Monday, April 16, 2018

I Love Being Here!


This week was awesome, I loved it a lot! We worked a TON and we went to the very edges of our area, and down long dirt roads just to knock on some doors where other missionaries have never gone! So we definitely put some miles on bike riding!!

But yea, this week was an adventure... and time goes FLYING by now. I don't know what happened, but I have like a calendar in my study room, and I set goals for myself every day and make different marks as I complete them... but today, this morning, when I looked up and I saw that the ENTIRE week passed by - I was blown away, because it literally feels like it all happened in a day!

But yea, awesome week, I loved it, and something super funny happened this week! 

So I do exercise almost everyday here. I try my very best to do it, but some days I just do like a pushup and call it.. yea... So the funny thing is EVERY SINGLE TIME I flake out on morning excersice here on the mission, I just so happened to get volunteered for physical service on the road, to make up for the exercise. I don't know if I've already told you this, but it totally happens!! God makes sure I get my exercise on the daily!  Jajajaja!  

For example, This week, the one day I didn't exercise, I think I was just feeling lazy, like I could get a hall pass for all the bicycle riding we're gonna do.  So, we're out riding our bikes and a member stops us... 

'Hey Elders!!! Do you have a minute?? I need help with something.'
'yea of course, what's up?'
'I sold my piano and I gotta get it moved like right now.. Can you help me?' 

A PIANO?!!! Ha! So, we totally helped him move his piano... After the mission, ask me about the other times, and I'll share stories for every other time I passed... like one time in la Sierra, I had to push a truck up a hill :) so that was cool!!  Would have been easier just to  exercise! Hahahaha

Something interesting I liked this week was shared in Church. The teacher was talking about the importance of attitude, and how our attitude of obedience is pretty much just as important as our obedience. If we're obedient, but moaning and complaining, what benefit does it have? The funny thing is he said that obedience is a rule, so if we're gonna be obedient, we might as well do it happily!! And he used the example of washing dishes for Mom when we were young. We all had to wash the dishes anyway, so why weren't we just happy about it? It woulda made life so much easier for EVERYONE!!!

(Sorry Mom, only took me about 20 years to get that thru my head... if only I'd have learned it when I was 9... Ha!)

Oh and how could I forget that I got a phone call Saturday from a number in Chihuahua!! It was Bishop Loera!!!!  Holy cow, I love them so much!!!  They made the drive out to Delicias just to deliver the package Lauren and Jewlz had given them for me in Utah!!  That was such an amazing exchange, being able to see them and recieve that from Lauren and Jewlz.  It was just awesome! (We also totally took a sweet lightsaber fight video but this ciber is super slow so I'll send it next week if we can get in a better ciber) ...and the cookie butter is gone. Yes, already! Ha ;)

We also had a beautiful talk with a sister that's learning about the gospel this week, and she gave the prayer at the end of the lesson, and when she prayed she prayed for her sons and for us and it really reminded me of your prayers Mom. :) I feel your prayers every day, but boy, I sure do miss em!

We are good and everything's amazing here, I hope you guys are well and loving life! 
God loves you!!!!

hasta pronto!!

Using talents learned in la Sierra ;)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Already Seeing Blessing in Delicias!

Well, it's been a great week here in Delicias! 

My comp, like I said before, is Elder Thomas and he's super cool. We get along super good, he's super easy, and he's already a great missionary with even greater potential. We're working really hard here, and we're seeing a lot of fruits of that labor :D 

We only have a week together, but we've seen a lot of blessings. We've managed to be in the right place at the right time a lot, and that's a huge blessing, because out here on bikes, we have to travel like 30 minutes on bicycle just to get to the church... or to the DLs house for a meeting, and then we have to cycle a half hour back to our area. So, daily, we ride a lot! And our whole area is like that... a bunch of pueblos (neighborhoods) miles apart, so we have to ride the bikes to get to each part of the area. I've never ridden so much!! I have a new respect for Lauren's bike ride to San Diego!!! This week we'll definitely get some sweet pics so there's proof!  Ha! :D

Really, I'm just enjoying the mission life out here! We're working really hard, and we're enjoying every minute of it!  And we're talking with some really cool people, so hopefully we'll be able to see some of them get closer to our Heavenly Father :D

Something cool that I found this week was a quote by Henry Thoreau I think... he states  'It is not enough to be busy, So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?' 

