Monday, December 23, 2013

Sent: Monday, December 23, 2013 10:24 AM
Subject: Finally in MO
Soooooo I didn't actually end up calling at the airport because I didn't have enough time. Sorry :( Yes I did receive packages, packages which I am very grateful for because it is stinking cold here in MO and I think I would freeze if I didn't have the nice big blanket and gloves that you sent. If I understood right, the standard shipped packages are meant for Christmas so I haven't opened those yet. We do have a good heater in our apartment though so maybe not. As for a Christmas call/skype, we might get to skype, might not. Really it just depends on if we can find a member with internet, which we have not been able to do yet. It snowed a few days ago so the the ward's christmas party and sacrament meeting got shut down so we still don't really know anyone in the ward. I think I will just call on Christmas Day but I'm not sure what time.
My companion... His name is Elder Sanchez and he is from Mexico. It actually makes it a little hard because he wants to learn English so he wants to speak English all the time which is pretty terrible for me. But he is trying to start speaking only Spanish with me so hopefully that will change. He has been out for about 14 months I think and I will be the third missionary he has trained. He's a really great guy and is an awesome trainer. In terms of the area, we are in Kansas City, Kansas. And it is cold. And we are the first people in our apartment for like a month so there was absolutely no food waiting for us so I've been really hungry for the last few days haha. But that's all good because now I will appreciate food even more :D. We went food shopping right before we came here and I think I bought about 2 weeks worth of food just because I was so excited to have stuff to eat haha.
Yesterday we decided to go visit a less active family that we thought was pretty close to our apartment. It turned out that they actually lived about 2 miles away and we had to walk the whole way in the snow. It was cold. I think my nose was frozen. They didn't let us in the door so we didn't get to get warm either. It was rough. But oh well. It was actually a pretty good time because there are a fair amount of hills here and I can just slide down them in my church shoes since they don't have much grip on them. Great times :) I've learned that as long as I say "that's great" after everything I do, I will have an awesome time while I'm here :D
This week we did get a new investigator despite all the other junk. His name is Braulio and he's a super cool kid. He's a senior in high school and has a ton of faith in Christ and really liked everything we had to tell him. So Elder Sanchez and I have a lot of hope for him. We have a return appt with him this week so hopefully that will go well.
The area here is pretty awesome. Lots of hills and stuff which is good for exercise I guess. Also with the snow it makes it fun to slide around. It's cold though. I plan to get some long johns later today. The members that we've met so far have been awesome. They are all super nice and really love the missionaries. They are also really willing to help us out and give us references and stuff. Oh, and I can't forget. They make really good food, and lots of it. Oh, and almost all the members that we've met so far have been hispanic. I think about 60%+ of the ward is hispanic which is awesome because it means I get to practice my Spanish way more. I guess they actually have a bilingual meeting so every Sunday they have a translator. Like I said, church got cancelled so I'm not really positive what it's like yet.
Dad wanted me to share a quick spiritual thought so here goes. This one is actually inspired by my companion but whatever. Basically, he was eating M&Ms one day and decided that the two M's stood for Mas y Mejores (more and better). So... He glued the m&m wrapper below a picture of Christ and laminated it. The idea is that we need mas y mejores members in our wards, mas y mejores missionaries in the field, we need to practice mas y mejor obedience. Basically, we need mas y mejores of everything in our spiritual lives and with the mas y mejores things we will be able to bring ourselves and others closer to Christ.
I really don't have too much more to talk about. Sorry I don't have any pictures this week. I will try to get some for next week. This week has been pretty slow because of the weather. Hope you guys are all doing well and that you have a great Christmas :D Can't wait to talk to you guys on Christmas. I have an hour MAX to talk to you guys so your right ma, think of what you want to talk to me about so that we can make the most of the time. Love you guys :D
          -Elder Nyholm

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sooooo this week was pretty dificult but was really good overall. Here are
the hard parts. 1) There was a whole district being pretty disobedient
during study time so I as a zone leader had to go tell them to stop what
they were doing and to start being obedient. They didn't really like it all
that much and I don't really blame them, but it needed to be done. I never
saw them doing anything wrong again so that was a pretty good thing. I just
felt bad because I don't like telling people when they are doing bad stuff
even if it's necessary. 2) There are 3 of us remaining of the original 10
people in our district. People started leaving Monday morning. It's sad
because I´ve really come to love the people in my district and my teachers
and now I won't see most of them anymore, probably ever. So yeah, that's why
this week was a little difficult. Other than that I am amazed at how fast
the week flew by. I feel like I was writing my last email to you yesterday.

