Monday, April 24, 2017

March 6, 2017 - New Area - Downtown Pittsburgh!!

Hey guys!! Thanks for your emails, here's my week!!❤ Okay so first off, I thought my expectations for my next area here in Pittsburgh were a little bit too high once I saw I was getting transferred, but boy was I wrong. THIS PLACE IS SOOO SICK!!! I'll explain things as I go through the week😂 
New apartment downtown Pittsburgh

Cool lounge area in a local hotel the missionaries utilize occasionally 

Where's Waldo (Missionary Version) 

Did you find him yet? 
Monday- On Monday, I finished packing and then we went to Crossfit with Mama Boyd for my last time and then we went to Harrisburg to play some basketball and hang out with the Elders there. After that a couple of the Harrisburg Elders and I went to Sports Clips because we wanted to get haircuts and it was so funny hahaha we walked in and it said $17 for a haircut and one of the Elders and I were freaking out like why is it so expensive for a haircut these days?? And we were just complaining for like 20 minutes straight and the lady in front of us in line was dying laughing so hard lol the Elder and I were saying stuff like "it's supply and demand dude, when people want hair, the prices go up" ðŸ˜‚ it was pretty funny. We eventually just manned up and got our haircut anyways and the lady at the register gave us all coupons! So it was only $5 instead of $17😏 and they did a really good job and the lady that did mine, complimented my hair like 10 different times while she was cutting it hahaha she said "so do your parents have nice thick hair too?" And I was like "yeah they actually do💁" After getting our haircut we went to the Boyd's for my final dinner and it was fun! There was another couple from the ward there and the husband works for Hershey and he gave us some more unreleased chocolate to try. He gave us Mini Reece's with Pieces and Hershey's Gold Edition bars. The mini Reece's with pieces were good and they should come out next month! And the Hershey Gold bar doesn't come out until next December! The gold bar is caramelized chocolate and it has pretzels and peanuts in it, it's way good!! I still have another King Size one but I'm not even aloud to take a picture of it or I could get in a lot of trouble because it hasn't been released to the public haha. I guess some guy in Europe was making chocolate and he let it cook too long and his chocolate turned like a gold color and pretty much caramelized and then he tried it and it was super good so he told Hershey about it as an idea for one of their future products so that's how Hershey's Gold came to be! Anyways, after dinner and candy testing, I said goodbye to the Boyd's and then we went back to the apartment. 

Elder Nelson, Elder Condie, Elder Halls
Tuesday- On Tuesday we woke up and packed up the car and we all headed to State College for transfers! After about 5 1/2 hours of traveling I got to the chapel in Pittsburgh. Elder Ibarra was there and I got to see him again before he went home! It was really good to catch up with him. When we were companion's, he wasn't always my favorite but looking back on it, he was a really good trainer! After that, I hooked up with Elder Condie and Elder Halls(my new companions) and we headed over to the apartment! The apartment is sooo dope🌃!! If you walk outside of the apartment and look to your right, you can see the top of the skyscrapers in downtown. And if you walk like 50 yards, you have the coolest look out view of the whole city! We legit have the best apartment in the mission the location is pristine😍😍 Every single day we drive through the city and tear through the downtown streets and cross the city bridges and it's just awesome. So yeah! The inside of the apartment is super nice too, it feels like a cabin kinda haha I will take a video tour of it and send it home. After we got to the apartment and unpacked and everything we walked out to the car to go to our first lesson and we had a flat tire so we had to fix that😂😂 and I was the only one who could get the lug nuts off😏 so we fixed our tire on the steep Pittsburgh street and then we went to the lesson. The lesson ended up just being more of a visit, it was with a referral named Atta and so we set up a time to come back and see him another day. So this is how our area works, we are the designated Spanish elders so we cover like 4 areas!! If anybody in our zone(which covers downtown and just outside of downtown) finds anybody who speaks Spanish then they refer them over to us and we go and teach them! So that's why we have a car and that's why we cut through downtown all the time and cross the river and bridges all the time and everything. Because our area covers all of the city of Pittsburgh! It's so sick. There are four main sections of Pittsburgh that we cover. First, the downtown area which is pretty nice. Second, the ghetto areas, which aren't as nice but they make you feel like you're actually serving in Pittsburgh haha. Third, the university areas, this includes Pitt University, Duquesne University and Carnegie Melon University. They are located up above downtown and they are really nice and there's a ton of students! They are impressive universities and that's where a big part of the Dark Knight Rises was filmed! You know the building at the end of the movie where Batman and Bane are fighting between those giant pillars?? Well we pass that building when we go to the church everyday!!😋 it's so cool! BTW, the church is located on the University Campus so that's why we are up there a lot. Okay fourth, is the nicer part of Pittsburgh which is just outside of the University Campus's. There are some nicer parts and nice houses up there and they have cool views of the city. Alright back to my day😂 sorry I'm just trying to explain everything because it's all sooo cool! After we contacted that referral, we went to an Elders Quorum activity at the church and got to meet some of the ward! Our ward is pretty much all students that are going to Pitt or Carnegie Melon but there are some families too. We don't get to interact with the English people of the ward a ton because we attend the Spanish branch which meets on the other side of the building. The Elders Quorum activity was fun, we played a couple games and they had some super good food there. After that, we headed back home and went to bed and I was exhausted by the end of that day lol. 

