Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Turkey Time and Life Advice

(Written Tuesday, November 25, 2014)

From the warm and beautiful Mexico, how is everyone?!

I cannot believe it is almost Thanksgiving! Time flies and the days blend together and then it's a holiday you forgot about! Also, tomorrow marks my one month mark as a sister Missionary! How crazy is that? I feel like I haven't even had a chance to blink yet. I only get 17 more months of this and then I have to be a normal person again! I don't know what to think!

So I just have a few things for you this week! First of all, I got a very special and fabulous package from my sweet mother. This is the best gift any missionary could ever ask for and that is KRISPY KREME DONUTS. I ate so many of them and especially after getting over being sick and getting bored with the food here, delicious American pastries were such a treat! Just look how happy I am :)
We also had another tender mercy of American Food with hamburgers, french fries and ice cream for a lunch one afternoon! Made my day, but to see those pictures, you'll have to check out the blog :)
So really I am just thankful for a lot of things this week! I guess most of it has been food, but I also have a really great district of people to work with here, I have a really great family and a great group of friends who are a wonderful support system and I love you all so much!
Thank you for helping to shape me into the person that I am today! I just want to leave you with an activity and a video to do. In one of my classes, my teacher Hermano Vargas wrote three questions on the board that I would like you to try to apply to your life in this time of Thanksgiving.

The questions are:
1. Where would I be without my church? What sins or temptations would I fall into or struggle with? 2. What blessings do I receive as a member of my church?
3. What does God want for me right now?

When we took some time to answer these questions I was in awe. I realized that I have been protected, comforted, watched over and taught so many good things because of my church. I would not be the good person that I am today without my church and the things I have been taught and the kindness that has been showed to me. I hope all of you can answer these questions for yourselves too!
We receive so many blessings by being members of any church because Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ see that we are striving to walk with them and be like them! And I know that God wants so much for all of us right now and he knows that we can do anything.
There is a scripture that I found this week (I've read it and liked it before but I guess you could say that I re-found it this week and I want to share it with you) John 15:13 -- Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Christ is talking about what He is about to do and He says He is laying down his life for His friends, but we know that He suffered for all the people in the world, even those who crucified Him. Christ is our ultimate example and loves everyone and I bear my testimony of that. And because of the things which Christ did for all of us, we have the opportunity to be forgiven of our sins and how grateful I am for that!
One of my favorite scriptures in The Book of Mormon talks about this very thing, it is in the last chapter of the book: Moroni 10:32 and it says-- Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in Him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
I love this scripture because it fills us with hope and gratitude and love for our brother and Savior Jesus Christ.
I hope you know how thankful I am for Him and how glad I feel to get to share this message of peace and happiness with so many people.
One final thing I want to leave you with is a video, it's a short message by my favorite apostle or one of the leaders in our church: God's Word Never Ceases by Jeffrey R. Holland.
It is powerful and brings us comfort!

I love you all. I know that Christ lives and I am so grateful for you all and the blessings in my life!~ Please have a happy Thanksgiving!

I forgot the most important part of life advice!!!!
If you're ever feeling down or stressed or tired, try eating a donut in the shower. It changes your life! Just trust me on this one! 

I love you!!!!
--Hermana Alayna Nelson

PS: I sent my sister some pictures around campus and she's also going to post some songs that are powerful and make you feel the spirit :) So check out the blog under the MTC photo a day and under this post! Love you all! BYE

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"OHHHH... We're HALFWAY thereeee"

Buenos Dias Mis Amigos!!!
Como le va?

Most of you are probably experiencing cold weather, maybe some snow, but here in Sunny Mexico I can wear a thin jacket and my skirts! It's like 65 degrees here and it's great! I have made it halfway in the MTC!
Tomorrow is my three week mark and then I only have three more weeks until me and my companion head to Las Vegas to start our missions for real! I am way excited :)
Quick disclaimer: I sent my sister lots of photos so she can update my blog. But I can only send you all 2 photos in each email, so if you want to see other photos go to my blog: or you can find the link on my facebook profile :)

So let me tell you all a little about this week! It has been Sickville here in Mexico City! In my district (which is the organization of smaller groups of people on this campus so that we can meet together. My district consists of 6 sisters and 4 elders) all of us have been majorly ill with a throw up bug this week, but we are all better and ready to continue to learn Spanish. But besides being sick and learning Spanish and practicing teaching the gospel all the time, some fun things have happened this week :) So I will share some stories about that!

