Christmas was pretty fun. It was also a little hard because the difference in cultures is a little hard at times but it was fun because I just hung out with Elder Borg! We watched 2 movies, the robot movie that is from forever ago haha and big hero 6 that new movie. That was awesome!!
The members brought us lots of food and one member took us to his house to eat lunch and then the Bishop took us food for dinner. We were able to eat lots! I actually ate a little too much haha I was stuffed to the brim because one of the sisters of the ward gave us a delicious pineapple cake! It was awesome!
New Year’s will be the same as Christmas! The 31st we work until 6 and then from then on we are in the house until the 2nd. I think was are going to watch some other movies as well!
Our investigator came late to church, and so this week we are going to see if he can go to church the 3 hours so we can put a firm baptism date. Here in this mission the people need to go to church 3 times before they can get baptized and he has only gone once as for right now and so we are going to see what happens this week!
My favorite thing about Ecuador is maybe the food haha! But the worst is that at times there are some horrible stenches in the streets from I am not exactly sure what, but it is horrible haha! We have a little CD player that we hook up to the speakers that we play as we sing!
Love you guys a lot and I know that these things are true and that there is nothing more important The Restored Gospel! I truly love this more than anything else and I am sooooo grateful for this time that I have to be a missionary. I am able to learn more of the love and grace that God gives us through his Son Jesus Christ! I also know that there is nothing more important than reading the Book of Mormon and applying the principles that we can read there. The book of Mormon is an amazing guide for us so that we can become more like Christ and obtain our salvation! Love you lots!
The best part of our Christmas is getting to Skype Elder Nykamp! He called Christmas Eve and we were able to talk for an hour! We are grateful for his service and grateful he is happy! Merry Christmas!
I will skype Christmas Eve no matter what haha! On Christmas a family can have us over for dinner but the member has to take us in his own car from the house of the missionaries to the member’s house and then take us back to the missionary’s house because we don’t leave the house on Christmas day! We are all going to the Zone leader’s house to meet up. There are 7 companionships and so it will be pretty crazy!I won’t write a really long letter this week either because we will be skyping haha!
This last week was a little harder than usual because with training and recently having new responsibilities as district leader. All that has been more stress haha Especially when we were able to put a baptism date this week but then he couldn’t go to church this week. So that was a little disappointing. We are going to keep on working with him so that we can have more people preparing to be baptized! Even with all the disappointment and stress, whenever I feel down I just think about all the blessings that I have received and that struggles make us stronger. Without hard moments in our lives we could never progress I know that this time as a missionary has helped my testimony grow and I will be a much better person after the mission! I love reading Malachi 3:3 because last year the mission president sent us a little story about that scripture.
Thanks for everything I know that I am here because of you and Dad! I shared this last Sunday in a talk about how while we are in church we should do everything possible to help the spirit be with us! I shared how you guys never let me take my phone to church, and how whenever I tried you guys would always take it away from me! I know that, that helped me focus more in church and it helped me "turn away my foot from doing my will on the Sabbath day" Isaiah 58:13 It also helped me stay firmly gripped to the iron rod! Thanks for everything! Love you lots see you soon!!
Love Elder Nykamp
Here in Ecuador we use taxis there are a lot of dogs in the streets, there are a lot of bread shops, and everybody talks Spanish. Here and there people like to talk English with me. My companion is from Peru and he is pretty cool, here there are also a lot of people that drink beer. Those are the details of the week.
I am still in Eloy Alfaro I am just now training a new Elder! Elder Farley is in my zone! We will be in the house of the zone leaders for Christmas and I think that we are just going to chill and maybe watch a movie as well!
I have seen movie posters about the new Star Wars but not many people here in South America have seen any of the Star Wars and so it is not too big of a deal haha! We hear a good deal about the states because the people tell us about Donald Trump and stuff like that! We don’t hear a whole lot!
