Sunday, June 20, 2010

A note from the Editor

I have repented of my sins... I apologize for the long entries, as I tried to include some highlights and good stories from the past few weeks. We appreciate your support and interest in our missionary children. I should be receiving some pictures in the near future and will finally be able to update the slide show. We love the Lord and are grateful for his protection of our children. We are likewise grateful for the dedication service of our children. We appreciate your continued prayers in their behalf

Thanks again,


Andrew Update -

Chepica - 14 June 2010

Well I am in a new area.

Dianna, to get from one side of my mission to the other, it is about 6 hours of traveling, between trains, taxis, and busses, and metros. Very big. And there are over 150 missionaries too. I have not been in a zone or district without Sisters yet. Wow, sisters is such a weird word... Hermanas. Ok that sounds better. So, bad news. Chepica is SOOO far away from the mission office, that I can only receive mail twice every 12 weeks, but nobody knows how often. It could be in like a week, and then 10 weeks for the next. So I have to deal with not getting email for a while. But that is ok. DIANNA! Is that seriously you in the picture???? You look so different! Skinnier, and just... just... different!!! Wow!!

But as for the baptismal committments, people are super religious here. Church is the normal conversation topic. Everywhere you go. So either people are going to change, or not. It is best to just find out sooner. Plus if we wait, people do not understand that we come to change their religion. We will come and teach the restoration, and they understand it, and we teach 7 lessons, and they follow committments, but deny baptizm, and only allow in your house to learn more about God, but zero intentions of changing. It really does not matter how amazing you teach, they are so stubburn and thick headed, they only follow religion because it is a tradition in their family. But, as for being here, baptismal dates are good.

Well I have zero time, because traveling took so long. But my new companion is Elder Gomez, a Chilean. So, more non-gringo life for another 2 changes! Well, sorry for such a short letter, I will write more next week! Chao!

-Elder Nicholls

Last email in this area - 7 June 2010

I think. I think this is my last email from this sector I am in. So we have not received any word yet, but I will probably be leaving, my comp will stay, and maybe train. Also, my comp says that based on my ability in spanish, and knowledge, that It is a possibility that I might stay, he goes, and I train. Can you even imagine that happening???? My comp says that that is kind of unlikely, but that he is 100% sure that I am going to leave to a new sector, kill my companion, meaning he ends his mission, and then I will train in my second change of that sector. CRAZY!! But he says that since I can talk so well in Spanish, and speak over the phone in spanish, that that is what determines If I am ready to train. I cannot even fathom that thought right now! crazy!!!

Last night I had a pretty cool contact. Everybody was being stupid and not listening as usual, and I decided to try the next contact being as super friendly as posible. I saw a gate, and headed right to it, being guided. Called Allo, and out popped a lady. I just talked in the nicest voice, and caring as possible, saying "How are you doing!? Hey we're you're neighbors right over here! We wanted to come over and over you some service so we can get to know you better! Can we wash your dishes, or sweep, or clean?" And laughing, she said no. and asked "Do you guys wanna come in and talk?" We said yes, and we entered. She said this is the first time she has ever let people of another faith in her house. We had probably the most amazing lesson from my mission. And she promised us to read and pray, but wasn't willing to set a return appointment. But I know it's out of fear. We taught with the spirit so powerfully, that she cannot deny the truth of our message. She had fear of having to change her religion, and maybe parts of her life. We left that house with such strong spirit, that I know she's going to crave it again. We will pass by during the week anyway, and I have a feeling that if she's there, she will let us in. We'll see where this goes.

Well I love the mission work! I love teaching, and I can deal with people being dumb, and lying to us, and failing appointment. It's really not a problem. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE reading letters! Even though I'm absolutely terrible at responding, I love reading them. So please don't give up on me! My 6 months is this wednesday! 2 days!

Well Dianna I'm glad you are having fun experiencing Canada. I haven't attended any other church yet, but I plan on doing it sometime soon. Sounds like a good way to find some people. Also don't you just love working in the rain? I love showing up to appointments in the rain, and they reject you, because they don't want to get their newly cleaned rug wet, so they set another appointment, with you standing there in the pouring rain, and they are standing inside their house, yelling to you. Oh it's the best.

Well I'm going to go now. I have 2 minutes left. I love you all! Take good care of my nephews Jenn and Sam! I want to be able to talk and snuggle with them when I come back! I bet Liam is talking like a pro now! Sweet! Thanks for all of your encouragement and love and support! Be strong! Love each other! It's the only family you've got! Chao!

-Elder Nicholls

Baptism - 24 May 2010

Well I feel very content. I am so happy. Yesterday we had two amazing baptisms. A 15 yr old girl named Scarlet, and her brother, 16 yrs old, Jonaton. Scarlet is basically a missionary already, and has a stronger testimony than a lot of members. She´s a pretty gangster girl, and when we first visited to her grandma, she didn´t want anything to do with us. But one day, I called up the stairs asking her to please come down and join us just this one time. After the lesson, we convinced her that she wants to read and pray, and she did. And now, a month later, is the newest member of the branch Villa el sol. Well, technically her brother is the newest, because he was baptized second. But you get my point. She is a missionary, because she has taught friends the importance of prayer, and baptism. And has prayed in her group of friends, in school. So awesome. And in her testimony, she testified to all those in the room that were relatives, and non members that they all need to get baptized, and follow the example she has set. So incredible she is!

This week was pretty cool, because I got to do divisiones a few times, and I was the senior companion, and was actually depended on to translate, and guide conversations and lessons. Awesome. It was awesome. Well not much more happened this week. We went to santiago to do some transactions for my companions visa, and I got to ride trains and metros. It was really awesome. We are doing a lot of work with less actives and excommunicated members. Almost half of the lessons are with them. But that´s ok. As long as we are helping all people come closer to Christ, we are fulfilling our purpose as missionaries.

Love you all! Chao!

-Elder Nicholls

P-days are good - 17 May 2010

Hello everyone!!

Well today was tiring but super fun, and I am having the time of my life on the mission! Even though so many bad things happen all the time, they are forgotten, and I just love working all the day long! We have two guitars in the house, that investigators are letting us borrow, and me and my comp are practicing songs together, and playing them for lessons. Also we use the childrens songbook a lot, because the messages are a lot simpler, so that people can understand them actually. Well, finally we have two baptisms this weekend, and they are both in their mid teens. But the girl is already preaching the Gospel. She tells her friends the importance of baptism, because the most important thing to do in this life is to receive the gift of the holy ghost, because that part really is more important than the baptismal immersion. She is so smart! Also yesterday in a lesson, she told us about how she did something spectacular. We had taught a lesson about prayer, and praying often, and for all things in the life. And she applied it! She was at school, and there was a physical education test, like they had to run a mile or something, and her and all her friends thought they were going to die trying. So she told all of her friends, ¨lets say a prayer right now, because if we do, we will be able to do it easier.¨ So she prayed out loud, and then they all ran. So amazing this young girl!

In two weeks, I will be on the mission 6 months. That is already a quarter of the mission. That's ridiculously fast. I seriously can't believe that. And Dianna is how far in? Almost half of her mission pretty soon no? Well There's an investigator we have, and I seriously do not know what to do with him. He has gone to church 5 times. When we found him, we found out his wife is a member, inactive for 30 years, and forgot about the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith and everything. We reactivated her, and teach her husband/son. He told us Wednesday he was going to stop investigating, because there are lots of problems in his life that he believes come from learning the Gospel from us. But he wouldn't tell us what things. His wife was crying a lot, which was a good sign that she had a testimony again. He wouldn't even join us for the last prayer. But on Sunday, we were greeting everybody at church, and in walks mister "I want nothing, absolutely nothing from the church". SO CONFUSED! So we have an appointment with his wife, and wouldn't tell us if he was going to go or not. WHATEVER! BABY!!! I guess waiting will just be the best. Yesterday was amazing. If you count the excommunicated members that we are helping and teaching to be baptized again, we had 5 investigators come. If not, we had 3. That is awesome! We are teaching lessons like crazy, and I gave my first blessing in spanish this week! And she got better overnight! I have done like a thousand anointings of the oil, but I finally had the courage to do it! Sweet!

