Monday, February 28, 2011

Feb 28, 2011: Eric's Letter to Mom

Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2011 12:02:09 -0500
Subject: Re: Hello!!!
From: Eric Nelson
To: Lisa Nelson (Mom)

hey mom!!! :) its so great to hear from u guys! i dont have much time left! i wrote a ton 2 josh! but im in a city called Marietta, Georgia! :) its just northwest of ATL like 30 or so miles! but were up in the north part of the mission! :) awesome! im excited to get ur guys letter! i should get it soon! my comp is great! his name is elder fisher! hes been out for 6 months, oh ya, the whole aea im in right now is all bike hahah! no car! and the humidity is kicking in! but we had a great week last week! we had 6 investigators at church! 56 contacts this week! 9 less actives at church! taught 20 total lessons! and 5 momber present lessons! we have 5 new investigators! and 1 guy named turner with a baptisimal date! for march 26th! we set that like 2 days ago! and he wants ur to go back and teach his family! (wife, and 3 kids) this week! :) and a guy named mark jones or m.j. hahaha is an investigator of ours and we met him street contacting in the projects on last wed! my first day! anyways he made it to church on sunday and cried! we taught the lesson in sunday school and cried cause he felt the spirit! he wants us to come back this week and teach him and he said he wantsa to go to church next week! :) awesome people here! the hospitality is amazing! im only gonna have a few minutes to write back to kevin, call him and tell him ill write a letter to him, and just 2 respond to my letter by email okay? :) thanks so much! GA is awesome! i sent josh some pics! have him send em 2 u guys! :) and have shaun put them on facebook if u would! :) thats be way cool! but im doing great! the humidity id starting to set in right now and the all bike area just makes it hotter ahhahah! u litterally die everyday! hahha :) but
my address is:

Elder Eric Nelson
485 Goose Ridge Drive SW
Marietta, GA 30064

thank you guys so much for everything uve done for me! i love u guys soooooo much! take care! and ill write u guys when i get the letter! :)
Elder Nelson

Monday, February 21, 2011

Feb 21, 2011: Eric's Letter to Kevin

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Eric Nelson
Date: Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 11:03 AM
Subject: Re: Hey Bro!
To: Kevin Nelson

Brochancho! thanks for all the advice and everything! ima meet my Trainer on Wed! im flying out tomorrow! i need 2 be at the travel offices at 400am! and our plane leaves at like 7am! but if i have time i will try to call u and mom and dad! i dont know, my branch pres said theres no rule for or against calling home, and its up to the missionaries! so if i feel like i should tomorrow morning i will, ima try 2 place t BOM before i get in the plane, or on the plane, before i land! haha ima try! We hit the Provo temple for the last time today! it was way sweet! tons of symbolism! :) hahahah i remember u said u recorded a crappy journal for the first little bit of ur mission! and i remembered that and everynight i thinkl of that when im writting, a funny thing i encluded in there was me and another guy from my district loaded up on the OJ and we had a health and safety meeting last week, i recorded in percise details on how he waited for the best awkward silence and let it go! hahahhaha every bust into laughs! im sure his G's will never be the same! hahahah! even the speaker heard it i think and he started to laugh hahahah! :) then when the prayer rolled around, everyone was still laughing! hahaha! i wrote that in a few days ago! and everyday i write about a miracle i witnessed that day and the spiritual things, so when i look back into it i can remember all the spiritual times! :) ive noticed myself sometimes fall into that, or say the same sorta thing when im breaking down a point, but as soon as i noticed that i changed it and every lesson since ive always made dif points on each point of the gospel relating to the individuals needs! way awesome dude! I have 3 teachers here at the MTC, all RMs of like 10 months and they make us practice listening for the spirit and going off that alot! its way sweet! like theyve taught me sooooooooooooooooo much! i was looking through my journal the other day and saw the dif between spiritual experiences! just way excited to get out into the field and grow even more!!! :) I will keep that in mind man! i will make sure 2 treat my trainer like the man! ill give him props! i cant wait to learn from him! :) ive been praying the past few times in the temple for a good comp to teach me how 2 work hard! :) Joto-qualls! i gotta run! my times gonna expire! next week i have an hour! and ill be in ATL! :) china mans nipple! Adios!

