Sunday, March 20, 2011

Andrew Update - 20 March 2011

Well, I am confused - 14 March

Soooo... is Dianna home yet?????? I NEED TO KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sigh.... Well we just came from an activity of soccer, where we totally pwned the other zone. Dianna knows what I mean... I am so sad that I cannot say that my Sister is on the mission anymore! I had some members come up to me yesterday to ask how Dianna was doing in Canada, and it pained me to tell them that she was probably at home having a nice breakfast with the family in that moment, or giving testimony in our home ward. SO LAME!!!! It is so weird just to think that Dianna is no longer on the mission... DIANNA!!!! Tell me tell me tell me.... So when you were being relieved, did the Stake President ask you to take off your plaque, or what did he do? Did you cry when you had to take off your plaque for the last time? I know I will... It is my little buddy, my faithful friend, that has seen it all! So sad... So when are you going to send me an email with pictures of all your comps, and you with the family????

Well this week we only had 5 investigators in church, but we had 2 FAMILIES come, and some of the family members could not come, but will come next week, so we are totally expecting like 12 next week! THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME! I hope I stay another change here, with Lind or any comp, because I want to see these souls being baptized!!!! I always miss baptisms!!! So my convert is doing amazingly well in Linderos, and everyone is totally impressed with our gold find. Thing is, all we did was a contact to find him. EASY BUCKETS. Let`s see... what happened this week... Nothing really. There has ben a lot of conflict in the house lately, between the other companionship in the house. It`s an Elder and his son, and they bicker and argue and yell a lot. Sad, because he is his trainer, he should be like the ultimate best comp ever. So I completed my 15 months this last week. I now have half of Dianna`s mission left before I end my mission. 9 months. Wow. Sound like a lot, but at the same time nothing, because I have 15 done, and only 9 left. Wow. in 4 more weeks, I will be 2/3 done. Right now I am 62.5% done. A big fat D. Chuta. (Pronounced choo-ta). I am drinking pineapple juice right now. I am totally bored. Nothing too exciting happened this week. No baptisms or anything. I just want to hear about Dianna... Well, until next week I guess, chao chao!

-Elder Nicholls

I am tired, and I have no time - 7 March 2011

I spent so much time looking for an email that I sent to Dianna, that I have no more time to write. Shoot. But I have one funny story-

So we found a LOT of new investigators this week, and put 4 baptismal dates. We went by three of them in the morning to walk with them, and they were all asleep. They told us that they had been up until 5 am just talking and watching TV!!!!!!!!!! AGH!!!!!!!!!!!! So we run in, and start shouting and clapping, banging pots and pans, and telling them all to GET UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 30 minutes later, all of us are walking to church together, smiling, and excited. 4 investigators went to church, and they all loved it, and plan on coming back next week. They are really excited for our next appointment, and really want to learn more, and read and pray. Sweet.

My comp and I are still doing great, and we are just whipping out these new investigators like rice in Panda Express. I was surprised at how many people were willing to let us in and learn. We even had a girl pray and she said that she felt the spirit, and knows that these things are true, and is really sure about her baptismal date. They really understand the whole need for a prophet thing, and only need to keep praying to know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. Things are just awesome on the mission. I got letters today that gave me updates about the superbowl, the girls deciding to stay at their school, and Matthew a bit, and I also got a little dearelder from the grandparents. AWESOME. Well, sorry about the shortness, but I need to go. Bad. I smell. We had an activity this morning, and I was sweating like a champ. And this Saturday, we had a soccer activity with the ward, and I scored 4 goals, and my comp scored 1. And we won, 5-2. Haha. We totally owned everybody there, which is funny, because they are all chileans and always make fun of the gringos. HAHA!!! En tu cara Chile! Well, I hope everyone is well. I will be writing more next week. Chao chao!

-Elder Nicholls

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dianna Update - The Last One! - 9 March 2011

Dianna returns home this week and will be speaking in Sacrament Meeting. We have loved her stories and rejoiced in her experiences. We hope you have also enjoyed her spirit and testimony through the letters she has written. We are grateful for your support.

Can you say "White out"? - 7 March 2011

So, do you remember how last winter you all started referring to me as white out? Well, are you ready to see it? I am pretty white. It has been a winter full of coats, scarves, gloves and toques. The only thing that has seen the sun (when it makes an appearance) is my face (and only a little bit of it). Just don't laugh too hard okay? JK, I'm pretty sure I was pale before I left anyway.

