Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dianna Update - 27 March 2010

Happy St. Patrick's day - 17 march 2010
I'm wearing green, so no pinching for me! You know what? I had a thought this past week, PEI is to Canada as Idaho is to the USA. There are A LOT of Potatoes! At almost every dinner appointment there are potatoes. Also, I've learned what "Newfie Steak" is. (Newfie is the nickname for Newfoundland). It's Bologna! LOL! So this past week we had Zone Conference. Since we're in the middle of nowhere we had a 3 hour drive to get there. Since it was at 9 am, we decided to leave the day before and stay with a member. We ended up staying with a YSA named Meghann who used to live in Halifax and was a branch missionary! She moved about a month ago. It was nice to visit with her. Since she stays in contact with people there she told me some gossip and how people were doing and then she told me the best news ever! Terry is getting baptized this saturday! I almost jumped out of my skin! I'm SO excited but really sad that I won't be there. But then this monday we met with an investigator, Shelley, and she's getting baptized this saturday as well! So I'll be at a baptism the same day as Terry's just forever away. Guess what she wants to have for refreshments? Soda Pop cake! It's her favorite, except she calls it poke cake. I hope that I remember how to make it. I don't want to mess that up.

Andrew, your mission expectations are WAY higher than mine. It's very evident that we are in 2 completely different missions. We are to have 10 QGC's (Quality Gospel Conversations) a day, go finding (knocking, street contacting) 2 hours every day, teach at least 2 lessons a day, and do 4-6 hours of service a week. People here are SUPER nice but SUPER religious. There are 13 churches in Montague alone. Only like 100 people live in Montague. Most members travel to get here. It's also just a tiny branch with a tiny building. But we have dogs too. BIG ones. Since it's the country everyone has a huge guard dog that roams their property and will bark when they see you coming. We have only been chased once, by a German Shepherd, THEY RUN FAST! Also, we have cars in this mission, but they're getting rid of some in the Metro because they can use the bus. My area is 1/3 of a province (state) with no bus system so we wouldn't get much done without a car.

Love you!
Sister Nicholls

My sun, sun, Mr. Golden sun. Please shine down on me! - 10 March 2010
There's sun! It's been around since saturday minus a day in there. I think I'm going to have to bust out a little coat. WOW! It got up to 3 degrees on sunday and I almost broke into a sweat! It's so weird how 3 degrees is FREEZING going into winter but warm coming out. I've adjusted I guess. I hope this doesn't mean that summer will be hard. PEI fact for the day:Everyone talks about the weather. It's not because you have nothing else to say or for a conversation starter but actually because it's a topic they LOVE to talk about. And this information came from a native Islander.

I realized last week after I left the library that I didn't tell you how BIG by area is. It's 1/3 of the entire province of PEI!!! We're the eastern most third. I haven't seen all of it, or most of it for that matter, yet. I also forgot to tell you something about our apt. We have "excitable" water. This is what Sis. Ferrell calls it because it gets REALLY hot REALLY fast and it won't calm down. I guess it's a blessing to not have a cold shower but being scalded isn't much fun either. I also think I forgot to tell you that I volunteer at a library (the same one I email at) once a week. We help reshelve books and other odds and ends jobs they need done, it's a tiny library.

Oh my gosh! You would NOT believe the wind here! It's a good thing we wear long skirts because if not...well, you get the picture. We walk a lot because everything is so close and we were walking down this steep hill but didn't go very fast because the wind was blowing uphill. It was the first time in my life that I had to lean forward to walk downhill! I have a funny story for you. Remember I told you that we volunteer to help old people play Bingo? Well, this past week I helped an ANCIENT woman named Honey and she had NO clue how to play. She questioned my every move, she almost didn't trust that I knew how to play. She noticed that people were shouting out BINGO but I wasn't so she told me that I should be shouting too. No matter how many times I explained it she never understood. The best part of this situation was that I asked her how old she was and she said, "I think 27, yeah, I'm 27." HAHAHAHA!

Guess what! I have a twin here! Actually I have 2! I haven't seen either of them but 2 separate people have told me that I look like someone they know and it's not the same person they both described. I have another good story for you. We were knocking on saturday and it was in the middle of nowhere where we walked forever between driveways. We got to this one house that had 5 guys about my age standing outside and there were ATV's scattered around the yard. Sis. Ferrell was a little hesitant but I just brushed all fear aside and went right up to them. Let me tell you something, Their driveway was SO muddy, we were getting stuck, AND they were watching us walk up it, how embarrassing! Whatever, I used my special charm (psh, whatever) and introduced ourselves. It must have worked because they were really nice and they weren't too freaked out that we wanted to talk about religion. After we talked for awhile about the church I asked them about the ATVs and told them that we have them. They thought that was cool. I had to explain though because we have very different terrain. (Now this is my favorite part) They asked if I wanted to take one for a ride with them! Here I was, in a skirt, talking to them about God and they wanted ME to join them! What?! I can't get guys to talk to me let alone have them invite me to do things with them, what's going on! Of course I didn't go with them but thanked them for the offer. That just made me feel really good inside. :)

My district here is really interesting. There are 9 of us, it's every missionary on the Island. There is me and Sis. Ferrell, the Ballard's (A Senior couple also here in Montague), Elder Hoff (from Colorado) and Elder Roll (from France), Elders Morgan (Wales), Puddington (Nova Scotia) and Saunders (Utah). It's funny to listen to them because there's an English AND a French accent! Elder Roll can't say Nicholls, he says Nicole, but with a French accent so it sounds like Knee-cole. They don't pronounce S's at the ends of words like in Rendezvous.

