i got here and only now is it/the sickness starting to get a little better. The plane ride was long but actually not as long as you would think. I got some nasty food on it so that was cool. When we stopped in Japan I had to get some authentic japanese food at the airport so i grabbed some really interesting thing and it was actually pretty good. I am currently sitting in an internet cafe under ground where there are a ton of people playing these internet games and it smells heavily of smoke. Then again, I feel like everywhere here in Taiwan smells like a mixture of smoke, curry, poop and chi do fu (stinky tofu). There are literally like no houses here, its all super tall buildings and EVERYTHING is in characters, but of course they don't teach me that at the MTC. There has been so much that's happened this week that idk how im gonna be able to remember it all but ill try to remember the important stuff. So yeah when we got here the mission pres, his wife, and the assistants picked us up at the airport and then we had a little orientation on the bus ride back to Taizhong (when we got back that might have been the most tired ive ever been in my life). The humidity wave stepping off the plane in Taiwan was unreal. Its  just so wet. I know Texas is humid but I think that Taiwan may be even a little more humid. The next day we had orientation stuff in the chapel and it was so hard to stay awake. That night we went to this Chinese restaurant then did what they call the Dan Jones experience. If you remember, Dan Jones was that famous missionary who apparently just had a way with words. soooo what they did was they set up these podiums  in the middle of a super busy night market, just in the middle of the road and had us get up there and yell our testimonies in front of everyone. The blickenstaffs may have posted a video not sure..Then we went around the market passing out Book of Mormons and lds cards and stuff and tried to get their numbers to contact. The next day we ran the mile and then came back to meet our trainers, eat lunch and we were off to our area. The hype was real on who our trainers would be, they had us come up one by one and open these red envelopes with our trainers' names in them. My trainer is elder Garula and im in an area called Fengjia, which y'all have already apparently heard about via pres blickenstaff. Its NW Taizhong if i remember correctly, just like 25 to 30ish mins by bus away from the mission home. Speaking of the bus, my comp really likes to use the bus so we dont bike as much as you would think. The reason why you kept getting the night market on google is because its either the 2nd largest night market in Taiwan or Taizhong, can't remember. It's NUTS over there. The food here is way good and way cheap. The ratio of money is somewhere around 30:1  and most meals are in the 1-2 dollar range for what would normally be 10-12 in the US. We got groceries today and i got cereal and milk for breakfast haha. Also got some fruit, almonds, and bread. So at the apartment my food is pretty american but i figured that i would get enough Taiwanese food on the streets haha. My bike still hasnt gotten here but im borrowing someone else's right now. So far the hard rain is all hype. Like Taiwan's got nothing on Texas thunderstorms, its only been light stuff so far. My trainer is nice but , when i got here he had literally ZERO PROGRESSING INVESTIGATORS. And it just seems like whenever someone cancels or doesnt seem interested in our message he just like doesnt care! Hes been out for a year and 8 months. And his dad is philipino, but hes from Utah (that was some solid detective work). At church i bore my testimony in front of our ward. Everyone is super nice and always says your chinese is "lihai" which just means its really good, even though I obviously sound like a white guy. Everyone here chooses the strangest english names (Fudge, sponge, oreo etc). Speaking of fudge, he's this awesome guy in our ward with hair past his shoulders and is in a screamo band.  But yeah the ward is super nice. There was a baptism for 3 people this first Saturday I was here. It was kinda a different experience than one in the states. Oh and our church is on the 19th floor of a tall building here. I taught my first lesson kinda by accident on Sunday. This guy just showed up at our church and was like I want to go to church. Apparently he knew someone in our ward. Afterward, he met with us and we taught him the first discussion. He wasn't in our area though so we had to refer him to other missionaries. The traffic  here is crazy. There are A TON of scooters and they have no regard for anyone. They have these little things called scooter boxes at every intersection and we're supposed to talk to and try to contact someone in those boxes everytime we're at an intersection. A lot of people wear face masks here because of the pollution.  The vegetation is definitely tropical, and the weather sure feels tropical. Im literally always wet. Our air conditioning is only in one room so the rest of the apartment is hot and sticky. So yeah, that's a long enough rant i suppose about Taiwan haha. It's starting to slowly get better, but right now im just really frustrated/tired/depressed.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

