Thursday, February 25, 2010

Idaho Kid Talking to Palestinian in Spain

hola hola que tal?

Yes i got your packages, and thank you so much those are awesome. tell the kroupas thank you for me and i loved the cookies and ties. the ipod is sweet thanks but whats up with the purple?

we moved because the landlord was bad and the english elders needed to move because they had problems with a break in. its only about 12 blocks from our other appartment. oh by the way sorry our zip code is 19145 not 19148. we are teaching about a dozen people right now and things are going great except for getting them to drop work and come to church. the snow is pretty much gone except for where big piles were. it rained the last two days so it got rid of a lot. but today its snowing so we'll see. its not sticking though. the buses are all running and that has helped us get around quicker.

our area is from market st in the middle of center city all the way south to the river. all of south philly. we are the only spanish elders in the south, there are two in my district in north philly and then the zone leaders in north east. there are more english than spanish here in the city. when we have mission meetings as to zone conference and interviews then yes president comes to us, but zone training no he does not come. but you should check out the info on our new mission pres. we learned his name last week in the letters we get about the mission and his names shaferahacker or something like that. but it was in church news i guess and yes we have had heat and hot water for some time now.

But thats great you guys are having a good time and yes i am getting your letters every week dont worry. but this past week was awesome. we had an awesome sunday with 20 people there and a great lesson in gp class. it was awesome. then this week we have had some great lessons and new people we've found. we started tracting in center city more because we can go see the fathers who are working up there and connect with them so its been fun. but yesterday was probably my best day in south philly. i got to describe it to you. so it started off with us studying and then leaving at 11. we went and saw some less actives who are doing better, helped them with their reading and then left. we went up to center city and walked around with all the people and big buildings. talked to a lot of mexicans and a lot of mistaken latinos who dont speak spanish. people we'd say hey habla espanol? and then theyd give us a weird look and in their american voice no im black and native american or other mixes, then we'd be oh sorry have a nice day and walk off to more people.

but we were by one of those street venders who sits in their little trailer on the sidewalk and sellls all sorts of good stuff. so i had to buy something just for the experience, i buy a gyro and we're talking to the guy, he knows we speak spanish too so hes speaking a little to us. hes from palestine by the way. he then tells me i got to talk to his son who speaks really good spanish. he calls his son while hes making my gyro, gives me the phone and i start talking to his son in spanish. we had a conversation for about a minute or two i give the phone back and ask the guy where his son is at, he says spain. so im thinking wow im a white kid from idaho talking spanish to a palestinian in spain and eating a gyro in downtown philly. ha what an experience. it was pretty cool and really good gyro for 3 bucks.

so we then had break and after at 4 had an appt with one inv. had a great lesson and afterwards she asked me to give her a blessing so she could receive an answer to if these things are true and if she needs to be baptized. so i gave her a blessing in spanish, she was crying, we left feeling we made some progress. then went had a great lesson with a less active and his non member wife, learned a lot in that lesson. then we went to our 6 o clock appt with some less actives. it was their sons 18 birthday party they invited us to. so we quickly shared a message before they could give us the food. then we ate some pasole and tres leches cake, everything was delicious and professional. but also we ran home real quick and put together a present for the guy. he really liked it and then we were off to our 730 appt. we taught them some ingles and then half a lesson. it went really good and then when we left she asked if we needed anything because they are moving this next week. so we got a table on reserve for a member who needs one and some tamales also. then we're walking down the stairs to leave and she asks us if we need bikes because she has two. we say ya and get some old but good bikes. we then ride home on our new fancy bikes and had a great time. then after planning we turned on the ipod and listened to a childs prayer as we ate. good times man good times.

it was a great day and i hope you guys have a good week. keep up the good work and have a great time in school and work. i read the second half of President Uchtdorfs talk 2 Principles for Any Economy and in the end of learning it he quotes (something like) in the adversity of our lives is often we we learn most about our character. i might be completely wrong so check it but its true you guys keep pushing and smile. i definitely need to start smiling more and not be so serious out here because i can see a difference when a do and when i dont. love you guys. faith hope charity and love


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Keeping A Good Attitude Even Though...

Hey yall,

congratulations Brooks on winning the championship in basketball. Thats a great experience and great coaching.

This past week has been crazy but all is well. we have had a lot of great spiritual lessons where the Holy Ghost has made these less active members really think and touched their hearts. so we are hoping to have a great sunday with the chapel full.

