Friday, November 26, 2010

Dianna Update - 26 Novembe 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! - 25 November 2010

Hello Family!

Since we had leadership training the last 3 days and it took up our preparation day, President decided to give us Thursday as a prep day. Unfortunately, we already had appointments set up so we really are just squeezing in emailing this morning. Whatever. Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you check your email and get to read it this day. Also Happy Belated Birthday Lauren! And Happy Birthday Carter. There's just too many holidays close together. It must just be one continuous party over there.

There's this one SUPER sweet lady in the Halifax ward. She had us over for American Thanksgiving last night. She got special permission to have all 6 Halifax missionaries over. It was really fun and she had reallly good traditional food. What's funny is that she is the mother of Leah, a member in Kingston and she cooked Canadian Thanksgiving over there and had us over, so I've actually had 2 Thanksgivings with her this year. I LOVE her SO much. Do you want to know even more about her awesomeness? On sunday she came and found us (remember, we're in the YSA branch and she's in the family ward just before.) and gave us a gift, hugged us and walked away. We opened it and she had knit or crocheted us each a pair of mittens! Mine are pink. She's so nice. I've been wearing them almost everyday because they're not falling apart like mine from last winter. They're just new and fresh. That reminds me, it snowed this week! A real snow too, one that stuck! It was really fun to be out in it. It's actually warmer when it's snowing because the clouds are keeping the heat in. It's weird how it works, but it does. What was really funny was that we were out street contacting in it and we met this 16 year old boy who just got here from Saudi Arabia and he was so excited about the snow. We had fun just talking about it.

Last week I told you about Hari. Well, things got worse. He lost his job. That means he can come to church! He lost his job saturday, came to church sunday, said that's what he wants to do the rest of his life, got his job back monday because all his coworkers wrote a letter to the manager, gave his 2 weeks notice, applied for new jobs, got one that will start in January and will let him still attend church! The Lord really does work in mysterious ways. But I'm sure that he is being blessed for his faithfulness. He has the kindest heart ever! Want to hear a funny story about Hari?! Institute is every friday night and they try to have and activity afterward to get them all socializing. Hari has been coming off and on but this week they decided to do something special for him. There's going to be a dinner before institute and they are having Indian food! Hari got really excited and offered to help cook (he's a chef) BUT it turns out, they're having it catered, so he was bummed. He then got thinking, why are we having Indian food? I eat Indian food every day!!!! He's so funny! I wish you could all meet this kid!

We have another awesome investigator. His name is Andrew. He called us one night JUST to tell us that he believes the Book of Mormon is true. Sis. Crofts said that she had promised him a couple months ago that if he read and prayed everyday and went to church regularly then he would know that it was true. He said that's what he did and he wants to be baptized. We're SO excited!

Guess what?! We had 5 investigators at church on sunday! It was awesome! They were all guys as well so all the girls got really excited. It's a good thing we're teaching a lot of guys because they need more priesthood holders here in the Maritimes.

So, I noticed that none of you emailed me and answer to my question last week about where Lehi is in the Bible. Is that because you mailed it to me and I haven't gotten it yet, because you forgot, or because you don't care? Well, either way, the answer is Judges 15. It was just an interesting piece of information.

Andrew: WHY did you have to tell us that story about the train? That is SOOO sad. I bet the people around me were looking at me funny because I made little squealing and gasping noises and my hands were over my face. I sure hope I don't have nightmares about that. I'm sorry that you actually had to SEE that.

Jennifer: Warning: Random thoughts in one paragraph ahead, read with caution. Those are the 2 cutest little boys ever! I can't believe (okay, I'm coming to grips with the fact) how big they are! I'm still a little bummed about the piano ensemble, but it's okay, I wouldn't have time to practice anyway. At least I know who is in charge of getting people to play next year, I bet I could get a spot. ;) I can't believe you have 3 callings! They must really need you! I'm not surprised about the piano and organ callings, that always happens, even when no one knows because it's on our records. We're silly though, we both don't like to admit that we play but we secretly love playing, I think it's because we want people to want us to play. I know that I don't like telling people that I play because I feel like I'm bragging or something. Your house doesn't have 3 prong outlets?! What is this place?! Hey, you mentioned I have to come home sometime? Why? Just kidding. I just can't believe that it's "almost" over. I'm so used to life as a missionary and being in Canada that it doesn't phase me anymore. I've forgotten most of what life is like without a companion and missionary responsibilities. I might just end up being one of those awkward RM's . Oh geez! I'm going to be an RM!!!! What?! That makes me sound like a guy for some reason... Anyway, thanks for writing and sending pictures. I LOVE it!!!

Well family, I'm out of time because I have an appointment to get to BUT I just have to tell Mom, you're a great missionary. Keep up the good work with Jackie. I'm so proud of you! Also, someone please give me an update on Matthew. Also, how's Thanksgiving going?! Are you ready to talk to me on Christmas? I'm pretty sure I will not be at the mission office because we don't have a car...but we have a cell phone. Tell me when would be a good time of day to talk so we can start working something out. Thanks :)

Sister Nicholls

P.S. Thanks for sending my memory card and pics of Andrew

Yeah we got it! Hot! Hot!...Hot Chocolate! - 17 November 2010

Hello family!

