"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."

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Last News from the MTC!

Manahoana ny namako sy fianakaviako! ( Hello my friends and family),

This is my last week here in the MTC. Last Friday I recieved my travel itinerary, if for some reason it is not up here are my stops; Salt Lake to Dallas, Dallas to London, London to Johannesburg, and Johannesburg to Antananarivo Madagascar. This last week have been amazing and I have loved it.

First off I learned an interesting concept from my teacher Brother Burton, it is that everyone views the world throught 4 "windows" Beliefs, Rules, Actions, and Results. The way this works is you have a belief on something, there are rules that apply to this belief ( usually an if then statement), you see the actions that validate your belief and brush off the ones that don't, you see the results that confirm your belief which confirms what you believe, repeat process. My teacher related this misisonary work, that we need to change how people see the world and how the world see's them, that they are sons and daughters of God but that it will be a process.

I am becoming very good friends with all the elders in my district and zone, especially with Elders Mack and Snell. We are all abit different but it is fun to talk and hang out with them.

So here is an embarassing story. We are just begining to teach a less active member named Jean Pierre and we go in for our first discussion. We get in and ask him how his family is doing, he said that his four and six year old sons are doing fine but his seven year old daughter has just died. I not noticing the for death/ to die say to him when he finished "tsara" which means good. We get throughn out soon after that, ya my bad. But we were given a second chance later which a clean slate. We go in and since my mom had just happened to send me some cookies I gave Jean some in an attempt to make him feel better and I think it helped. I have to say right now that i don't remember much of what was said. I remember what we discussed but what I said and what was said to me I can't remember. I can say that the gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues is real, that I was able to understand and reply correctly without thinking to hard, It wasn't perfect because I am still learning but the Lord bellsed me with understanding, I am sure of it. The Lord will take care of those people who put their faith and trust in Him.

This Tuesday night devotional was very cool and special. I had the opportunity to sing in the MTC choir for an Apostole of the Lord, Elder M. Russell Ballard. It was very cool, we sang an adaptation of Joseph Smiths First Prayer and Elder Ballard spoke on so much stuff and stupidly I left my notes in the class room but I will try to send some details soon.

This Sunday I was released from being zone leader which is good as I am leaving Monday but still it is a little nice to have no aditional responsibilities.

Spiritual thought for the week hmmm what I have to say comes staight from our lesson with Jean Pierre. We do not know the reason but God knows, that should be enough. Really that is something we can all live by, we don't know why some things happen but we know that God knows and that He has a reason, we merely have to trust in Him.

I hope you all are having a good week, be safe everyone, I am thinking and praying about you all. Have a good week, next time I write will be from madagascar!

-Elder Nelson

Cool picture of the temple from our Sunday walk.

A picture with a good chunk of the zone

Me with Rahalay (Brother) Bingham, he is probably my favorite teacher ( sorry to the others) and he plays the parts of Rakoto and Jean Pierre

Just a quick picture of me in the computer lab, now you can all know what I look like today.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Week and a Half Left! Yea!

Hi everyone!

This week has been very good, we have seen large amounts of growth in everyone, we got a new teacher, and got to listen to an apostle in person.

Our ability to speak the language has grown immensely, it is no where to perfect, I still have a hard time understanding what I am reading and I can't understand what people are saying very well but with Elder Liao's help we can manage.

We have received a new teacher when one of our old ones went to India to teach English ( I think his name is Brother Aldous) but this new teacher is extremely good, funny, and can teach very well. His name is Brother Burton, he went to Madagascar about 4 years ago I think, when he speaks malagasy I can barely catch a few words, he is probably better at speaking than even the natives. He has a lot of very good stories varying from funny and silly to very spiritual, its unfortunate that we are only have him for our last two weeks. Since he came in part way through he sorta jumps around and reviews a lot of the stuff we have learned which is helping so much. Our teachers have told us that we have the basic sentence structures down and the only thing that is holding us back is our vocabulary and ability to comprehend.

I have mentioned before that Tuesdays we have devotionals in the evening well this last Tuesday we had our first General Authority come, Elder Richard G. Scott. It was so amazing so see him in person and to hear him speak, his topic was on prayer and I am stupid right now but I don't have my notes with me right now but I will send them at some point.

Okay, now to answer questions. First church here at the MTC is pretty much the same except for classes, we have an hour of sacrament and an hour of priesthood meeting but they aren't consecutive. During sacrament meeting no one is assigned to speak before hand, everyone has a topic to prepare a short 5 minute talk on and the branch presidency will stand up and call on two people right then so you had better have something ready.

I think that is it, if I remember anything I will send it and fun fact for everyone, when we come into the MTC in our little pacts that we get there is a little card saying that we are authorized preachers and encouraging people to listen to us and on the card it shows the time period where we are authorized to preach so ours say August 20, 2014 to August 3, 2016 so if you were wondering about when i will be released there you go.

You all are in my thoughts and prays and I hope the best for all of you. A scripture hmmm I have been reading of Ammon, his brothers, and their efforts among the Lamanites. They are great examples of strength and faith in the Lord. Love you all, see you all eventually

-Elder Spencer Nelson

p.s. We should be getting our travel plans today or tomorrow, if we get them I should be leaving on Monday the 29, just one more full week to go.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Big Email of the Week


Greetings from the MTC! Dang I have been looking forward to this P-day. A lot has happened yet at the same time I feel as if there hasn't been much so forgive me if i write out of order.

Lets see first off my ankle is pretty much up to 100%, I am back to having fun and enjoying my gym time ( personally I thought my ankle was good on the second day but whatever). I have, for my last few gym times, been running with my good friend Elder Raisor. Both of us feel like we need to get more exercise than just playing a game gives us so the running has been helpful. We try to run at least one mile when we have gym and it has been going well so far. It has been good running with him because he is someone I know from before the MTC and I get to spend a little more time with him before we both go our separate ways.

