Monday, August 31, 2015

Elder Nelson Come to Honduras

HELLO family!! :) 

Well this week has been so special and FILLED with some great conferences! To start off with our zone conference, later missionary conference with Elder Nelson with ALL of our mission and the Tegucigalpa mission, and then SUPER lucky because of which area I'm serving in, because he came to speak at our Stake Conference, and only ours.  There is so much I want to share, but I will have to narrow it down... 

Well to start off, when Elder Nelson entered the room, you can just feel his special presence and know that he is a true apostol of the Lord.  We got to shake his hand real quick at the beginning.  I remember the week before I left on my mission, I also got to shake his hand in California. :) The changes they are making in the mission are super inspired of the Lord.  We talked a lot about rescuing in our zone conference with Presidente Ferman, and Elder Nelson touched on a new insight in the mission as well.  Presidente Ferman wants us to  focus more right now on rescuing the less actives and helping recent converts get to the temple and stay active.  These have been more of the problems lately, and I can see that these changes are what the Lord wants right now.  Presidente Ferman's theme that I felt was while we focus on rescuing His children, we will find others who are ready for baptism as well. 
Elder Nelson told us at the end of his talk that he wasn't asking for baptisms or converts but for us to TAKE his children to the temple. WOW.. the focus is changing. 
He gave us 10 topics to study in the guide for the scriptures the spanish scriptures have in the back to study.. its kind of like the bible dictionary about the temple.  He told us if we mastered these little paragraphs he gave us about the temple we will be able to help others go.  SO awesome.  Presidente Ferman this last week in my email reminded me that WE are the closest to the temple in our mission, and need to get more people going! wow... so much work to do. 
This is what I loved from Elder Nelson's talk: 
that We are the hope of wives praying for their husbands and youth praying for their parents!  I will try to be brief, but he shared with us of a visitation he told us he had of 2 young girls who had passed away 50 years ago who he had operated on.  He said he knew them and remembered their names.  They came to him and told him they were sad because they were not sealed to anyone.  Wow... 
He said he then later had someone look up their names and find their families to visit them.  He found that only their father and their brother were alive.  And he got their address and went to visit them.  The father was 88 years old, and had been inactive for years.  Elder Nelson told the father of his experience and asked him if he would prepare to enter the temple and be sealed to his children.  His father said yes, and is reactivating in the church to be able to be sealed to his children.  such a cool experience.  
Elder Nelson said that the temple is SUCH a blessing to us.  That WHY wait to have the blessings when we can have them NOW. 
We are the hope of the people on the other side of the veil for sealing ordinances he told us.  
Our focus as missionaries is changing.  Baptism is not just what we do and invite people to do, but we invite them to baptism with the focus that they will after, be able to work to enter into the Holy House of the Lord.  I love it.  I know that not just missionaries are the hope of the people on the other side of the veil, but that ALL of us here on earth have a job to do to help others on the other side as well. 

Elder Nelson had SO many great things to say in his conferences we were able to go to.  In stake conference he ended bearing his testimony in Spanish, and wow really it was the gift of tongues because his Spanish was perfect and I couldn't tell if he was speaking in English or Spanish in my mind... haha :) 
When we were leaving the room, I felt this feeling of sadness in my heart, because I felt this spirit with him leaving as well.  It is so prominent, and I thought this is how the Nephites must have felt when Christ didn't return. Such a testimony to me that he is a true apostol of the Lord Jesus Christ.  
We had a lot of our investigators able to go to the Stake Conference with him, and are exited about verifying with them this week! 

Well there are just a lot more I would love to share, but also since we were with the whole mission, I of course saw all of the sisters :) so I want to send more pictures from the week. 

Lots of work to do, and so little time.  I love Roble Oeste. 

Love you!!!
Hermana Nichols 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Picture Update

