Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Monday, September 30, 2013

Josh's Hurriedly Written Letter Dated 9/30/2013
(I think he accidentally erased some of the first part of this letter before sending it.)

Well this week was crazy! We spent so much time helping other missionary companionships in our district.  I think we ended up spending 15 hours total doing things for other missionaries.  It was tough, but it taught me a lot though!  When we help other Woohoo! Elder Ehninger has been teaching them for the past couple of weeks and they haven't kept any of their commitments.  This week we read the Book of Mormon with them and talked about Christ and invited them to General Conferance next week.  It was a good lesson.  The spirit was there and I know they felt something.  We followed up with them later in the week and they told us they had been reading the assigned chapter we gave them and that they had some questions for our next lesson!  I was happy.  Sunday was crazy and awesome all at the same time!  Testimony meeting was so good!  Everyone bore their testimonies on missionary work and the spirit was so strong!  My comp. and I bore our testimonies as well and while I was talking I saw Korihor (Adrien) in the audience.  It was weird.  I don't know if I told you, but he looks like a vampire.  No joke.  It's kind of funny.  He is always dressed in all black and he is balding with greasy, curly, long gray hair.  Anyways, ya he came to church.  After Church we ate at the Bishop's house and taught them the Gospel of Christ.  After that we went to a Baptism for the Stevenson Ranch ward at the Stake Center.  After that there was a Stake boundry change meeting for the whole stake.  It was crazy.  Everyone has been talking about this meeting for the past two weeks.  The Stake Presidency have been working on changing ward boundries for over a year and this was the meeting where they announced the changes to the wards. These changes meant that we had to change up our areas.  Parts of wards were put into other wards and such.  Most of our areas are based off of ward boundries.  They made a lot of changes and they were big too.  The Valencia 3rd ward, my ward, gained a large chunk of area and lost only a little bit.  After the boundry meeting we had a meeting with President Hall to discuss the changes in the boundries.  Since the area's changed, investigators have to be transferred over to the missionaries in their new area.  We inherited Valencia 2nds investigators that have a baptismal date for the 19th of this month.  Their names are the Crosby's and I'm really excited to meet them!  The rest of the meeting we just talked about how we can use these changes for our benefit and for emeber missionary work!  It got me pumped!  Member missionary work is the greatest!  So that was my Sunday.  On another note, Elder Miller went home this week.  He was in my district here and my MTC zone.  It was hard to see him leave.  I don't know exactly what he went home for, but I know it was for something that was unresolved at home and that it was the best choice for him.  We had to help his companion Elder Baughn a lot.  He is now in a trio with the V2 Elders and we drove them around a ton this week.  Sometimes I wish I didn't have a car, cause we have to give people rides everywhere, but then when I think about not having a car, I'm grateful I have a car haha!  Anyways, we found some potential investigators this week.  We didn't get a lot of finding time in as I said earlier, but the Lord blessed us with the time that we had.  One of the potentials we found by knocking.  When she opened the door, we introduced ourselves and told her about the Book of Mormon.  She told us that she had one and that she really wanted to read it, but that she had never gotten around to it.  She said that it was good we stopped by because she had been pondering over life and that we reminded her that she had a Book of Mormon!  It was so cool!  We are going to meet with her some time this week.  I'm really excited!  She is a middle aged mom who is Catholic, and she is interested!  So cool!  Oh ya, I ran into my first Bible basher this week!  Most of the Bible Bashers live in Newhall, but we knocked on this one's door.  He opened the door and I told him that we were missionaries and he just started telling us all the problems he had with our church.  He was trying to tell me what I believed and what not.  I told him what I did believe, and he was all "That's against your doctrine!"  He just kept going on and on.  Everything he said was just dumb.  It wasn't good.  He was from the Masters college.  Anyone from the masters college down here tries to bible bash with you.  I didn't really say much cause I didn't want to get in a huge argument, but my trainer did.  I felt bad for the Masters College guy.  He was just so shut down to the gospel.  Most people in our area are super nice!  They say that their not interested, but they'll offer us water a lot.  Most people say that they don't want to change and that they're content with their lives.  Nobody is all that mean.  I have only been yelled at like 15 times since I got here haha!  I got to go on a mini exchange with Elder Forsyth, my MTC comp. this week while our comps went to leadership training!  It was awesome! We saw miracles during the 5 hours we were together!  Our zone went on a hike today!  It was fun, but it reminded me of home which was sad.  It's ok though.  I took some pictures.  It was a cool hike.  Well thanks for all the emails and letters!  I love hearing from you all!  I promise that I will get back to all of you!  I just need to write handwritten letters because I don't have enough time on the computer to email everyone, so send me your addresses!  I love you all and thank you so much for your support!
Elder Nelson