I love you all!
Sister Nicholls (aka Dianna)

Andrew Update - 27 March 2010

Yoyo! dated 22 March 2010 - Sweet! So we had another baptism yesterday! Vacan! (Rad in Chileno). So that is two in one change! And I have my new companion! Elder Rodriguez from Columbia! Now I am going to learn so fast! Wow! Things here are so cool. I love teaching, and spanish is getting easier and easier and more natural. Especially with a native I am going to learn like lightning! Ollerton is flying home this night, and I said goodbye to him already. We have 3 progressing families Dad! Parents and children who I teach altogether and they totally want to get baptized someday! One family went to church for the first time ever, and couldnt stay for the baptism we had after church, but the Father told us that he hopes he can find his way to the path to salvation like our convert has. Sweet!!!! So Erin McDaniel got baptized??? Yes I remember her! She was in my class for more than just kindergarten though! I remember her with Mrs. Horetski and stuff! That is so cool that she is! Tell her to DearElder me or something! Tell everybody in the ward to DearElder me!

So it seems like Lauren is just too smart for school huh? Ya she can not really skip a grade because of seminary... Im glad you love your big brother, because he loves you more back. Trust me. I wouldnt give two years of my life to preaching for the Lord if I did not love the gospel, and my family. You siblings are really about 75% of my inspiration. Hearing about all the success you are having back at home makes my heart so light, and my blistered feet not hurt, so that I can better serve with a smile. When I read your letters from home, all the pains in the feet and tiredness is swept away when I hear how happy people are, and how they are finding success in their personal missionary work, and in work and school. All the negative thoughts of struggling to understand spanish, and walking all day in the sun disappear when I find my family happy. It helps me remember how great it is to have the gospel in the family. The second principle when teaching a new investigator is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses the family. And I can testify personalmente that that is SO true. I love hearing the good news. Some info from some of my investigators: A family who needs a job, and who I teach English to so he can better find a job, want to be baptized as a family because they recognize that God is changing their lives right now. Another family who we just taught the first time, were very interested, and want us to return to teach them as a family. The third progressing family is a classic example. The wife was baptized as a kid but has been inactive for over 20 years. Husband and son not members. We went by to reactivate her, and invite the other to read. Father wanted nothing to do with the church, or to read the Book of Mormon. Next visit, the father hurried us in, told us he actually read the BOM, and had tons of questions! The son was SUPER excited to read, and read lots, and understood more from the chapter that the majority of our investigators! Actually, understood it better than some members! Crazy! The boy was so excited to go to church, and brought his parents. They all loved it, and can NOT wait for me to pass by again. SWEET!!! Our sector is actually one of the slowest in the mission! I went on divisions with the Zone Leaders the other day, and it was intense! We taught 10 lessons, 2 with member, contacted 4 references, and found 7, SEVEN new investigators in one day! And then the Zone leader said that was just a normal day in his sector! Crazy!!!! They baptize about 14 or more people per change though. Craziness. Well I gotta get. Have fun!I love you all my Family! Keep sending DearElders and stuff! Well have fun Family! I love you all and MOM! I will pray for you, Im so excited you are inviting people to church! Do not be afraid! Your lack of fear is what brings people to know that this is the truth! Ciao!-Elder Nicholls

Letter received 3/8/10 - Ya don't you love dogs? There are like 10,000 dogs in our neighborhood. They bark at us all the time. Totally like what you see in movies about missionaries being chased by dogs. Except we just turn around and walk towards them and they run like crazy! But ya there are dogs everywhere! Oh ya the quake.. Sorry you freaked out... Ya the story is pretty cool I guess.. Lots fell over, and a lot of houses fell, but Im fine :)

Oh ya we were teaching this lady once, and my companion and I got the impression to sing Families can be Eternal, or whatever its called in English.. and she cried, and in her prayer to end the meeting, she promised to God to truly find the true church, and join it, and now we see her regularly, and probably will baptize her soon. So ya we have a baptism this Saturday, and one next Sunday, and a family to baptize in a few weeks, and a couple more promising families.. Don't you love meals with members? We have them everyday.. They feed us soooo much! But it is the only meal of the day so its fine... We talked to this guy who Ollerton had taught two months ago, and he remembered EVERYTHING that he taught last time, so we taught about the LDM, and he accepted and is looking forward to us coming back! Sweet! Im going to baptize all of Chile! ... We are booked with appoinments for like 4 days straight constantly... What are your standards of excellence there? I can't remember ours.. Like 10 contacts a day, 5 baptismal dates constantly, 15 new investigators a week, 10 lessons with members present a week, 14 other lessons (Which we usually end up with like 20). Ya its pretty fun here. Well Madre, Padre, the only question I have for Dad is how long did it take you to be able to understand the people really well, and communicate almost perfectly? Because its been a month, and I want to know where I stand please...

