Monday, December 20, 2010

Transferred and Transformed to English


Things have been crazy these past four days. On Friday I got transferred to Reading PA again but the only difference is that instead of speaking spanish I am now an English Elder, just because we are the zone leaders. But so I am back where I started and it is great to see a lot of people and the area. My eyes have been opened though to the mission and missionary work. English people are so different and its a lot harder to get people to listen to you.

On Saturday we went to Wyomissing and tracted on these houses that cost probably half a million. I was so scared and felt really out of place. But we were able to teach to a few people and also have some straight up rejections. I havent experienced rejection that much on my mission so when we were getting the doors actually slammed on our face or the people being rude to us, I was shocked. I still am feeling a little out of place but its good. I am learning a lot though so its good. I need you to send me out my old pair of scriptures (in english) with the leather bound and the pictures put ontop of certain verses. That would help me out a lot, thanks. But I am a shy person I have found out. I dont have the same confidence with talking to people as I do in spanish. Everytime I speak to someone in spanish I have more energy and I feel more of myself, but with english I have a hard time opening up and teaching them in the same way. So this is going to be good for me. At first I was really mad and sad for leaving my last area but this is going to be good.

Yesterday at church it was really interesting because we were able to get to know everyone and then they announced my name wrong as Elder Williams, but the craziest thing happened. The daughter of the Millers in your ward and her husband from Delta were at church yesterday. They walked in and I had to look twice to recognize them. They came up to visit some friends who live in our ward and so they came to church yesterday and we had a good talk and conversation. They told me Nate is getting married in two days and also Chantelle got married already. Thats crazy. You guys havent told me a lot of stuff, thats good. But things are going good and we are going to have a good week.

For this weekend, I will call you Friday night and let you know when we can talk on Saturday because I dont know what our plans are right now. But prepare your questions and I want to talk about school a little bit to figure out what I need to do to register and that stuff. My new address is 555 Pearl St #103 Reading, PA 19602. You guys are great and have a good week. Hay los vidrios


Monday, December 13, 2010

Getting Transferred :o(


Yes I am going to be transferred this week. I about killed the Assistant when he told me but yes I will be leaving on Friday because thats when transfers are. The flights out are too expensive or busy or something like that so they have to leave Saturday instead of Tuesday. So I wouldnt send the letter to the Allegheny address. I will be leaving on the 7 of June. Dont put too much thought into it. (We don't understand this too well. Is he flying somewhere or talking about when he comes home?)

This past week was great. We were able to have a lot of success in our area and help our investigators with their needs. This next transfer is going to be crazy because they are going to split my area into two areas and then they will have three sets of missionaries in the ward instead of two, and none of the companionships will have a car. So we have been preparing the area for this change and getting our investigators prepared to continue progressing towards baptism. Things are on fire here in the area though and I am really sad to leave. In the next two months we have a possible 10 baptisms and a couple weddings. So these new missionaries are going to have it good and not have to worry too much about being in a new area.

Today my buddy here at the library was rubbing it in my face how the Cowboys lost to the Eagles yesterday. Last week I was talking a little smack to him as he read the newspaper. But this past week we went to Vineland, NJ and it was a great exhange. I hadnt been around Mexicanos in a long time and so it was really great to be with them again and cough because the food the lady was cooking was so spicy.

This week we have a zone conference tomorrow that is basically like a Christmas party so it will be interesting to see what happens. Then on Friday we have the Transfers Meeting and I will find out where I am going. This is going to be a rough week though with a lot of good byes. Hope you guys have a good week and dad don't get sick over there in Romania.

El Amor de Fily.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Spirit and Spirit of Christmas


Those are some good pictures. I wish it would do that here in Philly and cover all the bad stuff on the streets. Is that a new truck? Its grey and looks different?

But sounds like you guys are doing really good and enjoyed the Christmas program last night. I really loved it. The music was the best part. It is amazing how the Spirit is so easily invited with music and hymns. My favorite was the O come all ye faithful.

But this week was really good and we taught a ton of people and found almost 20 new investigators that are strong. One family we found of eight is awesome and we've taught em twice but they probably will have to go over to the english elders because they dont read spanish. Sorry I cant think right now because we had a big problem this morning where another Elder threw a fit because he didnt want to go buy food in the store we wanted. So I just got back from taking him to another store and he bought his stuff. I almost lost it with him though because he was being so stubborn and on the verge of crying.

Its going to be a good day though and we have some plans to go to the city with a member and buy some stuff my companions need. Im going to try and send you guys a package this week with some stuff in it. But keep up the good work and have a good week. We went to Reading this past week on an exchange and it was awesome to see one family that I love and they were really excited to see me and told me I looked more like a man now, not a little boy. But that was a great exchange and we were able to help out the Elders too. Its getting colder and we are having to bundle up now. My one companion is from Texas so he is always cold and doesnt like walking outside that much. The Christmas party for us is this next week so dont worry about it mom thanks. You guys are awesome and this is a great time to be alive. We have a lot to be grateful for and need to help others out. I realized this past week how great the restored gospel is and how real and true this Plan is. So I really enjoyed last night and the devotional. Adios amigos, no come la nieve amarilla. (means don't eat the yellow snow) el amor de fily


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Four Dinners for Thanksgiving


Thats too bad that you had to have separate Thanksgivings but thats good you were able to have one. We had a great Thanksgiving and had a lot of fun this past week. We were able to go play football with an english ward up north about 45 minutes from here and it was a shock to see a bunch of white kids and youth playing with adults. It was a great game though and it snowed a little bit too so that was cool. Then we had four dinner appointments that we went to and only ate at two of them. It was really fun though and we had a good time with the four different families. Afterwards though when we got home I wasnt feeling good at all and so I tried going to the bathroom but that didnt help, we didnt have any peptobismal so then I just decided to throw up. So I threw up and that made me feel a lot better. But then in the middle of the night I woke up and was feeling horrible again. So I went to the bathroom and made myself throw up again and this time it was a ton of stuff that came up. I felt so good afterwards though so then I just went back to bed and we had a regular next day.

We had a ward Thanksgiving Dinner on Friday and that was great also. We had some of our investigators come and they had a good time. It was great though to be with the members and recent converts and eat a lot of food. Things are going really good though and the people we are teaching are doing really good. We are going to have some changes though in the future with three companionships here in the ward (all spanish ward) so that means that I could be moving to another area in a couple of weeks. I got your package last week mom, thanks, I havent opened them yet except for the shirt because it was already partly opened. Things are going really good and we had a great last week. It was fun playing football though and being outside on a grass football field. It took us all a few dropped passes and duck throws to get back in the swing of things but it was a good time and no one got hurt so all is well. This week we are going back to Reading for an exchange and so that will be good to see some people and the area. We went to Bridgeton, NJ this past week and did an exchange with the Elders there. It was really good and had some good lessons learned and good Mexican people. I'll write a letter to you mom about the differences between here and there for Christmas. This morning we went to the Rocky Steps for exercise and it was great. Have a good week and take care. el amor de fily


Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Plans


Thats really neat that its going to be so cold over there. I'm hoping for the snow to come soon because now the city is really dark and ugly. It isnt that cold but you still need to wear a jacket.

This past week was awesome with all the things that we accomplished. We really focused on committing people and we were able to see the fruits by a ton of miracles. The best part of the week was yesterday when we were at church one of our former investigators who was progressing randomly showed up to church. I saw her son of 8 years and asked him if his mom came and he told me yes. I looked up and there she was walking in the door just glowing with happiness. It was such a sweet feeling and when I shook her hand I just wanted to give her a big hug because she looked so happy. It turns out though that she came to church finally because she never had a skirt before. Then she somehow got a skirt and came to church yesterday. So we're going to start working with her again and helping her get baptized.

Things are going really good though and I realized yesterday how much this ward has become a part of me. The members are awesome and this has been an awesome area. We have two dinner invites for Thanksgiving and some other invites so it will be fun. I tried yesterday to try and organize some kind of football game or soccer for thursday morning but the leaders werent interested so we're going to go to a English wards game and try and take some less actives with us.

Things are going really good though and Im grateful to be from a family that farms and does a lot of different stuff. Being with my two new companions and other Elders here in the mission helps you see how grateful you are for the things you've done. Instead of wasting your time with computer games or video games or having some flea as a girlfriend you can do so many other things to spend your time. So thanks guys for being active and having fun lives. Have a good thanksgiving and keep up the good work. el amor de fily


mom if youre going to send packages, send em to the office address instead of my apartment. If you send em through UPS I have to travel all the way down to South Philly to pick up the package.

Answers Some Questions


1. Our schedule is now a lot better as to we are not traveling as much. They cut down the exchanges we do because we did so many last transfer. We did just as many exchanges as the Assistants and it was 11 I think. But now we only are on one exchange a week and so we are working a lot more here in our area.

2. New Jersey is pretty. Delaware is flat and the people are all interesting. There are no mountains so its kind of weird but thats how it is here in Philly.

3. I dont know about NASCAR, if I was from Delaware or Maryland I would probably like it because everyone there does.

4. Plans for Thanksgiving are go eat and play football and study. We dont know exactly what our plans are yet.

5. 1- maybe four pairs of new garments (cotton-poly long neck medium). and thats it. I dont want anything else. I know you dont like to hear that, but really I dont want anything else. Let me know if you want anything though.

