Monday, May 16, 2011

Andrew Update - 16 May 2011

Way to go, Idaho! - 16 May 2011

Hey y`all!!!!

So how have you guys all been? I have been GREAT. We just got changes on Friday, and my comp and I are staying together, and the other companionship in the house is staying too! Awesome! We are all staying together! We got a dart board, and we pass every night after planning eating sopaipillas, and playing darts. Awesome. Yesterday was a miracle day! We decided to skip executive comittee, and we went looking for our investigators that lived FAR AWAY. We get there, nobody comes out. We open the gate to come in, and immediately an older man comes out, pretty much FURIOUS. We told me we only to talk to Marlen and Yohan, and he said that they were sleeping. We said "we know. That is why we came, to wake them UP." And he told us to get lost, leave them alone, and come back later, I said "No. They made a committment with us, and they are going to follow it through." He got mad and told me to leave. We sat there and waited for a few minutes to try and figure out what to do. Just as we were leaving, Yohan came out, and said he had just woken up, and ran out to see if we were still there, and we told him to try and get his Mom out and hurry to church. Then, we went to a less active family, and they all said they were too tired, and did not want to go. I thought "stupid idiots. We have done so much for you, and you are sooo LAZY!!!!!" I THOUGHT this ok? Then we went on the OTHER side of the sector, to talk to another investigator, and he said he did not want to go to church at all, and we said that if he didn`t go, that we weren`t going to pass by his house anymore, and he seemed cool with that, so we left. Then, at church, Marlen and Yohan were there, and the less active family was there too! They apparently were playing a cruel, cruel, CRUEL prank on me, and I fell for it. Plus, after sacrament meeting, we were greeted by a different investigador, who participated in our principles of the Gospel class, and we have an appointment with him later this week. Incredible!

We have been working so hard these last few weeks, with VERY little success. But this last week has been a payoff for our efforts. We has a zone conference this week, and we had a HUGE taco salad with lots of Chili. It was awesome. I have truly been able to see how God wants his work to go forward, not backward, and that like it says in D&C 58 2-3 that after much tribulation, we can see our blessing, but not with out natural eyes. We have to be able to look as God looks at people, see their progress, their personal troubles and conflicts, and see the kinds of difficulties that they have overcome. It does not matter what they look like when they are compared with the missionaries, or the bishop, or anybody else, but compared to who they were last week, last year, and yesterday, we should truly be looking for these changes in people. I have been able to see lots of changes in people, and their desires to do good. I love this work, and hope to be able to do it faithfully until the end. And like Jeffrey R. Holland says: We are the hope of Israel.

I love you all, and hope you have as great of a day as I will have. Take care, send me pictures, especially one of the whole family, and maybe my priesthood authority line? Chao chao!

-Elder Nicholls

Hey Family - 9 May 2011

Hey Family!

Wow, it has been a long time since we have talked! Right now it is like 7:30 right? Everyone is already getting ready for school, and work, and what nah. I have already been up, studied a bit, cleaned the house, talked a lot, and went to the cyber, and it is already 10:30. So I do not have very much to say, but last night the phone just stopped working for some reason, and I was in the middle of my story :( The phone would not work, so we just went home. But I was saying how a Jehovahs witness tried to show me that the Book of Mormon was false, using a "contradiction" between it and the Bible, talking about spiritual death. It says in the Bible, that a soul that sins, shall surely die. And in Alma 42 it says that the soul can never die, but if it sins, it is seperated from the presence of the Lord, being spiritually dead. So I tried convincing him that the Bible was talking about spiritual death, because if our souls literally DIED if we sin, we would ALL BE DEAD, because we ALL SIN. But he just closed up like a little clam, and hid inside his house. Not my problem. I did all my part. He needs to be a little more humble, and accept these GOOD NEWS. It`s not like I am forcing some kind of monarchy, or antagonist, or pessimist, or idol worshipping organization. We talk about Jesus Christ, families, happiness, eternal life, serving others, singing, and people just shut us down so fast. It is pretty ridiculous how closed the world is. Oh well.

So it was pretty awesome to talk to all you guys last night. Especially being able to hear Dianna, because it has been a little while... Did you hear about Aaron Cope? He in his fourth transfer of his mission, and he is in his fourth sector. Wow. Every six weeks he has been changed. That is pretty lame. I feel bad for him. People in this mission stay sometimes for 5 transfers! WHAT! And then Dianna`s comp, for like 7 changes... what the heck... So Mom, I am going to buy a motorcycle when I get home, I am sorry to tell you that. I am going to get straight to work and studying, and buy myself a bike, and move out. Haha! And there ain`t nuthin` you can do about it! (5 dollars to whoever can quote that movie). Well, gotta write my mission president, and get off before the hour hits. I love you guys a whole lot, and can`t wait to be able to see you guys again in 7 months. Chao chao.

-Elder Nicholls

Hey Fam! - 2 May 2011

Hi Mom! So, I sent you a package last monday, they said you should get it withing 10 days, so if you get it before Sunday, you CANNOT open it until I call on Sunday, so I can be there when you get it all. Ok? Promise? Good. I pulled out 25 thousand pesos, ($50) and I used 25,300 pesos on the package. Perfect, huh? I hope you like the stuff I sent. I tried to get some culture sent to you, and I tried to give you things you can use daily, so other people will see it, then they ask you were you got it, you tell them your amazing son in Chile sent them to you, they ask you why I am there, you teach them the Gospel, you set up an appointment with them and the missionaries, they get baptized, and you send me pictures. Ok? Easy huh? Hey, you guys want a challenge?

