Back in Guayaquil!

Written by Elder Nykamp on February 29, 2016
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This area is like my first sector, super small and with lots of people that are Christians. It’s kind of hard but I know that there are people here that are ready to accept us and we will be able to change their lives! We found a couple of really good people that we hope will be able to progress this week so that we can have baptisms in March. Like I said the last baptism was in September in this ward. I really don’t know that many Elders because from the zone that I started most of them have finished and then I know the people that have been in Manta but other than that I don’t know very many other missionaries haha!

My new companion is good. He just barley started his mission and he hasn’t been able to have a baptism yet, like when I started! So now I have to help him so that he can have some converts before he leaves! This apartment is good and is the biggest I have had I think! There are a couple of weird things about it but it’s a good house! When I was driving to my house here after receiving the news about the changes, the taxi driver that was taking us almost hit a motorcycle with some guy and lady riding. The motorcycle had run a stop sign, it was really scary actually. The people here drive like crazy’s it’s kind of really horrible at times! It’s common in our mission to be in a sector like 6 months or in a zone 6 months but like I was in a zone 11 moths and a sector 7 that was pretty uncommon! Once every 3 months we have interviews and now that I am here in Guayaquil I will be seeing the President and the assistants more often!

We have some less actives that we are about to rescue and we have some investigators that if they go to church this week they will start progressing and we will be able to put baptism dates so we can have people progressing. When I got here they really didn’t have any investigators and so we have had to find all the people that we are working with and so we are going to have to work pretty hard! I think that I am really close to the mission home. I don’t really know very well but I think so! Everything is good here. We are working hard and trying to find new investigators! The ward here is very helpful which is something that we really need because there are not that many people that want to listen to us haha! We knock on like 10 doors and like 2 want to listen to us! In Manta we would knock on like 4 doors and 2 or 3 would want to listen to us. haha pretty different! Really I have been just trying my best to trust in the Lord because I will not be able to have a lot of success by myself I will need the help of the Lord to be able to have any kind of success here! Thanks for everything! Love you guy’s lots!

Elder Nykamp

Goodbye Manta!

Written by Elder Nykamp on February 22, 2016
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This last Sunday we were in the class talking from the book of President Howard W Hunter about help from heaven. And I remembered a really great quote from Elder Christofferson when he said "None of God´s children is predestined to receive anything less than all the Father has." And it is so true and that is why it is so important that we can make the right decisions. That’s what is going to make us happy here on earth and in the life after!
I think my favorite scripture is still Ether 12:27 but I have also have really loved Mosiah 5:2 because it explains how powerful the spirit is to be able to change the lives of people. I love it because I have seen those changes in the people that I have taught and it is amazing!
We had a great time me and my "son" (last companion)! We had changes today and now I am in a zone next to where I started haha! It is pretty crazy! Elder Arnao (my son) is really good he is going to be a really great missionary! Now I am with another Elder from his same group! His name is Elder Criollo and he is from Loja here in Ecuador! I was in the zone Manta for almost a year and now I bet that I am going to be here in Salado for the rest of my mission from what I have done in every other place! My sectors name is Gomez Rendon and it is really small! Haha It is like my first sector and it is going to be really weird because my last sector was really really big!
We were able to have one of our baptisms before I left. The mom of the family got baptized and the husband will be soon. They are really excited! I was good friends with all of the members in my last area. I had 7 months in that ward haha! When I see the members from Jocay my fist sector there in Manta they all talk to me. I have a really good relationship with all the members there in Manta! Really I was a little sad when I found out that I had exchanges, I really loved my time there in Manta and it really felt like a second home! I really loved them and the people I was able to teach and baptize! But now I know that the Lord needs me here in Guayaquil but now it’s going to be a lot harder here because the last baptism in the ward was in sept. I am going to have to see what we do to be able to find people that are going to be able to progress and be baptized! I know it will be a challenge but now I just have to really recognize like Ammon that I am nothing and that without the strength of the Lord I am nothing but with the strength of the Lord I can help these people come unto Christ and be baptized!
Love, Elder Nykamp

A long bus ride

Written by Elder Nykamp on February 15, 2016
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It is going to be weird to get back because I haven’t touched golf clubs and I almost haven’t touched a basketball in 2 years haha! I have just been playing soccer! It is pretty weird to think that now that I left on the mission life will never be the same! I won’t even be living there at home I am basically going to go straight to college and from that point I might never live at home ever again! Super weird to think but it’s pretty cool as well!
This week the family we have worked with are going to get married and then they are going to be baptized! They are going to marry the 18th and then be baptized the 20th! We are pretty excited because this family has had a lot of changes really amazing! They are always sharing with us that their lives have just completely changed and that they are just so much happier now. Before, they were always fighting but now they say that their house is just a place of peace!
Also pretty crazy and annoying was that today we had to go to Guayaquil to do the visa of my companion. We left at 7:30 a.m. and got to Guayaquil at 11 a.m. more or less and then we went to fix his visa and that took like 30 min more or less and at 1:10 we were on another bus coming back to Manta. We got here at 4:40 more so we spent all of our day in busses! Pretty lame! It was a pretty long day! Other than that there isn’t a whole lot going on right now we are just here working! Here are some photos!
Elder Nykamp
photo:out the bus window

Locked up!