We also were able to help out a ton of people the last two weeks for getting them unstuck. we helped out a big box truck about 26 feet long get out of the snow by the corner of our street, that was fun. then we helped some cop cars and the funniest was two cop cars who were stuck with drug dealers in the back seats of em. they called for back up and so it was us the missionaries, two random guys, and about 8 policemen who pushed them out. it was a lot of service and less teaching so that was fun.

I dont know if you already sent those packages to me over here but all i have gotten was the package from Kim and Dave. youll have to tell them thanks for me and that my companion said i would get a tie like that because i live in Idaho. but i hope you didnt send em to a wrong address, or my biggest worry is that someone stole em or something. so sorry if you sent em long ago but i havent got anything else, also we checked the old house a few times.

Last night i threw up 6 times and had bad diarreah that reminded me of the cows when theyve been eating the fresh hay and its just all green and sloppy. it was a bad night and today i am pretty weak. we went out to lunch yesterday with a member and got Subway, im pretty sure it was the spinach because they were all over the toilet. but i dont think ill be eating at subway anytime soon.

One of our investigators who is a stud and is from mexico, finished reading the Book of Mormon this past week and knows as much or more than my companion. he has a baptismal date but the only problem is getting him to church because of work. also we have been really struggling with one lady who should be baptized but she just doesnt understand how her baptism as a baby is in valid and how the great apostasy took place.

I got really frustrated this past week with everyone here and realized how much i hate the big city. a lot of the investigators/less actives are really flaky and lie a lot to us because they are lost. everyone here knows the importance of church but its just the things of the world are dominating their lives right now. we have a big problem with the mexicans because they dont really care much about God right now because they are here with a purpose of making a lot of money for 2 to 5 years and then build a big house in mexico and go back to living a good life and going to church. im not mad right now but its just hard to really help them when they arent going to do their part.

I'll be sending you guys a letter today or tomorrow that has your valentines day presents in it. you really need to read em and look em up because they have helped me out a lot with that topic of "love", and not the mushy gushy love blake. The real love of God and how we can have real joy in our lives that lasts. not joy in working a ton and gaining riches of the world. but i hope you all have a great week and keep up the good work. Let me know if you need anything.

love you guys


oh by the way why did i screw up and come on a mission right now when im missing out on the winter olympics? haha no its cool but man its hard not to watch in the tv's we pass. hope youre studying sarah to one day ski as an olympian.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Picture of Chase

If you want to see a picture of Chase where he is excitedly sitting in a fabulous meeting go to and his January 15th post. :D) We thought it was fun to see him-but, of course, we're his parents.

Pres. Murray Talks About Spanish Missionaries

We have 30 missionaries assigned to teach Spanish-speaking people. They receive three months of Spanish lessons in the Missionary Training Center. But upon arriving in the mission field most are shocked and initially discouraged at the difficulty of living and breathing Spanish all the time. When paired up with an experienced, older missionary who has mastered the language, the fear factor diminishes and the language skills quickly improve.

All of our Spanish-speaking missionaries belong to a "Spanish only" zone called Si Se Puede. Typically half the missionaries in a zone will have been on their mission for at least a year. This provides lots of "big brothers" to help the younger missionaries.

Due to a quirk in timing, only 5 of our 30 Spanish-speaking missionaries have been on their missions for more than a year. The majority have been here only 6-7 months. And of the 5 experienced Spanish-speaking missionaries, 2 go home next week and 1 goes home in March. Yikes!! We are quickly running out of experienced Spanish-speaking missionaries

So today we held an all day "Boot Camp" for Si Se Puede missionaries. They received training in language, culture, teaching skills and essential communication skills. They were also asked to think of Spanish as their native language. They are requested to live an "all-Spanish" life while in the mission field.

I was greatly impressed with the quality of the training and the effort of all the missionaries. Habla Espanol? Si!!

Message about the Storm from Mission President

Called to Serve
Mike and Joyce Murray's experiences while serving as Mormon Mission President for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission from July 2007 - July 2010.

Thursday, February 11, 2010
Once More, With Feeling
I'm to blame for the massive snow storms in the Mid-Atlantic states. You see, it was time for me to get a new mission car. The church manages their large fleet of cars with great precision. My old car had maxxed out on miles. I asked, "Say, do you have any all wheel drive cars on the list?"

