Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015 First Week of New Area Gio Xiong


I tried to send some pics so i hope you got them. Im kinda behind on sending pics right now so the next couple weeks will hopefully have quite a few.

Sounds like you guys kinda got blasted by a storm. Over here we didn't get anything so I'm guessing the typhoon must have veered off at the last second. Make it to conference?

If smeag went on his mission at 18 id be pretty sad :( i want to see him before HE leaves for 2 years! haha ACT THROWBACKKK when does smeag have to take that thing?

Yeah Doctor Cook had a bunch of different teams working on different organs...have they had any breakthroughs recently?

Glad to hear that some of the antibiotic stuff is helping mom

I have no idea about the flu shot thing..

SMEAG good work in school whatt a stud!...told you he could do it

sounds like volunteering is a super cool opportunity mommy. Made some friends there as well ?

ahh that family reunion will be fun how long is it going to be?

How is it reading in the OT?

Yeah a lot of the members here like to practice english here as well. Im super lucky though because chinese is everywhere. I cant even imagine what its like trying tolearn the language and not being immersed thats got to be super tough for reed.

So this week a lot happened but looking back its hard to know what to tell you guys. We have 4 SUPER awesome baptismal goals right now. The first is zhang jie mei and her mom. We found her by calling through formers. Shes so prepared its unreal. Shes told us that she feels the spirit when she prays and she really understands how personal revelation and the scriptures work which is super rare in taiwan. She seems like shes already been a member for like 10 years. The second is lin shuai ge. Hes fourteen years old and super quiet but its hilarious because everytime we follow up with him on how his prayers have been going he says "hen bang!" and lights up, which just means awesome! The last is a guy named richard. Hes a drummer in another christian band, and in the past his preacher has bashedour church hard. He thought it was so cool how we didnt bash them back though, and hes told us that he knows that the book of mormon is true andwants to get baptized! Only problemis his work is in another church. Its been so cool to see how the Lord has delivered these people into our hands in such a short period of time.

Besides that the highlight was probably mommy's blueberry muffin mix. I had been saving it but i made it this Sunday for lunch. haha we don't have an oven so i had to improvise by putting it in a pan and putting it in our little toaster oven, making one big muffin. It was super great, that's a scientific miracle that they can only add water and make them.
I love you guys a ton and hope you have a great week!

Elder Nelson


P.S. Pls pray for David and his family, just found out his grandmother passed away..:(
great in school what a stud...told you he could do it


Monday, October 19, 2015

10/19/2015 Third Typhoon Coming - Foursome Apartment


Yayyyyyyyyyy another Typhoon is coming can't waitt. Actually typhoons are super obnoxious because even if they're not bad every one cancels.

You know Senor, I think you should just give everyone 100's. That way, everyone will love you and you'll only get good ratings haha

Cracker barrell yeahhhhh. I didnt even know we had one near our house. That famous chicken fried chicken. haha everyone here when they find out that im from texas instantly ask me one of three things 1)if im a cowboy 2)How's our fried chicken and 3)if i like riding horses

Sounds like the psychoticness of byu continues...smeag killin it in school which is sweet..haha the gift was legal kinda. And phil continues to be amazing working hard with sales. So awesome

Kade's going on a mission??? Thats so cool! Is it going to be a full 2 year mission?? That will probably be incredibly hard, but if anyone can do it he can.

DDD (Decisions Determine Destiny).  So trueee thats another thing that i feel like president monson has emphaszied throughout his life as a prophet. 

Wow sounds like Tim is going through a rough patch... Parasite??! Is he doing okay?

Sooo yeah this week has kind of been a crazy rollercoaster of ups and downs. We're now living in a 4 man apartment with the zone leaders, who are absolutely just the craziest dudes ever. Like they're always hugging each other and saying "I LOVE YOU MAN" and then burst into giggles and its just almost too much to handle haha.

My new companion is willing to wake up every morning so that i can go running which is a plus. Buttt because he likes to be back by 7 we are waking up at 6 15 instead of 6 30. Funny how much a difference 15 minutes makes. He even wanted to wake up at 6 instead. But yeah so i'm getting to run every day which is nice.

In terms of food, this week had a little bit of everything. I ate cow innards (didn't know what they were until after), chou dou fu huo guo ( tofu hotpot - for the first time!) and finished off the week with a pizza hut chi dao bao (buffet). The  innards were super nasty but the chou dou fu wasnt actually that bad.  One of our investigators works at pizza hut so we got a discount which meant we got to eat all you can eat pizza hut for the equivalent of like 6 american dollars wahoo.