Hello to Roble Oeste

HI FAM! :)
Well I have been transferred to......... ROBLE OESTE... which is the area
of the temple! SO SO beautiful to see it everyday! :) It is pretty much the
wealthiest area of the mission, so I feel like I have changed missions
almost.  I never knew HOW much I loved those pueblos and the people there,
until now. haha I feel like I'm in the States almost in my new area... not
exactly, but resembles it.  So I miss the pueblitos, and all the hilarious
things that go down in the pueblos and branches there. :) But well in our
house we live 4 sisters again... and I'm back living with Hermana G!!!
WHOO!! super fun :) Mom I think this week we are going to a place where
they met a chef who makes Saltenas.. I will take more pics and be thinking
of you :) But also I have had more hot showers this week than my entire
mission! :) haha Such a blessing, running water, we are super blessed in
this area.  Well but on the other side, people don't welcome us into their
house every second like in the pueblos.  So finding has been a little bit
more challenging, but we were able to have a little bit of success this
week in contacting a finding.
We have a lot of eternagators as they say... haha people who have been
investigating the church for a long time.  But we had such a great
experience last night.  There is a family that we are working with that the
missionaries have been visiting for over a year.  And before that they had
met with other missionaries less frequently.  But these last couple weeks
Hermana M started coming to church, and the last 3 weeks her husband L has
started coming.  All of their kids are older, and L looks like a little
rough around the edge kind of guy.  We finally were able to put an apt to
teach him and his wife together becuase he travels all week for his job.
Last night when we arrived, M who has told us she wants to get baptized,
and who the hermanas visit frecuently with was sick, so while she rested,
we visited with L her husband.  We started off asking him how he felt in
the church etc, and then the rest he just started talking and telling us
how he had been feeling sincerely.  Nothing like I thought who he would
be.  He told us that as he has been thinking this last week, and seen the
missionaries over time who his wife loves, and coming to church. He likes
the kind of people he sees in our church.  He said he likes service and the
type of genuine love he sees from the people of our church. (mormonas they
all say):)
He talked about when he decides to be mormon he knows that he needs to
commit.  What I was so touched by was that he told us in the end that he
wanted a church that unified his family.  He saw that this church has the
truth, and that all that time he thought he had been in the true church
until now.  He told us how he knew that there were thousands of people like
him who think they have the truth but don't.  It was so crazy to see
someone say this and realize where the truth lies through being in our
church, and in all the meetings, and watching the example of members and
missionaries.  He prayed in the last prayer for us that we would have
success in finding more people who will open their hearts to hear us and
accept our message.  Literally I was stunned from all that Hermana V had
told me about their family, that he was telling us how much he sees that
this gospel is true.  This was our first lesson with him.  But he accepted
to pray about what date he will be baptized and set a goal for end of
August with him.  He leaves to travel this week but is bringing the BoM
with him.  Super crazy.  And we are praying that these next weeks will be
when the F family will prepare for baptism and recieve their answer from
our Heavenaly Father.

I know the Lord prepares His children in His own time.  And that as
missionaries we must be patient and always trust in the timing of the Lord
in all things.

My new comp is awesome! I knew her in La Paz, and she is from Bakersfield!
Hermana V.  She is Mexican too.  Super fun, and we are loving it here in
Roble, even though we miss our pueblos...:)
Here are some pics too.  We started off in a trio this week because one
sister was waiting for a mini missionary to go with her to her area, I
guess there are an odd number of sisters.  So here are some pics of the
trio tambien for the first couple days this last week :) with Hermana C
from Ecuador.

Also in our house is where the sisters who are leaving the mish stay.  Said
goodbyes to Hermana G.  I love her, and was so sad to say goodbye. So fun
to be able communicate so MUCH better this time. :)  Also in changes saw
Hermana M. LOVE seeing her! :) She is doing So awesome!

Love you all!
Hermana Nichols

Blessings in Roble

Hello fam! :) 
Well it is a lot hotter here than it was in Zambrano... haha we are feeling the heat, but I imagine all of you are feeling it worse right now. 
Well the time here in the mission just keeps getting better, and shorter sadly.  I just more and more realize how IMPORTANT missionary work is for everyone who is a member of the Church. 
Hermana V is awesome, she has 9 months in the mission but has taught me so much.  We really have been focusing on finding and teaching according to our investigators needs.  That is what they teach you from the beginning in the CCM... but I have felt this change we really are doing it.  We have felt the spirit SO strongly in some of our lessons because I really do know that what we taught them and felt strongly impressed to tell them was from the Spirit.  
One of our investigators B, who is 17 and works for the Family F and lives with them said in her prayer that she was grateful for the sisters who teach her and asked if Heavenly Father could help her put the things she is learning in practice.  Sometimes when we teach her, she doesn't answer us right away, or at all 
when we ask her questions or try to get feedback... sometimes I wonder if she understands us or what we are teaching.  We have figured out ways to teach simply, but by the way she looks at us when we are teaching, and the prayers she says afterwards we know that the Spirit is helping testify to her of the truth. 

