Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sent: Monday, October 20, 2014 8:38 AM
Subject: I got Transferred

So today was a super busy exciting fun week. I ended up getting transferred to St. Joseph Missouri to serve as a District Leader with Elder Lokeni. So Tuesday and Wednesday were spent packing, teaching, and visiting ward members. Thursday-Today were spent trying to meet lots of members and investigators and unpacking. So it just ended up being a super busy week all around. 
So I'm serving in the St. Joseph 2nd ward. It's a huge area (compared to my other areas) and it is really basically a boonies area. Out in the middle of nowhere. Lots of hunters and fishers. This is my territory haha. The first day here we went to the Crumb's home in the middle of nowhere to watch a HUGE ward bonfire, and I mean huge... Like there were whole trees in there that were soaked with diesel fuel and probably an area 30' x 20' x 10'. It was quite a show haha. They also had two junker cars that they were running through the forest just for fun to smash them up. The next day they used the cars as target practice until they exploded. I also got to hold a ball python and an alligator at their home which was a fun experience. I think I'm in love with this ward :)
So Elder Lokeni. He grew up in Samoa until he was 9? and then moved to West Jordan Utah with his family. He plays guitar and ukulele and will be playing college football and basketball somewhere in Montana. As preparation for returning to sports we go to a gym at 5:15 every morning to work out. I think I would rather sleep the extra hour and 15 minutes but oh well. Now I'm really sore all the time... and I think I'm going to have to buy more food.
I do miss the people from my last ward a lot. They were super awesome and I really grew to love them all. I got a picture of a lot of the members of the ward so I'll send that. 
1 Nephi 20:10 says “For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” I think that this scripture is just an awesome scripture all around. It shows that we are given trials in our lives so that we can become more refined and become more like our father in heaven. But it also shows that God is in control of the refining and that, because he is perfect, he will never put us through more heat than we can withstand. He will always make it possible for us to exit the refiners fire and we will always leave that fire better and stronger than we entered it.
So the Giants and KC are playing each other in the World Series this year. Now whenever I tell people that I am from the San Francisco area they have to ask me who I cheer for. It's a good thing that I'm not a baseball fan or I think a lot less people in the ward would like me haha. (But secretly I'm rooting for the Giants).
That's pretty much it for the week. Let me know if there's anything you want more info about. Have a great week. Sure Love Ya!
    -Elder Nyholm

Sent: Monday, October 13, 2014 9:25 AM
This week has gone really well. It got nice and cool outside which it always a blessing and we were able to get in to teach some really awesome people.
We had exchanges this week so I worked in the area that covers the Historic Liberty Jail for a day. It's kind of funny because that area (the Doniphan Ward named after Alexander Doniphan) is also the home to the Liberty Jail, like, the one where people are imprisoned nowadays. And even more interesting, we went into the jail to teach a member of the church who has been in prison since he was 16. So it was a pretty interesting experience all around and it was my very first time ever in a jail.
Anyways, our exchange went really well and I found out really quickly that tracting actually does work in some areas, just not the one that I am in right now. We found a lot of people who were pretty interested in learning about the church. I also was with Elder Romney who, yes, is the nephew of good old Mitt Romney. I think Elder Romney gets asked that every single day. They've actually tried to use that as an approach so that people will be more interested in talking with them hahaha. But yeah, exchanges went super well like always.
We had dinner with an awesome family in our ward, the Savea family. They decided to roast hot dogs over a fire for dinner so we had a pretty good time doing that. It's the first time I've roasted food over an open fire since I was at home so it was extra fun. So we had hot dogs and smores and... A hot dog marshmallow kabob, which actually turned out to be pretty yummy despite the fact that it sounds absolutely disgusting. I'll attach some pictures.
This Thursday is Transfers so it's an exciting time. I'm praying to get moved over to downtown KCMO so that I can speak some Spanish and be able to talk to more people (since the population in so much more dense). We'll see what happens. I haven't really spoken Spanish much at all here in this area. I speak it about once or twice a week. So I would really love to be able to use the language a little more.
3 Nephi 11:29 says "For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another". I think that there are always times in our lives when we feel contentious towards those around us. It's important to realize that any time that we act on those feelings of contention we are giving in to Satan and allowing him to overcome us. Once we do that we lose our free agency, something that God has given to us as a divine gift. It's just always so important to remember that to give into contention is to give into the Devil. If we remember that then it will be so much easier to choose to do what God would have us do. 
That's about all I got for the week. I love you all. Have a great week!
    -Elder Nyholm


