Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Welcome Home!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
2:40 pm Delta Flight 4898 from Salt Lake City to Idaho Falls was right on time!
Mom gets the first hug...of course!!!Our countdown chain finally came to an end.The faithful dogs still remembered him! Ah! an ice-cold American rootbeer waiting...First family dinner
Texas Road House in Idaho Falls Nelson golf-foursome
Jentry, me, Grandpa & Dad

Ah! Summertime...driving the boat
fun with friends and the fam at Lagoon
mission friends reunite....
Sean, Robert, Eric & Jaren
dinner at Sean's in Sandy, Utah
Well, as you can imagine the home coming was spectacular. We could hardly wait til he came through the airport doors. Thank-you for your love and support and for coming to his blog and taking this wonderful journey with us the past 2 years. We are so thankful for his opportunity to serve, for his mission presidents, companions and the wonderful Chilean people, but especially for his safe return.
Love Always,
The Nelson's

Saturday, August 14, 2010


well the time has come to write the last letter home. i don't know what to say about these past two years. they have gone by really fast but at the same time its been long enough to forget really what went on before the mission. Thanks for coming to my blog the past couple of years and sharing my mission experience with me.....
This week has been a good one for me. We had a Family Home Evening with the Parada family and they invited some of their neighbors to come and participate. We had decided earlier to do a lesson on prayer and to make "prayer rocks" to help remind us to say our prayers. There were no good rocks to be found in our area that would be paint-able so we went to the nearest little neighborhood shop and bought 14 potatoes to wash and paint (and later on, to eat). It was a really fun activity and was entertaining to see the daughter of the neighbor completely soak her potato in orange paint.
What can you expect from a three year old and a tube of paint? At the end of the family home evening, Claudia, the neighbor, asked us what she had to do so that we could go to her house to teach her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We set an appointment for Friday and went with Sister Parada. It was a special lesson that we shared and Claudia expressed her desire to have a change in her life and in her family. She wants more peace and love. After teaching the lesson, she was excited to set a time for her family to hear us as well. We are going back on Tuesday.
This week we had interviews with President and Sister Gillespie. As we were walking down from our pension to catch the bus they drove right by us and pulled over to give us a ride. While waiting for the light to change to cross the road, i was looking at their van to see where they had pulled off of the road when all of the sudden a bus mirror flies by a few inches from my face. It scared me and i jumped back but man that would have been bad. Hermana Gillespie saw it and asked if the bus had almost hit me. my interview was basically a "how ya doin....talk to you in two weeks for you final interview" chat.
Yesterday I was asked to give a talk in church 20 minutes before the meeting started. It was easy because it was on missionary work. I feel so much more comfortable speaking in Spanish though instead of English. I am working on my homecoming talk and while practicing it, its hard to deliver a good message without sounding like a dork. I received a phone call from the mission office this week informing me that my final interview with President Gillespie is on Sunday evening at 7:30pm.

District BBQ on Monday: elders nelson, owen, saldivar, and pitcher and hermanas russell and argueta

My Testimony
Being my last week in the mission and the last letter home, I would like to leave you with my testimony of the truthfulness of this work that has engulfed my life for these past two years. Being able to study and teach the Gospel of our Savior, Jesus Christ has helped me to understand its purpose and how it really helps us to be happier in all aspects and times of our life (on this side of the veil and on the other). It is not a complex scheme but is a perfect plan that our Father in Heaven has created for us to fulfill his desires for us, that is to have immortality and eternal life. The Gospel is beautifully simple and simply beautiful. It is based on the principle of obedience. When we obey, we are blessed. When we disobey, we are not. I have a grown love for the living prophets and apostles on the earth today. I see the time to hear and listen and learn from them as a great opportunity for they are God's mouthpieces here on the earth today. What a blessing. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and truly leads all mankind closer to God if they will read and apply its teachings. I have seen that promise fulfilled in my life and see its effects everyday. I know that this is the only true church on the face of the earth and that the authority to act in God's name is within that organization. Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Without Him, the perfect plan would have no affect on us. He paid the price for my sins. I must follow him to be cleansed. I have grown to understand the power and importance of prayer and fasting and know that they are blessings in my life. I know that God has given me a family to help me know the name of Christ and to help me to prepare myself for when I also am given a family to raise and teach. My time in Chile has helped me gain a love and respect for many people who also have helped me strengthen my beliefs and testimony.
Thank you to all who have helped make this experience in my life such a special and life changing one. From now on in my life it will be a "before the mission" or "after the mission" way to remember things. It is truly a marker in my life.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. -Elder Jaren E. Nelson