Monday, September 23, 2013

Letter, Monday, September 23

So ya I have 10 minutes on this computer in the Valencia library.  It sucks.  I'll have more time next week but. . . you get it.  This week was awesome as usual.  I love this work!  You just feel good talking to everyone about the gospel.  Let's see. . . oh ya we got two new investigators this week!  Their names are the Casattas!  They are so awesome!  Also, we taught Korihor this week.  Literally, this man told us Korihor was his hero.  His name is Adrien Kragg and I don't know if I told you about him last week, but Elder Ehninger has been teaching him for the past like month.  he has read the entire standard works and some LDS books.  We taught him on Saturday and right before we went to the lesson I felt like we shouldn't go, but I thought it was just me and I didn't tell my comp.  Turns out, it was the Holy Ghost!  Dang it!  Anyways, it wasn't the best situation for me to be in as a new missionary.  I'll tell yall more about it next week.  It was tough.  We taught him before and it was fine, but this time was different.  The spirit was gone and ya, it was just bad.  Luckily I have a strong testimony! Needless to say, we dropped him.  Surprisingly, he came to church on Sunday haha!  We also got a couple of potentials this week that seem very promising!
I have 30 seconds left! ah!  Everyone send me your address so I can write you a hand written letter this week!  Love you all! 
Elder Nelson

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Two of our favorite missionaries!  Elder Cox and Elder Nelson in the MTC.

Monday, September 16, 2013

 Josh's Trainer
 Josh's fantastic district.

