Monday, February 27, 2017

God Didn't Send Us Here to Fail!

Hey family! 

Well what can I say, everything is good out here in Chihuahua!  Although it's starting to get pretty hot. I got that neck and arm tan line going reallllll nice.  Ha!  But yea, the time is really starting to fly by - like really fast. I don't know what it is, but yea, it's pretty nuts!

Ahhhhh I feel like a bunch of note worthy stuff happened, but I seem to forget it every time I sit down in front of the computer.

Hey tell Aunt Jen Thank You for the letter!!!! I really appreciate it!  Also Thank You Grandma and Grandpa for the card! It was really sweet! And Lexi, that letter was super nice, but I didn't get the email.  And Mom, I got the Valentines Day package and it was awesome, and well, it still is awesome, because there was lots of food and I'm no where near finished with it! Haha!  But thank you, thank you everyone!

OK, well, we're still working a lot out here in Cerro Grande II, and we're still teaching the thirteen year old, and she's still incredibly excited to be baptized. We're also working with a few more families, and one of the families attended church this past week! The mom is super awesome and she asks a lot of questions, like really good, thoughtful questions that actually help provide evidence in favor of our church! It's really cool to be a part of this process for so many people.

Also, I had an interview with President this week, and he told me some interesting things. For one, he interviewed a girl that the other missionaries in Cerro Grande I are teaching. He told me that he asked her who are the missionaries that have taught her, and she listed some names, my name included - because at times we have divisions, and well, the truth is I've had like 4 or 5 lessons with her.  President then told me that I can consider her a baptism one for me, as well as all the other people that I teach who come to be baptized, whether I'm the one who performs the ordinance or not. And the truth, that really stuck out to me.  Right now we're working with a lot of people, and I've worked with a lot of people in my part of Cerro Grande, and also the other side. And because the people here need 5 weeks of attendance, it's super possible that I'm gonna leave before my investigators here are baptized. But I take comfort in knowing that I helped them arrive to where they'll be, if that makes sense.  And so, although I may not have a lot of baptisms personally at the end of two years, I'll definitely have a lot of people that I taught, helped, served, and worked with for extended periods of time. :)

President shared something else I think is awesome, it's something that's been a consistent message in my life... hahaha... He told me that it's not an accident that I'm here in Chihuahua, and that God is going to help me accomplish all the things that He sent me here to do. And well, before the mission, the quote that stood out to me was that 'God didn't send us here to fail'.  And a few days before the interview with President, I found this quote in a Liahona magazine, and put it up in our room.

Image result for richard g scott god didnt put us here to fail
And so needless to say, hearing these words from President really touched me, and as we talked the spirit was really strong and we both ended up crying. It was a really sweet moment.

Well, life is awesome here in Chihuahua. Really hard and really heavy at times, haha, but overall, really, really good. And I can't believe that we're about to finish February.  It blows my mind honestly.  

I'm sure there's more but I kinda forget.  I guess that's what my journal is for! Haha!
So until the next week!
A selfie at Ciber with Elder Sanchez
and just chillin after our weekly planning session 

Monday, February 20, 2017

My First Spanish Joke & Tortillas!!

Well, another week down!

My companion is Elder Sanchez, and wow we are good friends, like right off the bat! Im still here in Cerro Grande, and we're working super hard together. He's a viejo (old) in the mission, he has 20 months here in the field. He's learning English and, the truth, he's pretty good at it, so we talk in English somedays and Spanish the others. It's really fun to work with him, and that's fact.

Things that happened this week!!!

For starters, I had divisions with the Zone Leaders, so I went to work with one of them for a day. That was super crazy, and super fun. Our Zone Leaders are super chill. That's something I've really lucked out on I guess... All the leaders here in the city are super cool. But while we were on divisiones, we took a ride with a member to a chapel for a meeting with the Stake Presidente and Mission Presidente, and on the way -- We got rear ended!! Like hard! Haha! But the member that was driving was so stinking cool, he got out of the car and the girl that hit him was young and was crying and super startled, and the member literally just comforted her and said 'hey don't worry about it, nothing happend' and we left on our way. And literally when we got out of the car, it was as if nothing happened!! There was like no damage!! Don't know how it's possible, but that happened!  It's like when we make mistakes like this young girl did, if we sincerely repent, the Lord forgives us like this member forgave this girl - and 'remembers no more' like it never happened. His forgiveness really is that powerful, and can be even more impactful then just walking away from an accident with no damage or injury.

Also this week, a menos activo member went to church!!  And this guy is like 70 and doesn't speak a lick of Spanish... So guess who got to translate 3 hours worth of information??  Yup, this guy! :D  I've really come to appreciate what a gift it is to be able to understand different languages. I think growing up with Dad being bilingual, I just took it for granted and didn't appreciate it enough.  But it's a gift!  And Wow I have come to know the gift of tongues in a very personal way!! It's crazy to me that being so young in the mission I can translate in real time Spanish to English... that's kinda cool right??

Also I learned a joke in Spanish!!!