This week we literally had to start from scratch, but we've seen a lot of miracles and been able to meet a lot of awesome people. We met a ZJT who has met with missionaries before and is really looking for direction in life and has felt the power of prayer. We also met a LSG who is excited about the possibility of a clean slate through baptism. We also met this guy who had met with missionaries before who said since he stopped meeting with missionaries he's been wanting to come back and feel the feelings he felt here. Then at the end of the week,  we met a LJT who wants to give their children the opportunity to be christian because of the examples of other Christians in their lives.

So God has blessed us a lot this week, but im not gonna lie this week has also been super hard. On smeag's bday i couldn't stop thinking about what was going on on the other side of the world for the celebration. I miss you guys. 

If you remember Elder Holland's talk, he said something like look to the 2 messianic figures in your life to get you through, Jesus Christ and your mom. I think that applies to our entire family, though. When things are hard, i think about trying to make you guys happy. I also turn to Christ. As i learned this week in 2 Nephi 19:2-6 Christ already broke every burden so that we can be comforted and receive strength to press on. 

I love you guys so much and hope you have a great week!

Elder Nelson


P.S. Gonna send out Christmas presents via boat today (takes 2-3 months) so if you get a package from me don't open it until Dec 25th!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

October 12, 2015 First Transfer to Gio Xiong


Yeah we finally got to watch conference!! It was so nice to be able to just sit there and listen to the prophet speak. haha no i did not try to listen to it in Mandarin, i wanted to be able to enjoy it and not constantly be straining to try to pick out words here or there. Probably the biggest thing that i pulled from it was what Uchtdorf started the conference with from the get go, to simplify the gospel and to trust in God. Like sometimes there are tons of other things going on in our lives or we're confused about different small details of the church but what we really need to do is remember and rely on the simple, beautiful truths that are found in the gospel. You're right though, i was afraid that President Monson was going to collapse there at the end. I hope if it's his time to go he'll go quickly.

So crazy about mitch being home and speaking in sacrament. Yes I agree with him, i think a talk in mandarin is still harder than one in english.

I don't do any of my personal study in mandarin right now. The problem is i dont think i would get any spiritual benefit out of it if it was in mandarin haha.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO TINKS LAST WEEK AND SMEAG THIS WEEK. My goodness i cannot believe he's already 17. I thought i was still 17...Hope he likes what i got him and he hasnt peaked at all.

So awesome about the papers senor! and geez you're becoming famousamong the students over there. You should start charging or something haha

Scary about all of the shootings. What is going on in the world...

LETS GO STROSSSSSSSSSS They really have  come a long way haven't's funny theres a guy here who follows baseball religiously and keeps telling me about the tai kong ren (literally space people - the translation of the astros) and how they're doing.

Okay btw you're not allowed to talk about sunday dinner anymore. It just makes me too jealous.

As far as running, my last companion would only run with me like 3 times a week for like 10 minutes. More to come on tht in a sec.

Wow phil's working like crazy. Hope he's still doing okay.

Woahhh you guys got a weedeater? Man things ARE gonna be completely different when i get back haha i thought dad would never buy a weedeater.

That will be fun to see Annie and the gang.

Sooo on this enddddd ummm well this last month me and my trainer had been saving up our money so last monday we went to THE Outback Steakhouse. haha the minute i saw that there was one in our area we decided that we had to go. I must say it was quite a beautiful thing eating an american steak with potatoes and veggies. The unlimited bread wasn't too bad either.

This wednesday for english class we threw a halloween party to try to give them a taste of some american culture. I dressed up as my companion, elder galura while he dressed up as the riddler. Oh and elder millett dressed up as the joker's girlfriend which was only slightly terrifying. haha

BUT the biggest news of all from this week would have to be that I AM NOW IN GAO XIONG WHATTTTTTTTT. We got a call Sunday morning saying that the next day (Today) I would be moving down to gaoxiong which is the second largest city in taiwan. I'm in a place called qian zhen ( ithink). We're living in a 4-man apartment which should be pretty fun. A new area also means a new companion, Elder Rock. He's from minnesota and seems decently cool. Hopefully with the change there will be the opportunity to run more. Im super pumped about a new start down here in gaoxiong but it was also super sad to say goodbye to everyone in feng jia.I made a lot of awesome friends there and met a lot of cool people. It also seemed like right as we were starting to get some success with having a few baptismal goals with investigators that president decided to move me here. We're going to be "white washing" which means neither me or my companion had been in this area previously so we're going to have to build the work from the ground up. Which means a lot of contacting and tracting...

