Wednesday, November 15, 2017

We Need to Use Our Experience to Help Others!

Fam!

This week was really good! We've been working a lot, my comp and I, and we're really enjoying our time here. The area is really cool and the Branch is awesome. There's a lot of youth here that wanna do good, and that makes me happy. Theres a lot of potential here so that's what were working on most :D And I was able to give a talk this week, being a missionary, I talked about baptism :) I thought it was alright, hahaha :) I keep all my talks, so you guys will be able to read em in a year, Okay? ;) 

Something for sure, is that we've seen a lot of miracles this week, even the little things we've seen are just amazing to me. I'd write a list but there'd be too many - Hahahahaha, honestly, it's incredible. We're meeting amazing people that want to progress. We're meeting and working with people that have already impacted me as a person. Every day I learn lessons of simplicity, being family centered, putting yourself out there, making friends, choosing the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and oh boy, I have felt Gods help every day. 

And this week I think I've learned a lot about the little things. O mas bien, the little things that God does in our lives so that we can help others or meet others needs :) For example, in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 it reads,

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God
or basically, when we receive help from God, we have to be able to reflect this same comfort. If we are able to get through a hard experience with the help of God, we should look to help someone who's going through a similar experience. 

It's something that I really liked from my personal studies this week :)

But life is awesome, I hope all of you guys are killing it back at home!!! 

I love you guys a bunch!!!

Till next time!!!!
Nick

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Crazy Awesome Week!!

Hahahaha Mom, 

Don't worry, I'm not mad or sad or upset nor anything like it about you sending another care package, I just know, as the AMAZING WONDERFUL LOVING INCREDIBLE mother that you are, you are always going to go a little extra -- extra effort, extra care, and extra stuff!  And I don't want you to trouble yourself out of worry for me.  I just want you to know that I'm good here, everything's good, and I've purchased some winter clothes too, or have found them here in the house!! I have all the goods, and yea if I have extra I'll just leave for the next missionaries or donate it to members or friends.

But even though I don't need anything, don't worry about overdoing it, or anything like that, because there are a lot of missionaries that never get boxes. I consider myself amazingly blessed to have a Mom that loves me so much and has the means to send me packages to physically show her love because sometimes it's hard to express it when you're so far apart, I get that. A lot of times I feel like I can't properly show how grateful I am for the same reason.

But, you should know that this week was awesome!

My comp and I are killing it out here and this week we travelled out a little farther to a place called Madera :D And I took a video of the drive because I swear I could have been driving on Sierra College Boulevard at home... you have to see it to believe it.. and you will don't worry! ;)

But yea we have like 3 families that we're teaching and they're all going to church! It's pretty awesome! They're all super excited and we're gonna see what happens this month!!!

So yea, I don't know if I told you guys, the wards and branches here are pretty tiny! On a good Sunday we might have like 40 people in attendance. Often the missionaries have to pass the Sacrament, direct hymns or give talks or classes or whatever. It's one of the reasons I really enjoy it here, because we feel like an important part of the branch. It's really cool :)

I've gone back to basics, AGAIN, and I'm gonna be studying the Christlike attributes. Something I've realized is that I haven't been focusing on those for a while. I want to get back to being more like Him so that I can be better for Him and the other people in the world. I know I've said before, but we really can't do His work if we aren't like Him, so I hope that I can be a little more like Him every day until the end of my life :) He told us to be perfect, even as our Father is perfect, so we might as well start trying today!

I love you guys a bunch and I hope you have an amazing week! 
Until the next one :D
Nick

When I went to Leadership Council in Chihuahua I found friends from barrio Centro!!!

Family of gold here in Chihuahua!  I love them! :D


Alexis, my old Ward Mission Leader,
and is now on his mission in Costa Rica!!!!


Abandoned train station in la Junta. 




Tuesday, October 31, 2017

First Week Down in La Sierra!



Hey!

Sorry it's so late, we got caught up traveling in the zone. First, to answer your questions Mom, Junta is an old train town (it means junction) in the foothills of la Sierra which is it's own area. We're the Zone Leaders, and all the areas within the Zone are HOURS apart so we get caught up traveling like a lot. We're in an apartment, we have a microwave, no oven, and yes, I've heard in snows here but I'm good on thermals, I have plenty of sweaters, and there are a BUNCH of blankets here, and the water is good - so don't worry. 

