Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017 -- Gold Mine House -- Maybe not such a Gold Mine :(

Hey guys here's my week๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™ 

Monday- On Monday we were originally supposed to go to Heinz Field and get a tour of the stadium and locker rooms and stuff but we had to postpone it to next week because they were having a viewing on the field for one of the old successful managers of the Steelers when they were super good or something๐Ÿˆ Then we made a trip out to Target with a couple other Elders and it was super cool to be in a normal store again. Then we went back to the church and it was super sunny and warm so we all just went outside and laid on the front lawn of the church for a couple hours because we have missed the sun so much ๐Ÿ˜‚☀️ it was so nice and relaxing and I got a nice tan๐Ÿ˜ then we played basketball for a little bit then we headed over to the Reyes for dinner. Sister Reyes made fish ๐ŸŸ with rice and homemade salsa and tortillas and it was super good but then she made Flan for desert and I could barely eat a spoonful of it haha I hate that stuff. I'm not a super picky eater but soggy jello cake is right out ✖️ So I had to strategically dispose of it without anyone seeing lol it wouldn't have been so hard but a Hispanic sized service is like half the plate๐Ÿ˜… After that we went to ESL. Elder Condie and I left Elder Halls with the senior couple at ESL to help them teach it and we headed down to the Mexican store to see if our homie Javier was working so that we could give him a Book of Mormon but he wasn't ๐Ÿ˜• So then after that, the Elders from the other district that live close to the church called us and they were on exchanges so it was two trainees( newbys, greenies) together on the exchange and they got locked out of their apartment and the only other key to get in was on the other side of Pittsburgh hahaha so we picked them up and took them back to our apartment for the night and let them sleep on the couch so that they weren't on the street. They could've technically gone to get the key but they don't have a car so it would've taken them like 3 hours and they wouldn't have gotten home until like midnight. So they slept over at our place and it was funny because we just made them feel super bad like it was such a sacrifice for us to pick them up and let them sleep on our couches hahaha but then we made it a super fun night for them and gave them breakfast and everything so it was good. 

Tuesday- Tuesday was good! We dropped off those other Elders in the morning so that they could get their key to get in their apartment and then we went and did some service for a member of the Spanish group named Oscar. We helped him move some furniture and appliances and stuff to his new house. Then we went and did some language study at the park by our house which has a beautiful view of the city and it was great๐Ÿ˜Œ I got to wear a short sleeve pros shirt for the first time in 2017 because it was finally warm enough haha. Then we went and taught Dorothy and had an excellent lesson with her about the Law of Tithing. She accepted it with ease and understood the commandment perfectly. It amazes me how prepared she is. She's down to like 3 or 4 cigarettes a day! So we are making a ton of progress towards her Baptism date. She loved church and she said that she will be back every week going forward. After that lesson we ate some dinner then we went to a lesson with Jorge at Janet's house. The lesson went good but we still haven't gotten Jorge to commit to a Baptism date, he just told us to be patient with him but we are approaching the end of the lessons and most people have made a decision as to wether or not they want to be baptized by then๐Ÿ˜… not him though. We just have to keep praying for him I guess. After our lesson with Jorge, we went to see if our friends were home at the gold mine house. Another new guy answered and said they weren't home but that they were just down the street at the store so we drove down the street and we saw them walking with their groceries and we pulled over and started talking to them๐Ÿ˜‚ they were stoked to see us and we set up an appointment to go back Sunday evening! 

