"And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved."

Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Well Merry Christmas everyone (yes I know it is a few days late) but this week has been super fun lets say, the highlight would have to be 1. Skyping family and 2. Eating some weird fish eel stuff for Christmas dinner at a recent converts house

On Monday we had our basic stuff, emailing and such but when we were in a lesson with a recent convert (the same one where we ate for Christmas) we got a call from our zone leader that there were riots going on because the power company was doing rotating blackouts to conserve power and apparently alot of people didn't like that so we had to take ddda back way to get to our house because the riots were on the road that we usually took home, so that was fun.Eventually the police came a broke it up, we had gotten home fine, and we have had consistent power ever since.

Tuesday we taught one lesson with an investigator who's name I cannot remember right now because I forgot my planner and I have only known these people for a week but the reason that we only had one lesson was of the riots the previous night and we needed to be home early in case they continued but they didn't at least not in our area.

Wednesday we taught Tom with his friend who is a member. I really enjoy teaching Tom because he is quiet and listens to what we say but I have a very hard time knowing if he really understands because his member friend is constantly answering for him and accepting commitments for him, so we will see where how that goes in the future. We usually teach a Preach My Gospel class in the evening but no one showed up so we went to a members house whose daughter is a recent convert. It was a good message,I invited them to do the things that Christ would do this season, sang some songs randomly, and they then invited us to dinner which was really good.

Thursday was Christmas day and we had a combined district meeting so everyone in the zone was there and we all went out to lunch afterwards. Since it was Christmas no one wanted to learn so we spent some time street contacting but after about the 4th or 5th super drunk guy coming up to us wanting to get mad at us, mumble stuff we couldn't heart, or just stare at us(Christmas for the the majority of people is just an excuse to become super wasted drunk). Christmas was not very productive.

Friday I got Skype my family!!! It was great and everyone is doing well, I had an awesome time seeing every member of my family and hearing their voices it was a blast. We also like I said before we had dinner at a recent converts house for some eel fish thing which accutaully tasted fine, it was quite good.

Saturday I was feeling a bit sick so we didn't go to english but I was feeling well enough to go out and work later so we visited a recent convert and his father, I shared the scripture in 3 Nephi chapter 24 I think about tithing. Elder Anderson then took me to an area calle Depot which is a bit out of the way so we only go there once a week but we taught this very cool family about Joseph Smith and as we were walking away both Elder Anderson and I turned to each other and Elder Anderson said "I actually felt like a missionary in that lesson" and I completely agreed with him because I felt that way to. There is a difference of being on a mission and actually feeling like a missionary, that lesson was just so good and the Spirit could be felt it was amazing. When we got back to our normal working area this random guy and his friend asked to come teach them and obviously we were not going to pass up and opportunity like that so they took us to their house and we taught them through Joseph Smith.

Sunday we had church and three lessons the first with a woman named Floritte and she is doing well, one with and investigator named Vallery who has been learning for a while and still progressing while the other lesson with an investigator named Kevin who is nine and being baptized this Saturday. On Sunday night all of the missionaries eat at the District Presidents house for dinner so that is what we did, very good chicken on rice with some diced tomatoes.

That is about it for this week, that you all for your thoughts and prayersfor me, I love you all and will keep working my best, you all are awesome,

-Elder Nelson

A river in our area with homes next to it

Pictures of Depot which is right on the beach, it was so cool
There are some pictures of Elder Anderson and, of course, a selfie of me.

Monday, December 22, 2014

First Week in Tamatave

Akory(common greeting in Tamatave)! 

Hey everyone how is is going, things down here in Tamatave are doing pretty well so far I am enjoying it. Its weird though because I thought it would never happen but I actually miss my first area, its where I began and where things made more sense because things here are a bit different from Tana. There are almost no buses but tons of things called puses(?), it is pronounced with an "oo" sound, and they are just little two person carriage thing pulled by a guy on a bike. Also but it is just a bit hot/humid here but normally when we are working it is fine as we ride bikes which creates a nice breeze but at home it can be a bit much. We have AC units in our house which work really well, when we have power. The power here is super weird and we don't have power most of the time because apparently the motor that the power company uses is not strong enough to power all the areas at once so instead of getting a more powerful motor they just turn off the power in some areas and rotate who has power.

But enough of that, Tamatave is actually super awesome and I think that I will love working here, I just need to learn where I am and get to love the people.

So now on Monday I learned that I was going to Tamatave the next day so I spent most of the day getting ready (doing laundry, packing most of my stuff, ect.) and I said goodbye to P and N but unfortunately P was not home so we couldn't go in but I was able to say farewell to N.

Tuesday I took Elder Gaul to the office as he was heading home that week and then I waited in the office with my luggage until it was time to leave so around 4pm. I then proceeded to wait at the bus stop with Elders Stringfellow, Hull, and Bowler as they were also coming to Tamatave and we waited until the bus left at around 6pm on a very nice coach bus, probably the nicest thing I will ever ride here and it was a good thing that is was nice because we were on the worst road ever if you get motion sick. Imagine this, take a piece of paper and begin drawing a line from one corner to the opposite corner in a diaganol (I spelled that wrong) but instead of a straight line begin making little curves in it and immediately after you finish that curve make another one right after so it looks like a snake, now fit as many curves as possible until you reach the end, you now have a decent description on what the road to Tamatave is like and it is an 8 hour drive. But never fear I did not get sick, I just really hated that road the entire way.

Wednesday we made it into Tamatave at about 2 or 2:30 in the morning and to greet us were Elders Snell, Godfrey, and Anderson. It was good to see Elder Snell and Elder Godfrey again and to finally meet my new companion but everyone was tired so we quickly went home and slept. After we woke up we went out to work and Elder Anderson has only been here a transfer ahead of me but he knows most of the area. I still don't know luch of the area or the people so I won't have much on that point right now. We aparently have some baptisms coming up so we are working to ensure that they are ready.

Thursday we went to work again and I can tell you that riding bikes all day can make you very sore, the roads here are either; decently paved, sorta paved with pot holes, or sand paths. But I am now begining be used to it. Sorry but I don't have much to say but next week I will definitaly have more detail next week after I learn more.

So I will jump to Saturday which was my birthday, I am now 19 which is a bit weird. I have to say that honestly I forgot that it was my birthday for most of the day. I remembered in english class old we were saying how old we were and then later when we went out to dinner, I got a very delicious steak and fries for about 4 dollars.

Thats about it for this week so I will write later, hopefully with more stuff.

-Elder Nelson

Monday, December 15, 2014

Transfer Time!

Elder Nelson somehow accidentally sent his email when he was half way through, so this week's letter is in two parts.

Hey everyone how's it going? Things have been going pretty good here, we had a decent week full of many good times. But the biggest thing that has happened was transfer news last night, it was super exciting and fun. But I will save that piece of news until the end.