This lady I met in the Mtc from the call center is still writing me! She got really worried after the quake and put my name in the temple prayer roll, and prays for me! Personally! Ya she writes me like 3 times a week at least.. She is cray awesome! I have no idea who she is, but she told me she is going to write me forever! I cannot believe it.. Who wants to take that time to write a random young man? I dont know, but in heaven we are going to be good friends! Well Dad any advice for your missionary son? Do you guys actually miss me? I cant wait to reap the rewards for the rest of my life after this! But at the same time, and I love it here and never want to return back to Old people Tucson! I love it here! I am writing down lots of family names dad, so I wont have any regrets. And Mom, anything from you? Im glad you raised me well in the kitchen. I bought Pyrex pans and stuff, and cook delightful meals for my ¨family¨ here. I think they appreciate my skill in the kitchen.. I love having appoinments all day long! Always busy walking, teaching, eating, and losing weight! The members tell me all the time I look skinnies! Más delgado Elder! Más delgado! Sweet! I hope you guys make sure Brinkley stays alive so I can see her again. There are trillions of dogs here. We nicknamed one Bridgette, and she completely responds to that name now. Lets see maybe a cool story.. One guy sang a Psalm to us on his guitar as a trade for a lesson.. People run from us, and pretend they arent at home when we come for their appoinment, and we can see them inside, hiding behind the couch or something. I think its so funny that full grown men are so afraid of a couple of 19 year old boys, carrying scriptures. Oh well. What else.. the newest converts of just 2 months from Elder Ollerton, now have calling in the relief society presidence! Sweet! And the baptism this weekend, I know the boy is going to be teachers quorum president next year when he turns 14. Sweet! People love feeding us, so we sometimes have like 3 or 4 huge meals a day, and feel so fat and bloated at the end. But thats what exercise is for! I love how our schedule is different and we are up till 11:30! so rebelish! But Its going to change soon to only 11, and we will get up at 7.. Well Padres, please send any advice! Ciao!

-Elder Nicholls

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Andrew Update - 6 March 2010

I'm fine - 1 Mar 2010

So ya the Earthquake, or terremoto was supposedly a 7.7 in my little area. I live in Rancagua, in the Stake Tupahue of the church, and I live on the street Monvoisin number 3062 or something like that. In the quake lots fell over, but not the house. The only really bad part was that it was at 3:30 am and I was on the top of a bunk bed, and I was so confused when it all happened. But it was fun. Some houses down the road fell, but Rancagua centro is really bad. The worst is in Conception, and we havent had contact with the missionaries there at all. Plus two missionaries from our mission havent been accounted from, from the sector Pichilemu, because the whole sector is underwater up to the roofs. Intense stuff here. The president isnt allowing us to work for a few days, because theres supposed to be another earthquake of the same size soon. But I want to know about Hawaii! The news said a 600 mph wave was heading to Hawaii, and that it hit 24 hours ago or something. I heard they were evacuating everybody, but I need to know what happened!! Ya Im writing in my journal a lot.. We are supposed to have a few baptisms here next sunday, but with the quake we´ll see if anybody postpones... Members here are so awesome, and all of them showed up at the house with food and water and stuff. The water and electricity went out for a day, which was really lame. But we had food and water storage, which we were so fortunate to have. We still cant drink tap water, so we have to filter it and stuff.. Well enough about that. I am loving it here still!
Dianna: I am losing weight because we only eat one meal a day: Lunch. Usually with a member, and its a HUGE meal, but we dont eat at all the rest of the day, except usually we eat once, (Own say), which is usually pan, palta, y tomates. (Bread, avocados, tomatoes.) I have had tomatoes almost everyday here! We just eat them plain most of the time. They are so much better than in the states! Plus if I buy a huge watermelon, a kilo of peaches, a kilo of grapes, and a kilo of tomatoes, and some avocados, it costs about 3 or 4 dollars. If that. So sweet! Im nervous to see who my next companion will be! Everybody in the house is so cool, and im afraid someone is going to come by and be all strict and mean and lame. I am so happy! I learned how to play Nearer my God to Thee, and For the Beauty of the Earth in a really cool way on guitar! I love learning to play hyms that I can sing along to! WOOT!! Lets see what else.. Language is hard, but everybody says im improving daily.. I hope I get a native companion next so I have to speak spanish more.
I cant wait to get mail from home, because there is just so much going on! Im surprised you guys werent worried more about the earthquake. I was totally expecting a letter of terror, haha. But yes the Lord is watching us, and keeping us safe. The zone leaders building is almost destroyed, so they have to live with us in our house, so theres six of us in this little house, but so much fun! So Lauren you gonna tell everyone I was in the biggest earthquake in Chile from the last 300 years? It was so early and I was freaking out because my mind was totally still asleep! Well Until next week, Chao Fam!