Well the mission is the best. I want to say something for the three girls that are still at home.

Ok girls, Kristen Carolyn and Lauren. Do you love me? If you do, let's figure out a plan to show it. You know those two grumpy old people that always tell us what to do, especially things we don't want to do? What're their names... OH! Mom and Dad? You remember them? I love you all, and if you want to show your love, please do this for me while I am away. 1: Read scriptures daily as a family. It's just the one thing that separates a strong family bond, or not. 2: Do your chores, and remember that it really isn't a sacrifice to have to do chores, because you will not even believe the sacrifices our parents have given for us. A little bit of cleaning won't hurt anybody. Trust me. You have no idea how many trees I have cut down, lawns I have mowed, and leaves I have raked and swept. It's not that bad. 3: Eat dinner as a family together as often as possible. Here, every single Chilean eats lunch as a family. It's a huge cultural thing. Missing a lunch, is punishable with being grounded from friends. Seriously. It's a huge deal here. 4: Have family home evening every week, no matter how inconvenient it is. It is so important to have a good bonding time as a family, and to learn about the Gospel. 5: Something that sounds so boring. Read the Book of Mormom 10 minutes a day. Often times, I read the Book of Mormon an hour a day. Not just to study so I teach better, but my heart just delights in that book, and I have the spirit with me when I do it. My days are just so much better when I read. It really is so boring to start getting into the habit. The first 2 weeks in the MTC were SOOO boring, because it was just pure doctrine study 14 hours a day!! But now, I feel a daily need for it, just as my body needs food, our souls need spiritual nourishment. And while you all read 10 minutes a day, keep a journal near, and write down a thought you had while reading, or something you learned that day. Your day's will be so much better, it's a promise! 6: Write me more! I love hearing pointless random stories from your day! I love them! Anything weird little random thing I would love to read. Because I love the people in the family.

Well hour is up. Chao!

-Elder Nicholls

Well... - 10 May 2010

Well I don't have very much to say, because I just talked to everyone last night... I'm sorry I just talked and talked and talked and didn't hardly let anyone talk... There's just so much I want to say! And you know me, I'm just a talker.. And sorry you didn't get to hear much spanish.. Maybe for Christmas you will all get to hear my really professional language. HA!!!! We'll see.. I am really surprised that I can almost understand every word people say! And it's like an engine, my language, because in the beginning of the day, it is really hard to understand, but after an hour or so of just speaking spanish all day, it becomes way easier. And when I think about it, it's incredible that I am talking in a different language! So weird! Not bragging at all, but It's just something I'm going to try and keep my entire life. If I end up living in Tucson to start my family, I've pretty much decided I want to teach my children spanish and English while growing up, so they have a better chance of getting jobs and stuff like that around Tucson. Because there are so many job opportunities in Tucson if you're bilingual. But that's so far away, I'm not really worried of thinking about that.

Well I really do not know what to say... One story I wanted to tell you guys yesterday that I forgot, is that we saw 2 girls walking yesterday afternoon, and they were like 15 years old. And they were smoking. We told them to put them out, and one girl did, and the other didn't. We told them about how they are loved daughters of God, and that smoking destroys the beauty that God had given them, and they should be valient and make the right decision. One girl said she wasn't going to smoke anymore, and the other said nothing, and kept smoking. We have an appointment with her later this week, hopefully she gave us a real address.

That you for all the words of support! I love reading words of love and encouragement. I'm sorry if my letters are all boring and repetitious, but that's because I just can never remember things, unless I'm in a conversation. So, sorry. I hope Mom got spoiled rotten for Mother's day, and I hope everyone is healthy, and Lauren's weird rash goes away soon. Well, I'm going to go buy some food, and go home and clean some more, and hopefully sleep an hour or so before working tonight. I love each and every one of you guys, and am hoping I get Sam and Jenn's pictures in the mail today! Woot! Until next week, chao!

-Elder Nicholls

Hola! - 5 May 2010

Well The new change started today, and I am fortunately still in the same sector with the same compañero. Good. Because we have 4 baptismal dates this month and I wanted to stay here to see them go through. And we have 3 more that do not have a date, but others in their house have a date, and just have not taken the step yet. Ya Dad I totally understand what you mean about basically being blinded by the dark, and it really seems there is just a big fat wall behind their eyes, that blocks anything from entering their brains. People here always accept us in, just to be able to listen to the Good work of God, but only that. Nobody wants to act or do anything. Just want to sit and receive blessings, and knowledge.

Ya. I can never remember stories really when I sit down at the computer. But that´s what the journal is for. I played piano in church, and it was cool. I do not know how long this will go on for. Probably a one time only deal. It did not go very well, because nobody could sing along with the piano, and nobody knows what rests, and note length is. So it really is better without the piano, just because of the lack of talent. But I am in the stake choir, so I can at least feel the true strength of music an hour every other week. Sweet. Now that I am better at Spanish, I can convey my feelings a lot better, and be more friendly with people. But I still need to improve. I think I am about at 30% of where I want to end up with my language ability. Because I do not want to stop where all the other missionaries stop trying. I want to really be as fluent and knowledgeable in spanish, as in English. But whatever.

Well I hope everything is well. I have about 1 minute left before my timer runs out. Everyone have a good week and be on time to church you lazy herd of turtles!!!

-Elder Nicholls

4 months in... feels like 1 - 19 April 201o

Well that whole this with Yaritza was just that I knew she was going to be investigating. Yes we always offer service but never accepts, and we still teach them, and pass by every other day to say hello. We find almost 20 new investigators a week! We set so many baptismal dates, but everyone gives up, or reads something on the internet, closes up, and rejects us. But thing is, is that usually it is the Father deciding for the wife. And one family we teach that is really cool, the wife does not really want to go to church, but the husband does, and the husband told the wife that if he wants the family to go, they will go, because he is the head of the family, and she will obey him. So crazy! But I love them and they are probably my favorite family right now. They even invited us to lunch! Lunches here, is about the equivalence of letting someone borrow your lamborghini car. Because it is the most important time of the day, and even the schools are let out for 3 hours so the kids can go home and have a big fat lunch. So when someone asks you to lunch, it means they really really really love you. No joke. It is the event of the day.

There are a lot lot lot of inactive families here. While knocking neighborhoods, we will find inactive members, and we have to work with them to come back. Constantly find inactives, so our number of lessons taught during the week is cut in half, because half of our lessons are taught to less actives, so they do not count towards our total. Where I live, there is not a lot of damage from the earthquake. So I pretty much do zero service for that. In my next sector, maybe I will do that. But here, service is cooking, yardwook, and stuff like that. There are branches here Dad, that the attendance every week is about 80, but the membership for the sector is over one thousand. No joke. There are a lot of problems here with excommunication, having rights taken away, and things like that. So a lot of work here is reactivation. But still we teach a lot.

I cannot believe I have been on the mission more than 4 months! Holy guacamole! And my spanish is growing like crabgrass! And I still feel like I am going to train soon, and it is scary.. Wow. we give like 5 blessings a week. I need more oil because mine is all gone. Weird. But it is fine with me.

One of the best things about being a missionary is making promises. As a missionary, I have power and authority to promise certain blessings to people, if they do certain things. Like I promise people that if they have family prayer daily, while investigating the church, their unity as a family will grow beyond that is has ever been. Rarely people follow what I say, but it is so crazy and cool when people DO it. I love watching people follow guidance given by literally heavenly servants, and it works! It just makes my testimony grow when I see people progress and improve their lives!