Wednesday- On Wednesday, we went grocery shopping in the morning and then we went and did some finding during the afternoon and contacted some referrals. We go mailbox hunting sometimes which is where we look at people's names on mailboxes and if one of them is spanish then we knock on the door and talk to them😂 it's pretty fun. We got in contact with a couple people and set up a time to come back. Then we went and had to get a new tire at the auto-shop and it straight up took 2 hours for them to put a new tire on. I could've done it faster than that all by myself. So we had to sit there hitting our heads against the wall while we waited, and we couldn't leave because we didn't know when it would be done😅 so that was frustrating. Afterwards, we hooked up with the Pitt Walk Elders and went to our dinner appointment. We got there a little early so we looked for a couple people in the area to try and visit. We were in a pretty ghetto area but we ended up talking to this one guy who was sitting on his porch waiting for his friend or something and he had a "412" hat on. 412 is the area code for Pittsburgh and everybody reps it. It's pretty sick, there's even a billboard on one of the main bridges and all it says is "412" and it has the Pirates logo. Mac Miller and Wiz Khalifa (famous rappers from Pittsburgh) make reference to it in a couple of their songs too. So we talked to him about his 412 hat and then gave him a Book of Mormon😂 People in Pittsburgh love being from Pittsburgh, they have so much city pride it's actually kinda cool. I haven't gone in a house yet where there wasn't a Steelers or Penguins or Pirates poster haha people love Pittsburgh and they love their sports. Sorry I keep getting off topic here because I want to tell you guys about everything haha so we went to dinner, It was with a family named the Taylors and they were way cool! After dinner we went to an appointment with a less active Spanish lady named Janet. She lived on the opposite side of the river so we had to drive through downtown again and it was the coolest drive through downtown that I've done so far! The band, "The Head and the Heart" (they sing Rivers and Roads) were having a concert downtown so everything was lit up and all the bridges were lit up and it was just so cool. Our lesson with Janet went really well too, we shared a message about the power of the Atonement, she has a really strong testimony it's just hard for her to go to the Spanish branch because she works on Sunday's. After that we headed back home through the beautifully lit city, like driving over the bridges with their flashing lights and stuff is so cool I can't even explain it. Then there are like restaurants on the riverside and they have cool lights and stuff too and it feels like you're at the Golden Horseshoe restaurant at Disneyland if that makes sense. (Cobblestone road, lights hung up, next to the water etc.) You know that picture of Pittsburgh at night then I posted forever ago? Well that's exactly what it looks like every night when we drive home. 

Thursday- On Thursday we wake up early in the mornings and play basketball with all the Elders in the area because with the schedule change, we can do that😏 Nothing makes you feel more like a professional athlete than waking up at 6 AM and driving through downtown Pitt to go play one of your favorite sports on a University campus. So we did that and it was a lot of fun, and it's a super good workout for the morning. Afterwards, we went to the Oakland Elders apartment to shower and study and then we all went to District Meeting. All of the elders in our district are super cool, it's a good time. And there's no sisters!! Sister missionaries are great but it's nice to be with just Elders right now lol. District Meeting was good, and then we went to see an investigator named Jim. He's been learning on and off from missionaries for awhile but we walked in and got to know him and then he told us that he had been reading in Moses 6 in the pearl of great price and then he said that he wants to get baptized😱 so the rest of our lesson went well from there! After Jim we went to see a less active named Alba. She is from Columbia and must have a pretty good amount of Money because she lives in a super super nice apartment building that overlooks the city💁 She likes when we visit but she doesn't really want to come back to church so it makes it frustrating. Then we went to some Spanish restaurants throughout the city and put up posters for the ESL class here. After that tried some more people then went to dinner with the Reyes family. They are from Mexico and are semi-recent converts. They are preparing to go to this temple this next month so we are working with them. They have 4 young kids and are like the perfect Mexican family, and they fed us authentic Mexican food ðŸ˜and I guess they feed us every week and then we share a message with them and I already love them haha. After dinner and our spiritual message we went and taught some investigators named Jessica and Wilbur. We got their teenage son to sit in on the lesson too and that was huge for us but we taught them the Plan of Salvation and then invited them to church. They can't go this week but they are planning on next week! 

