Sunday, May 9th, 2010 – Call to Chile for Elder Nelson

Dad called Jessie on 3-way from Arizona and then called Elder Nelson at 3:00 Chile time (12:00 AZ time). He asked us to call to a member’s home. We got 45 minutes to talk to him.

Elder Nelson answered the phone… “Hey, how’s it going?” We could hear him great. The same member that I called from to talk to you on Christmas let the missionaries borrow their phone again.

Mom, How are things going? Good. I’m still in the same place. In Indepencia. In two more weeks, there are transfers. I will be changing sectors. I guess I don’t know for sure, but at the end of this transfer, I will complete 6 months in this place. (Elder Nelson couldn’t remember a lot of words in English…. It took a couple sentences to start speaking clear English and without having to think about each word.)

What about the Earth quake? Where I am at, there wasn’t that much damage. But, down south, there is a lot. In concepcion.. it destroyed the city.

Have you done a lot of service or clean up? No… we haven’t. The missions down south changed to service missions, but we didn’t. We just kept on working like normal. We had to stay in the house for a whole week after the earth quake. Then, right after we had to be in the house by 8:00 in the night. After 2-3 weeks, it was back to normal. It was only a few houses that had problems here.

Mom- Everyone in the ward shares concern. We left a little early from church to make sure we were here. Everyone in the ward was anxious to tell you hi and was really excited for us to be able to talk to you.

Dad- Brother Scott always asks how you are doing. Tyler- I love that man.

Chad- Hey Tyler! Tyler- Who is this? Is this Chad? Whoa… you’re voice is really deep. Chad- Yeah. Tyler- how’s it going? Chad- good. Playing football a lot right now. Tyler- How much are you benching? Naw, just kidding.

Dad- how are you getting around? Tyler- this area is really big. In the city, there are no bikes. People steal them, so they don’t let you have them. In the country, you get bikes (where I was before). I just walk around or take the buses everywhere. I’ve memorized the bus routes of every place. Here we have a huge cemetery in the city. It is a large part of our sector. We have to go around it. In order to do that, we have to take the buses a lot. It’s a lot of money. You have to pay for transport. Mom- does that come out of what they give you? Tyler- normally, yes, but it doesn’t always work out as planned. I took some money out a little while ago for food because we didn’t have money.

Mom- I know you have a long ways to go for your mission. But, I still need to ask you if I need to do anything for college? This fall is when everybody applies. Do I need to do that for you? Have you thought about it?

Tyler.. uh.. No. I don’t know. I’ll get back in July, the 15th. So. I’ll be able to start the next semester.

Mom- Does your mission pres let you get online to do applications?

Tyler- I’ve never heard of them say anything like that here. I think you’ll have to handle that. I don’t think if I can get into BYU-provo, but I’d like to go there.

Dad- I think you can.

Mom- I’ll try BYU provo or Idaho. Or ASU. I’ll start that and email you about it later.

Tyler- okay. Wow. That wasn’t even on my mind at all.

Dad- What are some of your missionary experiences. We need to hear what is going on.

Tyler- Well, today at church. Two of my converts got baptized, they both received the priesthood. One blessed the sacrament, one passed. I baptized a dad and a son. They completed their family in the gospel. We reactivated the rest of their family. They have the goal to go to the temple. They can go in one year. If they go and I’m still on my mission... I’ll get to go. That doesn’t happen very often, so it’s really cool. A lot of my other companions… Sometimes depressing when you baptize, then you leave the sector, because sometimes they aren’t active and leave the church after baptism. It’s depressing because you can’t go back to that area and help them. You have to count on the other members to help your converts.

Mom- What about when you got mugged?

Tyler- It’s kind of funny. I was with a new elder. We were in this division, I don’t know what it’s called.. that’s a word in English, right? We were in this part of our area that’s really gangster. We were going to play Futball. We play from 6-8 in the morning. We were there picking up an investigator. It was 5:30am and we were there. I feel really dumb too because I had received the impression we shouldn’t walk that way. I wasn’t thinking. I didn’t listen to the spirit. I had to repent afterwards, it was a hard lesson to learn. I was leading this Elder and we went anyway. A guy followed us to the bus stop. The new elder I was with got really nervous and scared.. that got the other guy excited. He was asking for coins. I said no, just leave, I don’t have anything on me. But, the other Elder had a nice watch. The guy saw his watch and got all excited. The guy told him to give it to him… Saying he had a gun. He was threatening the investigator who was with us and us. I just told him I’d give him all I had.. because I didn’t have much. In the end, my companion had to give him his watch and 4000 pesos. Nothing much happened, just shook my companion up for a while. Where I am at now, it’s nothing like other areas. There’s another place where there is a lot of gangster activity. The missionaries have to know all about the gangs and their leaders so they will leave you alone and can get through the streets.

Mom- do you go to those areas? Tyler- I’ve only been once with the zone leaders.

Tyler- I should be writing more people back. I don’t know why, but I have no time to do anything- to write everybody. I got a bunch of birthday cards and packages. It is really nice to get those things.

Mom- is there anything you need?

Tyler- American food. We don’t get it very much. I can actually find PB. Walmart bought out one of the big stores here. They’ve started to put a few American things here. But, it is really expensive. 8-9 dollars for a jar of PB. Send whatever you want. I don’t really care.

I can only read things from the mission library. I’m always reading Jesus the Christ, etc. I can reference to the book you sent me about mission questions, but can’t read directly from it.

Chad- how many ppl have you’ve baptized? Uh.. not very many. Don’t worry about it.