Wednesday- Wednesday was a bust, we tried some people in the morning and set up a couple return appointments but no one was really home. Then we went to Days for Girls for service and that was fun as usual. Then we went to try some more people over in that area and we didn't have any luck. After that we went to Dinner at the Dushku's (our Ward Mission Leader) and it was so great. It's just him and his wife and they are the coolest people ever and it's so refreshing to have normal conversation with white people again๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ They love Star Wars and basketball so I love talking to them. Brother Dushku is insanely smart, I could listen to him talk for hours and then on top of that, he has the same interests as me ha. So it was a fun dinner appointment and the food was delicious. After dinner we tried a couple more potential investigators but still struck out ๐Ÿ™† 

Thursday- On Thursday we were going to wake up and play basketball but then everybody bailed so we went for another jog instead over looking the city and I honestly loved it. Then we went to District Meeting and it was pretty good. Then we came back here and had some lunch and went to an appointment with a less active we had named Nicky. We have met with her briefly several times but this time we were actually able to sit down with her and she told us her life story. Normally, I would rather smash weights into my head then listen to people's life story but Nicky's life story is so dang crazy and cool and interesting so I didn't mind it at all and she's only like 33 years old! She's had 5 kids, beat cancer twice, while she was sick in the hospital with cancer one of her best friends got custody of all her kids and changed her last name and has been in hiding ever since, she's been looking for her kids ever since, she was almost killed by a serial killer in the mountains, she lived on a sail boat in Florida, her crazy ex husband sunk her sailboat with an axe... etc. you get the idea. But you could honestly write a book about her life and it would be a best seller. She said that no matter where she's been, the church has found her and saved her and that's how she knows that it's true. It was so cool! After that, we teamed and split up with a member named Brother Stoddard to go teach some lessons. So Brother Stoddard and I went and taught Dorothy and Elder Condie and Elder Halls went and taught Don, our new investigator. Our lesson with Dorothy went good! It was about the 10 commandments. Elder Condie and Elder Halls had a super good lesson with Don as well about the Book of Mormon so it was a successful split//team up. After that we all met back up at the Stoddards for dinner and it was good! We ate outside because the weather was perfect and it was nice. Then we split up again after Dinner for a quick visit. Elder Condie and Brother Stoddard went to teach Manuel and Elder Halls and I went and tried a couple people in the area. We didn't really find anybody but we were able to hand out a couple Book of Mormons. I think everyone was watching the Penguins game haha I wouldn't have answered the door either๐Ÿ™† Elder Condie and Brother Stoddard were able to invite Manuel and his wife to church though and the wife was super interested in coming so hopefully they do! 

Friday- On Friday we woke up and had studies and then we went and gave a member of our ward a blessing and that was pretty cool. Then we did Weekly Planning again and it was actually pretty fun because we got to start planning Dorothy's Baptism. After weekly planning we went and did some more service at Raymond's house๐Ÿ”จ ๐ŸŽจ  then we went to our dinner appointment with a family named the Whites. They were pretty cool and they offered to take us to Costco on a PDay if we wanted to go๐Ÿ˜ I miss Costco food but I don't need to buy anything in bulk haha we might still go though. After dinner we went to ESL class and it was only Brother Reyes this time because all our other students were busy so we just reviewed the lessons and joked around with him and that was it for the night. 

Saturday- On Saturday we played basketball in the morning and it was fun then we went to Coordination meeting with our WML Brother Dushku and that was pretty productive. After that we went on splits, I went with Brother Stoddard to teach Don our new investigator and it went really well! Meanwhile, Elder Condie and Elder Halls went and taught some other less actives. Brother Stoddard and I taught Don the Plan of Salvation and he understood it really well. After that we came back to the apartment for lunch. We were all starving because we played basketball that morning and all we had eaten for breakfast was some protein bars so we ordered Pizza to eat while we finished weekly planning and studies. It was dang good๐Ÿ˜‹ After that we went to try and see some investigators and didn't have a ton of luck so then we tried contacting some referrals and got in touch with a few. Then we went to dinner at the Cรกrdenas house and had a good meal and thought with them. After that we went to try and see Wilbur and Jessica because we got some unfinished business with them but they didn't answer๐Ÿ˜… BUT while we were there knocking on the door, we found 3 other Hispanic men and ended up talking to one of them for like 20 minutes about everything going on in the world and religion and stuff and he told us to come back so we got a new investigator✔️ After that we headed over to try and see Erika but her husband answered and said that they were leaving so dang it. 