Written by Elder Nykamp on February 6, 2016
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Haha here I am writing Saturday, because today and tomorrow at 6 we have to be in our houses and also Monday and Tuesday we don’t leave to work. haha That’s because here there is a holiday called carnival in which they all just play with water in the streets like crazy’s haha! And so we are just going to lock ourselves in our house for the next couple days studying and stuff like that until things calm down haha! I forgot to tell you guys this! Haha but it’s not a big deal!

Everything is going really well here in the mission we are working really hard and we have the Lopez family that are going to get married the 18th and are going to be baptized the 20th which is going to be really cool because the changes are going to be the 21st and it is almost certain that I will have changes! That same day the 20th we also have 2 other people that have baptism dates for that day that are progressing to be able to be baptized on that day and so we are pretty excited! Pretty cool this week we were taking a bus and I sat down next to a lady and she started asking me questions about why I am here. She thought that I was a student because here there are some schools that dress this way to go to school. Then I started talking to her about the church and yesterday we visited her and her husband and they were very nice and listened to us and we are going to see if they can progress! It would be really cool if they did! There isn’t a whole lot of other stuff that is going on worth writing about. Everything is just going along and we are working, visiting a lot of people, and trying our best to help a lot of people to progress! Really the family that we are teaching are really awesome and are progressing very well. They are reading the Book of Mormon and they are praying and they get to church by themselves! It is awesome and really they are super excited for their baptism and also to be able to go to the temple and be sealed as an eternal family! It is going to be a really great experience if they can make it to that point!

Really I am kind of sad that it’s almost time for me to leave this sector. I have really loved my time here and I really don’t want to leave from here in Manta. But it is looking like my time has come haha because I have had almost a year here in Manta! Pretty crazy how fast the time goes by it is incredible! I feel like I live here! haha Everyone jokes that I am going to buy a house here in Manta! It would actually be really cool!

This week I was listening to a really cool talk by Elder Eyring about the covenant we made when we were baptized to take upon ourselves the name of Christ and serve him always and to endure to the end! It was really amazing because he explained the importance of our actions in normal life that are going to be able to influence other people so that they can come unto the knowledge of the truth! It was super cool! I was also listening to a talk by Elder Christofferson about the same covenants and he explains the covenants give us hope so that we can get through the struggles and problems that come in this life! It was really cool because it made me think a lot of how I can better keep my baptismal and temple covenants so that I can always have the spirit with me! I am grateful for the mission because here I have been able to learn how to treasure and recognize the impressions of the spirit. I know that I can never live without it and so I will always be motivated to have the spirit with me so that I can keep on the path which takes us to eternal life! I know that this is the only true church here on the earth and I know that Joseph Smith restored this church and that he saw God and Jesus Christ, I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and I know that missionary work is the most important work here on earth because we need to help our brothers and sisters come unto Christ and be perfected in him! Love you guys lots!!

Elder Nykamp

Everything great in the Sector!

Written by Elder Nykamp on February 1, 2016
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That is pretty cool that you went to the Provo Temple open house. I saw a little thing on about that temple. It has a lot of history behind it which is pretty cool! I know that those experiences are pretty amazing to be able to go and really feel that spirit that is inside of the temples! So far, I have never entered into the primary. I am only ever in the elders quorum class but one time I went and helped in the Sunday school class of the jóvenes haha forgot that word!

Here in Manta it almost never rains and yes it rained here for like 3 days straight! It was only a drizzle though, it wasn’t anything big! haha It was really interesting but in Guayaquil I have heard that there is a ton of rain it is absolutely crazy! We still don’t have furniture in our apartment as of right now. haha I am going to be talking with the elders in the office this week about that. The thing was that at the end of the year there wasn’t a whole lot of money left to help us and now that the New Year has started there shouldn’t be a problem. So I am going to talk with the office to get the things!

Every Tuesday I am able to see Elder Farley. We see each other in the zone meetings and every Sunday at church. We go to the same building but he goes in the morning at 8 and we go and 10! He is doing well. His Spanish is a little rough like you would imagine when there is a new missionary but he is doing good!