We have started teaching with M's daughter too... who is named M who is 20. :) They love to keep the names in the family. 
And she at first did NOT want to listen to us she told her mom.  But as we started to teach with her, we really felt like we should teach and talk about Our divine potential as Children of God.  It was super powerful our lesson as we felt the spirit so strongly.  We talked about Pres. Uchtdorf's talk from last conference LIve the gospel joyfully.  We talked about with how as daughters of God, Heavenly Father loves us already as we are, and how he loves even though we have imperfections.  But as daughters of a Heavenly King we have to live a higher law and be obedient to return home to Him.  In our other lesson we watched with her my FAVORITE Mormon message video Earthly Father Heavenly Father.  I love how this video helps us understand better our relationship with our Heavenly Father.  She said afterwards she loved the video, and that we cleared up a lot of doubts she had had.  She had gone to her pastor that week to talk to him about some of her study plans for the year in her univeristy.  She had wanted her pastor to look them over and ask God if that's what she should do.  Her pastor told her she was sick and should come back another day.  She left sad she told us.  But she now understood that SHE could ask Heavenly Father directly about her questions and doubts.  Many people do not understand our divine reationship we can have with our Heavenly Father.  That to have a relationship with Him we also have to put in our time by reading the scriptures, praying and LISTENING to him.  I know that the relationship we have with Heavenly Father is the most important one we can have.  And our actions will reflect how our relationship with Him really is. 

M is so sweet!  We are praying that her husband can get back from his work this next Friday in time to go to the marriage discussion from Elder NELSON! YAY! Elder Nelson is coming this next Friday-Sunday!!!! SOOOO EXCITED! missionaries from alll our mission AND Tegucigalpa are meeting with him Satuday.  Do not know how we are ALL going to fit.  But we are praying that he will get back in time to go together. 

We fasted with our other investigator N who is in the hot chocolate pics... haha and SHE CAME TO CHURCH for the first time this Sunday. :) She has been visiting with the sisters for 6 months, but because her husband doesn't approve of her going hasn't gone.  But well we fasted with her and with C the member who has been helping us with her, that her husband's heart would be softened and would go with her to church.  He didn't come, but she finally decided that she would.  We hope she liked it.  We stayed in Primary with her little girl to help her, and P (her daughter) liked the Book of Mormon story song that they sang. :)  

The Lord is so blessing us here in Roble.  Some afternoons seem long because this week not a lot of people were in their house, or didn't want to open their doors, but the many spiritual moments that we have had this week make up for all the rest. :) wish I had more time to type about everything.  But I love and miss you all :) and hope everything is well.  Hope the move went well Kare and Kev! 

Hermana Nichols

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Farewell to Zambrano

HEY!!! :)
Well cannot believe that July has gone, and starting Aug.  But this week in Zambrano, my companion got a call from Pres Ferman, and will be training this next change! YAY! :) She has told me that she has been waiting for this! Super cool that I had the same feeling that she was going to train here earlier that week for some reason. 
Well, this means.... I'm probably leaving Zambrano tomorrow for another área. :( Super bummed... but well we are still waiting for our District Leader to call us and give us the for sure of who stays and who leaves, because for sure we have changes, but don't know who leaves.  Most likely I will be the one who leaves :( But super happy for Hermana H!  When Pres. called she wanted me to listen with her on the phone :) haha and one of the things he told her was that she was going to be a teacher, an instructor in all things.  And was going to teach by example.  He told her she would be a great teacher, and congratulated her and then told her to congratulate me for being a teacher and instructor for her.  I was so touched by his words.  This change has been one of my favorites.  Hermana H and I, I feel, have learned a lot from each other.  

