Monday, July 28, 2014

Sent: Monday, July 28, 2014 10:17 AM
Subject: Another Week of Change
Soooo a lot changed this week. A lot a lot. So I'm opening an area, Shoal Creek Valley. It has only been a ward for 4 weeks so I'm kind of repeating what I did in the Hill Park Ward. The Elders that were here before (about 2 or 3 months ago) were a bit disobedient and got pulled out of the area so we are dealing with trust issues from the members in this ward which is hard. On top of that I'm training a new missionary (Elder Drinkall, who just happened to come out with Elder Fillerup as well... seriously, the names are no joke) which is a pretty new experience in and of itself. But so far it is going well. Bummer part about the area is that there are pretty close to zero Spanish speakers around, which is weird because 5 of the 8 missionaries in our district are Spanish speaking missionaries. So to answer your question mom, yes this week is full of new stuff.
Hey, Erika Pujols was baptized the day before transfers and she actually asked for me to baptize her so that was a great experience. We had started teaching her but then turned her over to the sister missionaries a little while back. Hopefully her little sister and her two friends (who have been attending church for about a month now) will follow suit. Pray for them :D
Mom, you should definitely take up Dustin Prusso on the invite to learn about the climbing gear and work at "the wall". That way you can come outdoor climbing with Paul and me ;)
On cooking catfish, we cooked some up a few weeks ago for a District Picnic. We got the fish a little wet and then put it in a dish of zataran (I think is what it was called) and then fried it and it came out REALLY good. Might be something for Dad to try in the future if he plans to cook catfish again. And the tortillas with cinnamon sugar are really good also. The Spanish members in Kaw River made them for Christmas so we had a lot of those. I agree, they are pretty delicious.
The thing that really stuck out to me in my studies this week comes from Moroni 10:3-5. Everyone knows that it's Moroni's promise that if you Read the Book of Mormon, Ponder it in your heart and Ask God if it is true then Heavenly Father will answer your prayer so that you Know that it is true. I think it really applies to a lot more than just knowing the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon though. I think that same principle can be applied to any situation or question that we have in our lives. We have to Read/Study/Listen/Act in some way so that we can put forth our own effort and show our determination to find out what we want to know. We then need to Ponder the matter in our hearts, really see how the things that we have studied/read/heard can apply to our lives and our situation. After all we can do we then ask our Heavenly Father to assure us that the decision that we plan to take is correct. The Spirit of God will then let us Know through feelings of  "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance" (as talked about in Galatians 5:22-23) if the decision that we have made is correct and at that point we really will have obtained knowledge. So I guess the goal is to see what situations or questions we have in our lives that we can apply to this pattern.
Well that's about it for the week. So far everything is going great here so we will just keep on keeping on and working hard. Have a great week! Love you all!
    -Elder Nyholm
Here's some pictures.
1) Erika's Baptism;
2) Great-Grandpa>Grandpa>Father>Son (Elders Christensen>Sanchez>Nyholm>Drinkall);
3) Elder and Sister Haws. Elder Grzan and I are the only missionaries who they have picked up from the airport. They finish their mission in about 3 weeks.

Sent: Monday, July 21, 2014 8:57 AM
Subject: My Birthday Week
Yes mom it was a pretty swell Birthday celebration. And yes the members here are awesome. I think that there are at least a few that will be sad to see me go (since I'm probably getting transferred on Thursday, I find out for sure on Tuesday). It sure does feel good to be loved in the ward where you are serving though. If the ward members don't like you then it'll probably be a pretty rough time haha. Yes I got 1 "I love old people shirt" (the black one is on backorder) and BANG, and a care package, and the lialda. Thank you for everything :D
The 19th of July was pioneer day and of course they do it big here in Independence MO so we had a pretty good celebration. The Polys in our ward cooked up a nice big 260-300 lb pig for lunch so that was a pretty nice sight to behold. We got there too late to see the thing whole because Elder Parry and I were busy at a "training meeting for trainers" which brings up the next point... yes I will be training a new missionary this coming transfer so yeah... that should be an experience. But hey, I'll attach some pictures from Pioneer Day.
That's awesome that Brady gives people wet willys now. Way to go Andrew :D
I remember saying something a while back about how useless I thought planning was since we never ever get to follow our plans anyways. Well, Sister Erikson who is about to go home on Thursday said something during our District Meeting that kinda hit me. She said "Life is all about how you handle Plan B". Now that I think about it, life never ever goes how we want it to or how we plan for it to. We just have to trust in God and work with Plan B. I guess what really matters is what Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith". Really it doesn't matter where Plan B takes us, as long as we remain firm in the faith of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Oh and by the way, we had turned 2 of our investigators over to a set of sister missionaries about 2 or 3 weeks ago because they are girls. Well, we have a baptism scheduled for Wednesday night now for Erika Pujols, and her sister and friend aren't following too far behind. So that was our bit of exciting news for the week. And for whoever looked at that last name and thought of Albert Pujols (the baseball player), yeah they are second cousins or something (which I've heard is a bit unfortunate).
