Monday, April 24, 2017

February 27, 2017 - Last week in Lebanon

Hey guys thanks for your emails, here's my week!!  

Monday- Monday was actually a lot of fun! We started the day grocery shopping but I didn't really buy anything except some fruit because I was skeptical about transfers haha then we went with the sisters to the Hershey Outlets for the President's Day sale. I didn't need anything but Elder Hansen wanted to look around. So we went there and then afterwards we drove over to Harrisburg. The weather was super warm again!! So we all met at a park in Harrisburg and played a big game of Ultimate Frisbee and Football  Then we headed over to the Zone Leaders apartment and we started our exchange. So I stayed in Harrisburg with one of the ZL's and Elder Hansen went back to Lebanon with the other ZL. The other set of Elders in Harrisburg have an apartment next door to the Zone Leaders so it's always a party in Harrisburg hahaha. So that night we all went to a members house in Harrisburg for dinner and it was fun. Then afterwards we went to teach a man named Danny who is a little bit older and he is quite the character. He absolutely loves U.S. Presidents and learning everything about them. So with it being President's Day, I was in for quite the treat    jk it wasn't too bad. He just told me what every single President's favorite food was while they were in office and then we were able to start the lesson. After that we headed back to the apartment and played some ping pong then went to bed. 

Tuesday- Tuesday was also spent in Harrisburg and the morning was kind of a bust. We woke up and had studies and then we went to go try and see a bunch of people in a super ghetto part of town called Steelton. But none of them were home, like we literally didn't make contact with any of them. The missionary I was with was Elder Swisher and you could tell he felt bad that this was my experience in his area in Harrisburg but I told him that I know how those days are and not to worry about it  After a long morning of driving around and not having much success we had some lunch and then we went to do service for this old lady. She was getting moved into an Assisted Living apartment complex so we were helping her move all of her stuff over. She was extremely overwhelmed because all of her stuff wasn't going to fit into her new home and she was going to have to auction a lot of it off. I can understand her dilemma but we helped her and tried our best to comfort her. After that we picked up the other set of Elders and we all went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner because we didn't have a dinner appointment  I was smart enough not to eat anything for lunch so it made BWW that much better and I had a gift card (Thanks Kam ). After dinner went to do more service at this bike shop in a super ghetto part of town. It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen!! This old guy owns the shop and he just fixes up tons of these old bikes and gives them to kids for free. But the shop looks like it was taken straight out of Rio De Janeiro Brazil and dropped off in the middle of Harrisburg, PA. It was seriously so sick, I honestly felt like I was in a scene from the movie Rio  I had to remind myself that I wasn't in Brazil several times. So we just fixed up some breaks and put some new tires on bikes and stuff. Then once we were done at the bike shop, we headed over to the church for Elders Quorum basketball. I guess they go play with them every Tuesday night, so I lucked out and got BWW, Bike Shop and Basketball all in the same night  Then we got some milkshakes on the way home and went to bed haha it was a fun evening. 

Wednesday- On Wednesday we woke up and I felt like crap because of the Cinnabon Milkshake I had gotten the night before but no regrets because it was delicious   I just usually don't eat that many sweets so when I do, my body has no idea what to do lol. Anyways, we headed back over to Lebanon that morning for our District Meeting and so that we could exchange back with our companions. District Meeting went well! The Zone Leaders gave a training and then they left after our meeting but my lesson went good and it was probably the last one I'll give here in the Hershey District 🤷‍♀️ After District Meeting, Elder Hansen caught me up on his couple days in Lebanon without me being there and then we headed over to do puzzles. But at puzzles the saddest thing happened, we walked in the door and the office lady said that they took Sister Wike(main puzzle lady) to the Hospital that morning because she had fallen.   So we hung out there for a second and talked to a couple of the other puzzle ladies and they all expressed concern. Over the last week they were working on the St. George puzzle that Kam sent me and they pretty much finished it all but they left the temple right in the middle for me to finish myself so that was pretty cool. After that we called the Bishop and the Relief Society President and notified them that Sister Wike was in the hospital. Then we went to our lesson with Modesto, I took him and Jose one of Dad's cookies and they loved them! Hahaha so Dad Ellos me dijeron "digale ¡Bien Hecho!!" After that we read Ether 12 with him. He said he wanted to learn more about faith and we had already read Alma 32 with him so I chose Ether 12 and it went really well! He started tearing up while he was reading it and he said that he knew it was true. After our lesson with Modesto we went to dinner at the Fischer's house and they had a sandwich bar and it was super good and then we all went to Book of Mormon class. Right after that they had Elders Quorum basketball in the gym and they had asked us earlier in the day if we would go and play so we gladly accepted that invitation. 

Thursday- On Thursday we did service for Brother Alva all morning and then he made us steaks for lunch  They were sooo good. He made them because it was my last time so that was nice of him. After service we teamed up with the Bishops son to go see some people and we taught a couple lessons and then we went to the church to help Mama Boyd set up for the Blue & Gold banquet the next day. She brought us dinner there and then we went home afterwards. 