Unlike any other week, we had many adventures. I, unlike other weeks, would LOVE to tell you about them. One unique experience took place during personal study early last week. I was sitting at my desk and reading my Book of Mormon and Sis. Hanson had just gotten up to use the washroom, when I heard someone saying "Help! Help!" from the hallway. (I live in an apartment building that feels like a hotel, you can hear EVERYTHING in the hall). I went and opened the door to see what was going on. There was this lady standing there, not too far from our door and she asked me to help her down the stairs (Our elevator had been broken for a couple days). I told her I had to put my shoes on (and grab my companion) and I'd be right back. I went in, turned off the fan to the washroom, the switches are on the outside, and told Sis. Hanson to hurry and that I would be in the stairwell. She was confused, but I just went and helped her anyway. It was quite the adventure. She was a very disheveled older woman. She was carrying a cup of Tim Horton's coffee and was dripping it everywhere because she couldn't hold it upright all the time. This clued me in that she couldn't have been there very long, but she said she had been stuck up there for a couple days! I think she isn't right in the mind. I helped her down the stairs but with each step she would lift her leg REALLY high and then grab onto me and the railing really hard and finally plant her foot down. When we'd reach the bottom of a set of stairs she's crouched down low and try to take another step. I laugh about it now but in the moment I was just shocked. We got to the main floor and I went to show her the door, but then she informed me that she lived at 105, which is down in the basement, so I helped her down another flight of stairs and lead her to her hallway, and she saw 101, and said "104 should be down here, thank you." I was worried at that point because I swear she had said 105 the first time...Anyway, she wouldn't go anywhere until I turned and left so I don't know what happened to her, but when I got back to my hallway, Sis. Hanson finally came out and our neighbor was out seeing what was going on. I asked her if she knew that lady and she said that she's seen her wander around several times. Weird.

Last week I informed you of our baptism! Well, that was quite the adventure! Monday we went with him to the church for his interview with our District Leader. We took the bus with him but it was snowing so it took us AN HOUR to get there!!! While we were there the snow turned to rain so when we walked to the bus and also home, the sidewalks were filled with slush that was holding puddles. So practically, we walked home in a river. We were wearing our snow boots too and they got soaked straight through! Sis. Hanson and I laughed most of the time because, being a missionary, we get stuck in unfortunate weather situations ALL the time, but our convert didn't seem too impressed. We were all ready to be home and dry by the end of it. When we did get home we had to take off everything and hang it over the tub. Most of our stuff dried by morning, but our boots were GONNERS!!! Mine were just heavier than anything and Sis. Hanson's have a thermal liner that she took out and RANG OUT!!! There was SO much water in our shoes!!!
So, that was the first leg of his baptism journey. On tuesday we had to be there early to fill up the font. We wanted it to be warm too so we had to be there around 3. We kept ourselves entertained by playing the piano, making phone calls, reading letters, and we even brought a less active member with us and she and Sis. Hanson painted. Then people showed up, and it was a WONDERFUL baptismal service! The water was warm, the spirit was strong and the room was PACKED!! He even bore his testimony at the end and it was AWESOME!!! He is already part of this Branch family. Then on sunday, I could NOT stop smiling! That's when he received the Holy Ghost. Everytime I saw him I would just burst out in smiles!!! I love that child of God!!!

Yesterday was the BEST testimony meeting I've EVER attended. Andrew, the recent convert from December, got up to share his testimony for the first time ever and it was great!! Sis. Moses (the Branch President's wife) got up and bore testimony about missionary work, she talked about her son and then about ME. I have to admit, that was a little weird. A couple testimony's later, I got up because Pres. Moses had made me promise I would because it was my last week and they couldn't assign me to speak. So I did, then everything got AWESOME!! Everyone testified about missionary work (not mentioning us in particular, thank goodness) and THEN our investigator, Matt, got up and bore the most memorable testimony! He talked about how he has been hooked to the Book of Mormon ever since chapter 4 when Nephi pwned Laban!! The entire congregation laughed and Pres. Moses turned bright red! (Someone might need to fill Mom and Dad in on what that means) He went on about that for a minute but then he said that he knows the Book of Mormon is true and that he feels like he has found his calling in life. This kid is golden. I just LOVE teaching him. When I told him I was leaving he was really upset. He said he wanted to change his baptism date so I could be there, but that's not possible because he still lives with his girlfriend. They moved into different rooms and have been apartment hunting but haven't had much luck. He is doing so well though!