I just want to start off by saying that I love you TONS! I've always known how important family relationships are but this week it has been even more evident. My companion comes from a home with an inactive father and wavering sister yet she is the most incredible missionary I've ever met and she has an outstanding, unwavering testimony of the gospel. Also, one of our amazing investigators is facing challenges with his family because of his decision to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ. His name is Vivek Hari (Hari for short) and he is from India with Hindu background. He says that he never really followed the Hindu religion but it is a tradition. He has been meeting with the missionaries for 3 months now and he WANTS to be baptized but his family says that he can never come back to India if he does. He had plans to visit India and explain everything over the Christmas break and then be baptized in February but now he can't get home to India or out to California to see his brother, so he doesn't know what to do. He is amazing though because he WILL NOT waver from what he has been taught. He stopped drinking and everything. Actually, yesterday was his 23rd birthday and he told us he was worried because he knew there would be alcohol but he didn't want to have any. We told him to pray for strength to resist temptation and we also prayed for him and guess what?! He didn't drink ANY! He told us it was SO hard because they even had a table full of shot glasses and were all chanting "Hari, Hari, Hari..." and he STILL didn't do it! This kid is AMAZING! He called us this morning and we met up with him for hot chocolate and just talked because he is really upset because his family didn't call to wish him happy birthday yesterday and he called them this morning and he said that his mom wouldn't talk to him and his dad just lectured him and his brother hasn't responded to him for a few days. He came to us because he wants us to TELL him what he should do. He wants his family but he REALLY wants the gospel. He was bearing his testimony to us because we asked him why he continues to meet with us when all this is happening and he said that he has felt the spirit and loves the Book of Mormon and he knows that it is true. Isn't he awesome! We can't counsel him so we just told him to pray and talk to Heavenly Father because He has been there through all of this and knows what he is doing and that he will find strength through Him. It's going to be a bumpy road but he's doing really well so far. Satan is such a jerk.

Well, that's Hari. He is such a fun guy. He always makes us laugh and his testimony just gets stronger and stronger everyday. That's the good news. The bad news is that not everyone is doing as awesome as he is. Terry, the guy I LOVE, who was baptized back in March, he is less active now. We had a heart to heart the other day and he doesn't deny the fact that the church is true and that he felt the spirit. He doesn't regret anything but he doesn't feel it's right for him. Everything is going downhill for him. We told him, again, that that happens because Satan wants us so badly NOT to follow Christ. He isn't keeping the commandments and we told him that he can't feel the spirit when he isn't keeping them. He only half-heartedly committed to live them again to see if he felt the spirit again. The biggest problem though is that he doesn't want to come to church because he feels guilty. We told him that that's when he needs to come most. We just don't know what to do. We bumped into him yesterday and he said he wants to talk to us. I don't know what that's supposed to mean. It seems like people are falling into a black hole right now. Yesterday we also had Susan, an investigator on date to be baptized on December 26th (boxing day), call us and say she didn't want to meet anymore. She said she was just lonely and enjoyed our company. That she never really felt the spirit, she said she tried but nothing ever came. That made us really sad. We had seen her come quite a ways and she was keeping commitments. I guess it just wasn't her time or something. There have been several others dropped from our teaching pool but the good news is that we have added 5 more awesome people to that pool in the last week and a half!

I'm sorry that I went on about that for so long, that's just a REAL glimpse into my head, what I'm really thinking. I do have some other fun stories to share and stuff like usual. Hey! Did I ever tell you how much I enjoy being with Sister Crofts? She's AMAZING! We get along magnificently. We work really hard and love being missionaries but we also enjoy getting to know eachother and we're building a great friendship. We are just hilarious together. For example, since yesterday was Hari's birthday we wanted to do something for him. We were doing a bunch of brainstorming and this is what we came up with: A sponge cake. We took cleaning sponges and frosted it was real chocolate frosting and bought those candles 2 and 3 and put them in it (with toothpicks) and put his name on it with that edible gel. We were laughing so hard as we made it. He actually called while we were making it and we cracked some joke with him, I don't remember what it was now, but he didn't laugh. He didn't get it! We realized that he has a VERY different sense of humor and that he might not think it was funny. SO...we changed our plans. We took the candles out of the cake and wiped off his name and we rewrote on it saying "We'll miss you!" and brought it to our district meeting and gave it to a senior couple in our district that is going home this week. Now let me tell you, everyone got a kick out of that!!!! I have a HUGE district, there's us, the Tait's (That's who the cake was for), the district leader and his comp, the Zone leaders and the Assistants. That's the normal district too, not just visitors. They're so fun! I actually recorded when they cut the cake so you all can enjoy the laughter later (as soon as I get my other card back so I can send this one) Anyway, for Hari we just made a goofy little card and took a goofy picture to put in it. He enjoyed that.

I think I told you about Steve last week. The guy that knows everything about the Bible and I actually met him knocking when I was here last time? Well, he called us and wanted to treat us to some hot chocolate, so we met at starbucks. He's so funny, he's pretty much a missionary himself, we never talk about anything but religion. I have a question to pose with you though. He asked us this and I'm wondering if you can figure it out. Where is the name Lehi in the Bible? Sis. Crofts eventually found it, but let's see if any of you can find it. I'll tell you next week.

Funny mental picture for you. Since Sis. Crofts and I are in a walking area we have to carry our groceries, and we happen to live next to Atlantic Canada's 1st bagless Superstore. Everywhere I've served we used reusable bags because that's just what you do but the store always had plastic just in case, but this one doesn't have a single bag. We don't want to carry all our groceries so guess what we use?! These super cool, old lady looking carts! They're black and have 2 wheels and you pull it behind you. It's so fun to use them, I feel so awkward but that's my life anyway, awkward. I just thought you'd get a kick out of picturing me walking down the street pulling this cart. I'll have to take a picture for you some day. :)

Oh, by the way, my title is supposed to be quoting Polar Express but I'm not sure if I got it right. I've just been drinking a lot of hot chocolate lately because people have been wanting to meet in coffee shops and it has actually been really cold and it just warms you up. Also, now I feel like everyone else because I'm carrying a cup. It's so funny that it's almost custom to have a beverage in your hand. I'm glad people offer to buy it sometimes because that will get really expensive really fast.