Friday- On Friday we had a couple appointments in the morning but they fell through. It was a beautiful day (Sunny, 70, Breeze) so we walked up to see Sister Kuhnert. We shared a good message with her and if she goes to church this Sunday she will officially be re-activated! I told her it was probably my last time visiting her and she got really sad and then hugged me haha but it was good motivation because then she went to church on Sunday so she could see me again! And now she's active  After Sister Kuhnert, we called Harry because we haven't been able to meet with him and we pretty much just had a lesson over the phone and then we went to find some other people and we taught Lloyd. It was actually a really spiritual lesson//message and usually with Lloyd it's not but he opened up and shared some cool experiences regarding the scriptures we read with him. After that we actually found this one guy named Brother Hernandez! We try his house usually about 2-3 times a week but this time he answered. He is Spanish speaking so all the members of the ward send us to go try and find the Hernandez family. But we had a good conversation with him and he talked about how he loves the church and the beliefs and standards that it has in such a crazy world and I was just like uhhh then why don't you and your family come?? Haha but that's hispanics for ya. They all claim the Mormon church as their own and tell everyone else to join wether they themselves go or not. I can understand how it's hard to go to church when you and your family speak Spanish and pretty much everyone else at the church only speaks English but we got a return appointment with him to share a message with his family for the following week. After that we went to a Mexican store downtown and bought our own beans and rice to make for dinner because I have been craving Durangos but I'm in PA  but our dinner turned out super good  some of the best rice I've ever had so it was good. After dinner we went back out to try and see some more people but no one was home. While we were walking we heard 3 gun shots go off not too far away from us so we like paused for a second and looked at each other and then we just kept walking  I felt safe enough lol. 

Saturday- On Saturday, we had a lesson with our investigators Kintin and Sylvia in the morning and it went good! We taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ and talked more about baptism. It's fun teaching the normal missionary lessons in Spanish because that's what I learned how to do in the MTC. Anyways, after that we tried a couple more people but no one answered so we had some lunch. Then we headed over to the library to do some family history study because our Mission President has encouraged us to do so. On the way to the Library the darkest storm ever started to roll in but we got there before it started raining. Once we got to the library it started pouring rain and hailing too. Then like 10 minutes later everybody's phone went off because of a tornado warning  I guess there was a tornado in the area and it was heading towards Lebanon. So the main librarian guy stood up and was like "uhhh so I guess there's a tornado near by and we don't have a storm cellar so you can take cover in the bathroom if you want" We just kept working on the computers and a tornado never came but it was the loudest storm I've ever heard and the rain was insane. It lasted about 2 hours or so. I just read the life story of my great grandpa Max Nelson and then found out what famous people I'm distantly related too. I found connections to John Wayne, Walt Disney, Elvis Presley and Carrie Fisher. All of which were through Mom's (Cook) side of the family. After the storm ended we headed back home and planned a little bit until transfer boards came out. I was pretty nervous but I'm getting transferred to Pittsburgh!! I will be serving in the Pitt 7th Spanish branch which basically covers right down town!! I'm super excited! I hear that it's the coolest apartment in the mission and it over looks downtown Pittsburgh from Mount Washington. I knew about this area before and it ends up being every Spanish speakers favorite area so it was on my bucket list so I am excited to serve there! I will be in a trio companionship with Elder Halls(the previous AP) and Elder Condie my MTC companion!! It's gonna be so sick. It's a drive area so I will have a car and I guess we have to drive all over and we cut through downtown all the time because the Spanish speakers live on all different sides of the river. I also hear that the Spanish members feed you all the time and it's authentic Mexican food so I'm excited for that as well  It will be a good change for sure. After freakin out about transfers, we went to dinner at a members house and then tried to see one of his home teaching families with him but they weren't home. 

Sunday- We had Ward council in the morning and I tried to make Elder Hansen do all of the talking and kind of take over because I knew I was leaving at this point but I still had to step in and say some stuff  Church was good, many of the members and the Bishobric came up and thanked me for my service in the Lebanon area. Sister Simonsen, one of the Palmyra sisters who has been here as long as me is also getting transferred so several people came and talked to us when they heard that we were leaving. After church I started to pack my things and gather my stuff. It turns out that I'm a super good packer and everything fits and I even had room for my mini basketball hoop  After that we went to wish Modesto a Happy Birthday and so that I could say goodbye to him. So we sang to him and he gave me a Puerto Rican shot glass as a going away gift lol. Then the sisters called us and asked me if I could go see a less active lady that they visit. It's the older lady in a wheelchair that called me "the good looking one." She wanted to see me again before I leave even though I've only seen her like twice the whole time I've been here haha so we went over to her house and I walked in and I just said "What's going on!?" Then her face got all red and she was like "mmm hiii" It was almost like she was star struck so it made me feel pretty cool. Then I went and packed some more and then we went to our dinner appointment at the Franklins house and they made us breakfast burritos and cinnamon rolls Their sons always make me sit on the bench with them so that they can both sit by me lol. After dinner we went to Don's house to say goodbye to him. (the sisters investigator who is getting baptized next week) He is the one who I gave the blessing to. I guess that blessing still has a big impact on him and he still remembers it clearly and he said a couple lines from it that I don't even remember so it was pretty cool. But he has been able to quit smoking since then so he is getting baptized next week!  After that we went to the Fischer's house for our finally goodbye. They were having a birthday party for their little girls and it was Frozen themed and they went all out I was actually really impressed. But we said goodbye to them and thanked them for all that they have done for us. It was hard to say goodbye to them, especially because Sister Fischer is really sick but I trust that God will take care of them. Then I just packed the rest of the night. So yeah I'm headed to Pittsburgh on Tuesday morning!! I will send my new address as soon as I get it. I'm sad to leave but I'm excited for the change!! Anyways I love and miss you all and I will respond to your emails throughout the day but I will be kind of busy so I apologize in advance haha I love you!!  

-Elder Nelson

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