There is this little poem that they said in one of our meetings about who a missionary is. It didn't translate over very well from Spanish so there are some mistakes, but it's a sweet quote about missionaries and I love it and I hope you do too :)

One day one of the guys in our group who is a gymnast challenged this girl in our district to a tumbling contest (normally she is a soccer player, but Sister Brown is really competitive so of course she said yes). So they were doing some crazy things like flipping over trash cans and jumping out of trees during our gym time! It was nuts but way fun to watch!

One of the other girls is super talented in our district and so she drew a picture of all of us with our teachers. One of our teachers is named Hermano Polo, but we call him Pollo which means chicken so he is the chicken in the picture. He knows a lot of English so he always says funny phrases like "stop the party" so we have the chicken saying "parar la fiesta." Our other teacher sort of looks like Aladdin and he always says "siempre siempre siempre" which means always always always so we have him saying that. But our district is one big happy family and it is so great! :)

Also, here in Mexico they always have fruit at every meal. We always bring Hermano Polo, our afternoon teacher bananas because our first week with him he stole my banana while we were at dinner and when we got back I had a note from him on my desk thanking me for the banana. So now we always bring him fruit as a joke and no matter how much we bring (four bananas and a half eaten apple) he eats it ALL! He is so crazy and fun! But anyways, one day at lunch, they had the tiniest bananas that I have ever seen so we thought it would be funny to take silly pictures with them! We did a "see no bananas, hear no bananas, eat no bananas" picture :)
And then we had unicorns, unibrows, cellphones, guns, fangs and devil horns as a district with these little bananas. We definitely still find time to have fun here :)

On a more spiritual note though, (so you don't think that I just sit around goofing off all the time (; ) today my district had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Mexico City temple.  The spirit on the temple grounds could be felt and was much different and distinct. As members of the church, we believe that our temples are the house of the Lord on the earth and you can feel of our Heavenly Father's love and spirit while you are there.
It is currently closed due to renovations, but we did get to visit the visitor center and the little Mexican shop where I bought some really cute Mexican shirts :)

In the visitor's center, they have a beautiful statue of our Savior, Jesus Christ. They have this statue in many of the visitor's centers for our temples around the world, but every time I see one I feel happy and peace and I feel like my Savior is reaching out to me and picking me up when I feel down. There is a sort of peace and reverence that comes at these times and it is so precious to me.
This picture is of my district in the visitor's center. I love them all so much and I really am glad to be a missionary. I want to help people know the things that I do that make me happy and that make the challenges of life seem not so bad. This gospel is vital to my life and I wouldn't be the person I am today without it! One final thing I would like to share with you is a talk that we watched one evening this week. This talk is called "The Character of Christ" by one of the leaders of our church Elder David A. Bednar. If you believe in Jesus Christ and the person that he was and is and you desire to be more like him, I encourage you to take ten minutes out of your day to read this talk. It will change your life.   Character of Christ by Elder David A. Bednar

I want to add my testimony to that of David A Bednar's about my Savior. I will also try to do it in Spanish since I have some extra time, but those of you who speak Spanish, sorry if it is wrong!

yo testifico que jesucristo vive. El es mi salvador y yo le amo. yo sé que jesucristo es mi amigo y él puede estar su amigo tambien si usted le quiere estar. Nuestro Salvador sabe todas las cosas en nuestras vidas que es duré y él quiere ayudarnos. yo sé que la iglesia de jesucristo es aquí y yo sé que dios y jesuscristo nos aman. en el nombre de jesucristo amen!

Everyone please have a good week and give your family and loved ones hugs and kisses! A common phrase here is similar to our see you later alligator and it goes like this: Adios carita de arroz which means see you later rice face - hahaha

Con Amor,
Hermana Alayna Nelson

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Beds are Hard, But the Work is Harder

(Written Tuesday, November 11, 2014)

Hello friends and family!