 Josh being . . . . Josh

Josh's MTC comp, Elder Forsythe

Letter Dated Monday, September 16

Hopefully i can give a pretty good overview of what's happened over the past week!  It's been awesome and I'm loving it!  I left on the 9th to california.  We got to to take Frontrunner to the airport which was fun with all of the missionaries that were leaving that day!  it was kind of sad when the train stopped in Murray though, but whatever!  I got to call Mom and Dad at the airport which was great!  We left at 11:30 and landed at 12:30 in Burbank.  It was awesome getting to meet the mission president!  He's such a great guy!  There were about 30 missionaries in who I flew to Cali with.  The other 20 were already at the airport when we landed.  It was pretty crazy with the amount of missionaries there.  All of the zone leaders and Assistants to the President were there so there were about 70 missionaries in the airport!  From the airport we headed over to the North Hollywood Stake Center where we ate lunch.  After lunch half of the group went proselyting with the Zone leaders.  The other half had to do paper work and get interviewed by President.  I went proselyting first with Elder Garcia.  I was super nervous but I got over it after i talked to the first person.  After that it was just super fun!  I gave out a couple books of mormon and pass along cards and what not.  I loved it!  When we got back, we watched this driving video and had to get interviewed by President and the health lady, Sister Arnold.  Then we had dinner and took some pictures and got assigned to where we were stayying that night.  30 of us had to stay in a hotel while the rest stayed with senior couples.  I stayed in the hotel.  When our ride pulled up in the parking lot, the driver got out and he looked really familiar.  I then realized it was Jacob Morales, Nefi's brother!  it was so good to see him!  He was leaving for home the next day.  It was awesome!  That night I slept like a rock!  The next morning we went back to the Stake Center and Sister Hall and the Assistants conducted a training meeting with us for about 2 hours and then we went to transfer meeting.  When we walked in the chapel which was filled with missionaries, everyone was singing Called To Serve.  It was so cool!  We then got assigned to our trainers and areas.  I told President during my interview that Lindsy lives in Northridge and he told me that he probably wouldn't have me serve in that area.  I was kind of bummed but whatever!  I know the Elder serving in the Northridge First Ward and his name is elder Smith.  Yes Lindsy he is that black elder you told me about in your email.  He was one of my roomates at the MTC and is one of the funniest guys I've met!  You'll love him!  As for me, I'm serving in the Valencia 3rd ward in Santa Clarita!  My trainer is elder Ehninger!  He's a great guy and I've learned so much from him over the past week!  He's a district leader right now and because of that.  Our first day was filled with leadership meetings and stuff.  We've been really busy getting everyone in our disrict bikes for their area.  We spent a lot of time at bike shops over the past week which was not how I would have liked to spend time but it was ok.  We were driving people everywhere since our area is a driving area.  Our car is a little Pontiac Vibe.  It sucks when you have to back up cause when you do someone has to get out and guide.  It's mission rules.  It's funny when you look at other people watching you when you're backing up.  They just laugh, but that makes me laugh because let's face it I look ridiculus and I would laugh at myself if i saw myself guiding a car out of a garage or parking spot.  haha oh I shouldn't complain its not that bad.  Anyways, we spent a whole ton of time driving companionships around trying to get bikes.  It was frustrating, but we were serving the other elders, and as my trainer says, when you help a companionship, you help all of their investigators and potential investigators.  I really liked that way of looking at it.  Elder ehninger is awesome.  We finally went finding for the first time the other day and it was amazing!  We saw miracles.  We went tracting and we found this guy in his garage and we talked to him about the Book of Mormon.  He said that he had seen us before and that his wife had talked with missionaries before.  We asked if we could come over some time and were meeting with him and his wife on Tuesday at 5:00.  After that we kept on tracting down the street and wee knocked on this door and the guy who answered said he wasn't interested.  We asked him if he knew anyone that was and he pointed to the house across the street.  We went over there and this fat shirtless guy answered the door.  We told him who we were and he told us he already knew who we were.  He said that his best frined in high school was mormon and served his mission and had given him a Book of Mormon.  He told us that he had lost that Book of mormon and had wanted to get one ever since.  he wouldn't let us teach him, but we gave him a Book with our number in it.  He was a really cool guy.  Were going to stop by there again sometime this week.  We had been finding for about 2 hours before we stopped to eat dinner.  After that we tried to go vist some part member families but none of them were home.  We then went back to the apartment and said a quick prayer and I pointed to a spot on the map and we went there.  We walked around the neighborhood talking to people with no success for about an hour and a half when we came to a busy street corner and we just sat there.  My trainer asked me what should we do.  I said "i don't know."  We knew we were there for a reason and then my trainer said we should just stand on this corner.  The idea seemed weird but I felt good about it so we just sat there for like ten minutes.  Pretty soon two guys came walking up the street and they asked us "What are you selling."  We told them we weren't selling anything, but that we were sharing a message about jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon.  They quickly responded by saying, "Oh cool, we've got time, enlighten us."  We told them about the Book of mormon and its backround and we bore testimony of its truth.  One of the guys was really interested and I could tell that he felt the spirit. As we were telling him about the Book of Mormon, his eyes just lit up.  We gave him a book and he immediatly started flipping through it and reading the introduction.  it was awesome!  they were both from L.A. though so we'll never be able to teach them.  We did plant a seed however and that was the reason we were supposed to just stand on that street corner.  It was so cool!  Elder Ehninger has been in this area for 3 months and he's been out on his mission for 9 months which is veteran status for this mission!  60% of the missionaries here have been out 12 weeks or less.  There are some trainers who have only been out for 6 weeks!  It's crazy!  The work here is hastening so much! Elder Ehninger and I taught an investigator this week too.  his name is Adrien and my trainer has been teaching him for the past three weeks.  Adrien is the most logical, thinking man I have ever met.  Elder ehninger warned me about him before we went to the lesson.  He's read the Book of Mormon, the bible, and some various LDS Books.  He thinks differently than anyone I have ever met and we really didn't teach him anything.  He can't accept God.  it's almost like he is afraid of him.  He thinks that if he prays for things that he is cheating life and he says that he has never really had to ask God for anything.  Everything we tell him just leads to another question that doesn't really make sense.  I was kind of frustrated.  Adrien is just weird.  he came to Stake conferance on sunday and we asked him how he liked it.  he said it was moving.  He apprehensivly said that it was good, but that he didn't know what that meant.  Elder Ehninger told me that he studied for ten days for Adrien before I got here and he made up a lesson plan for him.  If that lesson plan doesn't work, we will probably drop him.  Kind of sad.  Elder Ehninger tells me that he thinks like Adrien in a way and that he can kind of relate with him.  We also taught a recent convert this week.  heather Bowman was baptized on August 24th and we're teaching her the new member lessons.  Elder Ehninger taught her and she was his first baptism.  I should probably tell you more about elder Ehninger.  He is originally from oregon but moved to South jordan a couple years ago.  We get along real well and we are both learning a lot from each other.  He's had kind of a rough time with companionships.  he's gone through like 5 different elders in the past 3 months.  one of them went home due to depression and annxiety.  he had one for only twelve days because of that, and then he got another one.  That one just barely got transferred and I'm his new companion.  All in all though, he is a great guy.  Thanks for the package mom!  I already ate all the zuchinni bread haha!  thanks for all the emails!  i'll try to write you all personal letters soon!
Love you all!

