Date: July 22, 2015 at 8:23:02 PM GMT+2
To: (Elder Nyholm's Parents)
Subject: We all loved the cookies
(Elder Nyholm received his box of birthday cookies from his mother. He had fun sharing them with his fellow elders!)
Sunday, July 26, 2015
From: Christianne Jacobsen
Date: July 24, 2015 at 6:42:54 PM GMT+2
To: (Elder Nyholm's Parents)
Thank you so much for loving and supporting your missionaries. They are good men and we love them.
They have been helping us get rid of piles of logs. This picture is taken from the spot in our yard that was filled with logs and because of their help it is now EMPTY! The one in the middle is my husband, Brother Jacobsen.
From: Christianne Jacobsen
(Written to Elder Nyholm's parents)
Date: July 24, 2015 at 6:48:16 PM
Subject: Your Missionaries hauling wood
Although you cannot see your missionary very well in these pictures you CAN see one of the loads of wood they helped load up and take to the city clean up area for brush. In the close up of the cab you can see Brother Jacobsen driving, Elder Nyholm in the yellow shirt in the middle and Elder Maaelopa in the passenger seat. I still can't believe they got all three of those big guys in the cab of that mini truck! And it is NOT an automatic.
Thank you for your love and support of these missionaries. They are such good people, we have enjoyed their help and especially their testimonies and insights about their scripture studies.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
This week went really quick (just like every other week I guess). It was a pretty good and entertaining week though. I've got a few good stories for you :)
So Monday we were driving in the country and ran over a bunny. So what did we do? We grabbed a plastic bag, put the bunny in it, and brought it home. We ended up skinning it and cleaning it real good then we breaded that sucker and fried him up and ate him. We had to throw out the back half of him because the meat was super bruised up, but the part that we ate was pretty yummy. So I'll send you some pictures of that with this e-mail. Yes, I believe I am turning into a redneck up here in the sticks. But hey, rednecks have fun so I'm not too worried about it :)
We had exchanges this week so Elder Taylor (from somewhere in northern Utah) was with me here in Trenton for a day. We had a super good exchange and got a lot done. And it turns out that he has a lot of the same hobbies/interests that I do. He's 6'6" and doesnt play basketball at all. But if he's on your team then he still makes the most points because he just stands next to the rim and picks up all the rebounds and puts them in. He's an awesome kid so I was pretty excited to be on exchanges with him.
I fried fish for the first time in my life this week. It turned out super good and I didn't even have to use tartar sauce with it because it was so good by itself. So I'm becoming a better cook :) Little by little...
We went and did service at Sister Nicholsen's ranch up near Iowa. She asked us to bring some boxes upstairs in her barn so we walked over to it with our boxes and found out that she has like 27 horses there. Well I've never really been around horses at all and everyone else was too scared to walk through them all (because they were all standing in front of the door we had to go through) so I ended up going first. It was super cool because they were all super nice and would just follow us around the rest of the time. I was just really nervous walking in back of them because I didn't want to get kicked, but luckily I didn't so it was all good. And after all we were lucky there were only 27 horses. She used to have more than 100.
On Saturday we went to a free fish fry at the Methodist church. We work at the food pantry in town with some old ladies who are part of that church and they invited us to come. There was super good food and Linda Antle made some dang good sour kraut (yeah, I ate it... and I actually like it. Crazy what the mission does to you). It was kind of weird though because everyone else was looking at us like "What the heck are these Mormon missionaries doing at our fish fry?" But, I didn't really care so we just went around and talked to people we knew and helped clean up plates and stuff. It turned out to be a really good experience and the people in charge of the fish fry were grateful to have our help cleaning up.
On my Birthday it was POURING rain in the morning. Lighting was striking across the street from us so it was shaking the windows and stuff. It was awesome. I love the storms here so I was standing outside our front door watching it. We have a little overhang over the front so I wasn't getting wet but then the wind started blowing so hard that in like 3 seconds I was soaked from the rain haha. Then we got a bunch of flood warnings and stuff. Trenton is on a hill though so nothing here actually floods, just the highway coming out of town. I heard that some people around town got about 5 inches of rain within about 2 hours. Then the same thing happened the next day. I just hope the weather stays this way so that we never have to deal with real summer heat. We've only had a few really hot days because it's been raining so much.