Guy #1  'oye, vato, hablas ingles verdad?'
Guy #2  'claro que si'

Guy #1  come se dice 'pan'?
Guy #2  'bread'

Guy #1  y come se dice 'que'?
Guy #2  'what'

Guy #1  y 'panqueque'? 
Guy #2  'breadwhatwhat'

Hahahahahahahah!!!  I think that joke is hilarious - so excuse me for laughing out loud here in the ciber! I feel like Mom is gonna like that joke and maybe Aunt Jen too, but other than that maybe not to many people hahahaha (Mom and Aunt Jen I totally dig your guys sense of humor!) :D

But hey, Okay, back to this week -- we found the most chosen person in the world this past week, and I think I mentioned how great she was last week, but I didn't really know how chosen she was until this week!!  So originally we found a less active teenager, who's like 17 years old or something.  So we went to visit him and chat with him a bit, but he wasn't home. So we ended up talking to his little sister. She's 13, has listened to the missionaries before, but never was interested. Nevertheless, we started to teach her this past week.  Long story short, she's freaking awesome!  And when we talked about baptism she said she was super excited and she has a really strong desire to get baptized!  She's already started attending church and going to youth activities, and she talked with one of the leaders there about baptism and told her that she wants to be a missionary when she's older!!!  How cool is that!?!

Honestly, it's people like her that remind me why I'm out here - walking miles everyday, talking with people every day that both accept and reject us. It's like mining or something like that. Sometimes it's a lot of hard work with very little reward, but if we keep at it we'll eventually find something really precious, super valuable and totally amazing! :) And I already know that this girl is just that!  But she definitely won't be 'my' convert, but a convert of the Lord. He is the one who prepared her, and it's the Holy Ghost that testifies the truth and changes hearts.  I'm just happy He's allowing me to be part of her story.

Again, I'm just like super duper grateful for everything that I've been given here in Mexico. It's such a unique and awesome chance that I have to be here, and I'm just so grateful.  I hope all of you guys are super awesome and are loving life and yea, that's pretty much all I've got for this week. 

OHHHH actaully today Elder Sanchez and I made flour tortillas with an investigator family - familia Andazola!!! That was awesome and Wow, the flour tortillas here are AMAZING! (but I have to watch it and not get carried away every time we eat em -- because it's super easy to gain weight with those!!) Haha! :)

But hey, until next week,
Nick :)

Special Bonus for Nick's family at home!!  Our first 'selfie' sent from a member in Mexico!!  Such a treat to get an unexpected pic of our Missionary, and we get to make a new friend too!!  It's like double prizes!! :D

Monday, February 13, 2017

Momma!!! I Killed My Comp!!

Momma!!! I killed my comp!

When you're on a mission, the time you spend has a 'life', you are born when you arrive in the field, your trainer is your father, his trainer is your grandfather, and when you finish your mission - you die!  So, my trainer (father), Elder Jimenez, finished his mission this week... so, as his last companion, I sent him home (or 'killed' him)!  But, Hey, don't worry, I got pictures!  Ha!  We had a photoshoot last night.  So, I have plenty of pictures with Jimenez y Arellano, antes ellos se fueron (before they left).  I'm gonna try to send all of them with this update, but if there aren't many, it's because the ciber here is uber slow.

So yea, we totally had changes!  My comp goes home Tuesday, so now he's with the Assistants -- and my new compa is named Elder Sanchez!  He's 23, and has 20 months in the mission, and we're super excited to work hard, staying here in Cerro Grande!  He's also from el DF (Mexico City) which means I've always lived with somebody from the ciudad (capitol) of Mexico.  Also, we had a lot of changes in the zone (zone), but Templeton is still here, and his new compa has the same amount of time as Temps!!  Two youngins fighting it out in Aldana!

This week we had lessons with a little sister of a less active, and she assisted the church!!  She has a good desire to be baptized and follow Christ and so I'm really excited to continue working with her.  She really is mature for her 13 years and asks really good questions.  For example, we were teaching about baptism and she thought the same thing I did when I was her age!!  'Why should I get baptized now if I'm gonna sin later?' and, legit, it's a valid question, no?  It's one that I thought about a lot when I was a kid!  But we continued to explain the process of repentance and the sacrament and it was really awesome to see the Holy Ghost work and touch her heart. I'm really excited to work with her and see her faith grow.  The truth is that this is a work of joy! :)

This week, we also visited a lot of the converts of Jimenez this week, and I think I have a few photos of them, so ill try to add them too!

This week, overall, was amazing.  Just another week in paradise!  Sorry Mom, I know I have like 4 months in and I should be homesick, but, I really don't wanna go home! Hahahaha!  This really feels like my home out here, despite the Trump comments and all of that!  Hahahaha!

Something else I recognized this week, or re-recognized, I guess, is Gods timing in everything. Not only with the people we help, but our friends too :)  For example, Elder Arellano and Elder Jimenez.  They both left Cerro Grande and I'm gonna miss them so much!  But, because of both of them, I'm a different and better person, and they both taught me so much!!  Legit, when I get back, they're gonna come for a visit and hang out with us or something.  Arellano speaks perfect English and I think you guys will love him! Hahahaha!

Well, I'm sorry this week isn't super insightful or anything like that. I promise I learn things each and every day, and every day I'm improving just a little bit out here in Chihuahua - thanks to the help of Jesus Christ. There are miracles all around us, and I hope you guys see them every day. :) In fact, my homework for you guys this week is the song 'Because I have been given much'.  It's even better, in Spanish. The words and messages in this song are absolutely amazing, and it's impossible to not feel the Spirit while listening to this song. 

I love you guys muchisimo, y I hope that everything is super good with you guys, and I hope you guys know I love you, pray for you, and think of you always! :)

Until next week!!!

PS  Arellano and I were freaking tight -- Three months together, what could you expect?! hahaha  I'm gonna miss that kid!