The smells of Ecuador!

Written by Elder Nykamp on April 20, 2015
Mid dscn9664

Right now we have 3 people that are progressing really well! One needs to get married and we have plans to help her do that this next week so that she will be baptized the 2nd of May!! The other just needs to more fully repent of a couple of things and so we will see when he can be baptized!! We found another investigator Thursday. We taught him Thurs. and Fri. and then he went to church. He is progressing really fast and so we will see when we can put a date with him!! We have a couple other people that we are working with as well!!

My favorite smell would be the smell of encebollado! It smells really good! The worst is the smell of my sweaty body at the end of the day hahahaha There is a river here that smells terrible! It just has a lot of garbage and it is terrible! I haven’t had problems with dogs yet but there are a lot of dogs here haha!

Thanks for writing me as always!! This week we worked really hard and we are really looking forward to having a very successful month of May! We have a good amount of people that we will be able to help progress this month!! I hope everything is good at home!!

I know Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he was truly chosen of God! The talk by Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge in the April 2014 conference is an amazing talk about Joseph Smith!! Thanks for everything

Love, Elder Nykamp

picture: March multi-zone conference

Mosquito Bite!

Written by Elder Nykamp on April 13, 2015
Mid dscn9914

That is super-duper crazy that Jon gets back so soon!! It feels like he just barley left! That is super cool that he is doing so well!!

Here the street names the people don’t use haha! It is not like my last area with street names. It is just kind of like using landmarks!! We live next to a Catholic church called San Martin, I think!! There are 16 missionaries in my zone. 12 Elders and 4 Sisters!! We haven’t taken a zone photo yet. We should be taking it tomorrow during our reunion of zone!!

Actually this week I got sick!! Haha Friday at like 3 in the afternoon I got a mosquito bite and after walking for like 2 hours I started feeling a little like I had a fever. At like 6 I felt super-hot and had a headache but we were teaching one of our baptism dates so I wanted to finish teaching the lesson. When we finished the lesson his mom asked if we wanted food we said yes. Then I found that I couldn’t eat and she like got all mad at me for not eating my food. I wanted to say be real lady, I feel like I am dying!! Haha but I didn’t say anything and my companion just ate for me!! I went back to my house early and took my temperature and found that I had a fever of 1003.3!!! We had a member of the church come to our house and give me a blessing with my companion and then I got in my bed and put my fan on me with a wet towel on my head. In this time my back was hurting me and my head so I was just lying there and I took a pill and then just laid in bed. I was in and out of sleeping for the whole night haha!! I am better now but that was the worst fever I can ever remember having and it felt so terrible but everything is fine now!! :)

This week was actually a pretty good week we have 2 people that are progressing for the baptism date of the 25th and they are both progressing very well!! We are pretty excited and we are trying hard to dedicate ourselves!! This Sunday I still wasn’t completely recovered from my sickness but I still had to give a talk in church. I wasn’t even nervous. I feel a lot more comfortable talking in front of people now that I have been practicing for the last 229 days haha!! It is pretty cool to see how fast everything changes thanks to the mission!! I really enjoyed conference and even got to watch it in Spanish and I understood everything! There were only a couple words that I didn’t know before but it is pretty cool to see how fast you can learn stuff with the spirit!!

There is a food here that is really really really good! It is called encebollado it is delicious!! haha Love you all! Sorry for not having photos this week I will be taking some this next week!!

Love, Elder Nykamp

photo: zone conference in March

Exhausted with energy!

Written by Elder Nykamp on April 6, 2015
Mid p1070507

That sounds pretty fun that you guys could go down to Arizona!! The funny thing is that I couldn’t watch all of conference because Saturday morning session the power went out and we missed the first 3 speakers. We heard Elder Uchtdorf and Elder Holland because that is when the electricity came back!! Haha it was pretty funny!! The Easter pageant that you went too is where I have 2 friends from the MTC serving. They are in Phoenix!!