I challenge you guys to get with the missionaries for the ward, or stake, or however it is, and offer the house for a Family home evening, or to just have a lesson in the house. I invite you guys to go to the Sister missionaries, and ask them who their investigators are, and tell them that you want to help, and tell them to set up an appointment with their investigators. I think that would be so much fun! When I get home, I hope you guys don`t mind, but I am going to be with the missionaries every second that I am not working, dating, studying, or riding the motorcycle I am going to buy. But I want to help the missionaries so bad in our ward, so I can be a good part in their missions, and so they will remember me, and I want to be helpful. I always want the members here to be helpful to me, but they are often times not. So, I am going to do all I can as a member in the states, to be the kind of member that a missionary wants. Because missionaries have a clear mind, and know how things should be. So I am going to be a good return missionary, and not like ALL the ones that come home, and never do ANYTHING to help ANYBODY, because they "already served their time". Bah! My time ends when I DIE!!! Except, that is not true, because I hope I get to help preach the Gospel among the dead, that would be SO COOL!

Well my comp and I are getting along fantabulously, and when just concluded our french toast week. All this last week, I got up half an hour early, just to make french toast for the 4 of us, so they could wake up to cinnamon and vanilla smell in the house, and be able to just get up, and have breakfast all laid out ready. Plus last week, it was pasta week, and we ate pasta for dinner every night. It was awesome. I do not know what we are going to do for this week...

So I am very excited to talk to you guys on Mothers Day. This is the LAST time I am going to be calling home. Did you know that? Because I am going to be HOME for Christmas. Sweeeeet. Well, I need to go, and write an email to the president, and shop. I love you guys so much. I am going to be calling between 4-4:30. Thank you for having that pre-planned out for me. I just barely remembered yesterday that we can call home next Sunday. Well, take care of yourselves. talk to you next week. This is the first time I can talk to Dianna in about 18 MONTHS. WOW. And Matthew will be there too? Awesomeness. Take care. Don`t die. Be strong. Pray. Read. Do Family Home Evening. Love each other. Don`t yell. Be nice. Obey Mom. Dad-that goes for you too.

-Elder Nicholls

Nooo time - 25 April 2011

So, I had a trilion emails today, and I am already over an hour. Ok, super quick-

Well, I got an email from a family in Buin, and they said another one of my investigators got baptized! So that is the third one from that sector that got baptized that I taught! No way!!!! Me and Elder Romo put a MARRIAGE date on him, and when I left, she was still going to get married that day, but in the back of my mind, I thought it was going to fall through, but she got baptized yesterday on Easter!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SO GIDDY AND HAPPY RIGHT NOW!!!!! And in the internet place I am at, it is playing ``You`ve had a bad day`` and it is making me PUMPED.

Lauren- So what did your knee look like after the long long long hike the other week? So are you going to Philmont or not? I wonder if I laugh too much too....

Well, super sorry, but I gotta go. I am way late. I love you all, and think of you constantly. Take care of yourselves, and the ATV`s. I look forward to riding those the week I get back. Chao chao.

-Elder Nicholls

Fun, Fun, Fun - 18 April 2011

Hey!!! Hey!!!!! Get out here quick!!!! Turn on the alarm!!!! Bring me the pistol!!!! BRING ME THE PISTOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is what a lady was screaming yesterday when we contacted her while sweeping her patio. Ya, people are SOOOO retarded here. All I had said was, Hi. She said hi, then WHAT DO YOU WANT! And I said, we just want to share something that is so very important to us with you. She said NO!!! I said, seriously, this message is important to me. She said, NO!!!! So I said, ok, ok, it`s ok. Maybe we can help you sweep your patio? Or paint, or help clean? That`s when she yelled the first thing I wrote, then the alarm turned on, and her son came running outside the house. Ya, interesting experience.

Well, things are going just peachy, and we had another baptism yesterday (Woot.). We are slowly finding new investigators, and slowly being able to find people that want to listen for 5 minutes.

JUST TO LET YOU KNOW; I TOOK OUT 25,500 PESOS TODAY. That is about $50 American money. I did this because Since we had to pay that dude $320 cash, we still have not received reimbursements, and I want to do some shopping for Mom and Dad`s birthdays. Plus since I had no money, I could not do internet, nor get a haircut. So I pulled out some money. I am sorry if it is too much, but I am pretty sure the package itself is going to take about $20-$25 alone. I am sorry if you are mad. I honestly do not plan on taking out any more money the entire mission. I am set with clothes, stuff, study gear, and everything. Ok? I love you all. This much (---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------) P.s. one (-) = 4 miles

So Lauren was born with cartilage missing? I say we should go back to the hospital, and get our money back, or maybe trade her in for a new one, since this one was defected. I hope she can go on the trek, she was so excited to do it... But if her knee does not let her, tell her that when I get home, we can go do a three day trek on the atv`s, and go camping, and hike, and ride. Sound good? I think that would be TIGHT!!!!! Don`t you think so Lauren? Would you want to spend a few days like that, riding around and trekking and hiking and swimming and NOT GETTING LOST and having fun? Let`s do it.

So this week we had a lot of fun, playing in the house, soccer, doing contacts... I have found a new love for contacts. I hated doing contacts for a long while, but about a month ago, I suddenly started loving contacts a whole lot. Well, I have hit my hour mark. I need to get off the computer, shop, go home, and shower. I stink. We played soccer all morning, and I smell. Watch out Lauren, Kristen, and Carolyn. Your older brother is going to OWN you guys in soccer when he gets home. He has been playing in chile for over a YEAR, with latins who play REALLY good, and who are TEACHING me. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

Well I love you all, and hope you are all having a good of time as I am. I am really hungry. See you next week! I Get to call home in another month!!!!! WHOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-Elder Nicholls