This week also we have had some experiences where I know the Holy Spirit guided us.  Hermana H has been sick this week, but we were still able to leave the house a little bit. I have been worried about if I leave the area "how will I leave it?".  But I know He Heard our prayers.  After visiting one of our investiagators who wasn't home, we started walking and Hermana H said that there was an old investigator who the sisters before her were working with but could never find her, who lived where we were passing by.  We felt like we should pass by and see if we could find her this time.  F was in her house, and we were able to teach a small lesson with her.  She accepted to prepare for baptism once again with us! 
Later this week, Sunday mornings before church are always a little stressful trying to get investigators there, trying to get in contact with them etc... After feeling a little discouraged that the people we had visited that week weren't going to be able to come, or weren't answering phones, we were thinking if there was ANYONE else we could possibly invite or pass by.  We thought maybe we should pass by for M's mom and sister even though M (our recent convert) told us he wasn't going to be able to go to church this Sunday for a graduation.  Well we decided to go pass by his house and invite his Mom and sister.  When we got there, his Mom was at the neighbor's house, so we went looking for her there.  When we called her name, and she came out we invited her to accompany us to church.  She told us that her family was visiting today and wouldn't be able to make it, but that she had decided last night that she was leaving her boyfriend, who she had been living with for 9 years, and wanted to get baptized.  Whoa... She said that there had been problems and he hadn't been loyal, and she wanted to start over and be baptized.  Later that night when we visited M and J for an fhe with some of the other youth, we talked with her and she told us that she was ready to prepare for baptism!  She has recieved the missionaries over 20 years 3 different times in preparing for baptism, but never got baptized, but now that she is seperated from her boyfriend, could now complete the requisites to be baptized!  When she told M that she was going to prepare for baptism, we told him also now that he has the priesthood he could be the one to perform the ordinance! He was a little in shock. haha I know that we were guided to speak with M, his mom, because maybe it wasn't for the purpose that she was going to come with us to church that Sunday, but was for something bigger.  
Also that night we were able to put a baptismal date with one of the families we had visited before.  They didn't come to church, but accepted a date for baptism if they recieve their answer that this is the true Church.  I know that prayer and ayuno is powerful and that Heavenly Father always answers them when we do our part.  

I know that the Holy Spirit speaks to us and guides us.  I have learned that He grants us our wishes helps fulfill the desires of our hearts especially if they are for OTHER people.  Presidente Ferman told us in a letter last week that the Still small voice is a voice we FEEL more often than we hear.  I know that is SO true, and more and more I am grateful for the experiences where I better recognize and follow these promptings in better serving and blessing our brothers and sisters. :) 

Well I will let you know next Mondaywhere I am! Also super fun this week to see Hermana G and Hermana N from Talanga in the trainers meeting... our comps are training so I saw them! I am now racking up the áreas... haha 

Love you,
Hermana Nichols

Monday, August 3, 2015

Pioneer Day

Hey fam! 

Well this week was full of mini miracles.  I know that Heavenly Father is aware of us, and our needs, and our desires.  I know He helps us acccomplish our just and righteous desires. :) 

Well to start off J got baptized this Saturday! WHOO! He is the friend of our other baptism here of M.  He is 18 years old, and awesome.  He was waiting for his baptism he told us.  He stopped drinking coffee, and we are still working with him reminding him about breaking the addiction because it is still hard for him.  M recieved the priesthood this last Sunday, and they are both going to the temple this Saturday! :) We found ties and the ward and the elders gave us white shirts to give them!  He and M were so prepared by the Lord in this time, Hermana H and I are so happy for them.  
The day of his baptism there was some confusion in the zone that if someone was 18 years old and lived with their parents, they still needed their signature on their bapstismal registry.  Well his parents are Catholic and even though earlier we had met with his Mom to try to get her permission verbally, they were not going to sign his baptismal registry.  I was SO sad because he was so prepared and was waiting for this day.  But after talking with the APs they told us that this rule had changed and that they he didn't need his parents signature because he was 18.  I look up to J in this way that even though his parents were not in favor of him getting baptized and didn't want him to, he told us he knew that this is what he wanted to do.  We heard him talking on the phone with his Dad trying to get permission, and I know that J has received a testimony of the the truth.  He too had been prepared by missionaries earlier, who had been in his house to teach his brother and other friends.  Even though the missionaries never taught him, he had listened in on their discussions.  He had when we started teaching with him ALL of the paphlets of the lessons.  He told us that missionaries one day were giving out pamphlets and he recieved all of them... haha He and M, I know will do great things in this gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Well we also this week had our Pioneer activity.  Well we are still working on getting more of the members and investigators to show up, but for the youth that were there after seminary (they have seminary at night) they liked it! :) Attached is one of the members that showed up to help us give her story of the "pioneer trek". Dad sent me a sweet quote from Pres Uchtdorf's talk in the Ensign and it was awesome! I'm so grateful for our pioneer ancestors, and it was interesting teaching about the pioneers here.  A lot of the youth didn't even know what a pioneer was and why they were important to us!  Their example in our lives and their spirit of optismism and hard work is what we now can demonstrate too! Especially here in the mish :) 

Well the Lord is helping us here in Zambrano. Right now we are struggling with helping people progress, but I know that Heavenly Father is helping us, and we just have to be patient. 

Love you all! 
Hermana Nichols