I made two new discoveries this week. 1) Drinkable yogurt is AWESOME. They
fill up a refrigerator with the stuff and I usually take like 3 of them to
drink in the morning along with my cereal and eggs or whatever else is for
breakfast. Basically the best ¿Food? I´ve had the entire time that I´ve been
in the CCM. 2) The twistable colored pencils make for some pretty awesome
scripture markers. I bought some in the store here this week and I really
love them. I do feel like a little kid when I use them though :)

This week one of our teachers had his birthday. Our district chipped in to
get him a tie and then we all wrote our names and where are missions are and
stuff like that on the back. We also got him a bunch of cookies and stuff
from the little store here on campus. Anyways, after he opened all that
stuff, his wife came in with a cake. Now that I think of it, the cake was
even better than the drinkable yogurts. It was a vanilla cake with
strawberries and it was soaked with condensed milk or something. I don't
know what they call that kind of cake but it is suuuuuuper delicious.
Anyways, he wore the tie the next day when we took a district picture. I'll
send you a picture of it in a seperate email.

Friday was a pretty long but awesome day. It was our day for in-field
orientation so we were basically in class from 8 in the morning till 9:30 at
night with breaks for lunch and dinner. I learned a lot during it and was
pretty proud of myself for not falling asleep at all. I guess that's why we
had 6 different teachers throughout the day though. Anyways, that training
really made me feel quite a bit more prepared for the mission field.

So every Sunday we watch church movies from 8-9:30pm in the big auditorium.
This week they showed us a story that was on PBS about missionaries. It was
awesome because about half of it was in the Mexico MTC and it had a bunch of
people in it that I know. I think you can find it on the PBS website.
Anyways, Carl Pratt is our MTC President and he's on it a lot and you will
see a close up or Elder Barton who was one of my zone leaders before me and
Elder Grzan. It shows Elder Bartons whole district and I knew basically all
of them so it was really cool to see them on what is basically national

Someone told me a really good definition for a missionary this week. You've
probably all heard it already, but here goes anyways. "A missionary is
someone who leaves their family for two years so that other families can be
together for eternity." I really liked that definition and it's really
inspired me to work a little harder than I normally would.

Yesterday our teacher had us go out in the CCM and share a christmas message
with some workers. We basically just walked around and talked to whoever we
could and reminded them about the true meaning of Christmas and asked for
refferals for the missionaries in Mexico City who are outside of the MTC.
Elder Grzan and I talked to 4 people in the 15-20 mins that we had and got
one refferal. The last guy that we talked to just kept talking and talking
and it really hit me how little Spanish I actually understand. I can usually
get my point across and I can always understand my teachers in class
(because they talk a little more slowly and use simpler words for us) but
when listening to a native talking at normal speed I think I only got about
25% of what they said. Which I guess is still fine because for the most part
I knew what they were talking about in general. But yeah, it was fun and was
kind of an eye opening experience.

Today is our P-day but we aren't allowed to play sports and our whole
ditrict is gone so we basically have nothing to do. So, this morning I asked
the Comedor (lunch room) employess if we could help clean up tables and
stack chairs and stuff so that we could do something useful. They gladly
accepted and we started wiping down tables and stacking chairs. About half
way through I start hearing Elvis Presly singing from the food prep area,
really loudly. So, it turned out that we got to serve a bit and listen to a
tiny bit of American music at the same time which made it suuuuuper fun
haha. Now that I think about it, I guess we aren't really supposed to listen
to anything but church music but oh well, it's good to have a little
harmless fun once in a while.

Just because I´ve been wondering... Did Erik build his flying wing yet? Have
him send me a picture when he finishes it if he hasn't already.

