Friday, February 20, 2015

Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 9:52 AM
Death... Well snow, but that's basically the same word right? We've had like maybe 4 inches of snow here over the last 3 days, which really isn't that much but everyone here in Missouri is freaking out about it. I think it's because they don't realize that they can just sweep it away with a broom or move it with a shovel. Instead they just pour salt everywhere around their porch, which really hardly does anything to get rid of the snow so then it just piles up and gets packed down when people walk over it and then it turns into solid ice... Now you can slip on it and the salt still does nothing... One day they will learn.
With the snow and cold everyone is getting sick. Out of the four Elders in our ward I am the only one (knock on wood) who doesn't have a sinus infection or strep throat or hemorrhoids or whatever other problems you can think of. It makes it hard to do missionary work when everyone around you is sick. So hopefully they'll get better soon and we will actually be able to do something productive :)
Transfers are coming up this Thursday. We'll know tonight who is going where. Elder Monroe has been here for 4 transfers (6 months) now so we are pretty sure he's going. Then again, I've had this weird feeling ever since I got here that I would only be here for one transfer and it's not unheard of for people to stay in their first area for 5 transfers (7.5 months) so it'll be interesting to see what happens.
Dad, I didn't realize that old people were even allowed to get contacts. I guess having huge hands doesn't help either when you are trying to put them in / take them out huh? Now at least your glasses won't get broken from hugging people too hard. Personally I would recommend staying away from an extraction tube for your contacts. It's probably a little hard on the lenses  :) And you are right Mom, that story did give me a pretty good chuckle.
There have been tons of geese flying into Belton, especially near little ponds and stuff. Well we were driving through a trailer park a few days ago at night looking for a members house and I saw something flash right in front of us and then a "thud.... thud....". Well I looked in the rearview mirror and there are feathers flying everywhere and two dead geese right in the middle of the road. I guess that's the right way to go hunting. You don't have to go out of your way to find them and you don't have to pick out the pellets later when you clean them. And luckily enough, they don't damage your car either so it's a win win situation all the way around.
I was reading in the BoM in 1 Nephi 17 and the first part of verse 35 really stuck out to me. Its says "the Lord esteemeth all flesh‍ in one; he that is righteous‍ is favored‍ of God". I thought that was really cool because each one of us is on a level playing field our entire life. The Lord loves each on of us, wants to bless each one of us, wants to comfort each one of us... But ultimately what determines the amount of blessings that we receive is our righteousness. We are promised over and over again throughout both the Bible and the Book of Mormon that if we obey God's commandments that we will be blessed. It's not a very hard concept to understand. Keep the rules and good things happen to you. Break the rules and bad things happen to you. The best part though is that because of the Atonement, no matter where we are in life, no matter what mistakes we've made or what faults we have, we can make the decision to change right now. We can start on the path of righteousness this instant if we really want to, but the choice is ours.
That's about it for the week. I hope all is going well for you. Make it a great week. I love you!
     -Elder Nyholm
And here are some District Pictures. I don't think we got a single normal one. Sorry :/

On Feb 9, 2015,  8:56 AM
Yup we had some crazy weather this week. One day of below freezing with snow and freezing rain and then like 2 days after that it was in the 60's. Missouri has some nutty weather that's for sure. If you don't like the weather then just wait a minute. I'm just glad that we have the car for 2 out of 3 weeks so we will have it for the next two. I'm really praying that any bad weather is done by March. The only downside to the warmer weather is that the bugs don't all get killed so during the summer there will be lots of them. People here tend to exaggerate the seasons though so it probably won't even be that bad. We'll see.
We went to the Temple last Tuesday so that was pretty fun. We went with our Bishop's son Jeremy. It's funny because Jeremy is 33 but he still looks really young so when he brings us to the temple everyone calls him Elder. He hates it though so he takes off his suit coat before he even goes in and grows out some scruff so that he doesn't look like a missionary anymore haha. After the temple we went to the original Oklahoma Joe's, a super good BBQ place in downtown Kansas City.
On Friday we went with Pat and Warren Davies to the Visitor's Center in Independence to listen to Jeremy Guthrie (a pitcher for the KC Royals who is a member of the church) speak about how choices determine destiny. He is a pretty cool guy and passed up a $350 thousand contract in order to serve his mission in Spain. Now he makes a whole lot more than that though so I'm pretty sure he's been blessed for serving his mission. He is a super good speaker. Too bad we had some annoying teenage kids behind us that were talking the whole time. But such is life.
Pat told me that she called you. Yeah they do take good care of us. We visit them every Tuesday. Pat was just baptized about 4 months ago so she enjoys having the extra spiritual messages every week. And yes Pat always wants to know our first names. She is like a Grandma to me and she always feeds us chocolate whenever we go to their house haha. They are an awesome family.
I read Helaman 4:13 and really liked it. Here it is. "And because of this their great wickedness, and their boastings in their own strength, they were left in their own strength; therefore they did not prosper, but were afflicted and smitten, and driven...". This scripture really made me realize that all of our strength and success come from God. We can really do very little on our own. So when we begin to act as if all our success comes from our own selves and we stop relying on God for strength and support then he does not give that strength and support to us and we begin to be "afflicted and smitten, and driven. Just something that made me realize how much strength we really receive from our Father in Heaven.
This week I got to go on an exchange with Elder Kaafi. He's from Tonga and learned English just in the last 10 months. He is doing super great and is an awesome missionary so I'm glad that I got serve with him, even if it was just for a day. And it just so happens that the day I was with him was the first time he had ever walked in the snow or shoveled a driveway. Fun times :)
Well that's about it for the week. I hope everything is going well for all of you. Thank you for all your prayers and support. I Love You!
        -Elder Nyholm
This is Elder Kaafi and I in the snow
And Jeremy Overson's 110 lb giant German Shepard