I'm plenty warm enough, right now, honestly, the climate here feels a lot like home. And I really dig it. The area is spread out, so it's kind of like being a missionary in our stake at home... (but only the missionaries don't have cars). So if we were serving in Newcastle and we want to visit the missionaries in, for example, Lake of the Pines or Nevada City ward, here it might be San Juanito -- it's really far! So we will do a lot of traveling! :)

Okay, this week was awesome!!!  We had to travel to the Junta on Monday, and then Wednesday morning, we traveled back to Chihuahua for Leader Conference! So it gave us some time to visit some beloved members from my old area in Centro :) I took photos, but I left my camera at the house, so I might be able to send some tomorrow, seeing that we'll be traveling again to Madera this time.

So wait on that please :)

But, this week has been really good! We already have new investigators that are preparing for baptism! There's a young woman that we found, and she's awesome! She loved the Sunday classes and felt the Spirit so strong! She left in tears, and asked us when she could become a member of the church. She is really cool and should progress really fast!

We also found the son of a member that's ready to get baptized too! I don't know why the missionaries havent worked with him yet.. probably becuase they thought he was already a member! The kid goes to church every week with his family but hasn't gotten baptized, so we're also gonna be focused on him. We should have a good month of November!!!

This week has been really cool, getting to know the area, feeling cold air, and getting to know all the members! Here in the Junta we are going to work on bringing new people to church, and motivating the members to go every Sunday too! :) So we really are filling our schedule to the MAX, we're literally always talking or visiting with someone somewhere, sharing some spiritual thought or gospel message. It's really cool!  But Like I said, the area of the Junta is so much like Newcastle, and we're the only two missioneries, and we don't have a car, Hahaha! So we have to organize our day intelligently! But it's awesome. The people here are amazing and it's just awesome being able to be here. I really feel good here, and I'm really excited to see all the miracles the Lord has planned for the people here!!

But yea, that's pretty much all for this week, I'll try to throw some photos your way if time permits. We'll see what happens :P

I hope you guys are good, love you lots!  God is good and He loves us. I promise this week hasn't been just traveling and busy work, I've learned cool spiritual lessons too, but I know Mom wanted the area update and I'm out of time, so those will have to wait till next time :P 

I love you guys, hope youre well!
Till the next one!
Nick

New Area in La Sierra!!

Well Mom, to answer your question about what you should include in the Christmas box, I'm good!! Well, maybe some warm gloves, because I had changes!!! Haha!

Remember when I said I wanted to go to the Sierra? Well I'm here!!!! And honestly I feel like I could almost be in Newcastle. I'm in a place called la Junta, and it's awesome!!! I feel so much lighter por asi decirlo not being surrounded by so much concrete! I didn't realize how much I missed trees and open space.  So yea, now I'm in the Sierra of Chihuahua, and I'm super stoked. That's actually why I'm writing late, because I had to take 2 buses to get out here. I'm super stoked. SUPER STOKED!! After a year of being in the city, I'm out! :D My new comp, his name is Elder Sanchez, and he's pretty awesome. We're gonna have a good cycle out here :) Everything should be great!!!


But just to catch up on this week, it was a really great week in Technologico, my companion and I have worked A LOT and this week we were able to invite 2 families to church! They really enjoyed it and I have lots of hopes for them. They're just really awesome people! :)

One of these families, they are a family of 5, we were walking down the street and I saw this guy sitting outside and as we approached we saluded him, and as we passed I had the feeling that we should give him a folleto (I forget how you say that in English) but I already gave all of mine out, so I turned and asked my compa 'Tiene folletos?' and literally as I asked him he had already started opening his backpack and we both turned at the same time and started walking back.  The guy said he wanted to learn more about God! :)

ALSO last week there was a baptism, of a mom, Claudia, and her son, Armando, and they are SOOOOO AMAZING!  They really are the best people ever and I love them so much! :) They just are incredible, they look for the best in every situation and everything in life and they just stick to the good stuff.  And since this baptism was scheduled at the same time I hit a year in the mission, instead of burning a shirt, I gave Armando one!! (It's the one he's wearing for his baptism) :)


