Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Good Experience in Kutztown, PA

Hola Familia Nielson,

Brooks I wouldnt worry about all that negative influence around you in basketball, just take it as an opportunity to be an example an lead those guys. I wish I could've been a better example to my teammates off the court. But thats good you got the left hand down and are playing. A lot of the missionaries have regrets becuase they quit some sport before they finished high school, I have a hard time sometimes when people ask me if I played baseball and then I have to tell them that yes I did but then I quit my freshman year. It makes me wonder what I could've done if I had played. So the benefits are great from just making yourself get better and working and not giving up. Who cares if you dont play all the time and your teammates are loadies, just do it and have fun for yourself. Thats kind of how the mission is, you have to entertain yourself because a lot of the time you have a companion that is completely different from you and better than you in your weak areas. You have to suck it up and just continue to work at it and be humble but confident. I have a hard time sometimes when things arent going so good and I just want to say why? why me? But then I think about it and I pray for help and I always get that same answer of "shut up and just do it, dont be a wimp and keep going." So if you dont want to play basketball anymore than thats fine but dont do it just because you dont think youre good enough or you are being put down by the negativity.

We had a great past week and I had a lot of good experiences. We had our Zone Training and trained the missionaries on working with members and planning. It went really well and we got good feedback as to how the meeting went. Then afterwards I got an uplifting experience where Elder Elwood (the Elder who we met in the restaurant before going into the MTC) who's an assistant pulled me aside and gave me a bunch of compliments as to how I am a hard worker and how much he admires me. It helped me to feel like I could handle the future events that we had in the week because we had planned an exhange with one companionship that is really struggling and also talking with one companionship that is struggling with obedience and also getting along.

I went on an exchange in Kutztown PA and taught some menenite people, basically amish, but I was with an Elder who is really struggling and so we had a good time together. But an experience that we had that was really special was we were tracting in this farm land where there were houses scattered around. We were walking on the road through the slush and snow from house to house. We taught one guy and then he told us of the house across the road and how they are from Guatemala and need some help. We went over and the mom (white lady no spanish) was outside smoking. We started talking to her and she wasnt really interested, but then I asked her about her daughter that was handicapped and if we could meet her. She lit up and let us come in to meet her. The girl was Guatemalan and was confined to her bed. She had a hole in her throat to breathe and her body was tiny. She got an infection when she was pregnant at about 20 years old and then it spread to her head and it was a really tragic story. But the step-mom starts talking to her in broken spanish and my ears lit up. I then started talking to this young lady and to see the smile in her face and the joy that we were able to bring into that broken down old house was awesome. I asked the young lady if we could do anything for her and then she mouthed something that we didnt understand. She kept saying the same thing but none of us could understand it. Then I thought she said "oracion" which is prayer, so I asked her if that was what she said and she opened her eyes even bigger and smiled and said yes. So I said the prayer and we were then able to teach the step mom in english a little bit about the Plan of Salvation. It was great to see though how that little prayer opened up this step mom to accept our message and start to ask us questions about our Church and where we meet and when because she has been looking for one. So we set up another appointment and those Elders will be going back this week. But I was really grateful to be able to speak spanish and the feel so happy from being around that young lady.

This is going to be the last week of the transfer and we are going to have a lot of changes in the zone. I dont know what will happen with my companion and I, I'm pretty sure we'll stay the same but you never know. Have a good week you guys and stay warm. hay los vidrios = see you later (only to mexicans) Suavecito por alli = (take it easy)
el amor de fily


A Little Bubble


The first time I drank that coconut water I didnt like it at all, but then the second time I had it I fell in love with it so it comes with patience. The Malta took over a year of refusing it to finally enjoy it. When I first tried it I didnt like it so then I would always refuse to get it, but then someone gave me a bottle and I went for it with a "positive" attitude and then I enjoyed it. So try them again.

I got the package from the Kroupas and tell them thanks. I'll write them a letter this week or next week. With the whole facebook thing I discontinued my account after about three weeks of doing it. I felt like I was wasting so much time and that it was pointless becuase all the people that I was teaching didnt have facebook. So I dont have the facebook anymore and you dont have to worry about it.

This past week was really great and also pretty disappointing. We were disappointed in our results for the week and no one came to church so that was bad. But it was a great week because I was able to see a lady and her husband get baptized yesterday that I started teaching over a year ago when I first came here to Reading in the spanish branch. It was great to see the people that were new in the Church back then, lead and direct this baptismal service for their friends. Also we went down to Broomall this week for a Zone Leader Council with all the leaders in the mission and President. It was really great to see some buddies and also to see an old companion Elder Glover (Hannah Montana). He almost had to go home because of his knee and problems that he has had. But it made me so happy to be with those guys and get out of this little bubble of where I am right now. It was a great experience to get the package from the Kroupas because I was able to see people that I dont know anything about and to see that they are doing good. Being with my companion and how he is from Provo and a BYU person, I have gotten this perspective of only affiliating with mormon people and only talking about that stuff, mostly because we're missionarys. My companion is a great guy and Im not talking bad about him, just that he doesn't know the outside world. I was really grateful when I got that package from the Kroupas that my best friends are not mormon and that Im not the type of person that only keeps to LDS people. I realized that life is really great and there are a lot of really great people here.
So thanks you guys for trying the juices and hope you have a good week. We have a busy week with a training we have to do and also more exchanges. Today we are going to play basketball and thank goodness. I am dieing just sitting in our apartment reading and writing letters on P-days. Have a good week and suavecito por alli.