What? - 22 Feb 2010

So ya im totally waiting for some mail from home. I only get mail like once a week or every two weeks. So im totally looking forward to that. To reply to Dianna, weather here is in celcius, but its in the nineties a lot right now, but is getting a little cooler. We teach like 5-8 lessons a day, and walk around about 7 hours a day. We are always walking! Members are so cool with missionaraies! They love having you there, and feed you tons, and just love your presence! People here are so funny, because when you ask them about beliefs they say "yo creo en Dio no má" Which is I believe in God, no more. Then I ask them about if they believe in his son, Jesus Christ. Then they just repeat themselves "yo creo en Dio no má" they are just stubburn and weird! ... And when we walk down streets, people see us, stop watering their grass, and literally run inside. We seriously do strike fear in the hearts of the people here. Or sometimes at night we will knock a door, or really just yell "hallo" from the street, and people will turn off their lights and pretend nobody is home. Dorks. But even funnier is when people say "nadie esta" which is nobody is here. So funny! I have lost more weight, and even last night a member says she notices I am skinnier than that first night I was here in Chile, so kudos to me! I am practicing spanish so much, but the people here are so lazy when they speak that its so hard to understand them! Plus everyone loves to speak as if its a race. Oh well.. I can understand more now than two weeks ago, and hopefully in a few more weeks ill be a lot more fluent. Sweet. I cant wait to read letters from home! By the way if you want to know why I have really bad punctuation in my letters, its because there is not an apostrophe on the spanish keyboard. So it makes it a little difficult. So ya, I just want you guys to know my grammer is bad because there are not the necessary buttons. Well I love my companion, and the other two missioneries in the house. They love how I can cook, and I clean, and I act like the Mother sometimes, but its fun. My companion Elder Ollerton is definitely my Mother right now. I am being diligent at being obedient and I know I am being blessed from it. I love you all family! I cant wait to get some letters and hear about life! Then ill finally have something to talk about! Well time to go buy food and rest all day on my P-day which is on Monday! Woot! ¡Que les vaya bien!-Elder Nicholls

Chile - 15 Feb 2010

So ya its way awesome here. Our standards of excellence are so hgh! But im trying really hard to fulfill them. We find investigators like crazy! We teach lessons ALL the time on the streets and stuff, and go into houses lots. People like to feed us A LOT. Here, my schedule is from 730-1130, which is really cool. But usually we dont eat breakfast, and from 130-3 a member usually has us over for a SUPER GIGANTE lunch. Like one lunch, which my companion said is actually a medium lunch, had a big bowl of soup, a HUGE plate of pasta, a half canteloup, or however you spell it, fresh tomatoes on two giant rolls, and like 8 glasses of soda. AH! So much food! Then you dont have dinner really either.. so just one huge meal a day... But ya we contact people everywhere. I love it in Chile! Dogs are EVERYWHERE, and so are people needing the gospel! People here worship North America. They use english words a lot, and its funny.. Like instead of muy or mucho, they use super a lot.. like ¨super bonito¨ or super bien, and a Chilean word here is vacan, which means tight, rad, awesome, cool. So it´s fun. Also for shorts, they call them chorts, blue jeans are blu cheans, a razor is a gilet, (pronounced like gilette kinda) toilet paper is ¨comfort¨, nike shoes are nike, but pronounced like ¨like¨. there are a lot more, i just cant think of them right now.. My companion Elder Ollerton is so funny, and so good at guitar and piano! And he goes home from his mission in 5 weeks... lucky! I totally want to keep in contact with him after my mission. Here, your trainer is called your dad, and you are his son, and you are born in the sector you start. So my dad is Elder Ollerton, and i was born in Valle el Sol. People here speak castillian which is so hard to unerstand! ... Well Dianna, that´s so cool that you get to see people progress! I´ve only been here for one Sunday, but Im so happy to see people come, and to see people really changing their lives. Like one lady, Olga, which my comp hasnt visited in over 3 months, who said last time that even if she knew the gospel was true, she wouldnt accept it. So he stopped going. But I was going through the carpet book, (Area book, but in Spanish its called la carpeta negra, so we nicknamed it) I went through the antiguo section, (Old investigators) and saw her name, and we went to see her. He didnt expect results, but she surprisingly let us in and we taught, and she received so well! We invited her to say a prayer with us there, and in it she promised to God, in front of these two young men, that she will pray to him that night to ask if Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and that she is honestly seeking salvation. Awesome! Then me and Ollerton both had an impression to sing her Soy un hijo de Dios, (I am a child of God) and she nearly cried! I love it here! Also we visited this one family, la Familia Morales, and they are an inactive family, and me and Ollerton both opened up to a random scripture, and both were about family prayer! So of course we testified and having a strong unity in the gospel with the family, challenged to pray as a family, and they said yes. But a few days later we checked on them, and they didnt at all! So i went home, and made them a little makeshift prayer spinner, with pieces of paper and tape, and colored 4 sections for their names, and Im giving it to them tomorrow when we visit them. I really have a good feeling that it will help them to de it, because im going to put it up on their wall, and Latinos, especially here are really into symbolic things, and physical objects. So hopefully having a physical reminder there will help. Prayer is the first step and I hope I see them come back to the gospel! But we have like 10 progressing investigators, (probably more...) and like 20 investigators that have only been taught one lesson, and we still have to go back. But ya days are so busy! Just lesson after lesson after lesson! I love it! I love the food, and people, and everything here! Im glad to know youre having fun freezing while im drowning in my own sweat!! But I love it here. I am studying spanish like crazy, and want to able to communicate more! Dont give up Dianna! Never go trunky! I cant wait to go out tonight and work! Well I pretty much have to get going, so I hope you guys are all having fun! I wish I had an email to read from home this week... hopefully next week. Les vaya bien! Chao!-Elder Nicholls