7/13/15 On Way to Taiwan Tomorrow

                                          Last District Photo at MTC

Dear fam,

So i dont know if you saw the subject of this email buttt THIS IS MY LAST FULL DAY FOR 2 YEARS IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Im so pumped its unreal!! Im finally gonna be able to be in 1000 degree weather with 1000 percent humidity and delicious food and typhoons and monsoons and I JUST CANT WAIT!!! Im gonna be able to call tomorrow from the airport! They sell calling cards at the MTC bookstore for 5 bucks. I should be calling sometime between like 7:30 and 11:30. I wont have a ton of time but i hope i can talk to you guys for a few minutes as well as phil and amy if theyre free ( dont know how realistic that will be).

That's sad about sister Lin's father. Is he going to be okay?

Oh yeah btw if you saw a 400$ withdrawl from my bank account that was actually me so dont worry.

Sounds like smeagol had the time of his life at efy thats awesome. Makes me think about what i was maybe missing out on all of those years. Is Sister Hulet and everyone okay??

Sounds like mom is at it again, throwing parties for everyone haha. She never ceases to amaze me.

How is it having renny over? party every night?

Hows class senor?

So the trip to Utah is becoming pretty real huh? That will be awesome to see the kids. Is she gonna be blessed in sacrament meeting or at their apartment again?

Hamster hamster hamster...

Lol dont worry about giving me tidbits senor, hearing from you guys is awesome enough.

I got the sheets from annie - that was so thoughtful!

So the longs are finally heading out jacob planning on serving a mission?

Sounds like temple laundary and skyping the grandkids was fun - you guys never have free time do you..enjoy the bday party as well and send my love to Grandma on the 60th aniversary of her 27th bday!

Sooo in terms of what happened on this end this week its hard to know what to say. When I first got to the MTC I felt like i was never gonna get out of here. Then I blinked, and ive been on my mission for over 2 months..It's just unreal. We have to be at the travel office tomorrow morning at 6 30 am. Our flight leaves tomorrow morning at like 11 or 12 for Tokyo (like a 15 hr flight apparently) then a 2 hr layover in Tokyo followed by another 3 hr flight to Taiwan. We then have a 3 hr bus drive from taiyung to taizhong where we crash for like 5 hrs (or try to) then wake up and go time our miles the next day (thursday). The flight to Tokyo is Delta 623 and to Taiwan Delta 473.

Every week here now we have the opportunity to skype members in Taiwan, get to know them and share a short message with them which is super cool. Last weeks was particularly powerful. The sister that we skyped just had such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith as a prophet she truly brought the Spirit to the discussion. It was just an awesome reminder of the fact that although they're on the completely opposite side of the world and speak a completely different language, the Spirit speaks the same language! This message is true and I'm so pumped to start telling the people of Taiwan about it!

Our Tuesday devotional was by Elder Condie of the 70. He really focused on how important the Joseph Smith story and the book of mormon are for our investigators. A few of his comments : a crucial part of the first visioni is that joseph smith had a question and it was anwered. Never let this wondrous story become commonplace! If you want to know if Joseph Smith saw God, just ask Him! He was there! Joseph Smith is central to one's conversion, God knows it but Satan knows it too. 

We got to see Elder Packer's funeral, and to be honest these two funerals have been awesome spiritual feasts. It's sad that they're moving on, but its more of a celebration of life than anything else. A couple of thoughts from it - 1) When the apostles couldnt come to a decision on something he used to say "let the pending items pend" He was content to wait for further revelation, which is helpful because sometimes i get frustrated that i dont get an answer as soon as I want. BUT I know that everythings on God's time schedule (Shen de an pai) and its just good to remember . and  2) He used to see the divine in people and look beyone their human frailties. I think that if we do a better job of remembering that we are all God's children we will have a hard time getting upset with people..

Oh also this week all of the teachers came into our class and kinda shared stories from their mission experiences and advice as we're about to head out. I narrowed their advice down to 6 things that i really want to work on as i make the transition to the field. 1) try to learn as much as i can from everyone 2) Be grateful to God for every little blessing 3)Open my mouth all the time! 4) Watch for pride - do things to help others not for the recognition of the world 5)Pray hard every night for the continual confirmation that this message is true and to help my investigators know it too and 6)Keep setting and resetting goals to push myself further and further.