We have a couple of people that are progressing and we have a family that we have been working with for a while now. If everything works out perfectly they will be getting baptized this 26th, and so we will see what happens! We are going to be looking for a lot of new people this week as well! This week was a good week and we are having a good amount of success with some of the people that we are teaching we just need to do a better job of finding more people to teach. We are a little low on people right now. It is a little hard when I have to do everything because I have to come up with all of the ideas so that we can find more people and so we I have to work harder to be able to have more people to teach. I just have to get used to it and also when my companion gets a little more used to the mission we are going to be able to work better together! I am very excited and I know that there are more people waiting to hear this message! Love you lots and we will see each other soon!
Love Elder Nykamp
This week has been pretty crazy because I was called as a district leader and I was also called to train a new missionary! I didn’t have change and I am still in Eloy Alfaro! But I am now with Elder Arnao! It is going to be super interesting to see what happens! I am pretty excited and we are going to be working very hard this week so that we can have a good week and take some new families to church! We have one family that is very good that could progress! We just have to help them get married so that they can get baptized this month! I have to receive reports from other missionaries to see what they are doing every day and then I have to report it to the zone leaders! We do it through the cell phones! I am receiving informs until 9:45 pm and then I am giving my information on my district from 9:45 to 10:15. I have 15 minutes to prepare myself really fast and then go to sleep! We have to write everything down in planners that they give us! I am still in Manta and I will be here until Feb. so that is going to be really awesome because Manta is super awesome! I am pretty excited! As a district leader I am over 3 other pairs of missionaries and the zone leaders are over 11 pairs. They have even more responsibilities to complete! It’s pretty interesting! We are going to skype the 24th at 5p.m. Ecuador time. I will confirm that next week but as to right now we will be doing it at that time! The time is going by wayyyyy too fast! I already have 15 months its crazy! But I am very excited to keep on working! I can really share my testimony that I know that the scriptures are unbelievably important and that I have seen a lot of changes in my life thanks to the opportunity that I have had to be able to read the Book of Mormon every day! Also to be able to testify of it almost every day to my investigators! I love the church and I appreciate the testimony that I have gained here in the mission!
Love you lots
It is completely different to live here than in the US! The culture and the priorities are completely different! It’s really interesting because here there are people living in houses of bamboo but they have a computer a color printer and 2 flat screen tv´s. It is amazing to see how they are so focused on the worldly things. They lose focus on what is really important like food, clothes, and maybe a good house with walls that will protect the family. There are times that I still can’t believe that I am living in another country talking a different language and that I can understand everything they tell me. It is really quite interesting and I have really loved my time here! One thing that I have missed is having a change in the weather. I really like hot weather but after a year and a half of just hot sun every day, I find myself wishing for some change because it also doesn’t feel like the years are moving along because there isn’t that change that indicates summer, fall, winter, and spring! It is super interesting an experience that I will never forget haha! On p-days I love to go and play soccer. haha It is super fun because it is a good way to just get moving and just have a really fun time!
We had our baptism this last week. The grandma of the family we baptized got baptized this Saturday! This week we found a couple of people but we need to find lots more people! We are a little low this week and so we are going to be focused in that this week! One of the really important things we teach is about the Sabbath day. If they don’t go to church we can’t do anything and especially with the whole church focusing on that it has been really cool!
We walk the entire day and we also take some buses! We went to Guayaquil last week to have a reunion about Christmas. It was super cool! We talked a lot about family history and how to use it better in our work as missionaries! I don’t see the mission president very often. He just comes every once in a while to do interviews! Today I am in Prosparina another sector of the mission just for the next three days so that I can receive my new companion! It is going to be a brand new missionary. I am going to train and I am also going to be a district leader! I am pretty excited and I hope that I will be able to complete all of my requirements! Love you all!!
It is super weird to hear that it is getting cooler there because it is the same here haha and it is actually going to get hotter pretty soon because the summer is in January! We just had our Christmas reunion as a mission! Thanksgiving isn’t a thing here and so we will just be working as normal!
