WOW! It’s weird to think that it is already time for the Super Bowl!! It’s so weird how the time is going so fast!
We have a guy right now who should be ready to be baptized in the next couple weeks we are going to be working with him a lot this week!!
We cook for ourselves in the morning and Friday night but all other meals we have food given to us!
My shoes are doing well I haven’t had a problem with any of them!! So that is good I shouldn’t have any problems!! The running shoes are wrecked haha because all we do is play soccer!! But it is all-good because I just bought some cheap 5 dollar shoes that everyone uses to play soccer down here they are like vans haha!!
Right now I think that my favorite, scripture is Ether 12:27!! It is really cool. I love how it says how we all have problems and weaknesses but through Christ we can be made strong!!
I could be leaving this next Monday and so I could be getting switched really soon here!! This week was good the only problem is that we didn’t have anyone in church this week which means that nobody progressed so that was a really big downer!! But we are still working hard and are really trying our hardest to really help the people we have right now move forward and really progress!! I hope that I can help the people we have right now really move forward and all that but they need to show their faith and read and pray to know and if they do that, they will receive their answers every time!
It’s true life is so much better when you can just laugh through life and have a good time!! I don’t have any photos this week haha sorry it is really hard to remember we are always busy and just don’t have time!! I will try and take some this week!! Thanks for all the love and the letters!!
Things with Elder Rodriguez are good. He is a really good teacher and everything is just going along and we are working hard!! We have been contacting like crazy!! We have had 60 contacts a week more or less for the past 2 or 3 weeks!! It has been an experience!! I used to hate contacting because I never knew what to say!! But I have really gotten pretty good at Spanish and I feel a lot more comfortable speaking and listening to it!!
We are not allowed to do service much because an Elder got hurt doing service one time and so now we have to receive permission for any kind of service we do and it is really really hard to receive it!!
Every Monday we take our clothes to a lady in our ward and she washes them!!
Most of the people in this area work construction and other low paying jobs like that!! Security guards as well!! This area is the ghetto and so all the people have the low paying jobs and the people in this area have children at really young ages so they don’t finish school and so it is an everlasting cycle!! Also there are a lot of drugs in this area and so that also helps this area not progress!!
On p-days we often go to the bihea, it is a really big really cool market. Then we play soccer often which is really fun as well!! We rarely have to work on P-days only when we have a day that we can’t leave the house (Christmas & New Years) or when we have a reunion for the mission because we don’t work that day!!
The reactivating is good. We have helped a couple of people come back in the last month!! The problem is that a lot of the people don’t want to listen to us because they go to a different church. We found one lady this week who went to church for 2-3 months, got baptized, then stopped going and now is going to a different church and doesn’t want to listen!! This week we found a couple of really cool people that I think will be able to progress. We have a guy who has a baptism date for the 14th right now but we might be able to baptize him on the 7th!! So that is pretty cool!! We also found a lady this week who told us she is really looking for the truth so we told her that our invitation is to read and then ask God if what she reads is true and so we are going to pass by this week and see if we can help her progress!! I am actually pretty excited for this week because we have a couple of really cool people that I think will be able to progress!!
The hot weather isn’t too weird because it still feels like summer! It will just feel like summer for 2 years!! There were 2 or 3 days these last 2 weeks that it rained really hard and we didn’t take umbrellas so we just got soaked!! It is hotter now than when I got here!! This Sunday was the hottest it has been I think since I got here it was incredible!!
I don’t really have a lot of pictures this week but here are a couple of a really good sandwich I made today!! It is ham, turkey, cheese, and an egg!!
My testimony has really grown in these past 5 months. My testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon has grown. I have really learned just so much about the gospel and how even if you look at our gospel from a logical sense it is the only true church. That is why we are never scared to talk with anyone about our church because we can use the Bible and the Book of Mormon to help support what we believe!! I have loved the opportunity to serve the Lord so far and I really can’t wait for these next 19 months!! I know that there are people waiting for me. I just need to be patient!! I am really trying to baptize converts!! I know that this church is true and I know without a doubt that this is where I need to be!!
My new companion is good!! Things are going well we are working hard!! We are kind of low on investigators right now but we have a couple of really good people that we think will be able to progress!!
The language is coming along good!! I can understand basically everything people say to me the only problem is at times I get jumbled up in my words!! I gave a talk this Sunday in church. I heard about it when they announced my name over the pulpit!! Haha I had like 5 min. to think about what I was going to say!! I think it went pretty good!! But it could have been much better if I had time to prepare!!
I don’t really ever know what to say!! That’s because missionary life feels so normal now! There really isn’t anything that feels worthy of writing in my letters haha!!