6. I dont plan on spending more than 50 dollars so I dont think so.

Things are going really good though. We have some sweet investigators and are teaching a lot of people here. We taught almost 40 lessons this past week and half were with members present so it was great. We are in a three some and this greeny takes a lot of patience. He asks a lot of stupid questions and doesnt listen very well. We have a great companionship though things work well. But tomorrow we have a meeting with Elder Ellis from the 70 and then we'll be working here in Philly all week. Thanks you guys youre great. El Amor de Fily.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

HURRAY! A New Companion!

Hola Nielsons,

Well all is well, all is well. I am still here in North Philly with the same address and everything, but my companion is Elder Morrison from Shelley Idaho and he's the man. He is a really good missionary and good with spanish so it will be a good transfer. The only difference is that he likes video games a lot and I dont. But we get along really well and have known each other for awhile now. I have to say though that my last companion was the hardest one I've had in my mission so far and I survived without killing him.

Yesterday was awesome because we had a good time at church and then we went to this special fireside by Elder D. Todd Christofferson where he talked to the Philadelphia Stake. But before the meeting I was going to kill my companion and this other Elder who's Mexican because they were making all these comments to me, acting like I was some idiot from Idaho who had a 4th grade education. So I was about ready to kill the Mexican Elder and then we get to the meeting, we had to take them to the meeting, and we get to the meeting and I see my good buddy Elder Stroshine and we talked and made each other smile and it made me forget about all that stuff that was going on in my head. So basically I am grateful for good friends that are good people and help you out when you need a smile. But the meeting with Elder Christofferson was awesome. He had a great talk about serving others and preparing our homes and families for the Temple coming next year. It was really sweet and I learned a lot. Then afterwards I was able to go up and shake his hand, havent washed it since. Not really, but it was really cool to be there with an Apostle of the Lord. He really is called of God and the Spirit was very strong at the start of the meeting because I was searching for answers to my questions. It was a really great Sunday though and I felt like giving everyone a hug afterwards.

Then today we had our meeting this morning in Broomall and I got my new companion, but also we will be training an Elder this transfer. So we pick up our "Golden" on Wednesday and my companion will be the official trainer. Things are going great and this is going to be a good week. We are still "Language Trainers" or zone leaders for the spanish, except for we dont have a zone, but we wont be doing as many exchanges this transfer so that will be good. Next week Elder Ellis from the 70 comes to do a mission tour and then before we know it its Christmas Zone Conference. Time is flying and you guys look like youre doing good. You guys need to keep practicing on skiing so that you wont get beat so bad through the powder by "the norman." Tell Curtis that I'm a little ticked off right now that he is doing that. He better do the wedding after I get home. Have a good week, el amor de fily.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Great Hispanic Halloween Party!

Hola Familia Mia.

Those are some good pictures. I dont know how well that shed is going to hold though if Blake and Brooks are making it, and Sarah you look good for an interview or somethin. No you guys look good, those are good pictures.

Well this was a good past week. We went down to Delaware and Maryland and it was a great trip. We had Zone Training in Dover DE and there they have a race track for Nascar. We had to pick up some Elders from the Pepboys in front of the track but we got there early. So we had some free time and walked over to the track and it was amazing. It was huge and the track is steep. I was a foot away from touching the track so it was pretty cool. Then afterwards we went down to Salisbury Maryland and had an exchange with the Elders down there. It was really good and we learned a lot together about how to teach in unity. Elder Bateman and I, one of my former companions, taught this lady and it was awesome. So good things learned and we had a good time too so it was a success. Then driving back I was able to see some combines cutting the soybeans and all the pretty trees. It was really cool and the trees were better in Delaware than Pennsylvannia, I took some pictures so dont worry mom. But it was really cool being down there and being with members that were white and from the country. You could see the difference in the people and it was clear to see that the people from the country are a lot better than those from the city.

Also for Halloween we had a great party in the church that the ward did and it was a great hispanic party. The music and dancing and costumes were pretty neat and it made me realize how great these members are here in the ward and how they care for you. Halloween wasnt crazy at all though, there werent that many people out yesterday.

This is the last week of the transfer and I will be staying here in Philly again so dont worry about changed address or anything. We had an exchange with the Assistants on Saturday and they let us know what was going to be happening. So things are going really good in the mission right now and we are helping out our ward grow. Yesterday we had a great lesson in church by our Bishop and he talked about the Plan of Salvation and how we have the great responsability to do the Temple work for those members of our families that have past away without the Gospel. Also how we need to do Geneology for our families to tie us all back to our first parents Adam and Eve. So things are going really good and we have another busy week with a leadership training tomorrow and Wednesday in Broomall and then exchanges in Camden and Lindenwold. Thanks for your support and tell Grandma and Grandpa Wilson thanks for the cookies and also Don and Lisa for the candy. You guys are awesome, keep it up. Les quiero mucho.

El Amor


Monday, October 25, 2010

Traveling and Training

Hola amigos,

This was a great past week. It might have been better that going to Henrys Lake and fishing. We had a great meeting on tuesday and all the Elders really enjoyed it. We had a lot of training on spanish and also on finding people. The greatest part was at the end President Schafermeyer gave his testimony in spanish and it was so powerful. When he started speaking in spanish everyone just went silent and there was that powerful presence of the Spirit. Then we went up into the northern parts of the mission and it was great. I took some pictures of the trees for you mom so dont worry. But it was a really pretty drive and the trees are looking great. I was able to go on an exchange in Easton with Elder Glover, the Elder I trained, and we had a good time. Hes one of my good buddies here in the mission so we were able to get some stuff done in Easton and talk about the mission. Hes a stud though and really has grown a lot. But the best part of the week was we went to Reading on thursday and friday and it was my old area. I was able to go and see some of my old friends and the look on their faces when they saw that it was me was priceless. I really felt loved by these people and when their faces lit up and they came over to me and gave me a big hug. It was awesome. One family that we taught, that is going to be baptized soon, we visited and when we got there the kids were outside and I didnt think they would remember me but when the girl of about 13 years saw me she ran over and gave me a big hug. It was really neat and I thought, " man I guess I did good work while I was here." So it was a good time to be there with the people and also show that Elder other parts of the area where there are hispanics.

So it was a good week and we had a lot of success here in our area also. But yesterday I was studying a little in the Temple Ensign from last month and I was thinking about how we should share this magazine with everyone and how beautiful it is for the family.

Also the package you sent got here Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday so I was out of town and wasnt able to get it. They might send it back I dont know but Im going to try tomorrow to get it because we wont have time today. Thanks you guys and have a good week. Keep up the good work.

El Amor.


(everyone is pretty sad right now here in philly about the Phillies losing to the Giants)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Jersey: Bridgeton, Vineland and Atlantic City

Hola Familia Nielson,

We had a good past week. I havent heard much about the Phillys because its not as big up here in North Philly as it was down in South Philly. The people up here are more focused on other things than baseball. We were in New Jersey and had some good exchanges with Bridgeton, Vineland and Atlantic City. We were able to teach a lot and help these Elders out with their areas. A lot of stuff is going on right now and we are always having to plan stuff out. We have a spanish training tomorrow that we will be doing and it will be about 6 hours long. It took us a whole afternoon to plan it and I about killed my companion because it took so long. But we got it done and tomorrow is game day. We have all the Spanish Elders in the mission coming to Philly and the focus is on Spanish and how we work as spanish missionaries.

On Saturday our ward took a trip to the DC Temple and my companion went with another Elder because they taught one of the guys who got his endownments. But also the family that we baptized last month went to the Temple and it was a really good experience for them. Also there was one of our investigators that went and she really liked it so it was a good uplifting experience for all. So things are going good and time is flying by with all these exchanges that we are doing. I dont really like it that much though because youre not immersed in the work and your area. You dont always have personal study time because youre on the road and its harder to keep in contact with your investigators throughout the week. Its fun but on the other hand its kind of a burden. I would much rather just be in some area with a little branch and we have to walk five miles everyday. But we'll see what happens and if President keeps us as we are right now. Thanks for the pictures, those are pretty neat and you guys look good, except for that kid with the braces. No you guys look good and keep up the good work. Good luck this week in your race Brooks and Sarah you should go to Utah State so that you can learn how to ski from me.

Have a good week, el amor, Go Phillies


Hola otra vez

Raymon wrote me and said that the food you sent him really helped him out and that you guys were awesome. So thanks for doing that it encouraged him. But Sarah I cant be your friend on Facebook until you find someone that we can teach. If you can get us hooked up with Brady or some non member that is interested in learning about the gospel then we can be friends. But Im not going to be your friend until you find someone that we can help. I might be getting rid of the facebook account anyways because I hate it. Its such a waste of time and I have to write a blog about Church stuff too. So its good and all but I would rather do something else than write about what I think about a gospel principle. Have a good week though and let me know when you find someone we can teach. El Amor


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Coco Juice, Yellow Rice & Beans=Dominican Republic


Thats a pretty good looking picture "Brooks." No thats pretty cool that you guys did that and had a good time. I was wondering though about that other four wheeler in the picture with the 400, did you get another one? That might be a good idea.