Monday, April 11, 2011

Andrew Update - 11 April 2011

Mall - 11 April 2011 Hey Fam! First off, I want to announce that my keyboard is a piece of junk, and is hard to use. second, i read your dearelders and wrote down answers. ready? First of all, I wan to wish MOM A HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now that the most important thing is done, I think DAD NEEDS A HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOO!!!!! Sorry that it is after your birthday, and not before. I kinda realized on Thursday that it was Mom`s birthday, actually, Wednesday night, as we were planning for Thursday, that`s when I realized it was Mom`s birthday, when I saw the date written out in my agenda. Whoops. My bad. But I am sending a package home real soon, and you guys are going to have some cool presents. I just need to wait to have more time and money to send them. This last week, we moved out of one apartment into another, and we had to pay 320 dollars cash to this dude, so I have noooooo money until like this wednesday when i get my special payment. Lame huh? So mom, when do you need those chilean recipes by? I have a few, and I can get more. I just need to due date, ok? So how was Joey`s return speech?` Matthew, I cannot be a stunt double for Jack Black, because my heart is already set on being a maid for Justin Beiber. That`s where the money`s at, Jack is yesterdays news.... So who is the newest beehive that just got kidnapped? Mom, how much did the water bill cost after filling the pool? be honest... our water bill a month is normally about 20 dollars. pretty low, huh? Did Kristen and Carolyn write their christmas notes? Or did someone write for them? Because the handwriting was REALLY GOOD AND NICE. Impressive. So is Mom and Dad planning on serving a mission one day? The Krauss` have theirs planned for like 2018 or something... LAUREN!!! TELL ME THIS FUNNY FRENCH CLASS STORY THAT YOU NEER TOLD ME!!!!!! Has Dad sent me my line of authority? Plus, I have zero pictures of Dad. Why? Hey is Mom was wanting to send anything more to me, I only want one thing. A Calendar with pictures of the family, and pictures of everyone on their birthday days. Everybody has these calendars. But, it is getting pretty close to the end of the mission... Well, I have like 5 minutes to write my mission president. Things are going great with Elder Brooks. He is from Arizona, and we have a LOT in common, plus he looks a LOT like... what is his name!!!!! Matthews friend from the Maxwell family... what is his name??? Not Brian, that`s the Dad.... Wow. I feel like an idiot for not remembering. But you know who I am talking about. Kevin, Steve, tanner, i have no idea. Well, see you later. I love you all, and hope all is well. Chao! -Elder Nicholls New area! - 4 April 2011 Hey Family! So I just got transferred to a new area.... I already miss Elder Lind. We were TIGHT together. Things were just starting to get AWESOME, with our BAPTISM that we had on Saturday, where I FINALLY baptized for the first time ever!!! SWEET!!!! This guy is HUGE! I have to send you guys pictures next week, (With all the changes, nothing is unpacked yet. I still need to shave) because this guy was big, and we look like little angels with all our white clothes :) So I am in a stake that is more South in Santiago, called San Bernardo, and the Ward is called Chena. The conference was really nice, and the prophet was nice and direct like always. I would have to say that my favorite talk was the one from President Monson at the very end of Priesthood session of conference. Do you know what time we watched conference here? The priesthood session went from 9pm to 11 pm. WOW. LATE. And last night, I procrastinated packing WAY too much, and was talking with the Elders in the house until 2:30 am, and then started packing, finishing just before 6, and we were picked up by our convert and he drove us in his car at 8. I am pretty tired. I hope to get a nap in before work at 6. Because I am going to collapse at about 9 tonight if I can`t rest a few hours. Whatever. No importa. So my convert Alessandro is going to come up here to Chena and work with us for a week straight, to help the members and our investigators. Thing is, that I do not know ANYBODY yet. Oh well. I have a week to get this all organized. So I heard that Matthew moved to New Jersey, or is taking a vacation there, or what??? I got confused... Is he already back? How is he doing? Why does he not write me? I heard we bought a Toyota Sienna! Tightness! So what happened to Dad`s car? Did it get totaled or something? Because from what I am reading, it seems like the only cars at home were the van, the truck, and Dianna`s car. What happened to Dad`s car? Ok, I want to try something new with you guys. when I send an email, please just send an email straight back, answering questions that I ask, and then send me a weekly letter by DearElder. Please? Can you guys do that? That way you guys can answer questions that I might have, and quickly. vale? I love you guys. Well, I am excited to be with Elder Brooks, who is from Mesa, Arizona!! We are gonna get lots of work done, and we are gonna do it RIGHT! Well, I look forward to getting more mail, and stuff in another month or so. I hope I can send you guys a package this change, to lighten some of my luggage, got some stuff home safe and sound, and give you guys some fun chilean stuff to play with. Ok? So please make sure there is some money on my gold visa card from the states, so I can pay. It shouldn`t be any more than a $20 box to send. It is nice and cheap to send stuff here, plus I am not going to be sending too much weight. Well, I love you all so much, and hope everyone is doing alright. I cannot believe Jennifer is going to be a Mother of 3 before I get home! Wow... Well, until next week-chao chao! -Elder Nicholls Changes coming this week... - 28 March 2011 Interesting story- So my convert from Linderos calls me sometimes, and he called me last night, and wants to move up here and work with me for a week or two. This guy is legit. He just wants to fill every little space with the Gospel in his life. So probably in a week or two, he is going to be staying with a member, and is going to leave with us daily to help our investigators. Wow. This guy is incredible. He also has the best testimony I have ever heard. He loves the Book of Mormon, sees through the bad things of the members of the church, and sees the true heart of the church, and sees how the gospel has the capability to change even the worst of men into the greatest of all. He is basically the highlight of my mission, and if he is the last convert I ever have, I will be happy. Ya, so changes are coming this week, so this Friday I am going to find out who is leaving, and who is staying. Exciting. Wow, in like another week, I will only have 8 months left. Did you guys know that Enoch Butler comes home in just THREE WEEKS??? When does Andrew Young get home? Joey is going to back very soon too, right? Wow. Everything is coming to an end. The mission goes by way too fast. AGH! I do not want to go home yet! I am just beginning to really love the mission! Oh well... If I was a girl, my mission would be over in just another change! I would be going home in just 7 more weeks! Let´s see, I have 5 more changes left, meaning 30 more weeks, plus one. This Saturday we are having a baptism before conference!!!!!!! And we are completing a family by baptizing the Father, and now this family can go to the temple in another year! SWEET!!! Plus we have a few baptisms planned for April, and they have gone to church many times, and only have to stop smoking to be baptized. Awesomeness!!!! Well, not much else happened this week... Nothing that mentionable... Well, I hope Dianna is having fun being at home, and is finding friends again, and jobs and all that. So how were all your travels? Didn´t you guys say that the day Dianna got home, you were going to have to do lots of travelling? How did that all go? Well, more next week, maybe I will be in another area, you never know...... Chao chao! -Elder Nicholls anything else? - 21 March 2011 Sooo, has Dianna been anywhere yet? Has she gone on any dates yet? Has she signed up for classes yet, has she been out with friends yet? A few questions... What are the cars that we have right now in the house? Do we still have all the atv`s working? How is Brinkley recovering? Does Carolyn`s arm still hurt randomly? How are everybody`s teeth doing? Has there been any other exiting events going on? Easter is almost here, and we have a baptism planned for this week in between general conference sessions, I hope he can be able to make it... With him, we will be completing a family, which means they can go to the temple and get sealed in a year!!!!! WENA!!!!!! Well this week was not so good, because basically nobody went to church, when we were expecting like 15. All cancelled, or said they had too many things to do, or said they cannot follow the church anymore, because we "ask too much", and dumb things. Yesterday was a VERY STRESSFUL DAY for me, and I almost lost my cool many time. I was on the point of a heart attack/killing spree. People were just being dumb, and not thinking. Whatever. Lind and I are doing great though. Absolutely no problems there. So it is really weird to know that Dianna is at home, and not accompaning me on the mission anymore. Just like the whole mind set difference is weirding me out... I wonder what you guys are going to do all day with her... I wonder if there are enough hours in the day to enjoy her presence, and to ask all the questions that you want to. Well, not much to write. We had a special fast this last sunday to find truly chosen families, and as a result, only 2 investigators came to church, so we took that as our sign, and we are going to focus on those people this week, and we gave one of them a baptismal date last night. Well, I hope to get some mail soon. Just so you all know, there will be changes in two weeks from today, so I may move, or my comp may move. We will see. I love you all, and hope you are all well. Chao chao! -Elder Nicholls