A Star Wars Trivia Game we sent the Trio for Easter.
Apparently, it's rather challenging and Carter's companions struggle a bit to keep up.
According to him, they make a strong effort, but "they aren't as strong in the Force as me."

SundaySunday was a decent day! We went to Ward Council and stuff in the morning and it was hilarious because the Ward Council is still just a bunch of college students that make me laugh. Then Don and his wife showed up to church!!! So Elder Halls and I stayed with the English Ward to sit by them because it was Elder Condie's turn for a split so he went downstairs to the Spanish group. Church was good with Don and his Wife, they participated really well. For the third hour I went to the Spanish Group Priesthood preparation class because it was only going to be Brother Stoddard and Brother Reyes. So I went and joined and helped out and it was fun because Brother Reyes is hilarious and Brother Stoddard is the most wise man I've ever met so I learn a ton from him. After church we had a Spanish Group Linger Longer and it was super good! We gave the spiritual thought and everyone participated and they were all getting super emotional and spiritual so needless to say, it went really well. Then we had some excellent food there afterwards๐Ÿ˜ After church we headed to the Gold Mine house but we are starting to think that it's not much of a gold mine. A new guy answered the door this time named Rafael and he basically just told us that no one was actually interested and that they were all just joking the whole time๐Ÿ˜• He was probably lying just so we wouldn't come back but we can't keep wasting our miles to drive that far if no one is going to be home or listen. So that was depressing.. Then we headed to a referrals house named "Jose." The dude answered the door drunk out of his mind hahaha and he was like "holllaaa estamos tomando jajaja, ustedes quieren cerveza??" And we were just like "¡por supuesto!" jk haha we told him that we don't drink and he couldn't understand why and then he told us that he knew a priest in his church once who said that everybody should drink then he tried to offer us more beer ๐Ÿ˜‚ so we just kinda left. After that we went to Sergio's house and we were able to teach him for a little bit but we ran out of time so we are going back next week to finish our lesson! Well that was my week! Thank you for your emails❤️I love and miss you guys tons๐Ÿ’•

-Elder Nelson

April 17, 2017 - Happy Easter

¡La Semana Santa! Happy Easter guys๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’›

Monday- On Monday we woke up and went shopping and then we headed down to the strip to look around. For some of the Elders, it was their last day in Pittsburgh so they wanted to go. After that, we all headed down to The Point to play football at the park and it was actually a lot of fun because it was super warm and sunny☀️ Then we walked around a little bit and took some pictures. After that, we were walking back to the car and we were walking passed Heinz Field(where the Steelers play) and the main gate was open. So we walked in and talked to a security guard and asked him if he'd give us a tour of the stadium๐Ÿ˜‚ he said no but he said that if we come back next Monday at noon then we can get a tour of everything, including the locker rooms and box seats and stuff!! So we are going ๐Ÿ˜‹ Then we headed over to the church to play some basketball before our dinner appointments. We had dinner with the Reyes and it was great, we sat on the back porch because it was warm and she made us this Barbacoa meat and homemade verde sauce. It was a good evening๐ŸŒ™ Then we went to ESL class that night and then we headed home. The Pirates had a home game that night and you can overlook the stadium really well from our apartment so on the way home, we pulled over for a sec and watched. The stadium looks super cool at night when it's all lit up and packed with people! Then when I got home that night I got an Easter package from Kam and it was amazing as always๐Ÿ˜ 

