Monday, June 8, 2015

From Nicholas:
"I feel content, I know Im helping people, really helping them. I love being a missionary, its the most rewarding thing Ive ever done, not just for the baptisms (which are nice) but for the reactivating, seeing converts go to the temple, fortifieng the faith of the members, helping my companion become converted and so much more! Thank you guys so much for the Gospel! Thank you for the examples you gave me! Thanks for helping get on a mission!"

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Nicholas Turns 20!

I had a great birthday.  A family in the ward ,my companion and the other missionaries all threw a traditional Latin surprise party, (which consists of egg shells full of flour and confetti, smashing my face in a cake, and lots of balloons and pictures).  I really did not see it coming at all.

The work here is really good, my favorite thing I learned this week was in Alma 47, the story about Amalikiah and Lehonti, and how Amalikiah convinces him to come down the mountain.  My companion and I made a lesson plan out of the story and went to go teach a less active family (La Familia Lopez).  The Spirit was definitely present and the Lord helped Brother Lopez overcome his doubts and stay on the mountain. 

It's lame that I'm not going to be able to come home in time for the Temple dedication, but I'm really exited to help you out with all the Temple work, in the mission we can only go 2 times a year, so I get really temple baggy. 


Everything in Río Zarco is Good

Everything in Río Zarco is good, Natali got baptized yesterday and it was an amazing baptism service, she had been wanting to get baptized for a long time but never could, so her son got baptized without her (the one in the shirt and tie, he's 10 years old) and when his Mom finally got baptized 5 months later he stood up in front of a room full of people and gave a talk about baptism. PILAS!!!!  It really was incredible and we could feel the Spirit so strongly, he's going to be a great missionary. 

So right now were working a lot with a man named Ernesto, we found him my first week in the area and he's come to church the last two weeks, the date we put for him (to be baptized) is the 28th so keep him in your prayers that he can be ready!

This week we also had an incredible experience with an investigador named Christian, he's a baker (that's a very common profession here) and bakers ALWAYS sell bread Sunday. Sunday is the BEST day to sell bread, and everyone knows it.  Well, we got Christian to start coming to church but he always came after selling bread. We'd taught him about the Sabbath day but he didn't have enough faith to put it into practice.  Anyway, Saturday when we went to talk to him he told us (to our great shock and wonder) that the last three Sundays he hadn't gone to sell because he wanted to test what we had taught him. He told us that he has never sold more bread. That his business is taking off, he's going to hire two more workers to sell and start renovating his house to work more efficiently. But apart from that, he said the greatest blessing he's received is this sense of "change" he said he feels a change in himself, that he feels good, and that he doesn't want it to go away. So he read in Alma 32 about the seed of Faith that grows after experimenting with the Word of God. We invited him to baptism and he said Yes! There is just some paper work to take care of, but we hope that in March he'll be able to.

The sinks that the missionaries use to wash
their clothes is very low to the ground -
something that fit's the locals just fine.  For
Nicholas it's much easier just to kneel.

This Week Has Been Full of Miracles

This week was full of miracles! Things here are going super good, I love my area (Rio Zarco!!) and my companion (Elder Reyes). The coolest miracle we saw this week was with an investiador named Ricardo, we went to the house of a recent convert whose daughter were teaching, and it turned out she wasnt there (which was super chafa (something of very low quality) because she lives SO far away). BUT! Turned out her friend Ricardo was there, so we started to talk to him, got to know him a little bit, taught about how the Spirit works and then invited him to baptism. He said YES!! Whoo! So we'll see how he progresses.

It's interesting to see how the Spirit can work so strongly with some people, and with others it doesn't even seem to register to them. I think it all has to do with your preparedness to receive spiritual guidance.  If you're not ready or simply unwilling to listen then you won't even realize that it's there. God is always pendiente. He knows where all his children are and knows when they'll be ready to recieve the message. I know that God loves and watches over his Children. 


Friday, March 6, 2015

Finally, pictures!

Nicholas' letters have been very short and pictures far between.  We've just now started to get pictures.   Know that he has loved his mission.  He loves El Salvador and will be sad to come home.  Here's a few pictures we received recently.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Where In the World Will I Go….

It was a long wait once the papers were submitted to the missionary department.  But finally the mission call came.  This wasn’t without some stress though.  We learned from the local mail carrier that postal carriers know what mission calls look like and watch for them knowing how important they are.  They also IMG_2849knew about our family’s situation (moving all over – changing addresses multiple times).  The mail carrier went above and beyond to get Nicholas his call.  She wIMG_2851ent to all of our former addresses to finally track us down.  We were very  grateful she was willing to do this. 

Nicholas gathered his friends for the grand opening.  I think we must have had about 2 dozen kids in the house in addition to Nicholas’ second family, the Plewes, our family, Brother Leatham and several others.  He drug out the announcement reading every word all the while we were waiting for him to get to the important part ---- finally he read that he has been called to serve in the El Salvador Santa Ana/Belize Mission.  He is to report to the Mexico City MTC on August 21, 2013.  Everyone was so excited and thrilled for him.  Nicholas was in heaven.  He really wanted to go foreign. 

Well, life got busy, Nicholas graduated, camp started, camp finished.  It was time to start getting things in order for Nicholas to leave.  We went to Mr. Mac, got all of his clothes ordered, got his shots done and all the other things you have to do along the way. 
Nicholas was given an opportunity to speak in the Salem 4th Ward (our new ward).  He did a fantastic job.  It was a great warm up for his real farewell in just a couple of weeks.  Little did we know that tragedy was just about to happen.  Sadly, due to a family issue Nicholas was not able to have his real farewell in Elk Ridge, in fact his ability to even go on a mission was in question (not because he was no longer worthy, just a tragic family mix up).  Nicholas was devaNicholals' Plaque Picturestated as was Matt and I.  We were just sick about what was happening. 

We began to pray like we’ve never prayed before, asking new and old ward members along with many family members to join us on Nick’s behalf.  Without going into details all of us firmly believe it was nothing short of divine intervention that Nicholas was able to go on his mission and especially on time as scheduled.  One crisis – done, we survived.

It got down to only a few days before Nicholas was to leave and we still hadn’t heard when his flight was.  Ryan went to the Provo MTC so this was a first for us to send a missionary to a foreign mission.  On Sunday at Church we were talking to Bishop Barlow and saying we hadn’t heard when Nicholas was leaving.  He asked if we had checked his email.  It had never occurred to us to do this.  Being a teenager he doesn’t check email.  He texts everyone he communicates with.  He came straight home and checked and there it was.  His departure information had been there more than a week.  On one had we were relieved but we also found out he wasn’t leaving on Wednesday the 21st, but Tuesday, the 20th at 6:00 am!!!   Needless to say, panic mode set it.  Nicholas hadn’t been to the temple, he hadn’t completed his Criminal Background Check paperwork etc.  You might think, what slackers…. remember we  had never had a foreign missionary, we also didn’t have access to Nicholas’ email and finally just a week before we weren’t even sure he was going to be able to go.  Again we were very blessed and managed to get everything done.  He got set apart and had just long enough to set down and rest for a minute or two. 

These pictures are from Nicholas’ trip to the Provo Temple on August 19, 2013. 

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We didn’t have much time to be sad.  I have to say I did get pretty teary.  It’s just hard to send someone you love so dearly off for two years even though you wouldn’t want him to be anywhere else.  It’s been described as the happiest sad day of your life. 

IMG_3516 IMG_3518 
Nicholas MTC Mexico City

He made it to Mexico and has had a wonderful experience.  I'm sure I'll get more stories as the days go along.