Monday, December 8, 2014

Sent: Monday, December 08, 2014 8:53 AM
So this week went pretty quick and uneventful. Our teaching pool is pretty tiny still because we are had those baptisms a few weeks back so just about all our efforts are going into finding new people to teach. It's hard to because no one is outside anymore because it is getting cold so it's definitely a little harder to find people to talk to. But all is going well so it's all OK!
The other day we helped a member to dig a super long trench. It was great fun. 500ft long and 6 inches deep. We finished it in about 2 hours which I thought was pretty good because it was just Elder Spencer and I doing the digging. The member we were helping has cerebral palsy so he wasn't able to do any digging at all. He's an awesome guy though. And we got some good exercise so that is just a bonus.
There's a scripture I read this week that has been on my mind a lot lately. Its Jacob 3:1 which says "But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions,and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction." The parts that I put in bold are the parts that really interest me. There is a promise made to us from God that if we do two things 1) Look to God 2) Pray in faith then he will do two things for us 1) Console us 2) Plead our cause. There's a lot that you can take from that but for me I think it's super important to recognize that every time we do something for God he blesses us in return. Every single time. No exceptions. I love that we have a loving God who wants to do everything for us but allows us to grow by letting us stumble through our trials until we truly rely on him for strength.
Mom asked about speaking Spanish. I speak Spanish about once a week here. We visit a recent convert, Marco Cruz, and cook lunch with him every Tuesday and then share a message with him. So I get a nice 1.5-2 hours of Spanish in every week. Not much but at least it keeps me from forgetting it completely. And we get good authentic Mexican food as well so you can't beat that. I know how to make Horchata from scratch now too. Marco is teaching me well :)
That's about it for the week. Like I said, it wasn't super exciting at all. This week we have a mission-wide conference on Wednesday so that'll be super fun. Every missionary in the mission will be there and each zone will sing a Christmas song and all that good stuff. Should be a blast so I'm looking forward to it.
Well I love you all! Have a great week!
     -Elder Nyholm
Date: December 1, 2014 at 11:37:31 AM EST
Subject: Re: Hey Buddy
We had transfers this week and Elder Lokeni got booted out to Sedalia (about 2 hours east of Independence). He was super scared of serving in the boondocks but that's the only places he's ever served in his mission hahaha. Funny how that works. So Elder Spencer from Glendale Utah came to replace Elder Lokeni and we are having a good time and working hard.
We had an awesome Thanksgiving. We had a lunch with the Crumb/Dinning/Hurt clan in Amazonia where we had the bonfire a few weeks back. They had enough food to fill up every bit of counter space that we have in our kitchen in Livermore plus another full table of desserts. It was wonderful. Then after that we went to a dinner with the Burns family where we ate more food and more pie. I think in total I ate a full pie and a half that day. Apple pie, pumpkin pie, double layer pumpkin pie, brownie fudge pie, etc. It was wonderful. Then I didn't have to eat anything on Friday because I was still full from Thanksgiving.
This Sunday I was asked to do a confirmation for the Sister missionaries new convert, Misty Stein. It was the first confirmation that I've ever done and it was a pretty cool experience. I'm glad that Misty trusted me enough to ask me to do her confirmation for her.
I've heard of Sister Flink. I know she is in the mission but I've never met her before.
Numbers 20 has a pretty good story about exact obedience that I really like. Moses was commanded to speak unto the Rock at Meribah to bring forth water to the Israelites but instead he whacked the thing with a rod two times. The water still came forth, the miracle was still there, but Moses was told that he would never see his people enter the promised land because he didn't follow the commands of the Lord with exactness. You can find it in Numbers 20:2-13.
That's about it for the week. It went by quick with transfers and everything. Well I Love You! Have a great week!
    -Elder Nyholm 

Sent: Monday, November 24, 2014 8:51 AM
We are having a pretty interesting week, well just today actually. All the missionaries who are supposed to go home on Thanksgiving leave today so that they can be with their families ON Thanksgiving which means that Elder Lokeni and I just accepted Elder Hart into our (now awkward tripod) companionship. So we are in Independence now instead of in St. Joseph which I really am kind of happy about because I LOVE Independence (much more than any of my other areas). But yeah, we will have Elder Hart until Thursday when Elder Lokeni and I do not get transferred (fingers crossed).
But yeah, the week has gone by well and went by very fast. The Sister Missionaries in our ward had a baptism on Saturday. This time when we filled the font we were smart and ran the sinks in the kitchen on hot water and then siphoned the water our into a big trash can then wheeled that over to the font to dump all the water in. So the water was actually warm and we got the whole font filled in an hour and a half rather than in the 4 hours it would've taken. So that was a fun and good experience.
Hermano Cruz in our ward opened up a taqueria a few months ago and he took us out to eat there this week. He got me this plate of chile verde and it was super good. Elder Lokeni tried a bite and almost started crying because it was too spicy for him (then he got mad at me for not warning him hehehe). Actually Brother Cruz didn't get baptized too long ago so we go over and share a message with him every Tuesday and while we are there he teaches us to cook Mexican food and feeds us lunch. It's a pretty sweet deal. This Tuesday we are going to make homemade Horchata and probably gorditas or tostadas. We'll see. But yeah, Bro Cruz makes some really good food :)
Something I've been thinking about a lot over the past week. Alma 37:7 says "And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls." I think a lot of times we forget that Satan also works by very small and simple means. He doesnt get us with one big earthquake, he weakens us with several small earthquakes until he can give us one last hard push and make us crumble. But those little decisions that we make every single day can make the difference between if we are following the Lord or the Devil by "small and simple means". Like Pres Monson says "Decisions Determine Destiny". It's just so very important to make sure that the small and simple things we do every day help us to follow our Heavenly Father's plan.
I think that's about it for the week. Nothing too interesting or out of the ordinary. Have a great week. I Love You!
   -Elder Nyholm