But this past week was pretty good. Yesterday we couldnt write because all the libraries were closed and we had to go play some b-ball. Last week we went on exchanges in Allentown and Reading. It was really neat being in Reading again because I was able to show the Elders there were some of the people are and less active members that they didnt know. Those Elders havent been in the area for too long so they had no idea who people were. I was able to see some of my old buddies from the ward in a meeting we had and that was really good. The family that Elder Bateman and I baptized last November, the dad was there at the meeting and he is on fire. They are going to the Temple soon to do their Endowments and have already been a few times for Baptisms for the dead. It was really cool though to see them and made me feel good for the work that I have done on my mission.

Nothing really has changed, just we had a great past week and I was able to have a good time. I went on splits with a member of our ward last week and he's an older guy from DR and is basically my uncle. But we had a great time together and taught a lot of our investigators in about five hours. I was able to learn a lot about his life and also about the DR. For you guys to get the full Dominican experience you got to get some Coco Juice or Coco Agua that has the little chunks of fresh coconut in it and then have yourself some yellow rice and beans, then some meat on top. Just a little greasy but man just makes you feel good. But things are going good and time is flying by. We have three exchanges this week in New Jersey and once again I'll be going to Atlantic City so it will be fun.

Have a good week and practice your basketball skills. I played for the first time yesterday in about two months and it was rusty at first but then it loosened out. I love doing stuff like that here because it helps me relax and not become so missionary robot like and take my mind off of all the things we have to do. So all is well, I got to play some basketball and show people that Idahoans can shoot a ball. Have a good one and remember the little things that mean so much: family prayer, kneeling as a family, family dinner, family scripture study, family home evening, and following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. You guys are awesome and have a good week. Adios amigos les quiero mucho


Monday, October 4, 2010

Pretty Good General Conference


This past week was pretty good and ya it rained a lot, so much that a town out in West Philly was flooded and so we were driving last Friday morning to go to a meeting we had in Broomall and it took us forever because all the roads were diverted into one and the traffic was really bad with a lot of sirens. I am not sick, havent got sick at all so dont worry. I found a bottle of Airborne that I saved from last winter and so I used that last week. Sister Schafermeyer is having all the missionarys in the mission get flu shots so I will get mine this week or next week from CVS or somewhere.

We were able to have a pretty good General Conference. It was the first time I watched the whole thing in Spanish. The last two times we didn't have members that came to the Church to watch so we just watched it in English. So it was interesting but still I was able to understand basically everything. Some of the jokes from President Monson werent translated correctly or not at all so it was a little disappointing but still great Conference. I loved the talk by President Monson about Gratitude. That was a sweet story that he shared about the family on the farm without electricity and his wife washing clothes and dishes all the time. Also I really enjoyed the talk from Elder Scott and how we can develop our Character. I thought that the Conference was great and that right from the get go it started running. With the Welcome from President Monson I was really impressed how he talked about missionaries and how we all need to prepare ourselves to serve missions. It put things in perspective for me how the mission has really helped me and how lucky I am to be here right now. I thought about how I did a lot of stupid stuff earlier and how I always was able to know through others good examples, that I needed to go on a mission and that I needed to go to the Temple and that I needed to keep the commandments and read the Book of Mormon. I felt really bad though for those of my friends that weren't able to experience this stuff for themselves. Steven Gabrielsen for example, I thought how hard that must be for him to be home and know that his friends are out here on missions. So serving a mission is very important and we all must have the mentality of getting ourselves or our kids or our friends on missions.

I am going to make a facebook account this week, so Sarah I might be your friend. But this does not mean that we can talk and see how each other is doing. One of you guys, and I can all be in on a chat or something and talk about the gospel and send each other links to mormon messages or something. This is the goal but remember its not for keeping in contact with each other, so dont tell other people. My area is the whole world so I can be friends with anyone. So think about people we can help and then we'll try and figure it out to start teaching them through facebook.

You guys are awesome and I hope you have a good week and go ride some four wheelers or something. Sarah I hope you didnt get your first kiss from Connor Johnson because I'll give you a hard time about that for a long time if you did. Brooks you look skinny man, I hope you dont get mad when I get home and whip you into shape. Have a good week.



(A member told me that Utah State beat BYU. Thats awesome)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Changes and Traveling


Well Sarah I think that for looking that good you might get someone to pay for your dinner. Dad you look like you got a little more tinsel in your hair, but you look good. Might be able to beat me up when I get back.

But this week has been pretty good and man it was a lot of great experiences. We were in the three day training last week and that was a great opportunity to learn and be with other missionaries. We had a great training and it was just over the new curriculum that the MTC will be training missionaries on and that we'll be putting into practice with our District Meetings. So then after that we went to Bridgeton, NJ with my good buddy Elder Lake and his companion. It was a good exchange and the area was great. Elder Lake and I were able to talk about how we need to control our thoughts and not think about farming or other things when we get home. We dont think about them that much just that we think about them now and then and it needs to be decreased because our time is winding down as missionaries. But his companion is a project. His companion was one of the New Jersey missionaries and the majority of them were horribly disobedient so this Elder has given Elder Lake a rough time with every rule. It was a good exchange though and we learned some new stuff and took pictures on an old Farmall tractor out back of where the Elders live so I'll have to send you my card soon.

We had a good week though and things went really well with church and meetings and then today with transfer meeting. Im still here in the same area and still have my same companion so it will be a good six weeks. We are no longer in a threesome so thats good. I am going to really have to pray a lot though and have more love this transfer to be able to help us as a companionship come closer together. Thanks for your support guys and I hope you are having a good week and do good in your activities. Blake, why dont you play football with a cast/club on? you should still be able to play. If youre not gonna be able to play, get your hunters license and a four wheeler and have Brooks take you out to the mountains. But have a good week and remember el amor.


On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 1:34 PM, Daryl Nielson wrote:

Are you still a Zone Leader? Are you just a regular companionship.?
What is your current role?

We are still "Zone Leaders" but there is no zone. So in the next six weeks we will be doing exchanges with all the spanish elders in the mission and then we also might do a training on just spanish and culture. So we are basically traveling Elders without numbers and the responsabliliy of a zone. We will only be in our area for about 2 or 3 days out of the week and then we'll be living on the road out of our suitcases. It will be a lot of planning

Demons, Snakes and Frogs


This is the week when we go to the mission home for three days for this new leadership training meeting and then on thursday to friday we'll be in Bridgeton with the spanish Elders there. Transfers are this next week on Monday but I'll get youre letter so dont worry about it, just do it. I don't think I'll be leaving because my companion has already been here for 4 transfers so its about time for him to go. But the time is flying, I realized yesterday that it was already the end of week 5 in the transfer and also General Conference is in two weeks.

Thats pretty cool Raymond is going already and is ready to leave. I hope he has a good time in the MTC down there. This past week was really good and we had a lot of crazy experiences from being in the same house as a lady who was posessed by a demon, to catching a snake on a road in West Chester, to confirming someone at Church yesterday. It was nuts. We had our Zone Training on Thursday and it went really well. We did a good job and the Elders really enjoyed it. I tried to help us with our role play and so we did kind of like a personal film session after the practice we did. I tried to impliment the benefits I got from watching film Saturday mornings after football games. It was neat. But then I was in West Chester with an Elder from Utah and it was a good exchange. We talked a lot about how we can enjoy the work and not just be robots. So when we were driving to an appointment one night on this mountainous road, it was really pretty over there, frogs were jumping all over the road so some we would hit and some they'd just go right under us. So I had the Elder stop us at the next frog we saw because I was going to catch it. He stopped and I backed him up so we could see the road, night time, but then as he's backing up I see this long stick looking thing and realize its a snake. He stops with his lights on the snake and I caught it, we took a picture and left, never found the frog.

Then yesterday I was able to confirm Dennis who was baptized last week. It was a cool experience and I was a little nervous at first because I was afraid of what would happen and if I'd get the wording right. But then when we went up to the front and we put our hands on his head, it was just peaceful and I just began to talk. He was glowing red afterwards and later in the priesthood meeting he got the priesthood. So he will baptize his daughter this next Sunday and is really excited about that.

Blake dont get down with your wrist or basketball ok? Dont worry about what happens, just worry about how you are doing personally and if you are doing your best. Try not to compare yourself with others because that will just make you get down. I have that problem as a missionary because sometimes I look at others who know so much about how to do things and then I feel like I cant do it. Last week I was a little worried about my spanish because I wasnt as good as other Elders with speaking like a Puerto Rican. That made me have a horrible day because I was always thinking about how my spanish is and I struggled. So then I just decided to just talk and not worry about it and I had no problems with spanish. So just listen to "I got soul but Im not a Soldier" and youll be alright.

So things are going good and we had a great past week. Things are going to be changing a lot as to what I'll be doing next transfer and how because I dont really know yet. But you guys have a good week and we'll talk to you next week. Philly Love


?Did you get my package?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Answers Some Questions


1. Yes, Elder Glover was the Hannah Montana blanket guy

2. P-Day changed because the missionary department in Salt Lake says that mondays are the best days to have P-Day so President changed it to go more in line with the Church program.

