Sunday, January 8, 2012

Christmas Day goes high tech!

We get a chance to actually 'talk' with our missionary twice a year: Christmas Day and Mother's Day. Today was one of those days! Thanks to a cool Christmas present from my wife, and the wonders of Skype and the worldwide web, we were able to have an hour-long video call with him this afternoon.
First of all, in response to his mother, grandma and aunts' concerns: he is looking well. He looks well fed, healthy and like he is taking care of himself!
He had lots of stories about local cuisinie, and great stories about the people he has been meeting and getting to know. His companion, Elder Bell, is from Provo, Utah.
We were able to swap lots of stories, catch up on family near and far. Most importantly, we got to see him and he could see us.
Things are good. He's working hard and momma's happy!
Merry Christmas to all and to all, a good night!

Happy New Year

Okay, I’m gonna respond in the way that you all wrote cause that’s easiest mom I love you and will be glad to be your hermanito! [mom had said, now that he’s so old, and she’s always told everyone she’s “29” she’s going to start telling everyone he’s her brother!!] I love you and your quirkiness I believe that’s how its spelled I’m losing a grip on my English, but everything’s been great so far and I do love the adventure, as you said! Even if I’m your little brother you always be my mom. And thank you for the quote I like it!

I’m glad to hear that the party was fun I’ve got some pics to send you of ours! I didn’t think I was turning 21this year [he didn’t, but is close!]

te quiero tambien hermanita mio! feliz año nuevo [I love my sister too! happy new year]

Okay so Ian asked the question well Ian I hope that you like the pictures that I’ve got to share with you!

Gerrit dang who’s that? Oh wait he’s the goofy one that lives down the street right? 'course I miss you dude happy new year take care of everyone for me. [Gerrit, one of Charles’ buds, was here for a sleepover and took a minute to write a quick note to Zach as part of our weekly emails]

Gracias for looking for the things I mentioned Katie I’d ask a question of you: you know what type of music I like?! Help me out huh? If you could I’d request a version of: this is the Christ and a few classic primary songs nothing to goofy but you know the old good ones: Army of Helaman, I like to look for rainbows, follow the prophet, and well I’ll trust in your judgment! muchisimas gracias!

You all never said whose name I drew [our 7nelsons family tradition is to draw names at Christmas] you’ll have to give me the one I missed 'last year' and the one I’ll get this year and I can 'pay my debt' when I get back.

I love you all. Now here’s a quick explanation of the picture I’m attaching! btw if they take too long or can’t open them and I’ll send fewer!

Actually I’ll just split them up this time cause I’ve got a lot I would like to share:

The tree and nacimiento as they call it here are in downtown Atlacomulco.

A Christmas display, what they did for Christmas here downtown

We fried conejo with members to eat for new years they invited us over for lunch and we had some great spicy chicken!

Then we ran to the store and got food for dinner since we would not be eating with members.

I gotta go love you all! 
Vaya Con Dios
Eldr ZachNelson

A Mexican Birthday!

[Zach's younger brothers were concerned that birthdays may not be much of a big deal on a mission. Well, thankfully they were wrong! In response to a question they asked about his 20th birthday, Zach replied that they had a zone conference on his birthday, and while at the conference all the missionaries had a birthday party for him!] He sent the attached minute or two of prepared...its a tad graphic!

Feliz Navidad!

(Christmas Day is one of the two days we get to actually talk to Zachary. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we were able to Skype with him from Mexico! Thanks to a church member in Atlacomulco, Mexico with a laptop, wi-fi in Zach’s ward building  and a new Iphone 4S for me for Christmas [wahoo!] we were able to video chat with Zachary. Grandma was here, so she got to share in our ‘Christmas present’ from Mexico! We had two common comments: ‘he looks good’ and ‘we didn’t know an hour could go so fast’!)

So what’s up with you all this week? You looked good! Well almost as good as me! Unicamente una broma: [only a brother?] there’s a new word for Kaitlyn "broma". Hmmm, well let’s see -- since last week we’ve gotten a lot of walking done… and I love talking to you all, but now I don’t really have anything to write. Hmmm, well lets see last night we went and hung out with some other elders then we went and returned the members laptop we borrowed to call you all and left a thank you note too. As you can see we got haircuts this morning and I wanted to show off my lovely tan line. In a first for me the stylist used a straight razor to trim my neck and side burns and she made a joke which I thought was: she had never cut anyone’s ear off, as she was trimming above mine. Apparently I responded in a way that conveyed I did not care if she cut my ear off which she thought was just hilarious.