So I forgot my old planner with all the stuff from this week but I will do my best to remember it all.

So on Monday we did our usual thing, studied, cybered, and went shopping so not much happened there. But we had one appointment with an investigator named Roger and he is just doing great, he is being super dilligent in learning for himself if the church is true

Tuesday we taught Toky and he is doing okay, still hasn't come to church but Elder Webb says that he still has a bunch of potential, if only he would come! We had a bit of tracting after Toky's lesson until our next appointment with Jemima who is a less active and her non member parents and I am a bit sorry to say that they are all a little weird (side note the word for weird in malagasy is hafahafa and it sounds exactly the way is is spelled, just remember that the "a" is an "ah" sound). The lesson was okayish , the father Abel had asked us to explain the timeline of the Book of Mormon but he never really let us talk. Also the mother Annie keeps referencing herself as our mother, so ya just a bit weird. Then our last appointment that day was with this less active family, Fano and Voahirana, and they are struggling a bit. Fano had seen some news article on Joseph Smith have like 40 wives which really shook him so we had a discussion on polygamy. Then this random semi drunk guy comes in but they seemed to know him so we let it be. But as we were reading the scriptures with this less active family this guy starts saying that in Revelations there can't be any more revelation added and normally we would let him be but Fano was on a very unstable position so Elder Webb just went up and slayed this guy with 2 Nephi 33, stating that if you believe in Christ you will believe these words so that made tha

Sorry about that, I don't know how I sent that but I did but I will now continue,

Lets say that this guy was pretty quite when we left.

On Wednesday Elder Webb had MLC (Missionary Leadership Council) at the office so I just hung out with Elder Stringfellow for about two hours and then we were both invited to lunch afterwards. We then had English class and taught a woman named Monica who has a nine year old daughter who is a member , so it would probably be good if we continued visiting her.

Thursday we shared a spiritual thought with a member named Dimby and just to check how he is doing, he is fine as far as we can tell. We met with Andry (and yes he did get baptized on Saturday) and we just went over the baptisimal interview questions and to check that he was ready for his baptism, which he was and according to everyone super solid. Taught our Branch President on Handbook 2, it went went well I think. Taught Nahavaly and Jean Claude on Repentance and I think they got it, they don't sometimes don't look like they are listening but they are and are super dilligent about coming to church and reading. Last thing for Thursday is we taught Roger again and he is just being a baller, he had excellent questions and he is pretty sure the Book of Mormon is true, we came out of that lesson feeling we should give him a baptisimal date.

Friday I went on split with Elder McCrary, one of the current office elders and he has only been out here in country for 5 weeks, so ya it was fun. Elder McCrary is a super cool person and we ahd a good day, shared some spiritual thoughts, taught some lessons,and tracted a bit. The cool thing was I could understand for the most part what people were saying to me, not all of it but enough to understand what was going on. The reason was I had been praying super hard up until that point for this split to go well because there was almost nothing Elder McCrary could do so most of it was on me and it actually went pretty well, we had a great time working together.

Saturday we spent pretty much all day at the church. First we had Andry's baptism and it was very good, An apparently gave a very strong testimony at the end. Then we had our DMB and BP meetings, both of them were good but Elder Webb and Sister Guilamba fought the Second Counselar super hard to have the Branch President do monthly meetings with recent converts.

Now on Sunday we had church and our Primary program, Elder Webb played for it, malagasy children don't really have a sense of time but what evs. Taught Cerve and his wife, they haven't been coming to church because his wifes parents have been pushing them to come back to the Catholic Church so they have been undecided on what to do. But we encouraged and strengthened them and they said that they will keep coming to church. It made me a glad that Cerve said that he has seen nothing but good in the church, it was good to hear that. We taught Nahavaly and Jean Claude again, this time on Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost, it went very well and we had decided to give them Bap dates on January 31, 2015.

Now for the title of this week, yes transfers have been given and... I am being transfered to Tamatave, to an area called Morarano and my companion will be Elder Anderson. I don't know much about it except that it is on the northeast coast, super hot, and we ride bikes everywhere. But it will be super cool because I will be able to see Elders Snell and Godfrey from my MTC group and Elder Stringfellow is coming up with me, super excited for it.

Well I think that is it for this week, I am leaving to Tamatave on Tuesday at 3 or 4 in the afternoon and it's about an eight hour drive so it will be about midnight by the time I get there. But thanks everyone for your support, it is definetaly helping. Write again next week,

-Elder Nelson

Monday, December 8, 2014

What's up everybody? It's almost Christmas!

Whats up everybody! It's almost Christmas!

How was that for a greeting, I think it was pretty good. I have been having an awesome time this week, I have been thinking about sending some words back for a little while and I finally remembered to start dong it this week so the word this week is sambo which means boat. The only reason that I chose that word is because we found this random guy one day and his name was sambo so there you go.

The work is going very well here in Ankadindramamy, we get dogged every now and then but Elder Webb and I still feel that we are working our hardest.

So this week was decent, worked hard and had a bunch of not everyday events such as a zone conference and me visiting the dentist/orthodontist.

Monday was rather normal, had some studies, did some email, shopped, made a giant chocolate cookie in a pie pan (we don't have cookie sheets so I make the dough and we enjoy slices of a giant cookie) and we went out to work. Our only time was with a recent convert named Isabella and her husband Ndriana, he is an investigator. We taught them the plan of salvation and it went well enough, my malagasy has come enough to understand decent portions of what is being said, but something just felt weird in that house. I don't know what it was but I hope they are doing fine.

Tuesday I had my first split with a Malagasy, an elder who lives with us at home. The day was pretty good, we just mostly spent it tracting and trying to find new investigators. We had one appointment with Pasqual and Natasha on the priesthood, the lesson was good but I didn't teach much aside from explaining what the priesthood is and the offices in the priesthood because I think Razafimandimby just likes to talk. Also he might have miss understood when I told him that since I didn't understand everything he would need to answer the majority of the questions but I think he took it to mean that he needed to say everything fa tsy haiko( but I don't know).

On Wednesday I got sick, not super sick but just feeling super terrible. After our studies Elder Webb told me to rest for a bit which I gladly did. We did get to go out for a bit but I was still feeling very sick yet luckly that day was english so I could rest there. After our service we taught a new investigator named Vola and some of her friends. At some points I couldn't tell if they were listening or not but Elder Webb says they would ask questions that meant that either they 1. were listening ir 2. had learned before but we will continue to teach them because they come to church regularly.We also taught this woman named Monica and her nine year old member daughter and really they are doing much better. The daughter, Fabiola, has started attending church again and her mom had questions on God that she wanted us to answer which we did but very simply so she would really understand who God is.

