Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Empanadas, Empanadas, and more Empanadas!!!

Hello! I hope that everyone had a happy 18th of September! It was a fun week here in Chile. Slow for the work though as we were not able to work on the 18th, 19th and 20t. There were a bunch of drunks and that's one reason why we arent allowed to work very much those days. We had a good time that day with our ward at the ward activity and we ate alot of food and passed time with the members. Wednesday we were at the church all day. We had a ton of empenadas, danced the Cueca and had a ping-pong tournament.  Surprisingly there are some really good ping-pong players here in Los Muermos! I went undefeated in doubles ping-pong with my recent convert. In singles I held my own, losing a little, but beating "the best one in Muermos" who is  the only one that I had never beaten. I also ate my fair share of empanadas. I think I had about 15 or so. I also had empenadas for Thursday and Friday so I am ready to take a good long break from empenadas at least for a couple of weeks. An empanada is a fatty fried bread with meat in them and they are sooooooo good. I´ll see how long I can last without them before I give in.  We took advantage of not having to plan to go to bed early which was nice. Thursday we had to do some things to do at the chapel and on the way home we stopped by a member to pick up our laundry. She invited us in to have lunch which was a barbecue and then we stayed pretty much the whole day playing games. We learned some crazy chilean card games called Briska and Scova, which are way fun.  We had a really fun day. There are also some kids about our age here so that made it a fun day as well. Friday we ate more empenadas at lunch and then played cards with the dad of the mamita.  He loves to play cards and we ended up beating the Chileans in their own game of Briska.  They were pretty arrogant about winning but we showed them. I´ll teach it to you when I get home.  You need  a special deck of cards to play but I'm sure you could play with whatever type. On Friday night we taught a lesson that we had set up. It went well.
We had the zone leaders come to Los Muermos on Saturday to do a baptismal interview for someone we have been teaching.  It's a weird situation.  We had been on MLS one day and we noticed that a 17 year old member who is active and everyone thought was a member had never been baptized. We told the branch president and he didn't really do anything about it so we  were like whatever, but now they are planning a trip to the temple and she needs to be a member. So now we have to go through the whole process of teaching her and she will be baptized on Saturday.

On Sunday, our branch president and most of the members were gone, so I was presiding and gave a talk in sacrament meeting. Then I gave the class in Sunday school to the people who came (4). (That was our attendance after sacrament meeting). More attendance from the drunks that are outside the church than in Sunday school. So we did a long class because the people who were supposed to teach the classes in relief society and priesthood didn't show up so we just ended church half hour early otherwise priesthood would´ve been us and 1 other person. 

Well, this week it will be nice to get back to working a normal day. With everything that we have, I am so grateful for the wonderful plan of happiness that our Father in Heaven has for us. I know that he loves every one of his children.  Have a wonderful week!
Love, Elder Nelson


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Happy 18th of September!!! Chile's Independence Day!

Hello, this week is going to be a fun one.  It is the 18th of September which is the equivalent of the 4th of July, or in other a big holiday to dance the cueca (the national dance of Chile, look it up on youtube) and eat empenadas,which I will be enjoying to its fullest. I am way excited, but it will be hard to work this week. We aren't allowed to work normally on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday and Saturday night I have to go to Puerto Montt to do a baptismal interview. This week will be a hard week to get much work done, but it will be a fun one, and the next 18th of Sept, we are going to have a big huge empenada eating day back home in the states. 

There have been a lot of parades this past week where all the little children are marching and there was a really funny moment. There is a drunk that everyone in the town knows (named Osito which in spanish means little bear), who is always directing traffic and the buses which is hilarious.  He was trying to direct the  band. I thought it was so funny because the band was playing with him. I am only getting more excited for all the drunks that are going to be out because the holidays here in Chile are used for drinking.

Last week, with the 10th & 11th of Sept, where we weren't allowed to work due to the celebration, nothing ended up happening in Los Muermos, but in Santiago there was a handful of badness with a bunch of burned buses and other crazy things.

Another fun experience was we were walking in the street yesterday and a little kid came up and gave my companion the biggest, longest, most awkward hug of his life. My companion had no idea what he was doing and it was super funny.

It is nice because it is finally starting to heat up to be able to work without a jacket which I haven't done in about 6 months but the nights are still bitter cold.  The missionary work has been slow for two weeks (last and this week) with all the holidays and celebrating and we're ready to get back to work.  We hope to have a baptism in the next couple weeks of a girl whose membership and baptism records aren't there in MLS so that should be fun to get straightened out.

Also, speaking about the Cueca (Chilean dance), I have been learning how to dance it and I am almost a pro, so everyone watch out when I get home.