But that's about it. Everything is going great. Love you all! Have a great week!
         -Elder Nyholm


Sent: Monday, July 14, 2014 8:38 AM
Subject: Interesting Week
This week went really well and really interesting. Generally we have a district lunch after our district meeting but everyone was too cheap to go to TacoBell or whatever so Elder Parry and I cooked up some catfish fillets that we got from an investigator that we are teaching. We had helped him a few weeks before to clean the fish so that was a fun experience and since we helped him he just gave us the fillets. We weren't really sure how it would turn out but it turned out waaay better than we thought it would and was super delicious. So we had a nice district picnic which was pretty fun.
The other day I was walking out of our kitchen and saw this little black thing run across our floor and went "Darnit Elder Parry. I think we have a mouse...." That led to a nice 30 minute mouse hunt, which also led to a mouse getting squashed under Elder Parry's shoe. So hopefully that was the only mouse in our apartment, but I have heard the term "if there's one there's many". We'll see.
Independence is also going to be on TV soon! For what you might ask? For a few episodes of COPS. I'm pretty glad that I'm inside at night haha. Maybe the reason that they came here for the show is that Independence was the Meth capital of the world 3 years ago. Fun Fact for the day.
This week was a little bit of a bummer for us. We had a lot of investigators getting really close to baptism but 2 of them are gone out of town for a few weeks, the other 2 have parents that arent motivated enough to get them to church or activities (Even though they themselves are members....) and we had to give 2 more to a different set of missionaries. So now we have this little tiny teaching pool that we are trying to build back up. Hopefully by the end of this week we will be rolling again.
A scripture that Elder Parry shares a lot that I've come to really appreciate is 2 Timothy 2:3 "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ". It's interesting to think about because when we think of war heroes and soldiers in our lives we think of men and women who were willing to risk their lives "when the times got tough and the bullets started flying" for their comrades so that their comrades would be able to return home to live with their families again one day. Within the church we aren't asked to risk our lives for those around us, but we are asked to provide service to all those in need. And what is our end goal. Our end goal really is to make it possible for others to return to live with their families, not just for this life, but for eternity. Sometimes its hard. Sometimes we come up with a million different excuses of why we shouldn't go over and help someone in need. But our charge is to "endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ" and provide the way for those around us to live with their families for eternity. Good soldiers don't make excuses, they are exactly obedient to orders of their captain. So onec again, "serve the Lord, He is our captain".
That's about it for the week. Hope All is well. Love You All!
      -Elder Nyholm

Sent: Monday, July 07, 2014 9:39 AM
Subject: Happy 4th of July
We had a super awesome week this week. On the 4th of July we had welcome interviews with our new mission president, President Vest. Right after that all us Elders went over to the CoC (Community of Christ; Formerly RLDS) Auditorium to be ushers for a George Dyer Concert. It was super awesome because we had permission to stay and watch the concert. Something other than MoTab sounds really good after that is all you've heard for 8 months haha. Especially when you have permission from the Mission President to listen to it. So after the concert we had to be at home at 9:30 right when fireworks started. It just so happens that they do the fireworks right across the street from our apartment so we got to watch the firework show also, which was a pretty nice treat. Most missionaries couldnt see the fireworks from their apartments so we are pretty lucky that we got nice front row seats in our drive way. So yeah, 4th of July was surprisingly great for us.
So in terms of missionary work, we've been teaching a lot of Part-Member families lately. We have about 6 youth that are ready to baptized and have the desire to be baptized, the problem is that their parents either aren't supportive or are just plain old lazy and won't bring their kids to church. It's pretty sad when a returned missionary won't bring his own kids to church so that they can get baptized. That's the way it goes though I guess. So those are the challenges that we are facing right now. Parents... hahaha.
I heard a quote this week that I really liked that said "Ability is what you are capable of. Motivation is what you do. Attitude is how you do it". It really reminded me of 1 Nephi 3:6 which says "Therefore go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmured". I think attitude is one of the most important things in our life that we have the ability to control. It's motivating to me to know that as we follow the commandments of the Lord and do so with a grateful and willing heart, that God will bless us because we have not murmured, which reminds me of another quote I heard this week which says that "When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes a quest, God immediately endows us with power". So again, the attitude that we have towards being obedient to the commandments of the Lord is ultimately what will help us become worthy of the blessings of the Lord.