Friday, October 10, 2014

Sent: Monday, October 06, 2014 10:23 AM
So we had a really really great week. We found some more people to teach and had some investigators listen to General Conference with one of the families in our ward so that was pretty awesome. Also, General Conference weekend is awesome because we get to eat food between sessions with members since they are all home anyways. We had some awesome overnight french toast, pizza, spaghetti, Nigerian food of some sort, etc... I love food. My problem is that I keep gaining weight but I just keep eating. I guess I need to exercise more. General Conference was also super awesome because 1)I actually stayed awake for most of it 2)The talks were pretty amazing 3)We watched it at the chapel with no loud kids around so we actually got to pay attention ;)
As for my ankle, I rode my bike for just one day with the boot on and then I got a brace so I could ride it with that no problem. And I can climb with it now as long as I dont fall on it. It's almost 100% now. I just have to use the brace when I "play" sports on P-Day now. But yeah, it's doing really good now.
The Elder here that had stomach problems ended up just having some sort of bacterial infection so no Crohn's or ulcerative colitis luckily. He was well enough today to play sports this morning. As for me, I still have about 4 bottles of meds still so I should be good for a while. I'll let you know when I need more.
It looks like you had a pretty awesome hike at the Grand Canyon. I miss getting to go on hikes but it's OK. Some day I will get to go again haha.
Heleman 5:10-11 says "And remember also the words which Amulek spake unto Zeezrom, in the city of Ammonihah; for he said unto him that the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins. And he hath power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance; therefore he hath sent his angels to declare the tidings of the conditions of repentance, which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls." I really like this scripture mostly because of the parts that I put in Bold. Each one of us has a wonderful opportunity to repent (change) of past mistakes in our lives. And that opportunity is brought about in and through the Atonement of Christ. I just think it's so awesome that our Heavenly Father has provided such a perfect plan for us to be able to return to him one day. I'm so thankful for the opportunity that we have to repent and be cleansed of sins in order to become clean and be worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
That's about it for the week. I love you!
  -Elder Nyholm