I was going to share some insights that I had from the scriptures this week but im out of time. I was reading Enos's story this week and just really thought about how nothing about his prayer was easy, it was all a struggle, but in the end God was there. Maybe if you have time this week you can check it out. Anyways I miss and love you guys a ton! Talk to you tomorrow:)

Elder Nelson 


                                          District with Instructor at MTC

Monday, July 6, 2015

7/6/2015 Week 8 at the MTC Going to Taiwan on 7/14/15

Soooooo first thing's first. I'M GOING TO TAIWANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN. I mean i always knew that, but we got our travel plans and I'm flying out on July 14th! Straight from Salt Lake to Tokyo, then from Tokyo to Taipei. Apparently we then have a 3 hr bus ride from taipei to taizhong, crash at like 1 in the morning then go run a mile at six in the morning the next day and have a full day of work. Im so pumped i literally screamed when I saw the plans haha.

Sounds like phil and mish both are working super hard. Phil sounds like he's straight up carrying the team at 24, why has he not gotten the promotion yet? 

Sounds like Amy's having the time of her life this summer, oregon, las vegas, etc. Plus she's working hard at the kindergarten.

Why is psycopharm so much prep time? just because you haven't  taught it in a while? Let me know what happens with the breastcancer paper. Thats so cool about the neurotherapy equipment training thing! IF you could get a treatment study going at SHSU that would be so sweet! Why wouldn't they want you to do it?

Road trippppppppp  that would be way fun. Plus it would be nice to be able to see Kendall's blessing. Makes me sad i wont see her until she's 2 years old :/

You guys have had a bunch of convert baptisms? Who else besides ms lehman? Thats crazy because The Woodlands used to be a huge dry spot.

Sad to see Elder Packer pass away. We'll be attending his funeral via transmission on Friday. We will have an eventful general conference next october.

Senore when you say there are so many things that you wish you had known sooner, got any advice? haha I'll take any I can get. 

you're right, decisions do determine destiny.

In terms of sheets, I guess i'll just buy them there. They'll cost 50$ there but i think im already close enough as is to the 100 lb mark for my bags.

Oh btw is mom still sending these to ppl? Amy and Aunt Deann said they both hadnt been getting recent emails.

I got the package from mom and Sister Smith, thank you for the goodies! :)

Soo this week's devotional speaker was Elder Sitati of The 70, the one who spoke at general conference. I got to shake his hand which was cool. Some of his thoughts that stuck out to me: when asked how the Atonement had personally affected him in his life he said that he had pondered Jesus Christ's suffering ON MANY OCCASIONS, which had made his burden light. It made me think that I personally can do a better job of reflecting on this event more often and how i can draw strength from it. He said that we are going out as soldiers to that battlefield, and that we must remember that the battlefield is not an easy place. However the Savior was on that same battlefield and we can draw strength from that. He also posed the questions of what kind of foundation we wanted to build for the rest of our lives and what we were willing to do to get there? 

This sunday devotional's speaker was Elder oaks daughter. She's apparently a really famous music person, went to Juliard etc. It was cool because she told us about life lessons she had learned and played music on the violin, with her 4 young children on their own classical instruments helping out. Some thoughts from her comments : Much of service has nothing to do with the act but the love. She used to wonder why people needed to make meals for the sick and afflicted when dominos was right around the corner. What she realized though, was that dominos does not deliver love. Another thought - she said that our will is the only thing we can really give God that is truly ours. We've always had our agency, but everything else was given to us by God. If we really want to show our devotion to Him we need to give ourselves completely over to Him.

Some funny experiences from this week - in a lesson I tried to Share 1 Nephi 3:7, but because my BOM was in characters I accidentally shared 2 Nephi 3:7, which was about raising up a choice seer out of the fruit of my loins...haha Luckily mine wasn't as bad as one of the new elders tho. They were trying to share a scripture on prayer from D&C 9:7-9 but accidentally shared Moroni 9:7-9. I'll let you look that scripture up yourself to see why it was so strange that the elder said this was his favorite scripture.

