Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 9:38 AM
I'm glad you enjoyed my handwritten letter. I think that was the first one huh? Well my excuse is that we are too busy for me to write you letters more than once a year haha. I guess I'll try to do better in the future. Dad had the right idea of scanning it as proof that I actually sent you a letter. Now you'll never be able to say that I didn't send a handwritten one.
Yeah, the weather cooled down a ton. It feels wonderful outside now. You can actually walk around for more than 5 minutes without being covered with sweat so it's definitely a nice improvement. I haven't gotten the package you sent yet. Hopefully I will get it sometime this week.
We still didn't get many service opportunities this week which was a super bummer. We had one good one on Saturday where we helped someone caulk and seal his windows. He fell off a roof a while back so he was kind of terrified to climb a ladder and caulk the second story windows. But we helped him out AND we didn't fall off the ladder. He was pretty excited that we were willing to come help him.
We taught a seminary class a few weeks ago. I always thought that sleeping in Seminary was such a great idea because then I wouldn't talk and be a distraction. Now I realize that it's almost worse because if the kids don't talk then the class is super boring and you feel like you're giving a speech to a set of stuffed animals instead of actually teaching a class. The things you learn when you become a missionary haha. I really like the encouraging advice that Erin gave you though.  "Don't worry mom, as the kids come to know you their respect level will go down and their talking will increase". My sister is so wise and correct in every way. Sorry about that ma. That's just the way it is. The trick is just to shut them up with cookies.
Speaking of cookies, there is a Sister in our ward who has a sign in her kitchen that says "There is a skinny girl instead of me that is screaming to get out, but I just shut her up with cookies". I thought it was a pretty amusing sign.
You were saying that Kelsey and Jeremy are helping you to work on your technology deficiency. Yesterday while at church one of the sisters in our ward (probably in her 30's) was trying to look up scriptures on her phone during class. Finally she gave up and took her husbands scriptures and used those instead because she didn't know how to work the phone too well. Then her husband left and took his scriptures with him and left her with the phone and so she got stuck not being able to find scriptures again. I was just kind of amazed that there are even people of that generation that don't know how to work the technology. So don't worry mom.... you're not tooo far behind :)
Just a cool scripture I read this week. D&C 6:35-37 says "Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more;perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you. Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven". I think this scripture is so wonderful because every single one of us has times in our lives when we make mistakes and have "come short of the glory of God". But the most amazing part is that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, each and every one of us has the opportunity to repent and change our ways, to look unto the Lord in every thought and to cast away all doubt and fear. I think it's just a huge comfort that we have to know that every single one of us has the ability and capacity to return to live with our Heavenly Father, through Christ.
Well that's about it for the week. I hope all is going well for everyone at home. You are all in my prayers. Love You!
  -Elder Nyholm
Sent: Monday, September 08, 2014 9:14 AM
Well this week went great and fast as usual. We were on bikes, which just make the time seem to go by even faster for some reason. Maybe because there is no time sitting at stoplights and such. The weather also cooled down a ton so it is really nice to ride bikes right now. The only reason I hate riding bikes is because I feel like we can't be as effective since travel is so much slower. But at least we get some real exercise so that's good.
This week we decided that we are going to try a new finding project. We got approved by President Vest to do as much planned/unplanned service as possible and asked all members of the ward to call/text us whenever they hear of service opportunities, especially service opportunities for non-members. Hopefully we will be able to meet lots of new people in a much less threatening way. I really think that it will work because the people will be able to see that we really want to help them and that we really do love them rather than that we just want to shove church down their throat. So yeah, we are praying for success in our new finding activity. I'll keep you updated on how it goes.
Transfer calls also happened this week. I'm super excited because Elder Parry, my last companion who I really enjoyed serving with, is now my District Leader here. I really respect Elder Parry and think that he will do a great job as a District Leader so I'm excited to see how the rest of this transfer turns out. I've got high hopes.
I just finished reading all the way through Doctrine and Covenants this last week and realized how awesome Sections 121-123 are... the sections written while Joseph Smith was imprisoned in the Liberty Jail. There is one part of Section 121 that I really enjoy and that probably everyone recognizes that says, in verses 7-10, "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.Thou art not yet as Job; thy friends do not contend against thee, neither charge thee with transgression, as they did Job". I really like this section of scripture because it shows how infinitely small our trials are but how infinitely big of an impact it makes on our lives whether we endure them well or not. No trial that we have exceeds that which Christ experienced during the Atonement... "Art [we] greater than He?". I think it is in the times of trials that we do have that we need to look back and really count all the wonderful blessings that God has given us and to remember that he is always there striving with us and that he will never leave us alone.
Well that is about it for the week. Hope you all have a fantastic week. I love you all!
          -Elder Nyholm

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2014 2:45 PM
Subject: A Miracle Week
So this week went really well and really fast. The nice part of it was that we had a sweet little miracle on Saturday. Elder Drinkall and I have picked up the attitude of "if you see a U-Haul truck just stop and help. It works better than tracting this area anyways". So that's what we did on Saturday. We finished unloading one family that was moving into our apartments and then we went to visit a Less-Active member of the ward. Well on our way over there we saw a guy trying to lift a riding lawnmower out of a U-Haul truck without a ramp and by himself. So we pulled up quick and ran up and helped the guy. Well when we put down the mower I looked up and this guy's wife looked at me and said "Hey. You look really familiar. I think you knocked on my door in Independence about 2 months ago". Well I sure did knock on this Lady's door about 2 months ago with Elder Parry. So she invited us in to share a message with her and her husband because she doesnt believe in coincidences and because "we showed up like angels" to help her husband get the mower out of the truck. So we shared the message of the restoration with their family and now they are super excited to come to church. (They were going to come this last Sunday but her husband got pink eye :(  ). So yeah... we definitely consider it a miracle and we are pretty excited now haha.
The other really great thing that happened this week was that we went over to see Hermana Vega in our ward with her hometeachers. Well, she planned on making us lunch so we got there and she fed us all lunch and then told us that she had a Tres Leche for dessert. And man was that Tres Leche delicious. That was also the first time that I've had hispanic food since I was in my first area so it was a really nice treat.
And one more little miracle. Sister Gough loves to bake and offered to make me chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. They were pretty delicious and lasted me through a few Breakfast and Lunch meals :)
Transfers are this week but I'm 99% sure I'll stay where I'm at because of the Opening and Training situation. I'm really starting to love the people in this area also so I am pretty glad that I don't have too worry too much about moving out.
Something that I really like from the scriptures and that gives me some strength and motivation when I feel down. Isaiah 49:16 "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." I really like this scripture because I think the times when we are feeling down and discouraged are the times when we forget that we have a loving Heavenly Father who will do anything for us. A loving Heavenly Father who knows and remembers everything about us. And he never ever forgets us. I think about Jesus Christ, who took upon him the sins of the world, who has the prints from the nails "graven... upon the palms of [his] hands". He cannot and will not forget us. I just wish that each and every person could be better at having Christ graven upon our hearts... That each one of us could be better examples in all that we do so that we could be more effective in helping others to come unto Christ. It's something that I know I need to work on every single day. But I know that as we do work to become more dedicated to the Lord and continue to engrave him upon our hearts that we will receive more blessings and happiness in our lives and become more devoted disciples of Christ.
That's pretty much it for the week. I'm looking forward to this bike week. Hopefully we will get some nice rain/lightning storms so that we don't have so much heat. It's better to be wet from rain than from sweat. I love you all!
    -Elder Nyholm