I was able to have a really good talk with Elder Callahan before he left for Japan on Monday (there should be a picture, personally I think his picture of us is better so you should check out his stuff). Seeing Elder Callahan one more time was a great blessing, he's great and will be an awesome missionary.

Ryan and Steven and anyone else involved thank you so much for the small snacks and treats that you send me, it means a lot and really makes the day better when I get mail. Also Ryan I listened to your advice this time instead of Tanner's and shared some cookies with my companion. And here you go, your little request; Ryan, why is your potato better than Stevens? ( I don't know why you wanted that, is there some sorta weird competition going on?)

To answer some of your questions the investigators we teach are actual investigators, we teach them the gospel.... Okay not really Rakoto and Adore are our teachers role playing as actual investigators that they knew and they act as they would act. But now every Thursday we do TRC which is basically learning to teach members/ investigators who are not our teachers so we can practice with new people every time. Even though the people we teach are not actual investigators the spirit still testifies of the truth of the gospel, it still comes and we can learn how to feel the spirit and follow its guidance.

Some of you have asked what the duties of a zone leader are in the MTC, really they are kinda basic. We interview all of the District leaders in the zone and check how their districts are coming. If there are problems we offer advice and encouragement then if the problem continues we then give support to that District Leader in correcting the problem. We report what we learn from these meetings to the Branch President so he knows what is going on. Basically that is it I believe, my zone is rather chill so we haven't had much to do outside of meetings.

Dad don't get frustrated when you try to learn some malagasy, it can be a bit wierd. Some of the letters and their combinations don't sound the way you think they should and the malagasy people breathe out the last letter I guess that's the best way to explain it. My class is great, I love learning even though it gets hard. My teachers are great, they are super nice and don't get angry when you mess up, they just help us along. We like to jokingly make fun of one of the teachers Brother Bingham, he's fun and can bring the spirit so well.

I think that is it, again thank you everyone for mail that you have sent me, its great. To all those people who read this I would like to hear from you in a letter, it doesn't even have to be very long. I just want to know how everyone is doing and to stay in touch.

A scripture passage for you all to read is Alma toko 5 (chapter 5) it is really good and inspirational. I was marking it with my new scripture marker (its called a HI-Glider, I would recommend it to anyone, better than a pencil any day.)

I would love to hear from you all, write again next week. Veloma, Mazatoa! ( goodbye, see you later)

-Elder Spencer Nelson

Oh, What a Difference a Card Reader Makes!

No letter, yet, today, but we did finally get some pictures!

Malagasy District
(Elder Nelson is 2nd from left.)

Residence Hall 
(Elder Nelson's shoes have the orange laces in the right back.)

Malagasy money

Selfie with Elder L. (companion)

Selfie with Elder S. (friend from high school)

Selfie with Elder C. (also a friend from high school)

New haircut
(from Sis. N, a woman from our home ward)

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Hello everyone!

It has been a long and yet short week here at the MTC, our schedule is about the same almost everyday so it can get a bit slow on some days. Lets see this week has been a bit eventful, I almost don't know where to begin.

Sorry I accidentally sent that email when I wasn't done, so lets begin.
On Sunday Elder Liao and I were given the assignment of being zone leaders which is if you don't know the responsibility to look after all the districts in the zone and report on how they are doing to the Branch President, which is a pretty big responsibility as we have only been here for two whole weeks but the Lord knows what he is doing so we will go forward trusting in Him and doing our best. We have been teaching our investigator Rakoto for a bit know and just this week we got him to commit to be baptized in two weeks, that lesson was so good and you could feel the spirit in the room it was just amazing.

We are now teaching a new investigator named Adore, we don't know much about him right now but we know he has questions on Joseph Smith so that is what we will be teaching him. Today in the evening we will be starting TRC I am not sure what it is, sorta like a quick lesson with members who speak the language, so I will write next week with how it goes. Last Tuesday I sang in the MTC choir for the General Authority devotional, it was so cool and the message was just great, Don Clarke of the Seventy spoke.

Well its happened, the fear of all missionaries in the MTC... I hurt myself during gym (face palm). I was playing basketball and I jumped for the rebound and when I landed I landed on my left foot wrong so I slightly sprained it, and I didn't even get the rebound. The good news though is that it is feeling much better today than yesterday. Also on Sunday (sorry that I am jumping around, just writing as I think of them) my district watched the Testiments movie, Ryan Steven and Joseph you shouyld know what it is "it was my kill, I beat you to the kill" ya that one. The cool thing is though is that in that movie they use some malagasy in it. Its just a tiny bit but its in there.

Random fact, did you know the word aapa in Indonesian means what and aang means the last? So in Avatar when the call Aapa in Indonesian they are saying what and Aang's name actually means the last just a cool and interesting piece of knowledge that I learned ( there are some elders going to Indonesia btw).

I think that is it, mom the name of Elder Bednar's thing is Character of Christ sorry I can't tell you more. Thank you everyone that has sent me letters and emails, they are always great to read and end the day with something fun, mail on a mission is always fun. You all are great! Steven here is some Malagsy for you, Fantatro fa marina i Bokin'i Mormona (I know the Book of Mormon is true) Fantatro fa mpaminany marina i Thomas S. Monson ( I know Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet) Andriamantra zanaka isika ( we are God's children). How did you like that eh? This place while hard is great and builds a testimony faster than almost anything else. Have a great week everyone and I will write you next week,

Elder Spencer Gregory Nelson

Also add this in- a scripture for this week is Matthew 6:33, we used it in our lesson with Rakoto when he commited, its a good one