I actually can’t believe that I already have a year. It is super crazy! I feel like I have only been out for months but then I start to really think about it and I really have been her a long time in Ecuador. It is really cool actually!
It is really true that only people who fail are those who give up. If we are willing to repent, God will always forgive us! We had our baptism and we have been working with her since the end of July. We found her the first or second day here in Eloy.
Next Monday we are going to be changing houses! These last two weeks we had to go to Portoviejo a city 1 hour away in bus to have a couple of checkups for my companion. He has a little infection thing in his eye and so we haven’t had much time to do anything haha! We usually just eat simple things like cereal and sandwiches and eggs! But every once in a while we do something bigger! Right now all six of us sleep in one big room and then there are 3 other rooms where we all study in our own little rooms!
My favorite scripture is still Ether 12:27. At times I feel overwhelmed that I won’t be able to live up to my potential and then I remember that I will never be able to by myself. I will always need the help of the Savior to be able to complete all things within my potential!
This was a good week. We had a lot of success and we were able to have 2 new people in the church. They look like they are going to be able to progress and so we are going to see if we can put baptism dates so that they can be baptized! Love you all lots!
Love Elder Nykamp
In my next package send more sour watermelon candy that is the main thing that I would like! That sounds pretty fun to have to go and support grandma and grandpa for their 50th anniversary! That is super crazy that they so many of my friends are all going up to Utah State to study and some are getting married! That is super weird for me to realize! People my age are getting married!
We have a big problem here at times. Some people here have problems with other members of the church and so they don’t want to go to church. We have to try and explain to them that we don’t go to church for the members! It has been interesting to see how converted some people are to the gospel!
I think that my companion and I are going to change houses in the first week of September! In this area we use a lot of buses and taxis to get around because we have a lot of visits that we have to do in 1 day. If the next visit is farther than 15 min. walking, we usually have to use a bus or taxi. It’s actually pretty funny because some of the buses are really small and so I hit my head and or have to be hunched over haha!
Right now we have like 5 or 6 people that we are trying to visit on a regular basis and we have one sister that if everything works out will be baptized this Saturday! I have basically got the language down. There are only a couple grammar things that I can say better but for the most part I can talk with people with no problems! We are working hard and loving every day! A mission is so cool!! It helps you to grow up and mature. I am forever grateful for this chance I have to be a missionary! It’s a blessing unlike any other! I am loving every second here! This last week we have been working hard to help some people go to church and it has been pretty tough! Because it isn’t important if they have a testimony if they don’t go to church! When they go to church they show true desire to change and be a better person! So this next week we hope to be able to find new people to teach so that we can have more people that can progress! Thank you for the examples you have all been to me. It has helped me be firm in the truth!! I have always been thankful for the things that you have taught me. I will forever be grateful for the gospel in my life! I love you all very much!!
The mission in obviously something hard but it is very rewarding! It really puts the things that are really important in life into perspective. It is super cool because I have also had the opportunity to gain a stronger testimony! I have always believed that the church was true but I didn’t fully understand the importance of the gospel in my everyday life before! It is super awesome to be able to learn how important it is and how it is going to help us in every aspect of our lives!
This week I have been watching the movie 17 miracles. It has been cool to see how much they sacrificed so that we can have the gospel in our lives! It has helped me realize the importance of just working hard and focusing on the things I can do to be a better person! I know the importance of living the commandments in my life and not just some but all of them so that I can receive all the blessings that God has ready for me.
The area is I am in is humongous! Haha we can take a bus for 30 min. and we are inside the sector the entire time. It’s just huge to walk from one side to the other! It would be like a minimum of 1 hr. It’s huge! The house is good. There are a lot of us and so it is pretty interesting at times! But it is really cool, we usually just cook for ourselves something small like a sandwich or something! We did tacos one day and the two Elders from Mexico made a pretty good guacamole! Elder Jimenez my companion is really good. We have been able to work really well together. It’s nice because we both have a big desire to work hard and find people to teach! It’s very possible that I won’t have an American companion. There is an Elder here that had is first American companion when he had 5 months left! We will have to see! My zone leaders are cool! They are super good guys and are both Americans. One is from Washington and the other from Orem! I don’t live with them! We will be living here until the first week of September and then we will move out with 2 other elders who are working in the same ward as us! The ward is really big! This area is really good. We should be able to have a lot of success here in the ward. There are a lot of people that are prepared to accept the gospel here!
My Spanish is pretty good I just lack in grammar. But the people almost always understand me there are very few times that they don’t understand! Thanks for writing!
Love Elder Nykamp
That is super crazy that it is already time for school again!
My new apartment isn’t really big but it is the biggest house that I have had! We are living 6 in the house right now me (USA), 2 from Mexico, 1 from Quito, 1 from Bolivia, and 1 from Guatemala! It is pretty interesting. Haha they are all cool I like them all! They are all really good guys. It is definitely different than being with Americans but it is all good! I have had a really good experience because they help me learn the language more because they correct me when I say something wrong! We have to clean the house, but there is a lady that washes the clothes! I don’t think there is going to be a lady to clean my house!