Also yesterday there was an 8 year old baptism and the Elders were filling up the font right after the YSA Branch finished and we stayed to help set up and things, we're familiar with the girl and her family. We had talked to the mom earlier that day and she made me promise to make sure the Elders had the water warm. They were there sufficiently early for it to be possible BUT when it was about 2 feet deep one of the Elders leaned in to feel the water AND HE ACCICENTALLY PULLED THE PLUG!!!!!!! It drained remarkably fast! He hurried and took off his shoes and rolled up his pants and jumped in to plug it, but he was too late, they were now really far behind. They ended up having to do the old boiling pots of water trick. It turned out okay, she was really little so it didn't have to be so full. She even said it was kind of warm. That's better than it being at frozen lake we had to cut a hole in!!!

Last but not least, the trunky business.... Just a few minutes ago, the MFRC (where we volunteer and email) staff came in and gave me a gift (another red shirt and card) and a cake! We mingled for a little bit and said our goodbyes. So yeah, it's official, I'm having to actually say goodbye now! I need to get moving on them to because I really only have until wednesday because I go to the mission home on thursday and I'm a gonner on friday!!! I can't believe Kristen is counting down the hours!! I was wondering if you had a paper chain or something. I can't wait anymore now! It still hasn't really hit me because I still feel like I'm going to be here forever, but I'm anxious to see everyone. I wonder when it will really click that I'm not coming back. I'm thinking it might happen when I'm at an airport in the States and realize I'm no longer in Canada...We'll see.

I'm excited to see everyone and I still hope that I'm not tired and grouchy when I get there or anything. Have a good week and I'll SEE you on friday!!! Except for Andrew, I'll talk to you, from Arizona, later! Stay busy, it's the best way!!!

SISTER Nicholls!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dianna Update - 6 March 2011

Adventures in Halifax, Nova Scotia!!! - 28 February 2011

Hello family!

Sorry about last weeks email, I was feeling a little scatter-brained that day. I have so much to tell you this week though!!

First off, mom, you wanted me to bring home my winter clothes right? boots broke. The zipper on my left boot will zip, sometimes, but it doesn't latch closed, it will just slide up and down, sometimes, and will stay open, so what I have resorted to doing is zipping it up about half way so that it will at least hold closed enough for me to use it. It actually works pretty well, the only real downfall is that there is a slight breeze upon my foot. Also, Sis. Billings left a pair of boots that I wear when they're being stubborn. So, I don't think I'll be bringing those home. Also, I discovered that my rain boot has a hole in it... It's on the side so I found out when I stepped in a really big puddle and my shoe filled with water. That was quite shocking! To solve this problem I'm just avoiding puddles with my right foot and it's working out rather well so far. So yeah, that's my shoe drama.

Our Branch is having these 5 weekly firesides given by a service mission couple. They're SO cute (The couple, not the firesides). The firesides though are on marriage and dating. We went to the first one and we wanted to laugh almost the entire time. What were 2 sister MISSIONARIES doing at a dating fireside?! Needless to say, we now plan on not attending. It was fun while it lasted though.

Funny story: We were street contacting the other day (surprise, surprise) and it was sunny out so all the snow was melting and the buildings and the trees were dripping. While we were walking we would often be beamed in the head by a massive water droplet and as a result would flinch. There was this one time though that Sis. Hanson felt a drop and nearly screamed. She said it was a big one. I just laughed about it. THEN about 10-15 minutes later, I looked at her!! She had BIRD POOP on her hat, coat and backpack which were all black! I couldn't stop laughing then, we just had to head to a washroom so that she could wash it off. We have fun remembering that experience.

Okay, here's the big news. An investigator is getting baptized TOMORROW!!! This kid had really thought about it. It was a joyous day at church yesterday when it was announced, everyone was really excited for him to FINALLY take this step. It's going to be a really good service I'm sure.

The other big news is that we have another investigator on date for March 19th. He's pumped! I'm so excited for him because he has to make quite a few lifestyle changes but he's ready and willing to make them. He just found out yesterday that I'm going home soon though and that made him a little sad. I also found out this week that an investigator I found and taught over in Kingston is getting baptized on the 12th. This is going to be a great month!

In my Book of Mormon reading this week I've been in the war chapters in Alma and when I started my first thought was "Man, not the war chapters, I usually get lost and bored as a result." BUT that's not the case this time. I'm captivated by each chapter and really think about the people fighting in the armies and try to imagine what they were thinking. It's quite exciting when you get into it. I find myself enthralled as I learn about their tactics. The Book of Mormon is awesome!!!!!