Thursday the Rossiters, a missionary couple, took me to the dentist to try and fix the retainer that is behind my two front teeth. It had broken earlier and apparently these people had a bit of experience in the orthodontistry. But unfortunetly they didn't have the proper wire so they he me return on Friday. But the majority of Thursday was spent at the Office for our Zone Conference. I had missed a small section but for the most part I was there and it was amazing. President Adams taught us along with the APs( assistants to the president) and a time to bear testimonies at the end. I learned so much from that conference, President Adams is a very smart and spiritual man. Also as part of the conference Sister Adams made us all lunch and it was divine, sloppy joe's.

Friday I returned to the dentist and got a new retainer put on and it is working well but is a little big but it is serving its purpose. We taught a less active named Njaka and his father, his name is Ramanambohitra and really they are both super baller. They listened to what we were saying, answered questions, and Ramanambohitra even began taking notes! They both said that they would begin reading the Book of Mormon again which is super great, hopefully they begin attending church again. We met and taught Andry, an investigator who is preparing for a baptism on the 13th (this week, on the priesthood and anything else that he had questions or concerns on. Lastly we found where a less active lived, her name is Ndramima, with her parents and it was sorta weird because we were in their house for an hour waiting for Ndramima and trying to teach her parents but they just wanted to talk. When she finally came I had the feeling that she was hoping that we had left as she had popped in earlier but then left. But we will continue to stop by and teach them.

Saturday we had some meetings at the church so we were there for a while but we were able to meet with a less active named Rene. Rene was baptized in 1998 and hasn't been to church for a while so we have been reading with him in the Book of Mormon, to try and get him to feel the spirit that is in it and so that he would read on his own. We read sections from Alma 37 (I don't remember exactly) with him, on the importance of reading the scriptures. We can only hope that he is feeling the spirit and wishes to make a change in himself.

This last sunday was Fast Sunday and it was awesome because we had started our fast the day before so we could just go home after church and have some food. But yesterday we had so help from a priest named Franky, and I feel so bad for him, but while we were waiting for Franky to come it started raining which isn't a problem but when Franky came he didn't have any rain gear so he was thoroughly soaked but he put up with it, Franky is awesome.

I think that is about it for this week. I am loving it here and all that we are doing, thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, see you next week,

-Elder Nelson

Saturday after one of our meetings

Elder Webb when I was testing my camera. I just thought it was funny and wanted to send it home.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy December 1st!

Hey everyone!

My companion and I are doing great. This week has been a bit more difficult than in the past but we have pushed through it all. Our investigators are doing reasonably well, in fact one of our FLFs (father led families) came to church for the first time on Sunday. His name is Cerve and he came to sacrament (though a bit late) with his wife. I had been praying so hard that they and the rest of our investigators would come because it is very easy to get into peoples houses and teach them but for some unknowable reason they find it very difficult to come to church, it can be a bit frustrating. But it was great for them to come, made our day.

Now it is time for what happened this week;

Mondays are usually pretty simple, we have our studies, cyber/email, shop, and teach about two lessons. But this past Monday we only taught one lesson, Pasquel and Natasha. We taught them on Tithing, the word for tithing is fahafolokarena, and they just ate it up. They understood the need for tithing and what it is used for, super cool people. They agreed, I believe, to begin paying tithing. Now all we need to do is teach them the fifth lesson, have Pasquel find another job so he can come to church, and become legally married. Mom you asked me how difficult it is to become legally married here it actually isn't very difficult. Apparently it isn't to expensive to become married, it can be on any day, and over all the ceremony and legal stuff isn't to hard. The hard part most of the time is people getting their kopy. This is pretty much their birth certificate, or a copy of it, saying that they are an actual person of Madagascar. But the problem is it can be difficult and expensive to get their kopy because their kopy is at the hospital where they were born and it can be expensive to get it. Ohatra (example) say you were born in Fort Dauphin (bottom of Mada) but now live in Tamatave (east coast near the top of Mada) it is very expensive for the average malagasy to travel there and back and sending it can take time. So Pasquel already has his kopy and they are waiting for Natasha's which is coming from Toliary (bottom of Mada on the west coast).

Tuesday was a bit difficult but also good because Elder Webb got a small stomach bug for a few hours so we had to stay home but the lesson we taught when we finally got out was excellent, I could actually teach a decent amount.

Wednesday was our weekly service of English and it just dragged, by the end both Elder Webb and I were just drained and I didn't even teach! They just had Elder Webb draw a person and began asking the name of every part of the body at the end of class. We taught Pasquel and Natasha again (since they are close to baptism we try to meet with them more often) and we taught them on the temple. They didn't entirely get it but it's ok, it is a foreign subject to most people. In the evening we taught a recent convert on the Plan of Salvation and really I think I gave a decent explanation of the pre earth life. By the end of the lesson there was just this peaceful feeling in the room, great lesson all around.

Thursday was our district meeting, it was ok, not much stood out. Taught an investigator named Toky, he is doing so well and learning a bunch. I have heard here that there is a difference in people we teach in how smart they are and how much knowledge they have. Toky is definitely super smart but he doesn't have a lot of knowledge so to speak. He is great to teach, if only he would come to church I say again it is a very common problem.

Friday we taught a whole bunch. First we found this less active families house and taught the son who is currently going to school, his name is Njaka. He hasn't been to church for years because his dad had this fight or disagreement apparently with someone in the church and hasn't been back since. But we will continue teaching him and see where it goes, he seems so cool. Again taught Pasquel and Natasha (dang I didn't realize how much we taught them this week) and we reviewed the temple with them because they were still a bit confused. Next time I teach them I will be on a split with the malagasy elder that lives in our house, Elder Razafimandimby. He is super cool and fun to be around but I am a bit nervous to go on a split with him on Tuesday because I still don't understand much but we will see. Last thing on Friday is that we taught an investigator getting baptized on the 20th I believe (great way to celebrate my birthday I think). He has learned everything so we are just reviewing things with him.

We spent so much time at the church on Saturday because we attended a baptismal service, Elder Webb was asked to baptize a ten year old investigator of the sister missionaries in our area, and we had a meeting with our Branch President right after so we were there for a long time.

Sunday was a bit difficult because our branch council decide to go longer than usual and some of our usual people couldn't learn. But we did teach two people named Nahavaly and  Jean Claude. They aren't related, Nahavaly is a helper at a members house and Jean Claude lives there; I actually don't know his connection to the family. Any way we taught them on the Plan of Salvation and they have been making some progress but we both feel they have a hard time learning or focusing but they are improving a little.