I'm beginning to really see the effects of being in an area again. I'm reknocking the same streets which Sis. Crofts has knocked once or twice herself. Sometimes it's awkward but the good thing is that it's mostly college students and they've at least moved apartments since last semester when I was here. There was actually one street where we got 2 old potentials interested again. It's good sometimes. I'm just glad I'm with Sis. Crofts, she's good at not making things awkward.

Did I tell you that Remembrance day (Veteran's day) is really big here? Well, it is. Everyone wears a poppy because of the poem "In Flander's fields" from Nov. 1st until Nov. 11th. So yeah, I got to wear a poppy. I did last year too, i just don't remember if I told you.

Well family, my stories are getting shorter and possibly more boring. I'm pretty sure I could talk forever, but I should go and do something productive today. Andrew, I hope you had a better week. You're killing your companion right now right? Just keep up the hard work, don't let him slack. He's a missionary all the way up until he's released by his Stake President, don't let him forget. Also, how is reading the LDM going? You said you were going to read the whole thing this transfer, wow!

Love Ya!!!!!
Sister Nicholls

Back in the saddle again... - 10 November 2010

It feels SOOOOO good to be back here in Halifax! What was I DOING for those last 9 months! It really is a different mission. There is a faster pace here. I forgot how much we're on the go, even more so now that there isn't a car. Riding the bus has been an adventure. I have to look at the city from a different perspective now because I need to know certain streets and I can cut through a lot of places now. I've had to work on my walking pace too. I've been moving at country pace, now I have to get back to city pace. I've also been doing a lot of breaking in of my rain boots. It has rained for almost a week straight now. I'm struttin' my stuff in my skirt and boots everywhere. It's actually hard to walk fast in them so my calves have been pretty sore, but that's okay, my feet are dry!

Guess what?! Sis. Crofts is AMAZING!!!! She is the kindest person I think I have ever met! We get along fabulously! She really loves it here in Halifax and so do I so we are always excited about the work. I was nervous that the Branch wouldn't really remember me or wouldn't really care that I was back but I was wrong. Practically everyone came and greeted me and then they'd go off talking about when Sis. Moss and I were there. I guess they liked us just as much as we liked them. It's just weird because Sis. Crofts replaced me so she has been here FOREVER and they all love her ALOT! Also, because the Branch is mostly students a lot of people are gone and new ones are there. There are actually even a few people here that were in other places I've served but now they're here for school, so that's cool. It's crazy too because my favorite investigators from before are now members and the investigators now are pretty awesome. There is actually still one of our investigators around from before. We're not actively teaching him because he won't keep commitments but we stay in contact via phone calls and bumping into him on the street ALL THE TIME. He is still reading the Book of Mormon and stuff. Actually, funny story: He (Steve is his name, he's in his 50's) asked us on the street the other day what we would name his cat. We started listing off BOM names: Nephi, Alma, Ammon, etc. He was chuckling at the idea, then Sis. Crofts suggested Korihor! Steve just looked confused at that one but we started laughing. Sis. Crofts said Alma 30 Steve! Steve didn't realize that she meant read Alma 30 and learn about Korihor, he thought she meant call the cat Alma 30, so now it's a joke. Steve considered calling it Alma 30 for a little while. Honestly, I think that would be really funny.

Funny bus story: We were walking down the street and decided we were a ways from our destination so we decided we should probably catch a bus. What we didn't realize was that we were far from the bus stop and the bus was right behind us. Sis. Crofts started sprinting! I shout after her to stop because I wasn't going to be able to keep up, let alone run that far. She doesn't stop. She runs so far that I almost can't see her (it's dark). I think she's nuts! I didn't think there was ANY way she was going to catch that bus, besides if she did, what was she going to do? Get on and go without me? The bus's only stop for about 5 seconds. So while I'm speed walking I watch her coat (because that's all I can see) and I see her disappear onto the bus. I freak out because what am I suppose to do?! I didn't have the phone and I didn't know the bus system. Then, I see her step off and make waving motions with her arms, so I start running to her. She asked the bus driver to wait for me! I felt so silly! So yeah, that's a glimpse of what my life is like now...gotta love it!

Daylight savings time ended this week, that means it's dark by 5 pm. Oh the joys of Canada. It's too bad that I will only know Halifax in the doom and gloom of fall and winter. Oh well, at least I know what to expect.

Andrew, that's too bad about the branch where you are. Just know that you're doing what you're suppose to be doing and just keep doing it. One of my zone leaders right now has pnemonia. It can't be fun to not be able to work to your full potential. I'm glad though that you're feeling better. Also, congrats on making it 11 months!! I thought of you the other day. I can't believe how long we've both been gone. I can't believe how fast it can be over!

Well familia, I love you tons.
Sister Nicholls

I'm a goner! - 3 November 2010

Well, transfer news came yesterday and we NEVER saw this one coming. Let me recap you a bit on what it is currently. I'm with Sis. Ferrell and Sis. Brandley in Kingston, NS. Sis. Brandley came to Kingston in January and was only gone for 2 months and she's back now. Sis. Ferrell came here in April and I got here in July. So, it was a no brainer that Sis. Brandley was going to leave because she wasn't supposed to come back in the first place, that was by accident. BUT what happened is this... Sis. Ferrell and Sis. Brandley are STAYING IN KINGSTON and I'm going to...HALIFAX!!!! I'm going back to my first area! I'm SO excited! I get to be with everyone again! I'm serving with Sis. Crofts. She is actually the one who replaced me when I left Halifax. That was back in February! She started her mission there and has never left. Today is actually her 9 month mark. I'm excited to serve with her.