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


last night i learned how to make cheese empanadas.....get ready to eat when i come home haha....here are pics
Antonia Parada helps meAntonia & Elder Saldivar Lita Parada our teacher....
Carlos is already a pro Look what I made!
hey family how are things going? things are going really well for us here in Los Aromos. It is now August and the weather shows it. Its cold and rains often now. We had a really good week that finished with 5 people coming to church. All of the Gonzalez Vega family came except the dad as well as another lady in the ward and a friend that the Parada Family invited. We are teaching Margarita Vega and she accepted a baptismal date for the 28th of August. We are really excited about that. She is going to be the way to help her family accept the Gospel. She loves participating in things and is anxiously waiting for tomorrow afternoon to be able to go to relief society.
Cleaning rust off of a fence for Hermana Zamora
This week we had the opportunity of doing service. We helped install a few cabinets in a house and also helped a lady prepare ground for planting corn. The funnest service was scraping rust off a fence for a lady in our ward. We used power tools so it was easy.
There are many families excited to do family home evenings with their neighbors and after a special fast and testimony meeting yesterday, many came up to us to tell us they were going to be giving us a call during the week to set something up.
Something funny that happened yesterday was during the closing hymn in sacrament meeting. we have a lady who can barely see and who is really old that conducts the music and I was playing. The closing hymn was Called to Serve and the introduction is a little different. It goes right into the song but the sister conducting didn't catch that at all so i started the song and nobody was singing so i went into the intro again. finishing the intro this time i put more emphasize on the triplet but again nobody caught it....the third time around people finally got it but it made me look dumb in front of people who don't understand music as they thought i didn't know how to play the introduction......haha
well we are hanging in there with everything still and getting things going here again. We have a really important week ahead of us. have a great week everyone! love you elder nelson

Arriving home at our pension a spider that literally made me shout as i was organizing my suitcase it was inside on the first aid kit that i picked up....it died a painful, chemical death..... villa hermosa from the end of canal chacao

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Zaida goes to the Temple and The "Bell-Lap"