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Andrew Update - 20 March 2011

Well, I am confused - 14 March

Soooo... is Dianna home yet?????? I NEED TO KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sigh.... Well we just came from an activity of soccer, where we totally pwned the other zone. Dianna knows what I mean... I am so sad that I cannot say that my Sister is on the mission anymore! I had some members come up to me yesterday to ask how Dianna was doing in Canada, and it pained me to tell them that she was probably at home having a nice breakfast with the family in that moment, or giving testimony in our home ward. SO LAME!!!! It is so weird just to think that Dianna is no longer on the mission... DIANNA!!!! Tell me tell me tell me.... So when you were being relieved, did the Stake President ask you to take off your plaque, or what did he do? Did you cry when you had to take off your plaque for the last time? I know I will... It is my little buddy, my faithful friend, that has seen it all! So sad... So when are you going to send me an email with pictures of all your comps, and you with the family????

Well this week we only had 5 investigators in church, but we had 2 FAMILIES come, and some of the family members could not come, but will come next week, so we are totally expecting like 12 next week! THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME! I hope I stay another change here, with Lind or any comp, because I want to see these souls being baptized!!!! I always miss baptisms!!! So my convert is doing amazingly well in Linderos, and everyone is totally impressed with our gold find. Thing is, all we did was a contact to find him. EASY BUCKETS. Let`s see... what happened this week... Nothing really. There has ben a lot of conflict in the house lately, between the other companionship in the house. It`s an Elder and his son, and they bicker and argue and yell a lot. Sad, because he is his trainer, he should be like the ultimate best comp ever. So I completed my 15 months this last week. I now have half of Dianna`s mission left before I end my mission. 9 months. Wow. Sound like a lot, but at the same time nothing, because I have 15 done, and only 9 left. Wow. in 4 more weeks, I will be 2/3 done. Right now I am 62.5% done. A big fat D. Chuta. (Pronounced choo-ta). I am drinking pineapple juice right now. I am totally bored. Nothing too exciting happened this week. No baptisms or anything. I just want to hear about Dianna... Well, until next week I guess, chao chao!

-Elder Nicholls

I am tired, and I have no time - 7 March 2011

I spent so much time looking for an email that I sent to Dianna, that I have no more time to write. Shoot. But I have one funny story-

So we found a LOT of new investigators this week, and put 4 baptismal dates. We went by three of them in the morning to walk with them, and they were all asleep. They told us that they had been up until 5 am just talking and watching TV!!!!!!!!!! AGH!!!!!!!!!!!! So we run in, and start shouting and clapping, banging pots and pans, and telling them all to GET UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 30 minutes later, all of us are walking to church together, smiling, and excited. 4 investigators went to church, and they all loved it, and plan on coming back next week. They are really excited for our next appointment, and really want to learn more, and read and pray. Sweet.

My comp and I are still doing great, and we are just whipping out these new investigators like rice in Panda Express. I was surprised at how many people were willing to let us in and learn. We even had a girl pray and she said that she felt the spirit, and knows that these things are true, and is really sure about her baptismal date. They really understand the whole need for a prophet thing, and only need to keep praying to know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. Things are just awesome on the mission. I got letters today that gave me updates about the superbowl, the girls deciding to stay at their school, and Matthew a bit, and I also got a little dearelder from the grandparents. AWESOME. Well, sorry about the shortness, but I need to go. Bad. I smell. We had an activity this morning, and I was sweating like a champ. And this Saturday, we had a soccer activity with the ward, and I scored 4 goals, and my comp scored 1. And we won, 5-2. Haha. We totally owned everybody there, which is funny, because they are all chileans and always make fun of the gringos. HAHA!!! En tu cara Chile! Well, I hope everyone is well. I will be writing more next week. Chao chao!

-Elder Nicholls

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dianna Update - The Last One! - 9 March 2011

Dianna returns home this week and will be speaking in Sacrament Meeting. We have loved her stories and rejoiced in her experiences. We hope you have also enjoyed her spirit and testimony through the letters she has written. We are grateful for your support.