I'm alive - 9 Feb 2010

Well I made it all the way here to Chile alive! Like an hour after arriving at the apartment, we went and gave a lesson on the palabra de sabiduria! (Word of Wisdom) Well that didn´t take very long at all to get started, huh? Well me companion´s name is Elder Ollerton, and he only has six weeks left on his entire mission! I´m so glad I have someone so experienced to teach me the ways here! Our apartment is pretty cool, 4 of us living in this little place, with a tiny kitchen, and tiny rooms to study. I love it! I am so glad I am finally here on the mission! The family we just taught is so strong in the gospel and have not even been baptized yet! I am soo looking forward to the next 22 months! I surprisingly understood just about everything that was said in the lesson too! I did not teach much, just bore the strongest testimony I could.. Well not much to say. I have been up for nearly 40 hours straight now and need to sleep. OH! So cool! So usually the schedule is 6:30 am to 10:30 pm right? Here, it is 7:30 to 11:30! Sweet! An extra hour I have to stay awake! Well I will have plently more to write about next week, but as for today, just lots of traveling, waiting for rides and people to show up to pick us up, and this short little lesson. I am going to do an all fruit diet with my companions this week. We will see how it goes! I love you all! Have fun and be safe and continue being awesome when I get home!-Elder Nicholls

Goodbye America! - 3 Feb 2010

I leave monday morning for Chile!!! Ok well this is the info I have, and I don't know what time zones these are all posted in, so here we go:My flight from SLC to LAX is from 11:10 AM-12:08 PM. I will have layover time there, From LAX to Santiago Chile, my flight is from 2:40 PM-6:45 AM. Ya. That's long. I'm going to die! So that's all I got for you. I'm writing an actual LETTER to answer you last letter to me, because I don't have much time on here. So did I tell you that in the referral center I called a lady and she wants to write me my whole mission? So ya. I have to set aside some of my non-exsistent time on the computer for her, leaving virtually nothing for my family... Oh well I'm late for a haircut, so I'll write more in the letter! Love you all!

-Elder Nicholls

Dianna Pictures -

Dianna Update - 6 March 2010

Leftovers - 3 March 2010

Oh boy do I have a lot to say this week...

Last Wednesday- We went to the temple and the 3 new sisters were there and we were trying to figure out who would end up with who and it turns out the new sisters were doing the same thing. Then the 4 of us went to email and then home so I could pack. We didn't stay long so I didn't pack much, we had decided that we wanted to walk up Citadel hill. It's a huge hill in Halifax that is also an old army fort. It's underground, inside the hill and you have to pay to get in so we didn't do that part. We just parked at the bottom, walked up, around, and down. It was SUPER windy that day and of course, cold, but it was a pretty view up there. I believe I took some pictures. After that we headed off back to the mission home for dinner with the new sisters. On our way we stopped by the smoke stacks and took perspective pictures of us licking them. They're red and white striped, like candy canes. It's pretty funny. After dinner everyone went back to their own area and I was in a trio again for a little while. It was funny because what we had planned that night was a baptismal committment! So, this new sister went straight from the MTC to committing someone to baptism, we still had her luggage in the car even. Luckily for us it all went well, no date but he's getting there. I'm sad though because it was Terry, someone Sis. Moss and I met my first saturday on my mission. He and I were both very sad to see me go. Anyway, after that we headed home and I quickly threw everything I owned into my suitcases, it's a good thing they just had to zip, not be weighed or anything.