3. The wedding and baptism was awesome yesterday. They really received a lot of support from the members and we had a lot of investigators there too. But the wedding was quick and sweet right before sacrament meeting in one of the side rooms. Then the baptism afterwards was great. There were about 30 people that came to the baptism, most of them for the food, but it was a great experience for everyone. I was able to baptize the husband and my companion baptized the wife. I was a little nervous at first because this was the first time I'd ever actually baptized someone. But I felt just like I was getting ready for a big game or something. I was thinking why am I nervous? Why do I have the butterflies? So then when we got into the water I got a little more nervous because the water was only up to in between my mid thigh and belt so I was thinking I gotta dunk this guy. Luckily we only had to do it one time and his feet didnt come up. But it was an awesome experience and they are really are excited.

4. Easton PA is up north about an hour and a half. Close to Nazareth or Allentown. Its right on the border of PA and NJ so the Elders live in NJ but cross the bridge everday. It was a really pretty place.

5. We dont work in Camden at all. Just went there for exchanges with those Elders. Camden is pretty dead and dirty. There are a lot of drugs there and a lot of the people dont work there.

But things are going great and we are going to Atlantic City tonight for an exchange with them. Also we are going to West Chester later this week. There are only two more weeks in the transfer so we'll see what happens. They are going to have a 3 day training for all the leaders in the mission this week and next week. we go next week so it will be a great learning experience living in the mission home for 3 days and doin a lot of stuff. This next transfer they are going to dissolve our spanish zone into the geographic areas so next transfer I might be like a traveling Elder with lots of exchanges and less teaching and finding. So we'll see what happens but have a good week you guys. You should probably go do something outdoors with the trees changing and the weather coolin down. but thanks for your support and have a good one.

oh by the way go check out youtube and a video "philadelphia mission" or something like that. its a video they made for President Murray and im in it. also i might be having a facebook account soon for missionary purposes only. we are one of two missions in the world that they are trying this out with missionarys. we will be able to teach and share things from and mormon messages with people. it should be really cool. philly love


Monday, August 30, 2010

Even a Popsicle Needs a Home


Things are going great. This morning we went to City Hall in the center of the city to get the marraige license for Sandra and Dennis who are getting married this weekend and then baptized so it was exciting. So things are going good and we have Zone Conference this week so it will be great. But with the addresses, I give the Broomall address to everyone else to write too but you guys can have my home address. I get your letters every thursday at our apartment on allegheny and thats because you guys are consistent. Everyone else I have no idea when theyre going to write me so I give them the Mission office address and i get it about every two weeks. so thats that.

blake if i were you i would just try and have fun with the situation you got in football. I remember I hated my 8th grade season of football at first but then afterwards I just accepted the fact that I was a wimp and couldnt play Heavyweights so why not show these other lightweights that I am the man.

I dont need anything though thanks anyways mom, but I got a box today from USPS so ill probably send it to you guys this week with some gifts. But things are going great and we have only a few more weeks of hot weather and then otono viene (autumn). Yesterday after church we contacted a guy that we met at an activity we had at the church that was friends of a member. We show up to his address and his house was a popsicle factory. He is this guy from Mexico who has a popsicle business here in philly. So we taught him in his little popsicle factory and ate popsicles. It was sweet. Well I hope you guys have a good week and work hard and play hard. I wrote a letter to Arnie and Sunny today, and no i havent got any letters from them. But have a good one and recuerdate del amor de fily.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New P-Day

hey que lo que? soy tu myjimbe.

So i forgot to tell you last thursday but things are changing. we now have p day on mondays and thursdays are our District Meetings and weekly planning. so things are going down right now in the mission. we have had an awesome time since thursday. ill just tell you about yesterday.

we had stake conference and it was in Spanish translation and english, but the speakers were great. President Schafermeyer and Sister Schafermeyer both gave good talks about missionary work and the need we have right now to prepare ourselves for the Temple. Then President and Sister Tingey, who are the Presidents of the Washington DC Temple, talked about the blessings of the Temple and how important it is that we go. It really hit me in the talk by Sister Tingey how she said we need to learn from the Temple and then put into practice those things in our homes. I was thinking about that and how I have always known about the Temple and can remember going to Temple Square when we were younger and watching the Legacy movie in the Joseph Smith Building or some place around there. We are so blessed to know these things and have this knowledge and joy in our lives. But it was a great Stake Conference and we had 5 investigators there so it was good.

Then in the afternoon we went on an exchange and I stayed here in Philly and my companions went to Reading to do a baptismal interview. The member I was with was interesting and it was a good learning experience for the both of us. After that exchange and my companions got back into town we went to the Elder's quorum Presidents house and it was a mess. His wife is in active and his teenage daughter is getting into bad stuff. So we talked about the Book of Mormon and answered their questions but after about 10 minutes it became an attack on each other and the husband and wife were basically coming to us for counseling. So we told them we cant be here and do this kind of stuff but we can teach you. So we got out of there and we're going to have to start teaching them from the basics now, the Stake President is coming with us too. It was a good lesson to learn of how important it is that we read the Book of Mormon as a family on a consistent basis and how we must always endure to the end.

So I hope you guys have a good week and have fun in the sun. Its pretty nice over here, some of the trees are already starting to turn colors so its been 70 80s the past two weeks. les quiero y espero que disfruten su ultima semana libre de responsabilidad. love you guys


oh i heard from a guy the other day that boise state is playing virginia tech, number 3 in the nation against number 5, over here in redskins stadium. thats pretty cool. i dont like this time of year as a missionary because you hear things about college football and you get excited but then you remember that you arent going to see any of it. do good in practice brooks and blake.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Open House at Church

Hola amigos,

everything is good and the same. I went and bought the Elders in the Southern area of NOrth Philly two tires and a tube because they were jumped on tuesday becuase they were walking and not on bikes. they didnt get hurt or anything just lost the phone and 30 dollars. but they dont wnat to ride the bikes becuase one of the bikes has a flat tire and its tires are really bald. so they were waiting on the service elders to give em tires and a tube but the mission is over budget and doestn have any extras so i just went and bought em for em yesterday.

but the weather here is awesome. its been like october weather or fall weather, just nice and cool and not too humid. we dont have to wear our suits until General Conference so we still have time. with transfers and everything just the zone leaders make suggestions as to who could be where and then the APs and the President make all the decisions.

so on monday we had our transfers meeting and it was good. Elder Azero and I are still here in the same area but we got a third companion. Elder Munson is our new companion and he was my companion about 3 months ago in South Philly. He is struggling right now so they put him with us to try and help him find more joy in being here.

Sorry about the texts from Hno Falconi last week. we helped him out one day with painting and he took pictures of us so he's been wanting to send em to you so i gave him your number. but dont text him anymore.

its been a great week though and we had a lot of great experiences. On Saturday we had our open house activity in the church and it was great. Saturday was uplifting and spiritual high all day long. we woke up at 430 to go put the finishing touches on the church and then at 8am we had a meeting in Broomall with Elder Pearson from the 70. It was a group of about 40 missionarys from the Philadelphia and Valley Forge areas that he talked to and it was awesome. it was one of the best meetings i have had on my mission and it really inspired me to do more and study more. then we got back to philly at about 1030 and there were members there getting stuff ready also. we then had some people come and we gave them tours of the church and everything. it was an awesome experience and we the mormon messages from the internet really touched people. but all of saturday was just a big smile and a lot of bonding time with the members. After the open house there was a dinner in the ward for a family leaving so we were in the church basically all day helping people out.

But things are going great and this month is flying by. Happy Birthday Blake. I got a package for you that ill try and send this week, if not then the next. but have a great week you guys and enjoy the time you have before school starts.

philly love


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Patience, People and Philly Love

hola amigos,

well sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun and doing a lot of stuff so thats good. this past week has been pretty good and flown by. we have been having to plan a lot of stuff for the end of transfers and also figure out where the elders are going and whether theyll have cars or not. so its been a big test of my patience because my companion likes to sit and ponder things and then gets thinking about things that dont even matter, all the while im sitting there waiting and trying to get this stuff done. I realized that i dont like being a leader in missionary work as much as i liked being a young missionary out trying to do the work and not worrying about training other missionarys or what we're going to do in the zone.

this week though has been great. we were in Reading on monday and all my sweet memories of Reading came back to me as we drove through town and saw places that were familiar. I was able to see a family that i re taught after their baptism and they were really excited to see me so that made me feel good. but they are going to the Temple this Saturday so that is awesome. Also we were able to see other members that i was good friends with and they were really excited to see me. one of them was hoping i would come back and play baseball with him again. it was great though to be in Reading and feel the joy and love of people from your hard work. it was really cool and i am grateful for the things i did in Reading.

Yesterday we went on splits and i was with my buddy Hno Morales from Puebla, Mexico. He is like my uncle and i look forward to being with him more than the investigators. we always have good talks and last night we were able to teach two people together and then talk about things in between lessons. he always asks about you guys and how you are doing and whats new in your lives. but we were able to have a good lesson with a guy that we just started teaching and the guy really wants to change his life and figure stuff out. his wife left him temporalily and he doesnt have much guidance so we were able to talk about the Book of Mormon and he loved it.