Can you say "White out"? - 7 March 2011

So, do you remember how last winter you all started referring to me as white out? Well, are you ready to see it? I am pretty white. It has been a winter full of coats, scarves, gloves and toques. The only thing that has seen the sun (when it makes an appearance) is my face (and only a little bit of it). Just don't laugh too hard okay? JK, I'm pretty sure I was pale before I left anyway.

Unlike any other week, we had many adventures. I, unlike other weeks, would LOVE to tell you about them. One unique experience took place during personal study early last week. I was sitting at my desk and reading my Book of Mormon and Sis. Hanson had just gotten up to use the washroom, when I heard someone saying "Help! Help!" from the hallway. (I live in an apartment building that feels like a hotel, you can hear EVERYTHING in the hall). I went and opened the door to see what was going on. There was this lady standing there, not too far from our door and she asked me to help her down the stairs (Our elevator had been broken for a couple days). I told her I had to put my shoes on (and grab my companion) and I'd be right back. I went in, turned off the fan to the washroom, the switches are on the outside, and told Sis. Hanson to hurry and that I would be in the stairwell. She was confused, but I just went and helped her anyway. It was quite the adventure. She was a very disheveled older woman. She was carrying a cup of Tim Horton's coffee and was dripping it everywhere because she couldn't hold it upright all the time. This clued me in that she couldn't have been there very long, but she said she had been stuck up there for a couple days! I think she isn't right in the mind. I helped her down the stairs but with each step she would lift her leg REALLY high and then grab onto me and the railing really hard and finally plant her foot down. When we'd reach the bottom of a set of stairs she's crouched down low and try to take another step. I laugh about it now but in the moment I was just shocked. We got to the main floor and I went to show her the door, but then she informed me that she lived at 105, which is down in the basement, so I helped her down another flight of stairs and lead her to her hallway, and she saw 101, and said "104 should be down here, thank you." I was worried at that point because I swear she had said 105 the first time...Anyway, she wouldn't go anywhere until I turned and left so I don't know what happened to her, but when I got back to my hallway, Sis. Hanson finally came out and our neighbor was out seeing what was going on. I asked her if she knew that lady and she said that she's seen her wander around several times. Weird.

Last week I informed you of our baptism! Well, that was quite the adventure! Monday we went with him to the church for his interview with our District Leader. We took the bus with him but it was snowing so it took us AN HOUR to get there!!! While we were there the snow turned to rain so when we walked to the bus and also home, the sidewalks were filled with slush that was holding puddles. So practically, we walked home in a river. We were wearing our snow boots too and they got soaked straight through! Sis. Hanson and I laughed most of the time because, being a missionary, we get stuck in unfortunate weather situations ALL the time, but our convert didn't seem too impressed. We were all ready to be home and dry by the end of it. When we did get home we had to take off everything and hang it over the tub. Most of our stuff dried by morning, but our boots were GONNERS!!! Mine were just heavier than anything and Sis. Hanson's have a thermal liner that she took out and RANG OUT!!! There was SO much water in our shoes!!!
So, that was the first leg of his baptism journey. On tuesday we had to be there early to fill up the font. We wanted it to be warm too so we had to be there around 3. We kept ourselves entertained by playing the piano, making phone calls, reading letters, and we even brought a less active member with us and she and Sis. Hanson painted. Then people showed up, and it was a WONDERFUL baptismal service! The water was warm, the spirit was strong and the room was PACKED!! He even bore his testimony at the end and it was AWESOME!!! He is already part of this Branch family. Then on sunday, I could NOT stop smiling! That's when he received the Holy Ghost. Everytime I saw him I would just burst out in smiles!!! I love that child of God!!!

Yesterday was the BEST testimony meeting I've EVER attended. Andrew, the recent convert from December, got up to share his testimony for the first time ever and it was great!! Sis. Moses (the Branch President's wife) got up and bore testimony about missionary work, she talked about her son and then about ME. I have to admit, that was a little weird. A couple testimony's later, I got up because Pres. Moses had made me promise I would because it was my last week and they couldn't assign me to speak. So I did, then everything got AWESOME!! Everyone testified about missionary work (not mentioning us in particular, thank goodness) and THEN our investigator, Matt, got up and bore the most memorable testimony! He talked about how he has been hooked to the Book of Mormon ever since chapter 4 when Nephi pwned Laban!! The entire congregation laughed and Pres. Moses turned bright red! (Someone might need to fill Mom and Dad in on what that means) He went on about that for a minute but then he said that he knows the Book of Mormon is true and that he feels like he has found his calling in life. This kid is golden. I just LOVE teaching him. When I told him I was leaving he was really upset. He said he wanted to change his baptism date so I could be there, but that's not possible because he still lives with his girlfriend. They moved into different rooms and have been apartment hunting but haven't had much luck. He is doing so well though!

Also yesterday there was an 8 year old baptism and the Elders were filling up the font right after the YSA Branch finished and we stayed to help set up and things, we're familiar with the girl and her family. We had talked to the mom earlier that day and she made me promise to make sure the Elders had the water warm. They were there sufficiently early for it to be possible BUT when it was about 2 feet deep one of the Elders leaned in to feel the water AND HE ACCICENTALLY PULLED THE PLUG!!!!!!! It drained remarkably fast! He hurried and took off his shoes and rolled up his pants and jumped in to plug it, but he was too late, they were now really far behind. They ended up having to do the old boiling pots of water trick. It turned out okay, she was really little so it didn't have to be so full. She even said it was kind of warm. That's better than it being at frozen lake we had to cut a hole in!!!