On the fourth of July we got to go to a devotional, where someone talked about the evolution of freedom and such and that was pretty cool. Made me love my country even more.  Then we got to go outside to watch the fireworks from the parking lot. We had glow in the dark balloons so it was pretty much a party. Even got to stay up to 11 - crazy, right? Wonder if we'll get to celebrate in Taiwan...

As far as some spiritual experiences this week, when I was teaching about Joseph Smith this week I shared a  memorized chinese translation of the first vision with one of my "investigators." Even though I know they weren't real, hearing that account come from my mouth brought the Spirit so strongly. I was overcome with it. Super cool.

I was reading this week in 2 Nephi 26 where it talks about how Jesus Christ did nothing save for the love of the world, and that he layed down his life so that he may draw all men unto Him. He did this free of charge simply because heloved us. I was reading later in Jacob 2:17 when it talks about how we need to think of others like unto ourselves and be "free with our substance, that they may be rich like unto you." These two scriptures made me think that the best way that we can reciprocate the love that the Savior showed us by dying for our sins is by showing that same love to other people.

Oh also this Sunday we had a mission conference, and one of the speakers made a really interesting comment. He said that when Jesus is called the Alpha and the Omega, one way that we can think about it is that He is the beginning (alpha) of peace, joy and happiness and the end (omega) of pain suffering, sickness, and weakness. All things will be made right through Him, and I know this to be true.

Anyways, I love you guys a ton and miss you! Have a great week!

Elder Nelson


P.S. Jacob 4:8 made me think of you and N-space tell me what you think o.0 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

6/29/2015 Week 7 at MTC



Sorry this email is so late today was absolutely crazy. More on that to come later.


Sounds like mom is having a high old time in Utah. Crazy to think she's just right around the corner but so far away at the same time. I want to hold kendall so bad ahhh!!!


What is going on with phil and the promotion?


That would be so cool for amy to do the student teaching in DC! Why is she so against taking a self defense course?


Speaking of weather, it has been unbearably hot here the past few days. I was sweating buckets on the temple walk this sunday.


So cool about the breast cancer paper, let me know how it goes.


I think that that's absolutely crazy about the supreme court decision, (legalizing same sex marriage in the U.S.) I had no idea that it was this close to actually happening.  Also sounds like the world continues to become more corrupt with all of those terrorist attacks, that's crazy. It's weird we're kind of secluded here from the world...


hahahaha ANCIENT


Poor senor no gaviscon, how will you get any candy?


Hilarious the patients have gone next level, double check with a visit and STILL don't show up. classic.


What is that canadian student's thesis about? interesting at all?


In our district we have 2 sisters and my companion going to taiwan. Thenn one elder and one sister are going to leeds, england and another elder going to birmingham ( all speaking chinese) 


Travel plans  should be here this friday!!! hypeeee i really hope that they say "Taiwan" and not "Boston," as much as i love Boston...


Also a quite strange thing happened here at the mtc. They just built this new building for the sisters and moved them all over there. However, right after they moved them there they found bats in the building so everyone had to move out and they had to contact the CDC. We got to help all of the sisters move back. Quite a strange experience..


We're now skyping members in taiwan once a week which is really cool. We share a thirty minute message with them, just like we would any member. They're seriously the coolest ever! I can't wait to get over there!!!


The devotional speaker on Tueday was Marcus Nash of the 70. He talked about the plan of salvation and how that eternal perspective would help us get through our trials. I feel like that has been a theme of the past couple general conference talks..


Ohhh btw just got an email from the mission that i will need to bring my own sheets to taiwan or purchase them there after all sooo maybe phil or amy could send them to me here pretty please???


So this week was kinda crazy because it was the annual mission president conference for all the new mission presidents. That means that all of the quorum of the 12 apostles and the president of the church were here ( we didn't even see them). That also meant that we were locked out of the main building 1m, where all of the stuff was going on. That also meant that the cafeteria was closed so we ate in the gym. Buttt when these things happen apparently they cater, so this week we ate like kings. Taco bell, subway, chickfila, cafe rio..all of the new missionaries thought it was normal and we were like just you wait....Today we returned to the cafeteria and i was reminded of the delicious leftover chicken they have. Since the gym was taken up by people eating, that also meant that  I had to run outside this week, which was good but also hot. 


Since the conference was going on, the new taipei mission president was here and he and his wife came in and talked to us a couple of times. They were a really sweet couple and I know  that the missionaries of Taipei will be blessed to have them.


