There isn’t that much going on here in Guayaquil with the earthquake but ya it was super strong up there in the providence of Manabi so that is pretty crazy. I have heard that a large part of Manta was destroyed but really nothing happened to the members and so that is good! Only 13 people in all of Manta died but still it was strong up there! Here everything is going well. We are working hard and we have some people that are progressing! We have a man that is working hard so that he can be baptized this 21 of May so that is super exciting! Also we have a lady and her daughter that we are also helping progress that we have high hopes for! We also have a couple others but some people are just slow to be able live gospel principles! It´s true what you said, it is actually really hard to choose the right in place of the easy wrong! That is why we need to look to the future to know what it is we need to do! We are also reactivating a lot of people we might be able to rescue 7 people this month. Last month we were able to rescue 4 so that is also really good! I really love being a missionary, even though it is super hard some times and the people just don’t want to listen. We just have to keep on working hard and try to find new people that are ready to listen and change their lives! Thanks for writing and worrying about me but everything here in Guayaquil is like the earthquake never happened. But I would have preferred to have been in Manta during the earthquake to be able to help. But there was a reason that the Lord put me here in Salado before and I hope that I can complete everything that He wants me to!
Love you, Elder Nykamp
Thanks mom for not bothering the Mission President after the earthquake. Everything here is going well. We are working hard and I am still with my same companion. We have a couple of people that we are trying to help get baptized this month of May! I am ok after all the aftershocks. There hasn’t really been any big destruction here in Guayaquil. The quake was pretty strong but I wasn’t hurt and so it wasn’t too bad! We also have a couple of people that we are re activating that we are really happy with their progress and so they are going to be rescued also in May! We are working hard and having a good time! Here in the zone there is one Elder that was in the north and 4 sisters that were up there and so that is pretty interesting also to hear their stories during the earthquake and how it was for them. Pretty crazy! This is a fast letter love you lots next week will be longer! I didn’t have a lot of time!
Everything here in Guayaquil is ok after the earthquake! Nothing that bad happened here. We were all in the street proselyting when the earthquake hit but nothing too serious happened. The power was out for a good amount of time, but really here in Guayaquil very little happened. Where it was really bad was up there in Manta like you said, but even worse was a city called Pedernales, that city got literally destroyed. It is pretty rough I have heard. I am still not sure as to what kind of service projects we will do as a mission they haven’t said anything yet. First I think they want all the missionaries here in Guayaquil where everything is a lot safer and then they will plan for what we will be doing. I am not really sure what you can do from there at home, maybe do something to collect some more stuff to send. I am not really sure but really there has been a lot of help that has gotten here to help with the earthquake! The craziest part is that they say that there could be another even stronger earthquake that could happen pretty soon here in the next couple days. I am not too sure if that is true but that is what a lot of people are saying. We were going to have a special multi-stake conference with an Apostle Sunday through satellite transmission, but because of the earthquake we didn’t even go to church. Other than that there really isn’t that much more to tell. Everyone in the ward is also safe and we have some investigators that can progress to be baptized in May if everything goes well in these next couple weeks! We also have a lot of people that are starting to come back to the church so that they can be rescued! Love you all!
I know where that bridge in Guayaquil is that collapsed. It isn’t that close to me, it’s in an area that is more like a freeway type of thing. Right now we live on the top floor of a 3 story building. Today would have been transfers but they aren’t going to do them yet because they are still fixing the situation of the earthquake. Sunday there were a couple of aftershocks!
It’s pretty crazy that all the girls the year younger than me are going on missions! It’s funny that everyone thinks my mission has gone by fast because I also feel like it went by fast! But I have definitely been on the mission for a pretty long time haha! It is true that I am going to talk a little weird after the mission for a while haha! It’s going to be pretty funny!
This week was pretty hard because there were a couple of days that just nobody was home. We had a lot of people that went to church so it was all worth it! We have a girl that we are going to try to baptize the 23 of this month. We are going to find out today if she is going to be okay with that date or if we are going to have to wait a little more time before we are going to able to baptize her! So we are hopeful! Everything is going well here. We are just really going to focus on helping the ward be stronger in this next little bit of time, any suggestions? The ward is really good and they do want to help us but we still need help with getting them more excited about finding people and also helping them feel good in church! Other than that we are just here working.
I have really loved my time here in the mission. It has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I would never trade it for anything! It’s like I said, I wasn’t a bad kid before the mission but I definitely won’t be the same after the spiritual experiences that I have had! It is truly amazing! I am very grateful for everything that I have experienced here! Love you guy’s lots!!
That is pretty fun to be able to listen to all of the conference. I have loved the experience here in the mission because we don’t have any other preoccupation other than listening in every session! I really loved this conference and I learned a lot that will really help me be a better person!! We watch the conference in the stake center!
My health is good. A week ago I had another fever but it was only for one night and then I was fine! Classic! Wow things are going to be so different when I get back! It is super crazy! The time goes by super-fast here in Ecuador especially because the weather never changes every day it is just super-hot. It is great but I don’t know what is going to happen to me when I get home and go up to Logan in the winter! I think I am going to freeze!
I am loving things here on the mission there are a lot of hard times but also a lot of great times that really outweigh the hard ones! I have really enjoyed this time and I know that this is the true church and this is exactly what I have to be doing right now. It is awesome! I have learned so much and every conference just confirms to me that this is the truth and that I need to keep on trying to be better! Love you guys sorry I just don’t have a lot to say this week love you guys lots and I know that Thomas S. Monson is the true and living prophet and that we need to apply the things we learned this conference to be happier and receive more blessings!
