Tuesday, June 23, 2015

"Hoosier finds Corn in Sin City"

 (Written Monday, June 22, 2015)

Hello Family and Friends,

Hope all is going well, this one won't be too long because I was actually kinda sick this week, so a lot of my time was spent sleeping! I am trying to take care of myself in the best way that I can! But we did have some cool things happen this week!

The first picture is of me with corn! YES I FOUND CORN! Yay! One of our members is a bike vendor, just like in Mexico they ride around and sell things like chips, slushies and corn with mayonnaise and chile and Parmesan cheese, it's really good and I haven't had one since my brother made them a long time ago, so it was great and I felt really authentic to the culture for a little bit ;)

But the biggest thing that happened was our valley wide family history fair! We had a man come down from Salt Lake City that is in charge of Latino and Mexican records and he talked to us about our families and learning about them, which was incredible! My Spanish is getting so good now that I don't really have to think so hard and pay attention, but like English I can just sit and realize oh wow, all this is going in one ear and making sense right away! YES! This is a good place to be! At any rate, he really made me want to do family history research and learn more about my family! He talked about how the most important part isn't the date of birth or the date of death but the dash in the middle that sums up our whole lives and that if we can capture stories and pictures of them, they will continue to live on forever and won't really be gone and we can learn from them so much!
My Recent Converts Gaby and Jorge were there! It was so good to hear that they will be going to do baptism at that temple this Saturday.  The dad an son have the priesthood now and the son went to youth conference in Utah this past week! The parents came to do family history at our fair and they told me that Alejandro has already done so much family history work, this kid is on fire and so elect :) I am so proud of this family! They are doing great things!

Malachi 4:6 is a prophesy that we can fulfill today "and he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers."  If we turn to them and knit our hearts with theirs, we can learn and grow so much! My invitation to you this week is to visit the church's free website (for anyone in the world to use, not just members of our church ) www.familysearch.org and start learning about your family! One thing the man said was that if we don't record the stories, they die with the person, but if we talk to our grandparents now, we can preserve pieces of them here with us forever :) The biggest question I am dying to know is how my grandpa met and married my grandma! I wish I had time to do family history work right now, so you'll have to do it for me and tell me what you learn this week! I promise it will bind you to them and it will bind you to your savior! David Archuleta has a really cool song that came out about Family History, it's in Spanish and called Nunca Pense.  Get excited about learning about your families by listening! It's wonderful!

Much love,
Hermana Alayna Nelson

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cereal, Folklorico, Rainstorms, Peaches & Umbrellas

(Written Monday, June 15, 2015)

So in case you didn't sense the randomness of this week from the title, it was nuts!

Among many things, we had the exodus of the cereal into the back of our car from a member! We got so much from a member that it fed all the missionaries in this area!

I stole a peach from someone's tree because they didn't answer the door.

I rang another doorbell with an umbrella which required much skill because I had to reach through the gate.

And I took a picture with a TV in the middle of the desert.

We met a lot of wild animals this week and got caught in a rainstorm (which started as a windstorm that felt like a tornado and blew stuff in our eyes). But then I took the opportunity to dance in the rain since it never happens here.

We went to a church party that was a cultural night and they had Mexican decorations and dancing in the traditional dresses called Folklorico. I took videos, but I guess they are too long to send, so one day you will see them! Our bishop got up and sang the song that he used to propose to his wife to her again called "Eres Tu" :) It was so cute! Spanish music literally sings to my soul these days, how did I never know! I LOVE IT!

It's starting to get really hot here, but exciting things are happening when we listen to the spirit. This week we had an appointment to show a lady around our temple but she canceled, normally we would follow our back up plan, but I had a small feeling that we should go walk around the temple and that someone would be there for us to talk to. So we drove there, prayed and said we would walk around the temple once and go back to our other plan. We did so and didn't see anyone, but as we were walking back to our car, I saw a little boy and thought very strongly "go back" as we did, we ran into a Spanish Speaking man and his 10 year old son. They also spoke perfect English, but the dad wasn't a member. We were able to take them into the lobby of the temple and answer some questions for them, it was just so neat to meet them. They told us they were being taught by other missionaries and went to a different building of our church because his wife and ten year old son are members, but we haven't been able to figure out who's teaching them! It was incredible to see that when we listen to the smallest of thoughts, that God uses us as his instruments.

That same day we knocked on a door and I felt as though we should walk further up the street, we knocked on an unplanned door and no one answered, but we were able to talk to another kid outside that was so friendly and has a bunch of Mormon friends and we were able to answer some of his questions about the church too!

