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

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Search and Rescue - On it's Way in Mexico!!

Fam!

Okay, this week was a big one, an awesome one, but a big one!!


Elder Molina and I are doing awesome, we get along great and he's just a really good and really funny guy. We are all in good spirits here! And living with two other missionaries is just better, officialmente! Hahaha! It's just been good! 


This week we had some people get baptized and it was really awesome! One was a family who started talking about the church with their cousins a couple months ago. They were able to get baptized, and it was a super cool moment :) they really are a special family. Also, a kid got baptized, and is a cousin of the members in Cerro Grande that owned a panaderia!!! So I got to see a BUNCH of people from the first area of my mission!!! That was way fun and we were able to catch up on so many things. That was pretty awesome! :)



Also this week I met a new gringo missionary, his name is Elder Clymore. He's in Tech 2, (we're in Tech 1). I met him when we had a combined Zone meeting, and he says 'Hey, you're the missionary with the blog, right?' Hahahah! So that was cool, thanks Mom for keeping that going! ;) (Note from Nick's Mom:  When I discover new Missionaries preparing to serve in Chihuahua Mexico or new Chihuahua Missionary Moms on social media or through group or friends, I always reach out and invite them to browse Nick's blog to see people and places their missionary may encounter while serving, or get a feel for work, weather, and landscapes of Chihuahua!  We connected with Elder Clymore's Mom as he was preparing to serve. Connecting with other Missionaries and Moms has been a huge blessing to this Mom!! It makes Chihuahua feel like it's not so far away)!




This week I learned a lot and had a lot to think about.  First was something President Montoya said.  He was addressing all of the earthquakes in Mexico and used them as an example saying... If any of us see what's on television, and see images of people in Mexico working very urgently to reach out to search and rescue people who are buried under concrete or rubble. Each life is precious and there are people trapped who want to be rescued, and need the help of other people to work and do what is necessary to save them. He asked us the question, why are we not searching with the same urgency in our missionary work? There are people who are spiritually trapped, and if we do not work with urgency to find them and try to help them, they could stay spiritually lost and stuck waiting and wanting to leave, but whose souls are imprisoned by sins or circumstance unless we reach them and work to show them the way out!  The work of salvation needs to be just as urgent because each soul is precious and worth saving - and that is why we are here!  

Also, I've been reading the Bible a lot, and I really liked something I found in John chapter 9. It's the story of Christ when he healed a blind man, but the story doesn't end with that miracle.  The blind man was healed because of his faith, but he went through a lot of trials after that because of the pharisees. So, after all was said and done, offcials made fun of him, and then cast him out which was kind of a big deal because he doesn't just get run out of town he's completely rejected by his culture. But the book of John adds details that I really like, in verse 35-38, even after he was cast out, Christ found him. He didn't just bless him and leave him, he stayed watchful of him, and when he needed Christ again, He was there to find him. It's something that gave me a lot of hope for the future. :) Christ doesn't come and go, He comes and stays and waits for us. :)

Love you guys! till next time!
Nick





Monday, September 18, 2017

There's No Place I'd Rather Be!

Okay Fam!

Well, I have officialy 1 week in my area, and it's super awesome! My companion, Elder Molina is awesome!  We get along super good, and we teach well together too, and yea, it's just all good stuff! :) I'll be sure to send you guys a comp foto soon!  

But now I live with another copanionship, and I forgot how much cooler that is. I dont know, I really like it. It's a little more exciting and a lot more fun! Hahaha!

Also, this week was Mexico's Independence Day! September 15 & 16. That's something else... I dont know why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo... May 5th is literally a regular day here, but man the night of the 15th is crazy! For that exact reason we had to get in the house at 6 that day!!!! Thats super early, so we ate pizzas and had a little party :D


But the area is super cool, the zone is cool too! We have really good District Leaders. Elder Ramirez is one of em, I was with him in Cerro Grande, in fact, he was my District Leader there! The other one is Elder Alavez, and he's from my generation (entered the field from the MTC with the same group). He's from the Cuidad de Mexico, and he's super cool! Honestly, it's pretty awesome. 