We have just been out here working hard!! We have been contacting a lot lately which I don’t love doing but I am getting used to it and it feels more natural now that I have been doing it more!! We have found a couple of really cool people that really look like they can progress!! We hope that we can find and teach them and that they can really become converted!! That’s the biggest problem down here! There are 175 women baptized in this ward and only 35 go to church!! Only about 1/3 of the people baptized go to church!! There are areas that are way worse than here too!! It is crazy!!
On another note thanks for the music that was pretty cool to find and it is all really good!! More music is always a good thing!! ;) When we are in the house at the night and in the morning we listen to music so the more music we have the better!!
Thanks for the love!!
My companion is really good he has been out for just under a year and I have learned a lot from him in these first 2 weeks!! He is from Quito Ecuador!!
I received the package this Tuesday!! So that was pretty cool!! Thanks for the candy and the hot chocolate and all that!! That was really cool to get!! Thanks for the songs btw! I don’t have a whole lot more to write about haha!!
We found a couple of really cool people this week that we are hoping that we can help progress this week!! And we have a family of a mom and 2 kids that we are teaching right now and they are progressing really well. We also found a less active member this week who had been a member for 20 but got offended by a bishop and so now he left the church and is part of another!! It is really sad to me that people can let something like that take them away from the church. We contacted a whole lot this week trying to find new investigators.
My health is good I haven’t had any problems since 3 weeks ago or whenever that was!! So all is well as of right now just working hard!! My favorite food is called chaulafan it is a really big plate of really good rice with chicken and shrimp!! It is delicious!!
Christmas Break and sleeping in are the good days!! Being able to sit inside all day for a week with the family is something I kind of missed this year!!
For New Years, we went to the zone leader’s house again with the 14 missionaries of the zone and hung out!! We had to be in the house by 6 p.m. because that’s when the parties start!! We were up until 3 or 4 am because there were tonssss of fireworks and these things called monigotes.... I don’t know how to spell that haha!! They make characters of TV shows and stuff like that and then put fireworks inside and then light them on fire at like midnight!! So that was pretty fun but I was really tired by the end of the night!! We ended up sleeping in pretty late because we didn’t start sleeping until late!! Then the 1st of January we were inside all day!! We watched movies and hung out all day!! We watched cars 1 and 2 and toy story 3!! It was really fun!!!
Unfortunately the baptism we were planning didn’t happen. We are going to continue to work with him this week!! We had transfers and I have a new companion!! His name is Elder Rodriguez so that made it kind of a weird week!! We had exchanges last Tuesday! He is a good missionary and we are ready to work hard!! It was really weird because I had to choose when we were going to visit people and what we were going to teach and all that stuff because he doesn’t know the area!! So I was kind of in charge this week!!
Not a whole lot of new stuff going on this week just working hard!! I found out this week that the vast majority of the members down here are inactive!! In my ward about 1/3 assist per week and in other areas it is even worse than that!! This is because for years the focus was just to baptize but now it is actually to convert the people which has made it a lot harder to get baptisms because we are making sure they are really converted so they will not just go inactive!! That’s a really big problem down here!!
Happy New Year! Elder Nykamp
Picture: Elder Nykamp & Elder Rodriguez
My companion and I are pretty sure that he is going to get transferred in the next couple weeks! I am just preparing myself for a new companion!!
The people here have a different mentality about religion. Their culture is different than ours. At times they just don’t care enough about the church. They think you can go to church 1 or 2 a month so that has been really interesting!! It is also really interesting because people like Stake President are in their callings for 10+ years. Usually because there aren’t very many people who can do it!! I think my Stake President right now has been in for 12 or 13 and the Stake Young Men’s leader has had his calling for 8 years!
On the 24th we ate dinner at a lady’s house with all the missionaries!! Then we went to the zone leader’s house and stayed the night with all 14 missionaries!! We woke up the next day, chilled for a while, then went to our own houses and rested until we skyped!! After, we went over to a house with 4 other missionaries and chilled until we went home and got ready for bed!! We got fed lunch that day and made dinner for ourselves!!
We have a family that we are working with. They are married and are receptive to the gospel. The only problem is helping them go to church!! This has been very hard!! We also have a lady that is looking for a purpose in her life which is really cool for us!! She left on vacation the 25 and won’t be getting back until after the 1st so we have to wait to start working with her!!
Tell Lavon thanks a lot because she sent me a letter for Christmas with a really cool book mark!! And also tell her thanks for the letters from my Sunday school class. I got that weeks ago but I think I forgot to say thanks!
It was really cool to skype with you on Christmas Day and it was actually really easy to talk and not feel sad!! It was only a little bit sad at the very end when I had to say goodbye.... But it was really cool!! I haven’t been too frustrated yet!! But I kind of hope that we can have a little more success coming up here!!
I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!
Picture: Mission Zone Christmas Morning! Feliz Navidad!
We were so happy and thrilled this Christmas to skype with Hyrum. A member in his area opened his internet café for the missionaries to skype home! We are very grateful to him for taking time out of his day so that we could converse with Elder Nykamp!