We’re finally gonna head to the store today. We went once and that was all we had time for! In three weeks we lasted about 2 weeks off that food and have been buying tortillas and ham and cheese from the tienda [store] down the street to make sincronizadas (I think there is an h in there some where but I’m not sure) [this is a tortilla-based sandwich of ham and cheese between two tortillas]. Transfers are today Elder Bell and I are staying in Atlacomulco. The district leader got transferred out and there’s a new elder coming in. I don’t remember if I told you but Elder Bell goes home in February.

Other than that yesterday was muy chido we walked to church and it was so odd, we have to walk thru the downtown all the little tiendas were closed and no one was out but us. Then again it was 9 am on Christmas morning but it was still odd compared to the usual hustle and bustle of downtown. I’m sorry to say that’s really all I’ve got to write today I hope that you enjoy the pictures I can’t remember which ones I clicked on so if you have any questions let me know!  I love you all wish everyone a Merry Christmas for me and send a photograph of everyone Tuesday night [we had David’s sisters Margie and Shirley and their families here for a late holiday bash] for me please I love you all and living the life here in Mexico.
Muchisma Feliz Navidad Y Via Con Dios
Elder Zach Nelson

This is the last time I’ll get to write you until next year…Oh, wait I had a Katy moment, never mind! I love you Katie

Here's some pics of Zach's mission apartment in Atlacomulco, Mexico; his little Christmas tree; and the mountainous area he's in

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Montezuma visits, but only for a day

Alright it's still dry and hot here in Mexico. Where is the snow? Oh well, what to say? Thank you for the weather report, the sad thing is that’s the temp around noon; in the mornings it gets down to about ohh, I’d guess 40 or 50 and the same thing happens around 7 or 8 at night. Well not that fast but the temp starts to plunge instead of falling after about that time. So we had the sniffles the other day after we forgot our jackets the night before, and, yes, mom I can hear exactly what you are thinking desculpeme por favor.

Elder Bell and I are gonna use a member’s laptop in the chapel, its got wireless, lets see if you could be expecting a call around 4 that would be awesome! (We get to phone call or Skype twice a year with our missionary: at Christmas and again on Mother’s Day). It may be a few minutes later than that but I will be calling! Hmm, let’s see what you all wrote this week!? Please give a huge thank you to the Downs for me and also to Sis Hantz: muchas gracias mi amigos!

Let’s see: the way mail works for me here is like this: once it gets to the mission home, it gets distributed with all the other pouch mail to the zone leaders when they have meetings with the assistants; and the zone leaders give the pouch mail to the district leaders when they have their weekly meeting; and the district leaders hand out individual mail when they get it . . . Seeing as how its about a 3 1/2 hr bus ride from here to DF it'll get here eventually!
Glad to hear that even an old hand (like you), no pun intended, can shake in his boots. (I had written to Zach last week that I had the chance to teach in High Priest group lesson last week, and it made me pretty nervous!).

What else: congrats on the new bed Katie! I hope you like it! No cookies here but I have gotten to probar algun de los dulces aqui in mexico y yo quiero decir son muy bien y picante! [try some of the sweets here in mexico and I mean very good and spicy!]

Isaak: I was so excited to read your letter thank you for it. It’s wonderful to hear from you I’m glad your practicing with the hymnal, its fun to sing  and thank you for the story you sent me about the sheep.

Ian: who you calling old man??? Just kidding! I love you Ian I hope you have a good Christmas too!

If you can imagine an inverted triangle of raw meat on a spit which is rotating in front of a flame hot enough to keep it warm, that’s how they make tacos pastor. They reach up and slice off some of the meat and throw it on the grill (flies and all) but yeah, I’ve decided to blame my encounter with montezuma on those tacos! But he left after one day, so it wasn’t too bad. Good job on your pillow too!

I’m almost insulted: Mexico actually reminds me a lot of Missouri!

Vaya con Dios
Elder Zach Nelson
For a little culture of his new area, Elder Nelson and Elder Bell toured this gold mine during one of their P-days (preparation days). Too bad, he tells us they weren't handing out samples on the day they visited!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hello from Mexico!!!!