Thursday- We got up and 4:45 am, got dressed and drove to the mission office to drop me off. I said I quick goodbye to Sis. Olsen and Sis. Crofts and got on the transfer van. The transfer van is a 12 seater exactly like our van and it pulls a trailer for all of our luggage. There weren't too many people being transfered this time. There were only 6 of us in the van and 5 of us were from Arizona!! The last Elder is actually from Halifax. He's pretending to be a missionary here while he waits for his Visa to go on his real mission in North Carolina. So, yeah, me and a bunch of frozen Arizonans. Someone who understands! So, we drive to Truro, NS(Nova Scotia and drop off 1 Elder and pick up another, and then head to Moncton, NB (New Brunswick). This is where the van turns around and heads back. It was a 2 and a half hour drive. Here is where I met Sis. Ferrell. It was a beautiful meeting because she and Sis. McEwan (Her old companion who was going back on the van) had been arguing the entire drive over. So she was NOT happy. We awkwardly get my stuff in the car and head off. After 5 minutes, we're lost. Luckily, I kept calling it an adventure and laughing it off so that Sis. Ferrell didn't think I was judging her or anything. We finally make it to the right freeway and I ask "So, about how far is Montague from here?" She chuckled, "2 and a half hours." WHAT?! It turns out they'd been up and driving just as long and we had. So, yeah, lots of driving, but we did get to cross the Confederation Bridge. It's the Bridge that connects New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island. It's one of the longest bridges in the world, if not the longest. It takes about 10 minutes to cross and it cost $45. Luckily, it's a round trip cost so you only pay when you leave the Island. We had to make a stop in Charlotte town for some supplies at Wal-Mart. (It turns out, there isn't ANYWHERE to shop in Montague or any of the surrounding towns). Then when we finally reach Montague Sis. Ferrell realizes that it's time to be at service so we head straight to an old folks home and help them play Bingo, sweet! Then we had an appointment, which fell through. Then finally we headed to the apartment! Home Sweet Home is a tiny duplex with a yappy dog on the other side. Also, the neighbor not in our duplex but the other side, has a dog that she leaves outside so she greets us everytime we come home. I don't really remember what else we did that night, oh well, probably just met someone.

Friday- We had a really cool lesson with Jayde, a 15 year old. That night we met THE coolest old people IN THE WORLD! It's Jean and Cathy Schumate, They're members. Jean is 82 and Cathy is her daughter. The moment we walk in Jean is scolding Sis. Ferrell because she forgot to call and tell them that she was staying in Montague. She is this tiny old cute woman and she'll be scolding Sis. Ferrell then turn to me and ask "Would you like a cookie, dear?" Haha. We stayed for awhile and had some cookies and got to know them, I still don't think Sis. Ferrell has earned her way back into Jean's heart.

Saturday- We went knocking. It takes about 5 minutes to walk between each house so we got to know each other as we talked between each one. Sis. Ferrell is very...interesting. She is from Louisiana. She has a different kind of sense of humor, but she's fun to be around. We are polar opposites though because she's tiny and I'm, well, not. I'll have to send you a picture sometime soon I guess. Also, while we were knocking, I told Sis. Ferrell that I had a brother in Chile, and I found out she has a brother on a mission too, in Salt Lake. A couple houses after telling her this we were making small talk with this old guy and he asked if we had heard about the massive eathquake in Chile. My heart sank. I told him my brother was there. We all got really quiet. He went and turned on the news. We all watched silently for a good 5 minutes. I didn't know what to do. All I wanted to do was leave and call someone who knew if Andrew was okay. Neither Sis. Ferrell or this man knew what to do or say either so we stood there awkwardly for a while. I just bore my testimony about eternal families and my eyes watered. We said good bye and as we walked to the next house I called the Tanners and asked them to find out for me if the missionaries were safe. They kept their eye out all day and called me that night saying that 8 of the 9 mission president's had reported that all missionaries were safe. I forgot which one they said hadn't reported yet, but it wasn't Rancagua. Andrew, I didn't realize that I loved you as much as I do. I'm grateful that you are alright.

Sunday- I met the Branch here. Only 3 or 4 members are actually from Montague, everyone else has to travel. The building here is TINY. I think they call it a phase 1 chapel. The chapel is also the cultural hall, but it's small. Also the steeple is on the ground, detached from the building. I should take a picture. The people here are THE NICEST on the planet though. That night we had dinner with the De Vries family, but it turns out that they have the missionaries over EVERY sunday, so I'll get used to them quick.

Monday- We helped some members move, fun, fun. We had an AMAZING appointment with this single mom of 3 kids. She's a golden investigator. Her name is Janette and she WANTS to come to church and she WANTS to read the Book of Mormon and she asks the coolest questions. I'm SO excited to keep teaching her. We then had dinner with Pat Harvey and her 2 Granddaughters, one of which isn't baptized yet and is 11 so is technically an investigator. She sent us home with A LOT of leftover.

Tuesday- We knocked for 4 hours. Brrrr! We had ANOTHER Dinner Appointment. This time with the James', an old couple in the ward. They also have the missionaries over every week. They're really funny because the man is going deaf so Sis. James is constantly shouting, even when she's not talking to him. They tried to send us home with leftovers as well but there just isn't room in the fridge, it's still full of leftovers from before I got here. Seriously, there's no need to buy food here, just eat leftovers. We also have a dinner appointment tonight.