Take note: Since I've served in Halifax they have gotten rid of the car so now I'll be riding the bus AND they have moved so I have a new address:

2225 Monastery Ln. #315
Halifax, NS B3L 4R1

This is so exciting! I can't believe this is happening to me!!! Sad news though...There isn't going to be a trio anywhere because another Sister is going home sick. We don't know what from but she has only been out 5 months, just like Sis. Johnson... This means that when Sis. Ferrell goes home next transfer a sister's area will have to close, YIKES!

I have a couple stories for you this week. I'll start with last wednesday. We were gone pretty much all day and when we got home that night we were greeted with...A HEART ATTACK! There was a huge poster on our door and paper cut out hearts ALL OVER the porch! We felt SUPER loved. They even left little treats in a bag hanging on our door handle. The coolest part is that it was raining and one of the orange hearts on the wood steps dyed a heart into the step so there is a permanent reminder there of how much we're loved. We have yet to figure out who did it. The people we ask answer with: "I'll never tell". We brought the poster and all the hearts inside and decorated our apt with them. There are SO MANY hearts!

Warning! Sad story: Our Branch President fell off a roof while doing some service and crushed a vertebrae and fracture 2 others. He is doing a little better, he is really drugged up and he has to be in a back brace for 12 weeks. The Branch is amazing though, everyone is doing what they can, making meals and "babysitting" him while his wife is at work and daughter is a school. The Primary made him a really cool banner and everything. We saw him this afternoon and he is SO drugged that he has a high pitched voice and his sense of humor is gone. I feel so bad. I'm just extremely grateful that he wasn't paralyzed or anything. He is able to get up and walk around for about 2 or 3 minutes at a time. We're keeping him in our prayers.

Halloween! There was a Branch Halloween party and we were allowed to go because our investigators were going, that was awesome! We weren't allowed to dress up though because we had to stay missionaries but Sis. Brandley's dad gave us a cool idea. We dressed up as each other. We wore each other's clothes (the ones that would fit) and did our hair and make-up like eachother. I was Sis. Brandley so I went on my knees for pictures and dressed in one of her million sweaters and did my hair and make-up like her and Sis. Ferrell was me so I got to straighten her hair! She looks so different. Sis. Brandley was Sis. Ferrell and she curled her hair as much as she could and wore one of Sis. Ferrell's favorite outfits. Of course we also wore each others name tags. It was fun.
For actual Halloween though we had to be inside somewhere by 5-6, knocking would just be very unproductive. So a member family had us over and we got to enjoy their traditional "dinner in a pumpkin" is was good and then we watched Mormon movies and played missionary appropriate games and answered the door to trick-or-treaters. It was a hoot and a half. I'm going to miss that family.

Warning! Another sad story: Sis. Brandley's family called her on friday to tell her that her grandfather had passed away. After the tears and things were over though the talked about other things. My favorite topic started with her mother saying "When you step off the plane you are in so much trouble!" So, her family has been counting down until Christmas when they call and have been updating her on it. So it was making her trunky. She had told President Simpson about it and he jokingly told her that she should tell them that he said no one is calling home for Christmas and that's what she did! She just put in one line that we can't call home. The next week she got bunches of emails saying how they're upset but they know that he is an inspired man. It turns out that her mother spent 2 solid days crying over it. So she had to write a very apologetic email last week, so when they called 2 days later, she was livid. Personally, we all thought it was hilarious. Aren't you glad I didn't do that to you?

Well, the computer just told me that it's going to shut down in 5 minutes so I guess I should wrap up. I did want to tell you that they finally tore down our neighbors house this week. The one that caught fire Sept. 1st. It's weird, we have a new view from our windows.

I hope you're all doing well and I'll talk to you all next week

Sister Nicholls

P.S. Oh yeah! Andrew, I'm sorry about your leg. That's disgusting though. I hope you're able to get around soon, it's no fun sitting around as a missionary, there's NOTHING to do!

March 11th - 27 Octeober 2010

So, you know how last week I told you that President Simpson asked me in my interview to decide when I'm going home, March or April? Well, he didn't give me as much time as he said he would. He called me on saturday and asked if I had made a decision. I honestly hadn't thought about it, I'd forgotten. I just told him March and he told me I could change it if needed. So I spent the next couple days thinking and praying about it and March feels right. Also, around the same time I got a letter from Mom saying that she wants to see if we could go to sunday morning session of general conference. THAT'S WHAT I WANT! That is one of my biggest dreams! That would be the session I want too because that's when the Prophet speaks! President told me I'd be going home on March 11th, just so you know. That's a friday BTW. Is that the same week as Spring break? Do you get spring break?! Fall break is only 2 days, so I wonder. It's SO weird to be talking about this, I'm done.

Moose meat. Yes. Moose meat. YUMMY! Someone just had to make sure we ate some before we went home. It was SO good. I mentioned that I felt bad for eating a moose but they informed me that they are actually having hunters travel to Newfoundland just to kill the moose and control the population. They said that there are too many moose for the amount of vegetation they have there. So in a way, I'm doing them a big favor.

Well, it's officially cold here in Nova Scotia. I busted out the gloves on Oct. 23rd. Luckily, it hasn't been uber cold everyday. The cloudier, the warmer. I think it's funny how that works. Apparently in the cold seasons, since the ground doesn't hold the heat, if there are clouds then it traps it in, but if it's sunny, the heat escapes. So backwards from the warm months.