Elder Nelson
P.S. my address is 27800 Mcbean parkway Apt. 357, Vallencia California.  I don't know the zip code. Sorry! I hope you can look it up!  Keep writing! I love it!  

Friday, September 13, 2013

Josh's Last Letter From the MTC
(Transcribed by Mom)

Dear Family,
Hey, so here's that name that mom and I found.  I went through the temple for him on Thursday.  It was awesome!  The temple was so great!  I see Jayden like everyday.  He's awesome.  I see Jeff at night cause he comes to my room and talks to me.  It's great.  I'm leaving Monday and by the time you get this it will probably be Tuesday because I'm mailing it Saturday night.  I leave Monday at 6:00 or 6:30am.  Everyone in my zone got these slips saying that they were taking frontrunner to the airport except for me.  If I'm not taking frontrunner, I'm leaving at 7:30 am.  I'm probably taking frontrunner through.  They probably just forgot to give me a little slip.  Even my comp got one.  My flight leaves at 11:25 and gets to Burbank at 12:27.  I'm really excited to leave.  I can't wait to get out and actually put my training to use.  I've changed so much.  It's crazy.  I'm excited just to talk to people in the airport.  It'll be a good experience.  Tomorrow for sacrament meeting the departing districts have to sing a musical number together.  We practiced today and we're doing Hymn 152, "God Be With You 'till We Meet Again."  Let's just say it will be interesting.  We taught a less-active member today and it was way cool.  His name was Neal and he was actually (in real life) a less-active member.  He told us that his neighbor was in charge of this TRC at the MTC and invited him to come.  He was a super cool guy who converted to the church in '98.  He knows it's true, but he just had a problem going to church every week.  He didn't feel like he needed to go every week.  We explained that it's a commandment to keep the Sabbath Day holy and the importance of the sacrament.  We then read D&C 59:9-10 or 11 (I don't remember).  It was awesome!  We explained that obedience yields blessings and we just talked to him for like 46 minutes.  It was really cool.  We just shared experiences with each other and he was starting to tear up.  He said he would start going to church every week and he said he wanted to email us while we were on our mission.  We gave him our email addresses.  It was a fun appointment.  Everyone has been getting sick in our zone.  One of the new elders was up all night last night puking and dry heaving.  I felt really bad.  Sister Wyer and Sister Magnusson are also sick.  We gave Magnussen a blessing but because of the sicknesses going around we can't shake hands with anyone.  I've got a little cold but it will pass.  My favorite scripture has been going around the zone, D&C 122:7-8.  I used it teaching today and so did a lot of other companionships.  Elder Smith went over to the new district's classroom and shared D&C 122:7-8 with them just because he felt like he should.  Later in the day, Elder Madsen, the kid who was puking all night, said that if Smith hadn't shared that scripture, he would have decided to go home.  Pretty cool right?!  So how was the BYU game in the rain?  Haha! We stopped class for like half an hour just to watch the storm outside.  It was crazy!  It was pouring hard for the very first part of the storm and we thought the tree outside our window was going to break because of the wind!  It was awesome!  Today was our last class with my favorite teacher brother Davies.  He got back from the Tulsa, Oklahoma Mission in May.  He is so cool, and whenever he teaches, we always have the deepest conversations.  It's so awesome, but I'm sad I can't learn more from him.  He knows so much.  I hope to be like him by the time I'm done with my mission.  Hey, well it's almost time for bed, and I've got to get up early so I'll see ya in two!  Keep this letter in a safe place! It's my journal entry for today!  Oh, and tell my friends to write me!  I haven't heard from any of them yet except Tyler, and I want to know what's going on with them!  Thanks for all the packages and letters!  I love em and I can't get enough of em! 

