"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, 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!