Also side note on Sunday, I don't know what it is with Elder Webb and dogs but he was again attacked by a pair of them. Basically we had passed this pair of dogs dozens of times and nothing had happened but for some reason they decided they didn't like Elder Webb and charged. We were on a small path with a small drop on one side and a fence on the other, Elder Webb was in front and it had been raining for a bit. I look up bacause I hear some growling and see Elder Webb freeze and lift his foot to kick the dogs (because they were charging) but since it had been raining the ground was slippery and Elder Webb became unbalanced and fell. Seeing this I charge the dogs while stepping over Elder Webband they back off, they probably didn't expect or see the giant white guy behind the smaller white guy. Basically I drive them off, they leave still growling and looking mean, and we go on our way. Yep so that happened, Elder Webb said he could feel the paws of a dog on him, it was just weird.

I think that is it for this week, it has been good to hear from everyone that you are all doing good. Also mom will you tell the activities days girls and their leaders that I got their package of notes last Monday, I enjoyed them so much and they made me smile and laugh. Think of you all,

-Elder Nelson

Monday, November 24, 2014

Well... My companion might have almost died..

Hello everyone, I have some exciting news, I have the plague... JK not really. Many of you have emailed me about the plague here in Mada but I am here to reassure you that we are pretty safe. The mission office sent all of us an extensive email about it and apparently it turns out that Doxycycline (our malaria pill) is also known to prevent the plague if taken regularly. As we all should be taking that already it shouldn't be a problem, just should retreat my sheets, bed, and couch with permethrin and it will all be good. So to repeat I should not be in any danger of getting the plague, sorry to those that I gave little heart attacks to (sorry mom).

But this week has been full fun and different times. This week I have been really trying to listen to the Spirit as we plan and teach appointments and it has gone decently. It can be very weird how in one lesson we will be teaching on one subject and it is (in my opinion) going not very well but in the very next lesson where we teach on almost the same topic and the words will just come easily and sounds a bit decent.

Elder Webb and I have been teaching Pasquel and Natasha about twice a week now and really they are amazing people. They always invite us in, even when we just drop by and we can tell that they are really enjoying the lessons. The only thing that is a problem is again they are not vita soratra (legally married) and Pasquel is trying to find a different job so he can come to church, but it is hard here to find a decent job, jobs are a bit scarce if you are looking for decent pay and have every Sunday off. But I have faith that they will find a way, the Lord those who diligently seek and try their best.

This past weekend we had our Stake Conference, the adult session was at the stake center in Analakely and it's not a fun bus ride, felt so tired on the return trip. The session yesterday was at our normal building because it was a video broadcast thing where a member of the Seventy spoke, a sister from the Primary Presidencey (don't exactly remember) spoke, and Elders Bednar and Uchtdorf spoke; mostly they spoke on inappropriate traditions of African nations and how they do not fit in harmony with church standards. An example is doing something because it worked out for your great ggggggggg grandfather ans so on, so it should work for you. Apparently, according to Elder Webb, this stake conference was a bit weird.

Side note, we have been teaching a man named Cerve and his wife and they are doing ok. We had told them about stake conference and where it was going to be. But at that time we thought both sessions were going to be at the stake center so we told them to go there. The place of the second session was changed pretty much the day before and Elder Webb forgot to get that news to Cerve and his wife (got distracted when we got a random phone call), really he sorta didn't expect them to come. But it turns out as we stopped by them yesterday that they had gone to Analakely for the second session but it turns out that nothing was there. They happened to come home a little after we stopped by. It was a little obvious that his wife was a little annoyed and we didn't end up teaching them because they were tired which is something I totally understand. But they weren't super mad and Cerve said that really they were still going to come to church so ther is still hope!

This coming weekend we will be having our primary program, they just randomly asked Elder Webb if he could play the piano for it so we will see how that goes.

Now for the story of this emails topic. Once upon a time there were two young men named Elders Webb and Nelson. They had been tracting for a bit but they were having a good time. These Elders come to a house and Elder Webb turns to shout odio ( sort of a verbal knock). During this time Elder Nelson looks around and sees a this decently big dog sleeping in the next house and Elder Webb was standing decently close to the entrance of that neighboring house. Elder Nelson thinks "hey that looks like a freindly dog we know at a different investigators" but then he sees the chain connected to the dog and he thinks "oh dang it". You see, here in Mada there are two types of dogs; First there are the billion stray dogs that live in the roads and paths and for the most part they are nice and used to people, they don't want any trouble. But the other type are dogs that people keep tied/ chained in their yard near the entrances of their house. I don't know what are done to these dogs but generally whenever you knock they freak out and would love nothing more than to eat you. Now you see Elder Nelsons was thinking.

Elder Webb is looking at a different house, doesn't even notice the dog. As he is giving his odio Elder Nelson is watching the dog. He sees it slowly open its eyes, focus on them, and you can suddenly see it turn mean, the dog slowly begins to rise. Elder Nelson thinks "oh frick" and begings to say "Elder Webb move!" as he grabs Elder Webbs backpack and literally launches him around as the dog leaps forward, barking insainly. This entire time Elder Webb doesn't know what is going on, is super confused, he tells Elder Nelson as they walk away that he was suddenly flying backwards thinking " what the heack?" then seeing the charging dog and his thought goes from " what is going on" to suddenly seeing a dog almost on top of him. But they both made it safely.

Looking back on it I realize that the dog stopped a little past the boundry of the gate, Elder Webb might have been safe if I had not done anything. But at least we ensured him not getting eaten by a insane dog.

I think that is about it for this week, that you all for your emails. Keep working and being amazing everyone. You all are great,

-Elder Nelson

Monday, November 17, 2014

Well here we are, a new transfer

Inona vaovao anao ireo (whats new you all/ everyone)

Hello everyone, I first need to say that I miss spelled the name of the new elder in our house, his name is Elder Gaul not Gall, just to clarify.

This past week has been full of hard work but thankfully no rain but I don't expect that to hold out for long.

On Monday Elder Webb and I had our personal and companion studies in, just a tip for all of you planning on serving missions don't ever skip your studies, it is a time for you to learn and bring the spirit into your life. If you don't have your studies you will definitaly notice the diference and the day won't be as good. There will be times where you can't do them, such as early church or taking someone to the office for a transfer but don't ever think "eh, don't feel like studying today" it will come back to bite you. I also had plans on Monday to get my haircut but there was a change of plans so it didn't happen but hopefully today I can. Apparently there is a decent barber here that Elder Herrin liked but I haven't tried him yet, we'll find out.That evening we had a sorée (sorta family home evening)with the sister missionaries in our area and with members. Really I think it was a huge waste of time. We had a spiritual thought and lesson but it was a little awkward and not productive at all.

Tuesday, sad day. Imagine a beautiful work of art, some people casually walk in, glance at the art, load an AK-47 and proceed to blast that art to bits. That art was our program for the day and the people were the ones we were supposed to teach and visit but decided to not be there or not let us in. Literally every single appointment dropped, not one lesson taught. But we tried visiting people multiple times and tracting, so we can say that we tried our best.