I got a new camera because my old one broke so ill try to get some pics off if there's any time.

I love and miss you guys a ton and hope you have a great week!!!!

Elder Nelson


Monday, October 5, 2015

10/5/2015 Survived the Strong Winds of Second Typhoon


I hope you guys enjoyed conference! We are actually watching it this upcoming saturday and sunday. The broadcast in mandarin is delayed a week, but we will still be watching it in English, thank goodness. Im super pumped. Also I dont know who all three of the new apostles are but someone did spill the beans that bishop stevenson is one of them, which has special significance because his son is in the taiwan taizhong mission right now...can't imagine what his last pday was like haha. Im super pumped tho, conference will be a much needed break and spiritual uplift. (btw those sandwhiches were the best)

Sad to hear about the death in the Martinez family :( Hope they're doing okay.

In terms of the typhoon, this one was a little different. It didn't last as long and we didn't get nearly as much rain but my goodness was the wind strong. Like it was straight up blowing motorcycles over. We ended up deciding to take the bus home at the end of the day because if we had ridden our bikes we definitely would have been blown off. haha ive never seen wind that strong. The most hilarious part though was there were still people in the night market going around like nothing was happening. And yes no broken glass this time!

Wow UT is impressive this year. At least BYU got the W

Sounds like Smeagol's in his junior year of high school or something haha. Psych and art history have gotta be tough for sure. He'll do well though, he's a STUD.

So awesome about Phil killing it on the sales!!
We actually had another ward barbecue this last saturday and there was quite a bit of meat as well..i may go veggie for a while who know's. The worst part is trying to finish off these mooncakes...we have stacks in our apartment that members have given to us.

Yes so after this week will be the movecall. It's pretty much 100% i'm going to be getting a new companion, it's just a matter of if that's going to be in fengjia or if im going to be moving. 95% sure im gonna be staying and get a new comp for another movecall then ill be off to another area.

Seeing another culture in action is seriously one of the coolest things ever. Like there are just so many things that are different than what Americans think is normal  but to them its just everyday life. I find myself chuckling from time to time at just how ridiculous people might think some of the stuff is if they just peeked in for a second. I'm pretty used to it though, slowly becoming more and more Taiwanese on this end haha.

The language is tough. I am not anywhere close to fluent. BUT people can understand me most of the time when i speak which is good. Its when we start talking about really specialized stuff that everything starts going over my head. I started working on book of mormon characters today actually, and the first 50 in the box i already knew so wahooo. Gonna be focusing more on that coming up. haha the grammar on D&C 93 is actually kinda super unique to chinese so it would be tough to translate.

Praying on this end that neuropsych will come through.

One thing that I have come to realize more since being on my mission is exactly what you said senor. That i need to come to know the Savior better. Really, i think it's a lifelong goal that won't end after we die. But we should still be focusing more of our time and efforts on truly trying to understand Him and grow closer to Him. Easier said than done unfortunately.

There's a member here who's about our age and is going to be going to the Salem Oregon Mission at the end of this month. He's super coool, especially since he had to come back from many years of inactivity to be able to have this opportunity to go serve a mission. He just quit his job so recently he's been going on what he calls "missionary parties" with us where he shadows us around during the day and helps us with lessons. We've also been helping him study a little about of the english preach my's so weird seeing him as he's preparing to go out because it seems like just yesterday i was in the same position.

 Oh also hilarious because all of the little kids here will come up and look up at me and then say "pai shou" which is like the chinese equivalent of high five. Then if my hand isnt high enough they'll say "gao yi dian" (a little higher). Then they'll jump up super high and give me a high five then run away. 2 minutes later they'll be back waiting impatiently at my feet haha.

 This week we were able to meet a couple of really cool investigators. One, wang , just returned from working in china for many years and realized that he's lacking purpose in life and really wants to "simplify things." He also told us that his biggest goal right now is to get married and start having kids. Everything he was saying was like perfectly lined up with our message...Also met a xie,  who is in his third year at school at the university. Although in the past he has relied more on science, he told us he says he doesn't see why science and religion couldn't coexist and seemed really willing to learn more. We're also continuning to work with Anna who took her test this Sunday so now should have more time. 

In personal study i came across a pretty basic but full of meaning scripture. 1 Nephi 13:16 says that they "did humble themselves before the Lord and the power of the Lord was with them." The true key to obtaining power is to realize where the true power comes from and that we can't do it alone...

So good to hear from you guys, i love you and hope you have a great week!

Elder Nelson