I don't really have much else to talk about. This week just flew by and I
don't really remember many highlights other than what I´ve talked about
already. This time tomorrow I will be in Dallas Texas waiting for the plane
to bring me to Missouri. I might get to call you in the Airport, not sure
yet though. Anyways, all is well and I'm excited to finally get out and give
some real service. I Hope all is going well back home and I continue to keep
you all in my prayers.

                   -Elder Nyholm

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 12:55 PM
Subject: One week Till the field
This week literally FLEW by. It's a good thing I write down important stuff during the week because if I didn't I don't think I would have anything to talk about. I still don't have much but I will give it my best shot. So, this week we learned how to play handball. It's basically soccer but with hands instead of feet and you can only run 3 steps with the ball. We play in the caged basketball court on campus which makes it a little more fun. I´ve found that I have a pretty nasty shot because I can jump above everyone, float for a minute to decide where to shoot, and then shoot opposite of where I think the goalie is expecting me to shoot. It's pretty great haha. The goalies get irritated sometimes because they block everyone else´s shots and then I make like 5 in a row. So a new sport I'm good at I guess.
We had a sad week this week because one of our Hermanas got sent home because she is sick. She hopes to get sent to her mission in a few weeks but theres no guarantee. She spent all last week in her house being sick and stuff and I guess she has got a few diseases which is no good. She was awesome though. I never saw her with a sad look on her face even when she came to class on rare occasion. She was always smiling pretty much no matter how bad things were going for her. She inspired all of us with her good spirit.
I got Mail this Week :) Your thanksgiving day card and a letter from the priests quorum at home. Thanks for taking time to write to me. And thanks to the priests quorum for taking the time. I always hated writing to missionaries because I never knew what to say to them. Now that I´ve gotten a letter from the quorum I realize it doesn't matter what you say because as a missionary your just glad to get mail in general and anything that is written to you can be something that lifts you up that day. So thanks a lot guys :)
I´ve started memorizing important scriptures in Spanish this past week. Right now I´ve got Joseph Smith's first vision, Alma 38:9,15, and a few other short scriptures. It's pretty nice having them on hand for when youre teaching lessons. It's a really nice source of knowledge to be able to draw from right on the spot. And it helps you learn the language at the the same time so that pretty great.
This week we got moved from the dorms into a casa because supposedly the ceilings in the dorm are failing and aren't safe anymore. Nice to know that I slept under a broken ceiling for 4 weeks huh? But it's kind of great because now we are in a casa with all the Elders in our district so we at least have people that we like that we are living with. On the downside, there are kids in our casa that are pretty disobedient and come home at like 10:30 (lights out time) at night and then stay up another 30 minutes till they go to bed. Then they wake up late and start getting ready for the day at 7 (when we are supposed to be in class). So basically they keep the other 12 elders in the casa up because they are loud when they get home and it's really annoying. I had a talk with them so hopefully they won't be doing that anymore. It's amazing how people can dedicate 2 years of their life to something and then just completely disregard the rules. It's pretty sad if you think about it.
On a spiritual note, we had a really good lesson yesterday in class (Us getting taught about teaching). Basically one of our teachers acted as an investigator and each person had one principle from the first lesson to teach him about for 2 minutes and we really just needed to apply our little section to his needs. I think we did a pretty good job and it really helped us to understand how to try and form our lesson to the needs of the investigators. Oh and we had 2 minutes to prepare what to teach him.... so really no time at all haha. I think it's the best lesson I´ve had here in the CCM.
That's pretty much all I´ve got for the week. Not much stuff happened but I did learn a lot. Thanks for all your support :) Love you all.
        -Elder Nyholm

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Date: December 3, 2013 at 6:55:40 AM PST
Subject: 2 Weeks Left