While on exchanges we were walking up to a house and I saw this guy holding a tiki torch like a spear. I was thinking "what the heck is that looney guy doing". Then all the sudden the torch flew like 50mph through the air and stuck about a foot into a hay bale in front of the guy. So it was definitely not a tiki torch haha. We went up to him and asked him about it and it turns out he was using a native american-style atlatle and atlatle darts (which are about 7 feet tall). This guy makes the atlatles and the darts and now he has started hunting deer with them. He hasn't gotten anything yet but he will soon. He told us that atlatles/darts are what they used to take down mammoths in the day. So we are going to go back and he's going to teach us how to use them/make them. I'm looking forward to it.
We've got a few investigators who I am really excited about. They are progressing pretty well but each of them just has a small little roadblock. 3 of them have quit smoking within the last 2-3 weeks. All of them are super interested in what we are teaching them and really want to be part of the church. So hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be able to announce a baptism or two. We were supposed to have one this coming Saturday but the family hasn't been coming to church so we need to help them a little harder to get here I guess. We'll see what happens :)
This week I read a talk from President Uchtdorf titled "You Are My Hands". Most of you probably remember it but I'd recommend rereading it. But there was one quote that really hit me that said "As we extend our hands and hearts toward others in Christlike love, something wonderful happens to us. Our own spirits become healed, more refined, and stronger. We become happier, more peaceful, and more receptive to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit." I know from experience that this is true. The only way you can find true happiness while on a mission is when you are giving everything you've got to the Lord and his children. Sitting around doing nothing doesn't make you happy, but as soon as you truly lose yourself in service to those around you, you begin to forget your own needs and find joy in fulfilling the needs of others.
Well that's it for the week. I love you all! Make it a great week :)
This week started off a little crazy but kinda slowed down a lot towards the end of the week. It all started on P-Day. We went down to Liberty for joint zone P-Day. As we were getting in the car to leave after sports the tornado sirens went off. So about 20 of us missionaries went back in the building and had to stay there until the sirens went off, which was about and hour and a half. Later we did find out that at least one tornado did touch down in Liberty that day. But we were protected so here I am e-mailing you :) Well, after we left I found out that Elder Maaelopa was limping a little (well... I guess a lot). So after our appointments on Monday night we went to the Hospital. We were there until 1:30 in the morning and they sent him away telling him that it was a sprain. So they gave him a big knee brace and some crutches. Then a few days later we went to the mission doctor and he said that Elder Maaelopa probably tore his ACL. So on the 24th we go to the hospital to get an MRI done and see what's really wrong with him. So yeah, it a was a crazy Monday.
On Tuesday we went and saw Jim. He committed to quit smoking so we were able to set a baptismal date of July 25th for him. We are super excited for Jim. He's an awesome guy and I love working with him. We were teaching about the Plan of Salvation and showed him a video about it and when the video said that "eventually we all die" Jim just said "COOL!". We were cracking up and asked him why he thought dying was so cool and He just said "Because then we all get to go see God". But yeah, Jim is awesome :)
Wednesday we went to the Visitor's Center with Roger and Linda. Now that I'm writing this I am thinking that I should have taken a picture with them there. Too late now I guess. But we had a great visit over there and it was a really good experience for all of us. That's the first time I'd been to the VC in over 6 months so I was pretty dang excited to go back. In two weeks we are planning on going to the Liberty Jail with a different family so I am pretty excited for that as well.
On Saturday we spent the morning helping to put a transmission in that truck that we took the transmission and engine out of a few weeks ago. We got it bolted in pretty quick so hopefully we did everything right haha. While we were there we were also told that "a good mechanic always has bolts left over". I'm not quite sure about that but it sounds good I guess :)
On Sunday in Priesthood meeting Brother Kelley got up to conduct and welcomed everyone there. Then he welcomed all the visitors. Then he said "There are a lot of strange faces here... But I know you". Hahaha he had us all laughing pretty good.
Oh, one more thing. On Tuesday we went and helped the Smith's (the ones who wrote you an e-mail). We knew if we told them that Elder Maaelopa hurt his knee that they wouldn't let us come help. So we didn't tell them and went to help. And it was 100% worth it because Sister Smith made us an awesome shrimp and tilapia lunch. I haven't eaten fish in a long time so I really enjoyed it a ton. So that was definitely a highlight of the week.