Elder Nykamp has very blonde hair, is tan, happy, and positive! All of the things you hope for as a parent. The work is hard and it was mentioned that the knees on his pants may wear out from kneeling so often to pray! His shirt is constantly wet from the humidity and temperature! His shoes are broken in from walking wherever they go (no bikes or cars). He misses BBQ, ham, and good cheese!
We are so grateful for technology and the chance we had to see his big smile and amazing disposition! Our time of exactly 1 hour ended with a family prayer and a quick goodbye!
We are all so very grateful for the chance Elder Nykamp has to serve others. It is a blessing for him, us, and the people in Ecuador. He serves to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and an amazing message of hope. We are grateful for the chance to celebrate the birth of The Savior and the gift he is to the world. It is because of Jesus Christ we celebrate Christmas! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Merry Christmas! Love, The Nykamp Family
Picture: Hy in his hammock!
This week I got sick for the first time! Wednesday I woke up at 3 am and threw up a couple times but I kept on working!! I couldn’t eat much and I have had an uneasy stomach for 3 days or so!! I was starting to feel better but Sunday I ate something bad again and so I have been throwing up today!! So that has been quite a downer this week!! I haven’t been feeling good all week!! We met as a mission and were able to attend the Temple. We met with other elders and talked about experiences we have had and other stuff like that. I already opened all my Christmas presents!! I couldn’t wait!!! It was too hard! Christmas we have to stay inside our house all day!! Other than one hour for skype and one hour possibly to go and eat with a member!! Sorry my letter is really short this week I am just really not feeling good and so it is hard for me to focus.
Picture: Mission -141 elders, 41 sisters
Well it’s pretty crazy to hear it is so warm!! It’s really hot here which is extremely weird since I am always so used to it getting cold at this time so it makes it feel like it is not time for Christmas yet!! It is only going to get hotter as we get into these next couple months. It’s really weird to be down here and to be sweating all day every day and to think that Christmas is almost here. It feels like the middle of summer!! I actually forgot about Thanksgiving before I received your email reminding me about it!! No Thanksgiving here! It’s been weird to have it so hot and almost Christmas!! The funny thing is that it doesn’t feel super-duper hot but I find that I am basically always sweating!! It is a really weird experience here with the weather!!
Send some candy that I can give to the little kids here!! My companion wants some of the tooth pick things as well so send those and we will just hope that I am still with him when I get the package!! My companion doesn’t receive packages because it’s too expensive for the families. Only the American Elders get packages. Thanks for the Christmas package I received it this last Tuesday that was really cool!! I got the stockings and everything else! Thanks also for all the letters that was also really cool!! And the quotes!! I started the Christmas advent calendar this morning!!
We found a couple of people this week that I am actually pretty excited to start meeting with!! We are really hoping to have a baptism the end of December but we need to have people go to church the next 3 weeks which is really really hard because people don’t want to go to church which is really frustrating!! I don’t feel like I have been out very long!! It is cool how fast the time has gone by already!! I still feel like a new missionary but it is cool to think about just how fast I have learned the Spanish I know!! I feel like I can communicate really well already!! There are still times when I don’t understand what people are saying to me but it is all good! I also still have to work on how I sound when I talk because I am pretty sure I sound really funny to all the people I teach!! So I want to try and fix that but otherwise I am feeling really good!! So that has been pretty cool that realize this last week or so!!
I’m sleeping fine because I am always super tired in the night!! Every once and a while there is a party outside the house which will keep us up all night but other than that it is all good! It’s been pretty weird to be on a mission but it has also been really fun!! I don’t ever really have time to think of home so I don’t get too home sick usually!! You will never believe it but when I left the CCM (Mexico MTC) I was about 160 pounds!! I weighed myself earlier this week and I am roughly 176 pounds right now!! I have already put on 16 pounds in a month and a half roughly!! It’s because the food portions here are huge!! And delicious!! It is soooo weird to think I have already gained this much!! It all started when earlier this week people started pointing out my belly and then I was all like why do people keep saying this?? Do I really look that much bigger?? And then about wed. I weighed myself and I have put on 16 pounds!! Haha good times!! We played soccer again today and I was amazed yet again as to how much I sweat down here it is incredible!!
There is a huge thing we are doing called El is La Davida which is a video of the importance of the birth of Christ!! (Similar to #sharethegift in the states) which is pretty cool!! I would just like to say that I know that this church is true and that is why I am here!! I have been able to feel this more strongly than ever before in these last 100 some odd days!! It has been a really cool experience to have the spiritual promptings and just the really cool spiritual experiences!! I also have a really strong testimony in Joseph Smith and that he restored this gospel!! This is something that we constantly teach and it is really important to me! I also have a really strong testimony that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love all of us!! This was fortified sooooo much in my patriarchal blessing!! I love the opportunity I have to read it and feel their love for me every time!!