Zaida's baptism one year ago
Zaida goes to the Temple - July 24, 2010
Santiago, Chile Temple
We had a special notice on Friday night around 10:30 that my convert from Estero Viejo in El Belloto was going to the temple with the ward and we were invited to go with them. It was a really special experience to be able to go to the temple again and be able to see one of the people I found there as well. Zaida told me that she hasnt missed going to church since she was baptized and that it was the third time that she had gone to the temple. Before she had gone alone to do baptisms in the temple. It was awesome to be able to see her progress. The bishop, Hno. Muñoz, and his family also went and it was fun to be able to catch up with them. Hma. Muñoz was the person who accompanied Zaida through the temple. We ran into other friends while at the temple.
Pablo and Hermano Miranda from Limarí
Hermana Honores
(my first mamita in the mission when I was in Limarí)
For lunch, Elder Saldivar and I went to a grocery store to find an ATM and ran into some elders from the Santiago East mission who were shopping for groceries. We asked them if they knew where any american restaurants were close by. They told us that about 10 minutes away there was a McDonald's and a Pizza Hut. We went to both :) haha. It was the first time that I had had McDonald's in almost 2 years...since before I started the mission. It was so good!!!
Last Tuesday, we started a mini mission with some of the priests from the stake of Quilpué. I was assigned to be with a 17 year old from the ward of Quilpué Centro named Gabriel Ortiz. We got along really well and had a good time working together. There was another who went with my companion, Elder Saldivar, so that made four of us in the same pension. We were able to get more done with both companionships working the our branch. The mini mission ended on Thursday in the evening. During our time, Gabriel memorized "Our Purpose" as a missionary and helped teach principles of lessons and talked with a bunch of people in the street and in their houses.
mini mission. my comp Gabriel Ortiz
from the quilpué centro ward
me, Gabriel, Alvaro from Marga Marga & Saldivar
On Friday, we had my last mission conference. It was really weird to be the group to give the going home testimonies. There were so many of us (22) that they had to split us up into three groups throughout the conference to give our testimonies so that it wasnt an hour straight of listening to testimonies. I was the last one to go in the second group. We were asked to share a two minute experience that "tipifies" our mission and then share our testimony for another minute. Turns out that out of all 22 of us, I was the only one that got emotional during my experience and testimony. It started right off the bat too. I decided to talk about the logo of the mission that says "convertir familias" or convert families and how wonderful it is to see a man kneel down with his wife and children to ask God for the first time in their lives to bless their family and to help them to know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored. That has been the biggest blessing that I have seen during my mission and was able to see it a lot with the Urrutia Family. I know that the mission has helped me to know what I want for my family and even more, I now know how to get it through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was interesting to hear in the conference that the structure of the mission will be changing. There will no longer be conferences every month and interviews every change (6 weeks) but both will occur every 3 months. We were also the last group of missionaries that are going to be able to give a going home testimony. There is also a new way of teaching that will be starting in May 2011 that will help missionaries teach to the needs of the people. We are starting it now to be able to be ready and used to the system for when the new missionaries come in from the MTC next spring. We were also given new cell phones that allow all of us to be able to call investigators and members of the ward as well as other missionaries. In the past only the zone leaders had their phones open to call other people that werent missionaries. That will be so nice now in Los Aromos. It was hard for me to get used to not having a phone to call people when I got here. After the conference was over, President called those who were leaving into a room and asked us if we knew what happened in the last lap of a race, or what the lap was called. Someone said, "bell-lap." President Gillespie then talked about how the runners in the race run even faster when they hear the bell because they know that the race is coming to a close. As he said that, he pulled out from his suit pocket a little bag full of little bells. He told us that we were now in our own "bell-lap" and that now was the time to "run faster" than we have so that we finish "the race" strong. I have the bell attached to my backpack to let me remember that message every step I take. All of my mission companions still in Chile
(except Davila & Miranda who are in the North) Saldivar, Tensmeyer, Allenbach, Millar & Watkins

Yesterday, (Sunday), we had lunch with the Parada Family. They made a whole bunch of grilled chicken that was really good. On Monday night, the grandma, who when I first got here was kind of against us and isnt a member of the church, asked us for a health blessing and told my companion during a family home evening that he had with them during the mini mission that the only reason that she has for why she doesnt get baptized is because she cant stop smoking. In the afternoon we went to Marga Marga, where Elder Owen and Elder Pitcher are, to do a baptismal interview.
It turned out to be a really busy week and we were able to see progress in the branch. The Gonzalez Vega family is all better now and the mom and youngest daughter came to church yesterday and they signed up to give us lunch on Tuesday and then have a lesson in the evening. The mom asked us to forgive them for not being able to see us for the past month but that they were going to "ponerse las pilas" and have us come over more often now. Thank you to those of you who have had this family in your prayers. :)
Well that is about it for this week. Have a great week and talk to you all in August (next week).
Chao-- Elder Jaren E. Nelson