Love ya'll!  ELDER NELSON

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dear Parents of the New (and Historic) September Transfer!

Welcome to the Great California San Fernando Mission!  We have 50 new missionaries who have joined us this week, one fourth of the whole mission!  Sorry for all the exclamation points, but this is amazing!

It is Wednesday morning and all the missionaries are in their areas, and since it is 8:41 a.m. they are all doing their individual study.  At 9 they will have companionship study to prepare for the lessons they will teach today. 

This is the biggest arriving group in the history of the mission, and most likely will be the biggest group ever to arrive.  In the olden days (last year) a large group would have been 15.  That wave Elder Nelson spoke about is more like a tsunami. 

This transfer was a little trickier than usual.  New missionaries go through a 12 week in-field training program.  Last transfer we had 30 missionaries who are now half-way through the training. 50 + 30+ 80 (the trainers)= 160 missionaries who are studying an extra hour a day with the in-field training.  We only have 205 in the mission!  So we are studying!  The 160 number is not quite accurate, we have a few missionaries being trained in trios and a few that are finishing their training with another 6-weeker.  We even have some trainers of your missionaries who have only been here 6 weeks!  When the Lord said he would hasten the work, He wasn’t kidding around.  The great news is that the missionaries are up to the challenge and are working miracles!

Included in the group are 7 visa-waiters.  We love our visa-waiters.  They are a great addition to the mission and really work hard and encourage us.  We don’t know when their visas will come, but we secretly hope never.  Generally they come within a couple of months.  We’ve had visas come within days and we have some who have been waiting six months, government red tape moves slowly sometimes.  But even if we don’t know how long they will be with us, the Lord knows and we can testify that those that wait with us have been called to serve here as well as their final destination.  Truly it is a blessing (even if it seems disguised).

We see miracles every day in this mission!  Next Monday you should receive your first email from your missionary.  Ask him or her about the miracles in this work.  Ask them about their first afternoon in the mission where they went out finding people to teach after landing at the airport.  I blogged about Day 1 here, if you want more details. 

Along with praying for your missionary, please pray for you missionary’s companion.  To bless the lives of Heavenly Father’s children, companions must work in unity.  Adjusting to a companion 24/7 is always a learning curve.  Pray for both halves of the companionship.  It makes a huge difference.

We love this group already, they are going to be amazing!