El amor de fily


Monday, January 10, 2011

Missing the Hispanics


Que lo que tigre? esta todo? Today we are going to clean the apartment and then do something in Reading. This morning we washed our clothes in our apartment and then we came here to the library to write. We studied from 8 to 10 though and then left. Tonight we are having some of our investigators over to a members house and we're going to have a family home evening with them and then play a game. We have are starting to set up a lot of appointments with members so that we can eat and also so that we can get them involved in missionary work. We have spent a lot of time tracting the past three weeks. Its been the most tracting I've done my whole mission I think. A township is just like a little branch of a city. A town about the size of Delta that surrounds Reading.

This was a good week and we were able to have some good success in finding new investigators. We found this older couple that are in their 50s and they are really interested in the Book of Mormon and prophets. We had a lesson with a new investigator last night and he lives in a house that is huge and is from the 1700's. They are really well off people and we are teaching one of the sons that lives in the house. We found out last night that he is doing a comparison of the Bible and the Book of Mormon so he will be in for a ride this week as we meet with him and he reads the Book of Mormon.

This has been a great time to be in Reading though and see the spanish members and also investigators that I taught before. It is the best feeling in the world to see these people that I taught or helped after a long time of not seeing them. They light up and get all excited and I do the same. Its great and these are the most joyful times that I've had the past few weeks. Its been really hard not to get down though and wish that I could go back to spanish. Everytime I am with the english ward or just with people that are hard for me to love, I immediately turn to thoughts of wanting to be with hispanic people. So that has been the big struggle lately and Im working a lot on trying to love the people and serve them. I have no problem with the members in our ward but just the difference I see between the spanish branch that meets before us, and then to see where I am at and with whom I'm with, its hard. But things are going good and I am improving. We have a good week planned out so it will be fun. Have a good time you guys and keep up the good work.

Hay los vidrios. el amor


Monday, January 3, 2011

Encounter with Wicken and Police


From those pictures it looks like Santa spent a lot of time at Cabelas this year. This was a pretty good week and we were able to have a lot of different experiences. Earlier in the week we went tracting in this neighborhood and no one wanted to listen to us. Then one lady opens the door and comes outside to talk to us. She ended up being a "wicken" that beleives in the sun, moon, and nature. She was really an interesting person and had some crazy beliefs.

But then we knock on this door about three houses down and this young family comes to the door. We say hello and then hear this person behind us, we turn around and theres this cop car in the street and the officer is coming up the drive way with his flash light asking for our permits. We told the family sorry and went down to the street to talk to this police officer. He starts questioning us about why we dont have a permit to knock door to door and what the heck we're doing out here from Idaho and Utah. So he took down our information and gave us a warning, but kicked us out of the township. Someone had called the cops on us and told them that we were selling stuff. It was a little shocking and I was sick of these stupid white people but then we left and had a great night with one of our investigators accepting a baptismal date. But we called President Schaefermeyer and gave him some information about the police officer and President is going to look into it and figure it out.

So that was the crazyiest thing that happened this week but other than that things went really good and we were able to have a good time and found some great new investigators. On New Years we had to come in early for the night and so we planned and then ordered some pizza and had our own little New Years party until 10:00. Then on New Years Day we were able to have a good morning with a football game. Some of our ward members invited us to go play football with some non members so we went and it was great. It was fun to play with guys that knew how to play and then to show them that people from Idaho can play too. These Pennsylvannia boys may be a little stockier but they aint that good. We had a good time though and gained some good trust with the members. I hope your guys have a good week and dont get discouraged with school. Last night we taught this less active who is 17 and he is struggling with school and hardly ever goes. I told him how important it was and could see how rough life would be without an education. So keep it up and have a good week. hay los vidrios.

el amor


Sunday, January 2, 2011



How tall are you now Brooks? You look like a twin of Raymon but just the tall skinny version of him. Raymon is doing pretty good down there in Vegas. He said that he really likes the members and that at anytime he could leave for Brasil. The only bad thing is that he is speaking english instead of portugese. But that was good talking to you guys and its funny how Brooks, Blake and Sarah change but you guys (mom and dad) still seem to be the same. I thought that was a good call though and that our family es el miymbe as they would say in the DR (The best of the best). It was a good Christmas and I really enjoyed talking to you guys. After that though my day kind of went down hill because the two appointments that we had were really socially weird and hard to enjoy. The two families were a little different and the in-laws were over at the first house so the father of the house was really irritated and they were just weird people. But it was a good Christmas and we had a good time.

The storm hit yesterday while we were in Church and it snowed until this morning. We got about 4 inches and it wasnt really that bad. The wind was blowing pretty good though so it was fun being outside last night while the wind was howling and the snow was falling. The only problem is that none of the Elders are big snow fans and so when I started throwing snow balls at them this morning, they just kind of growled and didnt want to play in it. I guess its just because they are afraid of my Greg Maddox pitching arm. But this will be a good week and we have a football game in the ward on New Years Day. Have a good one and have fun in the snow.

el amor,


How did you like the Malta and Agua de Coco? He sent these drinks in a package and maybe they taste good with rice and beans but they weren't very good. The Malta was like drinking carbonated molasses and Agua de Coco means coconut water and that's just what it is. Water with little floaties of slimy coconut pieces.

oh and I forgot to mention to you Brooks how in the Johnsons package to me, Logan mentioned that I need to come home so that I can pull him behind the four wheeler because for some odd reason he thinks I do it better. Hmm maybe some practice would help out