Jessie- What do you eat everyday? A lot of rice and meat. Every lunch is at a members’, but that’s it. We always have a huge lunch. I don’t usually eat b-fast and dinner. In this ward, we have a family that we go to during the week. In the weekends, it rotates through the other members. I remember when I got here, the first bit. I had to choke down the rice. I would spoon it off onto the plate of my companion. My companion could eat and eat and eat. I would give him all my food. The first three weeks I lost so much weight. But, once I learned to eat rice, I could eat a lot of things. I still don’t like beans. I eat it when I have to. Besides that I like pretty much everything.

Bean- Hi tyler! Tyler- What’s up? Bean- This summer I am graduating! Tyler- where are you going? Bean- BYU-idaho. I’m excited. Tyler- are you going by yourself? Bean- yes. Tyler- Do you have to pay for all of it? Bean- Just for my rent.. I’m saving.

Dad- maybe the two of you can go there to school

Tyler- That’d be awesome. that’ll be weird, because you’ll be further ahead in school!!

Bean- seminary grad is soon. I miss Brother Clanton. Tyler- the teachers are all really great.

Mom- did you hear from steven at all? Tyler- two times. I’ve written him too. When they send me emails, I normally can write them back quickly.

Mom- is it cooler there now?

Tyler- it’s really weird.. it’s actually really hot right now. It changes. In the night, it’s cold, but the day is hotter. They said that winter here is really cold in Santiago. But, they are kind of babies. When there is just a little heat, they say it’s too hot.

Dad- tell us some more missionary experiences

Tyler- I don’t really know what to say. I don’t really get a chance to sit and think about it too much. I hear others talk about their experiences. I know I’m having them for sure, but it’s hard to think about them other than just what happens from day to day.

Mom- what do you mainly do during the day? Tracting?

Tyler- Tracting/ knocking doors.. We work a lot with the members. The members in some wards are good. The ward I’m in now, they are really good. We’ve tried to change them. They are getting a lot better. They are trying to help us out. We don’t have ward mission leaders. It’s different than in the states. In this ward, there’s a bunch of people that have been there for 30 years. They get doing things that you just don’t do. As 19 year olds, you have to correct these older people. It’s cool though. They look to you and think “Wow, you’re a missionary”. Even though you don’t feel as special as they view you.

In my other ward, it’s was a branch. They don’t really know what they are doing. When you come in, you have to have a lot of meetings and call the branch president to change things. It’s a great opportunity to learn and grow. You end up with a lot of experiences.

Oh, I gave a talk today! For about 25 minutes. The Bishop called yesterday and asked. Your first priority is to befriend the bishop so he’ll work with you. I’d prepared a couple of things. I can talk for 15 minutes.. That’s nothing compared to the lessons we teach. It was about missionary work. It was good because I’m a missionary! After the first speaker, there was 30 minutes of the meeting left! I asked the Bishop how much time he wanted me to take.. He just said, “Oh, take the rest of the time!” I read some scriptures and just talked about being a missionary. It was great.

The church in Chile is really strong. There are a lot of members here. But, also, it’s new. It hasn’t been here very long. It grew so fast, and there’s a lot of inactive people. But, there are people who have been around 30 years or so, so there’s usually a lot of people to fill the callings. Which is good because we don’t have a lot of time to fill those callings.

Mom- do they have mother’s day there?

Tyler- They have a big breakfast for them. Happy Mother’s Day mom!

Jessie- I’m having a baby girl!

Tyler- that’s weird I’ll be an uncle when I get back.

I was looking forward to talking to Kevin in Spanish. The words here are different and I wanted to see how it was talking to someone else in Spanish.

Jessie- Kevin’s working, but wanted me to tell you that you’re doing a great job. He wrote in Spanish, you should get it soon.

Chad’s taking Spanish!

Chad- I can’t speak Spanish! Tyler- you’ll have to practice. I’ll teach you. You’ll go somewhere Spanish speaking on your mission. Chad- I want to go to Spain. Tyler- Spain would be cool! They talk weird.. with a lisp. They pronounce their s’s very profound.

Tyler- I have to go soon. 2 minutes.

Mom- you’re happy? You love everything?

Tyler- it’s really interesting, you learn so many things. It has opened my mind to so many things.. the gospel. What you try to do and what I’ve been trying to do is convert yourself as much as you can on the mission as you convert others. If you can do that, you’re good.

We’re real proud of you and everything you do. We love your testimony.

We love you!!

Tyler- I’ll talk to you soon, love you guys too.

Elder Nelson sounded great. We could tell he’s been immersed in Spanish. He would often think aloud in Spanish to try to remember English words. He’s doing great and loves his mission. 45 minutes flew by, but it was probably the perfect time for a focused missionary. We are very proud of Elder Nelson!


  1. Aww, this is awesome! It's so great to get the calls, and they go so fast, and then there are a ton of things you think of afterward that you would like to have asked. We just had our last phone call with Nick this morning. It's weird to think about that! Elder Nelson, you have a great attitude. Very humble and hard working and wanting to learn. We pray for you and we're really happy for you to have this opportunity.
    Much love,
    Aunt Lori

  2. Thanks for posting this! I was engrossed in reading it - I love to hear all the fun details. You guys asked great questions. I am so impressed by his wonderful attitude. It is amazing that he says he is trying to teach himself, and learn as much as he teaches others. What a great approach! I can't imagine having to explain some of the basic details of how a ward should be run, and the appropriate way to do things - it would also be a good way to focus on what is really important. Thanks again! Lindsay