The blessings of a mission

Written by Elder Nykamp on June 22, 2015
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That is super crazy that John is home I still can’t believe it!! That is super cool that he had his homecoming talk and everything! Everything goes by soo fast!! Haha Ya When I get home I am going to have to buy all new clothes because I think I am a little taller now and I am definitely a little fatter haha!! There is a lot of really good food here! It is a problem!!

Thanks for always sending me encouragement to keep on working! It has been pretty tough out here the last couple weeks. We just have had a little bit of a hard time finding new people to teach that can progress. I have been trying my hardest to keep a good attitude and I have been studying a lot about the Atonement which has really helped a lot! I never realized how amazing the atonement is before the mission nor the prophets nor the church in general. I knew that they were all really good things and important but I didn’t look at them close enough. So it has been an amazingly huge blessing to be able to study and teach about these subjects to help me have a stronger testimony of the church!! I have never doubted the church or the rules but I just didn’t realize the blessings that I could receive either! The mission is an experience immensely important and I would never trade it for anything! The hard ships that I have had will only make me stronger! I have loved the opportunity to be able to study the scriptures every day and I wish that I had been doing it more before the mission. I feel like the mission is my wake up call to help me reach my full potential!

Right now the family that we are teaching got married. Now we just have to prepare them for baptism. I have also been reading the New testament the last month or so and I am in 1st Corinthians and I never realized how much good stuff the bible has! I have loved the opportunity that I have had to really study the scriptures and I look forward to all the other stuff that I am going to be able to discover!

I love you all lots! Thanks for always writing and letting me know how everything is going! I will forever be grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a missionary and I wish that I could have more time than 2 years! Thanks for everything!!

Love Elder Nykamp


Dedication

Written by Elder Nykamp on June 15, 2015
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It is very breezy here and it makes it really nice. Some days there isn’t a lot of sun which is really nice!! It isn’t terrible I have gotten used to how hot it is! The thing that I will never get used to is having cold showers!! Haha it is terrible!! It depends on the house, some people have air conditioning but the majority of the people use fans!!

This week was pretty good. We have a lot of less actives that we are working with right now. If they can give use references that will be good. We have 3 people that we hope will be getting baptized in the next 2 weeks. Either this Saturday or the next. Right now we aren’t sure which it will be. We will have to see. Two we have for the 27th. The other we don’t know if it will be the 20 or the 27. We will have to see!! Today was transfers but we didn’t get changed will be working together for another month and a half!! This week we had a struggle with finding new people to teach. We have a couple of really good people that are progressing but we have been having a pretty big problem with finding new people. That will be our focus for this next week! It is time to start looking for new people to teach which is always a long and at times hard process! We are excited and are ready to keep working hard! It is really hard to be a missionary at times because it is hard to dedicate everything to the Lord! To have a lot of success as a missionary you need to dedicate yourself completely to the cause and it can be hard because there are so many distractions. But when you are able to only think about what is important, that is when you start to see the blessings come! Thanks for always writing me! Until next week!!

Elder Nykamp


It's going good!

Written by Elder Nykamp on June 8, 2015
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It is soooo weird that Jon is going to be getting home from the mission! It doesn’t seem real! It doesn’t seem real that I almost have 1 year either! It is super weird to think about
The marriage didn’t happen this week. We have to help them regain confidence! We are going to keep working hard!
This area is good. The members have room for improvement but they are really good people!! They feed us every day lunch!
The exchange is soon. It could be that I stay or go. We don’t know it could go either way! I do like the members a lot they are really cool people.
This week we have been focusing a lot on finding less actives so that we can bring them back to the church. We can then get a reference from them. If we try doing this, we can have more success in the next little bit here. When we have a member that is helping with a friend in the church the whole process goes a lot smoother!! Everything is going good. We are working hard and are trying our best to follow the spirit and help those people that we are teaching progress and partake of the tree of life!! It has been really interesting to see how perfectly everything in the gospel does by helping us with our problems. We don’t have to fear the future and we can just look forward with our eyes toward the glory of God. We are heirs of everything that God has and so when we truly realize that, we want to be better people. We keep on correcting our weaknesses so that we can live a better life!!
Thanks for writing love you all soooo much!!
Elder Nykamp


Learning Patience

Written by Elder Nykamp on June 1, 2015
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This week we found a couple new people. We will see if they can progress! We have a family that will be getting married next week which will be really cool. We have been working pretty hard with them but the biggest help is that she is reading the Book of Mormon every day!!

Elder Uceda visited our area and it was really good! He taught us a lot of really important things and more than anything he taught us how to study the scriptures more effectively! He used Ether chapters 1-3 as an example. The things that he helped us find in these chapters was amazing! It was a really cool thing to learn!

Since this zone has a lot of beaches we can go easily because when you leave the zone you have to get permission from the President. When it is in the zone you just get permission from the zone leaders!