During church this week we were talking about the importance of having the spirit in all you do. There was a quote that really stuck out to me that said "When we have the Spirit, we will love to serve, we will love the Lord, and we will love those with whom we serve, and those whom we serve." Each of us is commanded to have Charity, the pure love of Christ, for all those around us. It is through walking somewhat of the path Christ walked, providing somewhat of the selfless service He provided, that allows us to develop this love for those around us. As Mosiah 5:13 says "For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?" I know that as we follow the Spirit in providing service to those around us that we will develop charity and grow closer to those we love and serve, and closer to our Heavenly Father.
Well that's it folks. Make it a great week. I Love You!
So we are in our new apartment and I love it. It's so much more clean and big and organized. No ant problem in the bathroom (no matter what we tried those ants would just keep coming into our bathroom in our last apartment). We no longer have the worlds smallest laundry machine so we can wash more than 4 shirts at a time. So yeah, we are really enjoying all the work and effort it took to move into our new apartment.
This week was a little slow with the holidays. Everyone seems to leave the small towns and go into Kansas City so there weren't too many people around here to talk to. We were able to visit with Jim B a few times though. He is determined to quit smoking and really wants to be baptized on July 26th so we are looking forward to that and doing everything we can to help him quit smoking. I swear, everyone in Missouri just loves their cancer sticks. And no one can quit using them. I guess that's why some people call Missouri "The Ashtray of America".
This week we tried to go do some service with an Amish guy that owns a saddle shop in Jamesport. He wasn't there though so we didn't get any service pinned down. We will probably stop by again this week though and try again. I've heard that it's basically impossible to teach religion to the Amish but I'm hoping that through our service that we will influence the younger generation. There are A LOT of Amish kids that grow up and leave the Amish community when they are in their late teens and early 20's. So we'll see what we can do.
Trenton does things a little different I guess. We had our fireworks show on the 3rd of July. Lucky for us, our new apartment is less than a half mile from where they were firing the fire works so we got to watch the whole show even though it was after our curfew. Before the firework show we wanted to go around and talk to a bunch of families but then we realized that everyone was drunk so it wouldn't do any good anyways.
We did a lot of special stuff on the 4th of July. My favorite thing we did was.... pulling weeds for a part-member family. I really dislike pulling weeds, especially because we always had to pull weeds as punishment and it was 90 degrees outside and we were in the sun. But we got it all done and set up a fountain outside and now we are going with the family to the Independence Visitor's Center this Wednesday, so it was all worth it. I haven't been to the Visitor's Center in over 6 months and I really miss it. So I'm super excited to be able to bring a part member family there :)
On Sunday we ate dinner with the Lichfields. Lucky for us, they live about 5 minutes away from Adam-Ondi-Ahman so they brought us there right after dinner so that we could show Elder Maaelopa around since he had never been there before. It was a pretty fun little visit and I'm super grateful for the Lichfields and their willingness to bring us there.
I was reading a conference talk this week called "The Privilege of Prayer" and it said "please believe how very much your loving Heavenly Father wants to bless you. But because He will not infringe upon our agency, we must ask for His help. This is generally done through prayer." It's so important for us to always remember that Faith and Blessing require some work on our part. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much and truly does want to bless us, but as Christ himself says "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek,and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." (Luke 11:9-10) I know that Our Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers and that prayer is an essential step in obtaining for ourselves the blessings that our Heavenly Father is already willing to grant us.
Well I think that's about it for the day folks. Make it a great week. I love you!
So this week has been just a little bit nuts. Monday through Wednesday we were packing for Elder Wright. It was a pretty boring and unproductive few days. We also went and visited a bunch of the members so he could say bye to them and tell them he was going home. Thursday he took off back to Highland Utah and I grabbed Elder Maaelopa who is now my companion. Elder Maaelopa is from American Samoa, plays rugby, has biceps the same size as my thighs, and loves to eat (except for pasta). He's been on his mission for about 14 months. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks with him.
This week we are also moving into the Sister Missionaries old apartment and they are moving into a new one right next to our old one. The problem is, they can't live in the new one yet and we have to be out of ours by midnight tomorrow so I think we will end up staying with a member for a few days while we wait for them to get permission to live in their new apartment. Today was just full of moving and stuff. It doesn't feel productive or useful but I guess it just has to be done.
