Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dianna Update - 11 July 2010

A rainless week! - 7 July 2010

In the last seven days it was only cloudy once and it only barely sprinkled! I can't believe how it has changed! I was actually sweaty the other day! It was 30 degrees Celcius (about 92 F) with 40% humidity. Sister Ferrell and I saw a digital thermometer outside someone's house that said HHH degrees. We joked that it stood for Hot Hot Hot! Then we started singing that song that goes Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole! I'm feeling hot hot hot!

I've been in Canada WAY too long because something else was hot too: salsa. Sad day! I eat the hottest stuff I can find and it usually doesn't feel like anything but for some reason yesterday it was almost TOO hot! I was sad...I'm going to be a big wimp when I get home. Andrew, do you get a good share of spicy food there? I sure hope so. I'm betting you don't eat meat and potatoes very often, that's what I get several times a week.

Something else I get several times a week is strawberry shortcake. It's strawberry season and there are people picking them all the time. It looks like fun but I don't think we'll go because so far we've been given 3 boxes of strawberries, been served strawberry shortcake about 5 times, had rhubarb strawberry pie 3 times, strawberry pie once and someone made us rhubarb strawberry pineapple jam (YUM!). It's almost like a strawberry overload, but they're SO GOOD! I don't know if I'll ever be able to eat a store bought strawberry again.

Last week, when I was still in Wolfville we were knocking and guess who I met. Her name was Myrtle and she was 100 years old! 100!!!! She looked only 75 and she was still walking and everything. Also, I could have sworn her teeth were real! She didn't even have trouble hearing or seeing. I hope that I can age as well as her! I just wanted to sit and talk with her for hours but we decided we should keep knocking. She was telling us all about the differences in the valley since when she was a little girl. She had some cool stories.

I had a sad experience while knocking yesterday. Someone said the saddest turn down I'd ever heard. We were meeting this older lady. I said "Hi! We're coming around to get to know everybody, we're not from around here." (note: I had on a big, charming smile) Her response "I don't need to know you." End of conversation. Usually people will say they're not interested or something and I don't take it personally because I know they're not rejecting me, they're rejecting the message, but the way she said it yesterday kind of hurt. Luckily, I was only sad about it for 20 seconds or so. I just can't believe some people! Who would say that to someone?! I bet she had grandkids my age. I always wonder if anyone feels bad for their reactions sometimes.

On Thursday (Canada Day) we went to this museum that was open for free with music performers outside. We decided it would be a good opportunity to meet some people. It was, kind of. We did get to talk to someone for 30 minutes. This person was the town crier. Yes. He was dressed up and holding a bell and everything. His wife was in a dress to match the times as well. He told us that he is paid to announce things like weddings and birthdays. I've decided that I want a town crier at my wedding. That is...if there are even some in the states. He doesn't think there are. SO...He gave me his card and I'm going to come and be married in NS so he can announce it at my reception. It's all planned. Don't worry, I'll get married in the summer or fall so you don't have to deal with the snow or rain when you come. ;)

At church on sunday we sang O Canada for the opening song in sacrament meeting and we were pretty much the only people looking at the words. Luckily though I'm familiar with it already because of the Olympics. They then sang The Star-Spangled Banner for the closing song and we were the only ones without a book. I felt bad because the piano player didn't know how to play it very well. We ended up singing it rather slowly... I'm pretty sure this Branch doesn't know yet that I play the piano. Let's see how long it takes them to find out...

On monday we went to the Branches FHE at the beach. Beaches here don't have sand. We went out to a place called Port George and went a ways down the beach to find where the rocks were smaller. It was gorgeous there, I took several pictures. It was fun to walk on the beach in my skirt, a once in a lifetime kind of thing.

Oh! I almost forgot! I don't think I told you last week. I burned a tie for my 9 month mark! Sisters are supposed to burn nylons but I didn't want to. There was an Elder that was going home so he was giving out a lot of his ties at zone conference and he gave one to all the Sisters as well. Most Sisters sent them to someone at home and Sister Ferrell wears hers... but I picked the ugliest one with a big stain on it as well so that I could burn it. It was so fun, I got some pictures of that as well.

I don't know what else to tell you. I haven't heard from you guys in a while. I didn't get a letter my last 2 weeks in Wolfville and I haven't been in Kingston long enough for anything to have gotten to me from you. Sister Peaden said she'd forward to me anything I might get back in Wolfville, so don't worry about that. Well, I love you all very VERY much and hope you're enjoying the heat! Andrew, is it cooling off there? You mentioned rain. What's the temperature these days?