Bueno, yo quiero escribir un poco en español para mejorarlo. Lo que me encanta es que yo tengo el ascento de un Chileno. como cuando yo digo yo, o llamo, o cosas así, yo digo cho y sho juntos. ¡me encanta! Pero lo que yo odio mas que nada es que fijamos citas cada día, y fechas bautismales, y cada person falla en su promesa al Señor. a mí no me importa. Pero ellos estan prometiendo algo al Señor, quien realmente puede castigarles. Cuando yo he visto progreso y algo bueno en sus vidas, y despúes rechazarlo, me hace triste, y yo tengo que aguantarlo. A veces en la noche cuando me estoy acostado, yo medito, me pregunto, y pienso acerca de mis investigadores, y casi lloro a causa de eso. Si alguin hubiese visto algo que esta mejorando su vida, ¿porqúe lo rechazaría? Eso no tiene sentido a mí. Yo quiero que mí familia sea eterna, y que podríamos guardarnos fieles en la iglesia.

Well I gotta flee. Talk to you guys next week. Chao!

Oh Yeah - 12 April 2010

Well the work is fun. Let me tell you that. Today for p-day, we played soccer all morning, and it was so much fun. I went on divisions with the assistent to the president, and he told me I am among the top 3 best spanish speakers he has seen on his mission, that only have one change. SWEET! Because I totally freak out and study and stress about the language. It is just the most frustrating thing to take something that is so easy, that you have been doing your entire life, and take away all your power. Like talking. I have known how to talk as far back as I can remember. It is easy, and takes absolutely no thinking. But now, it is the biggest challenge of the day. It is like when you sleep on your arm, and you wake up, and have no feeling in it, and you seriously cannot control your arm whatsoever for like a minute. And it honestly is a scary thing when something, like moving your arm, is taken away from you. It is just a stresspool not being able to communicate. Divisions with Elder Garcia was awesome! I got to take a totally new guy through my sector! He knew very little spanish, so I was being depended on by him. It was such an amazing experience!

We had a zone conference, and they were announcing people that were being sent to Concepcion to build houses. But I was not picked. I think it would be an experience of a lifetime to go do service like that. Oh well. I still have 20 months to have more amazing experiences. So we have a for-sure baptism on the 25th of April, and a few more really really good families, that are waiting a bit, mostly because they have to stop partaking from their addictions, like smoking and tea really. Those are the two things we have to deal with now.

People are dropping out and falling from us like crazy. It is so sad and hard for me, to see people grow in the gospel, see them feel the spirit, watch their smiles, and watch them fall. I really do not understand how people do not accept this glad message. It really, truly does nothing, save it bring happiness and joy into their lives, and for eternity. When you open your eyes, and truly realize how little is expected of us in this mortal, probationary time, you become much more willing to follow with your covenants. God has given his eternity to serve us, sacrificed his son, and Jesus Crist suffered all the pains, temptations, and afflictions in the world so that he might know us personally. All this, and all that is asked for in return is to be baptized in the correct form, with the authority of Jesus Christ, live the life of the Gospel, which really is the best way to live: Health, prosperity, joy, and an abundance of all nessecities. But what really pains my heart more than anything, is when the Father of a family decides for the entire family, that nobody is allowed to follow the church, and rejects us from ever returning to the house. Because he is declining the chance of attaining salvation in this life, by his own closed mindedness. But with this in mind, I literally spend every waking second thinking of how to help my investigators recognize what is sitting two feet in front of their face. Every night, I think and dream of investigators somehow realizing that this Gospel is that thing they need in this life. A few nights I have almost cried at night thinking about a family that had rejected us that day. Not the feeling of rejection, but the chance of them not reaching salvation, and having to live a super hard life, withing the blessing of the Gospel in their life, that they were inches away from having. It is honestly like having something precious in your hands, and you want to give it to the World. You reach out your hands, and they touch it, and feel its luster, and crave it. But then for some reason, it drops from your hands, and crashes on the ground. Words just cannot describe this feeling I have. I feel like 2 years just is not long enough to master the work, and bring souls to salvation. But who says you have to stop being a missionary after the mission? NOBODY! I cannot wait to be fully trained here on the mission, so I can preach my entire life.

I love the mission. I love my family. They are everything to me. I love how everyone is finding happiness without me, and everything is going well. I can not believe I am changing lives in a different language! This is just so unimaginable to be bilingual! And Dad, I am going to learn Portugues after my mission. Gotta go, I have 30 seconds left. Chao!!

-Elder Nicholls

Wow, I am tired - 5 April 2010

Well today we decided to go for a big, long hike for P-day. I did not like it. I got so burned, and i am so tired, and have zero time to rest before going to work to a busy night. But whatever... Oh well. I am so dirty right now, I can not wait to get back to the house and shower! Oh my gosh! This thursday is going to be intense! So we do divisions a lot, like every other week for 24 hours. And this Thursday, I am going on divisions this Thursday with a brand new guy! He knows absolutely no Spanish! So I totally have to lead the sector and talk all the day! I can not believe they actually think I am ready for that! If they think so, I probably am. Having a Latino companion does help a lot, it really does. We found a Family, Maria y Segunda, and they do not know how to read or write. They never learned anything from the Bible, or ever followed a religion. But Maria loves God, and knows she needs to be baptized in order to live with his one day. They both had baptismal dates, and one day we went by to teach, and they rejected us. We kept asking why why why why, and finally we choked the answer out of her. Her children told her not to let us come by anymore, because we are evil, and do not care about her, only want her to join our cult. Oh my gosh. So sad. But we plan on going back anyways.

I am having visions or something! We decided to go knock the poorest house in the sector. A little shack with no doors, and out in the middle of a muddy field, made with cardboard and plywood and stuff. We were allowed in, and we asked for everyone in the house to listen. Then in walked the daughter. She looked so familiar, so I asked her if we had ever met, or ever talked. She said she had never ever seen me. I told her that I knew she had a name that was not usual. She told me Yaritza, and that is what I had been thinking of exactly! Then I had a vision in my mind, of me sitting in my desk in the house, looking through teaching records from the area book. That I was looking over a record for Yaritza, and it had her address, age, and lessons taught. Then my mind came back to reality. Then we taught an amazing lesson on the restoration, and are going back in a day of two. Oh my gosh! We are finding investigators like crazy too! But also almost all of our baptismal dates are dying, mostly because of outside influence. We talk to some people, and they say in their church, they are just taught growing up that the Elders are just bad people, not to be trusted, and should never ever let them talk to you. And people just grow up being taught this way. So sad.

We found a really interesting lady named Miriam. The second we found her, I had a little voice, or impression tell me that she would be very receiving, but that there is something wrong with her. Like something healthwise, but mostly mental health wise. I did not know what to think of that. But we taught, and she offered to say the last prayer. She thanked God for the earthquake, punishing the people of the Earth. And her prayer was quite long and weird. But actually not something too abnormal to the things I have heard in prayers here. But then for our next appointment she was not there. A day later we went back to check up on her. She told us that the day of her appointment she was in the hospital, because she always needs to go to the hospital because there is something wrong with her. She did not specify what, but I am freaked out by these weird visions I am having! It is kinda cool though...

Something we do here, is something you will never ever find in the united states. We walk up to random houses, mind you that every house has a gate in from of it, but we call Allo from the gate, and they come out. We talk a bit, and they do not seem very interested, but it is only because they are so closed minded. So we ask if they like Jesus Christ, and when they say yes , we shout Permiso! and open the gate and walk right into their house past them. They do not even do anything! Sweetness. I love Spanish. And I love teaching. Well we gotta go, because we are running really late because of that hike. Ciao!

Hello - 29 March 2010

So this week was cool.. We had every single appointment fall through the last 3 days, so we ended up doing contacts door to door and in the streets for more than 6 or 7 hours every day for the last few days...We are getting some baptismal dates, 2 are getting baptized on April 11, and some for the 24th.