Last but not least, the trunky business.... Just a few minutes ago, the MFRC (where we volunteer and email) staff came in and gave me a gift (another red shirt and card) and a cake! We mingled for a little bit and said our goodbyes. So yeah, it's official, I'm having to actually say goodbye now! I need to get moving on them to because I really only have until wednesday because I go to the mission home on thursday and I'm a gonner on friday!!! I can't believe Kristen is counting down the hours!! I was wondering if you had a paper chain or something. I can't wait anymore now! It still hasn't really hit me because I still feel like I'm going to be here forever, but I'm anxious to see everyone. I wonder when it will really click that I'm not coming back. I'm thinking it might happen when I'm at an airport in the States and realize I'm no longer in Canada...We'll see.

I'm excited to see everyone and I still hope that I'm not tired and grouchy when I get there or anything. Have a good week and I'll SEE you on friday!!! Except for Andrew, I'll talk to you, from Arizona, later! Stay busy, it's the best way!!!

SISTER Nicholls!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dianna Update - 6 March 2011

Adventures in Halifax, Nova Scotia!!! - 28 February 2011

Hello family!

Sorry about last weeks email, I was feeling a little scatter-brained that day. I have so much to tell you this week though!!

First off, mom, you wanted me to bring home my winter clothes right? boots broke. The zipper on my left boot will zip, sometimes, but it doesn't latch closed, it will just slide up and down, sometimes, and will stay open, so what I have resorted to doing is zipping it up about half way so that it will at least hold closed enough for me to use it. It actually works pretty well, the only real downfall is that there is a slight breeze upon my foot. Also, Sis. Billings left a pair of boots that I wear when they're being stubborn. So, I don't think I'll be bringing those home. Also, I discovered that my rain boot has a hole in it... It's on the side so I found out when I stepped in a really big puddle and my shoe filled with water. That was quite shocking! To solve this problem I'm just avoiding puddles with my right foot and it's working out rather well so far. So yeah, that's my shoe drama.

Our Branch is having these 5 weekly firesides given by a service mission couple. They're SO cute (The couple, not the firesides). The firesides though are on marriage and dating. We went to the first one and we wanted to laugh almost the entire time. What were 2 sister MISSIONARIES doing at a dating fireside?! Needless to say, we now plan on not attending. It was fun while it lasted though.

Funny story: We were street contacting the other day (surprise, surprise) and it was sunny out so all the snow was melting and the buildings and the trees were dripping. While we were walking we would often be beamed in the head by a massive water droplet and as a result would flinch. There was this one time though that Sis. Hanson felt a drop and nearly screamed. She said it was a big one. I just laughed about it. THEN about 10-15 minutes later, I looked at her!! She had BIRD POOP on her hat, coat and backpack which were all black! I couldn't stop laughing then, we just had to head to a washroom so that she could wash it off. We have fun remembering that experience.

Okay, here's the big news. An investigator is getting baptized TOMORROW!!! This kid had really thought about it. It was a joyous day at church yesterday when it was announced, everyone was really excited for him to FINALLY take this step. It's going to be a really good service I'm sure.

The other big news is that we have another investigator on date for March 19th. He's pumped! I'm so excited for him because he has to make quite a few lifestyle changes but he's ready and willing to make them. He just found out yesterday that I'm going home soon though and that made him a little sad. I also found out this week that an investigator I found and taught over in Kingston is getting baptized on the 12th. This is going to be a great month!

In my Book of Mormon reading this week I've been in the war chapters in Alma and when I started my first thought was "Man, not the war chapters, I usually get lost and bored as a result." BUT that's not the case this time. I'm captivated by each chapter and really think about the people fighting in the armies and try to imagine what they were thinking. It's quite exciting when you get into it. I find myself enthralled as I learn about their tactics. The Book of Mormon is awesome!!!!!

Well mi familia, I shall let you go now and enjoy your week. If you could do me a favor though, next week will someone let me know what the weather will be like on friday night so I'll know what I should be prepared for? Most likely I'll be really hot because it's FREEZING here, but who knows? Just let me know, please.
Thanks mucho!
Sister Nicholls

Death Certificate - 21 February 2011

Well, I got my death certificate today. I die Friday March 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm in Halifax, go through Chicago AND Denver and finally arrive at my final resting place, Tucson, at 9 pm (midnight in Halifax). That's a slow and painful death if I do say so myself. I'm going to be POOPED! Hopefully my adrenaline will keep me awake enough to be excited to see you. I'm sure it will. Also, I need to be set apart. Is President Polley going to be awake still to set me apart that night? Or am I going to have to stay a missionary?! Details...

Hey! I just remembered, while I was reading in Alma this week I came across some verses that may be how our reunion will be. You should look it up: Alma 27:16-18!!!

This week has been fun. No real adventures until today though. We went and saw a woman's hockey game!! It was for the Canada games. It was Newfoundland vs Alberta. Alberta won. I was wondering how many of them were LDS since like 70% of Alberta is. We went with the Sisters in Eastern Passage, it was fun. Sadly though, my camera died before I took any pictures...

Guess what?! We have an investigator who is going to be baptized on April 4th!! It was really funny, we asked him why he picked that date and he said it was his father's birthday...How ironic.

I'm sorry that I don't have much to say. There really isn't anything new really. Everything is the same except for the fact that everyone knows I'm going home soon and decide to keep reminding me. I didn't realize it was going to be this hard to finish. I want to remain completely focused but people keep bringing it up, then it's hard to refocus and it gets harder each day. AGH!!!

Sorry again that this email isn't much to read. Hopefully I'll get better at this by next week.

Love you bunches still though!

Sister Nicholls

Whoa! Where did all the love come from? - 14 February 2011

When I opened my email I had 15 new messages!!! That's ALOT! Andrew, I LOVED the pictures! They really made my day. Everything made my day actually! Happy Valentine's day! It doesn't feel like it when you're a missionary though. I guess I can show my companion some extra love today. We're great together already though, so I'll really have to go out of my way for that one.

Guess what. The Canada Games are here!!!! It's being hosted right here in Halifax. That ice rink I told you they built right outside our place is the place for speed skating. There are quite a few more people around than normal, but surprisingly, not that many. I thought it was going to be super crazy to try and ride the bus but it's been normal. We were so excited to talk to everyone. It's not over yet though, it goes on for 2 weeks! Sweet!