My last area touches my area now and so it is super close! I only see my mission president when it’s time for multi zone conference and interviews or when it’s a special reunion.
My new companion is cool. There is a little bit of a personality difference but we are going to be able to work through it just fine! He is really good and has a good desire to work which is really good!
My area now is very different because the last was a branch of like 70 people maximum. Now I’m in a ward of like 200 active members more or less! About 150 go to church but there are 200 active (go to church 1 time for month more or less).
I forget a lot of things in English. haha It is pretty interesting to talk with people in English because I have to think really hard about how to say stuff at times! Ya and I never really knew how to write in English haha!
On my mission I have had a couple of really cool experiences with the Book of Mormon! I have learned to love the Book of Mormon with all my heart. It is incredible! It was also amazing to hear from Elder Uceda when he spoke in the mission! That was really awesome!!
I finally got the packages this last Tuesday! Thanks for all the notes and candy!! It was all really nice to finally get and be able to enjoy it all haha! Thanks for the pillow cases as well because I was in dire need of them!! (I don’t need more socks haha thanks) It is so crazy to hear the mission calls of all the girls I went to school with. It is super cool! Thanks for writing!
Love Elder Nykamp
That is super weird that it is already time to go back to school that was super-fast it seems like!
I have found a lot of people here who are very mad a God at times. That’s because they have problems even though they are following God! It is pretty interesting how people can be so ignorant in thinking that but that is how it is. Even the most obedient people had lots of problems like Nephi says in a couple different parts of the Book of Mormon. He had a lot of problems in his life but he learned to focus on the blessings that he was receiving!
My companion is Elder Jimenez he is from Mexico and has 9 months in the mission! The new apartment is good but it is a little crazy. We live 6 together in the same house! It’s a first for me haha! We are opening a new sector from scratch but we were able to find a couple of really good families this week and we even had a lady go to church this week! She accepted a baptism date for the 29th of August. We are going to see how well she progresses!
Love you lots! This week we have been working hard and everything is going well! Next week I will write a little more!
Love Elder Nykamp
I am still in Manta but I am now in a new sector with a new companion! Haha I am now in the Eloy Alfaro Ward. We will have 4 missionaries in the ward but my companion and I are going to open the other sector. So again we are going to be starting from scratch! I haven’t taken a picture with my new companion yet! I also forgot my camera today because I do have a couple of different pictures that I have to send and so I will have to wait until next week! Sorry to make you guys wait!
The talk by Pres. Eyring about fasting was super good I really loved it! It was really just awesome in the way that it could explain the importance of fasting and what blessings we give to others and what blessings we can receive! It really opened my eyes to the amazing blessings we can receive!
On my birthday we went to a members house and had a cake! I didn’t have my camera so the member took photos. I’ll ask him to send me them! Haha
I don’t know my new companion very well right now. I just became his companion today. Next week I will send lots of photos and explain all about him!
Right now I am loving the story of the tree of life. I just read the story in el Libro de Mormon and it was super cool. I really studied it and I learned a lot of new stuff! I really love it as well because every conference there seems to be at least one talk about the vision. It made me think of just how much we can really learn from it! I was especially interested in the part when it talks in 1 Nephi 12 vs 17 about the vapors being temptations. I was thinking of the importance of when we have temptations we need to hold on with both hands to the iron rod! If we lose the rod, we may never find it again! In vs 18 when it says the the building represented the vain illusions, knowledge and pride of the children of men and that they were separated by a terrible and grand abyss the word of Justice. In chapt 11 vs 36 it says that the building falls. I thought of how people doubt the word of God and leave because of the pressures of others. 1 Nephi 8:25 They fall away because they never had a strong testimony. Like it says in 2 Timothy 1:8 that we should never be shameful of a testimony of the truth! Even though the spacious building looks very appealing or seems to have the reason, and that maybe God is a little strict or something like that, the truth doesn’t come from man. We start to lose focus on what is really important in life and start to focus on what isn’t important. It’s that way when we walk away from the tree of life! And like it also says in the scriptures that the feelings we have when we partake of the tree of life is the most amazing feeling that we can have in this life! I loved the things that I discovered from really studying those chapters this week!
Tell the boys to get into the habit of reading the scriptures and praying ever day so that they can be more spiritual when they start the mission!
Thanks for writing every week love you all!!
Love, Elder Nykamp
Wow the summer is already gone? How fast was that!? Why is the summer so short this year that is really weird!
Exchanges are coming up this next week and so we will see if one of us has a change or if we have 6 more weeks together! I think I will have 6 more weeks but we will see. It all depends on what happens next week haha!
Things went really well with the investigators this week. We have 3 different baptism dates. We have 1 for the 1st of august 1 for the 8th and 1 for the end of the month and I don’t see any reason that any of these would fall! Then we have 3 other people that we are working with!
I am needing some new shirts. My neck still feels good my shirt is just not reaching my pants very good. haha I think I am a little taller and a little fatter haha!
There are a few cool Elders in my area. One is from Orem Utah, one from Guatemala and one from Washington the state!