Things are going great though and we have an activity this saturday at the church, we're going to have an open house and all the ward members are bringing friends and stuff. Also an Elder from the 70 is coming to Philly saturday to talk to us so we'll see what happens. Also this morning when we went to the church to clean our car, the police were there becuase someone threw a brick at the window of the front doors to the church and shattered the glass, they didtn break in and steal any thing though so that was good. you guys are awesome have a great week.

philly love


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Delaware-NASCAR/Maryland-Corn Fields


well sounds like you guys are doing good and workin a lot. thats cool brooks that you got your wisdom teeth out and blake i bet youre already a better driver of stick shift than Sarah.

well this has been an awesome past week and the fastest, seems like two days ago i was here writing you guys. but so the trip to maryland was awesome and i was able to go to a house that was surrounded by corn fields and sit on the porch and teach a less active and think about how i want to farm when i get back. delaware has a lot of agriculture by the way. but we drove through Dover and there they have the nascar track and it is huge. its right next to the road and is huge.

but then we had a great sunday and had a lot of investigators at church. but the biggest thing was monday we had zone training. its a meeting that the zone leaders train the zone on things for about 3 hours. so last week we planned a lot for it and monday was game day. i was a little nervous because President was going to be there and the new elders from new jersey so about 40 missionaries and everything in spanish. so the thing that helped me the most to just go and do it was thinking about you dad always telling me to not think about the game and just go and do it. so that was good, also to start the training i had everyone get in a circle and we all linked together and did kind of like a unity/football motivation talk with me in the center. it was pretty neat and helped us to get rid of the weird feelings between the two different missions.

so up til now we've been teaching a lot and yesterday i was on a split with a member from nicaragua for 4 hours while my companion went to a meeting in north philly with the stake president. we had to many lessons and wont be in our area for much time this week so we decided to do the split and it was great. we taught a hand full of people and i was able to learn about nicaragua.

thanks for the bread it was great. my companion had never heard of it before but he liked it. we are going to atlantic city this afternoon for an exchange so this is going to be fun, maybe stop by the boardwalk or win something, no not really. but things are going great and sounds like you guys are doing great. tell kendal and peggy adios for me and that they need to start learning spanish.

thanks for the email about the temple thats pretty cool, we learned that yesterday too. also here in philly the church is going to start putting billboards up on the trains and buses and on tv and radio and they are sweet advertisements. so they are preparing a lot for the Temple. also i saw a picture in the mission office on tuesday of what the Brigham City Temple is going to look like. it is going to be sweet, you should check it out on the temple website. but go to and check out the new advertisements they have. take care you guys and be safe with all that machinery blake.

love you guys. adios


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Camden NJ and West Chester PA

sounds like you guys are doing pretty good. thats awesome Josh A is getting married and thankfully he planned it after i get home so i can go. but this has been an awesome week with a lot of action. I was in Camden NJ on an exchange with the DL over there and it was a great time. Hes a great Elder and we were able to get a lot accomplished. Camden is rough though and i wouldnt advise people living there. we saw one guy crash his four wheeler into the side of a brick house and then him laying on the ground with blood coming down his face. we were talking to some people and then we saw the guy come around the corner and take it too sharp and heard a boom. people ran over and we went over too. they just put a towel around his head and ran him into the house. then his buddies hurried and pushed the fourwheeler away so the cops wouldnt take it. it was all cleared out in about 5 minutes though so it was crazy.

then we had a great sunday and had a meeting with President about what we're going to do with the Zone. they were thinking about dissolving the spanish zone becuase everyone is so spread out but we decided to keep it and add the companionships from Cherry Hill. so this next transfer witll be great.

then on monday i was in West Chester Pennsylvania and i got to drive on a dirt road through fields for the first time in forever. it was a good time and i soaked it in for a little bit. but we had a good exchange and we taught an english family that were recent converts because in this area they teach both spanish and english. but it was really weird being with white people and teaching them. since we've been back here in philly we've been helping out a member who lost her husband Sunday and doing stuff for the funeral that was yesterday.

we had a great day yesterday where we taught 10 lessons and 8 of them were member presents. we went on splits from 6 to 9 and had lessons double booked so it was great. the family that we are teaching we saw yesterday and we talked about the law of chastity and word of wisdom. they had no problem with it and now we have plans to have the wedding the 21 and the baptism the 22 so things are looking good. it was a good busy night with a lot of commitments and teaching.

For me personally things are going really good and i dont have any complaints. I have really enjoyed my personal study in the morning with the Book of Mormon and this has really helped me to start my dad off running. I had some struggles earlier with my companion but now things are good and it doesnt bother me anymore. it was hard for me to accept the fact that i was a junior companion almost and everytime i suggested something or wanted to do something, he would disagree or we'd do the opposite. but things are good and even though we have different opinions on a lot of stuff, we are able to compromise. have a good week and take care.



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Trees, Hills, Tractors and Cows

hola cuates.

this has been a fast week and an awesome week full of work. we had a great sunday and were able to get a lot of investigators to church. then on monday we went to my old home of south philly and went to the District Meeting there. it was good to talk to the elders who are there right now and help them out in person and not over the phone.

then after the meeting we drove to Allentown PA and had an exchange with Elder Lake and Elder Perez. it was awesome and i had a great time. Elder Lake and I have got some plans together after the mission but we had a great time working together for the first time. we were put in the path of a lady who was crying because her kids didnt love her, we taught her and gave her the Book of Mormon. then we taught talked to a lot a people and played with a turtle while talking to the lady. we taught one guy and extended a baptismal date which was awesome. it was great to see how important our questions are and how the Spirit is the teacher. but the best part of the exchange was being able to see trees and hills and tractors and cows for the first time in about 8 months. also i got to drive for the first time so that was great. then yesterday we had an exchange with the APs and it was good. so things are going good and time is flying by.

on tuesday we went on splits and while i was with the member we were talking to this guy on his steps and then he got distracted by some kids yelling at the end of the block. there were two girls fighting and a bunch of kids around them. the guy we were talking to just ignored us and then took off to watch the fight. it was rediculous to see the people look like animals. the two girls were locked onto each others hair and then pulling and it looked like two deer buttin heads. it was messed up to see the people cheering and everyone howling around them like hyenas. the member and i just turned around and walked the other way and went and taught this mexican guy whos pentecostal. it was a very frustrating lesson because he wouldnt let us talk or answer his questions so we made it quick and got out of there.

We're teaching a family though who have a baptismal date and they are awesome. theyre from puerto rico and love the Book of Mormon and the Church. they told us last time they want to go to the Temple with the ward trip. so maybe in a year from now ill be back here with them going to the Temple. thanks for your support though and your love. you guys are great and are doing awesome. you should send me a picture so i can compare how you guys have grown in one year. have a good week. con el amor de fily


1315 W Allegheny Ave 2nd Fl Philadelphia PA 19132

Friday, July 16, 2010

Awesome Lesson with a Family

Helo, como tu estas?

Well this has been a very fast and good week. we had interviews on tuesday with President Schafermeyer and it was pretty good. He is a good guy and really focused on us strengthening our testimonies and relationships with God. We talked about some changes that are going to happen in the zone and then he just asked about who i was and what i like to do. It was a good interview and i got to brag about my family so it was good.

This past week has been good though with teaching people. we found a family last week from a member and on Sunday the mom came to church. then on tuesday we saw them and it was an awesome lesson. they are from Puerto Rico and have this light in their eyes that they know it is true. they told us that after we left their house the last week when we taught them, that they felt this peace and feeling that they knew was from us. So on tuesday when we saw them they were so happy to see us and told us all the things they learned from reading Enos in the Book of Mormon and all these other questions they had. it was a great lesson and they asked us about marriage and how they know they are living in sin without being married. the dad then told us that they want to do this and they want to change their way of life. it was really cool. so they are doing pretty good and we're going to see them tonight.

Being a Zone Leader is pretty fun. The only difference is you dont have to prepare District Meetings each week for monday and you are always talking to the District Leaders. Each night we talk with 2 or 3 and see how things are going so its been great to get to know the other Elders more personally and gain thier trust. one of the Elders asked me how he could maintain his weight because he was afraid of losing more so that kind of hit me as a moment where i had gained the trust of him.

One of our District Leaders is from Blackfoot, Idaho and he is my best buddy here in the mission. hes a farm boy and his dad has about 15000 head of beef that they feed and sell. We are planning on rooming together at Utah State when we get back. but its great being out here with some of these guys that i would never have met or been friends with before. The mission really helps you change and learn about yourself. you guys are awesome and have a good week.

tranquilo, con amor.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Allegheny and Azero


well i have bad news, i moved areas again and im still in the city. the good news is that i only moved about 4 blocks away and still can get your letter this week. But i got transfered to the Allegheny and above area that is still part of the same ward in North philly. And also i am the Zone Leader in the Si Se Puede Zone. so this is going to be a busy next couple of months and im pretty excited/nervous/clueless about what is going to happen.

the area is great and we have a lot of member involvement, mostly becuase we have a car (2010 toyota corolla), but the people are a lot more independant and not so handicapped with transportation limits or other problems. but my companino is Elder Azero from Spanish Fork, UT, originally from Bolivia. Hes been out one transfer longer than me and is a great missionary. this is going to be an interesting companionship that i am giong to have to really open my horizons and love. we get along great but its just we have a ton of differences in almost everything. but hes a great guy and knows how to plan really well. i dont know my address to our new apartment but you can send stuff to the old address on Cumberland and ill still get it easy.

you need to tell Kim and Dave that i love them and thank you for the package. also tell dave that i dont think im going to have any time to go hunting this fall but ill be ready the next year.