I do not know if I already told you this, but I had an amazing experience the other day. We went to go and see a family that had not been contacted by the missionaries for several months. We called Allo, and they actually let us in! I had to do a little talking before convincing him first.. But I borrowed his guitar, and we sang Nearer my God to Thee, with me playing along, had a lesson about the restoration, and asked if there was anything we could do. In the lesson, for some reason I had felt prompted to talk about the healing power of the priesthood, and how it was restored through Joseph Smith. And he asked us a bit shyly, but asked us to give his sick 2 yr old a blessing. We told him in order for it to work you need faith, and he said he had it. So I anointed and my comp was the voice. Afterward he told us that right as we called at his door, he was praying, and trying to ¨prepare himself¨ to give a blessing to his daughter himself, even though it would have no affect. I love how the Lord really does guide us to people needing help. This week, we also gave another little 2 yr old girl a blessing too. And we checked back with both the families, and the blessing worked almost immediately, of course.

This week we found 14 new investigators, and taught 19 other lessons, and 6 with a member. But this morning my companion and I talked a lot, and we have new plans. We are going to double the standard of excellence in lessons taught a week, and find news like never before. Im going to test my faith in the Lord, and find how much I can really be a tool in the Lord´s hands.

Some funny experiences: We convinced a guy to just let us have a prayer in his house, and halfway through the prayer he starts bawling, and interrupts and starts saying his own prayer, and repenting for sins, and crying, crying, crying... Then we ended the prayer, and took his address, and told him we will pass by his house next week. Something I thought was really funny, but is a little hard to explain.. There was a house, and on both sides of the front door, were two windows. And in the little shelf in the window, inside the house, was a dog. And behind the dog, a curtain. He started barking at us, and after a minute, stuck just his head through the curtain, looking into his house. But at that exact moment, in the other window, a dog head poked in between the curtain. So it totally looked like a cartoon! With the head going in through one window, and magically poking out the other side! It was sooo funny I have no idea why!

Oh my goodness. Before the mission me and Dianna had a fireside with Emily´s ward. And during that, one R.M. stood up and said one of the hardest things on his mission was when there was a perfectly progressing family, and one day suddenly reject you. And I received a little revelation at that moment and knew in my heart that exactly that was going to be my downfall on the mission too. On Friday this last week, a Family of 5, who at the time was my favorite family, because they were sincerely interested, and LOVED having us there. The 15 yr old daughter loved the little tricks I would do with coins with the 2 yr old daughter, and thought my comp and I were just so funny. They knew we carried a spirit with us, a spirit of happiness and joy. But the Father is very closed minded. We went in Friday with a member from the ward, and immediately I knew something bad was happening. But equally, we went in, made everybody laugh a little bit, and just as we were about to start, the father spoke. He thanked us for everything we have done, but did not want us to come back. We asked every person if they still wanted to learn, and I know, I KNOW that when each one of them told us no, that it was a lie. That their Father was forcing them to say no. And I started crying. I knew in my heart that this Father was destroying their chance of being happy on this Earth, because of his own hardened heart. He was denying the chance of achieving salvation on the Earth for his family. And it was really hurting my heart to see this. Im going to cry now just thinking about it. It really was one of the hardest things I have done on my mission, to walk away from that house knowing we were not welcome there anymore. We left them with powerful testimonies, and a DVD of eternal families. The branch president is supposed to go by today to pick it up, and talk to them about what they liked, and bear testimony. So we will see what happens.

Well not much more I can remember right now.. But I am writing lots in my journal so after my mission I can recount all the stories, and have memories for a lifetime. Well I need to go and work on a map I am creating on the internet for our room. Until next week! Ciao!

-Elder Nicholls

Dianna Update -

Lobster anyone? - 9 June 2010

So being in Atlantic Canada is finally paying off. We made friends with a couple a while ago and they said that when it was lobster season they would have us over. And that's exactly what they did. They called us up and we went over the next day. They were still alive and we watched them put them in the pot living and come out dead. I had to hold my tongue at the moment but I know you'll ALL appreciate this. While they were cooking, Sally, the wife, said we might have trouble eating it because "It's looking at you." I'm not going to go into much detail about that comment because you all know EXACTLY my reaction to that comment. I held my tongue though and didn't even tell my companions about my past experiences with food "looking" at me. It was a little disturbing having to cut it and everything while it was still whole. It was REALLY good though. They gave us towels to wear as bibs and nutcrackers. They whole deal. Also, they melted a bunch of butter (Did I ever tell you they don't have sticks of butter here?) in a bowl and put it on the table for us to dunk our meat into. That's a heart attack if I ever saw one! I was good and only used the butter for part of the time. :) That was an experience I'll never forget! I'm sending a picture in a separate email.

So, we went to that members house (The Ross') who is allergic to scents. We did our absolute best but still know we failed because we didn't take into account all of the houses we would be in before we went and the hug we would give to a friend who, it turns out, has the worst smell of anyone according to Sis. Ross. We hope she doesn't hate us and knows we tried.

There is an adventure going on today at our apartment. We're getting new windows! So all day, since 7:45 am there has been a bunch of noise, and a lot of mess. Our study this morning wasn't too effective. Also, at first they told us we had to stay there the whole time but we said they could stay while we're gone because we really had to go. It's looking really good though. When he took off one of the windows we heard him say to our landlord "There's a hole over here." That explains the bugs. Hopefully these new windows will reduce the number of bugs. First the number will increase though because there are gaping holes in our walls! We're excited for less bugs. Last night we had a contest to see who had the most current bug bites. Sister Peaden won with 11 but I came up with a close 9. Sis. Hamblin is a lucky duck with only 4. Pretty much all of these occur while we're sleeping too.

Sister Simpson (the mission president's wife) came and joined us for a couple hours on friday. She came with us to a lesson and broke her down so that we could get to the root of the problem. It was AMAZING! Then we split up and went knocking. She came with me! We only had an hour and this is how it went. We were walking up to the first door and I said "Let's see who's behind door number 1." She says "You do door number 1. I'll watch and then do door number 2." I said that was fine and we walked up and rang the door bell. We saw through the door that it was an old man. She said "Awww, it's an old guy." He opened it and said "What are you selling?" Sister Simpson jumps right in and says we're not selling anything and he welcomes us right in, we teach him for an hour and then head home. That woman has no idea how good of a missionary she is! She hasn't had too many chances to be a missionary. She came with us when I was a trio in Halifax and then here. I'll going to train her right! Just kidding, she's such a sweet woman.

Investigator updates (or new stuff most likely)
~ Sam Legassie: She has a baptismal date of September 4th. It's forever away because she has to get married first. She is the one we brought Sis. Simpson to meet. We talked about eternal families. It was nice to have her there because she talked about all the family members she has been blessed with and how they each have the gospel in their lives because she lived worthily and raised them knowing about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
~Andrew Sullivan: This will be short. We taught him. Committed him to baptism. He said yes. We set up a return appointment. He calls the next day and drops us.
~Helen Little: An old, funny lady. Her sons are members and served missions but she isn't a member and isn't interested in joining but loves taking care of the missionaries because she knew that people were taking care of her sons while they were serving. She is practically deaf and we have the funniest moments with her. I'd like to share 1 story with you. We called to confirm the night before that we were coming the next day. This is how it went.
Helen: "Hello?"
Sis. Peaden: "Hi Helen, how are you?" (mind you, this is all shouted, literally. Also, we put it on speaker phone for the enjoyment on those listening)
Helen: "Who is this?"
Sis. P: "Sister Peaden"
Helen: "Who?"
Sis. P. : "Sister Peaden. The Sister missionaries."
Helen: "Oh dear... Spell your name."
Sis. P: "P"
H: "Oh dear..."
P: "It's the missionaries"
H: "Is this the dentist? I cancelled that appointment."
P: "This isn't the dentist. It's the MISSIONARIES."
H: "Oh dear... I cancelled that appointment."
P: "Helen, it's the missionaries."
H: "OH the missionaries! Hi, how are you?!"
The conversation continues but you get the idea. Sis. Hamblin and I were laughing so hard we were crying. She is the cutest thing you'll ever meet.