We were also visiting a panaderia (bread shop), and we met the owner, and he told us 'that we're pretty cool' and that 'we're friends' and that 'he's gonna see what he can learn from us'.  Basically he said he noticed something different in us -- and that was a cool experience. I always like moments like that :) And the pan gratis was a nice bonus!!  Ha! :D

I hope you guys have a good week, and let me know how everything is! What is the temperature like? It's way cooler here in la Sierra than in the city, so I'm excited about that. Next week I'll be sure to send some fotos :)

But that's kinda it for now, so I hope you guys have a good one!!! 
Till next time,
Nick

Monday, October 16, 2017

Whaaaaaat? You Flew Over Chihuahua?!



Hey Fam!!

Yea Mom, the photos of you guys flying over Chihuahua kinda blew my mind. I totally found where I've been in the city and where I am right now. That was super cool!!! One day I have faith that Ill go to Cuautehmoc, or Jimenez, or Madera. They're cities outside of the city that showed up on the map. I totally wanna give you guys a tour of Chihuahua one day!

(Note from Julia:  Ed and I flew from LA to Cancun, Mexico on our way to beautiful Playa Del Carmen on Monday! In route, following our in-flight tracker, we flew right over Chihuahua!! Literally, I could see it and recognize it right out my window!! I snapped these pics! I was totally in Nick's airspace — Seriously, such a tender mercy for this Mom to just look down knowing Nick was right there... almost felt like I could reach out and touch him!!  I just wish I could have dropped him a package or made it rain candy bars and pass along cards!!  Haha!  So close and still so far away, but very cool!!) 







But yea this week was cool, we found some more new people to talk with and we talked with a LOT  of people. We did some divisions with some other missionaries and that was cool. We have some good missionaries in the zone. Its been good to get to know them more. 

We've started talking with a family, a mom and 2 daughters, and one of the daughters is so cool! She loves going to church and she reads the scriptures by herself! It's really cool to see someone at such a young age (13) want to get closer to God. It really inspires me to be honest, she's pretty cool! And they lived in the United states for like 6 months some 2 years ago, and we talked about food in the US! They all said that Sonic was their favorite food from the United States Hahahahahahah! That made me laugh, and made me think of all the times I dragged Natalie to Sonic! Hahahaha!

But this week has been really good! I gave a talk on Sunday, and so that was pretty fun. I think I'm gonna use some of it in my homecoming talk in a year so I'm not gonna say anything about it quite yet :) Hahahaha... But I do have something to share, it's something stood out to me that I was studying this week.

I've been reading the Bible a lot, and well we know that God always works in the same way right? He's the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He always uses the same patterns of work... Something that I noted this week in the book of Acts was with Paul! He saw Christ and so he changed his life and started sharing the gospel. One time in Acts 26 he shared the story of his vision and people told him that he was crazy, and he just said he that he saw Christ and couldn't deny the vision that he saw.
There's a big similarity with Joseph Smith, right? After he saw Jesus Christ, people also told him that he was crazy, and that God stopped appearing to people a long time ago. But Joesph stayed true to the vision he had.
It's something I really like, when it caught my attention this week it really made me feel good. I dont know, I thought it was cool. :) Really shows that God does work in the same perfect way, and He is the same forever.
This week was really good, I hope you guys have a great week! It's crazy to think that we were in the same country last week!!!! 

I love you guys so much!! Till next time!!!!
Nick

It's a Year! Happy Hump Day!!

Hahahahahaha Okay Fam,  The pictures were awesome!!! But everyone looks so different, holy cow!!!! And thanks for the painting! It's pretty dope! :D Hahahaha, that was awesome, thanks for that!!! I appreciate it!


(To commemorate Nick's 1 year milestone, we commissioned a 'Feed My Sheep' painting in his likeness... Thank you Ryann Bailey for sharing your mad art skills with us!!) 


It really freaks me out that I've already completed the halfway mark... I'm not sure what to think of it. Time has passed by so fast. I can't believe that 1 year ago this Wednesday, I said goodbye to you guys in the airport!!! I remember it like it was yesterday... Everyone totally held it together (except Nat, she almost made me cry, Hahaha!) But that walk to the security line was one the most terryfying/exciting moments in my life. I had no clue what I was getting myself in to!