Knocking story! *Knock* *Knock* "Hello! We're coming around getting to know people, I'm (blah, blah, blah) what's your name?" "Linda, and please don't ever come back. You're wasting your time. And mine." *Slam*

Knocking story number 2. Actually, this might not be classified under "knocking" but it works. We met this really cool guy who was SUPER interested. We set up a return appointment and everything. He asked specifically if his fiance and her 2 kids could join us. We of course said yes. We were SO ecstatic! We called the day before to confirm the appointment and one of the kids answered. We asked to speak to him and she said he wasn't there and we left a message for him to call us (we could totally tell she was lying for him because we could hear voices coaching her on what to say). Anyways, after our next appointment we realize we have a voice mail. It was his fiance. She started off nice but ended up saying to NEVER come back and to tell our "Joho" (Jehovah's Witness) friends to stay away and also the "bible thumping baptists". And that we shouldn't call back. Well, that was upsetting. Too bad that message isn't going to be passed along. I think it's funny how people think all of the religions who go knocking are in cahoots with each other, wrong! Sometimes I wonder why I don't cry myself to sleep every night with all the grief people give us. I guess we're just so used to it by now and we tell ourselves that they're rejecting the message, not us and we shouldn't take it personally. I just can't believe some people.

This weekend was Stake Conference and it was in an auditorium on the Dalhousie University campus in Halifax. It was interesting to not have it at a Stake Center but we're too big for it now :) Also, at the end, the Stake President announced that each Usher and person working in the auditorium would get a gift that would bless their life (A Book of Mormon). The whole conference was about member missionary work, it was AWESOME! I'm excited to see results from it. One Branch actually just recently had 6 baptisms from member referrals! After the meeting I got to say hello a bunch of people from the Halifax YSA branch! I saw Terry and Joe! They're so awesome! Terry is going through a hard time still and doesn't have the priesthood yet but Joe is going to the temple for baptisms this week and is super excited. He is proud to be a member now. I love them!

Thanks for the pictures of Andrew. It's cool to see him in Chile! I wish I could see ALL of his pictures but I guess that's not quite possible. BTW, have you gotten MY pictures yet? Andrew, you're awesome. I read your emails, I look forward to them ALOT, but you know how that is. I hope you're having fun with your companion. I can't believe you're killing yet another missionary. You're killing your 4th comp and I'm in my 4th trio. What's with this?!

FYI, next week is transfers. I'm thinking I MIGHT be transferred so maybe you should wait until next week to send anything so you can know for sure where I'll be. I'll let you know, of course. We're really curious to see what's going to happen. Will one leave? Two? None? Who will go where? With who? It's driving us NUTS! The agony of it all will be over soon. Also, that means I'll get a bed! Did I tell you I've been sleeping on an air mattress since Sis. Johnson and Sis. Brandley came? Well, I have been. All except for about 4 days. We tried a different sleeping arrangement and it didn't work because of Sis. Brandley's back, so back to the floor I went. It's okay, I sleep just fine.

Happy 2nd Birthday Liam! Woohoo! Congratulations on surviving your first 2 years in this crazy place! Make sure someone reads that to him for me.

Kristen and Carolyn. I have a question for you. For some STRANGE reason I got one of your...rhymes...jingles... sayings? my head and I can't remember most of it. I said what I knew to my companions and they REALLY want to know the rest of it. It has in it: "brick wall, waterfall, girl you think you know it all, but you don't, I do, so BOOM with that attitude." Do you know what I'm talking about? That's all I remember. I think Cap't Crunch is in there somewhere. You should really help me out. :)

Hey! What's everybody going to be for Halloween? You should take pictures! It's sunday, so I don't even know if you are going trick or treating. We get the evening off, WOOHOO! We're going to have our own sort of party, somehow.

TODAY! I just remembered! We had a district P-day. We had a district meeting and then WE CARVED PUMPKINS! Each companionship had a pumpkin and one set made a missionary pumpkin. I got a picture don't worry. And then we went to the corn maze here. It was lame. Actually it was fun, just lame fun. We were the only ones there and the corn was so short and thin that I could see over and through it. It had 6 stamp stations and it took us a total of...10 minutes!! For $6. I know. Lame. But it was fun because we were the only ones there. So yeah.

That's all folks. Until next week!
Sister Nicholls

Rewind...Freeze! - 20 October 2010

Oops...Right after I left the library last week I remembered some things that actually did happen last week that I could share. they are!

1) Last Monday (Oct. 11th) was Canadian Thanksgiving! How I forgot, I do not know. We were invited to a less active members house. They had their non member family there and everything, it was awesome! What was interesting though was that we didn't have normal Thanksgiving food! We had: Seafood chowder, Ham, stuffed chicken, potatoes and gravy, peas, carrots, and tea biscuits. Then of course, pumpkin pie! Oh, they also had raisin pie. Yeah, what is that? They don't go all out here though. Most Canadians celebrated on that Sunday instead. Whatever.

2) Remember that story of us driving by and taking that picture of the year-round snowman? Well, we were driving by that way again and just as we were coming up to it I mentioned "Remember when...?" and we started chuckling BUT THEN we SAW it! It was dressed up as a pumpkin for Halloween!!!!! We couldn't BELIEVE our eyes! I just kept driving because I was like "If I pull over something bad is going to happen." After about 30 seconds though, we decided to turn around and get a picture because this was too good of an opportunity to pass up. Guess what happened when we pulled over...NOTHING! I was so relieved. I don't know what I would have done if we got stuck or something. Phew.