Monday, July 19, 2010

Winter in Chile and my last mission conference

Elders David, Diaz, Pleytéz, Saldivar, me, Owen

hey family how are things going? this week was a good week and we were able to accomplish a few more things than the week before. This weekend we did interchanges with the zone leaders, Elder Owen and Elder Pitcher. I went with Elder Owen and we stayed in Los Aromos. We had a lot of success on Saturday. We were able to find a few new people to teach. We ate lunch with our branch president, President Nuñez. On sunday, we had a special stake conference in Quilpué and Elder Nuñez, and area 70 came and spoke to us. He spoke for about 45 minutes on traditions that need to be changed in the church....and especially in the stake of Quilpué. He talked about how the Bishop is in charge firstly, of the youth. for adults, they should first go to the elders quorum pres, high priest group leader, or the relief society president. he also spoke about the importance of serving others and looking for oportunities to do so. callings in the church at some point come to an end and by releasing someone, was it for doing a great job and moving aside for someone else to learn, or was it so that someone else would do the job that was supposed to get done. He spoke on the importance of the mother and of his own mother in his life. In the evening, we had a family home evening with the Erices family. They had invited their inlaws to join us. We talked about the blessing it is to have on prophet on the earth today. This week will be full of activities. We are going to do a mini mission with some youth from the stake. We are going to be their companions for 2 days. On friday we are going to have my last mission conference. It is going to be with all of the south......22 of us will be giving our final testimonies.....The weather here is just flat out cold. It has been down to 46 degrees inside our house when i wake up in the morning. luckily i stay nice and warm at night haha.well have a great week everyone and have an awesome PIONEER DAY!!!!!! Happy birthday mom!!!!!!!! have a great one! love you all love,elder nelson

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Going Home Instructions

Elder Owen presents me with my going home instructions.
Lots of mixed feelings.
Pia Parada turns 4! Happy Birthday Pia!A bad windstorm blows
this chain onto power lines-
hey everyone howa are things going?
this was a pretty slow week but we are getting things coordinated with the branch to do more family home evenings this week. On tuesday, we had a crazy rain and wind storm that lasted about all day. one funny thing was we decided to visit an older lady in the ward that we did service for once last change. we never go by her house and felt that we should go by around 12:30 in the afternoon. as we got there she opened the door and told us to come in, getting out of the rain and wind that was steadily increasing. As we entered the house, we noticed that she had to places set at the table for us to eat. I looked at my companion with a confused look on my face and noticed that he was giving me the same look of confusion. Hermana Teresa then told us that she was expecting us for lunch that day. According to her, on sunday, she had spoken with the sister in charge of our lunch schedule and told her that she was going to give lunch to the missionaries on the 6th. we didnt know what to do because we had lunch planned with another family at 1:30. Hermana Teresa told us to sit down so we did but we told her that we were both getting over colds and could only eat smaller portions (yes, we were both getting over colds at the time). Turns out that she had stopped giving lunch to the missionaries awhile ago but decided to sign up again. Luckliy for us, while in her house, the rain and wind was so strong that we couldnt even hear Hernana Teresa talking to us. We were glad to be indoors during that part of the storm. We felt bad that the hermana had gone to all that trouble to make us a nice lunch but at the same time we were grateful that we went by her house to see how she was doing. It would have really hurt her feelings if we hadnt shown up to eat. She is 85 and her memory isnt really in top shape anymore. It was rough trying to down the second lunch an hour later but we both succeeded in doing so. We didnt want to even see or think of food afterwards though...haha it was a funny experience i should say...
tomorrow, july 13, i hit 23 months in the mission. wow. this week we had a really spiritual lesson on the sacrament with an older lady. It really strengthened my testimony about the importance of going to church every week to renew our covanant that we made with Him. I received my going home envelope that requires me to make a 5 year plan for my life. one of the categories is "la búsqueda" or the search (for that special someone) haha. there are 5 time boxes: 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years. in the search, the boxes with 3 and 5 years are crossed out haha....i also need to write a final letter to President Gillespie explaining what the most gratifying thing about serving a mission has been for me. we are visiting different organizations each week in church. last week we visited the relief society and shared a scripture with them about the importance of the mother and thanked them for all that they did for us. yesterday we sang the mission hymn in the priesthood opening. well the gonzalez family is still sick but it looks like and we are praying that we will be able to teach them this week sometime. it really is a patience tester for me but with lots of faith and prayers, we will be able to prepare the family without even teaching them. Well everyone have a great week.
chaíto-- Elder Jaren E. Nelson