Tuesday- On Tuesday we woke up and did our studies and whatever and then we went and got our new car!! The car in this area was a 2012 Toyota Corolla and it was pretty beat up but we got a 2017 Chevy Malibu!! Haha it's super nice, it's too nice to be a mission car in my opinion car but we aren't gonna complain lol. I guess all cars made these days have fancy functions and stuff. It even has its own wifi hotspot! We are on the free trial but might as well use it while we can๐Ÿ™† Maybe I will just FaceTime home on Mother's Day in the car, who knows. After we got the new car and played with it a bit, we went to do missionary work. We went to our investigators house, Kayla, to start the day and it wasn't the best lesson. She super busy with a million things so it's hard for her to progress. After that we went to stop by Dorothy's house, another investigator, and she's doing really well! She has gone from close to 25 cigarettes a day to like 10 a day so we are making progress๐Ÿ’ After that we went to Pete's house, a less active, but he was asleep so we just sat on the porch and talked to his mom haha she has pretty much become an investigator. We invited her to church for Easter and she showed interest so maybe she will come. Then that night we tried a couple more people without luck and then we went to Spanish Group Council. It was a good meeting, it's cool to listen to people discuss ward topics in Spanish and to share your ideas and opinions as well. 

Wednesday- On Wednesday, we went and tried some people in the morning but they weren't home. So we went to Las Palmas which is where our Taco Guy works and we talked to him for a second and this time we gave him a Book of Mormon and showed him Prince of Peace! He was grateful for both and told us to come back and get tacos from him on Friday๐Ÿ˜‹๐ŸŒฎ  After that we went to service at Days for Girls. Then we went to a lesson with Erica and it went okay, she said that she would be at church on Sunday though! After that we had planned to go to Burgatory, a restaurant downtown, but little did we know that there was a Pirates game and a Penguins game going on at the same time. It was a nightmare, we got stuck in traffic and there wasn't any parking anywhere so we couldn't go to Burgatory and I was starving lol. For some reason it tested my patience super bad, I hadn't been that frustrated in a long time ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Eventually we got to a restaurant named Piadas and got to eat but by then we only had 20 minutes until our next lesson so we had to hurry. For that next lesson we went and picked up Brother Reyes as a team up. He thought our new car was pretty sweet haha but we went and taught Manuel and it went really well especially cause we had Brother Reyes with us and Manuel said he would come to church on Sunday! 

Thursday- On Thursday we played basketball in the morning but it definitely lacked some competition with some of the new Elders in the zone๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜… oh well. Then we had District Meeting and it was fine. Definitely not my favorite but everybody does things differently. After that we split up, Elder Halls went with Brother Stoddard and taught Dorothy while Elder Condie and I went and taught a couple less actives, it worked out great haha. And the lesson with Dorothy went super well, she's on to less than half a pack a day with cigarettes๐Ÿ˜ After that, we all hooked back up and ate dinner and then we went and picked up Brother Reyes again. We started by visiting Hugo, a less active that is one of Brother Reye's hometeaching families and luckily he was home. He's super chill, he was a boxer when he was younger and has some cool stories. He said he'd come to church too! After that, Elder Halls and Elder Condie dropped off Brother Reyes and I at Wilburs house to teach him. The lesson went pretty good, it was good for Wilbur to see another Hispanic man with a family who are members of the church. We are still just struggling with helping him understand that he needs to be baptized again by proper authority. He said he would try and be at church this week though. You can guilt anyone into going to church on Easter Sunday haha. Meanwhile, Elder Condie and Elder Halls found a new investigator named Carlos๐Ÿ’ The trio has perks for sure. 
Their new Chevy Malibu that Carter says is "way too nice to be a mission car" 