Happy 80th Birthday Grandpa Erickson! 

Love, Elder Nelson
 We saw this dog with his tongue hanging way out!
 It's 9:55 and church starts at 10:00! 
Eventually 24 people ended up coming but even the branch president came at 9:58.
The streets are "littered" with puppy parties!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Happy Septiembre

Hey all, it is fun to hear how wet everybody has been getting, but really that is nothing compared to what I have been living in the past couple months. At least you don't have to worry about any rain boots or pants, and to dry off you don't have to get a fire started.  I am happy that you all know how I feel now getting soaked!

This week, was one of those wet weeks, with rain almost everyday, but it was a really good week. We found alot of people this week, some could be really good. That was our big goal we have been having is to find new people to be teaching.

Yesterday, we had another problem where the person assigned to give a talk fell through, so in the end both counselors ended up giving a talk (me and Elder Mcdonald) I have now come to church prepared with a talk every week and give about 2-3 talks every month. But, it is good for me, and has taught me alot about talk preperation. In a couple weeks, our branch president will be gone again so I will be presiding, giving another talk and teaching gospel doctrine. I sure am learning alot about all these things in the church.

So this past week, Chile played in a soccer match which qualified them for the world cup against venezuela and they beat them pretty bad.  It was fun because nobody wanted to answer the door that day and it was also raining. We were in the campo with our recent converts and we tried to catch a bus at 9pm.  It was very hard, one bus passed us by, and then we were scared that we wouldn't have a bus to get us home because it is about 15 km away from Los Muermos.

This week, I also had my first oppurtunity to do baptismal interviews. I did them for some sister missionaries in my district. I interviewed a young man who has 18 years and his sister who is 20 years, they both passed the interview luckily. I really didn't want to say "no" to a baptism interview but it was great and they were both ready for the baptism. They will be baptized this Saturday. It was a good experience for me to be able to do the interview.

These next weeks we´ll see how much we are able to work in September.  September 10th and 11th is the 40th anniversary of a military attack to overthrow the goverment and put in a military dictator named Pinochet, who was a bad man.  Everybody either loves or hates him, so there are supposedly going to be a bunch of riots and crimes these days. We aren't supposed to be out much in the streets. The next week is the 18 de Septiembre or the Independence Day of Chile, so i am getting ready for some empenadas, and am pretty exctied for all the activities. We don't work that much in the next week either because everyone is drunk. Just an idea of how much people drink in Los Muermos; there is absolutely nothing in the town, not even a super market, but there for some reason are two alcohol rehab centers and they have their entertainment there. haha.

Well I hope that all is well with everyone and you are enjoying a nice fall while I am hitting spring.

Love, Elder Nelson

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Hello family!
What a good week with a really good weekend. The week started out a little slow as we were still trying to get warm after our climb to the Volcan Osorno on Monday (our P day).  It was a very cold climb, but it was really great.
We had a baptism of a little family and I had the wonderful privelage of  baptizing the wife. A brother who is a member baptized the husband. It was a really good ceremony. The Saturday before though was dificult because we had to clean the baptismal font and it was really dirty with alot of spiders and dirt. That was kind of frustrating but we finally got it clean. It takes about 5 hours to fill up, so it was a long day at the church working on it and waiting to for it to fill, but in the end, they were about to make this wonderful covenant with Lord which made it such a great time. They were also confirmed on Saturday afterwards. I am so excited and proud of them. I am so proud that we have the restored gospel in our lives. I know that these people got baptized because of the Book of Mormon and the peace that it brings into our lives. They read Moroni 8 after the passing of their little son who was a preemie.  He lived just 7 days without being baptized (as they were catholic), but they knew that God is a God of love, and that he wants us to be happy so in the end they were able to read how the children under the age of 8 don't have need to be baptized. 
I have given both of them the goal of 100% the temple now. All my talks in  church that I give (which is about 1 every other week) are about the temple because people here just don't have the desires to go. I want to challenge all of my family members to go every week, or at a minimum 2 times every month.
Well, once again I've seen how the Book of Mormon can change the lives of people. It helped this little family come to know that they can be a forever family. What joy that can bring to all people. All are waiting for this message of peace and joy that the Lord has for our families. 

This week we also had a talent show in the church and me and Elder McDonald ended up singing at it. It wasn't the best singing job, that's for sure, and I think I heard some cats crying in the street, but it was fun and a new experience.

Well, I love you all and hope that everyone has a great week.
Congratulations to Lexi entering the MTC and best wishes to her learning the language and living the missionary life for the next 18 months.

Love, Elder Nelson