We are almost into July and it still hasn't heated up too much. It rains most of the week every week it seems like. Some people don't like it but it keeps the sky overcast and therefore keeps the temperature down a little bit. The humidity gets pumped up but I'd rather have more humidity and less heat than high heat and still a lot of humidity.
This morning I was reading in Mosiah 15 and verse 9 stuck out to me. It says labout Jesus Christ "having ascended into heaven, having the bowels of mercy; being filled with compassion towards the children of men; standing betwixt them and justice; having broken the bands of death, taken upon himself their iniquity and their transgressions, having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice". I really loved it because it made me remember President Packer's talk about the Mediator. That Jesus Christ has paid our debt therefore He has fulfilled justice, and that we may be forgiven of our sins, thus being extended mercy. It is awesome to me that our Heavenly Father has laid out such a perfect plan for us and that he has made it possible for us to return to him despite our shortcomings and mistakes.
That's sweet that Paul is going to build one of those teardrop trailers. I think that would be a pretty fun project. While I have been out here in the country I see a lot of stuff that people have made in their own shops at home. It's giving me a lot of ideas of stuff to build while I am at BYU and have free access to all the equipment in the labs there haha. I wouldn't think one of those trailers would be too hard to build though and I think you can find all the plans online from what I remember. I'm kind of bummed that I won't be there to help build it. But if Paul can wait then I will definitely help out :)
This week we went and helped pull a V8 engine and transmission out of a 1990's truck. It was a pretty fun project and we learned a lot from doing it. We also learned its probably easier just to take the them out separately rather than together. So now we know.
Thats pretty much it for the week. I hope everything is going well for you all. I Love You!
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Well, Elder Wright dies this week. He ships back off to Highland, Utah on Friday. So we have a lot of packing in front of us. It's going to be super weird for me to see someone actually going home because I've never had to be around people going home before. But his 2 years is up so see ya buddy. So that means that I'll get a new companion on Thursday so wish me luck that I get a good one :) Elder Wright was a super great companion so the odds are not in my favor. It seems like I always get a companion that I have a really hard time with right after I have a companion that I've gotten along with well.
Yeah we just wrote to you so I don't know how much more I'll be able to add to this letter. Sorry.
Saturday we went to Ridgeway (47 miles away) to do service with a new family in the Branch. Well it was like 97 degrees or something like that and they had no A/C and their ceiling fan didn't work so that was a problem. Luckily we fixed their fan and put in one of those tiny little A/Cs that goes into the window and plugs into the wall so that should help them out a bit. Also, Angus Wright came to do service with us (he's 17) and he found an airsoft gun and blasted the heck out of me. Luckily they don't hurt too bad but I have to admit I do have a few little welts on my back and legs. It was a fun time though trying to escape him, reminds me of the days when we used to have airsoft wars in Young Mens.
After we did service in Ridgeway we went and planted corn and beans with Angus at his house in Cainsville. Luckily we beat the storm so that stuff should be popping up pretty soon. I don't know if I've told you but Missouri is GREEN. Everywhere you look is just green green green. It's kind of weird after living by the brown California hills for so long.
Yesterday was Father's Day so the Primary kids brought all the men brownies. Luckily the missionaries count as "men" so we got some too. Also, there were lots of extras so we got to snag some of those. They were pretty great brownies :)
Another cool scripture that I found in Isaiah that I really like is Isaiah 54:10 "For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed". I thought that was such a cool verse because it really shows the extent of the love and mercy that our Heavenly Father has for us. With all the crazy trials and events that go on around us, our Heavenly Father still loves us. That will never change. It's a promise that He has given to us and His promise can never be taken away. Even through our mistakes He will always love us and be there for us to help us to become better and correct those mistakes that we have made in our life.
This is for you Mom. Tips for studying Isaiah: Read these,
Study the Bible Maps
Highlight/Underline as you go
Study out of Isaiah, not out of the Isaiah Chapters in the Bom. The footnotes explain more when you read it out of the Bible
Always look for what the City he is talking about represents (Babylon=Wickedness, Lebanon=Pride, Canaan=Idolatry, etc...)
To answer your question about P-Day and the Temple. We have to go to the temple on P-Day. However, the temple is closed on Monday so we switch our P-Day to whatever day we go. So last week my P-Day was on Thursday.
Well I think that's it. Love you! Have a great week.