We took Elder Herrin to the office for his flight to Fort Dauphin on Wednesday, miss that guy. After dropping him off we came home, got ready, and went to our appointment (Elder Razafamandimby was with us) with Fabrice who then proceeded to drop us. But it is okay because we managed to teach a less active member named Rene. Taught english for our service that week and went back to the office to pick up Elder Gaul. Our last appointment was with Pasquel and Natasha and they are doing very well. Natasha has been coming to Church more and I know that Pasquel wants to come but often times he has to work, days off here are weird and kinda random so he thought he could come but got called in, hopefully next time.

Thursday, again many people dropped us but we were able to go visit others instead. One such is named Lanja, he is a student and always lets us in if he is there but for some reason he has a very hard time understanding what I am trying to say. I think I am saying stuff pretty clearly and I ask him if he understands and he pretty much says nope so Elder Webb explains things to him again, it can be just a tiny bit discouraging. Also we taught Andry who, I think I have mentioned, is pretty much ready for baptism. We shared a spiritual thought with him in Mosiah 18 and he seemed to really get what was going on, we also basically told him that he was ready for baptism and that it would be some time in December. Lastly we taught our Brach President on Handbook 2. Our BP is so awesome, he recognizes that we are trying to help the brach and he sees many of the problems that the branch is having, its great to have his support.

Friday Fabrice again called and cancelled so we tracted for a bit and went to visit Toky a little early. We are in the Plan of Salvation with Toky and he had read the entire pamphlet on the POS and had questions on the kingdoms of glory and such so that is what we taught on mostly. Toky is great but he just won't come to church, we even had Natasha try to grab him because they live next to each other. we didn't have anything else until that evening when we taught Pasquel and Natasha on Enduring to the End/ the Sacrament, they just are always focused on the lesson and Natasha is coming to church now so I have high hopes for them.

Saturday we were at the church for two hours waiting for our Branch Mission Leader to show up for a meeting, but he never did, didn't even call to say he wsn't coming. But it is ok because that evening was the best ever. We had tracted into this man named Victor earlier that week and when we entered his home there was an almost immediate peace and as we began teaching he listened to every word. Also that lesson was the best I had ever taught, it was clear and it was just good. Victor has family in France and Spain and one of his granddaughters challenged him to stop smoking and he has been trying ever since, this man has been seriously prepared. He also showed his appreciation for the lesson by giving us each a banana (aokaondro), best banana ever.

Sunday we had church and Branch Council; that Council was the saddest thing I had ever seen. It was literally us, the Brach Presidency, and later on the Relief Society President but I think it was just a randomn thing.Taught our investigator Cerve and his wife on Prayer and it was good but we could tell that there was something bothering Cerve, looking at the floor and fidgiting the entire lesson. I wanted to ask what was wrong but I didn't know how and I thought it might have been a bit rude but we left them to read 2 Nephi 32 and Moroni 7, both good chapters. Everything else fell through until we taught some less actives named Farotina and Princey, Farotina is a bit strange; When she heard that I would be teaching on faith she gets of the edge of the bed, moves next to her husband who is right in front of us and stares at me intently; apparently when people give you special attention like that it means they care about what you are going to do and caere about how you are progressing but it is still a bit weird. After sharing a bit on faith I decided I wanted to share a scripture but I didn't know which one to share. So I flipped through the Book of Mormon and landed on the book of Enos and we shared verses 4-8 and they really helped the lesson, they made it very good.

That is about it for this week I believe, keep working hard everyone I love hearing from you. Wish me luck this week and I will keep working hard. Love you all,

-Elder Nelson

This picture is of Elder Webb, Elder Herrin, and me on the day we dropped Elder Herrin off at the office.

Monday, November 10, 2014

It's Definitaly the Raining Season

Hello everyone!

Dang there have been some exciting things this past week, first of all last night we got transfer news (transfers happen every six weeks) and we found out that Elder Herrin in our house is being transferred to Fort Dauphin(?) so we will be having a new elder named Elder Gall will be in our house for one transfer as he goes home after this up coming one. Also we learned that our zone got split and that my companion Elder Webb is to be the new zone leader for this newly split zone. It's funny because he has told me that he is glad to be a normal missionary after being a zone leader in Antsirabe but now he is back on what he calls "the zone leader track of death". This just means he will have a few more meetings and takes stats from the district leaders on Sunday.

But now here is the run down from my week.

On Monday we taught one lesson to the husband of a recent convert which I beleive he really enjoyed, every time I have seen him after he seems very different and excited to learn.

Tuesday- We have begun getting much more member help this past week, our Elders Quorum President asks for the times we will need members and he gets volunteers/ makes asignments. We went out with him on Tuesday, his name is Fano, but unfortunately he could only help for a tiny bit and the time we wanted him at got rescheduled to that evening so he showed us some less actives and some members houses. That evening we taught Pasquel and Natasha on The Gospel of Jesus Christ and they seem to enjoy learning. The first part of this lesson is on faith and Elder Webb, bless him, had me try to teach it. In the end we ended up reading the Fourth Article of Faith which outlines almost all of the sections from this lesson. So I pointed out that since faith is first it means that it is super important, then I had Elder Webb explain the rest but I at least tried. Our last apointment that night was with a recent convert family but for some reason only the mother and two of her younger daughters were there, the rest disappeared, hopefully we can catch all of them tomorrow.

On Wednesday we taught Fabrice and introduced him to a member and they just hit it right off. It was a bit surprising because I didn't think they would like each other or something but they had a great time, I think Fabrice is just a people person. While I love teaching Fabrice and hearing about all these things that he figured out from the Bible, such as the existence of the endowment and what it did (but he thought it was part of baptism), figuring out forordination, and how John the Baptist recieved the priesthood while still a child and many other things, it's crazy how smart he is. The only problem we have with him is that we can'ty get him to be quite. Literally neither Elder Webb or I said a word for most of the lesson, it was just Fabrice and the member talking about all this random good stuff that I can't understand, but hopefully as he reads the Book of Mormon it will say what we can't tell him if that makes sense. We also taught english and we had some semi fluent people in class so that made it very interesting, lets just say Elder Webb is a very good artist.

We found two potentially new investigators, a mother and her son, while out contacting. We taught them part of the first lesson and they seem to take it all in, they did talk much but we got the feeling they enjoyed it. We got an investigator that is practically ready for baptism. His name is Andry adn he had been learning from some other elders in Tana but he moved to our area. We introduced ourselves to him on Thursday and he seems to be super cool and apparently he is very diligent, he came to church on Sunday which is a good sign because it shows that he is being converted to the church and not the missionaries that taught him. We just need to set a date with him and teach him a bit more, see if there are things that could be taken care of before baptism and such. Also I almost killed our last lesson when Elder Webb had me explain the story of the Book of Mormon, lets just say it was very unclear. But the Spirit made it up as I expained the reason it is important to read the Book of Mormon, the words and ideas just came easily. The only thing that I know is that I could not have done that by myself.