Well mi familia, I shall let you go now and enjoy your week. If you could do me a favor though, next week will someone let me know what the weather will be like on friday night so I'll know what I should be prepared for? Most likely I'll be really hot because it's FREEZING here, but who knows? Just let me know, please.
Thanks mucho!
Sister Nicholls

Death Certificate - 21 February 2011

Well, I got my death certificate today. I die Friday March 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm in Halifax, go through Chicago AND Denver and finally arrive at my final resting place, Tucson, at 9 pm (midnight in Halifax). That's a slow and painful death if I do say so myself. I'm going to be POOPED! Hopefully my adrenaline will keep me awake enough to be excited to see you. I'm sure it will. Also, I need to be set apart. Is President Polley going to be awake still to set me apart that night? Or am I going to have to stay a missionary?! Details...

Hey! I just remembered, while I was reading in Alma this week I came across some verses that may be how our reunion will be. You should look it up: Alma 27:16-18!!!

This week has been fun. No real adventures until today though. We went and saw a woman's hockey game!! It was for the Canada games. It was Newfoundland vs Alberta. Alberta won. I was wondering how many of them were LDS since like 70% of Alberta is. We went with the Sisters in Eastern Passage, it was fun. Sadly though, my camera died before I took any pictures...

Guess what?! We have an investigator who is going to be baptized on April 4th!! It was really funny, we asked him why he picked that date and he said it was his father's birthday...How ironic.

I'm sorry that I don't have much to say. There really isn't anything new really. Everything is the same except for the fact that everyone knows I'm going home soon and decide to keep reminding me. I didn't realize it was going to be this hard to finish. I want to remain completely focused but people keep bringing it up, then it's hard to refocus and it gets harder each day. AGH!!!

Sorry again that this email isn't much to read. Hopefully I'll get better at this by next week.

Love you bunches still though!

Sister Nicholls

Whoa! Where did all the love come from? - 14 February 2011

When I opened my email I had 15 new messages!!! That's ALOT! Andrew, I LOVED the pictures! They really made my day. Everything made my day actually! Happy Valentine's day! It doesn't feel like it when you're a missionary though. I guess I can show my companion some extra love today. We're great together already though, so I'll really have to go out of my way for that one.

Guess what. The Canada Games are here!!!! It's being hosted right here in Halifax. That ice rink I told you they built right outside our place is the place for speed skating. There are quite a few more people around than normal, but surprisingly, not that many. I thought it was going to be super crazy to try and ride the bus but it's been normal. We were so excited to talk to everyone. It's not over yet though, it goes on for 2 weeks! Sweet!

Mom and Dad, I have a message to deliver. Our Branch Presidency practically commanded me to tell you thank you for letting me come out here. They are much appreciated of my service. They say thanks for sharing me with them. (yep, I felt as prideful typing that as I thought I would, but I did my job.)

Oh Andrew, I met someone from Chile!!!! It's too bad he was hungover and we woke him up. He didn't stay to talk, but we did get out of him where he's from. So now I feel even, you met someone from Canada awhile ago, now I've met someone from Chile. Why are people so crazy as to go from Canada to Chile and vice versa?

Sorry my thoughts are random, I guess I don't have much to say. Ummm...we have a new investigator, a GIRL!!! And she came to CHURCH with us! AND the member we brought teaching with us, a boy, has a crush on her now. It's so cute. I LOVE teaching YSA!!!!! Another investigator, who we haven't seen for a couple weeks finally hit rock bottom and feels like he actually NEEDS the gospel in his life. Hallelujah!!! I mean, it's too bad that things are going so bad for him, BUT now he can progress spiritually.

Sis. Hanson and I have a thing going on that if we slip we have to buy the other person hot chocolate. Did I already tell you this?? Well, anyway. Sis. Hanson has already bought me 2 cups and owes me one more. And so far, I'm at zero. I sure hope that didn't just jinx me...

Something shocking did happen this past tuesday though...we went the entire day...AS PLANNED!!! I couldn't believe it! None of our appointments fell through or anything! I did a little happy dance on the way home that evening. Life's just great sometimes.

I guess the last think I have to say now is that I love you more than you could possibly imagine! Distance truly does make the heart grow fonder. I can't wait to see you all soon (with the exception of Andrew I guess) (about the "soon", not the "can't wait"). But I also COULD wait forever to leave Halifax. I love it here with my whole heart. I'm sad to have to see it go. (geez, I sound like I'm leaving tomorrow). Anyways...Know that I love you lots and there is much anticipation for the days to come.