Mom and Dad, I have a message to deliver. Our Branch Presidency practically commanded me to tell you thank you for letting me come out here. They are much appreciated of my service. They say thanks for sharing me with them. (yep, I felt as prideful typing that as I thought I would, but I did my job.)

Oh Andrew, I met someone from Chile!!!! It's too bad he was hungover and we woke him up. He didn't stay to talk, but we did get out of him where he's from. So now I feel even, you met someone from Canada awhile ago, now I've met someone from Chile. Why are people so crazy as to go from Canada to Chile and vice versa?

Sorry my thoughts are random, I guess I don't have much to say. Ummm...we have a new investigator, a GIRL!!! And she came to CHURCH with us! AND the member we brought teaching with us, a boy, has a crush on her now. It's so cute. I LOVE teaching YSA!!!!! Another investigator, who we haven't seen for a couple weeks finally hit rock bottom and feels like he actually NEEDS the gospel in his life. Hallelujah!!! I mean, it's too bad that things are going so bad for him, BUT now he can progress spiritually.

Sis. Hanson and I have a thing going on that if we slip we have to buy the other person hot chocolate. Did I already tell you this?? Well, anyway. Sis. Hanson has already bought me 2 cups and owes me one more. And so far, I'm at zero. I sure hope that didn't just jinx me...

Something shocking did happen this past tuesday though...we went the entire day...AS PLANNED!!! I couldn't believe it! None of our appointments fell through or anything! I did a little happy dance on the way home that evening. Life's just great sometimes.

I guess the last think I have to say now is that I love you more than you could possibly imagine! Distance truly does make the heart grow fonder. I can't wait to see you all soon (with the exception of Andrew I guess) (about the "soon", not the "can't wait"). But I also COULD wait forever to leave Halifax. I love it here with my whole heart. I'm sad to have to see it go. (geez, I sound like I'm leaving tomorrow). Anyways...Know that I love you lots and there is much anticipation for the days to come.

Sister Nicholls

Andrew Update - 6 March 2011

Dianna is going to die!!!!! - 28 February 2011

Oh my goodness, Dianna is going to die so soon!!!! Before you know it, I am going to be writing my last few words! I CANNOT believe how fast this mission is going! Dad, how long did your mission seem to you? Did it go by as fast as it is going for me? Sometimes, it feels like I get out of bed, and immediately lay right back down. But then when I look back, I remember all the things we did during the day, and can never believe that we did SO MUCH in a single day. For example, we wake up erly one day to instal tiles in our bathroom, in the shower. Then we have weekly planning, then lunch with a member and her friend, teaching a lesson, and finding a new investigator. We then shower at home, and go out to work, doing 38 contacts, teaching 6 lessons, and finding 4 new investigators, then go home to clean up the house, plan, write in my journal, area book, and play with my toy helicopter. There are just so many things we do during the day! Also, very often we sweet up someones porch as a quick act of service to convince them to let us come in to teach, or we wash their dishes, or we just do SOMETHING. We are always so BBBBUUUUSSSSSYYYYY......... My comp and I are just PUSHING our rear ends off to really show the Lord that he can trust us with his children, so we can teach the, and baptize them. For example, we saw some evidence of God`s trust yesterday-

A sister from the ward randomly took our arm, and begged us to come over that night. So we go over, and it turns out that her husband is an excommunicated member, who has been praying, reading, and pondering with his wife, and says he is ready to come back to church after many years. So now we are going to work with him, and get him baptized again. We are just whipping out lessons, and talking to every single person we see. Things are going great.

Elder Butler and Cope have written me a few times, and it is just so inspiring to hear their testimonies, and see these people, my best friends, my closest trusts, and they are out there serving with all their heart, might, mind and strength, just to help other people come unto Christ and accept his true gospel. Now that the finish line is accelerating rapidly to my face, I am really trying to pull out of third gear, and getting it into fifth. I am honestly trying harder than ever to be completely obedient, punctual, friendly, and diligent. I am trying to do what Mommy told me. I am always throwing on a smile, and trying to put a few things down in my journal daily of the things that I really am grateful for.

I do not have much more time, because we had an activity as a zone, and we have stuff to do today, but I want everyone to know about how thankful I am for their letters, emails, thoughts, and prayers. I really can feel you all lifting my feet when my legs just cannot do it for me. I really do feel Mom`s hand pulling me out of bed when I am just "too tired to get up". I hear Dad`s voice whispering into my ear, saying the things that I should say, and how to treat those who hate us. I see Kristen, Carolyn, and Lauren`s smiles and great attitudes, and nice sense of humor in the members that I influence, and I am constantly reminded of those that love me, and are doing all they can to make sure I am here, and not there with them. I am constantly told to go home by others, and told that I do not love my family, because I left them. Little do they know that this is the best thing I can do for my family at this point in my life. The Lord is doing all I could ever want, and more with those that are closest to me. Why would I betray him, and cut off His divine love and guidance? I love you all, and hope to see you all again one day, and pray for your health and safety. Until next week, chao chao.

-Elder :) Nicholls

Wow, 5 minutes left - 21 February 2011

Well, after reading the 30 emails from the mission, and finally writing my president using this cruuuudy keyboard, I have 5 minutes left. The only real news is that me and Lind are together for another change, and an Elder that lived in the house with us, is now our zone leader. Oh great. He always liked bossing us around, and now he is going to have ANOTHER excuse to just boss us around more. SIGH......... I have been thinking a lot about living with Mathew after the mission. Actually, we had stake conference yesterday, and Boyd K Packer spoke, and D Todd Christofferson spoke, via satelite.

Well, gotta go. I love you all, and hope you are well. Chao!

-Elder Nicholls

Lindo y nick - 14 February 2011

Hey Fam!