Elder Nelson

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Feb 16, 2011: Letter from Shaun to Eric

Aloha Elder Nelson,

How's it going for you there man? Sorry it's taken me a week or so to get back with you since your last letter (that came on my birthday :)! I turned 25 freaking years old, it's the oldest I've ever felt while having a birthday, haha, seriously...when I woke up that morning I actually felt the pains of being 25. It was bad news bears for sure.

So Kevin forwarded an email recently of you & your comp setting a date with an investigator. What do they do, to they invite non-members into the teaching room areas so you can teach them or what? I remember when we did our teaching, we practiced on senior volunteer missionaries from Provo and they were already members, it was kind of a waste! haha, that's cool you're actually doing "real" teaching these first couple weeks! That's cool you've been so powerful in teaching so far! Just keep it coming straight from the heart man, you're doing awesome!

I miss the old days of only worrying about others, it seriously feels like all I do is wind myself up tighter & tighter everyday with things focused on me and my success (in school, etc.), it's kind of crazy how different when life is when you're serving and when you're not serving full-time. I guess there's a time & a place for each but I miss those days of being worry free, only worrying about things day - to - day and about others. When you get to the field I think you'll understand what I'm talking about.

My first couple of days in the field (Iowa) were a foreign concept to me. I'm going to tell you what basically goes on so it doesn't seem like a complete whirlwind. So, you'll leave the MTC in a huge Charter Bus that'll be full of Elders/Sisters from your mission (even the Spanish elders entering your area, most likely). You'll head up to the SLC airport really early in the morning like at 3 or's kind of crazy. Anyways, you'll hop on board and head to the ATL. I just googled it and it says it takes like 3.5 - 4 hours, depending on wind conditions. So you get there to the ATL airport, since that airport is huge it'll be crazier. But you'll probably get your bags and the Mission Pres, his Wife, and usually the Assistants (APs) will be there in a huge child molester van to pick up your gear. Usually the Pres and his wife drive in a pimped out toyota, just a heads up! :p

So they'll probably take a couple pictures with you guys and then you'll head back to the mission home (where the president lives). When you get there you'll probably unbunk if you're going to be staying there for the night. You'll probably have a big lunch and then the President will basically take each of you aside and interview you. He'll basically ask you to tell a little about yourself, etc. and it is during this time where he's analyzing your skills to see where he wants you to go and with whom he wants you to be trained by. After that's done, right after or even a day after, there'll usually be a mission "Transfer Meeting" where all the missionaries meet up together, hear a talk or two and then get their new companions. You'll probably have a meeting right before where all the "greenies" are in a room with the soon-to-be trainers. Your areas and new companions are then assigned and you sit by them, and flirt, haha. Then you'll probably hear the talks, split off (usually a member from the ward will drive the missionaries so they can save mileage on the car). You'll find out quickly that you're only given 1000- 2000 miles a month, which actually gets used up really fast!

Oh, you'll get a debit card, with like $130 - $180 per month on it, for food, etc. You'll also get a couple other things, so just a heads up. You gotta evenly space your expenses or you'll run out like most elders do in the first couple weeks of the month. Each car has their own individual gas credit card that you use.

Alright man, I thought you might like to know some of the logistics behind the operations. I think it would've made me a heck of a lot less worried/nervous when I got into the actual field.

Anyways, things are going pretty well here. I'm still dying from school, seriously I didn't sleep even 30 minutes last night-I was up the entire time due to a freaking chemistry assignment. I sometimes just want my education to end so I can actually make the big bucks

How are you doing on your cash reserves man? Do you have enough cash to get you up and going for your last week at the MTC to the first month or so in the field? Let me know of what you might need because I know what it's like to travel and not have all the $$$ you need.