And it made me reflect a bit!  And I realized that I don't think I'd rather be busy about any other thing than what I'm doing right now, where I am right now :) I'm really enjoying the life here. It seems like everything I learned in the last year as a leader is finally getting put into play in every single aspect of the work. It's super cool :)

I love you guys so much!!!!!

"Don't let a day go by without acting on the promptings on the spirit."  - Dieter F. Uchtdorf.
We need to have spiritual moments every day! :)

Love you all!!!

We killed a mouse, but put a sticker on it to save sensative audiences :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Surprise Changes!


We had surprise changes!!!

I'm out of Chihuahua!!! (I've had 15-16 months total in Chihuahua City) and now I'm in Delicias!!!  And I'm finishing the training of a missionary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (needless to say I'm super stoked!!!!!!!!!!!!)

His name is Elder Thomas, and he actually lived with Elder Gonzalez and me for a week, while his other dad (trainer), Elder Ramirez, showed us around my last area!  So I already know the kid pretty well!!!!  We'll have plenty of pics for you guys next week :D

But yea, Elder Gonzalez and I had a good week! It was super cool, and the best part without a doubt was watching General Conference!  It was a super cool experience.. and such a nice way to watch the last confrence of my mission. I can't believe that it's the last one... but I loved every minute of it. It was awesome! Following is a link for anyone who'd like to check out General Conference online.

So, a little back story to how changes happened this week... Last week we had interviews with Presidente Montoya and he asked me how I feel and if there was anything I'd like to be doing.  I told him that I really wanted to train... And he followed up with the phone call Sunday telling me that I have changes!! I'm excited :D

Honestly I don't remember anything that happened this week, I'm still in the rush of changes... but I have pictures :D And that was the deal right? If I dont have words, pics will do! Haha!!

I love you guys!!!!!
- Nicki

With his new companion Elder Thomas

Note from Mom:  Nick became a District Leader right out of his own training, and has now been a Zone Leader for over a year (longer then anyone else currently in the mission).  When sharing the news with his Father, Nick referenced Ayrton Senna, Formula One World Champion race car driver who was quoted saying of all racing, his favorite was competing in gokart racing because it was absent of pressure and politics, "It was pure driving, real racing. And that...that makes me happy" about his kart time.  Nick shared giving up titles and leadership to train was that way for him, allowing him to focus on the 'pure love of missionary work'.

On another note, one of the families that Nick loves so much in Chihuahua was visiting family in the States and attending General Conference in Utah.  Nick gave them Lauren's number, and they were able to connect!  Lauren loved meeting them and hearing all the nice things they shared about her brother, she fell in love with their kids and gave them a package to deliver to Nick when they return!  Such a treat and made it feel like Nick wasn't quite so far away!!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Little-Big Things Happen Literally Every Day!

Yo Fam, this week was a good one! :D

That's awesome that you got my box!!!! That makes me way happy :DDD  Hahahaha I saw the shirts and I just thought 'what would look cool with some white converse?' hahahaha and sorry I totally forgot that I wrote it all in Spanish Hahahaha (I kinda forgot that not everyone speaks Spanish, I'm sorry ;)!!!!) Just wait a lil bit and you'll get a full translation :D It'll be worth the wait, I put my soul into it ;D Hahaha

Okay where to start... Well I forgot my agenda, and that's where I write everything cool down from the week, soon I'm just left with my brain, nothing more... soooo we'll see what happens :P

Okay, first off I was thinking a lot this week about how God changes our plans, a lot!!!!!! Like a lot a lot. Here in the mission we do planning in the morning, but sometimes everything changes and we just have a great day anyway, thanks to God's planning. Let me give an example.

We went to eat with a family this week, and they offered us a ride after the meal, (because our area is HUGE) and we had an appointment and everything to go to, but I felt 'let's go to the chapel' so I asked my comp, lets go to church, and he said uhh okay lets go! and we told the brother. He dropped us off, and literally, he drove away, we turned to open the gate, and someone shouted 'ELDERES!!!' 

Turns out that it was a girl who recently got baptized, and she knew my comp!!! So that was nuts, and she asked us, 'what missionaries are the ones in charge of the area 'la cantera'' ? (it's a part of our area)  And we said we do! and she was super happy, because her niece lives there and she wants to listen to the missionaries!!!!! She said she was trying to find missionaries to talk to for like a week and she finally found us 2.

