Monday, November 17, 2014

Sent: Monday, November 17, 2014 8:17 AM
Subject: Two Baptisms!!!
So this week went pretty awesome especially since, per the subject, we had two baptisms this weekend!!!!! It was funny though because our ward mission leader was late to open the font so we had to start filling it with buckets when he finally got there and by the time the baptism started the water was nice and cold. Then we had a baptism an hour later so we were going to drain some water and put some new hot water in but Elder Lokeni didn't notice that the plug chain got stuck under the plug so more water drained than was expected so we had to rush to fill it up again for the next baptism haha. It all worked out great though and both Kaleb Christman and Jennifer Bennett were baptized and confirmed the next day in Sacrament meeting :) They are both super excited to be following in Christ's footsteps and to start a new life of dedication to Christ.
This week it also got really cold. The first death (snow) has fallen. Its been down at about 10 degrees which is waaaay to cold for a Californian and a Samoan. I don't know how Elder Lokeni and I will survive the winter, but we will do our best. At least in this area we have a full-time car so we don't have to be outside much. I almost think it is worse though because we never get acclimated to the cold so we are always freezing.
Zone Conference was pretty awesome but it was suuuuuuper long. We started at 9am and didn't get out until 4:30. Then from there we started an exchange so we had to drive 2 hours from Platte City up to Maryville (kind of a fart-in-the-wind town, about 5,000 people). So it turned out to be a pretty long day of sitting. Speaking of fart-in-the-wind towns, we went to one called Rosendale, population 143. It looks like a tornado went through the town. I've never been in a town with so many stray dogs and so many broken down houses. If you ever drive North from St. Jo make sure you don't blink... you might miss it. There are lots of little towns here actually but we just don't go to them because there is nothing there.
This week I read through 1 Nephi 1-3 and a cool thought came to me. It talks about how Lehi leaves Jerusalem and all his gold, silver, precious things, and takes his journey into the wilderness. The cool part though is in 1 Nephi 2:7 "And it came to pass that he built an altar of stones, and made an offering unto the Lord, and gave thanks unto the Lord our God." I thought that was pretty cool because Lehi had not yet seen the blessings which had been promised to him. He had left everything behind, except for his family (also very important subject), gone three days into the wilderness, and the first thing that he did was thank God for his many blessings. I think of our lives and how many times be have trials in our lives and we forget the little blessings that we DO receive and never thank our Heavenly Father for those blessings. I think it's a pretty special subject, especially with Thanksgiving coming up.
And about Thanksgiving... It used to be that we gave thanks Thursday for things that we did have and then trampled people for things that we didn't have on Friday. Now I've heard that Black Friday is going to start on Thanksgiving in some stores... I just thought that was pretty ridiculous...
So anyways, this week has gone really super great and we are looking forward to another awesome week. Have a good one! I Love You!
    -Elder Nyholm
P.S. Here are some little funny photos someone sent me. I hope they give you a good laugh :)