3) Mom, I finally got to watch the RS broadcast. A member actually had us come over and we watched it on a big projector screen and they made us popcorn and the most wonderful chocolate chip brownies in the world. We are so spoiled here. That really was a good conference. President Monson said some really good stuff. He did take a difficult subject and addressed it well. Also, Sis. Thompson and Visiting teaching. It made ME want to be a better Visiting teacher too! I feel bad because this branch has REALLY bad numbers as to home and visiting teaching. That's why so many people are inactive. People will get to know just the missionaries because we're the only ones willing to come visit them on a regular basis. BUT, we move on and they sometimes are forgotten about. It's such a sad thing.

Funny story. Sis. Brandley is having to see a chiropractor twice a week. The office is literally next door. Anyway, we have become friends with the people who work there and last week she was wearing an MTC T-shirt and the chiropractor proudly said "I know what that stands for! Mormon Tabernacle Choir." We just laughed and explained. He felt a little foolish but we explained that we get that a lot (I'm not actually sure if we do but it was a comforting thing to say at the time.)

You guys should watch Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang for me. Somehow some songs from that got stuck in my head.

Another funny story!: We were going to a lesson and the member who was going with us offered to drive us. As we got in her van I noticed that the seat I was going to sit on had pine needles in it. I went to brush them off and I realized that the seat was soaking wet! It had been raining really hard all day and the window had been left halfway open! I told Sis. Wolfs what had happened and she thought we could just put down a towel but we knew that wasn't going to do much. Her next solution STILL cracks me up! She grabbed her sons booster seat and asked me if I would fit in it! I laughed really hard on the inside and said that there was NO way I was going to fit in it. Sis. Brandley said she could fit, so we traded places and she rode the 20 minutes in the booster seat! Remember, Sis. Brandley is 4' 10". Yeah, it was pretty hilarious.

That was the most awesome day too because we taught 3 lessons with members present (different member too) and also a recent convert lesson. The recent converts are 9 and 11 so we usually do FHE with them, but not. This particular day we taught about prayer because they have been getting slack in their prayers. We compared prayer to a s'more. The graham crackers are addressing Heavenly Father and closing in the name of Jesus Christ. The chocolate was saying things we're grateful for, the more the better :), and the marshmallow was asking for things we need. We got to roast the marshmallows over the stove using a fondue fork. It was a good time. We also talked about how we should use Thee, Thou, Thy and Thine. We had one of the girls say the closing prayer and she did an AWESOME job! I just love them!

This weekend we got to spend a lot of time with a family that we LOVE. It's the Barteaux's. Leah is a single mom of 3 youngin's. We helped them move on Saturday. A good chunk of the Branch showed up to help, even someone who owns a huge truck for his business. We moved everything in 2 hours and 45 minutes. That includes the 15 minute drive from old house to new house. In that time the washer and dryer even got hooked up. It was an amazing thing. Sunday was also a big day for this family. They celebrated Thanksgiving that day and they had us over, that was a real turkey supper, YUM! And then Seth was baptized! Leah was only baptized a year ago. And Seth just turned 8. The baptism was beautiful. Leah cried when Seth was baptized. The Primary President taught about the Holy Ghost and used a Pumpkin to teach it. I've already forgotten how it all went, but she had already carved it but had put it back together and then as she was scooping out the insides she was talking about how when we're baptized God takes all the yucky stuff out of us and cleans us out. Then she put in a light that represented the Holy Ghost then she popped out the pieces for the smiling face and said how the Holy Ghost is a light that can shine through us. It went something like that. I really liked it.

Monday was Interviews with President Simpson. He told me that I need to decided when I'm going home within the next couple weeks. I don't know what to do still. I should get praying about that. He also hinted that I'm not going to be with Sis. Ferrell next transfer. I don't know if that means I'll be leaving Kingston or she will. She has been here 7 months but only has 1 more transfer. Will he move her? He also doesn't know where the trio will be. I pointed out that I've been in every trio there's been since I got on my mission. He said he was aware, but he said that's what the Lord must want. I asked Sis. Simpson why she thought that was and she said it's because I have a personality that people can get along with easily. That made me feel really good. I didn't realize. I don't know if that's the truth but it feels good none the less.

I feel like I'm in Tucson a bit. There is MAJOR construction going on in front of our house. We live on a main street that connects Kingston and Greenwood. It is very highly traveled and they're trying to repave it. It's been going on for a few weeks now. There is always a line of cars outside. I swear everyone knows where the missionaries live now because they can see us go in and out. We also have a captive audience while we're backing out because someone always has to stand outside and back, it's the rules. Since it's only 1 lane until they finish there is always a line just sitting and waiting. Fortunately, we have been getting to know some of the construction workers because they have to tell us when we can leave our driveway. Let us know when the traffic is moving the way we need to go. UNfortunately, they always call me Ma'am. I don't really like it, it makes me feel old.

Well family, it's been great. The weather her in Nova Scotia is turning cold. We had to scrap our car windows this morning in -3 degree weather, but right now it's 15 degrees. I don't want to admit that it's cold yet so I'm not busting out the hats, gloves, scarves, tights, or anything yet. I'll see how long I can tough it out!

Love you much!
Sister Nicholls

What to say... - 13 October 2010

So, I've been thinking and I can't think of too much that was exciting this week. I do have a knocking story for you. We were on a street full of duplexes and at one of them there were these 2 girls, each just younger than us. Within 30 seconds of opening the door, someone inside yelled to shut the door so the cats don't get out. One of them stepped out and the other closed the door enough so she could still just stick her head out. It was cold and windy that day so I don't blame her. Eventually the other girl had to step inside too but we kept talking. The woman inside just kept yelling to shut the door. They would yell back a no response and just keep talking to us. The woman came over and was shouting at the top of her lungs to shut the door. She eventually said "We're not interested, now shut the door!" We couldn't see her, so it wasn't really directed at us, but I'll never forget the 1 girls response "You can't shut the door on Christian people!" At this point no one was looking at us, but they were fighting with the door. We just tried to say, it's okay, we're going, and we just walked away. I think it took them a little while to notice we left. That woman's voice was so loud though that it was echoing through the neighborhood. We were afraid that her neighbors were going to mention it, but no one brought it up, that's good. So yeah, that was my exciting story for the week.