Friday was a very wet day, we taught an awesome investigator named Toky on the Plan of Salvation. He has been reading the BOM and really enjoys it, some of his family members that are visiting have begun reading it so we will see where that goes. As we went to check to see if our last appointment could learn we pretty much marched through rivers, super cool and awesome but it is a bit annoying to have your shoes full of water.

Saturday we taught Pasquel and Natasha more on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, had some meetings, and taught that recent converts husband again, I am begining to really like him. Also it rained again that night so we got wet but not as bad.

The only thing I am going to say about Sunday is that I learned that there is a major difference from teaching paople who are actively trying to learn and those that members or investigators that don't really seem to care. I much prefer to teach those that want to learn, it brings a different spirit into the lesson, make it easier and more enjoyable.

That is about it, sorry that the last day is short but we need to get going. I enjoy hearing from all of you and I hope you are all being safe. Love you all,

-Elder Nelson

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Prepare to Serve

Elder Nelson's Mom here:

When Elder Nelson received his mission call to Madagascar, we looked all over for information about both the mission and the country since we had no experience with that part of the world.  Finding info was pretty hit and miss.  Since then I came across the Prepare to Serve website.  They have all sorts of info and blogs about most missions.  So, if you have your call and are looking for information about your assignment, it would be a great place to start.  Good luck!

Monday, November 3, 2014

It's Been a Month!

Hello everyone!

Dang it has been one month since I have been here in Madagascar (October 1) and for a while I thought it would never come but as we have been working hard every day the time has just flown by. Now here is how my week has been.

Monday we didn't do much aside from going shopping and visiting two times that sorta fell through. But all was not lost as a result of that shopping yielded the ingedients to make peanut butter cups and they were delicious (I should be able to send a picture of them). So all of you who were laughing at me that I would not have any good/ American food here (Tanner) think again, I can get all sorts of things here just usually they are expensive so I choose to not get them.

Tuesdays are the days where we do tracting regularly as we can never get anyone to learn then but as a result of that tracting we found this guy named Eddy who seemed pretty interested. Unfortunately we have only been able to teach him once as the other times we have stopped by he wasn't home so I don't know how long we will keep him. In the evening we regularly meet with a recent convert family and reteach them the lessons (recent converts are supposed to keep learning for a while after baptism) and we do our best help them along.

We have two investigators with a baptisimal date, Pasquel and Natasha, but we don't think they are going to make that date. They are a couple that has been learning for a while but they are not vita soratra (legally married, super common here) and they don't attend church very often (again very common, especially here in Tana). But they always enjoy having us over and learning so we will keep working with them.

Wednesday was pretty much the same as last week; we taught Fabrice who is just so smart that he makes all of these connections to the gospel and finding many truths just by readig and studying the Bible. We also had our service of teaching english and I help a young man from our branch named Leo understand what was being written by sorta (emphasis on sorta) translating for him, don't know if it heloped much but I tried my best.

Thursday, every single appointment dropped us except for teaching our Branch President on Hand Book two and we don't even count that as proselyting time, so a lot of contacting and trying to meet with people we missed earlier in the week.

Friday was again lots of tracting as every appointment dropped us except for this cool college student named Lanja. We just tracted into him one day and qwhen we teach him he is always thinking about the things we are teaching him, asking clarifying questions. We have high hopes for him. We also had our weekly meeting with our Branch Mission Leader, getting him up to date on things and giving him the people we want to focus on.

Saturday, sigh this is being to be a pattern, every appointment again dropped us. We did have our meeting with the Branch President but Elder Webb got us there an hour early because he wasn't sure on the time so we were at the church for two hours but it is ok because we got to have that meeting.

Sunday was just wonderful. It was fast sunday, had a ton of member help, and we got most of our appointments and an unscheduled appointment. It was so awesome, we taught wonderful people, and for every appointment we walked between two areas that are seperated by about ten minutes of walking but it was still good. As we were walking up the hill to our house we were a bit hurried as it had been fast sunday and we had been working out in the heat with a lot of walking so you could say we were a bit thirsty. Elder Webb didn't even wait for me as I was grabbing my water, he just went straight to the room, ended his fast, and got some water.

We are doing well, Elder Webb is just great. He is an awesome person and missionary who is super smart works hard. He often keeps us entertained by tell stories of adventures with previous companions I can't wait for some of those to happen to me, having stories are the best.

Its weird and I never thought it would happen but I am improving in my ability to understand and speak this language. It is just a basic concept of what is being talked about and sometimes it still sounds like gibberish but in lessons I can for the most part know what is being talked about even if I don't understand every work.

I think that is about it, thank you mom for sending the pictures of things going on, it makes it a lot more enjoyable to have a reference of what you write about and it's good to see my brothers.

Hope you all are doing well, have an enjoyable and safe week,

-Elder Nelson

I took the pic of the chameleon as a little kid was carrying it around on a pole, apparently that is a common game for kids here.

Elder Razafamandimby, he is a malagasy elder who lives in our house, he is a bit goofy and loves to dance but I love him, he's great.

Tana skyline

The clouds were super cool but I don't think the camera does it justice

Peanut Butter Cups!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Salama Tompo

Hey everyone how are things? I am doing pretty well here in Tana, haven't been sick and the work is going well so I have no complaints. Here is a question that has been on my mind for a day or two; How much control do we have over our lives? At what point do we draw the line between all we can do and those we can't? I know we have a choice over many things some big and some small but I want to hear your thoughts on this.

Now onto what has been happening this past week.On last Monday we taught a recent convert named Malala and her aunt and uncle (both of whom are apparently younger than her but Elder Webb doesn't know so what ever). Because of this visit her uncle decided he wanted to come to church/conference this week which is obviously awesome and the best thing is that he actually came for a session, don't know if he came to others but he at least came to one.

Tuesday pretty much everyone droppped us, yea it stinks. Wer had this great program setup and it just got shot dead, the only time that worked was a recent convert lesson a six in the evening which is pretty much the end of our day as we are told not to wander around in the dark because it can be dangerous, we can stay out as long as we have an appointment to be at but no tracting in the dark.

Wednesday was also fun, we taught a guy named Fabrice and he is super crazy smart but he likes to talk and go on random topics . At three we had our service of teaching english which turned into teaching Portuguese, no offence to those who speak portuguese but I didn't work at it very hard, already trying to learn a language, no use trying to through in random stuff. Again we had nothing to do until an appointment at 6 so we tracted through our area until then and had a pretty good lesson.