Sooooo this week went really really really fast but we also had some bummer moments. We were slacklining right after I emailed you last week and the Mexican doctor runs out and asks us to take the slackline down because it's dangerous (more dangerous than soccer, volleyball, and basketball right?) Anyways, right as I'm about to take it down the white doctor runs out and says "wait wait. I want to take some pictures". The white doctor loved it. He had seen us slacklining like 3 times that week during gym time or whatever and we actually had almost got him to try it. The next day we needed something fun and new to do so we started playing volleyball with the giant exercise ball from the weights room. It was super fun because people could actually get the ball over the net but then mr mexican doctor told us we couldn't do that either. Huge bummer.
I actually got the dearelder letters like an hour after I emailed you last week. It was pretty fun to get mail since I really didn't expect it. I left them in my room though so I don't remember if there are any questions you wanted me to answer.
This week we found out that our teacher can do a Flag on a pole. Basically he can hold on to the pole and hold his body straight out like a flag. Well we told him he needed to show us if he wanted to gain a little extra respect. So he walks up to this pole, grabs it, jumps up to flag position, and all we hear is a super loud embarrassing noise. I thought he pooped his pants or something from too much strain. Well he drops down immediately and yells "Mis pantalones! Mis pantalones". He had ripped the crotch of his pants wide open haha. It was probably the funniest thing I've seen/heard the entire time I've been at the MTC. He went home and told his wife that we provoked him to rip his pants hahaha. Anyways, good times.
So for thanksgiving we just had a special thanksgiving lunch and a devotional. The lunch was probably the best food we´ve had here except for the Tyson Chicken I think it's called. It's the breaded chicken Amanda´s mom would always make. I usually eat about 3-5 pieces of it here, which is why I'm amazed I don't feel fat. Anyways, thanksgiving lunch was good. Then we had a devotional that our whole zone was singing a special number in. The lights died during the 3rd verse so no one could read the words of their music and the song just sorta died. It was pretty hilarious. We also sang a special number this Sunday, a Hombres only song. We practiced with about 8 guys during the week and then we somehow magically had about 25 when we actually sang it. The new guys didn't realize that we were singing the Spanish words to the ENGLISH notes so basically our musical number sounded like junk because we had a 17 guys singing the wrong thing. It was a huge bummer.
This week our teacher chose me and Elder Grzan (my companion) to be the first in our district to teach a REAL less active member and her non member sister. He said it was because he trusted us and because he thinks that together we are the best Spanish speaking companionship in our district. It made us really nervous because right before we went in he said something about having a lot of trust in us so we didn't want to mess up in any way haha. Anyways, It went really well and the less active member was crying when we left because she felt the spirit so strongly. It was a pretty good experience altogether.
Having the trust of Hermano Leon (our teacher) leads into something else to. Me and Elder Grzan were called to be Zone Leaders on Sunday so we have a pretty big responsibility now. We pretty much overlook the 3 districts in our zone which is about 30 missionaries total. We´ve been trying to come up with some good zone goals and we´ve got a few now. Anyways, it's a little stressful now because we have to try to be even better examples than before. But it's good. Also, one of the Zone leaders that just left to his mission told me that he had a huge feeling that we were going to be called as zone leaders. He also said something kind of funny. He said that I have a "commanding presence" which I thought was just a joke, but he was completely serious about it. You learn something new about yourself every day I guess.
So my language story this week. Our teacher (we have two), Hermano Medina (the one who ripped his pants) was telling Elder Grzan and I about his mission experiences. He has only been back for about 6 months I think. Anyways, he's telling us this story in ALL Spanish and i realized that I actually knew what he was talking about. I know exactly what his story was about, order of events, all that jazz. So what I'm trying to say is that I can actually understand most Spanish now, as long as it's being spoken relatively slow. Also, when we teach I can say basically everything I want and have our investigator know what I'm talking about. I know I don't have all the grammar right but the point is that I can teach a whole lesson in Spanish and have them understand me. It's pretty great ;)
Dad wants my Favorite scripture for my plaque. Here's my story. During class our teacher told us to find a scripture in the Book of Mormon that would address a specific need of our investigator. I don't know the BoM as well as I should so I prayed and opened up to a random page and read the chapter that I opened up to. I guess God knows that I'm still an investigator because the chapter was basically written to me. It's Alma chapter 38 that I opened too. I read it and found some choice verses that I really like a lot. On my plaque Id like it to read "there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness. Now go, my son, and teach the word unto this people." That's a mix from Alma 38: 9,15. I memorized that in Spanish right after I found it. In Spanish it is "No hay otro modo or medio por el cual el hombre pueda ser salvo, sino en Cristo y por medio de Él. He aquí, Él es la vida y la luz del mundo. He aquí, Él es la palabra de verdad y de rectitud. Ahora ve, hijo mio, y enseña la palabra a este pueblo". The whole chapter is really good. It's about Alma the younger teaching his son Shiblon. I'd recommend reading it just because it's so good.
Mom asked me how I sleep with the cannons going off all night. Since I have 16 hour days I pretty much sleep like a baby unless there is a mosquito buzzing in my ear. I go on a mosquito hunt every night before bed though so that's really rare. You also wanted to know about changing the fish water. Now is probably the right time to do it or else the filter will start to sound like it's going to explode. Just make sure you put the drops of stuff in to make the water safe for the fish. 
One last thing before I close up. I heard a quote that I guess Sister Hinckley said back in the day. She said "today I obey, tomorrow I understand". I just thought it was a super good quote, especially as a missionary since we have a lot of rules that we don't necessarily understand. All is well, I look forward to hearing from you next week. Thank you for all your love and support :)
             -Elder Nyholm

