Hello family :)
I just want to start by saying that I love you all so very much. Thank you for all of your happy birthday wishes :) and Mom, don´t worry at all about the package/mail situation. I'm very grateful that 1. you´ve sent/are sending me packages for my birthday (and not just one, but two!), 2. that one already got here, 3. that the other is on it´s way, 4. and although the mail is a pain, I'm mostly happy that I´m on my mission for my 20th birthday. And also Mom, I was wondering as well how you can be the mom of a no-longer-teenager. Everyone who has seen the Christmas banner you sent me has asked if you´re my sister or my cousin. I´m sure you hear it all the time, but you do look way too young to have a 20-year-old son.
But anyway, I´ve really been counting my blessings a lot this week, and I´m so grateful for so many things. I have been so blessed my entire life. I´m grateful that Grandma and Grandpa listened to the missionaries some 40 years ago, paid attention to the Spirit, and made the decision to be baptized. I´m so grateful also that Dad, some 20 years ago, made the same choice. After being out here for a while, I´ve recognized that after taking these things for granted my entire life, they are such a miracle. I´m so grateful to have been born into a family sealed for eternity in the House of the Lord, and that my entire life I have enjoyed the blessings of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness. I´m so grateful here for all of the support that I receive, and all my family (mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins) and friends that care about me, and the many prayers offered in faith on my behalf. Most of all, I´m grateful for the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ, and that because of it, I can follow the Plan of Salvation that was laid out before me since before the foundations of this world.
This has been a great week. For the first time in a very long time, we found people who are going to really progress. And, for the first time since I´ve been here, and after many Sunday mornings of leaving the house early to try unsuccessfully to bring investigators to church, we had an investigator in church. I still wouldn´t say that we have so many people to teach that we can´t teach them all, but we´re things are happening here! We´re psyched.
I´m running out of time, but real quick I just wanted to share a scripture and experience. Here in our zone (and probably in a lot of other places too, but I hadn’t heard it before here) we have a phrase (actually it´s just a word) that we use to basically say "to rebuke somebody with the scriptures" which is "planchar" ("to iron"). So, this week I was reading in Doctrine and Covenants, y yo me planché solito. "I ironed myself all on my own." I read D&C 58:31-33, which reads as follows:
31 Who am I, saith the Lord, that have apromised and have not fulfilled?
33 Then they asay in their hearts: This is not the work of the Lord, for his promises are not fulfilled. But wo unto such, for theirbreward lurketh cbeneath, and not from above.
And, I thought about a few weeks ago when I was kind of complaining about the area and the lack of success and stuff, and I came to a quick conclusion that I will not be doing that again, because unless I am perfect in EVERY commandment, I can´t expect to receive all the promised blessings, because I don´t want my reward to lurk beneath.
Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful week. I love you all very, very much and you´re always in my prayers.
Con mucho amor,
Elder Andrew Nickerl