I didn’t take many pictures in my last area because it was all just flat and a lot of houses. This area is a lot easier to take pictures in because it is really cool and actually and really pretty!! We can see the ocean while we are working because we work on a plateau haha I don’t know how to spell that word!! Spanish is ruining my already bad English!!

My companion and I worked through some things and are working a lot better together now which is really nice!! My new area is really cool. The members are really nice and there is a lot of really good food!! I am going to be super fat when I get back home!! I am able to write e-mails in the cyber of a member!! In my 2 sectors I have had a member with a cyber. Pretty lucky!! We have lunch every day the only difference is that we don’t get fed dinner here. We almost always were fed dinner in my last area!! The members are super nice here and now that I know Spanish I was able to make friends with them much faster!! The people here are super friendly and nice!! I can see ocean in this area!! It is pretty cool because every once in a while a cruise ship comes to this city!!

On p-days we have just rested because we have been super tired physically and mentally. We have been learning a new area and walking a ton because it is super big! I think next week we are going to play soccer or something like that!!

We were able to watch conference in the stake center which is where my ward attends church. The entire stake comes and watches it there or they can watch it in their houses!! For lunch that day we went to some members. We just had to go kind of fast so that we could eat and then pick people up for conference!! I have really enjoyed the opportunity I have had in the mission to watch every session of conference. It was something that I had never done before but it has really been an amazing experience!! I have really learned a lot on how to make myself a better person!! I have really found myself looking forward to the opportunity to watch and listen!! This conference we were able to bring a couple of investigators. It was really cool. We have 3 people that are progressing really well right now. We are working with an 18 year old guy and a 21 year old. We also are working with a lady and her less active husband. They need to marry before we can baptize her but she really has a lot of enthusiasm which is really cool to see. We were actually able to make a baptism date for 21 year old and 18 year old on April 25. They accepted and so we are going to see if he will be able to follow through. We would like the Sister to get married the 23rd and then have her get baptized the 25th as well. We have a lot of work do to these next couple weeks and we also need to start finding a couple more people to teach. We want to continually have good success!! We are out here working hard and walking a lot! I have been absolutely exhausted at night before I go to bed but somehow I always have energy in the morning. It has been a really cool blessing that I have been able to see while I have been working here!!

Love you all!! Les quiero mucho!!

Love, Elder Nykamp

Transfer uno!

Written by Elder Nykamp on March 23, 2015

That is pretty exciting to have the flowers start to bloom and everything! This week we had a lot of rain!!! A LOT!! There were some points in the streets that we were walking in water up to the middle of our shins!! It was super crazy! Those days are kind of hard to find people as well but we actually had pretty successful days with all the rain! Then on top of that it is super tiring to just be completely soaked. We would just get back to our house and just be exhausted!!!

This Saturday we had another baptism!! It is a sister around 74 years old and she is super cool! It was really cool to have another baptism!! I forgot my camera and so my companion is going to send me the photo of her baptism either later today or next week!! We have had really good success lately which is super sweet and so we are looking forward to having more success!!

I had a transfer today! I got called at 11:30 Sunday night and was told to start packing and so I am really tired!! I am now in Manta Barrio Jocay. I have a new companion and I don’t have any pictures right now because we had a 4 hour bus ride to get to our house. Then we came directly to write and then we are going to buy food. So right now I don’t really have pictures haha!! The difference between my first area and this is huge!! My first area was nothing but city and this one is a little more country. It is definitely much bigger than my first area hah!! The funny thing is that I really really liked my first area!! The ward was awesome there and we were starting to have really good success and so I was a little sad to leave!! But I am excited to get to work and start finding people to teach because my companion and I are opening a sector. We are starting almost from scratch so we are going to see how it all goes!!

My schedule day to day has usually gone like this: wake up at 6:30 do a little of exercise for 30 min., eat a little bit of breakfast cereal or sandwich!! Start studying at 8 personally and then we start studying as a companionship at 9. Study language at 10 and then we leave to start working at 11 and either tract or look for less actives because not many people are in their houses. Lunch is at 1 and after lunch we start working at 2. We tract and teach until 9 when we go to our house. Certain days we have dinner which we buy little containers to take to our house to eat and then we start planning at 9 until 9:30. We call the leader of the district to tell him about our day and the other fills out the area book and then we rest and eat and then sleep at 10:30. Repeat every day!!