We have an investigator who we're trying to get on date for baptism but he is being difficult. I don't remember how much of this story I've told you before but recently he told us that he thought his church was stale and ours was alive and that he would be leaving his church. Woohoo! We ARE Christ's LIVING church. He's doing so well and has taken enormous steps. He practically is a member already. We actually invited this one mom of a new family in our Branch to come teach him with us and she didn't realize that he wasn't a member. He comes to everything. We've committed him to baptism 3 times now and each time he thinks he hasn't gotten an answer yet. We're trying to help him recognize his answer without being pushy. I know he'll be baptized, it's just a matter of when.

I'm really sorry this is so short. I really can't think of anything to share. I love you all a million and you're in my prayers. Have a good week.

Sister Nicholls

"Guess where I am right now?" - 6 October 2010

So, I have a MILLION things to share this week and have NO idea where to start. I'll start with the newest piece of information. I just got an email and a picture from Sis. Olsen telling me that Joe, our Chinese investigator in Halifax, just got baptized! He had a baptismal date while I was there but didn't go through with it. I'm still jumping for joy on the inside! She is still serving in the Metro, a different part, but she's close so she got permission to go, I'm jealous. I'll send the picture.

Alright, now that that's over with, to explaining my subject line this week. As you are aware, I hope, Sept. 30th was my year mark. Now, this was a momentous day but in a very different way. I made NO plans to do anything for it, and in a way, that's what happened, but I guess you just can't plan for the unexpected. On the way home from a district meeting in Annapolis Royal we pulled over to the side of the road to take a picture of the year-round snowman. BUT when Sis. Ferrell pulled over, she got the car stuck in a little ditch-like thing. I guess what they called it was being "high-centered"? Anyway, we couldn't move the car. Sis. Brandley and I got out to push and had no luck. We called the Elders and they came to help, just 2 of them. All 4 of us pushed, no luck. A man (ironically in a shirt and tie) came, pushed, tried to tie it to his trailer hitch, no luck. He left and a couple minutes later 2 more guys stopped, they pushed, no luck. They left and Elder Hitchcock called us a tow-truck. When the truck was on the way the Elders decided to head out. This is where it got really exciting! Just as they were walking back to their car a van reversed about 100 feet and 2 creepy (pardon my judgements) men got out, we shouted for the Elders to come back, we did NOT want to be left alone with them. We tried to tell them that it was useless, I mean, the front left tire had dug itself into a hole and the front right tire was hanging in the air a bit. Anyway, they insisted, and they must have been on some sort of steroid or something because they practically picked up the car! So, they got it out and we called off the tow-truck. It was quite adventurous because when they pushed the car into the street a car was coming in the opposite direction and didn't slow down and almost hit the car, the men swore and gave it the finger and the car came to a screeching halt with smoke coming from the tires. We were so relieved when it decided to just keep driving. Can you imagine 5 missionaries being involved in a scene like that? NO. Anyway, I kind of forgot the part where my title comes in... Before we called the Elders, we called Elder Tanner in the office because he's in charge of the cars. I started the conversation with "Hey Elder Tanner, guess where I am right now?" "Where?" "In Paradise...(That's really the name of the dinky town) a ditch." (okay, I was being dramatic.) Anyway, that was fun. BUT what happened after everything was said and done shocked me. They gave us a call a couple hours later and said that they wanted Sis. Ferrell out of the driver's seat and put ME in!! I haven't driven in a year! It was scary for about 20 seconds, but it's like riding a bicycle. I just can't believe that it's finally time for me to drive, I thought that was never going to happen, I'd succumbed to the fact already. So yeah, that was my year mark. Oh, also, in your last letter you were talking about me coming home soon. Don't get too trunky on me now. 6 months is a long time.

I was super excited to hear that Katie is going to serve a mission! I know you told me a couple weeks ago, but I was thinking about it this morning and I'm SO excited for her! You should get me her mission address when she leaves so I can write her. Also, I still need Alex and Joe's addresses. I got their emails, but I don't have time to do that, can I get their mission office address? Thanks!

I got the letter yesterday that had the pictures in it! Those are some good sunsets. Also, Carolyn looks older! Where is she in the picture too? I just LOVE pictures. Hey, are you going to send me any pictures from Andrew? I haven't seen anything from him since the MTC, it would be cool to see him IN Chile! Also, I'm getting my card ready to send home. I think I'll send it in a package with the sweater I got for my birthday and maybe other clothes or things I don't need anymore. Just a heads up.

Dad. I'm sorry that you're not feeling well. Do as the Doctor's say and drink LOTS of water. I'll keep you in my prayers (that's a no brainer BTW). Also, want to hear something freaky? Monday night I was telling my companions about Simone (the girl at the dentist's) and it was random because I barely knew her and I hadn't thought of her since I saw her last May. And then tuesday I get that letter where you're talking about her. That was weird. I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean. Her husband's name is Chad, just so you know.

Mom. Sad story. I didn't get to watch the RS broadcast. We went to watch it at the church and there was a creepy guy wearing a mask walking around the parking lot and it was just going to be us missionaries because everyone else was watching it online, we didn't want to go inside, so we just went home. It was good too because Sis. Johnson wasn't feeling well. Some members have offered to have us watch it on their computer though, so hopefully I'll see it soon. It's cool too how Connor was in the choir. I wish I could have seen that session.