We had a baptism this last Saturday! He is a really great guy! He was in the navy and he lives by himself. He has a great desire to keep on learning! Now we are just a little worried about what is going to happen in April! We don’t have a baptismal date put with anyone yet and so we are going to have to work super hard to be able to find someone who is ready to progress immediately! We have some good people we just haven’t been able to put the date yet we have plans but we just have to do it! Really this week was pretty great because we were also able to go to the temple. We went Tuesday and that was awesome! I have really loved being able to do sessions! The frustrating part is that this week we had a lot of really good possible investigators that just haven’t really progressed like we were hoping. We are going to have to work extra hard this week so that we can find people that are ready to receive the restored gospel. Here it is a little hard because the people are like in my first sector they are all members of other faiths and so they all have their "churches". Saturday they stayed up all night singing songs with drums and guitars and there is a church right out front of our house and so it was pretty hard to sleep. We are here to help others and that’s what we are working on! Love you guy’s lots!
Love Elder Nykamp
That is pretty crazy that it is already time for prom, the time goes by so fast like it’s almost summer there which is super weird because I don’t feel that here haha! It is just always hot and it is still weird in that sense because it just never gets cooler and so it always feels like the same time of the year!
One thing really important that I have learned here on the mission is the importance of the Sabbath day and really I am very grateful that you drilled into my head that I should be at home a little earlier Saturday to go to church Sunday. Even my friends offered to sneak out with me Saturday night and I always said no because I had to go to church! And I know that it helped me get on a mission! In 2 Nephi 26:22 I think that Satan uses flaxen chords to trap us, or he uses really thin, thread to trap us at first, (not keeping the Sabbath day holy, not doing family night, not reading the scriptures, going to parties with bad influences even though I won’t participate, etc) until he can then trap us with his chains and take us away unto destruction (drugs, pornography, immorality, alcohol, etc). I know that sometimes I was rebellious but really I am very grateful that you guys did so much for me to help me stay away from those things! The Lord also works through small means to reach his eternal purposes! Alma 37 6-7. And so we have to be more obedient with that! We shouldn’t watch t.v. or play video games, we should be reading the scriptures and watching videos of the church and things like that!
It has rained a lot in these last weeks! This Saturday we are going to have a baptism! I will be sending photos! We are pretty excited! He is an older guy and is really great and is ready to be able to go to church. He lives by himself, he is separated from his wife, like a lot of people here but he is really great. We are now just trying to find new people that can be baptized in April! We have a couple of people that are almost starting to progress but we are really just trying to also find more. I really just want to find a family that can progress and be baptized that is my goal, before I leave from here I want to baptize a family! Even if it just a couple that is fine I just want to find someone that could be sealed and so that is what we are focusing on right now! Next week I will have photos!! Love you guys!!
What Bishop Meredith said is really important! We really can’t just sit around and do nothing. We have to actively participate in the gospel! The mission has really helped me learn to make decisions and be active so that I can get stuff done and be able to have the spirit with me! I know that there were times that I got frustrated at home but really it was all necessary. God knows why he put us together as a family and we have to learn how to be able to live together! I am also very grateful for everything that you guys have done for me because you helped me and you were there and willing to help me. You also helped me realize that God loves us as sinners but he doesn’t love sins! We have to repent and really change ourselves to be able to live happily! I know that without your help I would have ended up lost. I am eternally grateful for everything that you guys have helped me with. You have helped me progress and keep moving forward in what I know is true. I really have been lucky to have you guys as my family and also I have been blessed with a good sense of what is good and what is bad even though there have been times that I have chosen to do the wrong, I have been able to slowly but surely overcome those stumbling blocks. I was able to really recognize and accept the atonement in my life and I am forever grateful for my savior! This last fast and testimony I really just felt an amazing spirit as I read the words from the hymn of Pres. Gordon B Hinckley, My Redeemer Lives. I just had an assurance that Jesus Christ truly died for my sins and was resurrected to be able to save us from our sins. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that this is His true church! I was also able to see the new video that the church did for Easter and I felt the same spirit. I am truly grateful for my Savior! Love you guys lots thanks for everything!
Love Elder Nykamp
That is pretty cool that Troy got married. I am pretty happy for him and tell him that I said congratulations haha! That is also really great for Cassidy tell him the same and don’t forget to send me some pictures haha! That is also really great to hear that Ty is going to serve a mission that will be really great for him! (Troy, Cassidy, and Ty are Hyrums cousins)
Looks like as of right now, everything is good to have our baptism the 26th of this month. We also have some other people that we are working with that we are trying to find and teach! We have a couple of families that are progressing! We have a less active lady that has been away from the church for about 20 years but she is super excited to come back to the church and we are just trying to help.
The members here are good at feeding us! We spend a lot of time tracking and we are trying to help the members participate a little more but it is a work in progress. The bishop is really excited and ready to help us which is pretty cool! He is only like 35 years old, I think he is pretty young and he has 3 young boys he is a really good guy!
I am still a district leader and this week has been good. I have been trying very hard this week to trust more in the Lord because it is hard to find people here. It is very similar to my first sector haha my companion is just like me when I started my mission. He hasn’t had a single baptism in his first 3 months with his "dad" (trainer) so I am trying hard to be able to help him leave from this sector with baptisms! It has required that I always offer prayers to look for the will of the Lord so that I can find the people who need to hear from us.
I know the importance of the spirit now because it is something crucial to being able to function in this world. Elder Kevin W. Pearson in the April 2015 general conference said that if we don’t have the spirit we are lost. That is why it is so important that we always strive to keep the commandments. We need to have the spirit and always choose right so we can be guided back to the presence of God! I am very grateful for this time that I have to be here on the mission and being able to teach the people and help them repent and come unto Christ! Thanks for everything love you guys lots!