This week was a good week. I it wasn’t anything special but it was a really good week. We were able to see a lot of progression and we hope to be able to see the results of our work this week next month! We have a lot of people that are progressing toward baptism in august which is really cool. So I hope that I don’t get transferred so that I can see all of the people get baptized!! I want at least 1 more transfer here I really like it here in Manta it is really cool!
Thanks for everything! Love you guys!! I wouldn’t want to be in any other place right now! At least not for these 2 years!
Love Elder Nykamp
It is super crazy to think that I already have a year on the mission but it is also really cool. I have had a great time and have learned a lot!! The pioneers that came to Utah are super cool! The funny thing is that nobody knows about them down here because their ancestors weren’t pioneers. I have had a pretty humbling experience with regards of my heritage because I am blessed to have a really cool family history in regards to the church!
My favorite part about the mission is the opportunity to learn more about the gospel, have a much stronger testimony, and desire to be faithful. Before the mission I believed the church was true and I lived according to the standards but I didn’t fully understand the importance of the gospel, reading the scriptures, praying, and stuff like that. I have just been able to learn a lot more and understand the eternal importance of the gospel and living correctly here on the earth! The hardest thing on the mission has been teaching myself how to be an effective missionary. I didn’t fully understand how hard I was going to have to work and stuff like that. I have had to teach myself how to be obedient and work diligently everyday so that we can have success!
These are the reasons you should serve a mission. First off, it is a commandment that we preach the gospel. You should also go because you are able to obtain a much stronger testimony. Because of this, you will be able to serve the Lord more effectively! It is the best decision that you will make in your life. You will learn what is really important in life and how to put the things of God in priority over everything else! It is an amazing experience!! (Sorry if it is hard to read I am having to translate everything from Spanish to English at times haah)
My health is really good right now. I haven’t gotten sick in a long time haha! Thanks for writing, you are awesome Love you all!! Thanks for everything!!
Love Elder Nykamp
p.s. You might have to send new shirts because they are getting a little small!! Haha I am getting a little fat and I think I am also a little taller because my pants are also getting a little short on me!!
President Packer said, “We have every reason to rejoice and little reason to fear.” It is a pretty cool idea. We just never should be worrying because when we are worrying or have fear it’s because we are lacking faith! That is a really cool quote!!
We had our baptism this week! Juan Velez got baptized this Saturday and we are working hard to find and teach new people now!! His wife is also very excited to be baptized in 2 months!! I hope that I will still be here to be able to be part of that!!
Our houses are nicer than the average house in the mission. We always have running water and a toilet that flushes on its own. In most of the houses you have to pour water into the toilet after you use it. It is kind of a weird experience! The food here is delicious!! It is really good and I really have put on some weight because it is soooo good haha!! Here on the coast in my mission there isn’t a lot of guinea pig. It is more in the country in like Quito and stuff! The last few p-days we have been chillin in the house, studying and playing soccer! We have a sister of the ward who washes our clothes! They have a KFC and Carls Junior here in a mall. Sometimes we eat a burger or something. It is different than what it is at home but it is good!! My shoes are all holding up good I haven’t had any problems yet! My shirts and pant are both a little short but they are all working as of now haha!! I hope that they will all last!!
This week has been pretty good but we are going to be working very hard this week to find and teach new people. We want to bring people to church!! It has been an awesome experience to be a missionary and I would never trade it for anything!!
Love Elder Nykamp
It is always hot here but I have started to get used to it a little bit! I don’t mind it too bad and it wouldn’t be so bad if I could wear shorts and stuff! I don’t mind the sweating too bad! I think that I am pretty weird in that regard! I just hate being cold!!
It is sooooooooo weird to think how much time I have been out but it is cool as well! I have loved the opportunity that I have had to read the scriptures and learn more about the importance of Jesus Christ and the Gospel in our lives!! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am forever grateful for it!! I have learned a lot and I know that I will be a much better person after the things from working with my companion!
I got the package last week I just forgot to mention it haha sorry! Thanks a lot for all the stuff and the candy it was really good!!
Yes this week we will have a baptism of the family that we helped marry. The dad is going to get baptized and then prepare himself to baptize his wife!! My health is good I haven’t had any problems in a couple of weeks! Thank goodness!
My favorite scripture is the same, Ether 12:27 I love this scripture so much it is incredible!! I also love D&C 93 vs 27,28,36,37 these verses are awesome because it explains the importance of obedience and that the only way to receive a testimony of the gospel is living the commandments!!
I love you all very much but I haven’t missed you guys! haha That’s because I have been too busy working hard!! I will be sad when it is time to go home because I love being a missionary but I also will be very happy to be able to see you guys again!! This week we have been looking for new people to teach and it has been pretty hard. We are trying really hard to find the people that the Lord has prepared for us. We know that he is preparing people for us because the scriptures say so and so we are going to be looking a lot for new people this week as well!!
Thanks for keeping me updated on the things going on at home I hope all is well and that you are doing family scripture study and family prayer!! I love you all ssooo much and hope that everything keeps going well!!
Love Elder Nykamp