Miracles are happening here and this week there will be so many more! I love my Savior, My Brother and My Friend Jesus Christ. He is the reason I am here, because I want others to know of him and love him too in a way so personal that will change their lives! Keep going and be believing!

Much Love,
Hermana Alayna Nelson

Pictures: Literally in the windstorm, so many things were blowing in our eyes!

I found my perfect car! I love Hello Kitty way too much!

Us with the wonderful young women that did the Folklorico dances :)

Check the blog, there are so many more photos on there, I did a good job to make up for last week!

A Trip to Hawaii

(Written Monday, June 8, 2015)

Hello World,

Another week has passed, how, I don't know! It seriously feels like it was just P-day so I hardly took any photos this week! Sorry about that!

But I do have some exciting news! Someone is going to Hawaii! And it's not me haha Jaime, our investigator is going to Hawaii for some special military training on their base. He will be there for about a week and a half and this is why this story is cool. Jaime had a smoking problem and we hoped that wouldn't mess up teaching him, but as we taught him about God's plan of health for him and how he can receive so many blessings, he quit smoking that day and has only had one since and hasn't bought more or had more. He is doing incredible! He said that he came to realize that it was a temporary solution to his problems and that he didn't need them! It was so cool to hear! We also told him we were going to give up things with him too to help him feel like he was on a team, so I gave up naps, which I have been taking nearly every day during lunch for like the past month so it was a big deal, but I wanted to do something hard and feel how he felt and pray for help and also, I wanted to finally get caught up on my journal. Sister Stark gave up candy and sweets and we did it! I have to say, my first few days, I went through withdrawals and it was so hard, but as I prayed for strength and prayed that Jaime would have strength, it became a little easier. Towards the end of this week though, I have felt like I am coming down with some sort of cold/sore throat thing and the sudafed my mom sent me was only working a little bit. It was exhausting me to no end, so sadly, I had to break my streak and start napping during lunch to get a little extra rest and strength so we wouldn't have to take time out of doing other important things. But I rationalized that sometimes naps are healthy and necessary but that cigarettes will never be healthy or necessary, also, Sister Stark had to break hers because of dinner appointments where members give us candies and such, but it's okay, we are recommitting and the important thing is that Jaime is still going strong.

But the cool thing is that we took Jaime on a tour of the temple and he said that he just felt joyful there which was so cool to hear! He said he wanted to come back and he was going to make it a goal to get married there and do baptisms for his family members! He loved it! Then a brilliant idea popped into my head to tell him to visit the Hawaii temple while he is down there. It is only an hour away from his base and he was looking up directions and photos and getting so excited! He's not sure he will be able to go, but last night he asked us to pray with him that he would be able to go somehow! We know that Heavenly Father will make it happen somehow because it is a worthy cause!

So that was my week! Exciting things are on the horizon, it is so amazing to see the gospel change people's lives and excite them for everything that Heavenly Father has in store for them! I know this church is true! My invitation to you this week is to pick something that you rely heavily on and try to let it go for a bit and pray for help from God. I promise you that your relationship with your Heavenly Father will grow and you will be more productive!

Love, Hermana Alayna Nelson

PS: These are the only two photos I have for you this week.

This is Pepe, the one we teach that has been learning from missionaries for nearly 15 years and he bought us sombreros so that we don't have to walk in the sun, He's such a cute man.

And then of course a picture of me today so you know I am happy and alive and also because I didn't send more pictures. much love

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Prayers in my Sleep

(Written Monday, June 1, 2015)

Hello Family and friends!

Lots of pictures are going on the blog today!

Nothing too crazy happened this week, I'm still steadily sleep talking at night by saying prayers in Spanish for my investigators... it's kinda funny actually.

This week we had a big conference for all of the congregations close by and I learned so much from the president of it! They even had a youth session in the evening where us missionaries got to sing for the youth and then share our testimonies about why we are missionaries and what we have learned! I am learning so much and it's still not nearly as much as I want to learn, but I will just keep going and setting goals and trying to work hard!
I hope all of you are making steps in one way or another to move forward and increase your faith and relationship with Jesus Christ! It's such a rewarding feeling and one that is hard to express in words.

I love this mission, it's crazy to think that in July I will be halfway done! I don't want that to happen! So just keep praying that I learn a lot and that people give me water in the streets because it is getting hot.

The picture I attached of me and Sister Stark is from today and my hair will probably continue to only be done up in a ponytail until this heat leaves (so like for the next three months, this is the hairstyle I'm looking at) I'm ready to continue to see miracles!
I'm sorry I don't have too much time or much more to share, my investigators are moving along really well! They are special souls given me to serve from Heavenly Father! I love this work, I know it is true and directed by God!

Have a great week!
Hermana Alayna Nelson