But yea this week has been cool! We're really focusing on finding new people, finding the people that the Lord has prepared.

Something that I've learned this week, or something that stood out to me, was from a couple chapters in Luke! The first is in Luke, Chapter 14. It talks about a master of a house inviting people to a dinner, but a lot of people said no at the last minute, so he told his servants to go find the humble people on the streets to receive his dinner. I found that this really applies to us as people. God has created His 'dinner' o sea, blessings, and we can choose to have them or not. He won't force us to receive them, and we may have to give up a little bit, to receive a lot more! We have to learn to be humble and put our things aside for a little bit so that He can bless us with all that we have. But then we can see something else in Luke Chapter 17.  There was a time when Jesus healed 10 Lepers, and they all asked for help, but only 1 recognized the divine help and gave thanks to God. We, every day have the decision to be what kind of person we want to be. We can choose to be one of the people that didn't go to the dinner of the master, for excuses, and lose blessings, or we can be humble and go and receive more. We can choose to be grateful and give thanks to God, or we can go our way being content because life is good. We have these choices each and every day. We choose who we want to be.  I hope we all want to show up to the dinner, receive the blessings, and be grateful for all of them each and every day.

Bueno pues, que mas. I think that's pretty much it! It's been a good week, I'm excited to see what we will do here in Tech 1. It should be a really good 6 weeks. Can't believe that in this cycle I'm gonna hit a year... I honestly can't believe it. It's been so amazing, the year has passed so fast!!! I love you guys and miss you guys, but there's no place I'd rather be. I hope you guys have a great week, and Ill see you guys next week :D

Till next time, stay amazing,
Nick 

Goodbye Chuviscar, Hello Technologico!!

Fam!

Well, changes are here again, and after 6 months in Chuviscar, they moved me!  We've seen some crazy changes in the mission these days, But yea now I'm in the north of the city, in a Zone called Tech. The Stake is called Technologico, but there's two Zones of missionaries in the Stake, so I'm the Zone Leader of Tech 1. Does that make sense? My companion is named Elder Molina! He's from Honduras, and he's awesome!

It's pretty cool, so far so good, although I don't have a full day out here yet, so I really don't have a whole lot to report on of my new area, but my last week in Chuviscar was awesome!!!!  

So, this week in Chuviscar we met a girl that is so valiant! She found the missionaries and she started talking with them a while ago, but she received super strong answer about the church upon praying about it. She said she asked God if this message was something she needed in this life, if it was something that He wanted for her. She said she just felt it and knew upon asking. Upon receiving the answer, she said 'I'm willing to do whatever it takes to follow this feeling'. Really, she has such a strong testimony already. I dont think I've ever met anyone like her. She was so awesome! Honestly, she strengthened my testimony, and showed me what it means to be humble and have courage at the same time.


And then there was another young girl who had a very similar story :) her whole family is receiving the lessons from the missionaries, and she had the option to wait as long as she wanted, until who knows how long, to get baptized, or she could do it right away, even earlier than her parents. She wanted to do it now, because she wanted to show her faith and be an example for her parents. It was so adorable, and she got really emotional, it was super awesome honestly. The Spirit was super strong. It was amazing.


Then we had another baptism, and it was the grandma of a member family, with young grandkids. She always goes to church but never wanted to get baptized. Then we went with her one day, and she told us that she wanted to be an example for her young grandkids. She said she knew that this message was true, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, but was afraid to get baptized - and then she also decided to be brave, and take a step of faith for herself and for her grandkids. Needless to say the Spirit was super strong in this baptism too! :)


This week we had a lot of excitement in Girasoles too! Yet another person I knew in Girasoles finally was able to get baptized! He was a nine year old kid named Erick, and of course, my boy Templeton was there. That kid is awesome! :) 



Really something that I've came to appreciate this week comes from the Book of Mormon, Alma 37:6  Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.