Friday- On Friday we taught an investigator named Daniel in the morning! He is from Guatemala and is pretty cool, we taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then I extended the baptism invitation and he said yes! He needs to get work off on Sunday's though, it's a common problem among the hispanics here in Pittsburgh because of the type of work that they have. Then we tried to see a couple more people near the church. It's pretty cool to work there because you're just driving around a beautiful university all day and there's always stuff going on. There's a huge street that goes down the middle of the university in uptown not too far from the church and it's called "5th Ave" and it's the street that Mac Miller (the rapper) makes reference to in his song called "Party on 5th Ave" !! How cool is that! Because there always is a party on 5th Ave😏 We also tried a couple people in an area called Squirrel Hill and that's where Mac Miller actually grew up and we drove passed "Blue Slide Park" and that's the name of one of his popular albums! I'm going to take a picture of me actually on the blue slide next week haha. I'm sorry you guys probably don't care about any of this really but I think it's pretty cool. After trying some people there, we went and did our Weekly Planning at the church so that we wouldn't have to drive back home. Then we had a recent convert named Raymond meet us at the church and we had a lesson with him about using the Atonement during trials. It was good, he's a really solid guy and a strong addition to the Spanish branch. He also told us that his mom from Peru is coming to live with him and he is going to have us teach her! So we are excited about that😋 After all of that we didn't have a dinner appointment so we went to this famous Pittsburgh burger place called Peppi's. It's a greasy hole in the wall but it's so freakin good😍 I got what's called the "Roethlisburger" (yes like the Steelers QB😂) and it was amazing !! Not healthy at all but luckily I skipped lunch because I knew we were going there lol. After that we tried contacting a few more people and then we went home. 

Saturday- On Saturday's we play basketball again with all the Elders so we woke up at 6 and went over and did that and it was good! Then we showered at the other Elders apartment again and did studies and then went to our Coordination meeting with our ward mission leader. After the meeting we went and did service for these members of the ward who bought an old church and they are turning into a stage arts theatre ðŸŽ­ so we unloaded 2 giant trailer loads of stuff and 3 full pallets of 80 lbs cement bags. ðŸ˜… luckily, all 7 of the missionaries in the area were there to help as well as some members of the Elders Quorum so it wasn't too bad. Afterwards, we changed super fast and went to an appointment with an investigator named Erika. We had a good conversation//lesson with her and then invited her to church and she said she would be able too next week. Then we rushed to our dinner appointment at a Mexican Restaurant called Cabos. The member who met us there just showed up to pay for our meal and then he left😂 it was kind of weird but it was nice of him!! Then we finally went home and got ready for Sunday. We straight up leave our apartment at 6 AM and don't get home until 9 PM ðŸ˜… we are nomads ðŸ˜‚😂 The Zone Perfect bars that mom sends me have definitely come in handy lately hahaha 

Sunday- On Sunday we woke up and chilled because we didn't have to do anything with it being fast Sunday and then we went to church. Church was definitely a different experience in the Spanish branch but I really liked it. I had to bless the sacrament and Elder Condie had to lead the music and Elder Halls had to play the piano. It was super cool to hear people bear their testimonies in Spanish. After church we tried some more people and then we went to our dinner appointment with a family named the Fords and they made us a good dinner! They had some crazy kids though😅 and it's hard to have a pleasant dinner with crazy kids ðŸ˜‚. Then we went and found like 3 new investigators after church! We were on a roll and we invited them all to ESL class tomorrow and they said they would come and we told them to invite their friends as well. It was pretty sick. The trio has been doing work! I'm excited about this area, it's doing well right now and I haven't even met all of the investigators yet! BTW my new companion's are great too, Elder Halls is the one who has been here a transfer longer than us and he just got done being AP and his Spanish is amazing and at this point his spanish is the best in the mission because we don't have any native speakers left🙆 He's a really cool guy! Then Elder Condie was my companion in the MTC and he's just hilarious and is always ready to work hard so he's good too! I rambled quite a bit in this email but that was my week more or less😂 Well don't get me wrong, it's still hard out here, it will never be easy. But it was definitely a cool week! thank you guys for your emails! I will respond to them when I get a chance!❤❤ I love and miss you guys tons💕

-Elder Nelson

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