Sister and President Hall
Largest Transfer in the History of the San Fernando California Mission

Monday, September 9, 2013

Just talked to Josh on the phone from the Salt Lake airport.  He took front runner there with many other missionaries.  His flight leaves at 11:25 and he arrives in Burbank at 12:27 California time--only fifteen minutes away from Lindsy.  He sounds better than ever and said that he felt great and was excited to get out there in the field.  He said leaving the MTC was a little sad because he has really loved it there this past week.  He was able to give a blessing to one of the sisters before she left--most of the sisters asked for blessings-- and said it was a good experience.  He said he loved TRC, which is teaching live people in the MTC.  They are either converts or investigators, but the missionaries don't know if they are role playing or not.  Josh doesn't think his were.  One was an investigator and one was less active.  After Josh and his companion taught, the investigator agreed to be baptized and the investigator agreed to go back to church!  He even wanted Josh and his companion's e-mail addresses so that he could write them on their missions.  Josh said he wished he could have done more TRC training.  He has loved his companion, Elder Forsyth.  We got to talk with him as well for a few minutes.  He said that he loves Josh and that he will be an awesome missionary.  He sounds like a great guy, but we were anxious to get Josh back on the phone.  Josh said that he has really loved his district and will miss those that are going on to San Francisco.  There are 50 new missionaries arriving in the San Fernando Mission today.  The Mission President and his wife spoke in Lindsy and Ryan's Stake Conference yesterday and announced that.  How fun for Lin to realize that one of them will be her brother!  She signed up for meals just in case he gets assigned to her area.  Josh loved learning more about the gospel in the MTC.  He said that their first teaching practice with one of their teachers was horrible because they didn't know what they were doing, but things got much better and he and his companion were able to teach in sync pretty well.  Yet another tender mercy from the Lord--a son that now feels a little more confident in his abilities to teach the gospel that he loves so much.  Talking with him made me realize that I need to do a better job at being a missionary and helping the missionaries in my area.