I'm trying to think what else to write, here are some extremely important things going on in the world:

The Egyptian people revolted against their corrupt president and kicked him out. It's caused a stirring around that whole area where many other nations are battling their corrupt leaders too. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.

Hawaii just approved same sex marriage

Supreme Court is deciding if Calif gay marriage is okay...(it's a nasty world man)

Well, anyways man you should mention to your mission president in your first meeting with him that you'd 'love the opportunity to assist in the spanish language if there ever comes an opening.' Then you could pick up the language of the Gods, haha.

Well bro, I better get rolling, this is a long letter I think and I better sign off. Remember to keep working hard. The time will come where you're sitting on a couch like me, thinking about your mission and what you'd do if you could have one more day. Go out there and get it done, make sure you treat everyday like it's your last (Eminem) "you only get one shot do not miss your chance to blow..." hahaha, gangsta!

A couple Martin Luther King Jr quotes (because it's Black History Month"

-"Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."

-"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

-"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction....The chain reaction of evil--hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars--must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."

Well Bro, take it easy man. "Be bold, work hard, and stay chaste." Try to get back with me soon so I know if we need to send Jew (you) anything. Who have you heard speak to you guys so far at the MTC? Have you been packing on the gut? Fatter face? I hope you're becoming a fat effing baby that cries all the time. Seriously, it's my dream to hear deep throat Eric speak with a light-feminine-feathery voice like Kevin did for the 1st year of him being off his mission, hahahaha. I'm expecting by April you'll have fat warts in your pits because all the greasy fried chicken and jambalaya, hahaha.

Congrats on tearing it up there so far, remember to eat man...the days are slowly slipping away....well man we both miss you and feel the urgent need to express our amor for you man.

Work Hard,


Monday, February 14, 2011

Feb 14, 2011: Eric's Letter to Kevin

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Eric Nelson
Date: Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 11:11 AM
Subject: Re: Hey Bro!
To: Kevin Nelson

hahahahahah ya man, its pretty great here, like its cool and everything, alot 2 know and learn, but my and my comp are doing reaally well, we both individually have the first 3 lessons down way good! and learning tons of dif ways for teaching and meeting/ teaching off the investigators needs! haha we have taught like 12 times so far! like the 3rd day, they immersed us right into teaching! we had a way spiritualk experience the other day! we taught a man and wife named Jose and Haley Meza, we went into the lesson planning on teaching the restoration, but after we started and all that he just really wanted to know why kids are suffering and why kids are born into a world where they cant choose what kinds of lives they want, we went blank, and started bearing testimony on how Heavenly Father loves us all and gives us agency, and alll this was directed by the spirit, we didnt know where 2 turn after those Q's! then i felt prompted to share nicoles and ginas stories, and i tied into it how much this gospel has blessed their lives! and then taught about missionaru work alittle bit, and how were trying to bring all unto Christ for the blessings and happiness it brings to their souls! and at this time, we were all crying, and taught him how 2 pray and he said the last prayer and we challenged him 2 keep praying with his wife! then right after that he begged us for another lesson! we saw him the 2nd time the other day and we taught lesson 3, and as we rounded baptism, we challenged him to follow christs example, and everything and he committed to be baptised on Feb. 22nd! way awesome experince! dude i have like 6 minutes left! but i just wanted 2 get that out 2 ya! it was so great! we left the building so joyful! with the biggest grins upon out faces! ir u want u can share this story wit mom/dad haha i dont wanna write it out again! :) just forward it or something, or call them! bring Mom unto Christ! tell her the blessings she will recieve if she does! :)
What do u mean ill recognize3 sin more then ever in the field? just like ur completely submersed into it? the food is sooooooooooo baum dude! yhahahah like it brings happiness to my soul! and fills it with desires to take massive craps in every toilet that i come itno contact with! :) hahahahahahha! im working on getting tons of scriptural references for the 1st lesson, for likle every point! i think thatd help so much in lessons! teach the pure doctrine with testimony and the spirit and it will bring conversion not only to urself! :)
im pretty7 tired every day man! like i only get like 6.5-7 hours a night cause every one stays up late flirting with eachother, haha but i get through the day and feel the spirit so much! kk man i will do that challenge on reading the BOM everyday! :) sorry i couldnty get 2 all ur Qs, but i gotta run man! ill write u back on monday! ohhh ya i fligh out the 22nd to ATL, we leave the MTC at like 400am! hjahah and our flight is at like 7! but ill write doiwn the flight # next time, so u can pass it 2 gma and gpa and mom and dad! :) i gotta go!
Adios Joto-megas-pimp-daddy! :) how r u an jillian? haha