Everything is going great here in the sector. December was a little rough but in February we will be having 4 baptisms! The family of 3 is going to get baptized the 13th. The mom and dad are going to be baptized for right now because the son is going to visit his aunt that same week during their school vacations which are these next 3 months. They are super excited! And then r the 20th we have 2 other sisters that are going to get baptized that day! We are pretty excited and we are just trying to help them keep on going to church so that we can have those baptisms! It is all going really well here in the sector with my son (companion) haha We are working really hard and we are starting to see the results! Pretty sad news is that the family of 4 that I baptized are going to have to move to Quito, or at least the mom and the 2 younger kids. The older daughter is going to stay here to be able to keep on studying, which kind of sucks because I won’t be able to see them. They are still going to go to church! They have to move because the work of the mom was going pretty bad and she found work there in Quito in a spa and so she is going to move there for work! I hope that everything works out but that is kind of sad. Other than that we are really having a really good time. The family that we are going to baptize are super excited and they are getting to church by themselves and they are reading their Book of Mormon and everything! They are just a really great family and I am super excited as well so that they can be baptized soon! It is also a little sad right now because it is almost certain that I am going to be leaving the zone because I will have 11 months here in Manta in February when the next exchanges come. I hope that I will be able to stay but it is almost certain that I will be leaving and that also is kind of sad. But other than that I have kept on loving the opportunity to work here in the mission and be able to come closer to my Savior!

Love you guys lots!

Elder Nykamp
foto today we played soccer as a zone!

Baptism and Rain

Written by Elder Nykamp on January 25, 2016
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That sounds pretty exciting to have so much snow, and that is pretty cool that young men went out shoveling and did that service during their class! My hand is fine. It is now starting to peel and everyone is telling me that my hand is going to have like a scar from this burn haha! It’s actually pretty funny that it happened but everything is fine! I am feeling a lot better which is really nice and so everything is good!

This last Saturday we had our baptism and then the 13th of Feb. we will be baptizing a family which is going to be super sweet! They are preparing to get married the 12th and then be baptized the 13th! They are very excited and are progressing very well! It is pretty exciting because they are a super good family and they are changing their lives very fast! The dad always drank a liter of coffee in the morning but in 2 days he stopped drinking it completely because he says that he always has to replace things. He has replaced beer for cola and instead of going out with his friends he now watches movies with his family! He replaced the coffee with a coffee like drink here that is made of wheat but has the same taste as coffee! My district is good! This month we are going to finish having 5 baptisms in all if everything goes right, and so we are working really well and everything is just moving right along!

This week was pretty good. We had some people in church but we are going to need to find more so that we can always have people in church! This week was also pretty cool because we had a worldwide broadcast to all the missionaries in which Elder Anderson, Elder Bednar, and Elder Oaks talked to us and a couple of the 70 as well! It was really awesome and spiritual and I learned a lot and I am pretty excited to keep on working and help a lot of people come unto Christ!

For the first time in Manta since I have been here, it has been raining! For the last 2 days!!! All of yesterday since 5 p.m. up until right now it has been raining! Not a whole bunch but a nice little drizzle and it has been drizzling for all that time! Pretty funny because this morning we woke up and found a whole lot of water on the floor and we had to sweep it all out! That was a little bit of a downer but other than that it has been pretty cool because I have been walking around in my jacket for the last days!

Thanks for writing! Love you guys a lot!

Elder Nykamp

Eternal families

Written by Elder Nykamp on January 18, 2016

I am all good. My sickness has passed from what I can tell. I am still not 100% but I am doing pretty well! The next transfers are in Feb. we just had transfers this last week and Elder Borg left he went to Guayaquil. Elder Borg and I got here together and so we will be going home together!

This Saturday we are going to have a baptism and them if everything goes well we are going to baptize a family the 13 of Feb. Which would be super sweet! This week we had 6 investigators in church and so we are hoping that in Feb. we can have at least 4 baptisms which would be super sweet!

Being a trainer is pretty sweet! It is kind of hard at times because it is a little hard for the new Elder’s to adapt to being a missionary. Before the mission we are all used to kind of doing what we want but now in the mission we have to follow a very strict system and so that is a little hard at first for most missionaries! The most rewarding part would be to know that if I do my job right he will be able to then help other new missionaries and invite others to come unto the gospel and I will have had an influence in those things!