This week I really came to thinking about the small and simple things are how God makes big changes. I really got to thinking about how our lives are just series of a lot of small decisions that bring us to where we are now. I'm here in the mission now thanks to a lot of tiny prayers, a lot of days deciding to go to seminary, a little here, and a little there, putting 'oil in our lamps' like the parable of the virgins in the Bible. 

A lot of these special moments are the ones some might call 'coincidence' but these moments are always moments when God works upon all of us to bring us to a certain cross road, maybe with another person, maybe with an answer, with who knows what, but it's something, that looking back, we can recognize as Divine Intervention. Just something I came to really aprreciate this week :)

Remind me in a year and I'll tell you guys the story about The first girl, Daniela, dorinachos, and a foot infection okay? It's just too long to explain with the time we have to write :) Hahahahaha!

Bueno pues, Thats kinda it for this week, I hope you guys have an amazing week, I love you guys so much. Really, God lives, and He knows us and loves us. For that exact reason I'm here in Mexico. 

I love you guys, I'll write you guys soon,
Till next time!
Nick

PS Yes I'm wearing the same clothes in all the baptism pictures... they were all on the same day :)  And it was a good day!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

This Week Was a Good One!!

Hey Fam!

This week was a good one! 

And this coming week should also be a good one!!!! But that's for the next letter ;) 

Let's see where to start...

Monday evening, one of the wards in our Zone had a baptism!! She was one of Elder White's investigators and she decided to get baptized! And she asked me to do the ordinance, and so I did! It was super awesome, and the service was just beautiful :)



Then this week was good, did Divisions with Temps twice because of interviews, and man that's always amazing. The dude is incredible. One of the days we did divisions, we ate with the Patriarch of the Stake (he's in my ward) and during the meal, we were all just talking about spiritual things and experiences and the Patriarch and his wife ended up crying... the Spirit really was amazingly strong.  At the end, when we went to leave, the Patriarch stopped me, shook my hand and hugged me, and said 'Thank you guys for coming. The Spirit was really strong with you two'. And I was kinda lost for words. And it's not just coincidence because in the two days I was with Templeton, everyone was crying!.. Even a uber driver we had -- at the end the ride, he started tell us that he felt good with us and started sharing things from his life and got emotional about it. Elder Templeton is just a great missionary, to be honest. I love being with that kid.

And then Hugo got baptized!!! That was awesome!!!!!! All the youth of the church were in charge of the baptismal service and Hugo's father did the ordinance!!!!!!!! Presidente was there, and he later commented on how awesome the baptism was in his address to the Stake! (during Stake Conference) But yea, Hugo was super happy and his family was happy and they're just really good people. I love being with them. I know Hugo will be an amazing missionary some day.



And the last week I talked about being the answer to someone's prayer, and how we should pray for the opportunity to do so? Well, it was cool! I had a few experiences, but one stood out more than others, just cuz it was so small but so clear. We were cleaning our house and I found a pair of shoes like way hidden away in one of the closets, and they were too big for me, and too small for my comp, and so we took em outside, and a young man passed by, and I felt like 'give them to him' so I stopped him, offered him the shoes and he said 'Ah thank you so much!! I've been praying for new shoes like those!' and just in that moment it hit me like, 'woah' it was a really neat experience, and I know that God answers our prayers :)

Also, I have learned to love Sundays. It has saved me here in this area - just when life is difficult, Sunday comes. It gives us a chance to rest, recover and rethink about what's really important before we start the week again.  So I'm really appreciating Sundays!

And this is Zoe, she's a doll, and is one of the members of our ward.  I love this family!!!  Anyway, she put my jacket on and it totally reminded me of when Jimmy Fallon put Shaq's jacket on.  Hilarious! 



But, that's kinda where I'm at!! This is the last week of this cycle, and everyone says I'll be getting changes. Hahaha! I've been in 4 areas in this Stake and I've been here for 3 Stake Conferences, it's pretty cool, because not every missionary can say something like that!  And I just love these people and feel so at home here.  I kinda hope I stay a little bit more. Maybe I'll get a full year out here! ;)

But that's whats up. I love you and hope you guys have a great week! 
Until next time!!!!!!
Nick