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 12:53 PM
Subject: Halfway to the Field

So this week just flew by suuuuper fast. I´ve started feeling a lot more comfortable when we teach lessons so I feel like I can actually teach by the spirit more and be a bigger help during the lesson. In the past I´ve just let my companion go for it because he likes to lead the lessons. But I decided I needed to fell more comfortable teaching so I made him give me sections to teach haha. This week we got two new roommates. Elder Latu is Tongan but grew up in Hawaii/Utah and Elder Acaca (the natives think his name is funny because its a bad word in Spanish) was born and raised in Hawaii. They are pretty awesome and they are the District leaders for their district. On the other hand, Elders Saldaña and Zarko left this week which is a huge bummer because we would talk to them every night to try and learn more Spanish. They were super funny and were always willing to help us out. Sad day when they left.
We had this activity this week called TRC. Its teaching investigators lessons for 1 hour. Our teacher told us they were real investigators. Our first lesson went well but then while we were teaching the next lesson the "investigators" told us that they were church members and it just completely blew my companions mind ahaha. I figured that they weren't real investigators from the beginning but my companion didn't think that fast so I kinda just got stumped halfway through the lesson and had no idea how to recover. It was a pretty terrible experience but good for learning so I guess it was a good experience overall.
So Spanish is annoying. I can say all the stuff to teach a lesson but I have no idea how to ask where the forks are and junk like that. Its pretty annoying because I start to feel comfortable with the language and then I go talk to native and have no clue what they are saying and no clue how to ask for everyday stuff. We´ve been having English fasts though which helps a bit. We just decide not to speak English at all from the time we wake up until like 4 pm or so. We don't usually make it till 4 but we try and I think it really helps. This week I met the boss of the CCM kitchen and Temple Kitchen. He runs both of them and has like 40 people working for him which he is pretty proud of. The best part about it is that I found that out with only using Spanish because he knows absolutely no English Whatsoever.  So I guess I can kinda talk about normal stuff-ish.
This week there were storms like 3 days in a row. Pouring rain. I got really wet walking to class. Lots of Thunder/Lightning which is awesome. It just lights up the whole campus. I guess we are like 7000 ft in elevation so I'm thinking that it makes it a little cooler of an experience. Also people set of fireworks all the time here during the night. Or there's construction using explosives, not really sure. The point is, I feel like I'm in the hunger games. Every night I count how many tributes have died. its a lot, Probably like 100 haha. They go off like 15 seconds apart for a few minutes, stop, go on for like 15 more seconds. Its pretty cool I guess.
This week we watched a devotional from Elder Holland form about a year ago. He's scary. I´ve never heard a general authority be so passionate about their subject. You don't really get to see their whole countenance in General Conference. I assume its because they don't want all the old ladies to be crying about what they could be doing better haha. But yeah, If Elder Holland wants to give you a lecture I would try to avoid it because he's one scary dude when he talks about something he thinks is super important, in this case, missionary work.
The older districts left this morning. Every week the districts that leave sing "god be with you till we meet again" in the comedor. The mission president didn't like it thought because the comedor is a pretty crappy place to sing it so he made us wait till after the Sunday night devotional. The whole MTC was there to sing it though. It was awesome because we starting off singing in our seats and then all the people who were leaving started standing up and eventually everyone in the auditorium was standing up. It was a pretty awesome experience and you could feel the spirit suuuuuper strong. That was probably the highlight of my week.
My district has to be in the choir for the devotional on Thanksgiving day. They just pick random districts and mine got picked. I hate singing, especially in front of a ton of people. But whatever, It´ll go fine. This week I heard two different special numbers but they were the same song, "Come Thou Font of Every Blessing" (I think that's the name of it). I´m pretty sure that its my favorite hymn now.
We got to slackline last P-Day to. The Doctor guy walked by and didn't yell at us for it so I think we are fine haha. He was actually pretty close to trying it out. He;s a senior Missionary from the US. We also got one of the CCM workers to try it out too. We are going to go out and do it again today and our teacher is going to come try it also. Im pretty glad I brought it. Mom asked me what I did for exercise last week and I don't think I answered. We have gym time every morning for about and hour right after breakfast, We usually play volleyball, Basketball, mess around in the little weights gym, whatever we feel like doing. Every once in a while we find someone with a frisbee so that we can play ultimate frisbee. I really wish I had brought a frisbee right now because I think there's only one on the entire CCM campus.
To answer your questions from your e-mail, the dearelder didn't come yet, it'll probably get here this week. It takes about 2 weeks for those to get here I think. We go to the temple every other week on P-Day. So I went this morning. It was pretty awesome because We got to do everything in Spanish. Last time is was like half and half. I was bummed because our bus driver didn't hit any cars on the way back today. I can e-mail anyone I want as long as I do it in the hour I have to read/write email. I don't print mine out because Id have to buy paper but I could If I really wanted to.
I have some requests. Can you tell the bank I'm in Mexico so that if I need to use my card it doesn't get shut down. Also can you send me the link to my blog so that I can see what you guys get to see and so that I can give the link to anyone who wants it? The last thing is more a request for Paul I think. Id like to have a flashdrive sent to me in Missouri that has itunes on it with all the church music from my computer (Dad can send it in a zipped folder to Paul, or Paul can help dad just set up everything). It'd be nice so that if I want specific music from Mormon Tabernacle Choir and stuff then I can actually add it to my MP3 player. I really wish that I had more special arrangements in hymns because the normal ones are a little boring. But yeah, that would be awesome. Thanks in advance.
      -Elder Nyholm
P.S. I'm going to send some pictures in another e-mail so if your at the computer right now just wait a minute.
So we've got a slackline.