This week was pretty crazy because we had to go to Guayaquil this last Wednesday to have a meeting with all the new missionaries from this group to verify their first 6 weeks! And so we didn’t really work Wednesday or Thursday but even with all of that traveling we were able to take those 6 people to church which was truly awesome because I didn’t even work in my sector Tuesday either because I did an interchange to go and know people from one of my sectors! We have a family right now that are really great people! They have had a lot of problems with their marriage but they really love their kids and so that is why they have never separated. They would have to get married before they could get baptized and that scares them a little because here the people don’t get married. We worked really hard to help them get over a few of their doubts by helping them realize that by getting married and baptized they will be able to strengthen their relationship and will become an eternal family! That really helped them! They still have a couple of doubts but it seems like they are going to be able to progress and be able to be baptized this 13 of Feb. That is the goal that we put with them and so we are going to see what happens this week so that they can progress and be baptized!

Other than that I burned the heck out of my hand this morning! I was doing a little top raman-esk soup and I had the water in a bowl with the noodles and as I was walking to the sink to pour out a little of the extra water the steam burned my hand and then the bowl lost its stability and the lava water poured onto my hand! It hurt soooooooo bad! It was horrible but other than that it has been a really great week! Sorry don’t have more photos I accidentally left my camera in the house of a member and just got it back today haha next week I promise!

Love Elder Nykamp

Short and Sweet

Written by Elder Nykamp on January 11, 2016

I’m surprised it took so long for you to get my handwritten letter. I sent that letter forever ago! I’m glad Michael is working on his Eagle. It was a struggle for me and my leaders gave me a lot of help haha! Good old scouts

My health has been bad this week haha I had a huge fever this week last night it got up to 102. But now I am much better!

The best part of this last week was when our investigator went to church because when they go to church they can progress! He was able to go this Sunday and so he is preparing to be baptized this 23rd! We are pretty excited and we also have another family that we have to see if they can progress this month? I’m getting used to more responsibility and we are working hard! Elder Borg (my buddy from the states) left from the zone. He had exchanges today! That was pretty sad, haha but he went to be a zone leader in another zone!

It’s true that if we repent we are promised forgiveness for our sins! I have really been able to understand that here in the mission and I have really come to appreciate the importance of the atonement in my life! I am eternally grateful for His sacrifice and I hope that I can use it to its full potential in my life and be able to use the atonement to raise me to a higher and better life! The mission has really given me a better view at life and I know that I will never be the same as what I was before. I know that the truths that we find in the restored gospel are necessary to gain our exaltation!

I love you guys lots sorry that it’s another short letter I am still kind of recovering from my fever. Also sorry for not having fotos I am going to try to take some this week!

Love Elder Nykamp

A letter sent to Elder Nykamp's home ward

Written by Elder Nykamp on January 10, 2016

Dear Valley View 2nd Ward Members,
This time on the mission has been a blast! I can't believe how fast the time has gone by, it has been crazy! I have loved every second in the mission even with all the hard times that I have had to pass bye. I almost don't remember them very well but I do remember every wonderful experience of the mission from the spiritual experiences when I have testified of the truthfulness of this message and the spirit has been able to testify to the people of the Book of Mormon and the truths that we find in it! I have also loved seeing the people overcome their doubts and concerns that they have had before and then as they read the Book of Mormon they are able to overcome all of their doubts and come to know that the church is true! I know that this church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and is the only true church here on the earth and that it is being guided by His hand through the prophet Thomas S. Monson! I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that we can come closer to God if we read it and then apply the teachings of that book! I also know without a doubt that the prophet Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His son Jesus Christ. I know that it is true because I have received the confirmation through the Holy Ghost! I know these things and I will always testify of them! I love this work, and I can feel the support from everyone there in the ward and I am very grateful to all of you guys!!
Love, Elder Hyrum Nykamp

Changing lives

Written by Elder Nykamp on January 4, 2016
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Christmas in Ecuador isn’t as big of a deal as in the states. New Year’s is crazy because they have a lot of party’s and they are all drinking!!

I think that there is a senor couple here but if there is they would be in the center of the mission in Guayaquil but I am not sure if we have any. We are still working with a couple of people but these last 2 weeks were a little hard with taking people to church. With all the parties and traveling we still have some people that are progressing. They might be able to be baptized this month!! We are working hard so that we can do it!

The best part of being a missionary is being able to see the changes that the people make in their lives when they read the Book of Mormon and go to church. I love it when they can testify of the truth of the message and the blessings that they have received. I also love that feeling when the people thank us for the work we have done to help them! The most difficult part of a mission is adapting to the culture of the companions! I just remember that it’s a different culture and I’m the one who is different! I have been in the same zone for 9 months but within that time I have been in 2 different sectors! Sorry this is a short card I ran out of time but love you guys a lot!

Love Elder Nykamp