Thursday, Thursday was fun. We had our first zone meeting where we met all the people in our zone, Elders Cooley and Stringfellow from my MTC group are in my zone. We had a very good time and went out to lunch with most of the people. We taught a very good lesson with a man named Toky, we taught him about the Book of Mormon and Prayer, he seems very eager to read and learn, very smart person. Now here is the fun part, while we were teaching our Branch President about a church manual to help him in his duties we had our first big storm, it was so cool. We had another appointment to get to which required a bit of a walk, so we put on our coats and went out. It was so fun walking in the rain, my coat works well so my top half and head stayed dry but my shoes pretty much filled with water by the end. Unfortunately for Elder Webb his coat doesn't work as well, his hood only goes about halfway up his head, somehow rain gets through his jacket, and he wears glasses, so basically he was blind and soaked, super fun for him. But we still had a good lesson, I taught about Adam and Eve and Elder Webb taught about the Atonement, very good lesson.

Friday, pretty fun (sorta but mostly not really).Our first appointment sorta fell through. We had some member help to teach that members friend, we show up the member is there as is his mother but no friend so we gave them a vataza-panaihy (may not be correct spelling, also it means spiritual thought) on missionary work. We had read from Jacob 5 and I just felt likie asking them to read the Jacob, so I did and we think they hadn't read Jacob yet so it will be good for them. Everything else fell through, we would drop buy they couldn't do it, we would come later and they weren't there. we had plans to do a street board (its a board with a gospel topic that apparently draws malagasies like crazy, they come and we talk to them about the subject and have them sign a paper if they want to learn more) but unfortunately the stand to hold the board was being used at that time so that didn't work out. Also Elder Stringfellow came on a split with an Elder in my house so I got to see and talk to him for a bit that evening, that was fun.

Saturday, CONFERENCE! We had priesthood and the saturday sessions, so good. I think we were at the Office from about 8-3, it was great. I think my favorites were President Uchtdorfs about "Lord is it I" and collecting Spiritual light and using the right tools. I also enjoyed the talk about welfare and fast offerings as it is a pretty big problem in some ares. And again our appointment dropped us that evening.

Sunday was also CONFERENCE! I need to read thye first session because I saw that one in malagasy but the talks I did enjoy were Elder Bednars and Elder Scotts, both were amazing.

Now to answer people, mom my allergies seem to be doing fine, I think I have used my medication once. Sad to hear that BYU lost to Boise State.

Dad, I am doing good, the language is slow but coming (very slowly). My companion is doing good, we get along with each other. I believe the average height of people here (its hard for me to judge) is I think about near my chest, about midway up my upper arm. Church is good, can't do much but the people are good with me, we meet in a big house with many rooms so each class can meet. Also I am pretty sure Halloween doesn't exist here, from what I could tell from people in english class it is pretty much a foreign concept.

Glad to hear from everyone and knowing that everyone is doing good, keeping working hard and focus on today, the rest of the days will fly by if you do. Love you all and I am thinking and praying for you

-Elder Nelson

Elder Nelson's Mom here: Click here for a link to view, listen to, or read any or all of the Oct. 2014 General Conference.  Click here for a link to Pres. Uchtdorf's talk from the Priesthood Session Elder Nelson mentioned , here for Elder Bednar's talk, and here for Elder Scott's talk both from the Sunday Afternoon Session.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Hello everyone!

This has been a crazy week. Just a quick thing before I get going, thank you mom and dad for having me do chores and all those things like getting up at six and having me cook my own food ect. It has really prepared me for life here, its not even hard getting up because I have already been used to it so thank you again. Joseph, Steven, and Ryan don't complain about this stuff you will eventually see.

Now what have I been doing this week? Basically we have been working and studying. My abilities with the language have been gradually improving, I am catching more and more words so I can understand a bit more. Yesterday we taught new investigators named Surveyand his wife and they are so awesome, just really receptive to our message and asking all of the right questions. Elder Webb had me teach on prophets and I thought that I struggled but Elder Webb sayed that I did very well so we will see. Our second appointment yesterday was with this family that we found two weeks ago except yesterday it was only the women of the family that were there and we can't teach without an adult male present. So to fix that we went upstairs where there dada be (grandpa) lives and apparently the entire time his is saying something along the lines of "do a crazy miracle! Heal me and my sick wife". This is probably the oldest guy I have ever seen and obviously we can't do a "crazy miracle" so his family told him (just to mess with him) that we were going to pray and a plane was going to come and take his wife and them away to France but he couldn't come because he was a guy and they were girls yep thats malagasies for you. As we left the lesson a storm was coming and as we were walking we both stopped to get dust out of our eyes and suddenly a heavy wooden window door fell off in the wind and landed on Elder Webbs head. Don't worry he is perfectly fine, it was just weird.

On Saturday we played soccer with our branch against the other missionaries in our house and their branch. We lost 4-1 but it was still really fun and good to get a bit of exercise. Also I got a bit sun burned but its good now.

Mom on your question for that lady. I think you sent me with everything I needed, it was nice to bring some American food in my checked bags, on the topic of fleas I would say just resign yourself to the fact that you will have them, every missionary does. Nothing happens during the day but when you wake up in the morning you find little red dots on random places (usually arms and legs) but last night I I tried some deet bug spray while I slept and I think it helped. They also have permethrine at the mission office that you can treat your clothes with but I havent tried that yet.

I think that is about it, we are going to have General Conference this weekend so everyone is excited for that. The weather here actualy isn't that bad, it's warm but not bad. It has been great here and to work everyday, I am just loving it.

-Elder Nelson

ps- Mom could you send me the recipes for various cookis, congo bars, brownies, and other meal type dinners, not that I am saying cookies are dinner. Also could you tell me how much I have on my account. Lastly I don't really have many ideas for a package, food of some kind is always good and I have been wanting a good pair of brown shoes (and socks) those would be good. Except for that I don't have many preferences, I will be glad for just about anything.

Elder Nelson's Mom here- He sent pictures today via Dropbox,, so there are no captions.  We never could fix his pictures from last week.

Monday, October 13, 2014

News from Ankangamamy (I think thats how its spelled)


This week has been amazing! We have been working very hard down here in Madagascar, the people here are just so awesome. Finally after a week of tracting we have begun having our schedules full of lessons and appointments with members and investigators. We have found many cool people they are Toky and his mom, Fabrice with his family, Joshua with his family of seven, a student named Lanza, and an older man named Randimby. All of these people are just so cool. We take a stat here called FLF (father led families) which halps us focus on families that will have a priesthood holder in the home, we focus on those people.