So our neighbors, the Buzards, are in their 70's and not doing so well in terms of health. Anyways, they wanted to BBQ a 16 lb brisket on the 4th of July so we helped them get this huge piece of meat on the BBQ at about 8 in the morning. Then at about 8:45 I look out the window and there are flames coming out of the BBQ so I run outside and Sister Buzard is stuck on her wheelchair ramp because her wheelchair ran out of battery. Anyways, she askes me to put out the flaming brisket so I do and then for the rest of the morning we were putting out flames on this huge hunk of meat because the Buzards couldn't get out to save it due to their health. Well we finally had to leave for good to go to a meeting but at night when we came back Brother Buzard walked up to us and said "The brisket died. It burned and went to Hell". Just a funny moment that I just remembered that I thought you would get a laugh out of.
Well that's about it for the week. I hope all is going well for you all at home. Have a fantastic week. I love you all!
          -Elder Nyholm
P.S. Here are two pictures that I found that I just really love. Thought you would enjoy them.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sent: Monday, June 30, 2014 9:33 AM
Subject: A Bit of Change
Sooo this week went pretty great. We are continuing to work with several investigators who are pretty promising, are progressing well and look like they might be getting baptized in the next 2 weeks or so. We've been getting tons of ward support so we have a member at almost every single scheduled teaching appointment that we have, which makes a huge difference in the progress of those whom we are teaching. I have really come to love the Hill Park Ward and I'm pretty worried for when I have to leave because I love the people here so much. But the day will come so I might as well start preparing for it. The big change this week was that we got a new Mission President. President Vest arrived on Saturday to start directing and leading the Mission. So it's a pretty big change for us missionaries. I think time will go by really really quick for the next few weeks as we start getting new instruction from President Vest.
Yes Mom, we are on bikes this week. I'm not excited in the slightest. It's starting to get pretty warm here, but worse than that, its starting to get pretty stinking humid. It's always bad when someone gets out of the car and their glasses fog up haha. I figure all I have to do is survive a week and then I get the car again and all is well. Keeping that good positive thought in your mind can keep you going pretty well.
We were at a member baptism on Friday and the person giving the talk about the Holy Ghost said a quote I really liked, which was that "God doesn't care where you've been. He cares where you are and where you are going". It was a great thought for me because I think a lot of times when we are called by the Lord to do something we can start to feel very inadequate or unworthy for the position that we've been called to. I think it's just important to always remember that as long as we are doing our best now, and as long as we are continually striving to become better, that we are worthy and adequate to serve in the position that the Lord has called us to. Along with that, President Keyes had us all on a conference call before he left and as a last word of advice before President Vest came in he told us "Serve the Lord, He is our Captain". As long as we serve our Lord, our Savior, our Captain Jesus Christ we will be headed in the right direction. We will be continually improving our lives and the lives of others and we will see the blessings that that service and obedience brings into our lives.
Well that's about it for the week. Great week with big changes. Change is good in the mission I think. It really helps to keep us focused and on top of things. So we will see how it goes. Have a great week. Love You!
      -Elder Nyholm 
Sent: Monday, June 23, 2014 8:31 AM
Subject: A Great Week of Biking
As per the subject, we lost the car this week. We had to share with the other Elders. Sometimes I hate sharing hahaha. But I tell you, biking in rain and thunderstorms really makes you appreciate having a car. This week we get it back so I'm pretty excited :D But even without the car we were able to make some super great progress in missionary work. This week we were able to help 4 people to make the decision to be baptized and to pick a baptismal date in July. They are all super solid people who really want to change their lives and follow the example of Jesus Christ. So yeah, we are pretty pumped this week.
Tell Erik that he is free to use any of the RC stuff as long as he doesn't break them :D The RC car is all easy fixes though so He should be fine with that for sure. Mom says no one will fly RC planes without me because they don't think they've got the skills for it. Just fly the flying wing because even if you crash it you can just throw it up and fly it again (usually).
I was looking for a spiritual thought to share in a Dinner appointment yesterday and came across Alma 23:6-8. It talks about the Lamanites who were converted unto the Lord by Ammon and his bretheren and says "And as sure as the Lord liveth, so sure as many as believed, or as many as were brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching of Ammon and his brethren, according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working miracles in them—yea, I say unto you, as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away. For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God anymore, neither against any of their brethren. Now, these are they who were converted unto the Lord". It was cool to me to read this scripture because it brings out the importance of being truly converted. There are so many ways that we can help other to become converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ but I think the most important way is to help them to understand how much they are loved, both by us and by God. As they start to comprehend the amount of love that their Father in Heaven has for them, they will start to understand the reasons that we are given commandments, trials, hardships, etc in our lives and understand that those things come to us so that we can become stronger in our faith and testimonies and come unto Christ. I know that as we help those who are struggling or those who are newly coming into the Church that we can help them to become truly converted so that they will never fall away.
Elder Nyholm