This week was a pretty good week. We have been working hard and we are working hard on having a better relationship and companionship and we are improving! We are trying hard to always better ourselves! Also, having Elder Uceda come and give us a little bit more motivation was really good!! We have a couple of people that are progressing really well which is super nice and so we are just trying to keep working hard and focusing on what is important. We want to reach our goals! I have learned a lot about being more patient in my time here. We have been working on being more patient and understanding so that we can have more success!!

Thanks for always writing me and keeping me up to date with everything that is going on! Love you all!!
Elder Nykamp


Power of The Book of Mormon

Written by Elder Nykamp on May 25, 2015
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I have forgotten about all of the holidays there in the states. It is pretty funny! I am excited that Ben is going on the mission. That is super cool!!

This last week we started teaching a 15 year old and he is super cool! He is progressing really well. We just need to see if his parents will let him get baptized. He really wants to serve a mission if and when he gets baptized! So that is super cool! Yesterday night we passed by a family that we had to stop teaching because they didn’t want to get married. When we passed they told us that they had been reading the Book of Mormon and they found it to be extremely interesting. They found a lot of similarities to the bible like Nephi and his family leaving Jerusalem and Abraham leaving Egypt which was cool. I asked them if they knew what the book said was true and they told me that they believed in it. Then I asked them what they are ready to do with that knowledge and they told me that they are ready to get married!! We are going to help them get married the 11th of June more or less and we are going to try to have them be baptized that Saturday the 13th!! So that was a really cool experience and it just is a testimony builder of the power of The Book of Mormon!!

This p-day we went to the most beautiful beach that I have ever seen. It was incredible!! I took a lot of pictures! We don’t have a lot of time to write because we got back a little late from the beach.

It is a different kind of hot here in Manta. In Guayaquil it is unbelievably humid! Here the sun is really strong and it is really bad in the morning. I am always sweating super bad when we go to lunch at 1 and so it is kind of weird to have it be soo hot in the morning and ya I am just basically sweating the entire day!! We should be getting a little bit lower in temperature this next month because their summer is these last three months. In June is starts cooling down a little. I am always sooo tired from walking and sweating!! haha!! The food now is all the same at this point haha it’s a lot of fish and chicken and meat but the weirdest would be cow utter haha!!

Love Elder Nykamp


Always trying!

Written by Elder Nykamp on May 18, 2015
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We eat all the fruits but strawberries and raspberries because it is really hard to wash them and so people get sick from them! I bought a pineapple, watermelon, limes, and apples. There is a fruit called a naranjia. It’s a small orangeish fruit!! There are a lot of different fruits here! There are also the normal fruits that we have like oranges and stuff! I love Chick-Fil-A that is one thing that I want really bad!!

We need to find new people to teach this week. haha We are basically starting over again! Right now we had a couple of people that were progressing but we had to stop visiting all most all of them and so we are going to be looking this next week! This week was actually a pretty hard week because this week we had a family that was preparing to get married and then be baptized. They don’t want to get married and so we had to stop visiting them and so now this week we will be looking for new people to teach!! We were actually pretty sad that they didn’t want to right now but we are ready to look for new people to teach this week!! These last couple weeks here have been harder than in my last area because in my last area the people never progressed and so we weren’t that sad when we had to stop visiting. Here we have had a lot of people progress and only at the very end had the plans fall through. It has been actually pretty hard but we are ready to get back to work and look for new people to teach so that we can have more success this week!!

This week we also had a multi zone reunion which was actually pretty cool. Our President talked about a lot of really cool and important stuff like making good goals so that we can reach our potential. He talked a lot about stuff for after the mission to help us be successful after as well. He is actually a really cool President.

That is super crazy that Jon is getting ready to go home I can barely believe it!!
Thanks for everything!!


Working and a couple hours of play!

Written by Elder Nykamp on May 11, 2015
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That is super crazy that it is already time for summer!! Right now we are getting ready to move into the cooler weather of the year haha!!

That is soooooo weird to think that Elder Evans and Elder Anjewierden are already back at home it feels like they just barley left!! It is super weird.

I do miss golfing haha and being able to watch and play sports more freely but it’s one of the things I had to sacrifice!! haha!

The president of the mission is really big on protecting our health. He put a lot of restrictions on what we eat and stuff so that we shouldn’t get sick!! No I can always buy more bug spray here!! And I already have a bug net over my bed. They should have them in every house in the mission!! And part of that is a lot of rules about the bug spray and stuff!!

Transfers just passed recently and so we have a lot of time! P-day was really cool today we were able to go running on the beach. It was really fun! We actually had a really good time and I took some pictures and stuff which was cool!! We went running from 6 to 7 in the morning!!