Me with Elder's Grzan, Zarko and Saldaña.

The nametags from everyone in our dorm as of sunday night.

 The nicest dentist office in Mexico city.

Here's our district with some natives, The two dark guys haha.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

On Nov 19, 2013, at 6:56 AM
    So this week was pretty interesting and it went by pretty quick. I gave a talk in church already. Just 5 minutes. We are supposed to speak in all Spanish but I stink at Spanish still so I did as much as I could and then reverted to English when I couldnt figure out how to say what I wanted in Spanish. I listen to Sacrament meeting so intently now but I understand so much less than I would if I was like half asleep haha.
    Every Sunday we watch a movie from 8:00-9:30 (church movie of course). This weeks was about when Christ visited the Amercias (I dont know what the name of the movie is). The thing I got out of it was that Christ blessed the children basically first thing when he arrived in the Americas. It was interesting to me because we are all instructed to become as little children (humble, forgiving, etc). IT was just interesting to me because I was thinking that if we do as we are supposed to and become like little  children then Christ will administer to/bless us first.
    Another thing I thought was interesting this week came from Sacrament meeting. Background. Bombs go off in Mexico City, not real bombs, they are all just homemade fireworks supposedly. One of the teachers told this kids class that there was a war (to scare them a little). When he finally told them the truth he said that "There is a spiritual war. A war for the souls of men." I thought that was really interesting because as missionaries we really are fighting for the souls of men. We are fighting to be able to help the souls of men return to their father in heaven. Really cool thought.
     So we jsut got 2 new roommates, Elders Zarko and Saldaña. They are super nice and speak spanish to us every night to try and help us out. The CCM instructs the natives to learn english also so we try to help them out with that as well.
For the first time ever I am actually keeping a Journal. I write in it about every 4 days or so but I can already see how I´ve been changing since before I left (my first entry was tuesday night before I left). Its really nice to have because I can get rid of my frustration with language,companion, whatever else since I can´t really talk about them with anyone. I just hope I can keep it up once I leave the CCM.
     This week we get two new "investigators". They are just the teachers here but its pretty good practice. I´ve realized that Im really bad at keeping conversations going, especially in Spanish.
Spanish is coming along fairly well. I can understand most of what I read but I really can´t understand the natives to save my life. They talk to fast for me. It´s kind of frustrating but then I remember I have only been here for 2 weeks and I feel better haha. This week I´ve been trying to learn how to roll my tongue. i swear I´m the only one that cant do it. Its really pretty annoying because I cant always roll it when I need to when Im speaking so the meanings of my words can get changed a bit. the difference between pero (but) and perro (dog) is a rolled R. Hopefully Ill get it down soon.
     Showers. My shower is timed by the amount of time it takes the shower pan to flood. About 5-6 minutes. The drains here are absolutely horrible. I think its because everyone is showering at the same time though. It still kind of amazes me that I can shower so quick since my fastest ones at home were like 15 minutes hahaha. And yes mom, the towel works fine. Elder Grzan gets mad at me for walking to the shower and back naked though. Someday he will learn that its not that wierd.