So, we talked with her a little more, and then she left, and my comp and I were left like 'oh, well, that's why we had to come to the church :D

I swear the mission is so full of experiences like that its nuts. Little-big things like that happen literally everyday. They're little reminders to me that I'm doing okay out here :)

But yea, that happened :D 

This week I heard a great analogy, from an arquitecto. Here they build houses with concrete, but they always put rebar in the frame of the houses too. He said they do that to give the house flexibilty.  He told us that concrete can only sustain .01% of bend before it breaks, but with the rebar it endures a lot more! the house is strong, lasts, and can deal with what gets thrown at it because of the rebar. He said we need to be like that. We cant be like just plain concrete, because when life throws something our way, we'll be too rigid and just break. We need to be able to go with the flow just a little bit, but never compromising who we are our what we stand for. I hope that made sense because when he told us that I was likie 'Woah... life changing.' La neta :D

But yea, this week was super good :) Good week, good times here in the mission field :)  I'm loving it here :)

I hope you guys are well, remember that God loves you! He lives and we matter to Him :) if you want to know just about any other truth of the gospel, thats kinda it's root (doctorine of Elder Fardos) 

till next time :D
I had a bolero made :D It says Elder Fardos on one side and 'el pibe' (the kid) on the other... it's super cool :DDD  #recuerdos

Monday, March 19, 2018

"I'm Not Wearing Socks"

Hey guys!!

Okay Mom I totally got the box and it's only one of the best packages I've gotten in the mission!!  And I don't know if I told you that I love Elder Uchtdorf`s talks or what, but you nailed it!!! (Nick's Easter package arrived with basket goodies for he and his companion, new ties for Easter Sunday for both, Girl Scout cookies to share, and a pile of recommended reads from General Conferences over the last 20+ years, and we knew Uchtdorf was his favorite! ;) Haha!!)  I've read SO MANY of them already. I've learned an INCREDIBLE amount putting the talks of the apostles right next to the scriptures and finding stories, parables, and teachings that show exactly what they're talking about. It's been incredible. 

The shirts are also really good!!! They dont even look that big when I get it all tucked in and everything. And the extra space in the neck will NOT be a bad thing at all in about a month!!! Everything's great. Thank you!! Also let me know if you guys get another package yourself :D Hahahaha!  This one has some things for you guys!!!

Okay, this week was a good one! Everything chill, just been working the missionary daily grind :)  But like I've said before, this is a little harder area, so even if I'm not seeing the 'success' I'd like to, I'm sure learning a lot! I feel like the Lord wants me to learn something very specific! One thing I've been learning about is the difference between humility and not knowing  (like in that talk you sent me Mom, The Power of Not Knowing by Liz Wiseman)  It's something I've been thinking about for a while now.

But as I continue to work hard, I've been thinking about a testimony from a great person I like and respect... it was shared a SUPER long time ago, but I totally remember it like it was yesterday!

You remember when Brother Callaway gave his testimony? And when he shared 'Im not wearing socks?' and he told the story about having a choice to make about going home or coming without socks... he said the important thing was that he was there, he was present, at church, and that he was doing it, even if he wasn't the most 'prepared' por asi decirlo (so to speak). 
I've carried that testimony with me for quite some time now! It's one of the special ones that stuck and I've always had with me. And here in this area, sometimes I feel like maybe I'm showing up here a little less 'prepared', like maybe I don't have my 'socks on' but I'm trying, I'm working hard, we're giving it all we've got, and we know we're getting blessed for it! The important thing is that we're here, we're present, we're trying, and we're doing it :D

Also, something awesome in one of the Uchtdorf talks that I like :D

God does not need us to love Him. But oh, how we need to love God!  
For what we love determines what we seek.
What we seek determines what we think and do.
What we think and do determines who we are—and who we will become.
It's sweet to think about. God only does things for us because He loves us. He doesn't need to help us, but He wants us to be happy, so He gives us commandments for our good, and our happiness and protection -- out of love for us. :D

But yea, I hope you guys have a great week!!! I love you all, and God loves you all too!
Be good! MAKE it a good week!!! :D

Till next time!!
Nicki :D

(Our neighbors taught us how to make rice balls a while ago... and I'm not gonna lie we make em pretty bomb. We make em ourselves every once in a while. You guys are gonna love em!!!)