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sent: Monday, November 03, 2014 8:39 AM
You're right about the time Mom. A year does go fast but it does still seem like a lifetime haha. I try not to think about how long I've been out but it's pretty hard to do when you are at your year mark. Haha I was in my last area for 3 months and when I got there I was at about 9 months, and I still told people that I was at about 9 months when I left. Then all of the sudden I'm at a year. But I think I liked being at 9 months better. Maybe I will just stick with that ;) 
Thanks for giving those missionaries some money for lunch Ma. I guarantee that that was one of the highlights of their day.
This week went pretty well. On Halloween we weren't allowed to be out tracting after dinner so we had dinner with a Less-Active family and spent the time after dinner passing out candy to people that came by the door. That family is super funny, they already told me that if I had been a "dud" missionary then they would always be too busy to meet and that if Elder Lokeni leaves and I get a "dud" missionary in his place then I will never be in their home again. It feels good when people people don't think you are a "dud" missionary hahaha :)
We also got to carve pumpkins on the day before Halloween. It was a fun little thing that we got to do that just gave us a little stress relief and fun for a little while. I think the pumpkin that I carved turned out to be the best one that I've ever done. I was a little impressed because I just jammed the knife in and started cutting without anything to guide me. But yeah, that was a little fun highlight of our week.
We've got two awesome people that we are teaching that should be getting baptized really soon (Nov 15th and Nov 22nd). Hopefully all goes well and I will be able to send you some baptismal pictures soon :) It feels really good to have two solid people to teach who actually enjoy having you teach them and appreciate the fact that you are out on your mission. I don't feel like I've felt that from investigators in quite a while.
To answer your question about packages. If it's USPS priority mail then it gets forwarded to me from the mission office Mon-Fri. If it's not USPS priority mail then it takes until someone from Independence makes a trip up here to the boonies, so probably a pretty long time.
 I was reading in 2 Nephi 33 this week and verse 3 really stuck out to me. Its says "But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry." I feel like each on of us has several people that we pray for constantly, who mean the world to us and who we want the best for. To me it is super comforting to know that our Heavenly Father hears each and every one of our prayers and that he hears and answers, again, each and every one of our prayers (although we may not recognize those answers). It's also super important that as we pray for those people that we pray for them "in faith", showing God that we have confidence in Him and that we know that he will do what is best for that person who we are praying for. The power of prayer can play and powerful and active role in our lives if we let it. It's so important that we realize that and act on that knowledge so that each one of us can help to bless the lives of those around us.
In terms of the question you asked of "why are children so devilish sometimes if Satan doesn't have power over them" (I laughed pretty good when I read that by the way) I kind of look at it from this point of view. If they acted perfect 100% of the time while they were children then as soon as Satan did have power over them to tempt them then they would not know how to resist those temptations and they would not know of the consequences that come from "acting devilish". So when the time came that Satan did have power over them, they would give into just about every temptation that was put in their path and be accountable for those sins, which would definitely not be a good thing. So yeah, those are my thoughts on that.
Not much else really interesting happened this week. It got really cold one night, about 20 degrees, but that isn't nearly as cold as it will be this Winter so.... yeah we will see what happens :)
Well have a great week. Thanks for all the support you give me. Sure Love Ya!
      -Elder Nyholm

Sent: Monday, October 27, 2014 8:08 AM
So I've learned a little more about St. Joe in the past week. #1 we have a full-time car because we cover the towns of Savannah, Amazonia, Troy, Elwood, etc. All of them are little tiny towns like 15-30 mins away by car. If we didn't have a full-time car we wouldnt be able to get to those places sooooo... we have a full-time car. I feel spoiled but I won't complain. #2 St Joseph is the home of Jesse James (I think) a pretty famous robber. So just a interesting fact.
This week flew by pretty quick. I'm still learning the area and trying to remember the names of all the members. There are some rough parts of St. Joe but it's nice because I don't think most people want to mess with Elder Lokeni seeing as he is 6'5, and ~250lbs. I know I wouldn't try to bother someone that big. Being with a huge companion definitely has its benefits. Now we can pretty much go wherever we want whenever we want and not have to worry. Our Bishop told us and the Sister missionaries during a correlation meeting that he didn't want us going into a set of apartments at night. Then he looked at Elder Lokeni and said "Mmmm you elders can go". I thought it was pretty funny.
Yes Dad I got the cables and they are good. Thank you! And yes my ankle is doing pretty good. I am wearing a brace every other day now. My ankle is super weak now from having a boot/brace so long so I'm trying to help it get a little stronger before I ditch the brace all the way. We'll see how it goes.
So I gave a lesson in Gospel Principles yesterday about talents and found a scripture I really like in James 1:17 that says "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." It's pretty cool that we can know that every talent we have comes from a Heavenly Father who loves us. And I think it is always important to understand that we are given gifts and talents to help bless the lives of others, not to keep and treasure up for ourselves. With every talent we are given there is a corresponding way to bless the lives of others with that talent. This life is a life of service. From Hugo Martinez, "El que sirve, sirve; el que no sirve, no sirve" (He who serves in some thing is good for something; he who serves in no thing is good for nothing.). 
That's all I got for the week. Here are some pictures of beautiful St. Joe from the biggest hill I've ever seen in Missouri (and it's still tiny...)
Have a great week everyone. I love you!
      -Elder Nyholm