Friday, July 20, 2012

Week 2 - July 10

Hello Family and Friends:

It is now week 2 here in Provo and it continues to be both stressful and exciting. We got our travel plans last weekend and we can't wait to fly to Florida. It's getting harder to focus as the next big step is in sight but we are trying hard to learn all we can.

I don't see Elders Oldroyd/Chandler really anymore, and since they are SYL (Speak your language), my lack of Spanish prevents me from talking to them beyond "Hola! Como Esta?" and "Bueno!" I still look for them and love them tons!

It is so beautiful here. The mountains are my favorite part of nature so I'm taking in as much as I can before flying to Florida where mountains are unheard of. The fires have added a nice smoky smell and we could see tons of smoke coming over Mount Timp. and the peak to the south- a little scary since it got so close but nothing too bad.

My district and I are getting along great! We are split- as 5 of us are going to Jacksonville and 5 to Birmingham Alabama, so we will all miss each other but promise to keep in touch. We are all working on our Deep Southern accents in preparation for the next 2 years.... I am now the senior companion (we switched off on Sunday), but here that doesn't make much of a difference, oh well.

The food continues to be trying on our bodies at times, and we pray that we will make to Jacksonville alive! :)

The investigators we are teaching are really special. Even though most of them are "actors" of sorts, it gives us good practice for the field. Teaching by the spirit is SO important, and our teachers stress that over and over again. There really is such a difference when you can bring that conformation to the lesson and help them see that the Church is true and desire to be baptized.

We have settled in to our new residence hall as we were "kicked out" last week of our old one. Just enough time to get it all set up, and then pack it all up again in a week.... :/

The firesides here are just wonderful. No general authorities yet, but fingers crossed! We heard from an Emeritus Seventy last week and a man named Ted Gibbons (Grandpa Prolo probably knows who that is!) last Tuesday- and the MTC Admin. Director last night. Tonight's fireside speaker is still unknown but our district is rooting for President Uchtdorf. ;)

So much goes on in a day and they all run together that it is hard to keep track of what day of the week it is or what day it is. all we know is how many days 'till we fly out!

To say I am learning a lot is an understatement. I have grown so much here even though I feel so far behind at times. The Lord gives unto man both weaknesses and strengths. That's what so great about the MTC- we all help fill in the "gaps" both spiritually and mentally, and personally that makes us all so strong and unified. 

I am so lost as I write this out, I have no idea if what I am saying makes sense, and the clock in the corner of my screen ticking down the minutes isn't helping.... I plan out during the week what I want to say in these emails, and then just blank out when I sit down at the computer- so if anyone has any questions or anything, is great. Pose your questions/thoughts/whatever there and I can either write you a letter or include it in the mass email. We each have our "Fan clubs" that we write to each week and so far it keeps us pretty busy while we sit for 2 hours doing laundry (The number of missionaries doing laundry against the number of available machines is a challenge.)

I used to think 8 hours of sleep was enough to go on... but here that is often not true. We do the best we can to drag ourselves out of bed in the morning and crash down at night. Our branch president says enjoy it while we can... 'cause you'll be begging for 8 hours of sleep once you get home and eventually have a job, family etc.

On Sunday we looked at our family histories, I followed the Nielson and ancestors lines back far enough to somewhere around 200 BC in Denmark... (of course at that time everyone in Europe was related to one another) It was still amazing to see how much of their ordinance  work had been done- for people that lived thousands of years ago! The Church's love of family history really is great. 

Love and miss you all- Not sure when the next email will be- since we will be going to Florida! Again... DearElder,com is a great way to keep me posted on everyone

Elder Nielson

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