Sent: Monday, February 2, 2015 7:56 AM
Subject: It's Cold
Well it's winter again. Bummer. This is our week without a car and its 5 degrees outside. Should be a pretty fun week. At least it hasn't snowed much so we shouldn’t have to be walking in snow too much. And our ward is really supportive so we should be able to get lots of rides to the places we need to be.
We had a kind of interesting week. On Wednesday we were asked to usher for a funeral at our church building. It was an open-casket funeral which was reaaaaaaaally weird for me because that's the first time I think I've ever actually seen a dead person before. We didn't go to the actual service though because we had our district meeting while the service was going on in the chapel. I'm sure it was a good funeral service though.
This week we went with Sister Davies and her husband to the Independence Visitor's Center to go to a special program where Jeremy Guthrie was supposed to be speaking. Turns out he is speaking THIS Friday so we just ended up watching "Meet the Mormons" instead. We are going back up this Friday though so that we get to go to what we planned to be at haha. I love being at the VC. It's a pretty cool place and we only get to go if we bring investigators or recent converts so we are always looking for people willing to go.
There is this girl named Emily that we met that works in a herbal cure type shop downtown here in Belton. She plays pretty much every musical instrument ever and she was telling us about this thing called a didgeridoo that she has that is fun to play. Well she ended up bringing it in like 2 days later so we got to learn how to play the didgeridoo. It’s basically a 5 foot long hollowed out stick that sounds like a really low pitched horn. I think she said it originates from Africa.
We also went on exchanges this week which was good. We exchanged with the Grandview Elders. It's always fun going on exchanges just because you have an opportunity to learn from someone else for a bit. There's always things that we can improve on and being on exchanges makes it really easy to see what exactly we need to improve. I got to go with Elder McCurdy who actually turns out to be Elder Parry's cousin (Elder Parry was my companion in Hill Park Ward in Independence).
I was just reading through some of Psalms this morning and I found a verse that really stuck out to me in Psalms 111:10 that says "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever." I've found while I've been on my mission that knowledge and understanding is a huge part of obedience. When we come to know that our Heavenly Father loves us and wants what is best for us it becomes a lot easier to follow his commandments because we know that they aren't just some useless rules that we've been given to limit our agency. A lot of people we teach don't keep commitments like reading the scriptures, attending church. praying, etc... only because they don't understand the importance of them and the depth of relationship that they can develop with their Heavenly Father through those things. When we start to understand the love that God has for us, obeying his commandments becomes something that we do because it is the only truly intelligent thing to do.
That's pretty much it for the week. Wish me luck with this cold weather :) Hope you all have a great week. Love You!
     -Elder Nyholm

Sent: Monday, January 26, 2015 7:40 AM
This week was pretty uneventful. Slow days but a quick week. We have a lot of people that we are teaching but most of them are youth who do not have their parents permission to be baptized because their parents are divorced or whatnot. It's pretty annoying when the kids are super excited to get baptized and then their parents are holding them back. But that's how life goes so we just have to grin and bear it I guess.
This week we went over to a members house who has a TON of pet snakes and in order to feed them they keep a rat farm in their garage. It's pretty cool how it all works (until the rats chew through the cage and get out). They've probably got about 25 pythons and a few boas in their house. One of them is a good 7-8 feet long. So we had fun playing with all of those last night. 
There are some people here in Belton that were taught a while back but have not been progressing at all. They are still awesome people though and they invited us over for dinner so we went over on Saturday and had some awesome chicken curry. They taught us that if you eat it with quartered onion layers then your onion layer is like a spoon and it adds a little extra spicy to it too which is good. Definitely one of the better meals that I've had on my mission (although raw onion and chicken curry don't give you the nicest breath in the world).
Our stake gave us a training on Family History this week. It was pretty interesting and we have actually been able to use it quite a bit in our teaching/finding efforts. I also got to see our family tree which is something I was never interested in before but now I think it's pretty cool. So hopefully we will get to use family history more as we go out and visit people.
I found a really cool scripture in Romans 8:38-39 this week that says "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels,nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." I just think that is so cool because it shows the level and depth of the love that our Heavenly Father has for each one of us. It's also comforting to know that no matter how far we fall or how far from the path we stray, God will always love us and will give us the opportunity to overcome and trial or shortcoming that we have.
That's pretty much it for the week. IT"S STILL WARM (knock on wood). Please pray that we will keep getting warm weather... I'd really appreciate it haha. As long as it doesnt snow I am happy I guess. Anyways, I love you! Make it a great week!
         -Elder Nyholm
P.s. You can tell the sister missionaries that Elders can do crafty stuff :) Also here's the big snake ...