Friday-
 Friday was good! We started off the day going to the house of some referrals named Matt and Don in our English area. They are a family and our lesson went really well with them, they are the type of people that absolutely love Christian Rock. Haha the dad (Don) looks like Snake from the Simpsons but he has the attitude of Ned Flanders lol it's great. But the son(Matt) has already been to church twice and the Dad is super pumped to read the Book of Mormon so there is a lot of new potential there and they are going to come to church on Sunday๐Ÿ˜‹ another 2 more new investigators ✔️ Then we went and contacted another referral and gave him a Book of Mormon and he said that we could come back and talk to him about it. Then we Weekly planned which took awhile because we have so many investigators right now ๐Ÿ˜‚ we kept making jokes like "dang we need to stop being so obedient because God is giving us too many people, we don't even have time for them all" lol jk I would much rather have this problem than having no one to teach๐Ÿ™† After weekly planning we went to the church and taught Jorge. The lesson went good but the problem is that he wants to finish the Book of Mormon before he makes his decision on Baptism๐Ÿ˜… even though he's already like 99.9% sure that the book is true.. it was kind of frustrating but we are gonna keep working with him. After that we went to Las Palmas and got Tacos for dinner๐ŸŒฎ I tried the carnitas this time and it's my new favorite. Then we got some custard at Ritas๐Ÿฆ Then after that we split up again, we dropped off Elder Condie at ESL class with the senior couple that teaches the class and Elder Halls and I went to go contact some people. The people we went to go try weren't home but we found 2 more new investigators out of it hahaha We tried one of our investigators named Sergio but he wasn't home but there was a Hispanic girl sitting on her porch and we started talking to her and showed her #PrincipeDePaz and she liked it and then we invited her church and set up a time to come back๐Ÿ’ It was funny because her neighbors were these white drunk guys and you could tell that they were trying to make fun of us but then they saw us randomly start speaking Spanish to their neighbors and they shut up lol. Then we went to contact another potential investigator named Barrientos but we accidentally knocked on the wrong door haha but we found this other lady named Rosio and we showed her Prince of Peace as well and she invited us to come back! She said "believe it or not, I actually downloaded the Bible on my phone this last week because I felt like I needed to start reading it." So bam, 2 more new investigators ✔️ 
Apparently the 'best ice cream ever' with lots of protein and not all the calories...?!!!
Also known as "Manna for Missionaries"

Saturday- On Saturday we decided to go for a run in the morning and it was beautiful. The sun was rising over the city at the perfect time and temperature was perfect. We just ran down Grand View Ave. because it's right in front of our apartment and it was sweet.  The rest of Saturday was crap though.. we went on the some lightning visits in the morning and they went pretty good, we were able to get in contact with a few less actives and give them some Easter Sunday guilt about how they need to come at least once this year lol. Then we drove up to North Pitt to the gold mine house but we were too early๐Ÿ˜… the guys we talked too weren't going to get home from work until 5 and we arrived there at like 3. So we talked to a different hispanic kid who lived there but he was in the middle of cleaning and wasn't as interested as the other guys so we just left, it was a bummer but we will go back next week. After that we got stuck in traffic and it was awful and then we finished weekly planning and went to dinner at the Cรกrdenas house which was good. Then we headed downtown for 2 reasons, we were supposed to have a lesson with an investigator named Will in market square but he didn't show. And then afterwards we teamed up with the other Elders in the zone to show the Prince of Peace video on a projector that we had in market square but the cops told us that we couldn't put it up๐Ÿ˜‘ We talked to a lady from the city last week and she said it would be fine as long as we weren't in the way of traffic or anything but the cops said no so it was a bust ๐Ÿ‘ฎ. So we headed back over to southside and contacted a couple more investigators and invited them to church. 

Sunday- Easter!! ๐Ÿ‡ Sunday morning was good! This week I have been studying what the Savior did each day during his last week and it helped me get into the spirit of Easter way better. I also opened my present from Mom๐Ÿ˜‚❤ I have no idea what these spinner things are but I've seen people throughout the city with them. It entertained me during the rest of studies and church though haha. Church was super good! Dorothy came! And Matt, another one of our investigators came. And Janet, the less active, spoke and she absolutely killed it. We were all combined with the English ward today for church and she gave her talk in Spanish and it was so cool and powerful, I was proud. The spirit was strong there. Right after church, Elder Halls got sick so that kinda ended Easter early๐Ÿ˜• We had a dinner appointment with the other Elders from the English ward but Elder Halls wasn't in any condition to go eat dinner so I went home with him and let Elder Condie go to the dinner. Then Elder Halls just slept while I polished my shoes and studied and stuff haha not the best Easter ever but oh well. At least we made it to church. Then the rest of the night we just kind of sat around and hung out. Well that's my week! I hope you guys all had a good Easter☀️ I'll respond to your other emails today! I love and miss you all!

-Elder Nelson