Sister Nicholls

Andrew Update - 6 March 2011

Dianna is going to die!!!!! - 28 February 2011

Oh my goodness, Dianna is going to die so soon!!!! Before you know it, I am going to be writing my last few words! I CANNOT believe how fast this mission is going! Dad, how long did your mission seem to you? Did it go by as fast as it is going for me? Sometimes, it feels like I get out of bed, and immediately lay right back down. But then when I look back, I remember all the things we did during the day, and can never believe that we did SO MUCH in a single day. For example, we wake up erly one day to instal tiles in our bathroom, in the shower. Then we have weekly planning, then lunch with a member and her friend, teaching a lesson, and finding a new investigator. We then shower at home, and go out to work, doing 38 contacts, teaching 6 lessons, and finding 4 new investigators, then go home to clean up the house, plan, write in my journal, area book, and play with my toy helicopter. There are just so many things we do during the day! Also, very often we sweet up someones porch as a quick act of service to convince them to let us come in to teach, or we wash their dishes, or we just do SOMETHING. We are always so BBBBUUUUSSSSSYYYYY......... My comp and I are just PUSHING our rear ends off to really show the Lord that he can trust us with his children, so we can teach the, and baptize them. For example, we saw some evidence of God`s trust yesterday-

A sister from the ward randomly took our arm, and begged us to come over that night. So we go over, and it turns out that her husband is an excommunicated member, who has been praying, reading, and pondering with his wife, and says he is ready to come back to church after many years. So now we are going to work with him, and get him baptized again. We are just whipping out lessons, and talking to every single person we see. Things are going great.

Elder Butler and Cope have written me a few times, and it is just so inspiring to hear their testimonies, and see these people, my best friends, my closest trusts, and they are out there serving with all their heart, might, mind and strength, just to help other people come unto Christ and accept his true gospel. Now that the finish line is accelerating rapidly to my face, I am really trying to pull out of third gear, and getting it into fifth. I am honestly trying harder than ever to be completely obedient, punctual, friendly, and diligent. I am trying to do what Mommy told me. I am always throwing on a smile, and trying to put a few things down in my journal daily of the things that I really am grateful for.

I do not have much more time, because we had an activity as a zone, and we have stuff to do today, but I want everyone to know about how thankful I am for their letters, emails, thoughts, and prayers. I really can feel you all lifting my feet when my legs just cannot do it for me. I really do feel Mom`s hand pulling me out of bed when I am just "too tired to get up". I hear Dad`s voice whispering into my ear, saying the things that I should say, and how to treat those who hate us. I see Kristen, Carolyn, and Lauren`s smiles and great attitudes, and nice sense of humor in the members that I influence, and I am constantly reminded of those that love me, and are doing all they can to make sure I am here, and not there with them. I am constantly told to go home by others, and told that I do not love my family, because I left them. Little do they know that this is the best thing I can do for my family at this point in my life. The Lord is doing all I could ever want, and more with those that are closest to me. Why would I betray him, and cut off His divine love and guidance? I love you all, and hope to see you all again one day, and pray for your health and safety. Until next week, chao chao.

-Elder :) Nicholls

Wow, 5 minutes left - 21 February 2011

Well, after reading the 30 emails from the mission, and finally writing my president using this cruuuudy keyboard, I have 5 minutes left. The only real news is that me and Lind are together for another change, and an Elder that lived in the house with us, is now our zone leader. Oh great. He always liked bossing us around, and now he is going to have ANOTHER excuse to just boss us around more. SIGH......... I have been thinking a lot about living with Mathew after the mission. Actually, we had stake conference yesterday, and Boyd K Packer spoke, and D Todd Christofferson spoke, via satelite.

Well, gotta go. I love you all, and hope you are well. Chao!

-Elder Nicholls

Lindo y nick - 14 February 2011

Hey Fam!

Whats goin on? So this week I was able to do a lot of work, and sweat a whole lot. Weird to hear that, huh? While you guys are all out there being cold, we are BURNING UP. Not much really happened this week. We did not even have investigators in church. But we do have two baptismal dates, but one guy is not married, so his date is almost for sure going to be lost. I heard that with permission from the Mission President, we can MARRY people! I mean, I could legally pronounce someone husband and wife. Crazy huh???? That would be soooo cool! So we are definitely going to work a little more with this guy. Well, I actually spent a lot of time writing my mission pres, so this letter is short. I got more emails from the family though, meaning dearelders, and it was great to read more about all of you guys! About school, sports, friends, braces, dog healing, and all that cool jazz. Wow, Dianna is going to be home SOOO soon! I cannot believe that Marcus is going to go out on a mission too! You HAVE to tell me where he is going to go! Or have HIM write ME. Well, I love you all, and we gotta get going. Since we are super low on money, we have to walk a lot, and we are far from home, and it is hot. Fun. I always remember you guys in my prayers, and think about you often, and the testimonies you have shared with me. You have always been great examples, and I always use you in giving my testimony. Chaito, nos vemos!

-Elder Nicholls