I love you all so much! I'm finally into the missionary groove. I had a weird moment the other day. Life before missionary life was long enough ago that I'm not too attached anymore, people have moved on without me. And life after the mission is still really far away, so I'm stuck in the middle. All I have is missionary life. Everywhere I look, I'm a missionary. I still have my moments where I'll miss someone or something, but it passes. I'm doing all I can to keep my time and attention on the work and know that lives will be blessed because of it. Keep me in your prayers, you're in mine. LOVE YOU!

Sister Nicholls

What a week! - 2 June 2010

I went on exchanges with the sisters in Kingston, they're only about 30 minutes away. Sister Hamblin went there to be with Sister Ferrell and Sister Brandley came here to be with me and Sister Peaden. It was SO fun! We got to have Sister Brandley walk the Wolfville hill. It made us feel really good because it wasn't too hard for us anymore. Oh, by the way, Sister Brandley is 1 inch taller than what is considered a midget....That's 4'9" or 4'10" I can't remember... Anyway, she's short. It's really fun to walk with her and stand next to her at doors. She's a really good missionary though, and really fun. That was a good experience.

To exchange back we met in Wolfville and went to the Apple Blossom festival Parade. It has been the talk of the town ever since I got here. They promised thousands of people, so we thought we'd do some contacting. We split up but only talked to 3 sets of people! No, only 3 sets of people would talk to us. This was before the parade too. When the parade started we took a seat on the grass and enjoyed. It was like a really long small town parade. Tons of bagpipers, some town criers (those were cool), a lot of costumes (salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, bears, mailbox, coffee cup, chester cheeto, an ear, lame superheros, and many others), MOUNTIES! they didn't ride horses though, they just marched, lame. That was a cool experience.

This sunday we visited the Baptist church because a members husband goes there and he invited us. It was really good. They had a really good sermon. It just made me sad because there is so much MORE they could add to what they preached. I wanted to get up and say, yes, you're right, BUT... While we were there we saw: someone who plays bean bag toss with us at the old folks home, someone who was baptized in OUR church last year who we can never get to come to church (and her nose is pierced now, SHE'S 11!), someone we were referred to a couple weeks ago, she got excited and we taught her the next day...that was good, and it turns out the pastor was someone Sister Hamblin met before I got here while she was knocking and he was really rude, we met him afterward and he covered nicely. It ended up being very beneficial. The guy who invited us even said he thinks he'll visit our church now. :D

We had stake conference this sunday as well and it was a special sunday. It was broadcast from Vancouver, BC to all the stakes and Districts in Canada and it had 3 general authorities. Glen L. Pace of the seventy, M. Russell Ballard and Pres. Uchtdorf. It was wonderful! Pres. Uchtdorf talked a lot about Canada and it's history in the church. He even pointed out that he wore a maple leaf pin. He's so funny. We even had an investigator come, he thought it was interesting. We're excited about him, his name is Andrew. Hopefully you'll hear more about him in the near future. One thing Pres. Uchtdorf mentioned that I really liked was being temple worthy and he said along with having our CTR rings stand for Choose The Right we should also say Current Temple Recommend. I love that!

A knocking story: As we approached the house we saw...llamas. Yes. Llamas. That's not all, definitely not. There were chickens. Loose chickens. (At least the Llamas were in a pen.) THEN when we knocked we heard a dog howl, and then another, then another, another...etc. It was HILARIOUS. We couldn't help but laugh every time we heard another dog start howling. No one answered unfortunately, but it was my favorite door of the day.

Another knocking story: Unfortunately this one may be a had-to-be-there moment. I'll do my best to get you there. Scene: knocking in a trailer park. It's raining. It's windy. We each have an umbrella. We're at a door. Talking to someone. A gust of wind comes by, my umbrella turns inside out...luckily, it blew away from the person at the door and away from my companions. If you thought that was funny, you haven't heard anything yet. At the exact same moment. Sister Hamblin's umbrella gets caught by the same gust of wind and it also turned inside out... unluckily, it went right at me. The water that was on top of her umbrella was now on me, the force of the umbrella snapping backwards sprayed it all over me. THEN I couldn't get my umbrella to turn back the right way so it proceeded to rain on me. Long story short: I got wet, really wet.

Well family, those are the stories I've got for you today. I hope you enjoyed them. I love you all and hope you are all doing well. I'll talk to you next week!

Sister Nicholls

Good morning from sunny Nova Scotia! - 26 May 2010

It's actually not sunny at the moment but it's been sunny for the last 3 or 4 days! It WONDERFUL! It's been in the high 20's all the way up to 31 degrees! Woohoo! I'm having a ball! The sun though is getting the best of me. I was so busy enjoying it that I forgot that I'm SUPER white from the long absence of sun that I burn in no time at all. Luckily I'm smart and remembered to wear sunscreen, so it could be a lot worse. What's funny is that I have a tan line on my feet from my shoes, but I'm wearing nylons! I guess I technically shouldn't say "tan" line because it's really just white and whiter. One of my companions, Sister Peaden, is practically black. She tanned SO fast, it's ridiculous! We're in the sun the exact same amount of time but she looks like that and I'm still pasty white! NOT FAIR! The nice part about all this is that I'm handling the heat a lot better than my companions. When it was 31 degrees it was pretty uncomfortable but I'd MUCH rather have that over -20 degrees! YIKES! What's crazy is that people were telling us that it doesn't normally get that hot until July and that's as hot as it gets. So I'm not worried about the summer at all.

Along with the sun comes the humidity and our apartment is practically dripping! Our towels never dry and it always feel muggy and THEN we discovered that we have a DE-humidifier! My reaction was: What in the world is that?! It turns out it sucks the moisture out of the air and makes everything cool and comfy, I'm in love. The bad part about all of this is that it's LOUD! I'll get over it though, we'll just start talking louder. I never knew though that there was such a thing but it makes sense because we have a humidifier back home, so there would be an opposite.

Since Sis. Peaden joined Sis. Hamblin and I we've had to do a lot of rearranging. We took the dresser out of our bedroom and put her bed in there. They're all in a row with just a foot between each and nothing else in the room. It feels like a prison. She has to use the kitchen table for a desk because they refused to give us an extra because one of us will be leaving in 6 weeks. There will be another sister coming into the mission so there will be no need for a trio, thank goodness. So it's been adventurous. The great news about all of this is that I'm absolutely in love with Sis. Peaden. She's such a cute girl. She's so kind and gets along really well with both Sister Hamblin and I. We're still working on teaching in unity but it's getting better everyday. We've been doing so well that we committed someone to baptism last night and she said yes. Her date isn't until September though because she has to marry her boyfriend first. She's really excited about it though. We almost commited someone else to baptism last night too but we all chickened out. 2 of us felt like we were supposed to but didn't know that until after we left. We have plans to commit him next time. The reason why we chickened out is that we had only met him the day before! He's going to come to church though and he is really excited as well.

I'm really loving it here in Wolfville. We have some awesome investigators. Sadly, one of our awesome investigators moved to New Brunswick. The good news about that is that NB is still in our mission so we just called up the Elders where she's moving to and told them about her. I hope everything works out for her.

I've told you before that we live on the top of the top of the Wolfville hill. Well, I'm finally getting used to it! It's practically effortlesss. We try to walk it once every day because we've noticed that when we miss a day then the next day is back to being hard. Sad, eh? I wish it wasn't like that. It's so embarrassing to stop someone while you're huffin' and puffin' up the hill. No one has said anything though so either we're good at hiding it or they're really nice about it. They probably understand.