Love you all lots!!

Love, Elder Nykamp


Written by Elder Nykamp on March 16, 2015
Mid p1070488

This last Saturday we had another baptism which was pretty cool!! We also have another scheduled for the 21 which is really cool!!! We are having good results right now but we need to start finding new people soon so that it can continue on!! We are going to the temple tomorrow in the morning which is pretty cool I am pretty excited!! We are really trying to work hard right now. We are starting to look for new people that might start to progress but it has been really nice to have these last couple baptisms so that we can have some success. I am looking forward to have more success during my mission as well because I hear that the other areas of the mission are much easier. There are three zones that are harder and the others are much easier to have success. That is cool because that means that if I can start having success in this area the other areas are going to be much easier to have success! I am looking forward to working hard and having more success in the next 3/4 of my mission!! Thanks for everything that you guys have given me! I love you guys sooo much!! Next week’s letter will be longer!! haha sorry!!

Love, Elder Nykamp

Tracting, Teaching, & Working Hard

Written by Elder Nykamp on March 9, 2015
Mid sam 2199

That is super weird to think that Cade (cousin) is already back from the mission and that Troy (cousin) is so close to finishing!! It is also really crazy to think that Ty (cousin) is getting ready to leave on the mission as well!! It is also really weird to think that I am already more than 6 months into the mission it went by unbelievable fast!!
There is a huge difference between having a testimony and being converted. It is really easy to see a difference because if you only have a testimony the first big trial you have you are going to fall away from the church! That is why it is sooooo important to always be increasing you testimony!!
I remember the routine at home haha just the usual!! My bag is good and I definitely didn’t need it to be bigger haha. I actually bought a different little bag here a couple weeks ago it is just big enough to have my scriptures the pamphlets a BOM to give someone and a couple other smaller things but it is awesome because I just carry it in my hand!! I am going to be using both of them because I need the one I brought from home because it’s waterproof and then I really like the other one because it is so small!! I will send a picture of how it looks!!
We have a baptism this Saturday and then we have another for the 21. We have another lady who has a testimony who we are going to try and get a date this week for the 4 of April more or less!! So ya we have a lot of good things coming along!!
Haha no we haven’t been able to go anywhere really for p day we usually just play soccer haha! I am going to play after I finish writing today!!
This week was a really good week actually. We were able to see a lot of our investigators progress and we are looking forward to the people we have right now to continue to get baptized really soon here!! Transfers are the 22 of this month and so we will have to see if I get transferred this time or if I have another month and a half here in Puntilla!! It has been really cool to see the people that I have been teaching progress these last couple weeks and I hope that the rest of my mission I can continue to have this success!! I have really learned a lot with my new companion and it has been a really good thing to be with him because my first companion didn’t teach me a whole lot haha. In reality my companion right now hasn’t taught me a whole lot I have had to almost teach myself!! But it has been a really good experience and I have grown a lot!! And I know that this is what the Lord had planned for me to have a lot of challenges in the beginning so that I could grow and become a much better missionary!!
Thanks for the quote and the thought every week!! Can you send me the recipe of banana bread, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies? The Elders wanted me to ask for them so we can make some of them!!
This week we had a lot of exchanges with the other missionaries!! It was really cool I was able to go to another ward and work and meet new people and also the leader of the district and zone came and worked with me and taught me how I can be a better missionary!! They also helped us with a couple of our investigators and less actives!! Especially with one lady who was baptized but never had a testimony but we were able to help her this week realize that she has a testimony which was a really cool experience and so she will be reactivating I think!! Other than that there isn’t much else going on!! Haha just the usual tracting teaching and working hard!!

Love, Elder Nykamp

Time is fast!