So btw i have super awesome teachers here. They really care about the missionaries and are always helping us to get better. This week I just wanted to tell you about one in particular tho - her name is wu jie mei. She's seriously so awesome. She always makes us these little drawings to learn new words, writes us notes, and gives us scriptures ( in characters) to learn how to write, including stroke order. She is always so thoughtful! And she has a crazy back story too...apparently in Taiwan she was going through some really hard stuff (parents split, emotional stuff, etc) but then she ran into the missionaries and this gospel changed her life...Her parents were way upset that she joined the church and to this day have no idea that she works at the mtc....oh and on top of that,  she's hilarious.


Ummm so kinda running out of time but a few more cool things. Our p day was kind of stolen today because of two things. the first was that we had the opportunity to clean the temple! It was a way cool experience, we were there for like 4 hours with q tips and cleaner getting all of the marks off of the lockers, dusting, on hands and knees etc. A lot of very detailed work. Really coool to see all that goes into preparing the house of the lord tho!


Secondly, today our district was hand picked to be interviewed by the Huffington Post. I had never heard of it but apparently its a really famous newspaper. anyway, this lady came and interviewed us today about missionary work, why we chose to serve a mission, etc. She's gonna be writing an article in the Huffington Post about the church so it was kinda cool that we got to be interviewed for that.  She was really nice tho and just asked us genuinely curious questions. She's an ordained minister herself for her church and as she was leaving asked us if it was okay that she could pray for us - super sweet. So look out for an article about the  church in the Huffington Post - if that newspaper actually exists haha.


In terms of scripture study this week, I've really been trying to tackle the Isaiah chapters in the Book of Mormon. It has been a super awesome experience. For just about the first time in my life, I've been
able to understand a lot of them and get a lot out of them. Just one thought from that week is when the Lord says that His hand is stretched out still. No matter what we do, he is always reaching out to help us, to strengthen us. We just have to grab His hand and let Him pull us up. I think it goes along really well with what I was studying in the New Testament - when Peter tries to walk on water. It says that when he sees the storm, that he loses faith and falls. However, the next verse says that Christ IMMEDIATELY reaches out his hand to grab him. I liken this to the atonement. The moment we need help, the moment when we feel like we can't go any further, I know that Jesus Christ WILL help us and I'm so grateful for the Atonement that he performed for us.


Sorry about all the typos every week, limited time :)


Love and miss you all a ton!!! Have a great Week!!


Elder Nelson 


P.S. no time for pictures tonight bc Im way cramped for time but ill send them next weekkkk


Friday, July 3, 2015

Week 6 - Father's Day Week

First off, happy father's day!!!! Did you get my card pops?? Sounds like the party was a smashing success, mom must have been slaving away in the kitchen for hours. What i would give for real steak and shrimp dinneer...This Sunday we had some microwaved steak and fried jumbo shrimp out of a bag. So I guess you could say we had the same thing for dinner.


I miss the Texas rains. I have a feeling like the Taiwan rains will be similar. Right now here it's just like super dry and like 1000 degrees every day. God's probably just trying to prep me for Taiwan.


So the way they do visa stuff here is kinda weird. They don't tell you whether it's gone through until like the day before, which is super stressful. They say no news is good news. If i'm on track though, I should have my travel plans not this Friday but the following Friday so keep your fingers crossed.


That's so crazy that mom's gonna be here too. Everyone's so close but so far away at the same time!


Senor sounds like things are going well as far as getting some things into publication! I actually thought the breast cancer fatigue neurotherapy one was really interesting. I wish  I knew how the neurotherapy worked haha. Didn't you say you had some other data sitting around that you were wanting to get typed up as well?


haha sounds like you are thoroughly enjoying this psychopharm class.


Lol i dont think mom will ever stop painting some part of the house. Everytime i come back from something a new part of the house is painted. I'm sure it looks great as always though. Any other projects on the to do list?


The language is coming along. We're most proficient in gospel terms but can speak a little otherwise. I think whenever we leave it will be a brutal adjustment in Taiwan. I'd rather just leave now and get thrown into it though and have to sink or swim! This place is great and all, but there's just something about sitting in a class and studying all day that's not that appealing anymore.