We had a cottage meeting this week. It's like a fireside but tiny. It's invite only and at a members house. It's for teaching nonmembers but we have the members run it, the missionaries just come. At this cottage meeting, after it was all over, we played Cranium. They wanted us to stay and play so we did for a little while. It was really funny because only us 3 missionaries knew how to play but then we ended up having trouble because it turns's a Canadian edition! We hadn't even thought that it would be different! The action cards were pretty general but the questions were HARD! Luckily I was on a team with Sis. Mollis (yes, the moldy sister) and she is REALLY smart! I had NO idea! We got 2nd place. Oh the things you learn about people.

Love you all!
Sister Nicholls

Transfers: Consistency? Yeah right!!! - 19 May 2010

Yes, it's true. I do have a curse on me. I can't have any sense of consistency. I totally thought I was set to stay with Sis. Hamblin here in Wolfville. Well, technically I am. We're just getting a 3rd sister. That's right. I'M IN ANOTHER TRIO! ... Apparantly the Lord needs me in this trio in Wolfville. I hope I can pull from my experiences in my last trio to benefit this one. I really want everything to go smoothly. I'll pray extra hard and I know things will work out.

So, Sister Hamblin is sort of hard of hearing. So I often need to repeat myself. I've gotten use to it and it's no big deal, but the roles were reversed for one split moment. We were at a door and we asked where they were from and they said Cape Breton (which is northern Nova Scotia) BUT I thought she said Great Britain, so I asked What brought you to Canada? She just looked at me really weird and explained it to me later. It was quite embarrassing. No wonder she didn't want to talk to us...

While knocking last week we met the coach of the amateur baseball team here and he wanted us to join. NOT HAPPENING! But we told him that one of the Elders (Elder Novakovich) near by plays and he gave us his number to give to him (this was an hour long conversation by the way, you're getting the REALLY light version of it.) He even thought Novakovich would look great on a jersey. So we give the number to Elder Novakovich and he gets really excited and actually went to practice twice and played in his suit! I think that's hilarious but it's also sad because he's Zone Leader so he needs to be an example to us. He realized that he shouldn't be doing it so he gave up, but it was funny how into it he was, he was so excited to play baseball again.

After District meeting this week we went to eat at this place called Jungle Jim's. The menu was hilarious! The names of the items were Hungry Hippo, The Kitchen sink, The Bathroom sink. MEXI-COmbo, Crocodile skins, etc. It was fun, cheap, and tasty, not too shabby! It's fun to find those kind of places.

That's pretty much it. I typed extra fast today. LOVE YOU ALL!

12 May 2010

Wow, what to say. In way of investigators, cool story! We have this investigator named Brian and he's homeless at the moment. He is technically staying with his dad and gave us the phone number for the house but said he's rarely there. So we've been meeting at a park. Well, he didn't show up for an appointment so we figured that might be his way of telling us to go away but it didn't feel like he was ready to stop learning. We tried calling the number several times but there was never an answer. We decided to pray specifically for him each morning. We prayed that if we were meant to, we'd find him. A couple days later we were heading to an appointment but we were early so we were taking it slow, and we saw Brian walking down the street! We hurried and pulled into a parking lot and started speed walking toward him. We felt like we were never going to catch up to him. Sister Hamblin took a stab in the dark and called his name. To our astonishment he heard us! He had a big smile on his face too. The first thing he said was "I'm sorry I wasn't there, I got caught up in an arguement and forgot and when I realized later I felt bad for not calling. I should have called." Then he asked when we could meet with him again. We're seeing him tomorrow and we're really excited. He is in such a humbling situation and is really ready for the gospel. Although we meet in parks and coffee shops we can still feel the spirit really strong. We're hoping to have him at church soon and then meeting at members homes.

Today a member took us to Blue Beach which is made up of fossils. There isn't any sand on the beach. I touched the Atlantic ocean though! We got to pick up fossils and then go to the little museum they had and identify what we found. It was really fun. Then since we were the only ones there they gave us a tour. They talked ALOT about evolution and we just wanted to talk to them about God so bad but we weren't even in our proselyting clothes, just jeans and hoodies. Also, they weren't going to have time to listen, it picked up when we left. I wonder what would have happened though...LOVE YOU! Sister Nicholls

Dandelion Central - 5 May 2010

You would NOT believe how many dandelions are here! I should really take a picture. They're weeds but they are pretty. We were talking to someone the other day who said they were glad to see Dandelions in their garden because they're so pretty. What?! Some of them have died too so we got to blow them and spread seeds so that they can enjoy them MORE! It was fun.

Guess what? I saw a bumble bee for (I'm pretty sure) the first time in my life. Those things are HUGE! They're mostly black too. It's so weird, all the different bugs here. Luckily, we haven't had a wasp in our apartment since last week.

Our ward had an event this past weekend. It was a fundraiser for the youth so they could go to camp and EFY. They had a free spaghetti dinner and a dessert auction. It's something they do every year so it is a big deal. The youth served us salad, spaghetti and garlic bread and people made and brought desserts to auction off. There were SO many desserts. We had an investigator there and 2 potential investigators, it was good but sad at the same time because no one came to introduce themselves. Luckily they still had a great time. One of the women in the ward came over and gave us a $20 bill so we could bid. We bought a maple cheesecake for $10 and gave the rest to the Elders and they bought a coconut cake from scratch. We shared, they were both WONDERFUL! We made homemade oreos but here they call them whoopie pies, I've never heard that before. They were good, they sold for $11 too.

So for the first time ever I had a Donair! Someone fed us and that's what we had. Donair meat is it's own kind of meat, who knows what it really is. But we put it on a pit with donair sauce which is sweet, chopped tomatoes and fried onions and ate it like a wrap/taco. It was really good but really unhealthy. But now I can say that I've had it. Their next goal is to have us try poutine, that's french fries with gravy and cheese. I'm a little more scared about that one.

A couple from the ward is taking me and Sister Hamblin sight-seeing later today. We're excited. They said they're going to take us to a good ice cream place too. I'm excited about that but sad that today is cold and cloudy. Yesterday was nice and sunny. I'm jealous that it's warm there. But not sad to miss the LONG summer. I'm still wearing at least a sweater every day and it's MAY for heaven's sake! My arms haven't seen the sun since I left, so yes, they're REALLY white. My feet and legs and horrendous too, I don't know what I'm going to do when I get home and wear capri's and flip flops, I don't want to blind everyone, it was bad enough before I left.

Did I ever tell you that every other person here thinks they know me? Well, it's getting worse. I've told Sis. Hamblin that it has happened my whole mission and now everytime someone asks if they know me she gives me a look that says "not again." I think it's funny. We had this one member tell me that every time she sees me she trys to figure out who I remind her of. She figured it out, her neice. She showed me her neices wedding pictures. I'm flattered because her neice is GORGEOUS! I don't think I look anything like her but take it as a wonderful compliment.


Sister Dianna Nicholls

Wasps in Wolfville (and other scary things)‏

Wasps, yes, wasps. There have been a total of 3 wasps found in our apartment. 2 are dead and 1 is dying. The first one we went at it with a fly swatter. Scary situation. When you miss, they get angry. Yeah...THEN we tried a different tactic the next time around. It was sitting in our kitchen sink. We trapped it in a jar and just left it there for an entire day. The next morning we got it to climb up the jar and we put the lid on it. It lived to see another day. We decided to name it Wallee and keep it as a pet. They seem so harmless when their safely behind glass. Sadly, he's losing strength and we're going to lose our pet soon. That's a good thing because we're not allowed to have pets. #3 wasn't as lucky. We found a can of RAID and it promises to kill on contact. #3 was on the window and I went at it with the raid. IT DIDN'T DIE! I was afraid it was going to come after us, so I kept spraying it BUT IT WOULDN'T DIE, Sister Hamblin finally came and killed it with the fly swatter. That was traumatic! I'm such a baby. We've been having spiders too but they're sneaky. They see that we see them and they run and hide in the nearest hole or crack. EWW! I couldn't sleep a couple nights ago because of it all.