Kristen, Carolyn and Lauren: Do you hate your lives? You sound crazy busy! What are the GOOD things about that new school? I only hear about the weird, hard things. What are your teachers names? Are they nice? Do you have good friends there? Tell me more.

Andrew. My suggestion: Pray to love the people in your area. Every time I've been transfered I would start off just fulfilling my "duty" and not putting my heart into it. I wasn't a bad missionary but after awhile you just don't seem to care and it can be rough (especially if you don't like your companion, which was the case for me). What I would do was just pray that I would begin to see the people as Christ sees them and slowly, my attitude and view of things would change. Of course, you develop that great love and things go better, but then it also makes it harder to leave, but I have no regrets in growing to love the people. I know that it's a rough road, trust me, I'm walking it with you, just a million miles away.

Get this. We just found out that 2 of our investigators are RELATED! We're teaching a Grandmother and Grandson. We found this out when we were at the grandmothers house and noticed a picture of her grandson on the wall. What a small world! I'm excited to baptize the whole family! Maybe we can get 3 generations involved! I'm excited to see what's going to happen!

I could go on FOREVER but the computer is ready to kick me off, so I'll just send you off with some hugs and kisses. XOXOX

Sister Nicholls

The craziest week of my life! - 29 September 2010

Hello family! This has been, most likely, the craziest week EVER! Sister Johnson wasn’t getting any better and Friday was the 2 week mark of her and Sister Brandley living with us. So, on Friday we went and got her another blessing. The blessing was good, but it didn’t provide too much help. There are a couple health people in our branch and they gave her a bunch of advice and bought her a bunch of healthy foods. So, we loaded her down with good stuff and waited to see if anything would happen. On Saturday is when everything turned topsy-turvy on us. I was on “babysitting” duty and in the morning Sister Johnson was supposed to drink lemon water and she was such a baby about it! I helped her make up the drink of water and lemon juice and she just sat there looking at it and complaining (but she’s funny about it, not annoying). To make her feel better I offer to drink it with her, so I make up a glass of my own. I count down from 3 and start drinking and all she says is “I’m not ready!” over and over again. So, I finish and she is still making a fuss. I continue making a salad for her but after awhile I just want to pour it down her throat. I just kept thinking, what can I DO to make her drink it. Then it hit me! Leave. I put my knife down and said, “I’m leaving until you drink that”, and walked away. She shouted after me “Don’t leave me! I’ll get LONELY!” I just shouted back “Then you better drink it!” Let me just say, she drank it within 30 seconds. Am I good or what?

To make Saturday even more crazy: It was the afternoon, and we were both tired because we both hadn’t slept well the night before, so we settled in to take a nap. This was my 1st nap in…a LONG time. I looked at the clock: 3pm. I jokingly said to Sis. Johnson, “Watch, someone will call in like 5 minutes just when we fall asleep.” She just chuckled and we went to sleep. At 3:25 we were awakened by our doorbell. I jumped off the couch alarmed and looked out the window and what did I see???!!! President Simpson’s car!!!! I told Sis. Johnson “President’s here!” She just laughed because she had tried to pull that one on me earlier that day. I was so grateful that I had gotten ready to go out that day and everything, all I had to do was run my fingers through my hair to make sure I wasn’t a mess. I then went downstairs to get the door. Mind you, I’m shaking like crazy because they woke me up from a deep sleep. I answer the door and they come in. My guilt takes over and I tell them I was taking a nap. He didn’t care a smidge. I just still can’t get over the fact that President showed up the one time I try to take a nap, I mean, what are the chances?! So, they come upstairs, we pull some chairs into the living room and they had an interview with Sis. Johnson right then and there. I won’t go into any details but they concluded that she should call her mom and see if going home would be a good idea. When they left Sis. Ferrell and Sis. Brandley had just come back and we were all really dazed about the whole thing. So she called her mom that night, they decided she should pray about it and President would as well and talk to her mom. Then Sunday night, her mom calls us and says that she is going to come home. That just felt like the right thing. So Monday President calls and tells us that she will be leaving Wednesday and we needed to take her to Halifax on Tuesday. So, we spent Monday helping her pack, drove her yesterday and today (her birthday) she is flying home. It’s so crazy how quick it all happened. She stayed here for so long not getting better then all of a sudden she’s gone. She had only been here for 5 months; she was still just a baby. They said that when she recovers she, if she wants, can be reassigned to another, drier, mission. Maybe she’ll serve in Tucson! I’m just sad because she had become such a great friend. We got along so well and just enjoyed each other’s company. I’m glad though that she now can be taken care of. In her blessing as well, she was told she saved someone’s life, that someone who was even more sensitive to mold was going to move to that apt. and would be on their deathbed. Scary! Then, we found out that there was a Sister who went home this time last year because of the same thing, in the same place! Also, an Elder who left there in Feb. also was really sick there. I’m so grateful that I didn’t have anything happen. It’s crazy that I didn’t even notice it while I was there.

So, yeah, we’re a trio right now and there’s a rumor going around that Sisters transfers haven’t happened yet. Actually that rumor was going around before we even had that visit from President. It makes sense though because none of the Sisters changed and Sis. Brandley has already served here 6 months so it’s weird that she’d stay here. Nothing has been said about it for real though. But maybe next week things will be different.

Mom, I just want you to know that it would be really cool if you had the chance to go on splits. You said that Sis. Hales saw the Sisters share something at taco bell. It just so happens that we shared the gospel with someone in the grocery store this morning. Anyone and everyone needs the gospel, no matter what they're doing. :)

I love you all!
Sis. Nicholls

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