So far I have not had much malagasy food. We basically live off cheap stuff fro, ShopRitre and the epiceries (small corner market types stores that are everywhere). Basically what I have eaten is yogurt for breakfast and noodles with tomato sauce for lunch and dinner, yea. With that I usually have some delicious pineapple fanta or a different soda that my companion recommends. There is this soda called bonbon anglais which tastes like bubble gum, its not that bad but Elder Webb says if you drink it for a while that then it will taste like lemonade so we will see. But this week I made a small miscalculation on the amount of food I would need, so thank you mom and dad for sending those nuts they were my dinner last night. But don't worry we are shopping today and getting plenty of food, food with vegatables and meat gah I can hardly wait! Also when we cook rice it's in a rice cooker, not the stove, sorry mom.

My malagasy has been improving slowly but surely and it's good to see that. Elder Webb has been very good about letting me "teach" a section in almost every lesson and bear my testimony at the end. I have found it very discouraging when at the end off a lesson and you have tried your best that the investigator says, as you are leaving,"mila mianatra tany gasy ianao" which mpeans you need to learn malagasy. Even members say it and it just puts you down. But I am trying and working hard and that is all that counts.

One other thing, every child in this country calls you a vazaha which means tourist but in context its like "stupid white french guy" literally every person here thinks every white person is french. But sometimes when you respond to their "bonjeur" with malagasy they freak out a bit like " oh frick he speaks malagasy". Other times we like to mess with them by responding in french, just depends on our mood.

The work has been good and I am enjoying every bit of it. Glad to hear from everyone and I wish you all the best of luck back home. Hopefully I can get some pictures out, we will see.

-Elder Nelson

I tried to get pictures sent out but I think they got corupted, I will try to get more next week. The ones there are of our house, hope you can see them.

-Elder Nelson

Elder Nelson did send 5 pictures- 2 were fine, 1 came with the top half only, and 2 were totally corrupted.  We are working to get the corrupted ones fixed and will post them here if we do.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Can't Believe it's been a Week!

Hi everyone!

Dang what a ride, I am finally here in Mada and suprising enough it is
really different from everywhere else. We arrived in Mada on Wednesday
and one of the things that stuck out to me while we were driving to
the mission office is that there are really no trffic laws. No speed
limits, you can go as fast as you want (Joseph I think you would like
that) so you are pretty much speeding down the road and dodging around
cars. Pedestrians just walk in the road or off to the side of the road
and crossing when it is convienint(don't know if that was spelled
right). There are a few main types of sellers here in Tana (thats
where I am, the area of Ankanjamamy) they are food, open meat stalls,
shoes on the road, and cell phones.

When we arrived in Mada and got fed by the President and Sister Adams
(white cheese lasagna, fresh green beans, and fruit salad that was
very good) we stayed at the APs and office elders for the night (the
APs are Elders Fox and Weber) took a shower, changed clothes, and
slept in an actual bed/mat on the floor but at least we were laying
down fully extended for the first time in three days. That next
morning we went to breakfast with the President again, his wife makes
delicious baked oatmeal and the bananas are delicious. After that we
had an orientation/training on what goes on here then we each recieved
an envelope with our companions name and our area and my comps name is
Elder Webb and he has been here just under a year and a half and
seriously he is sent from heaven or something, he is awesome. At first
he doesn't seem to care at all but its just him not showing emotion,
for some reason he is very good at that. He took us to our new house
which we share with two other elders from a neighboring area Elders
Herrin and Razafamadimy(not spelled correctly I think) and really it
is a very nice house like small American middle class nice. We have
three floors, we don't even use the bottom floor and the third leads
to the roof balcony. Our water pressure is low and the first two days
the shower was a trickle and cold but I figured out a way to get it
warm and not a trickle so that has been an improvement.

I have mostly been eating sedapa/presto which is another brand(which
is better than back home), bread, and delicious pineapple and other
flavor called grenadelle fanta. But don't worry mom we are shopping
today so the others are going to show me how to make some rice with
laoka(?)which goes on top of the rice and it has vegetables and meat
in it so don't worry.

More on Elder Webb: He is from Alpine Utah, he is super fun and hard
working, and is a great help, and he is just awesome and I am loving

First day of work we went out and tracted/look around our area.Second
day we met with our DMB (branch mission leader) and our Branch
President. Then on Sunday we went to church, I bore my testmony since
I am a new missionary which went pretty good. After church we went out
and tracted some more and it was great we ended up finding this grteat
family and we taught them the first lesson and they just ate it up.
That is all I think, we need to get going. Love you all, keep trying
your best, that is all that is required from you. I might try to get
on later to send pitures.

-Elder Nelson

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Safe arrival of Elder Nelson in Madagascar

Dear Nelson Family,

We want you to know that Elder Nelson and all of the missionaries from the Provo MTC arrived in Madagascar safely yesterday afternoon.  All of their luggage arrived with them!  They are all doing well.  They had a good night sleep and are ready for training, to meet their new companions today, and go to the areas where they will be serving. 

Elder Nelson will be serving in Ankadidramamy 2 here in Antananarivo and his trainer will be Elder Webb.

Elder Nelson is going to be a great missionary!  We are excited that he is here to serve the wonderful people of Madagascar.
Sister Cloward
Madagascar Antananarivo Mission Secretary

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

On To Madagascar!

Elder Nelson's mom here.  I wasn't sure if I should put Elder Nelson's itinerary up while he traveled, so I didn't.  We really appreciated others who have in the past so we could get an idea of what to expect travel-wise, so I wanted to make sure it got up.  They should have arrived in Madagascar this morning (UT time, afternoon Madagascar time).  They left the MTC a little before 9:00 am Monday Sept. 29 and the rest is as follows:

Local date and time
Utah date and time
Arrive Salt Lake Airport
10:30 am on 9/29
10:30 am on 9/29

Leave Salt Lake City
2:20 pm on 9/29
2:20 pm on 9/29
Arrive Dallas
5:55 pm on 9/29
4:55 pm on 9/29

Leave Dallas
10:05 pm on 9/29
9:05 pm on 9/29
Arrive London
1:15 pm on 9/30
6:15 am on 9/30

Leave London
7:10 pm on 9/30
12:10 pm (noon)on 9/30
Arrive Johannesburg
7:10 am on 10/1
11:10 pm on 9/30

Leave Johannesburg
10:00 am on 10/1
2:00 am on 10/1
Arrive Antananarivo
2:10 pm on 10/1
6:10 am on 10/1

We had phone calls at every stop- though London was only about 30 seconds as he was having phone card issues.  However, a nice couple saw the missionaries in the airport there and asked if they could take their picture and email it to their parents.  Thankfully, they said yes!  (Bonus points in heaven for that couple if I have anything to say about it!)

Elder Nelson and Elder S.

His last call was last night at 1:00 am from Johannesburg.  He said they'd slept on the flight from London, but he was SO ready for a shower and change of clothes.  No kidding!  They should have arrived at 5:10 this morning (UT time) which makes for about 44 hours of travel.  Ugh!

Monday is his Preparation Day (P-Day).  Can't wait to hear then how his life and the work in Madagascar go!