Elder Nelson!! ;)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Feb 7, 2011: Eric's Letter to Kevin

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Eric Nelson
Date: Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 2:32 PM
Subject: Hey Bro!
To: Kevin Nelson

Hey man! how are things nowadays!? how is the Academy? it was good talking to u last week! its cool man! were on a "Pilot Program" or something like that, on the 3rd day we started 2 teach, they have our teachers be the investigators! like we get in wit our comps and plan and go teach them in the classroom like its their home! it was awesome! based on their needs we taught "chase" and "roy" the Restoration, placed a BOM and challenged them to read the chapter, and taught them that with sincere prayer and if they really wanted to know they would! haha it was sweet! and we taught them what to feel when the spirit testifys! but its sweet man! my Comps like 6'4" hahah big guy! :) hes Tongon! His name is Elder Lauese! hes the man! we get along great! really chill and like 2 laugh! so whats up in AZ man?! hows the real world? haha u still with jill?! :) any new "investigators"?:) hahah! My district is way sick! all 10 of us get along great! and were all going to ATLANTA! haha but ya man its way sick! how is the life of eternal Pdays?! hahaha i bet u dont miss the pdays at all..? :) how we can only write and stuff on pday hahah and do all the laundry and temple and stuff! so dude im pretty ready to leave the mtc! haha like everyone says that its so amazing! and they dont want 2 leave! but ya i give it 2 them that its spiritual! but i dont like how everythings the same! ... Always the same! hahah and everythings so tightly scheduled! its like when 1 class is done, another starts like at that time that 1 just ended! haha but it is alright, just way repedative! im pretty excited 2 get out inj the field! every1 here is wierd, they never teach by the spirit, like the missionaries, they teach lessons, and not people, we teach by the spirit and its so much easier, and better! it comes from the heart! and it is so joyful after ward! :) anyways man i gotta go! write ya/ hear from u soon! :)

Elder Nelson

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Feb 3, 2011: Letter from Shaun to Eric

Aloha Eric!

What's up man? So I was sitting, waiting for your punk A to call me as I just got out of class. Well, I didn't hear anything and I called mom to see what time you were reporting and all that. She said you were going to be reporting like 20 minutes from the time I called her and I was on my way to class. I went to class (you still hadn't called) and I sat there forever looking at my phone. I finally pulled out my computer to take some notes in class and before I knew it I missed your call! I get texts of the voicemails that are left, and it said that you were reporting in 10 minutes and that I missed your call like 20 minutes before. So basically I couldn't hear your last words expressing your hearts desires.......

So, I thought it was gay when I was in the MTC-how Elders would get things from hahaha Anyways, I was just browsing and it's actually FREE while you're there at the MTC and it's probably alot faster than me hand writing one and sending it, etc. You're going to love getting mail...I think I was DL in the MTC and all the stupid annoying elders in my district came up to me like 30 times a day asking me to unlock the box for them, it was so annoying. But anyways...I hope this is your first letter that you get while out there!

I guess once dad got home yesterday he starting crying like a little school girl. He said that mom had been crying most of the day too and Gina did too once you left. I guess Red baby didn't care at all, just like when me & Kevin left too, haha!