Love you!
Sister Nicholls

President has done it again... - 30 June 2010

That man NEVER ceases to amaze me! So, transfers are this week and we expected Sister Hamblin to be leaving, possibly going to the new area. The sisters had to open a new area because there was one more sister coming. We also were wondering who would train. We, again, figured Sister Ferrell because she has been out the longest and has never trained, but NO. This is what is happening: Sister Hamblin is going to Fredericton, NB (the new area) and is going to train the new missionary! Sister Hamblin is an AMAZING missionary so I'm not all that surprised, but she is one of the newer missionaries. That's not all though...I'm going to Kingston which is just a 45 minute drive from Wolfville and I'm going to be with Sister Ferrell...again.... Yeah, tell me about it. She is the sister I served with in Montague, PEI if anyone forgot. I am SO sad to leave Sister Peaden. She has been a great companion. Luckily, we will still be in the same zone and we can do exchanges. Speaking of exchanges, yesterday we had to go to Dartmouth because there was a trainors meeting that Sis. Hamblin had to go to. We dropped her off and went to do exchanes with Sis. Olsen and Sis. Billings. I went with Sis. Olsen and Sis. Peaden went with Sis. Billings (she trained her) and we went knocking. It was fun to be with an old companion again. It's weird also how much more you love someone after you no longer live with them....One day I'll figure that all out. So, since I won't be in Wolfville any longer, I called and got my new address for you it's another PO box.

1500 Bridge St. #B
P.O. Box 478
Kingston, NS B0P 1R0

I have a couple funny stories from this past week:

This is my favorite, we tell everyone! We were driving by this golf course and Sister Peaden says "Are those Nuns?" I look and say "YES!" Sister Hamblin didn't see them before we passed by so we turned around and pulled over to take a picture. There were these 2 nuns in their habits playing golf. No joke. We have laughed about it for days. It's so funny how they can do so much more than we can. I'm so glad that I got a picture of it. Sorry, it'll be a couple months before you get to see it.

I'd like to title this story Mosquito Pox. Ahem... We have been doing a lot of knocking and since it's wet and hot there are a lot of bugs, mainly mosquitos. And apparently they are not deterred by nylons. We took some time one night to count our bug bites. I had a total of 67 NEW bug bites. We hadn't counted the ones from a few days previous. I had 20 on my left leg, 39 on my right leg (mind you, these are all around the ankles), 3 on my arms, 1 on my finger, 2 on MY FACE, and 2 on the part on my scalp. It's been CRAZY! We decided that we want to write the Prophet and get permission to wear pants. JK. The Elders only had 1 mosquito bite each. I'm lucky I'm not Sister Peaden though, she has 80 bites! We look scary. Our legs are red and bumpy and our nylons rub them so they constantly itch! We finally got a chance to buy bug spray!

While we were knocking this weekend we came to this door that had a spider web next to it. (mind you, every door has a spider web next to it.) Anyway, a wasp flies by and gets stuck in the web. It's wings were twitching but couldn't get out. No one came to the door but we stayed a second to watch this unfold. After about 30 seconds of struggling it gives up, then out comes the spider, I guess he thought he'd go check out his food. Next thing we know, the wasp springs on the spider and eats it! Then the wasp just ups and flies away! I think the wasp was putting on an act to get some lunch!! It was the weirdest thing I think I've ever seen! Crazy Nova Scotian bugs!

So, today is my hump day. aka my 9 month mark, half way point. My companion are so sweet. They made me a poster that said Happy Hump Day It's all downhill from here. We love you and will miss you! And then they put funny quotes and experiences we've had all around it. I'm going to keep and cherish that forever. They're so perfect. I'm sad to be leaving them. To celebrate we're going to go get ice cream, I'm SO excited! It's not sunny today, that's a shame but it never really is, so I'll enjoy it anyway. :D

Tomorrow is Canada day! I'll be in Kingston and I have NO idea what is planned. Then sunday is the 4th of July. Here in Wolfville we have 2 BBQ's planned for the 4th. People are so nice to the missionaries. I'm sad that I'm going to miss them though. Hopefully Kingston has planned something.

Well family, I love you. I don't know how else to tell you that. Keep up the good work!