The title of this post is the motto of our group of missionaries. It´s pretty funny and kind of true. It feels like lying on a smooth stone, but at night after working hard to listen and understand and speak Spanish, your brain is fried and a smooth stone feels pretty good! Don´t worry! I sleep very well at night! And Mom, you´ll be happy to know that my appetite has probably tripled since I have been here. I eat two corn dogs and I’m still not full! On Tuesdays which are pizza nights, I eat pizza as big as my face and eat the whole thing. I get so much food and it´s all sooooo goood!

I am learning so much about the Spanish language and learning how to teach people! I love it so much here. Last Wednesday (and yesterday) my district (or group of missionaries) all did an English fast meaning that we didn't speak any English and attempted to only speak Spanish all day. It was really hard, but I learned that I knew a lot more Spanish than I thought! It was awesome!

Also, we all took cute pictures in pajamas at our sleepover last night. These make me chuckle :) Missionaries can have fun too! Don´t worry :)

We watched a really powerful video in class about the Book of Mormon and the efforts that were made in order to bring this sacred record and another testament of Jesus Christ into the world. It expresses all the hardships that the prophet Joseph Smith and all the early Mormon members went through. It´s so powerful to me that people were willing to die for these things that they believed and saw. I know this gospel is true without a shadow of a doubt. I just want to add my testimony to the testimony of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (a general authority of our church). So if you have time, watch the video “Testimony of the Book Of Mormon Jeffrey R. Holland” on youtube or visit my blog and it will be at the bottom of this blog post!

I wish I had a lot of time to write, but I spent a lot of time emailing my family because they are pretty important.  I love this gospel and I love my savior, Jesus Christ. I know he died for us so that we might live again and be with our Heavenly Father once more. This life is so beautiful and I am so excited to share this gospel with so many people because it makes me so happy!

Until next week, two of our other mottos are “End your day, the Latino way” (by only speaking Spanish so you can learn the language) and “No Toca Las Tortugas” which means don´t touch the turtles. I don´t know why, it´s just super funny to us.

Love always,
Hermana Alayna Nelson


Buenas Dias Mis Amigos!

(Written Tuesday, November 4, 2014)

Hello from sunny, sunny, happy Mexico!

I wish I had more time, but there really just isn't a lot of time to email! Missionaries are busy. But just know that I am having a wonderful time! I have only been here for like 6 days and I have already taught 3 lessons to a person who is looking into the church in COMPLETE SPANISH. I know for a fact that Heavenly Father is helping us because not only do I understand, but I can also respond fairly well in Spanish! I took five years of French and was nowhere near able to speak for five minutes. But when I am teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is so important, I know that Heavenly Father is helping me. I hope you are all doing well. They keep us so busy here learning and working hard to understand the language that I don't have much time to be sad and miss home, I am just happy all the time!

I wish I could send you pictures of how beautiful Mexico is, but sadly, these computers don't have an SD card slot, so you will all have to wait until I get back into the States to see Mexico, but if you get to travel here ever it is amazing.
I just want to leave you with two things that I have learned this week and that is that we are all so privileged to get to experience this mortal life and this beautiful Earth. Heavenly Father has given us so many privileges and we need to take advantage of them! If you check out my blog, my sister will have posted the video on this post, but if you just read this email, then you will have to look up this video, but please look up "Your Potential, Your Privileges" Mormon Message.  It is so beautiful and reminds us of who we are and all the things we can take advantage of.

This is the best time of my life. It is very hard, but it humbles me and allows me to see my Heavenly Father's hand in my life daily! He is blessing me because helping people know of and come unto Christ is so important to him. Know that Heavenly Father loves you and he plays an active role in your life! I am having far too many spiritual experiences to deny that!

My computer time is drawing to an end! Have anamazing week!
!Hasta Luego Mis Amigos!

--Hermana Alayna Nelson
I love you all!


Sunday, November 2, 2014

I made it!

(Written October 29, 2014)

I am using a Spanish keyboard so I don´t know what I'm doing. Sorry for spelling errors. I made it safely and Mexico is beautiful.

My pdays will be on Tuesdays so watch for me to email you on those days please.

I love you all I am glad to be here and I miss and love you so much! Be safe and take care, we will email on Tuesday.

I leave for Vegas on December tenth.

All my love so much you guys are great!!!!!

--Hermana Alayna Nelson :) xoxoxoxox