The past week though has been great and we are beginning to experience the changes in the mission with President Schafermeyer. We still dont know a lot about whats going to happen but we will find out tomorrow at a District leader training meeting. for the fourth of july we were going to go to the museum of Art to watch the Goo Goo Dolls and fireworks but decided not to. we had permission to stay outside and watch till 1030 so Elder Bunker and I went to Broad ST and watched some people light off fireworks.

we have had a good week though with teaching and finding new people. its amazing the difference with a companion who is hispanic and the way people react to you. With all the companions ive had that are not white, we have had more success contacting people and them accepting us. with Elder Azero we talk to people and everyone is so nice and so accepting to us because they know we arent the police or we arent rich white guys trying to get people to come to our church. Things are going great though and this is going to be a great transfer. the only thing is hispanics arent the greatest drivers and my neck has gotten used to the jerking of the car. but you guys are great and have a good week.



Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Letter from Chase Arrived on Tuesday

Sorry I couldn't write you on the email. I had to wait 40 minutes to get a computer so I just took a computer with only 15 minutes on it and wrote to President and then printed you letter out and read the other ones. But those pictures look great and you guys really had an adventure. The coolest one was the picture of Brooks towering over Sarah and Blake.

This past week was great. We had a great Sunday with a learning experience of going to Catholic Prayer Session in Spanish. It was really interesting. Then on Tuesday we had our meeting with President Schafermeyer and Sister Schafermeyer. It was an interesting meeting and they are really focused. I'll tell you about them later but they are completely different from the Murray's. President. Sch. tried to make us feel like we were little unlearned missionaries by asking us all these deep doctrine, memorizing scripture questions so I didn't like that but it was ok. I'm really excited to learn from them though. It's going to be an interesting 2nd year and this next transfer is going to be crazy with changes and New Jersey becoming part of the mission. I could be in Atlantic City next week so we'll see what happens.

We have had some great lessons with investigators. One Mexican family is progressing little by little and we had a great lesson with them on Monday where we taught the Restoration but only part of it because we're teaching the children too and they have short attention spans. But we are excited to see what happens with some of the new people we have and the member involvement in increasing.

This morning we got up early and took the train down to Center City. We then ran to the Art Museum and climbed the ROCKY STEPS. It was pretty cool and I took pictures so you can see how much I look like Rocky. But I was amazed at how many people were there at 6 am running and working out. They had a fitness class there with personal trainers. It was fun though and today we'll probably be going to New Jersey because it's now part of the mission. Just to check it out and cross the bridge.

But thanks for the support and have a good week.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

No Big Stories This Week

hola viajeros,

thats crazy you all went. but really i would rather not go to mexico next summer. i dont want to think about it too much anyway but id much rather go camping somewhere. but thats cool you all are having a great time clear over there in europe.

i bet the people are way into the world cup. we are pretty into it over here and the people always talk to us about it. yesterday the united states won and when we'd talk to people they'd ask us if we were happy and we'd say ya why? theyd then respond because US won and it was a great game. i am slowly starting to like soccer a little more.

but this past week has been great. we have been teaching a lot of people and had some great learning experiences. i have learned a lot this past week in my personal studies about having a personal devotional every morning with Heavenly Father. I really enjoy studying the scriptures for a time and then secluding myself for a moment and praying. the days have been great because of that. It has been hot though and so its hard to stay energized and do the best you can.

but we found a great family that is from the Dominican Republic and they are really cool. we are going to teach them tonight. but i dont have any big stories to tell ya. just that in my old area in south Philly that is part of my district, the members are falling apart and the Elders down there are having a hard time together and working with the people when there isnt a foundation. its sad to hear about that when people choose to follow Satan and not follow God. they really are lost and cannot feel the greatness and warmth of the love of God.

Happy Fathers Day dad. for Fathers Day we had a little party at the church after church on Sunday. A lot of rice and beans and others food and then music and dessert. it was pretty good and the members are great.

things are going good though and i dont have anything to complain about. just maybe i might complain if i have to go to mexico a year from now. but enjoy your trip and have a good week.

cuidense alla con todos los alemanias que siempre estan borachos y jugando futbol.



Bike, Car Door and Not Crashing

Bon Jour,

what the heck are you doin in Paris? thats a little out of the blue if you ask me. i guess big plans happen when you dont have summers packed of sports and only 5 people in the home. But thats cool you guys are there have a good time.

This past week was great for us here in Philly. we didnt have too much success as to our investigators coming to church and all but i taught the class in Principios del Evangelio and it was great. we are gaining a lot of trust from the members here in the ward that was lost when i got here. tonight we're going on splits and have other members coming out later this week.

I had my last interview on tuesday with President Murray and Sister Murray. It was really good and they are awesome. I think one day when i go to a Gonzaga basketball game with Kroup or other friends that im going to invite President Murray. but I asked Sister Murray her last words of advice for me and she told me to "marry well." " marry well with a long courtship and short engagement." so i thought that was pretty funny but i wont be thinking about that for a while.

We have had a great week so far and have really tried to push ourselves more and more. We have found some people who have a lot of questions that we have the answers to with the restored gospel. also i have strengthened my testimony of the Restoration by learning about other religions and how confused people really get when there is no Prophet in the earth. last night we talked to some people from Palestine and learned all about Islam. We gave them some pamplets and they told us to look up islam on the internet. but we were talking about the plan of salvacion and they have such a broad, unclear understanding about it. It was a great culture learning experience and am grateful for the many blessings i have from being born into the Church.

Last week though i had an incident with the bike and a car door. we were riding along pretty good speed going back to the apartment and then a black lincoln navigator opened its door about two feet in front of me. i swerved but caught the side of it with my handle bar. i was wiggling back and forth and then my front tire caught the back of a car driving past us. i then got my balance back a little bit and skidded to a stop. but it was pretty intense and no one got hurt so all was well. but we now ride a little off from the parked cars and still cruise along.

All is going well though and we are working hard. we have really tried to talk to everyone lately and through our extra efforts we are finding more Mexicanos and more humble people. Thanks you guys for your help and have a good trip.

faith hope charity and love


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Drug Deals and Real Joy in Life

hola hola hola,

North philly is wet and cool. we had a big rain storm yesterday and i was soaked through my garments so it was an interesting and weird day. we saw some drug deals in the morning and then on our way to a one oclock appointment someone had gotten shot and there was the crime scene policemen and helicopters so it was crazy. things are really good though and we have found some awesome people through stopping our bikes and talking to them on the sidewalks, knocking doors, and english elders efforts.

but no we dont teach english people. we teach mostly Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and Mexicans. there are a ton of puerto ricans here and a lot of them speak both english and spanish so sometimes in our lessons we have to explain more in depth to them in english. but if they speak english they will always talk to us in english even if we keep talking to them in spanish. so we have to ask them if we can practice our spanish and talk in spanish with them and then they speak spanish.

The apartment is big and the only bad thing is it smells funny. but its really good. we live by ourselves and its located right in the middle of our area. we went out to eat last week for our year mark at a puerto rican restaurant and it was ok but we dont eat out so i dont know. The heat isnt too bad but its just rough some nights because you get hot. but the heat isnt bad. my garments are good and i havent got the taco pits yet so all is well. the ward is great and we have a lot of great members but the only problem is basically everyone lives up out of our area in the other elders area. there are 4 missionaries in this ward and all the pro active members live far away from us. we have had trouble getting member presents lately and so thats what we're focusing on now.

President and Sister Murray leave the 29 so they are saying their lasts for this transfer. Tuesday we had Zone Conference and it was awesome. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot about myself and what i can do to improve my life. it was an awesome experience though and i was able to grow more. we arent going to have a party though, nothing special just a good bye and hello President Schafermeyer. but im really looking forward to my interview with president this next week so it will be great.

but things are going really good and we have had some great experiences here in Philly. I think this next year is going to fly by and a lot of stuff is going to happen. I have been able to look back on past experiences and points of view and seen the change in me. this has brought me a lot of joy and i am grateful for all the many experiences i have had in my life. life is good though and i dont have anything to complain. the gospel will bring us more joy than winning the state championship in football or shooting a big buck. i have a clear mind now and am enjoying life as a missionary. The Plan God has for us is real and we have all these commandments to help us feel happiness in our lives. Repentance is key to this Plan and only through it can we receive the promised blessings. congradulations on finishing your year of school. have a good summer and make the most of it. try new stuff and dont do anything that will bring you guilt. all is well and its gonna be a good summer. love you guys, thanks for the cookies they were good. my companion really liked em.


oh did you guys ever receive that package i sent to you? let me know if you did

Thursday, June 3, 2010


hey family,

This past week has been great. It has been a rollercoaster of many ups and downs. we had a great sunday with an actual ward and i didnt have to teach or bless or tell anyone to do anything so it was good.

the heat is not too bad but i am always thirsty and even though i drink a ton of water i still have that urge for water. im sweating a ton though. the bikes are great though and the only problem is my crotch gets sweaty from sitting on the hot seat and then riding gets a little rough.

but we went on exchanges earlier this week with the other elders in the district and i got to reunite with south philly. i was with an Elder Hansen and he is a stud. we're basically brothers and get along really well. hes from wyoming, star valley and is about 6'5 270 so hes a big boy. i didnt try and wrestle him cuz he'd just sit on me and it'd be over. but we had a great exchange and taught great together.