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Loving the People and the Purpose!!


Bueno, pues this week was a good one - again! :D Learned a lot, worked a lot, and just had a good week :D We had a lot of cool experiences this week, we are talking with a lot of cool people, and a lot of people here have a lot of potential!!!!

But, I think the coolest thing about being here, with my comp, is that (humbly said) we teach reallyyyyy good together. I don't think I've had another comp that I've been so balanced with as I am with him! It's pretty nuts. It's cool, I dig it, and we're working hard trying to take advantage of that gift to be able to teach as much as possible. It's pretty rad! :D
This week we went to Ojinaga again, to help out the missionaries out there just a lil, it was really cool, we had good experiences with them. :) 

But one of the coolest parts of the week was when we ate at the home of our Bishop! He and his wife are just loves. They're amazing people and we really love them!!! And well, they told us that we'd be able to make a video for you guys and it was like super in the moment, so if it came out awkward it's cuz we didn't plan or practice or anything! Hahahaha But yea, their family is incredible!! Their kids are amazing, and one kid, R, is SOOO CUTE, HOLY COW! I took a video of him, and I'd love to send it to you guys but we're in a *meh* ciber, and all the computers have viruses... sooooo, maybe next time! But, R is just about the best kid I think I've ever seen. He's awesome!

Something I thought about this week was in John 17:3 :)
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

It's cool because literally the key to receiving eternal life is getting to know our Father in Heaven and our Savior, Jesus Christ! So our job is getting to know them :) and I think one of the best ways to get to know someone is talking with them! So, I think a pretty big trick would be prayer. We need to have significant and meaningful prayers, and we need to be able to really get to know the personalities of God and His Son :) Reading and studying the scriptures are also important keys. There's a lot of things that we can do, right? But the trick would be to ask, "What do WE need to do, to be able to know them more"! There's a really good chance that we all need something a little different... Some of us may know actually know God and his Son pretty well - but we all need to get to know them better :) After all, it's the key to eternal life with them :)

Bueno, I hope you guys have a great a week and have spiritual moments this week! Don't wait for spiritual moments to happen either... MAKE them happen!!!!

I hope you guys have a great week!! I love you guys a bunch!!!
till next time!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Confrencia y Pachanga!!

Hey Fam!

Bueno pues this week kinda flew by... Time flew while we were in conferences preparing for the arrival of the Elder Valenzuela. He came and taught all the missionaries and we had a special leadership meeting and it was pretty rad! When I get back in 7 months I'll have more to share with you on that, Hahahah, Another story for home. :D

But yea, it was super cool, really, this was a cool week! One of the coolest things that happened was when we went to eat with a member. She invited us to knock on the door of her neighbors, just my comp and I, and see if they´d like to have a lil family night as neighbors. We went, and nobody was home. So, the member invited us to come back the next day in the evening and try again. 

While we were at home that night my comp and I were talking and we both thought it would be really cool if the member could be the one to do the inviting, but it was just something we thought about and talked about between ourselves, we didn't plan to actually ask her to do it. But, when we came back the next day the member asked 'You guys ready? Lets go' and she totally did it pretty much all by herself!! It was so cool to see a member reach out to her neighbors!! It was a super sweet moment for me, and for the member!! She left super strengthened and she realized how easy it is to do :D That made us superrrrr happy! :)

Oh and another thing we did, who knows whats gonna come of it right, but we felt the need to pass by a young couple that we absolutely love (pictures to come next week) and we left them a note in their door. We just felt like we should do it, so we did it :) 

But yea, good stuff :D

We've been working a lot, trying really hard, and always learning new things. Something we talked about this week is really classifying what is a sacrifice. It seems like sometimes we call things sacrifice that really aren't, or at least shouldnt be. It's something that caught my attention :) As Christ said in Matthew 13

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it." 

We have to treat the gospel like the pearl of great price that it really is. :D

Okay, something else kinda cool this week: We live in like a little apartment constructed above the house of a member, so we live above members and next door to members, and ALL these members are family... and one of the sons turned 25 this week... soooooo we had a pachanga (party) on our porch estilo Chihuahua (style). :D

I hope you guys have a great week!! Everything's chill here, we're just doin our thang :)

Until next time!!!
My companion is a fan of the albiceleste