Monday, September 6, 2010

Andrew Update - 6 September 2010

Los Linderos - 6 September 2010

Well, surprisingly I am not in Chepica anymore. I am with yet ANOTHER latino in a place called Los Linderos, in the city of Buin. There is a zoo nearby, which we will totally visit as a zone one day. I am almost 100% sure I am going to train this next change, because I am killing my comp this change. Elder Mejia. From Honduras. And after I kill him, I will train, I just know it. I am so excited to find out. Leaving the sector was so hard. 8 investigators went to church with us last week, and over these last 3 months, we have had an average of 6 investigators go every single week. Incredible. My amaxing family, with Alex, Maria, Kena, Angeles, Katy, and Felipe, were soooo sad. Kena and Angeles were crying up a storm. It made me feel a little weird, because they were crying harder than Emily cried when I left for the mission. They gave me a lot of cool stuff though. I gave them a little electronic piano, a rubiks cube, and wrote letters, so that they could have stuff to always remind them of me. They gave me a big Chilean flag, with notes and names written all over it, and we took a bunch of pictures. I cried only a little tiny bit, but man, Kena and Angeles were BAWLING. Not just crying, but the kind where you cant breath, and you start making kind of groaning noises because your lungs dont work right. Maria started to really cry too. It was a really sad moment. I left them a few letters that said if they get baptized, I could be able to come back and do the baptism, so we can see each other again, and visit a bit. Hopefully they keep progressing in the gospel, and get baptized. They would made GREAT members, because they are just so fun, and loving.

I got more DearElders, and totally forgot to bring them AGAIN. I am absolutely horrible with that. I remember Lauren was saying a lot about how crazy and robotic her new school is. It reminds me of the book The Giver, and 1984. Scaryness. Instead of raising children, we are growing cyborgs. Its odd that Lauren is receiving such top notch education, when the majority of my investigators cant even read of write. So different here.This last Sunday being fast and testimony meeting, I got to give my last testimony, and everyone was choked up. One Hermana said a lot of good stuff about me, and said "I have to confess something, I hated Elder Nicholls when he got here, but I got to know him really well, and now I love him more than these other Elders here by far." Then she went on to tell stories of examples of love I have shown, and that everyone should strive to follow my example of being more Christlike. What lies. If that is true, I am 100% different than from before the mission.

Lauren, I am glad to hear that you are going to keep your promise with me about waiting to date for me. Like, you turn 16 about 2 weeks before I get back, right? So it should not be too hard to wait. And, when I get back, I am going to buy myself a motorcycle as fast as I can. And I am going to take you to seminary every morning on it, take you out to lunch, to school, whatever you want. I want you to be a cool, popular girl. Ok? Deal? I wonder what Mom and Dad have to say about that..

And what do you think about Andy? I think I have decided that my name is now Andy. Mom, you can call me Drew, but to my friends, I am going to tell them to call me Andy. It sounds really cool to me right now, which is weird, because I hated it before the mission. I visited my converts yesterday to say my goodbyes, and I got a letter from the girl, and I learned that she really does understand the gospel, and the importance of it. I feel really good about them being able to retain their membership in the church. And I found out that my converts in Villa el Sol still go to church every week! Cool!

So this saturday, we got to go to the Temple in Santiago. The Chepican government lent us a BUS! We declined it, and accepted a van instead, because we only had 11 people going. But that is so sweet that they offered that! Wow! 3 converts went, and only one was brave enough to do baptisms. I was a witness, and witnessed like 200 baptisms. They only had 1 prieshood holder to do baptisms! I would have done it too, but missionaries are not able to. I understand why, because the majority of the participants were Laurels from surrounding areas. Yep. That is probably a big reason. But everybody had a really great experience, even though one kid threw up twice in the van. Our driver was really cool and patient, and turns out he is Kenas Dad! Weird!

Well, I gotta go, and I promise next week I will write more, and answer questions from the DearElders, with EFY, and everything... Candy bingo... hiking... Alpine slide... But I gotta go. I love you all so much, and am very grateful for my new shoes and belt and clothes. LOVE YOU! CHAO!-Elder Nicholls

Sweet - 30 August 2010

No way Austen is already home!?!?!? That`s crazy fast!!! It seemed like he left like when Enoch left! Time just flies by here on the mission! I am not even kidding! I am going to be home in like 3 months from now, judging how fast time is going! I almost have 9 months now! Next time I write you guys, I will be like 2 days from 9 months. Yes, that sounds like nothing, but it seems like I have been on the mission 4 months! I can`t even remember the MTC! Yes Mom, I got both of the packages this week. My mail hasn`t arrived to you guys yet? I`m going to go by the mail today then to see if they even sent it out, and see what`s going on here... But I love the boots you guys sent, they worked perfect in the rain! Because my feet were nice and dry! :) I love the ties! They are too nice actually, because I am afraid to wear them, and get them dirty! Lots of the missionaries covet them. But the shoes fit perfect, my peelers too, and I have already started using the balloons. I make them for the little kids, and that helps us get into the house so easy, like Dad used to tell me. Playing with the kids, and putting the importance on them, helps the parents understand we are not here to fight and destroy the family.So this week I had my first "Fight" with a seventh day adventist. Halfway through the lesson, I told him "Ok, now we are going to move on to another topic and you are NOT going to mention the word saturday." It worked for a little, but he went back to focusing everything on saturday. He wouldn`t let us use the book of Mormon AT ALL, so we had to practice our mastery with the Bible. We talked about a lot of scriptures that say an APOSTASY will come, and later, a RESTORATION. But didn`t pay any attention to anything. He just wanted to fight about stupid Saturday. But somehow we set a return appointment, and left him with the compromise that he will pray about what we have talked about. I

Dad, The email you sent me sounds familiar... "2 men can do anything..." Maybe Neil L. Anderson from April Conference...?? Haha. I am so pro with scriptures and talks and stuff now. I can`t even believe myself.