My companion and I are working well together. We have a couple of really good families that we are going to help be baptized in diciembre ( I forgot how to spell it in English sorry) This Saturday we are going to have a baptism! The grandma of the family that we baptized last month is going to be baptized this Saturday because she got married this last Friday! And it’s also really cool because the sister of the grandma that lives in another ward also started to listen to the missionaries (sisters) and she is going to be getting baptized in diciembre as well! It is super cool because that family is just a really cool family! I am very grateful that I was able to find them! We actually found them while we were fasting which was awesome!
My health is good except I have gotten some mosquito bites but other than that I am ok! My shoulder is just sore and it is going to take a really long time to recover because there isn’t time to rest haha!
This next week we are going to be focusing on finding new people because we have a couple of really good families but we need some more people that we can help progress this next week. We want to have some new converts in Diciembre! This last week I was reading in Alma and I am in the wars but just before that we read about Corianton. I love what it says in Alma 42 about justice and mercy and how we all need to complete with the laws but we all have come short of the glory of God and sinned Romans 3:23. It is completely necessary that there be a Savior who would atone for the sins of all of us! It made me remember the video that the church did about a young man who takes out a huge loan to buy a house. He ends up not being able to pay it all because he was a little lazy at times and when the day comes to pay the debt he wants mercy but the loaner wants justice and so to satisfy the both of them there had to be a 3rd person to pay the debt and give mercy to the other! I love the video because it reminds me about how important it is to always show our love and appreciation to our Salvador because he gave us the path to the salvación! And that is why we need to obey the commandments and be able to receive the mercy and go back to the presence of God! That is my spiritual thought of the day thanks!!
Love Elder Nykamp
In the Doctrine and Covenants it says that God can’t look upon sin with the least amount of tolerance and sin will always be sin. The changes that are happening in the world will never change the commandments of God. He will always be the same and so we have to stay strong with the counsels of the prophet!
My health is good but my shoulder was hurting for a while. I started to use a backpack and it has helped and once I am feeling better again I will start using my hand bag again haha! The apartment is good but we just have to wait until the stuff get there to have everything put together! We just have to have patience!
My favorite scripture hasn’t changed its still Ether 12:27. I have been reading Alma these last weeks and something that really left a strong impression on me was that every time Alma was going to preach the gospel he was greatly saddened for the sins of the people and that gave him the desire to help them. At times we see the people acting wickedly and we just think that is too bad for them, I am just going to keep strong in the gospel and that is too bad for them. But we should be like Alma and have a strong desire to help them be able to repent and come unto Christ and be perfected in him like it says in Moroni! It is really great that the members have a great desire to help in the work. They give us lots of references and that is super great!
Everything is going really well for right now with my companion. We are excited and we are working hard to be able to help lots of people go to church and stuff. This Sunday we helped a family of 4 go to church and they accepted a date to get married and also to get baptized and so we are pretty excited! In this ward I haven’t had to speak yet, there are a lot of members here and so we don’t really have too. I think we are going to ask to be able to give talks every once in a while to be able to help the people participate a little more in missionary work!
My favorite meal is ceviche or encobollado there are both soups of fish that are super delicious. I bet that you can look it up online and find examples, there is a ceviche from Peru and from Ecuador they are both a little different! Every once in a while for p-day, like last week we went and played soccer as a zone! I see Elder Jimenez every Tuesday and Sunday because his ward goes to the same chapel and every Tuesday we have our reunion of zone! I don’t think that I will ever have an American companion but I guess it could happen. I just don’t think it is very likely. Sorry but I don’t have pictures this week either haha.....
This week was good! We found a family this week and they are super cool. They have accepted easily our message and we have only visited them like 3 times and they are reading the Book of Mormon! They went to church and they could accept the baptism date which is super cool. We are going to be helping them so that they can get baptized in December! They also gave us a reference of their grandparents and so we are also working with them and they are also progressing! The grandpa has to stop working Sundays and so we are trying to find a way to help him! Other than that, they also gave us a couple other references that we are going to be visiting! Everything is normal here in Ecuador we are working hard and this week wasn’t as hot which was cool but I am also getting used to the heat. It doesn’t bother me much anymore and so that is really nice as well! Hope that everything keeps on going well! Love you guy’s lots!
Love Elder Nykamp