Yo family what’s up?
If its real for you you’ve no idea how it feels for me! Anyways it’s been awesome I got here and had dinner with Presidente y la Hermana (President and Sister Villareall, they are in charge of the Missionaries), pancakes, go figure! Right but it’s probably the last time I’ll have pancakes in two years! Sorry about my typing, the keyboards are a bit weird here, well, odder than I’m used too. So let’s see I stayed Wednesday night in the mission home which is crazy like it could be in MTC cribs!

Mom would probably love it here everywhere I’ve been has tiled floors and backsplashes. It’s been awesome though, lets see what else: after we left the mission home we took a taxi to the bus terminal and then about an hour ride to Toluca and stayed the night with the elders in Xonacatlan (shaun-a-cat-lan). Then we had a meeting in which Elder and Sister Johnson from the Area 70 (other adult leaders in the Mexico City area) came and spoke to us. So we had to get up at 5:30 to shower, and then take 2 different busses to the chapel in Metepec. It’s the first chapel I’ve seen with an elevator. The meeting was really cool cause all of it was in Spanish and I could understand all of what was being said!

After the meeting we did an exchange and I went to another junta for investigators with some other elders in our zone while Elder Bell (my first companion and trainer. He’s from Provo, UT) went up to our area with another elder in our zone. They took up the luggage. Myself and another elder got a ride up with the Atlacomulco Bishop, which happens to be our area, so it was good. I had my
first street
tacos Saturday night in Independencia. I think its a collonia sobre toluca but yeah all the elders I’ve met have been awesome people! That reminds me: Elder Bell is almost ready to go home! Sounds fun right? He’s at 22 months and will be going home in February.

Hmm what else casi everyone here is nice and friendly as long as you don’t count the Catholic priest whose door we knocked on last night…he was a little mean. Here in Mexico, apparently, the Catholic Church gives out stickers to its members to put on their house: ESTE HOGAR ES CATOLICO. Or: this house is Catholic. We only met a few duros and beside that it was a good night last night we spent a few hours out tracting. Oh yeah only a few areas are bikers and one of those isn’t ours! So yeah lots of walking!! Glad I got some good shoes. Thank Joy for me please

HMM what are some cool stories? Elder Bell and I didn’t have anything to do the night before the meeting so we went tracting in Xonacatlan and well ….. wait I want to give you my live stock count so far: horses IN THE STREET BIENG RIDDEN 1;  sheep about 30; turkeys about 10; and dogs . . .  no sé muchos! perro haha see what I did there actually you might not in Spanish you can say but 2 ways para. . . excuse me three ways por para and pero the Spanish word for dog is perro okay hopefully now you get it! 

Anyways here are some rules that I’ve got to follow the secretaries took my mp3 and put it in a safe in the home I think no sé pero es no me importa and if I wanna listen to music I need to buy a walkman and speakers, it’ll be cheaper here so don’t even think about it!!!! If I want to write anyone outside of you, my immediate family I have to do it by hand the old fashioned way so I’ve asked Presidente if it’s all right for me to write to grandma no word yet. Umm according to Elder Bell I will get to Skype you all for Christmas and all that needs to be done is for you all to set up a Skype account for you and me and ´friend´ them with each other and send me the log in stuff. So yeah Katie and Charles, you need to get to work on that since you know . .. mom and dad MAY, no emphasis added . . . at all, need help with that.  And, oh yeah, you’ll probably need a webcam too.

That is something mom and dad can do! Everyone behave and keep up the good work! I’ve been hearing about Isaak: I’m so happy to hear that you’ve started to get down reading; and Katie if you can send me a sound clip from the choir concert or at least a pic of the ensemble, that would be great. But you can leave out the band and orchestra, since Charles isn’t in the orchestra yet.
I love you all and have to go!

Vaya con Dios
Elder Nelson

Friday, November 25, 2011

Here are some pics for you all

(Exciting for us, Zach finally sent some pictures. Here's some random pics from the MTC in Utah)
 Here's a map showing the Boise, Idaho mission area.
  A pic of the Provo, Utah temple, lit up at night.
 Zach will be in the area labeled 'Mexico City West' in this map. He will move around quite a bit within this area once he gets there.
 Snow-covered mountains in Utah.
 Missionaries pointing out their mission areas on a map at the MTC. Lucky Zach, he gets to point to two places.....
 Zach and his companions at the MTC in Provo.
Zach's companions in Boise, Idaho. The three of them will work together while Zach waits for this Mexican visa.