Whats goin on? So this week I was able to do a lot of work, and sweat a whole lot. Weird to hear that, huh? While you guys are all out there being cold, we are BURNING UP. Not much really happened this week. We did not even have investigators in church. But we do have two baptismal dates, but one guy is not married, so his date is almost for sure going to be lost. I heard that with permission from the Mission President, we can MARRY people! I mean, I could legally pronounce someone husband and wife. Crazy huh???? That would be soooo cool! So we are definitely going to work a little more with this guy. Well, I actually spent a lot of time writing my mission pres, so this letter is short. I got more emails from the family though, meaning dearelders, and it was great to read more about all of you guys! About school, sports, friends, braces, dog healing, and all that cool jazz. Wow, Dianna is going to be home SOOO soon! I cannot believe that Marcus is going to go out on a mission too! You HAVE to tell me where he is going to go! Or have HIM write ME. Well, I love you all, and we gotta get going. Since we are super low on money, we have to walk a lot, and we are far from home, and it is hot. Fun. I always remember you guys in my prayers, and think about you often, and the testimonies you have shared with me. You have always been great examples, and I always use you in giving my testimony. Chaito, nos vemos!

-Elder Nicholls

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dianna Update - 13 February 2011

Ice, Ice Baby! - 7 February 2011

Man is it icy out there!!!! On wednesday we got 50 cms of snow!! It just kept coming! We were out in it for most of the day too. (I think that's why Sis. Hanson has a cold now...) But then it rained for a couple days so the snow started melting but then the temperature dropped below freezing again and it all froze. There are MASSIVE icicles hanging from buildings and there is ice all over the sidewalks. Sis. Hanson has biffed it twice so far. I'm counting my blessings and staying on my feet. Last night we had a laugh because there is an outdoor ice rink by our house but the missionary handbook says we're not allowed to participate in winter sports so we can't go, but we were practically skating on the sidewalk so we joked if it was allowed to walk outside because we practically were skating. It's fun and keeps your heart rate up because you slip and slide all over the place. The worst part though is that it takes a million years to get anywhere! Normally we have to run to the bus, but now we have to plan 10 extra minutes to waddle there. This is an adventure I'm never going to forget and likely will never have again.

Hey guys, Sis. Hanson is AWESOME! Guess what?! She talks!!! She's nervous but she will talk to people on the street and says a lot during the lessons. Good because that was one of my fears of training, that I would have to talk more than usual. I mean, I have to but she definitely doesn't leave it all up to me. Now I just have to help her better remember the lessons so that she can be a master teacher. She's gonna be the best missionary ever when I'm through with her!!!

Family!!! I don't know what else to say! I mean, if we were together, I could jabber your ear off, but I currently don't have much to say that will make sense on "paper". I think. Anywoot, that's all. Don't forget how much I love you guys!

Sister Nicholls

My baby! - 31 January 2011

Well, I had a very difficult delivery. I was in labor for 3 days! She finally arrived on Saturday.

Okay, here's the story in real words. The new missionaries left the MTC on tuesday but got stuck in New York because of the weather. They ended up being stranded there until friday night!!! While they were there they went on splits with the missionaries in the New York South mission. They were placed on flight after flight but they didn't leave until late friday. They actually had to wait 3 hours on their plane until it took off because the plane was parked in the snow!!!! In the meantime, back here in the Maritimes, the weather was getting bad as well. There was a snowstorm that was going to happen on thursday (transfer day) so they rescheduled it for friday instead. This made Sis. Crofts freak out because she couldn't handle another day of goodbyes! The missionaries going home though needed to get into the mission home, so Sis. Olsen and Sis. Hamblin drove down wednesday night to stay with us and drop off Sis. Olsen in the morning (she went home!). So on thursday, we took them over to Dartmouth and left Sis. Hamblin with Sis. Hudson because her companion was going home as well. Since each of them had a car, we got to take one for the day. (It was actually annoying to have a car because there is NOWHERE to park in Halifax, especially with the snow. We had to pay for meters too.)

On friday, Sis. Crofts went up to Fredericton, NB with Sis. Hamblin, but Sis. Hudson and I still didn't have any companions because they were still stuck in New York, so we were given specific instructions that we were to work both areas. Now, we both have busy areas and we live on different sides of the bridge. So, we did some fanagling, and a LOT of driving, and got to go to all but one appointment. It was crazy to have 2 areas, and 2 phones. I should tell you now that this entire week we only knew what was happening for the next couple of hours. We were told of every flight that the new missionaries MIGHT have been on and the plan was changed a bajillion times. Saturday morning, just before an appointment, we got a call to be at the mission office in half and hour to get our new companions, but we told them we'd be late because we were headed into an appointment half an hour away. That ended up being okay because their orientation meeting went overtime. We showed up at the mission office and I met my new companion, Sister Hanson!!! She is from Payson, UT and is 6 feet tall!!! She is also 26. She's the first one in her family to serve a mission. She is very fun, we're getting along great. She has such a great spirit and is handling everything really well, especially because of what she has been through this week.

This isn't anywhere near the end of the story. So, there were supposed to be 3 new sisters coming out. BUT one of them has been quarantined in the MTC and most likely won't be here until the end of this week. This sister is going to be Sis. Hudson's companion. So, the other Sister who came, was sent to Truro and Sis. Brandley, was taken from her trio to come be Sis. Hudson's companion until the other sister gets here. Did you follow that at all? Oh, and also, Sis. Hudson, Sis. Hanson, and I were a trio for the rest of Saturday until Sis. Brandley was able to come into the Metro. Poor Sis. Hanson spent her first day in Canada hopping back and forth across the bridge going to different appointment. She still hasn't had time to fully unpack, she's going to do that today. We didn't get home until 10 on saturday and we FINALLY had weekly planning last night! I'm glad that things are going back to normal now so that maybe some of my acne will go away and I can think clearly.

So, that basically was my week. Highly adventurous. Also, it was full of very tasty food because everybody wanted to feed Sis. Crofts before she left and most of them took us out ot eat. I felt very spoiled.

Family, I love you bunches! Have a good first week of February!

Sister Nicholls