We've been teaching a bit more. We have this one investigator named Brent who has the cutest little girl in the world named Jaida. He's really open to the gospel and the Plan of Salvation really appeals to him. We've been bringing a member of our ward, Sis. Whynacht, and they get along fabulously! I'm excited for him to progress and actually come to church one of these times. His work schedule isn't allowing it at the time. We also started teaching this girl named Sam. We met her and her boyfriend, Nathan, and his daughter, Kaylee(Sp?) at church. They sat next to us a couple weeks ago and I figured they were members because they seemed to blend right in and I only knew a handful of people, but after sunday school someone introduced us to them and I chuckled and told her I was new here. (I had introduced myself earlier.) They have a cool story. Nathan was baptized in 2004 but became inactive 4 years ago. He was married before and has Kaylee from that. Sam and Nathan have been together for over a year now and moved to Wolfville a couple months ago. One day Nathan decided that he wanted to go back to church so he looked up the building and just showed up! We're so glad he did! Sam is really excited about learning about the gospel and we're super excited to teach her. We're pretty sure she plans on getting baptized, we heard them talking about it. Cool, eh? (jk about the eh) Side note, we finally met a crazy Canadian that says eh after 4 or 5 words, it's really annoying, I'm glad everyone doesn't talk like that.

Well, I don't think there's anything else at the moment, so I'm going to let you all get back to work! Move on with your lives please!
Love you!
Sister Nicholls

New Stuff - 14 April 2010

My new companion, Sister Hamblin, is SO cool! We're quite alike and are getting along pretty well. She is still technically a greenie because her trainer went home, this is only her 2nd transfer. You would NEVER guess that she's new though, she's better than me most of the time. People here, since they know her, think I'M the new missionary, it's kinda funny.

Wolfville (pronounced Wooful if you're from here) is quite interesting. This is my first ward and there is actually a set of Elders in it as well because it's so big. Our apartment is on this GINORMOUS hill! We street contact on it alot and it's embarrassing because I'll be out of breath trying to talk to someone (if we're going uphill). It's SUPER long and parts are SUPER steep. I once complained about the hill in Montague on the way to the library, that is like an ant hill in comparison to this monster of a hill! I'm serious. What's funny too is that there is this one hill that's a bit taller that people refer to as "the mountain". It's HILARIOUS because it is NOT a mountain. Sister Hamblin (who is from Utah) and I laugh everytime we hear someone call it the mountain. One person was telling us that she moved to Wolfville because of the beautiful mountains. These people need to take a trip to where there are real mountains. You gotta love 'em!

Halifax-practically no dinner appointments, Montague-about 3 a week, Wolfville-5 a week! What is this?! I'm going to tell you a bit about each of the 5 regulars here because I've now met them all. Thursday-The Burgan's. I had JUST arrived in Wolfville and we go to their house. It turns out, Bro and Sis Burgan are in the Hill Cumorah Pageant each year. Bro Burgan does security and Sis Burgan is a nurse. I told them I was there last year and they got really excited because they remembered me announcing my mission call. They said they'd been waiting for me to get there. It was fun and awkward at the same time. It was fun because we had something to talk about but awkward because my companion and the Elders were sitting in silence. Oh well, people just love me, what can I say? JK. Friday-The Whynacht's (pronounced Why not, cool huh?) She's a dietician so it's healthy food, thank goodness. He used to be a rockstar until he joined the church, cool conversion story that saved their marriage. Sunday-The Van Der Merwe's. They're from South Africa, we'll he is at least, cool accent. They have 3 adorable girls and they are so fun to talk to.

Guess what?! I'm in the ward choir! Yeah, I'm shocked too. Apparently, the choir director is very set on having the missionaries there. I'm pretty sure that's not my favorite thing to be doing. They have a good accompanist too so I couldn't offer to do that instead. I'm working on getting us out of there.

I miss you all lots and hope all is going well. I hope you're not missing me as much as I'm missing you because I know that's not fun, trust me.
Sister Dianna Nicholls

SPIDERS! - 7 April 2010

There are spiders EVERYWHERE! You all know how much I HATE spiders. The sun came out (I wore short sleeves on saturday and sunday, and only a light sweater since then) and so did the spiders. We are welcomed by a spider building a web right outside our door everytime we come home. And it's always a new one because we kill the previous tenant. One night we were walking home and on our street Sis. Ferrell was stepping on every spider she saw, which was every 3 inches or so, they are literally everywhere, I was just freaking out, but not in an embarrassing way because we were still outside in public. We have also found at least 5 inside the house this week alone. I can't promise I wasn't embarrassing then. We also have these other bugs called silver fish, gross. I hope my next apartment won't be so infested, but probably it will be the same.

I found out where I'm going, Wolfville, Nova Scotia. I leave 6 am tomorrow, drive 45 minutes to Charlottetown, change cars, drive about 2 hours to Moncton, NB, get on the transfer van, ride 3 hours to Dartmouth (Halifax practically), eat lunch there, meet my comp Sis. Hamblin, drive the 1-2 hours to Wolfville. Fun, eh? I counted, I get to move my luggage 5 times! We're so not ready to go either, it's hard to have both of us pack and also pack the apt. I don't have a clue how both of our stuff is going to fit in the car. We'll start with a prayer I guess.

I hope you all enjoyed General Conference because I sure did! There were some really good stories. I really liked the one where Elder Hales' grandson took him by the face and said "Grandpa, are you in there?" I REALLY loved the story, I forgot who it was...Foster? The story of Paddy Pig or something. Coat, jacket; line, rope. There aren't any words, how do you know? Mom told me. Who has the authority in this house? You do. How do you know that? Mom told me. LOL! That was SO funny and I laugh everytime I think of it because it is SO true! Mom's are the most influential. It's because of MY MOM that I'm the person that I am. Personally, I think she did a good job. :)

I forgot about BINGO. It was my last week and not too exciting. Rennie (Her full name is Irene) wasn't there, she's the one I've been with the past 2 weeks. So afterward I went to find her in her room. She was just laying in bed. I told her I was leaving and she was SAD. I took a picture with her and promised to bring her a copy but just realized we haven't brought it to her yet, we'll have to do that right after this. I have really enjoyed going there and being with those people, they just LOVE company, I'm going to miss being that loved.

I love you all,
Sister Nicholls
aka Dianna

31 March 2010 - I've been gone 6 months!

We had a wonderful baptism this past sunday. Colleen was baptized. We were all a little nervous about it because she has a big fear of water. She spit and sputtered a little when she came up but luckily she did it wonderfully so that she didn't have to have a redo. Both Colleen and Shelley (the one who was baptized last week) live in community care which is practically a nursing home, so we see them together and often. We broke the news to them a couple days ago that we are leaving and they took it silently. It wasn't until later that we got their reactions. When we saw them on monday they told us that they were afraid no one would visit them. We reassured them that their home and visiting teachers would come each month and the Ballard's were sure to stop by often. They're still really upset though. They then called us yesterday and asked if we wanted to join them for supper next sunday and then having like a family home evening. This is cool because they're going to tell their kitchen staff and everything, so we get to eat in their little cafeteria and everything. I'm telling you, the members here LOVE to feed the missionaries. I'm feeling it start to take a toll on my body, good thing I'm getting out of here soon. As a good bye gift we printed out the pictures we took of Sis. Ferrell and I with each of them at their baptisms and bought cheap frames to put them in and we're going to give them to them. They're just going to LOVE it!

