Sunday, June 20, 2010

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

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