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Thursday, March 28, 2013

March 25, 2013--Week 56

Hey Mom! :)

So, being a zone leader means I have wayyyy much more to do on the computer on Monday.... we have to write a report for every area in the zone.  We´re still in that process, but I´m waiting for my comp to give me the USB with the excel file so that I can put my numbers and reports in.  It´s a lot of fun. :)  While I wait I’ll tell you that I love my new area!  It feels hot as the blazes after being in Comitán for a while, but the branch is huge (it´s only a branch because it´s a district here, not a stake), and we have a ton of investigators.  We have a real chapel!!  I´ve been told that´s one of the cool things about being a zone leader.  Our units always have lots of members and Priesthood.  So that´s pretty cool!

Okay—now I’m back and I don´t have too much time left because I had to finish my reports and send them off and we´ve already got to go to eat (this is the first area that I've had that the members feed us on p-day).  I don´t have time to tell you the about the specifics of the area, so if you have any questions, please let me know for next week and we´ll hope I have more time to tell you about what´s going on here.  And maybe I´ll have some time to send a scripture because I haven´t been able to do that in a few weeks.

The main thing that I want to tell you about quickly is that Élder Benjamín de Hoyos (First Quorum of the Seventy and counselor in the Presidency of the Mexico Area) came to visit our mission and we had a conference with him and his wife this past Saturday.   It´s always awesome to me to see how they know exactly what we need to do better and give us very exact and specific promises on what we can do to make it better and what will be the result if we do so.  They started by speaking a lot about the Book of Mormon and the role that it plays not only in the conversions of the investigators, but also in our own, and how it is the primary source of our testimony of Jesus Christ and therefore of spiritual power as missionaries.  His wife, Sister de Hoyos, invited us all to take a soft-cover copy of the Book of Mormon and read it within 85 days (the amount of time in which Joseph Smith translated it).  As we read it, she invited us to mark with four different colors.  One color for the names of Christ or any time a pronoun refers to Him, one for the words He says or when a prophet says "and thus saith the Lord), one for His attributes, and one for His doctrine.  Up to where I´ve read, it is a very marked and colorful book.  

Afterward, Elder de Hoyos talked to us for a while and gave us two specific things we should be doing to help the investigators to progress and to find new investigators.  To help them progress, he told us that as soon as we recognize that they´re good investigators, we need to find members who live close to them and introduce them to the investigators.  We are supposed to simply introduce them and then leave them there talking (that may seen uncomfortable... I don´t remember, but it´s normal here as long as someone in the group is friendly and a good conversationalist).  And then, the member asks, "What did they Elders tell you to do?"  And the investigator says, "Read this part in the Book of Mormon."  And the member says, "Hey, if you like, I can read with you."  And the investigator is like, "Yeah, I basically know nothing about this book, so that´s a great idea."  And they read.  And then the member asks, "What more did they tell you to do?"  And the investigator says, "To pray."  And the member says, "Well, if you want, we can accompany you in your prayer."  And the investigator is like, "Yeah, I don´t really remember exactly how they told me to do it, can you help me?"  And so they do.  And then we come back for the next appointment, and they´ve kept their commitments and understood them with the help of the member, AND they have a member friend.  So yeah.  That´s going to be good.  But the trick is doing it with a member that you trust.  Because trust me, there are plenty of members around here that I would NOT trust alone with our investigators.  So, maybe you guys can put that in practice around there.  It´d be pretty sweet.  The other thing is that we´re now supposed to be teaching lessons to the entire world, investigators (of course), less actives, more actives, and super actives.  And, after every lesson, we ask, "Who would you like to have a guest in your home for the next time we come to share a message with you guys?"  And guess what?  It works.  So, we´re excited. 

Then, afterward, we had our zone leaders council--with Elder de Hoyos as well.  That was really cool too.  He told the Mexican and other Hispanic elders that it´s their Priesthood duty to learn English.  And that it´s our Priesthood duty (the gringos), to keep up our Spanish for the rest of our lives.  And that every young Priesthood holder in the Church should be making an effort to learn at least THREE languages.  So, Elder Turner was sitting by me (he´s a zone leader in Tuxtla), and we decided that when we go back to BYU we´re going to live in the Foreign Student Language Residence and learn Portuguese (he´s already got his Book of Mormon in Portuguese, too).  There´s a ton of other cool stuff that I want to share from the conference and zone leader´s council, but I´ve already got to go.  Time is up.

I want to say that I love you all, and I´m glad for the success that you´re all having in your lives.  I miss you and I pray for you often.  Stay happy! 

Con mucho amor,
Elder Nickerl

PS--I got the package with the shoe polish, deodorant, trail mix, beef jerky, and lots of Lindor chocolates (I didn´t even know they came in that many flavors, and those are very much a delicacy for my comp and I, because Mexican chocolate is horrible and really expensive).  You´re the best!  Thank you for your support!  I´m very blessed :) I love you.

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