Well I am currently still alive… blessings from Heavenly Father for sure. This week I survived an earthquake and eating cow stomach!!!! SICK SICK SICK! Haha the earthquake was Saturday and it was an interesting experience to say the least. It was a 6.58 on the richter scale (however you spell that) and the center was in chapas mexico. We were at Hna Mary´s house and when it started I looked at hna smith and was like… is that the truck outside… and she was like uh no I don´t think a truck could cause us to move that much. So then we just stared at each other like… um what do we do?? Haha to be honest it wasn’t scary at all because I felt like I was on a boat and a big wave had just got past. Everybody in hna marys family started running around and it shook them up a bit. It lasted for about 25 seconds and definitely felt longer than that. I felt “sea sick” for like 45 minutes afterwards. It was so crazy and apparently you can only feel earthquakes, you can’t see them. I talked to hna ramos that day and she said they were walking in the streets and didn’t know what was going on, but that people just all of a sudden dashed out of their houses. They didn’t feel it at all and couldn’t see the houses shaking… just people running out of their houses. It was definitely a testimony for me how powerful God is… that in a matter of seconds God could change the face of the earth with the smallest effort. Crazy! Today I studied about the priesthood and realized what a blessing and privilege it is to have the priesthood on the earth again! God has given the same power he uses for earthquakes, to all worthy males in the church. WHAT A BLESSING! With faith and righteousness we truly can do miracles… just hit me thinking about the power of God through an earthquake. There were actually a few walls in Xela that fell… so that just goes to show how strong it was!
So now on to the COW STOMACH!!!!! So yesterday we went to Tistoj's like usual for Sunday lunch. We are always so grateful for the food they cook for us! So we got everything ready and then they put the plate of food in front of me. The meat looked funny for sure (a little like the skin and fat of the chicken we gutted this week) but I figured it was just fat or something and wasn't too worried. Well I started eating and as many of you know, I have some serious issues with texture. So I started eating the meat and of course I have to eat it, but it was a miracle I finished what was on my plate... I thing I'd gag down a tomato before you pay me to eat that again. The texture was horrible and it was definitely interesting trying to get it down. Now mind you while eating it, I had NO idea what on earth it was! So as soon as we left their house I looked at hna smith and said "I am terrified to ask, but what on EARTH did we just eat???" I don't think she's ever had it before but she explained to me the reasons why she thought it was cow stomach and I am convinced. It certainly wasn't anything I have every eaten before. Afterwards we talked about the worse things we could have eaten... tongue, liver, foot... the possiblities are endless. so I am grateful that it was just the stomach and not the intestines... I don't think they realize what has been in there!!! I have also heard they eat hamsters in Peru so, although I thought I was going to die when hna smith told me what we ate, I am glad it wasn't fried hamster:)
So this was a good week! We met the mission goal of 10 lessons with menos activos!!! That was very exciting... we sadly didn't have any investigators in church though. Any tips from you rms would be gladly welcomed. They don't understand what the sabbath means and that it is a commandment to go to church on sunday! Not a suggestion!!! All of them have the excuse like oh, its the only day I can buy groceries or we can sleep in, or we can spend time as a family. So that stinks! People will tell us they are going to go and then when we pass by their house to bring them to church they aren't home, a family member straight up lies to us, or they are in bed... if they would just come to church they could progress!!!
Very sad news with Luki and Carlos too... they are currently avoiding us... I was so sad about it Saturday... Luki got her response two weeks ago and they haven't let us visit them since then. I bought their kids the primary hymns cd and haven't been able to give it to them. Given school started this week for them so they are busy, but if it was a priority they'd let us come in for a few minutes. They wouldn't even let us wash their dishes!!!! But I know heavenly father knows their needs and their time to make this decision so we are going to work really hard and try to prepare them for this weekend because they are our only investigators that could be baptized this weekend and we have a mission goal of 2 baptisms every month for every companionship. But we are always trying to remember that Heavenly father will help them when they are ready if it isn't now. PRAY FOR THEM!! Please and Thank you:)
So this week we have started visiting a little girl (12 years old) named elizabeth. She was baptized around the time she was 8 or 9 years old. she doesn't know how to read, and has to work to support her family. her dad and mom are serious alcoholics and her dad has another woman living in their house with them. they don't have electricity and live in a house about the size of the little white house kitchen with two matresses for at least 7 people. They have fleas and have no running water source any where near their house... unless maybe the neighbors borrow it to them. Elizabeth is the only member and it would be an understatement to say it is a heart wrenching situation. our first cita with her we sang silent night with her. she can't read but loves to sing so we want to try and teach her the hymns through memorization. Last night we visited her in her house... by candle light with her mom completely intoxicated with alcohol and her dad coming out of a hangover. They are with it enough when they are drunk to invite us in so we came in and shared a message with them. I brought my violin and some how her drunk mother learned I am child of god, so we sang that with them and just shared a scripture with them. Obviously the parents can't progress when they are drunk but my heart goes out to these poor children. I know they were special spirits of our heavenly father. It is a very humbling experience to get to know that family and we are trying to have the faith that her parents can change and improve their life style. We want to help elizabeth learn how to read... but as always time is an issue. We brought her some snickers dad sent me and she was so excited! It was probably the first time she has had anything like it! I don't remember if I told you but the group of north americans that came and had a dinner on christmas eve for some of the poorer people in our area had elizabeth and her siblings come as well. It was a very special night for her and I am sure one she wont ever forget.
Anyway, that was a humbling experience of the week. I am so grateful for all that I have... a great family and a reliable family. I am so grateful that I was able to receive an education, to play a musical instrument, that I can read and learn and progress. I am so grateful for the opportunity to touch peoples lives. Yesterday hna smith and I studied in preach my gospel about what a successful missionary is, and I am grateful it makes no mention about how many baptisms we have. I can go home with just the baptism of cecilia, but I know I have been able to touch the lives of menos activos, I have been able to share my testimony with others and strengthen their testimonies. I have met people like the Tistoj family, Cecilia, Edgar Cayax, Hna Smith, Hna Ramos, President Bautista, Bishop Arana, the Grijalva family, and SO many more. It is such a blessing to be a missionary and I am so grateful that I have been blessed with this opportunity and that I have family and friends to share it with every week:) I love you all so very much! I am so grateful for the influence every single one of you has had in my life. I am so grateful for the many examples heavenly father has blessed me with. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! I am so grateful to call you my family!
Happy two month mark Zach and Karli!
Elder Nelson, you are A STUD! I am so grateful for your example
Megs, so happy you are going to get your patriarchal blessing! I can't wait to hear about it!!
Beau Christopher! I LOVE YOU! hope you are enjoying your bike still
Mom and dad, thank you for all you have given me!
Miran, thank you for the part you have played in my life! I miss you and Helaman!!!
Landon and Malorie... TWO WEEKS UNTIL YOUR WEDDING!!! Happy planning
Tiff, happy late birthday!! LOVE YOU LOTS!
Everyone else who reads my emails:) I love you so much and am so grateful to have you in my life! Tenga feliz semana!!
All my love!!
Con amor, Hna Nelson