All of the new missionaries are adjusting really well. I've gotten to know Reed better since being here.


Wahoooo I love IRS refunds.


So smeag's living the sleep in and ACT life this summer? Is he pumped about EFY?


Pops you're so old! Medicare? Isn't that for people like 65 and older? Oh wait! haha jk..but seriously, you're ancient.


Sounds like Exodus was a great time. I can see it now - mom on the green couch passed out, and dad with his head whipped back on his "throne" snoring so loud you can barely hear the movie, with smeagol sitting on the ground attentively watching haha. Good times.


Wait TIMMY GOT BAPTIZED???!?!? Isn't he like 3 years old still??? He can't be baptized yet!!! That's unreal..he'll be like a 4th grader when i get back.


My companion is fine, we get along pretty well. 


We've set up a mini basketball hoop in our room with a backboard made out of cardboard. It's actually pretty difficult to make.


So Tuesday's devotional speaker was David F Evans, of the first quorum of the seventy. Both he and his wife spoke. She talked about how we need astonishing missionaries. She went on to explain that that meant going the extra mile, following up, lending a hand of need, truly caring about others and their well-being, etc. He talked about perhaps the two most talked about subjects at the MTC - work and obedience. He talked about how the difference between a good and a great missionary is work. He shared the story of the world champion swimmer who when asked how he/she reached this point they responded with something like, " It's simple really, I stroked when I didn't want to stroke. I kicked when I didn't want to kick" I think that's a really applicable story not just on a mission but in life in general. The way that people truly become great and separate themselves is through putting in the work when no one else wants to. I've always been a firm believer in that. It reminds me of a quote that coach ham would always use from the incredibles - "If everyone were super, no one would be." As far as obedience, he actually had a few cool points that i hadn't really thought about before. He said that obedience to the Father is how Jesus Christ performed the atonement and it is by us making the same decision that we become more like Him. Just some food for thought i guess.


Oh funny story I was talking to this elder who was going spanish speaking, so I tried to start to speak to him in spanish because I thought it would be fun. And without even thinking, I just started talking in chinese instead! I think the mandarin is taking over! I still try to read Jesus el Cristo every Sunday, but I think the chinese is starting to win haha.


We had the opportunity to give a sister here a priesthood blessing, which was new for me as I just haven''t really had that opportunity that mcuh. It was really cool though, the Spirit was very strong.


We've been helping the new Elders get their language study plans figured out, as everyone's just trying to stay above water when they first get here. Since we're the older district, we also get a chance to go in and teach the other younger districts about different topics. However, there's a district here that's full of just native speakers, and they're super awesome and funny! We were asked to go into their class and do a demonstration of how to teach the third lesson in front of them. It was super intimidating at first but it was super confidence- boosting because they could understand and were saying we did a great job. Plus i could understand their chinese! They've only been here 12 days and leave tommorow..I'm not jealous at all.


The Sunday devotional was given by the Littlefields, who have some big missionary calling. Sister Littlefield talked about how all weaknesses are divinely appointed. We suffer so that we can succor those who need it, just as our Savior did.  Brother Littlefield was talking about how we need to focus on all aspects of our purpose. He shared a quote by pres eyering, which said something like " A realistic view of our limitations creates a humility which leads to a dependence on the spirit which leads to power." The good thing is chinese is a very good humbling agent haha. He also talked about how the scriptures say that the field is white, already to harvest, not brown already to plant seeds. He said that we shouldn't listen to a particular mission's reputation and above all DONT SETTLE. Just believe, have faith, and the work will be blessed.


An Elder that ive become really close with up here left this morning for Hong Kong. He was a true bro. We all sang the traditional God Be with you till we meet again. It was sad to see him go and crazy to think that'll be me in 3 weeks! I can't wait!


I also just thought that since im a missionary i should start sharing something with you guys that I learn from my scripture study every week. Soo here goes haha. This week is in 2 Nephi 10:23-24. What i got from this scripture is that when things are going poorly, no matter how poorly they're going, we can always make the decision, right then, to have a good attitude, to be better, to work harder . Staying down doesn't help, but rather if we turn to Jesus Christ and His Atonement for strength we can turn things around!


Running out of time, but just wanted to saythat I love and miss you all a ton! Thank you for all of the notes and encouragement!


Elder Nelson