So this week, we did divisions almost everyday, so I only worked with Elder Carpio, the Peruvian. But we broke the record of lessons taught, and news found in Chepica, for the last year. We taught 6 lessons with member, 22 others, and found 13 news. That`s not a heck of a lot, but is more than Chepica has seen in a long time. We also had 6 people in Sacrament meeting, and we have like 5 baptismal dates. This has been a record week. And I might be moving to another sector this week, because the sector might go from 4 missionaries to 2, and I might be going. I have no idea, and won`t find out until this saturday to see if I leave monday. Intense.

Well Dianna, sound like you guys are having some cool experiences over there in Canada, visiting around, and having cool experiences like that in the road. I do really love when people mock and laugh, because It shows to other people that watch how we really are. People accuse us of obligating people to do stuff, and that we always yell and make people feel bad. But when they see us offer service, and they yell at us to tell us GO AWAY, people see that, and stop and think a little. How do you teach the first lesson? You do teach the restoration first too right? What do you focus on? How do you convince the people best to listen and believe this message? Any hints on how to teach the restoration?

Jenn- I cannot believe how big the guys are! Liam and Carter... And bald! BAAALD!!!Well I am not in my sector right now, because I am killing my comp this week, so we are in Paniahue visiting his converts, so I do not have any more time to write. I am so happy for your love and packages and support. I look forward to obtaining more experience and stories so I can share them with you all for my entire life. I love you all. Chao!-Elder Nicholls

Not a teenager - 23 August 2010

Well, I am officially old.

I can no longer say I am 19 years old, nor a teenager. Not like I have even said the word teenager in the last 8 months... English is such a foreign language to me sometimes. Weird! So you guys got to listen to D. Todd Christofferson yesterday? Cool! Weird too, because Saturday morning our ENTIRE MISSION along with ALL OF SANTIAGO WEST MISSION got together and we listened to Richard G. Scott talk, in Spanish. He talked a lot about the life AFTER the mission. That the first thing we should do after the mission is immediately look for a wife. AND study. Not just study. But find a wife, and that is more important. And I have a feeling that he was referring to that the world isn`t going to be lasting too long. Scary stuff. But it was a really cool talk, and he gave a really nice testimony about God`s love for us as his children.

So you guys talked about the iron rod yesterday? Weird, because I had to give a talk yesterday, and they asked me to prepare it an hour before sacrament meeting started, and I talked about 1 Ne. 8, and the song "The Iron Rod" and talked about what they all mean. I wanted to draw it out, but that kind of thing isn`t appropriate in sacrament meeting. But I went through every point, and described them, and challenged everybody to read the Book Of Mormon 10 minutes a day, regardless of whatever happens. Told them about the falls of iniquity. Told them clearly that is they do not read the Book of Mormon, that their testimonies will fall, and they will fall from the church, and lose the blessings of God. It was well harsh, but full of love. I still play organ, and people are so grateful for that. For my birthday, so far I have gotten 3 things. And I am sure more are coming as we visit people during the week. Our investigating family gave me a keychain with my name on it, and a sister in the branch gave me two sweet ball point pens with a cool grip in a fancy case. And lastly, a sister invited us over to eat lunch: Chicken legs, potatoes, salad, and rice.

So being in a trio isn`t so bad. We actually did divisions almost all week, so we could double the work. And one of my companions talked to one of the assistents to the president about the changes that are coming. He won`t tell me everything he said, but gives me little hints, saying I am going to be the branch president in two weeks, and there are still going to be 4 missionaries in Chepica. I don`t know if I should believe him. But in two weeks from today, we will know for sure! So exciting! I want to train, or do SOMETHING!!

In the big conference, I saw ALL my district from the MTC! We all got together, and took some pictures. Elder Kimball, from the MTC, still hates me basically. I ran up and gave him a hug, and told him I missed him, and I felt bad for the times we had in the MTC, and that I want to be his friend, and forget about the past, and enjoy the work together, and he just said "Ok." Looking away from me, and walked away. Lame. Whatever. I am doing my part to be his friend. But everyone else in my district was so happy. Because 2 of them I hadn`t seen from more than 6 months. Elders Kimball and Miles I hadn`t seen for 6 months. I was so happy to see them.

Mom your package is here! The zone leaders got it, and I will pick it up on Wednesday when we travel to Santa Cruz to have district meeting. I am so excited to get it! This Sunday we only had 2 investigators in church, because the family that went last week was sick, and nobody left the house all day. I hope they keep going. We taught the word of wisdom this week, to test their testimony, and how much they really want to change their life.

Two days during the week, we rode our bikes FOREVER to do permaneced. It`s a program to find less active members, and share the permaneced message, and try and get them back to church. But the members for this week live FAR AWAY. We had to ride our bikes FAST in one direction for half an hour to get there. But, we shared a lot of messages, but nobody came to church. It is horrible here. There are sectors that have 700 members in the sector, and only 40 people that go to church. HORRIBLE!

During comp inventory, the other Elders complimented me on teaching really well, and always showing love to the people here. I honestly had no idea if I teach well or not, but they said that I "surprised them with how well I teach, it being my second language, having only 8 months on the mission." Sweet. They told me that there was a lot they could learn from me. I love the mission! It is just so worth all the efforts!

Well I am running out of time. Dianna I like your story about the dude with the cross in his backyard. Don`t you like the weird traditions of other religions? People`s beliefs and priorities. Well, I have 2 minutes left. I love you all so much, and for your diligence in writing me every week. I got 3 more dear elders this week in the conference, and I am going to read them and take notes to answer some more questions you have asked. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! Chao!

-Elder Nicholls

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