Love my son!  Write to him when you get a chance!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dear Family, Friends, and whoever else my mom sends this too.
I'm loving it here! this has been one of the hardest things of my life but I have learned so much in just one week of being here!  I'm sorry I wasn't able to write until now.  They told us to write when we got the chance, but I never got the chance.  Every single minute of the day is scheduled with so much stuff.  The only time I would have to write is the last hour to 30 minutes of the day, and I'm usually writing in my journal or getting ready for bed or talking with my district or others from my zone.  Today is P-day, and it's my only P-day at the MTC.    I love my zone and district!  We are all really close and everyone is just awesome.  My companion is great as well.  His name is Elder Forsyth and he's from Denver.  At first I thought he was a little different, but we're all different in one way or another.  He's a little pudgy, but he's funny and a real spiritual guy. I'll post pictures.  We have one other companionship in my room, Elder Smith and Elder Hankins.  Smith is from Draper.  He's one of the funniest black guys I've ever met.  Elder Hankins is from Lehi.  He's probably the most different of all the Elders, but like I said, everyone is different in some way.  Smith and Hankins are the only two Elders in my district going to San Fernando with me and Forsyth.  All of the Elders in the other district in our zone are going to San Fernando, but the rest of the Elders and Sisters are going to the San Francisco/Oakland mission.  I wish they were all going to San Fernando because we've all gotten so close and everyone is just so cool.  The other Elders in our district are Elder Hong, Elder Boakye-yiadom, Elder Gillie, and Elder Hunter.  Hong is from Idaho Falls and he's our district leader.  He's a real cool guy.  Boakye-yiadom (pronounced Bo-achie-ya-dom, or Elder Bo for short) is from originally from Ghana and speaks Akan.  He's super funny but has a very strong testimony.  His family moved to Houston a couple of months ago and he has been going to BYU for a year.  Elder Gillie and Hunter are our zone leaders.  Like the rest, I like 'em.  My branch president is President Wenn.  He is the most loving and powerful guy.  He has helped me out so much as I've been here.  The schedule here at the MTC is so crazy.  We have class and study time for 10-12 hours a day.  It's really tiring but I've grown so much from everything that I've learned.  Everything centers around the missionary purpose and it all comes down to loving the investigator and teaching according to their needs.  I'm so glad that I had Dad as a hometeaching companion.  He really taught me how to love other people and get to know them.  We also teach here through this program called TRC which stands for Teaching Resource Center.  Everyone that we teach is either a convert to the church playing the role of themselves before they were converted, or a real investigator.  They don't tell you because everyone acts like an investigator.  We taught this Korean lady named K-min and she was really accepting and the spirit was so real.  She came from Korea about a year ago because her husband wanted to study at BYU.  Her cousins are members and asked her to meet with the missionaries and she said yes.  We got there and she was so excited to see us.  She seemed like the golden investigator that missionaries talk about.  She just asked the right questions and was so open to us.  We taught so in sync with each other and we addressed her concerns and questions.  That was really the first time I taught by the spirit and it was one of the coolest experiences.  We taught her about the restoration and how to pray, and we gave her a Book of Mormon.  We invited her to read and pray about it.  We taught her again yesterday and we followed up with our invitation.  She said she had read some of it and prayed about it like we told her too, but that she didn't get a very strong answer.  The lesson still went really good though.  It was basically just a big question and answer session and we taught her about the priesthood, faith and Christ.  At the end of the lesson I invited her to be baptized and she said she would!  It was so cool.  My spirits this week are so much better than they were when I first got here.  I felt so good the first day I got here, but every day after that my spirits started failing me more and more.  Just because the I'm at the MTC doesn't mean that I don't have opposition and that the Adversary can't work against me.  I started to feel like I couldn't do this mission by Saturday, but Sunday saved me.  It was so spiritual.  I fasted and we had a mission conferance in the gym that morning after study time.  It was so awesome.  Singing with all the missionaries is just such a cool feeling and the talks were so good.  We had a sacrament/testimony meeting with the zone and branch presidency and then we had study time, dinner, and then another devotional which was really cool.  The former president of the Phillipines MTC and his wife spoke about missionary work and lifting up an ensign and how we were the army of god and stuff like that.  We then sang the Battle hymn of the Republic for the closing song.  Let's just say that is probably my new favorite song.  It was awesome.  To end the day we got to watch a talk that Elder Bednar gave to the MTC a couple of years ago.  It is literally the best talk I have ever heard may be my new favorite.  It's too bad they only show it at the MTC.  You might be able to get the text online.  The talk is called Character of Christ and it is mind blowing.  It was exactly what i needed to hear and has changed my view on things dramatically.  I want you guys to look it up, although I don't know if you will be able to find it.  If you do, send me the text because I want it!  We also had a temple walk on Sunday which was fun.  We all took pictures and it was good to get away from campus.  To answer Dad's question about the Calisthenic fitness class, they don't have in anymore haha.  Gym time is really fun.  We usually go to the field and play soccer, kickball, softball or volleyball.  If it's too late we go to the gym and play basketball or volleyball.  It's way fun.  On Monday night we said goodbye to part of the district that was leaving on tuesday.  They had already been here for over a week and they were going to San Diego.  The rest of that district left on Wednesday for Omaha Nebraska.  We got a new district on Wednesday and they are all going to Baton-Rouge Louisiana.  I actually know one of them.  His name is elder Bennet and he played Trombone with me in the Sould Research Foundation.  It was a good to see him.  I hadn't talked to him in a long time.  The food here is alight, but it's nothing like mom's food!  It's just cafeteria food and its kind of bland but i'm ok with it.  We get Ice Cream on Wednesday and Sundays so that's good.  Our teachers here are so cool!  They are so spiritual and are really helpful.  My teaching skills have increased a ton and I really feel like I teach by the spirit when I do.  We're going to the temple later on today and I'm really excited about that.  Mom i still have that name that I'm going to go through for.  I'll send it to you once i've gone through.  I heard about the BYU game.  That stinks.  I have in field orientation all day tomorow and Saturday is just like any other scheduled day.  I leave on Monday and I can't wait.  Thank you all for your letters! I can't get enough of them so keep writing!  I'll try to send personalized letters when I have time, I just haven't found it yet.  Sorry that you had to waitso long o this e-mail.  They didn't give me any time to write and unlike language speaking Elders, we don't get our first P-day until a week goes by.  

I Love you All!

Elder Nelson    
No letter yet,  but Charity Bowles shared this gem on facebook.
Elder Josh and Elder Jayden get to see each other all of the time.
Yet another tender mercy!