Did that give you a good idea of what's going on with me right now? I hope so. Of course, I left some things out, but I'm pretty sure I gave you the most important parts. I love you all and hope all is well.

Sis. Nicholls

Goodbye Halifax, Hello Montague! - 24 Feb 2010

That's right, I'm being transferred to Montague, PEI (Prince Edward Island) I leave 5 am tomorrow. I'm going from the biggest city in my mission to the smallest (at least for the Sister's). My companion will be Sister Ferrell (spelling?) She's the only Sister in the mission that I haven't met! I will meet her tomorrow when I'm dropped off. I hear that she's from Lousiana and very funny. I'm excited. Some people start laughing when they try to picture us together. They think we'll have a hard time being serious. That's okay, I'm ready for some hard core laughter. I also hear that PEI is colder and WAY windier than Halifax, I'M SO EXCITED! not. It'll be an adventure. I don't know how long I will be there either because practically every sister moved this transfer because there are 3 new sisters and President said not to get too comfortable because it will all be changing next transfer. I'm really hoping that I can be there during some of the spring and summer though because that's when it's supposed to be beautiful! Right now everything is a dreary waste land. And mom, if you said it's going to snow for the next 8 days, then it could be even more interesting.

Andrew, you're hilarious. Why? AND I'm jealous that you're getting so skinny. I've lost about 15 pounds but you can't tell at all and I have a feeling that I'll gain it back because I'll actually have dinner appointments in Montague. There are 2 sisters visiting Halifax today to pick up their new missionaries and they both have lost 5 sizes since they've come on their mission! What's with all of this weight loss?! I thought people gained weight on their mission?! Whatever, not important. Really, I don't care, it just happens.

Jennifer, thanks for sending some pictures. I still can't believe how big Liam is. He has the CUTEST face. Carter is simply adorable as well. I'm jealous of your beautiful family. Becky AND Killen are getting married on June 4th! Holly is a cute girl. She served in the RS Presidency with me for a bit. Why does everyone have to get married while I'm away? I'll have no single friends when I get home. I'll have to start ALL over! Maybe I'll move to Utah and be friends with all the Sisters from my mission. NOT! I'll be DONE with the snow.

My brain is SO scattered, is it obvious? I've had a good week but I'm getting nervous about leaving Halifax. I'm going to miss everyone so much. One of our investigators, Terry was SO upset that I'll leaving. We scheduled 1 last appt. before I left (tonight) and we're going to commit him to baptism! He's SO cool. He has committed himself to live the WoW and other commandments and has come to church 5 times, 3 of them in a row, AND this past sunday in Priesthood they asked who would like to attend the temple trip on thursday and he raised his hand! So someone explained to him how that all works and he has agreed to go and meet the temple president in the little room in the lobby. I'm sad that I won't be there, I'll just barely miss it. I'm almost positive that he'll accept the baptism commitment and I'm sad that I'll miss his baptism. I'm sad to miss all of the baptisms that are going to come from our current investigators. The new missionary joining is going to be so lucky to come into such an awesome area!

Andrew, the temperature here is in Celcius as well, so I'll totally understand. It's weird though that it's summer there because I'm FREEZING! Where is your companion from? What weird foods have you eaten? Tell me more!

I love you all and I hope that all is going well.
Sister Nicholls

Snow Day! - 17 Feb 2010

Today is a snow day! The Universities are closed and everything! The library was closed for a while as well, that's why I'm emailing a little later than usual.

It took us 20 minutes to shovel out our car this morning. It actually took 30 minutes because we took pictures. :) This was even after a plow had been through our parking lot! I was smiling and laughing the whole time because I had NO idea what I was doing! Did you know that you use a broom to get the snow off of your car???!!! Well, you do. Sis. Olsen did that part while I worked with a shovel on the ground. It took me a while to get used to holding the shovel and then we had to pick a place to put it all! This is nuts! What's nice though is that when it snows it warms up. It's only 0 degrees today! :D Andrew, what's the temperature there this time of year? Is it in Farenheit or Celcius? Also, what's the time difference??! Your mission sounds SOOOO different from mine. It sounds so cool there though. It is fun to see how people talk. Accents are funny. I actually was told that I have a weird accent the other day! What?! I'm glad that you are teaching a lot. Our President has told us to go tracting 2 hours everyday and have 2 lessons, and if we have extra time, go tracting. It's nuts! We are outside at least 14 hours a week meeting new people and his goal is for each companionship to be up to 21 hours a week. This is proof that the acceptance here isn't intense. People are REALLY nice though, and that helps because rejection can eat at you after a while. Luckily, I move on pretty quick. It's just when we run into the occasional person who likes to curse that we get upset. People have their agency.