So, are you ready to put on some girth nippies? I better be able to do jiggle-cup-rest times 30 when I see your banus in 2 years. Just kidding man. I know there's a part of you that's already starting to convert to speaking with a very feminine voice; it happens to the best of us. Just don't let it get too extreme or you'll have a rough time fitting in there in the hood.

I watched that video again, the one of the hoods in "the A-T-L". It was so gangster.

Anyways man, I need to start getting to the serious part of each letter I send, haha. I remember I entered February 8th of 2006, almost 5 years ago man. It was crazy. I felt a total shock upon arriving, I felt surrounded by kids who had never faced any setbacks in life and were always from really well-to-do families with zero problems ever. I remember that awkwardness of the first few days (it might not seem so now, but looking back you'll realize they were awkward times). My companion thought he ruled the world and tried correcting everything I did. I would quote a scripture and he'd say I didn't use it was a ton of frustration for me. I had one room mate who got so depressed he tried killing himself and then went home because he missed his mom (no joke)...she had passed away a few years earlier. Another kid in my district had had sex with a girl just days before entering the MTC, and there were tons of other issues with my district.

I had always remembered dad's old MTC stories but they seemed too outdated for me and I never really knew what to expect from the MTC. I was the poor kid with a suit and a big hole in my crotch, haha (seriously). I remember my insomnia started to kick in that first night and I only slept a couple hours at best. Two days later my 20th birthday came around and I didn't really feel anybody cared about me. I still hadn't received any letters at that point, nothing. I remember just going to work on my journal and reading that night when I felt no one really cared. As I sat there at my desk, I kept glancing towards a little family picture that I put on my desk throughout my mission, and I realized that there were plenty of people that cared and I realized that Jesus made it possible for me to even have a family, i.e. the creation, agency, ordinances, etc. I realized that there has to be something, something inside you that can't be shaken in order to make it through the MTC. I never felt homesick or depressed there or anything like that...I just needed to have a type of confirmation again because that's how I work.

I think shortly thereafter the MTC became incredibly easy and fun. We had sweet speakers every week, awesome grubb! haha I did get pretty jealous of the language learning missionaries while I was there, I'm not sure why...maybe it was just me. But yeah man I guess what I'm trying to say is just have some faith that good things are in store. In your mission you learn to take things day by day...only focus on the day like the D&C says. When you live like that, life becomes quite a blur and just flashes by. Just work hard and forget about being a people pleaser, be a God pleaser. Do what He wants and he'll do what You want.

Anyways man, I gotta do some chemistry and microbiology. The life of a pre-med student...

Do you need anything man? Like money, cars, girls, etc? haha just kidding! I'm still searching for a grill. The day will come. Just keep your head in that book, you'll start dreaming of lessons soon man and those guys who have been in there 1-2 weeks more than you who think they know it all, well...they really don't know shiz. Teach with your heart man, use a life story for the major points of each lesson and you'll be like 20 times more effective. Seriously, there have been countless studies that state that you need ethos: "how well the speaker convinces the audience that he or she is qualified to speak on the particular subject." pathos: "an appeal to the audience’s emotions. It can be in the form of metaphor, simile, a passionate delivery". and logos: "is logical appeal or the simulation of it, and the term logic is derived from it. It is normally used to describe facts and figures that support the speaker's topic." So ethos + pathos + logos = the art of becoming an effective persuader or teacher, etc. Remember that ethos (what those elders think they have) is only 1/3 of the equation. So get some studies in man, you're going to do an awesome job!

Keep working hard. Everything's alright back home!

I love you like a fat kid loves cake, and how Uncle Fred loves donuts.

Love you man,

Shaun (& Kelly)

PS: let me know if this method of letters works out, I'm sending it on Thursday the 3rd, let me know when you get it...I wanna see how long it takes!

Alright bro, peace! Oh yeah, I know you're freezing yourself right now so I just wanted to let you know that I've been wearing PE shorts and a t shirt all day outside! hahaha :)