South philly is so much better though than North Philly. the puerto ricans up here are really hard hearted and its has been hard finding people that want to do good in their lives and listen to us. yesterday was a great day. we had two lessons in the morning that i just wanted to slap the people because they were so stubborn and tried to contradict everything we said. then in the afternoon we met with one guy from guatemala who was rough. he tried to prove us wrong and make us feel stupid with his limited knowledge of the Bible. but he was trying to tell us how God only cares for the people who do good and that he distances himself from those that dont choose the right. he asked me if that was right and i said no, youre wrong God is a loving God and he doesnt care what you've done, he still loves you and is always there for us. he just kind of sat there blank starred and then started rambling about something else. but after i said that i felt that God really does love us and he is always there for us. it was an inspiring feeling to know that my Heavenly Father is there and with me in this work. so i know that God lives and that He loves each of us. I know that we can always repent and come unto Him and He will accept us with open arms. Im grateful for that experience and how my mission is so beneficial to me.

but funny story about yesterday. we went looking for mexicans in another part of town, mexicans are a lot easier to teach than puerto ricans, but we found this house by looking at their dish tv satellite and it had 3 prongs instead of 1 for spanish. so we go over there and knock the door and its a black lady. but we aske her if there are any hispanics on the street and she points to one across the street. we go over there and knock on the door. a kid in the window of the door waves at us like he knows us. so we're a little confused, but then the dad answers the door and hes Dominican. he opens the door and invites us in. we see a families can be together forever poster thing on the wall and finally figure out that theyre members. so after we got talking and getting to know them they got us some juices from the fridge. they gave me a fuze juice and my companion a glass bottle juice. i open mine and start drinking it, the dad goes back into the kitchen, i look over at my companions drink and see that it says Parrot Bay on it. i remembered seeing that somewhere and hearing about it but wasnt quite sure . my companion takes a swig and then i tell him i think that his drink has alcohol in it. we look at the bottle and its got 4 percent alcohol in it. haha we told the member we couldnt drink it because it has alcohol in it and he gets all embarressed and goes and throws it away. they had gotten the bottle from a barbeque they went to the day before and so they didnt know. but im glad i told my companion about that and knew what parrot bay was from the friends i had had.

but things are going really good and we are excited for this next year. its been a great year and ive learned the most in the past 12 months than in my entire life. thanks you guys and have a good week.



Thursday, May 27, 2010

Moved to North Philly


what up what up. so guess what? im not in south philly anymore. can you say "ya tu sabe papi" haha im in north philly now with Elder Bunker from Camas, Washington and all the Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. Im still in the same district and still district leader but just changed areas. my new address is 1302-12 W Cumberland St Apt 2B Philadelphia, PA 19132.

man i wish you guys could see what i have seen the past few days. it has been an incredible week. Sunday was my last sunday in South philly so we went around and said good bye to everyone and had to say goodbye to everyone at church. it was a good experience though talking to people and learning that i had actually helped them in their lives.

but so then i get here in North philly on monday and things have just been good ever since. my companion is a stud and we get along great. he played soccer in high school and went to Byu Idado but is a great missionary. i actually have a companion that i dont really have to baby sit or be the decider in everything we do. it has been great to improve my spanish skills by talking with him everywhere and then letting him lead me around the area.

oh and also things are good too because we have bikes now and i have a trek 4300 mountain bike that is all black and so ive been getting good practice bunny hopping all the trash in the streets. but the bikes are awesome and its like old times in reading again of flying down the streets and racing my companion.

but the area up here is the ghetto. its pretty rough and full of trash and people who just look lost and dirty. lots of people have chicken coups in their backyards and also its the capital of the world for cars with big rims. ive never seen so many vans with 22 inch rims on em. but also its hard because the women here are very open and dont like to wear much clothing so its hard keeping your eyes from wandering into stuff you dont want to see. but also people are crazy with motorcycles, four wheelers, and anything that has a motor. they cruise around the streets on those things like its sand mountain. theyre always wheeling down the block and flying through stop signs almost hitting people. its pretty crazy.

but the people we have to teach and the members are awesome. we dont really have a teaching pool so thats kind of my job of being here is to start this area back up. the elders in the past taught people just because they were friends with em but they never kept commitments. so we've had to drop some people and are starting from about 3 people. This area and the area above us is together in the only spanish ward in the mission so this is going to be great working with members and people that actually do stuff. The members are great though and we dont have too many proactive members in our area so its rough but weve been contacting members from up north to come down with us. our area goes from Allegheny street all the way down to Market Street in Center City. so after the next six weeks im going to know philadelphia all around, north and south. i just need to try out west, but its basically outer darkness over there from what ive heard. some missionaries in west philly area got a gun pulled on em about 2 weeks ago and got their phone stolen but they're good to go now.

the heat isnt that bad though, its the sweating that kills me. after working out in the mornings, oh we run every morning down through Temple University campus every morning, i am drenched in sweat from the humidity. we are drinking a lot of water and feeling good. last night we raced home from an appointment on our bikes and i was sweating like crazy so i had to take a cold shower. then when i was changing i started sweating again just from putting my clothes on, and no thats not because im fat or its hard for me to put my pants on. but things are good and we have a baptismal date so this is going to be a crazy summer. sounds like you guys are doing good though. keep up the good work and have a good week.

con el amor de fily.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Birthday Activities

sarah what were you thinking? (Sarah crashed into dad's red car, Roxanne) patience is a virtue and cowards crumble in the clutch. President Uchtdorf's talk on patience might be useful. but sounds like you guys are having a good time and doing lots of stuff.

i actually got your letters today before we left to go write so i had a chance to read them. but that'll be fun going camping, we have a balcony on our apartment and sometimes i look at the stars and the big buildings and think about what it would be like to be in the mountains, but then an ambulance flies by and i lose the thought. but this past week was great except for sunday.

we had two investigators who came to church before any members showed up so it was a little frustrating sitting in the english side and no spanish members responsible enough to get there on time. but we had a good experience and those investigators are doing pretty good.

for my birthday we (the english elders who are basically our companions and us spaniards) went to our buddy's taco place and i had the best sandwich. its called a cemita and you would love it mom with all the avocado. but it was cool because that taqueria is on 9th street where the italian market is, and it was italian market festival so there were tons of people there and lots of food so it was almost like a party setting, except we ate inside. but thanks for the packages and i really appreciated all the meat and that was a great card blake, good job. but we had a good time and then went back out teaching. that night though my companion told the less actives we went and visited that it was my birthday and so they made us come back later because they left and bought me a big tres leches cake. it was pretty good and i felt really grateful for their love.

things are going good though, i wont be getting transfered this next week so ill be here until President Murray leaves. we had interviews on friday and that was really good. President is the man and we have a personal relationship now so its fun. but Sister Murray is great too and she told me that they saw us in south philly walking across the street while they were on their way to a phillies game. oh by the way everyone is crazy for the phlyers right now. the other night when they won game 7 people were honkin their horns everywhere and lighting off fireworks. philly is a great sports town.

For my favorite scripture i dont know what to tell you but i found a great one the other day in Moroni 9, i think 28, it invites us to come unto Christ. Favorite person im not sure who but President Boyd K. Packer is the man. A good quote President Murray told us a while ago that i really like is from a Phillies player and he says, "Everyone has a reputation, it all comes down to how you run to first base." Something that gets me excited or energetic is when i think of that commercial by nike to the song I got soul but im not a soldier and then i feel like going and grrrwwwhhh like getting a big rebound or nailing someone in football.

but things are good and time is flying by. im already 20 years old and its almost getting close to memorial day. have a good week you guys and mantengan su fe para ayudar a las personas en sus vidas. estoy agradecido que tengo el privilegio de hablar espanol y aprender de los latinos. muchas gracias y espero que les gusten el paquete. con todo el amor de philly y mexico.


Thursday, May 13, 2010


Hey Nielsons,

So it seems like i was just talking to you and didnt recognize Brooks or Blakes voices, but i guess ill let you in on a little more of whats goin on. It was great talking to you guys and seeing how you all are doing. im grateful to have a family that is involved in all aspects and how we are not a boring family. also that we are a family and actually like being around one another. its really hard to teach people when you start talking about how important the family is and how blessed it is when we have the gospel in our families, but then the person tells you that they dont have a family or they dont like their family. its really pretty cool that we have this unit of a family and experience fights and negativity, but still we are able to look past them and see that the good outweighs the bad.