Written by Elder Nykamp on March 2, 2015

This week was a pretty good week. We found a couple new people and we have a couple others that are currently progressing very well. I feel very blessed to be able to have this opportunity to serve a mission here in Ecuador!! It has been a very cool experience and I have loved not feeling cold!! But to always be hot and sweating haha it is always a pretty cool experience!! This has been an unbelievable experience and I am actually very grateful for this opportunity!! Having a baptism was also really great because we have been working so hard! It was nice to have a little bit of success!! Thanks for everything! I am super excited to keep on working this week. At times I want to sleep but I need to keep on reminding myself of the importance of what I am doing and how short my time is here in the mission!! If these 6 months were short, I can only imagine how short the mission is going to be! Especially when I look back on it in even 10 years!! Thanks for everything! The packages and everything!! Love you all!!

Love, Elder Nykamp


Written by Elder Nykamp on February 23, 2015
Mid p1070462

It is extremely weird to think that I already been out 6 months!! I actually can’t believe it!!
I don’t take many pictures because it is a rule that I can’t look like a tourist. If I am always walking around taking pictures I will look like a tourist haha!! I will try and take a couple more though!!
That is really cool that Emily helped her friend go to church!! I have actually thought about how I wish I had invited my friends to church a little bit more or just talked about church a little bit more because I really kind of missed out on a really cool opportunity! The talk by Elder Godoy is a really good talk. I have read it again because we received the Ensign magazine in English so I can reread all the conference talks of this last conference which is really cool!!
The kind of food we get here is just completely different to what is there and so yes what I can buy in the stores is completely different!! I got the Valentine package this last Wednesday. Thanks for all the candy and letters!! That was cool as it always is!!
My companion is good and with him we have actually had a lot more success than with my first companion which is really good!! We had our baptism this last Sunday in the morning just before we had stake conference!! So that was really cool!! Then we have another baptism date for the 7 or 14 of March and we have 2 other people that we are going to try and get baptism dates for!! So we are very excited and we are working very hard to keep on seeing results!!
In this area we don’t get a whole lot of rain. As of right now it hasn’t rained in about a week or two!! As usual, it has been really really hot haha!!
This last week was a really good week because a lot of really good things happened this week. We are looking forward to having another week with really good results!! This week we have a conference with the area seventy, Elder Uceda!! So it will be interesting to see what he will have to say to us!! Other than that I have continued reading the LM Libro de Mormon and I am in 3 Nefi haha!! I am at chapter 11 when Jesus visits the Americas. I will start reading the start of this story tomorrow!! Other than that not a whole lot different. Working hard every day!! Walking a lot sweating a lot!! And trying hard to dedicate myself to the work a little more every day!!
My baptism this last Sunday se llama Pedro tiene 30 años y próximo semana debería recibir el sacerdocio!! Entonces estamos muy emocionado para esto y estamos listo para ayudar los otros nuevos personas tenemos hasta ahora!! Haha there is a little spanish!! sé que este evangelio es verdadero sé que El Libro de Mormon es verdadero y es la palabra de Dios sé que Thomas S. Monson es un profeta de Dios y el nos guía!! Esta oportunidad para ser misionero es un oportunidad muy rápido pero es algo bien importante y divertido en la mismo tiempo!! Estoy muy agradecido por la oportunidad tengo para servir esta misión y sé que Jesucristo nos ama muchísimo y este es porque hizo la expiación!! Gracias por todos
(Translation) My baptism this last Sunday called Pedro is 30 years old and next week should receive the priesthood!! So we're very excited for this and we are ready to help the new people we have so far!! Haha there is a little Spanish!!
I know that this gospel is true I know that the Book of Mormon is true and is the word of God. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and leads us!! This opportunity to be a missionary is a very quick opportunity but it is something very important and fun at the same time!! I am grateful for the opportunity I have to serve this mission and I know that Jesus Christ loves us very much and this is through the atonement!! Thanks for all!! Thank you for everything all the packages and everything!! Until next week!!
Love Elder Nykamp

Happy Valentine's Day!