Sister Nicholls

Elder Pieper - 23 June 2010

I had the most amazing Sunday and Monday of my mission! Elder Paul B. Pieper from the quorum of the seventy was here with his wife. They spoke at a fireside and then at zone conference on Monday. It was all in Halifax so I got to go back and see a lot of the members from the YSA branch. Terry was there!!!!! We were the only missionaries outside of the Metro that were allowed to go on Sunday (oh and the Kingston Sisters) because the Sisters were asked to do a musical number at zone conference so we were allowed to go to the fireside and practice afterwards. Anyway, so we get there early and I'm just walking around saying hello to everyone and someone stretches out his hand and says hello. I shake his hand and he starts talking to me and it takes me a couple seconds to realize that it was Elder Pieper! I didn't even see him standing there! We only talked for 30 seconds or so and we both moved on. I really enjoyed the fireside. It was Q and A style and there were some really good questions and there were also some really lame ones. We learned that he lived in Kazakhstan for a couple years and they converted 50 people. Also he was the mission president of the St. Petersburg Russia mission. Monday was zone conference and when he came in he wanted to shake everyone's hand and have them tell him where we were from. So I got to meet him again. Something I hadn't noticed the day before was that he was missing the top 2 sections of his 3rd and 4th fingers on his right hand. Since they're in the middle, you can't tell when you're shaking his hand. He talked to us for 3 hours! It felt like 30 minutes! Time just FLIES when you're learning from the best. I learned so much about having faith in missionary work. It really is important. We've been applying so much of what we've learned and we found ourselves not wanting to quit working yesterday. We surprised ourselves at how much more we loved the work after we had that extreme spiritual boost. After he spoke we had lunch all together. I don't usually tell you what we ate but this is IMPORTANT! They made Chicken ENCHILADAS! and they were GOOD! They had some spice to it too! It made all of us Arizonans and New Mexicans so happy, then they us strawberry shortcake with fresh, local strawberries. Guys, I'm in fresh fruit heaven! They make so much here, and it's WAY better than anything I've ever had. Anyways...After lunch President Simpson comes over to the table where all the sisters were sitting and asked 4 of us (me included) to come with him. He takes us out into the hall way and tells us that Elder Pieper was going to interview us. WHAT?! So, I had about a 3-5 minute interview with a general authority. It was a great experience. He asked about my family, how long I've been on my mission, what the hardest and easiest things have been so far, etc. Then he gave me some great advice. He told me to always ask questions. He told me to never go on the down slope, never to look at the finish line and slow down (not his exact words). I just wants me to continue to learn and improve, never to plateau and think I know everything about being a missionary. I had planned on that but I now have a stronger goal to work my hardest all the way to the end. I've been told several times before that the end of the mission is just the beginning. That after we go home we are now knowledgeable about how to be a missionary to our peers for the rest of our life. I know that's good advice and I hope that I don't ever forget it. We still don't know why he chose to interview a handful of us. Some people think it's because President Simpson wants help deciding who is going to train this next transfer, there are 14 new Elders and 1 new sister coming. Others think Elder Pieper is doing some sort of survey of the mission and just interviewed people at random. I don't know if we'll ever know the real reason. I just feel so blessed to have had the experience. That is pretty much all that happened this week. It was such a big highlight that I've forgotten much else. Also since zone conference I have been developing my love for the people in this area. In Halifax I loved everybody and it has slowly been dying and I've realized that it has been making the work harder to do. At zone conference President Simpson talked alot about D and C section 4 and serving with our heart, might, mind and strength. He told us that he believes we're serving with all our might and strength but need to improve using our hearts and minds. So I'm praying more for a love for the people and it has already made a HUGE difference. Our lessons went fabulously yesterday and we were more in tune with the Spirit. I hope that we can keep that up. Also, they asked us to go through our investigators and drop anyone we didn't think was "elect" or we didn't think would be baptized any time soon. They said it would be hard but that we'd be blessed for it. So we went home, erased 3 of our 7 investigators and sure enough, it was difficult, but we were blessed with an elect investigator the very next day! She already wants to come to church, she wore a dress to the lesson to show respect like us, and she asked us how we could "convince" her husband that the gospel will bless her life. We were floored for all of these responses! We're so very excited to bring her into the church and watch her family be blessed for the choices she makes. We have a recent convert here that just moved from Vancouver. He was baptized in May and moved here right after. He's 21 and chinese. The Elders who taught him spoke Chinese so we thought this was going to be difficult, but it has been AMAZING! He understands us just fine and we pretty much understand everything he says and he knows so much about the gospel and already has an amazing testimony of it. Yesterday we talked to him about the plan of salvation and he was concerned for his parents and brother because he wants to be with them forever. We talked about him living as an example to his family and how there is still temple work that could be done for them after they die if they don't join in this life but what really got him was that I explained that because of the choices he is making now he can be sealed to his future wife and his children will be his forever and their kids, etc. I told him that he was doing a great thing for all of those spirits that were yet to come to the earth and how they were jumping for joy the day he was baptized. I pretty sure he was about to cry. He even prayed for those spirits in the closing prayer. He is so cool. I'm so proud of the YSA who join the church because it's not like it's the cool thing to do or because their parents want them too. Most of them have trouble explaining to their parents how much it means to them. They are the ones with the strongest testimonies, in my opinion.I'm grateful for the opportunities I've been so blessed to have here. I'm grateful for all of you to be such a good support to me. I know you love me and I hope you all know that I love you that much times infinity!

Sister Nicholls

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