    We got to slackline this week! we did it during our exercise time. We are going to use it again today while our laundry is in the wash. No one yelled at us last time we used it so I think we will be fine.
    The food here is usually REALLY GOOD or REALLY BAD. Theres basically no in between. Some of the missionaries here only eat cereal, no wonder they are all getting sick. I´ve been trying everything they have even if I think it looks nasty. I´m pretty proud of myself. Also the food is good enough for me that I usually have two servings of everything and then 2-3 bowls of cereal and a banana. I think I might get fat if I stay here much longer.
The first counselor of the mission presidency told us some stories this week. One about the FIRST time he was robbed and one about the FIRST time he was kidnapped. Im not going to recount the stories. I just thought it was funny because it really sounds to me like hes been robbed and kidnapped pretty often haha.He basically told us that as long as you follow the commandments of God you will be safe. He still is haha.
    Erik asked how my companion and district are. They are both pretty good. My companion is a year older than me. Definitely better at teaching. Thats what going on splits with the missionaries for about a year before you come is for. My district is awesome. We are all super good friends so its easy to have a good time while still being obedient to the mission rules.
    So yeah. I´m 1/3 done with the CCM. I can´t wait to get out and be able to teach people and to serve the Latino people in Missouri. I´m glad that you all are being able to be missionaries at home. It´s be a blast. I´ll talk to you next week though. Love you guys!
          Elder Nyholm
P.S. When studying gospel doctrine or talks follow David Bednars method and look for the doctrine taught, Invitations made, and Promises for following those invitations. It´s pretty good advice I´d say.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


This week flew by pretty quick. I learned that my P-day is today (Tuesday) and not wednesday, just for future reference. I've been having a great time and have had tons of great experiences. We've been teaching a church member who is acting as an investigator for us and its going great. We have taught him the first 3 lessons now. They had us start teaching him on the second day that we were here when we basically knew no Spanish whatsoever. Being a missionary is awesome haha. I can actually understand a fair amount of Spanish now although I´m still not great at speaking it. It is coming back quick though which is awesome.

Today we went to the Mexico City Temple. Driving in Mexico is awesome, its kind of like a roller coaster (like when we were in China). Theres almost always one more car than there are lanes (3 lanes but 4 cars next to each other) and you see crashes like every 30 minutes haha. Our bus driver actually hit a car as he was entering an intersection but just kept on driving. It was awesome. But anyways, the temple is super pretty inside and out. It was a great experience and everything was spoken in Spanish which was a completely new experience. The people here in Mexico are suuuuuuper nice. They want to help you with Spanish all the time and they always give you encouragement. Also, I learned that the Mexico City temple grounds have sunk more than 4 feet since it was built (in 1983?). The whole city is basically built on a swamp.

My companion is Elder Grzan. Hes from Fairfield and he's going to the same mission as me. We are getting along pretty good and until today we were the only ones living in our dorm that is supposed to sleep 6. I haven't met the people who moved in today but I think we got 4 native speakers which is pretty awesome for us.