Sunday, October 5, 2014

 Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014 11:01 AM
Well... I wasn't going to tell you about my ankle until AFTER it was done healing but I guess Amanda kinda blew that one haha. It's doing really well right now. I had a medical boot on for two weeks but as of Tuesday I just have a small ankle brace on. Thursday was my first day that I could actually walk normal (with the brace). But it feels really good right now. Luckily I didn't break it (although the Doc thought I did before he took X-Rays) but I got a nice high ankle sprain (which everyone says is worse than just breaking the ankle. A break would've been faster to heal). But yeah. It's good now :)
Cool thing that happened this week. We got to preview "Meet the Mormons" so now I can tell you all that it is an awesome movie and that it is definitely worth watching. I just wish I could watch it in Spanish so that I could get some practice in. But yeah, go watch it, it's awesome.
We did some cool service projects. We started volunteering at a food pantry that has been in operation since 1947. It's a pretty cool place. It's fun because it is run completely by Volunteers, more elderly volunteers I might add. They are super fun to work around and they are all super nice and friendly, and very excited to have two young people volunteering there. Now someone under 70 is there to move heavy stuff haha. But yeah, I love working around those people there. They are great fun. One of them also taught us that the letters in Bible can stand for "Basic Instruction Before Life Ends". I like that. Then we taught him that BoM stands for Book of Mormon and that he should read it haha. He's a fun guy.
One of the missionaries here has been sick the past few days and he finally went to the Doctor and they told him that he probably has Crohns or Ulcerative Colitis... so now I have a twin here. Not a great thing to learn this week but something interesting I guess.
I love the words that Alma speaks in Alma 29:1 "O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!" I really like this scripture for two reasons. 1) Alma's wish is fulfilled by the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is translated into 77? languages and is literally all over the world. Everyone has the opportunity to read the words that Alma has written. So I just think that it is awesome that God granted this wish and desire to Alma, although he did not see that answer to his prayer during his lifetime. 2) I think that this is really the desire that every Christian has, the desire to lead others unto Christ. And sometimes it's pretty difficult, even scary, walking up to a friend or co-worker and sharing the Gospel with them. But what do you have to lose? The worst that can happen is that they say "no". But we can walk away from that knowing that we have tried our best to fulfill our role as disciples of Christ. And more than that, I know as we do our best to bring others unto Christ that God will bless us with success and with happiness because we have done the think that he has commanded us to do.
Anyways, this week can gone really well for us. We found a lot of new people who are interested in our message and want us to come back and teach them more. The most promising of these new "investigators" is a Nigerian family that already has fellowship with about 3 or 4 of the families in the ward. The family is super nice and friendly. We are pretty excited to go back and teach them.
Oh and another super exciting thing that happened. We have a member who has a climbing wall in their garage and really wanted us to use it. So we called up President Vest to ask him if we could go bouldering and he said YES! So now we wake up extra early so that we can go climbing in the Lingard's garage at 6:00-7:00am. It's pretty fun and I actually get some good exercise out of it which is a nice change. So we are pretty excited about that.
Well that's about it for the week. I finally got my blankets. Thanks Ma and Pa! Have a great week. I love you!
 -Elder Nyholm

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Date: September 22, 2014 at 10:31:11 AM PDT
Subject: Re: Hey Buddy
Mmmmm to answer your questions Mom, Sunday's are our busiest day of the week. Lot's of meetings to go to and everyone is home. That means we never stop, even during Sacrament meeting we are trying to find out who's there who hasn't been in a while that we need to go meet or whatever. Or trying to get Bishop's attention so he will come meet them as soon as the meeting ends. So yeah, Sunday's are busy.
We have the car two weeks and then lose it for a week. So 2/3 time car. much better than 1/2 I'd say. But this is our bike week. I hope I get through it fine :)
Everything has been going well here. We have found some people to teach who are very promising. Actually, one of the Less-Active families in our ward has asked us to start teaching their children so that will be an awesome and fun experience. I love teaching the kids because they ask super great questions and actually remember quite a bit, maybe even more than a grown adult. And they make you think of simple ways to explain things which really helps us to improve in our teaching. If we don't teach clearly, simply, and boldly then people don't understand what we tell them and they never progress. So even when you teach adults, you try to teach them at a level where a young person would understand because then you know that there is no confusion about anything. So yeah, we are pretty excited to start teaching that family.
We had a pretty awesome Sunday yesterday. We had lot's of people come to church who 1)Had never been to church before and 2)Hadn't been to church in decades... So that was pretty exciting for us. We also had a member ask us to participate in a baby blessing for his son Noah, so that was an awesome experience. I think it also shows the amount of trust and confidence that our members have for us now. So that was a really happy moment for us also.
A cool scripture that I read this week, Ether 12:4 says “Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast.” I really like this scripture because it shows how important hope is in our everyday lives. People without hope don't see the future, they don't see the eternal perspective, and they rarely have happiness. But once someone has hope great things can happen. Moroni says in Moroni 7:41 "And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal , and this because of your faith in him according to the promise." Every single person who lives on the Earth has access to the Atonement. Every single person on the Earth has the potential to live with their Heavenly Father again. Sometimes we lose sight of that and think that everything is just crashing down on us all at once. But when we see the light that Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ bring into our lives, those trials become of such little importance and Hope and Faith take a leading role in our lives, allowing us to rise up and find happiness and become better each and every day. I'm truly grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and for the opportunity and hope that it gives me in my life, and I know that through the Atonement each and every one of us can live with our Heavenly father again.
Well, not much else exciting really happened this week but all is well. Have a great week everyone. I love you!
    -Elder Nyholm