I don’t have a whole lot to write about this week because we just barley skyped. You know we are working hard and we have a couple of families that we are teaching which is really cool and so that is pretty exciting! But the everlasting problem here is matrimonio and so we will be working with them to see if we can help all of them along!

There really isn’t anything else because I said it all in the skype haha!
Love, Elder Nykamp


A very Happy Mother's Day!

Written by Elder Nykamp on May 10, 2015
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Elder Nykamp was able to Skype for Mother's Day! It was an hour late so we were getting a little worried! It was so great to see him so happy and looking so well. He is loving every minute of his mission! It was a wonderful day!


Loving every moment!

Written by Elder Nykamp on May 4, 2015
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It is awesome to hear that Ben got his mission call!! I was actually wondering when I would be hearing about a mission call for him!! That is super cool that he will be going to a country in South America!! When does he leave!? It’s also super weird that everyone is getting home!! Wow the time goes by sooo fast!! It still feels like they just left and also that I just left!!

We didn’t have the baptism because the husband is scared of getting married. We are working with that to see when we can help them get married because the wife is super cool and she wants to marry and get baptized. My companion and I are working hard. I just have to work harder at being patient and humble!! My companion and I got here as new missionaries together. Usually one of the 2 stays in the sector to teach the other where all the members and stuff are and so we had to find it all on our own!! We have had a lot of people to teach. We just are coming up a little short in being able to have baptisms which has been a little hard but we are working hard and trying our hardest to have success!! This week was actually a pretty good week because we found 2 new families to teach! The cool thing is that they are actually families like the dad, mom, and kids. So that has been pretty cool!! One of the families went to church all of the family and the other only the dad could go. This week was pretty good. We are working hard and we have been able to see a pretty good amount of success for the effort that we have put in which is always really nice!!

I had to try and hem my blue pants from Mr. Mac. It didn’t turn out too good and so I think that I am going to have a member of the ward help me out haha!! Today for p-day we went and played basketball and soccer in the stake center with the other missionaries it was pretty fun!! We are planning to go to the beach one of these days to run in the morning and maybe to play volleyball or something like that!! We eat something very simple for breakfast and dinner because the lunch is the big meal here!! We have a good apartment. It has a good amount of space and it has a couple of big windows to help us keep cooler!!

It’s super weird to think how much time I have in the mission. I feel like I still have so little but then I realize that I am getting pretty close to 1 year!! It is super weird!! I don’t like it at all. I would like to be out on the mission for more than 2 years haha!! It has been an amazing opportunity to be able to focus only on getting a bigger and better testimony!! I have been able to read the Book of Mormon 2 times. Once in English and once in Spanish. I am reading the New Testament right now in Spanish as well. It has been a blessing to be able to read and study the scriptures so much and to have an opportunity to learn a new language. I have loved every moment!!

Love, Elder Nykamp


Se Habla Espanol

Written by Elder Nykamp on April 27, 2015
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We had one young adult guy who was going to be baptized this last Saturday but it didn’t happen. We are working with him to help him a little bit more!! We have a lady that is going to get married this Wednesday and then get baptized Sunday! So that is pretty cool and then we have a couple other people that are really moving along really well and we will have to see what happens!!

There are a lot of fishermen in this area. It is pretty cool!! Yes, we eat a lot of fish here!! I got used to it really fast in my first area actually. haha I have been eating a lot of fish for the last 6 or 7 months and so I am pretty used to it haha!! My favorite food is encebollado. It’s a soup with fish and onions and a really good flavor. I don’t know exactly how they do it!! The food is a little bit different but not a lot. I have eaten a lot of the same food, just a couple of new things!! But it is all really good!!

My shoes and other clothes are all holding up good!! I haven’t had any problem as of now!! Haha The only thing that has happened is the hem in my pants came undone and so I tried to sew it. It didn’t go too well and so I am either going to try again or have a sister of the ward do it for me!! I think I am going to try myself one more time to see if I can do it or not haha!! I started using my shirts forever ago haha because it helps my shirts last longer to use them all because there are always 2 that I don’t use during the week and so they like have a rest!! I still have 1 that I haven’t used at all!!

My favorite scriptures right now are Ether 12:27 and Alma 12:26. They kind of have the same feel and I really love that they show how we are weak without the help of the Lord. We really need to look for his help in all we do!! He will make our weaknesses strengths unto us!! I really love this and it is really important as a missionary because we have a lot of weaknesses and so we need to work to make them strengths!!

I heard that I will be skyping the day of mother’s day there in US and so I don’t know what day that is but I heard that is how this situation works!! Thanks for the letter sorry don’t have a lot of time this week we had to do a huge question and answer thing for the missionaries and so I didn’t have a lot of time today!!

All the members tell me that I speak very good and clear Spanish and that when I finish the mission I am going to be speaking perfect Spanish haha!!

Love Elder Nykamp

picture: Elder Nykamp & Elder Apaza (companions)