To my surprise, I was given a new Chevy Traverse. I'd never heard of it. But it's no car -- it's a rig. And rigs love snow.

So for the past few weeks I've been praying madly for snow. I wanted to take my Traverse on a true test drive.

I've learned an important lesson -- mission presidents seem to have more sway in the prayer department than I realized. I have now officially stopped praying for snow!

The Mid-Atlantic snow siege ended yesterday with record-breaking snowfall and blizzard conditions . Places such as Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, Philadelphia, PA, Wilmington, DE and Atlantic City, NJ have all topped their previous snowiest winter season snowfall totals (at least in recent recorded history).

at 9:38 PM 1 comments
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Our mission is smack dab in the middle of the "Mid Atlantic" snow storm. The first two photos were taken early this morning looking out the front door of the mission home. I had to dig a path for Ruby, the mission dog, to pee. She lives for adventures like this.

The rest of the photos were taken yesterday. Two are of our patio and the rest were taken as I traveled to Souderton and Reading. I was often the only car on the road. Luckily my mission vehicle is a new Chevy Traverse, a very dependable all-wheel drive "rig".

Officially, 28.5 inches was measured at Philadelphia International Airport, just shy of the all-time record and vaulting the winter of 2009-10 to No. 2 for snow in 126 years of record-keeping. This winter is within 10 inches of becoming the snowiest ever. Another storm is possible Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Not Much to Say

Just for the record, the east coast has had record snow fall this past week~two to three feet in some areas. Philadelphia was one place that got hammered. As much as Chase loves the snow, we are sure he's been out shoveling and enjoying being there.

hey guys

sorry i dont have much time to write but all is well. we are having a blast and helping a lot of people. im goin to get the package either today or tomorrow from ups depends on if the buses are running but the train has been running all week so thats been nice. but we have had a great week except my companion had an alergic reaction on tuesday so i studied a lot. i have an awesome talk for you guys and valentines day about love, and no not that kind of love sarah, but all is well thanks a bunch you guys are awesome.

love elder nielson

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Close Call

Hey como estan?

well thats great youre sending me some stuff but i hope you havent sent it yet cuz we moved this past week and i forgot to give you the new address. its 1854B Carlisle St Phily, PA 19148. but we moved on friday and we live up stairs and the english elders live downstairs so its pretty fun. the only bad thing was the first night we didnt have heat and it was about 30 in our apartment. but then the horrible landlord, who is a member, gave us a space heater so we've been fine. we still dont have heat or hot water but the english elders do so weve been showering/eating down there.

But thats great brooks that your team is doing so awesome. keep up the good work. oh by the way ill get your letter tonight cuz we have a lesson by our old house.

but this past week has been crazy and really awesome. it was awesome on tuesday we had zone conference and i learned a lot and had a great experience. then on sunday we had church but since it snowed half an inch on saturday and was a little cold on sunday, we only had 4 latinos show up to the branch so it was really depressing. i was gonna kill the landlord at church because hes just such a slimy businessman whos known about us moving in for the past month and he didnt even make sure we had heat or water. then on top of that we had to join with the english side for sacrament meeting. so it was a rough day and i was glad for a lesson our spanish gospel principles teacher gave cuz that helped me focus and forget about the other stuff.

This week has been really good though and its been cool finding new people who are awesome and playing basketball in front of Genos cheese steaks trying to get some guys interested in coming to church. we also have had some great lessons with less actives and investigators where you can just see them being taught by the Spirit and knowing they need to change.

I had a close call on the subway on tuesday coming back from the conference. we were sitting there and this kid across from us was eating a mcdonalds burger and dripping sauce all over the floor, making a mess. i told him to clean it up and have some respect for the train. he kinda looked at me like what are you talking to me? and then his buddys got into it and they were saying some stuff to me but then things calmed down and he picked up his bag but still left a mess after he got off. my companion thought we were goin to get in a fight but it was a cool feeling being to only white guy on the train and my heart pounding fast and sticking up for what i believe in. it was an interesting experience and hopefully it made a difference in those guys lives. but other than that nothin to crazy has happened.

we are going to go play basketball today and this morning we cleaned, washed clothes at laundromat, and bought food. then tonight we start working again at six and have lessons at six seven and eight. so its going to be a good night. hope you guys have a good time and keep working hard. sorry to hear about the van. hope you arent too happy sarah. have a great week and Have you done any good in the world today?

les quiero, love