I'm learning to love Sis. Olsen. We've found ways to work together better. We've come up with a fun game to pass the time while we're traveling. We will sing a hymn or primary song but we will take turns saying every other word. We laugh until we cry almost everytime because she's a good singer and I'm not so the tune isn't very pretty, and it's funny when we forget the words. We also try to do something fun every Peve (P-day eve). We made a cake once, and I can't remember the other times, oh well, I'm sure it's in my journal. Andrew, when is your P-Day?

I don't know why, but I can't think of anything else to say right now. Mom, thanks for the letters and Dad thanks for the email. I probably don't say it enough but hearing from you is the crowning moment of my day/week. They seem to come at the right time too.

Love you all!
Sister Nicholls

Sun! Snow. Sun! Snow. MAKE UP YOUR MIND! - 10 Feb 2010

Hey family!
The weather here is so funky. There are days where I'm freezing my buns off and then days where I'm almost sweating (with my coat on.) I'm going to show a little pride here now: I'm less freezing than Sister Olsen! Or at least I've told myself to stop complaining, it definitely doesn't make the day go faster...

Guess what?! We had an investigator, Terry, come to church for the 3rd time! He even wore a suit! And he fasted and joined us for Break the Fast! I can't believe it! He is really enjoying the gospel. He told us at our last lesson that he definitely thinks it's a sign that Sister Moss and I approached him on the street because he says that he has been told several times that he is a very unapproachable person, so the fact that we met him is a sign that it must be important! I just love him! He is making friends in the Branch and is starting to come to activities and parties that members are throwing. Get this! Our branch has a goal to give out 100 copies of the Book of Mormon this year and Terry said that he wants one to give to his room mate! He's already a missionary!!!!!! I can't wait to baptize him!

Also, Dad, we met a girl on the street this week named Vera and she's from the Dominican Republic and after talking to her for awhile she said that she's seen the temple there and has also seen missionaries! I couldn't help but think of you and what you had the opportunity to be a part of. It's amazing, because the mission opened and you were sent there, this young woman, in Canada, can relate to us.

I don't have much else to say but please don't send any more mail to my apartment because I'm pretty sure I'm being transfered in 2 weeks and would rather have it at the office so it can get to me. I'll let you know of my new address, if and when, I'm transferred. Spread the word too, please.

Also, I have an idea. Could you all share with me your favorite scripture and tell me why it's your favorite? I'll go first, it's Alma 38:5. I don't have my scriptures with me and I don't have it memorized but it's Alma talking with his son Shiblon about how if you trust in God then he will help you through your trial, troubles and afflictions. This is my current favorite because I've realized how true it is. Now and in the past, when things look like they might be the end or that things will never look up, I realize my eternal potential and allow God to help me. He will always be there for us, no matter who we are or what situation we are in. I love him for that.

I love you all!
Sister Nicholls

Adventures in knocking - 3 Feb 2010

Okay, knocking has become a new experience altogether. I started wearing the mittens you sent mom, so I don't have access to my fingers. So getting cards out of my pocket is REALLY funny! Luckily, they have tiny little grips on them so I can still get something out, just not being able to choose what I want, so I don't tell people what I'm giving them until it's out of my pocket, LOL. Is that bad?? Also, I went to put a card in someone's mail slot because no one came to the door and it spit back out at me! And then, I couldn't pick it up off the ground. We were laughing so hard and laughing made it harder to be bent over, so it took us at least 3 minutes just to pick up the card! Also, because it's so cold, practically every doorbell is broken so we have to knock. We can't knock with our gloves on because it will be too soft and it's gotten too cold to take off out glove so we bring a golf ball with us to knock with. It's a genius idea (I didn't think of it, it's been around for ages) but once I DROPPED IT! It made quite the racket as it bounced down the wooden, icy steps on someone's porch, oops. We have gotten so many doors closed in our faces these days. Where did all of the interested people go? Maybe it's because we don't have Sis. Moss anymore. She was the one who knew what to say when they weren't interested.
Thanks for the pictures. Kristen and Lauren, it looks and sounds like you had a lot of fun with Young Americans. I remember when they'd come to town, it was fun to watch. I was admiring the pictures from the family reunion. It's weird to look at. I don't know why. We're missing the 2 boys and Samantha is in the picture, I'm having a hard time imagining what life is like for you guys right now. I want to be there, I can't be physically but my prayers are sure there.
I have some sad news of my own, my scripture case ripped!! Gasp! Since I carry it everywhere practically, it wore out at a seam and ripped. I'm going to try and stitch it back together but I don't know how well that will work. It's not as bad as a make it sound, it's only about an inch and a half long, but it will get worse. I'm going to miss my bright orange case.
Well, I'll end on a happy note, JOE, an investigator, HAS A BAPTISM DATE! Feb. 13th!! He's a little hesitant, but we'll see what happens, I'll keep you posted (and by that I mean I'll tell you next week if it's still a go.)

I love you all and I have a million more things I would love to tell you about but time is ridiculously short.

Sister Dianna Nicholls