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