I'm really excited for General Conference! I feel like a kid in a candy shop, it's going to spoil me rotten! This branch is going to project it on a screen and play it from the internet, it's going to be great. Good luck focusing with all the kids. I always had the hardest time focusing at home, I did much better at the stake center or at the Institute. I've been gone 6 months now! My first weekend away was General Conference. I can't believe I'm already 1/3 finished! I still feel like a newbie. Sister Ferrell will be 1/2 done next week.

Because we're leaving next week we've been trying to wrap up what we can and pass others on to members and the Ballard's. We are booked solid with dinner appointments and 2 lunch appointments. We also have been trying to get a hold of all of our investigators and people we've met. We're slowly contacting them and bringing people by to meet them. My favorite I'm going to share with you. There is this older gentleman named Ron. We knocked into him about a month ago in really bad weather and in a very unfriendly neighborhood. He only opened the screen door a crack so only I could hear him. We talked for about 5-10 minutes and he said we could come back. We went back to see him a week or 2 later and he was out working in the garden because the sun was out. He was super friendly. We visited for only a short time and told him we'd see him later. We went back last friday and he was in the process of taking worms out of a bucket of dirt and putting them in a different bucket of dirt. (We later learned it's for trout fishing). He invited us in and we talked for a good 20-30 minutes. We ended up giving him a Book of Mormon. He was REALLY excited to have the chance to read it and even MORE excited when I told him he could have it (he thought he was just going to borrow it). We decided to stop by on monday to see how it was going. We brought the Ballard's with us. It turns out he was honest about his excitement. He said that he'd stayed up until 3:30 am friday and saturday night skimming a browsing and then decided to read it from the beginning. He was already in 2 Nephi! He was actually even reading it when we got there! Mind you, he wasn't expecting us. He had even been book marking parts and we started asking him about it and he said that he completely agrees with everything that he's been reading so far. During his skimming he came across Moroni 8 about infant baptism and he says he totally agrees with us. He even thinks that Joseph Smith could be a Prophet. He's really excited to keep reading and the Ballard's are really excited to teach him. Sis. Ferrell and I are really excited that this is happening, it's amazing to see people finally come to some sense in this world. Ron said that he was raised Protestant and Catholic and he never agreed with either one. He even said that he's been quite the loner for some time and would NEVER let ANYONE into his house. He usually wouldn't even open the door if anyone came to it. He told us that he didn't know why he opened the door to us that day a month ago and why he was even pleasant to us but he said that he's glad that he did. Then he said he was happy to see us the next 2 time we came by and wasn't hesitant at all to invite us in. This made me feel really good because Terry had said that he wasn't approachable and didn't know why he spoke to us the day we met him. I'm seeing Ron going really far. I bet he'll be baptized not too far down the road. Sad though that I'll miss it. Who knows, maybe I'll be back here when they put missionaries back in Montague.

Bingo. That's right, there's another story. The same lady that cursed last week, when I walked in she got a really big smile on her face and pointed at the chair next to her signaling for me to come sit with her. I was surprised but delighted to do so. She spoke more this week and not so colorfully. I also helped another woman too I actually ended up with a headache this time because one of them needed me to push the cover down for them and the other only needed me to point to which one to cover and then she did it herself, I also had a board of my own. Looking at 3 boards after every number is called and then remembering who needed what help each time just didn't work, so I got rid of my own board. On our way out one of the other women there gave us an invitation to an art gallery open house they were going to have, which was yesterday. We told her we'd try to come. It ended up fitting in our schedule so we stopped by. They were all so happy to see us there. The art was all stuff they had done in their art class. They were so proud. Some of it was actually really good too. They had really tasty treats too that, of course, they wouldn't let us leave without having. As we were eating, a man cam and asked us who we were and where we were from and all that and then we did the same about him. It turns out, he's the mayor of Montague! He was really funny and when we told him that we needed to go he gave us his business card as a little keepsake, how sweet. The people in this tiny town are so very interesting.

I love you all bunches! Happy Easter!
Sister Nicholls

24 March 2010 - It's precipitating on me!

It's Spring! So, it's rainy. And still cold. Fun. I'm not used to it being cold AND rainy. I'm also not used to it raining and never letting up or stopping. It's not a heavy rain but it's consistent. No monsoon here, but I might rather have that. No matter the weather here though we are outside everyday for at least 2 straight hours, knocking or street contacting. We decided to knock yesterday because not many, sane, people were out for a stroll. We started out not very happy but ended up crying from laughter. The first response we got was; Ring door bell (broken), Knock, door opens (older woman), "It's wet. I can't be bothered.", door closes. Now, what's wrong with this situation? I know! SHE'S INSIDE! There are some interesting people here. I wonder if they realize how weird they sound. I don't think I ever told you what are most common problem is. We usually start off by saying something along the lines of "Hi, how are you?" "Good" "We're new here and wanted to come meet our neighbors and introduce ourselves, I'm Sister Nicholls." "I'm not interested." End of conversation. What?! Not interested in meeting your neighbors? How rude! I guess our tags and "Sister" does us in.

Anyways, back to the rain. I was carrying an umbrella and fighting with the crazy wind, it only went inside out twice, I'm proud of myself. But Sis. Ferrell decided to just wear her hood. I don't know exactly how it all played out but Sis. Ferrell, with her big vocabulary, used the word "precipitating" and that became the center of our enjoyment. We used it in sentences as such: "The sky is precipitating on me!" At one point my umbrella was dripping on her and I said "I'm precipitating on you." That's what got us really going. "Mom, he's precipitating on me." You get the picture.

I think I failed to mention last week that we had Daylight Savings. So now I'm 4 hours ahead of you. Also, we're back at having trouble getting out of bed. The sun had finally been getting up the same time as us and now we're back to getting up while it's still dark, humbug. Humbug, that reminds me of something funny that happened this week. I told you that we have an Elder here that is from France, well we were all getting together one day and working in Montague and it was going to end with a BBQ at a members house. We were excited and Elder Roll said, "I love hamburgers!" But it came out EXACTLY like Steve Martin says it in the movie Pink Panther! LOL!! It's Hilarious!

We had a baptism this past saturday, she had had her name removed from the church records years ago but has since felt the guilt and made the neccessary steps of repentance and it happy to be back. Her baptism went off without a hitch. It's a good thing too because we're doing it again on sunday! Her friend, another name removed, is being baptized! I'm really excited! They both live in a nursing home but are still relatively young, they've just got major health issues. We're hoping her friend actually makes it to her baptism, she's been missing church a lot lately because of a cough she'd had for 4 months now. Sheesh. We actually have another baptism coming up, but she wants to wait until May, she's 11 years old, her name is Cheyanne and she just wants it to be in her birthday month. I'm just glad she wants to be baptized.

I've got another Bingo story for you (you should play bingo at an old folks home sometime, it's a hoot!). I was assigned to another old lady in a wheelchair this week. She's really tall but she has shaky hands and didn't say practically anything so I needed to do everything for her. Luckily she knew how to play so that wasn't a problem. But everyone at our table was winning, and at the beginning of every game I told her we would win and she would smile, but it got down to the last game and she and I were certain she would win, but when she didn't you wouldn't believe what happened, she SWORE! I just turned and looked at her with a surprised look on my face, mouth open and everything, and she slowly covered her mouth with her shaky hand. It was hilarious. Sis. Ferrell on the other hand was assigned to Dora, she's the one who sits at the back of the room and shouts out "What was that?" after every number. When we got there, they told her to go help Dora and when we looked at her she was sitting with her head straight down on her BINGO card like she was already doomed to failure, I laughed out loud for a quick second when I saw her. One more thing about Bingo this week. There was an 80 year old VOLUNTEER who sat next to me and helped someone else, we talked a bit and she said she volunteers because she just needs something to do all the time. It's funny, here she is, as old as a lot of the people there and just having a grand old time. I hope to be her one day, not living at the home, but helping.

I think that's all I have for you today, I hope all is well and that you know that I love you.
Sister Nicholls