The food in el comedor (the cafeteria) is super good too. The only thing I absolutely hate is Flan. its basically jello with a nasty consistency and no taste. Today is the day that we are supposed to have the best food the CCM (MTC in Spanish) has to offer, Cosco pizza. Everyone here says that its thier favorite, which is kinda weird because I think most of the other food is really good. Elder Grzan and I made friends with one of the cafeteria workers whose name is Pablo so we talk to him whenever. Its pretty great because he knows a fair amount of English so he teaches us new words every time we talk to him. The best way to learn Spanish really is to just talk with the natives.

In response to Kelsey's e-mail, its awesome that Maria agreed to come out to church. Its awesome that you can be such a good missionary without even having to be called as one. I hope you can help her to become closer to Christ and become better friends while doing so.

I feel like just this week I have really come to know the spirit a lot better. I feel like I know what it really feels like to have the constant companionship of it. We've had tons of devotionals and stuff where the Spirit is so strong in the room that I don't think anyone would be able to walk in and not feel it. Also, this Sunday was probably the Sunday that I have paid the most attention to the speakers. Its also the Sunday that I have understood the least because its all in Spanish haha. I did pick up one quote (because the Sister said it in English) that I really enjoyed. She said that "what God wants God gets". Pretty simple.But its still such a strong quote because it shows that God really is the one in charge and that if he wants you to do something then you will eventually do it even if it takes a little longer than expected. 

So yeah. This week was awesome. The first two days felt like the longest days of my life but now that we have a regular schedule the days just sort of fly by. Basically, we wake up, study, eat, study, language study, study, eat, study, teach, eat, study, study. Needless to say, its a lot of studying. But yeah, I've actually really come to enjoy studying the "Preach My Gospel" manual. I only study it in Spanish with the English next to me as a reference in case I don't know words. I think it is really helping my Spanish. But yeah, not much else really happened this week. I think the next 5 weeks here at the CCM will go by super fast but we will see. Sorry for my e-mail being jumbled all over the place. I'm not a huge fan of writing. I'm going to send another e-mail in just a minute that has some pictures. Adios.

     Elder Nyholm

P.S. Dad, how many elk did you guys get? Is Erik the only real man who went on the hunting trip?

P.S.S. It take about 2 weeks for mail to get here so it's probably really not worth sending any.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

In Mexico at last

Date: November 6, 2013, 4:15:45 PM PST

Hey guys,
   So I just arrived at the Mexico MTC. My flight went good with no delays or anything like that. There were about 20 missionaries that arrived in Mexico City with my today so we were all picked up and brought back to the MTC in a bus. Its pretty nice weather here. A little chilly which feels pretty great after being in a hot bus. I still don't completely feel like I am actually on a mission but it is starting to sink in. The MTC campus is super pretty which is kind of amazing because everything else in Mexico City is super ghetto. Everything is covered with graffiti and the houses and shops are all super run down and old. But the MTC is super clean and pretty so its kind of like a safe haven. It actually has some pretty high fences all around it that all have barb wire on top so it really does seem like a safety compound. I met a few missionaries who will be serving pretty close to me in Kansas and Oklahoma but none that will be serving in my mission.
    Today I also gained a stronger testimony in the power of prayer. In the middle of the flight from Phoenix to Mexico City we hit a ton of turbulence so the plane was bouncing all over the place. It happened at the same time that we were told to fill out immigration papers so between the bouncing and the writing I got pretty sick. I've never really felt as sick as I did without throwing up but I said a prayer that I wouldn't and miraculously enough I didn't.
   So yeah. There's not really much more to talk about because I've only been here for like 30 minutes so I haven't even gotten to see campus or eat or go in my room or anything. I'll look forward to reading your e-mail next week.

Elder Nyholm

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tomorrow I leave to serve as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for 2 years. I will report to the Mexico City MTC where I will learn Spanish for 6 weeks after which I will return to Independence, Missouri to serve the remainder of my mission. Feel free to write me letters to the following addresses or to

---From November 6th-December 18th---
Elder Peter Robert Nyholm
Missouri Independence Mission
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 México, Distrito Federal

---From December 18th to Return---
Elder Peter Robert Nyholm
Missouri Independence Mission
517 W Walnut St
Independence, MO 64050-3632
United States