Written by Elder Nykamp on February 14, 2015

It sounds really weird to have Utah be sooo warm!!! But it is the same for me haha! It is always hot here and so I am still getting used to just always being hot!! It has been quite an experience!!
I am basically used to the culture. It is extremely different to the culture at home!! It’s really different because I came from Utah where I wasn’t around many who drink and stuff. Here everyone drinks and they all buy really expensive music speakers and then play their music really loud so everyone within the next 2 streets can hear!! One of the religious groups called Evanglicos will go to a street corner with their amplifier and scream to everyone about how they need to repent and then they will sing a song. It actually is really interesting!!
I don’t miss a lot of food as of now because I actually really like the food here and so there isn’t a reason to miss the food at home!! A good steak or something like that won’t be something I have for 2 years so that is going to be something I will miss!!
Most of the area is Christian. Everyone here believes in God, Jesus Christ, and The Holy Ghost. And in reality the people in this area are very religious!! It’s funny because they all say that they believe in God but they don’t go to church or anything so that is pretty funny. The main churches are Catholic and Evangelico and there are Jehovah
Witnesses here as well. It is pretty interesting to contact here because there are a variety of people we can find!!
We receive 100 dollars for 2 weeks so 50 dollars for week!! We have enough money to get what we need with our food and taxis and stuff!!
My companion is good. He has family support and his mom is a single mother! He writes home weekly and he gets packages at times. The language is good. I feel like I can talk to anyone! At times I jumble my words a little bit but I do this with my English so it isn’t a problem haha!! I actually feel really good about it!!
I am writing early because they have a holiday here called carnival where they just have a huge water fight for about 3 days or so!!! We can’t leave the house during this time!! So we will be in our houses Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday I think!! We will only work half day today!!
Everything is good for my baptism this 21. He is going to have his interview tomorrow so we will know for certain tomorrow but I think everything should be good!! Nothing else for this week much love!!

Love, Elder Nykamp

Patience & Perseverance!

Written by Elder Nykamp on February 9, 2015

It sounds like a really weird winter to have it be so nice and warm!! The Book of Mormon read-a-thon was really fun from what I remember!! Robert will have a good experience. My package has not gotten here yet we will see if I get it tomorrow!!
The baptism should be the 21 of Feb. This is when we put the date because we can’t do it this week. They have an holiday down here called carnival which is like 3 days of throwing water balloons so we can’t leave the house much on those days!! So we have to have the baptism that next week!! There aren’t any problems as of yet everything looks good as of now!! I didn’t get transferred we found out yesterday. I am in Punilla (stake) for another transfer as of now!!
This week we had a multi zone reunion!! And President Dennis and his wife gave a couple of talks!! It was good! They are really good at being over the mission!! Apparently we have a pretty big problem with obedience in this mission. He really laid down the hammer and he said that there are going to be quite a few missionaries sent home. There have been a lot of problems with missionaries and the girls!! The girls here are very outgoing and so I can see how this could be a pretty big problem!! After that, we watched the movie Meet the Mormons!! That was a really cool movie! I thought that it was really well done and I thought it was really cool to see the different types of people that they followed!! Other than that we have just been working hard and really trying to help the people that we have right now really progress!! It has been pretty cool to be working with the guy that should be baptized the 21st. He has a girlfriend that is a member and so he went with her to the temple and he just hung out around the temple while the family of his girlfriend did baptisms!! He is pretty excited and is really open to learning a lot!! Then we have a couple other people that we found this week but I don’t really know how much they are going to be able to progress and really have the desire to learn!! We are trying to be patient and really work through all the problems!!
I read today in Preach My Gospel about patience and it was really cool because it explains very clearly why it is important to be patient. It then gave scripture references about the sons of Mosiah and how they were patient in their afflictions and that they had many!! It goes on to say how they were very successful but only after they had a lot of afflictions!! So I am just trying to stay positive and keep on working hard!!

Thanks for the letters!!

Love, Hyrum