I never thought that I'd change so much. I never thought I'd see so many miracales. I never thought that I could be an instrument in God's hands, honestly. I never knew that I'd meet so many people that would completely change me and my life. 

Having completed a year I'm so extremely grateful for the opportunity I've had to be here in Chihuahua. It's crazy to think that this time next year I'll be back home. It honestly freaks me out and I don't like thinking about it ;) hahahaha!  So, okay, I'll talk about this week now ;P

It's been a good week! It's still hot out here, but it's been a good week. My comp and I have been working a LOT. We have met a lot a lot of people!! Now we're just trucking on :) The zone had special changes, and Elder Jiminez, who only had 2 weeks living with us, already left for Chuviscar! He's going to my hometown out there! He's excited, and we're receiving an Elder Aguilar in his place. He's also pretty cool, from what I've heard, so it should be good :D

It's been cool to see how God really does have a plan for each of us, and how He has prepared people with experiences in the past to put us where He wants us in the future. Moments that we think are hard or impossible, when the world just seems against us, it's very possible, and almost certain, that it's God putting in us in a place that He wants us. Thats been something special to see here in the mission :D

I don't have a lot more, so I'll throw out some pictures, yea? hahaha I love you guys, I hope you all have an amazing week, and take the time to go over all the talks from General Conference. They really were special, and they really are from the 12 living apostles. It's no different if Peter from the Bible was talking with us. It's really special, and we need to treat it as such. :) 

I hope you guys have an awesome week, till the next one okay?
Love you guys! 
Bye!!!
Nick

Sorry about this pic... it's a little missionary humor... probably in poor taste, but If you didn't take a picture like this at least once... did you really serve a mission?


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Another Good Week in Chihuahua!!

Family!  Hope everyone's good! 

This week has been pretty good here in Chihuahua :D  Elder Molina and I are doing well, we've been working a TON out here.. we're pretty much opening an area!  But it's been really good. We get along great and we work really well together. This week we've had some special changes in the zone, and so now we have Elder Jimenez in our zone, and he lives with us in the house. It's cool because when I was in Cerro Grande he was my zone leader! He's a good friend and a great missionary, so I'm super excited to have him here in the zone. He also wants to live in California some day, so you guys will meet him in the future I'm sure!

On our way to the Ciber today, we passed a couple of street signs that made me think of some of my favorite missionaries :DDDD  (Lauren, Julz and TJ)!



I hope you guys enjoyed the General Conference! It looks like the missionaries in your zone sure did! Mom and dad I'm 100% sure all the missionaries know about you guys. You guys are what we call 'mama y papa galleta' (Cookie Mom & Dad) here in the mission. They're the members that treat you like family, and ALL the mission gets to know about them, always! 

We enjoyed general conference in our chapel, it was really awesome! I took away a lot of good things :) I think the thing the called the most of my attention was the talk of D. Todd Christofferson. I always love his elequency and his way of applying biblical scriptures :D but something that I really loved that he said was:

'If we sincerely ask, 'what lack I yet?' He will not leave us to guess, but in love He´ll answer for the sake of our happiness and He´ll give us hope.' 

It was something that motivated me a lot, because sometimes I look at the mountain I need to climb to change something, like have more charity for example, and sometimes I get worried or I get lazy and say, nah better for the next week. But the good thing is that if we ask Heavenly Father, He'll also give us the hope that we CAN change, and that we can do it, with His help. It was something that I really liked :D

If you would like to see or listen to any or all of the General Conference talks, you can find them on LDS.ORG or just follow this link:  LDS General Conference Oct 2017

I also finished the gospel according to John, and I gotta say those 4 books Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are some of my favorite... definitely a lot of wisdom in those chapters :)

But yea this week has been stellar, I'm sure that we'll have a good week this week as well. I hope you guys have an excellent week, and take a moment to reflect in what the Apostles said, listen to the talks again, and really pay attention to what the Spirit tells you, even more than what they actually say :)

But, Yea, that's kinda all I got for this week! 
Until next time!!
Nick
In the middle of nowhere :D