But to answer the question about who i would like to become, my favorite scripture, my favorite saying, and something that inspires me, ill have to wait till next week. but for now i would say the quote by President Uchtdorf which says something like , "what you think and do determines who you are and what you will become." ill have the answers for you though next thursday.

on tuesday and wednesday i was up in north philly on exchanges and it was pretty fun. we had a great exchange and i was reunited with the art of missionary bike riding. the elder who i was with is pretty cool and a good worker but he thought i was a goon for trying to do tricks on the bike. it was a trek 430 or something to answer your question brooks. but it was a good exchange and we had two great lessons with some important investigators they have. in the morning we went for a run and the elder got mad at me because we ran 2 miles down and around Temple campus. it was pretty cool and they have a nice, big campus. a lot bigger than utah state.

but things are going good here in PA. today we are going to go down to Pats and Genos and get a cheesesteak and then go across the street and play basketball with whoevers there. it should be a good day and we are going to be going on splits tonight so it will be a good day. tomorrow we have interviews with President Murray so that is always great. but all is well and thanks for your guys support. have a good week.

buenas tardes, cuidense, hasta luego, nos vemos, adios, orale, chow, pasan buenas tardes, tengan una buena semana.

with a little bit of South Philly love,


you need to go camping sometime when you get the chance and get enrolled in hunters safety boys, to actually use those nice guns you got

Thursday, May 6, 2010

It's a Small World After All

So concerning this Sunday, i dont think we are going to have time to talk. i dont have any time to talk to you guys and the phones we have are running out of minutes so sorry but we'll have to wait until December ok? haha not really, chiste, ill call you guys at 8 or 9 o'clock my time so 5 or 6 your time. so dont worry about calling ill call you guys and the phone number is 267 242 7357.

but thats cool you guys are having winter weather over there. we have been burning up and sweating a lot. ill weigh myself in the morning and then at night ill weigh myself again and ill be about 4 pounds heavier with all the water we've been drinking.

it was a great past week and we had some sweet lessons with people. we had one of our investigators teach us about eternal families and then discuss how she and her boyfriend need to get married so that she can be baptized. then another lesson we brought an old member with us and he drives around in an electric wheel chair and doesnt speak spanish. but we took him with us and had to lift him up the 5 or 6 stairs into the house to have the lesson. it was a little dramatic getting him in there because hes really skinny and was worried we might drop him, but we got him in safe and sound. then we found a new investigator last week who we saw this tuesday and he doesnt believe in God. it was an interesting conversation and good to help him see all the good things that he has in his life after a lot of bad has happened.

then this sunday we had our own little sacrament meeting where i was the presiding authority and we only had 10 people show up because there was a marathon going on outside of the church on the main street. but it was an awesome sacrament meeting. we had two visitors who were white and didnt speak spanish and the crazy thing was it is a small world. the one guy showed up to the church hoping to go to the english services but didnt know they had a special meeting in a different town with a member of the 70. but he was from beaver utah and was out here for a medical conference. we got to talking and he was a goof. but i asked him if he knew the petersons cousin, i dont know if hes our cousin, tyler schena. he said he did and that he coached wrestling with him at the high school. so that was pretty cool
then the other visitors were a family from new york who were here for a conference also. they both were from boise and one graduated from centennial and the other from meridian. so it was funny talkin to them and seeing who we knew and stuff. i dont remember their last name but i didnt know them. the one who went to centennial lived by edna and ustick and his parents still live there. but it was a great sacrament meeting and even though there were spanish and english and me translating to english in the back, it worked out great and we had a good experience.

so things are going good and nothing crazy has happened lately, just we realizing that President Murray leaves pretty soon. July 4. but we'll talk on sunday and you'll see how i dont have a mexican accent, just a philly slur. so have a good rest of the week and recuerdan sus preguntas para que utilizemos nuestro tiempo sabioso. muchas gracias por su ayuda y amor. ustedes son la mejor familia que yo conozco. cuidanse


Friday, April 30, 2010

"Have I Done Any Good in the World Today"

Hola hola hola,

sounds like you guys are doing good and having a good time. the weather has been cold lately and ive been waking up freezing because we leave our windows open. its pretty nice today though. this past week was awesome. we had a lot of great opportunities and i have decided that "Have I done any good" Hymn is the theme of my life from now on. Serving others has no greater joy. i think when i get back im goin to buy a big truck and trailer so that if ever anyone needs help with whatever thing i can help them.

but so on last friday we helped an investigator move and we talked to the elders quorum and everyone the sunday before about who could come help and who could drive the uhaul. some people ignored us and others volunteered. we keep contact with those 2 who volunteered to help but then they dog us because one said he had to baby sit his son and the other because of school. so i made the decision that no matter what in life, you drop what youre diong and serve others and dont be a city slicker. so after much frustration and calling, i decided that me and my companion were just going to carry the stuff across town and someone would stop and help us, because she said it wasnt that much stuff.

so we show up on friday morning and we cant get anyone to come with us, go in look at the house and its a lot of stuff, so dont ever believe someone if they tell you they only have a couple things they really have a lot. so i give up on our plan of carrying the stuff across town. i call the zone leaders, then the assistants, then Pres. Murray to get permission to go rent the Uhaul myself and drive it. we talked it through and decided i couldnt. but he gave me the idea of calling someone old in the branch who could just i thought i had called everyone, but when he said old i thought of an older guy who is here with his wife and they had been out of town in Arizona at their house for two weeks so i didnt know if they were there. but i call him, he says he is in town and would love to come help. so we meet him by the train stop, walk over to the uhaul place and rent a uhaul. he pays for it too because hes a nice guy and has a little money. but so we end up moving the family and it took two trips in a box truck and we lifted a lot, couches, dressers, washer and dryer. all through this little row home house. it was great and we had a good time sweating away in the heat of the no air conditioned house. but after all was said and done we got them into their other house and they now are interested in the gospel and are coming to church on sunday. oh and the whole reason they couldnt rent a uhaul or drive is because theyre illegals and dont have a license. but man it was fun and realized that when we are in the service of our fellow brethen with our brethren we are 1. serving God, 2. strengthening our relationships with those we are working, 3. smiling.

But then on tuesday we had zone conference and it was great. it helped internalize my purpose as a missionary and im now motivated to do better.
So this week is going to be pretty good and our investigators are doing very well. i might not have a baptism while im here in Philly but they will be baptized sometime in the near future.

as for Mothers Day i dont know what we'll be doing as to when we'll talk but i think right now it would be best for us at around 1 or 2 my time and that way you dont have to worry about leaving church early or anything. and also dont plan on us talking for as long as we did on christmas. it will only be 40 minutes this time so i got one or two stories for you and then have some questions for me that you want to know.

thanks a bunch for sending my shoes and shorts i really appreciate it, i havent gotten them yet though, but thanks a bunch. also brooks watch out when you go to that quincinera because there could be lots of girls not dressed too good and a lot of alcohol. thats how it is over here in Philly but that'll be a good experience for you. you can brush up on your spanish. well thanks you guys for all you do and have a great week. i have some stuff i want to send you guys so i might be sending it to you this coming week for mothers day.

les quiero


Thursday, April 22, 2010

"You Don't Look Hispanic, You Look Irish"

Hola hola hola,

Como estamos? sounds like you guys are doing good and staying busy. this past week was pretty good except for Sunday. we had a lot of member involvement and lessons but the people here are driving me nuts how they dont come to church. we only had 7 people at church on Sunday and it was pretty depressing after a lot of people told you they would come. but this week has been good. we have taught a lot of people but most of them work on Sundays. then we had exchanges in the district and i got to be with another missionary who has been out the same time as me and we've kinda been friends so it was fun learning from him and seeing other ways to things.

my new companion is pretty cool and all but still he doesnt talk very much and so its hard finding new people because i always feel like im talking and he's just in the background. things are going good though between us and hes getting more used to walking. his feet were killing him before and he was always tired but now he's getting more used to it. we had some tacos on monday that were interesting. they were pig stomach and they boiled the stomachs and then cut em up. it was chewy but with enough salsa and avacado it tasted ok. yesterday we got fed a ton. it was tacos again but steak and cactus and potatoes so it was pretty good.

the funny story for the week though is we were on the bus and it was packed so we were standing up in the middle isle. there was a mexican guy right next to me and so we started talking. a lady that was an old irish lady was sitting down right in-between the conversation just staring at me. as the man and i were talking, she grabbed the mexican guy and asked him if i spoke english. he said he didnt understand. but then she leaned towards me and asked with the slow loud pronunciation if i spoke english? I responded to her "no entiendo ingles." and then she said slowly again where are you from? I responded to her " Espana." She looked at me and then said slowly you dont look hispanic, you look irish. but she was amazed that i didnt speak english and how i looked so irish. so people got off the bus and me and the mexican guy walked back and sat down away from the lady laughing about how she believed i didnt speak english. after a minute talking to the guy, i went back up and apoligized to the lady and told her what we do and that i am from Idaho. she thought that was pretty cool and then we went our separate ways.

but things are going good and we are having a good in the warm weather. today we are going to try and find somewhere local and italian to eat but one of the english elders is not wanting to go outside his bubble of chili's or olive garden so we'll see what happens. i need you to send me my brown Nike running shoes. they got that bubble stuff on the bottom. i need those shoes for soccer and morning work outs. my shoes i have right now i still use even though theyre ripped but they are ripping even more and not really serving as shoes. also one pair of my basketball shorts or i guess one of brooks pairs since he probably took em all. thanks though i would really appreciate that. but mom i recall you said this year you wanted to work on family history more, and do 10 push ups a day. How you doing with those goals?

but let me know if you guys need anything alright. have you sent me back the memory card for my camera yet? we should switch soon cuz i got a lot of photos from here in South Philly. have a great week you guys and dont forget to read your scriptures. its gonna be a good week even if it is like ground hog day over and over. remember charity never faileth. adios.