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Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29, 2013--Week 61

Hello :)

The only news today is that it's changes.  My comp is leaving just like we knew he would (to an area hotter than here, just about like Huixtla).  My new companion is named Elder Reyes, and he´s coming from Tapachula.  The thing is, there are two elders that are named Elder Reyes in Tapachula, and both are zone leaders, so it could be either of them.  I´ve met them but don´t know either of them very well.  If it´s the one I think it is, he´s actually from the city of Oaxaca.  So, he´s getting transferred to his own state.  Kind of cool.  So, this past change, I don´t think that my English really improved all that much because we spoke a lot of Spanglish and I probably couldn´t call it English.  So, my English probably stayed about neutral.  But, now it´s probably back to the downward spiral for my English.  But that´s ok :) I learn more Spanish when I´m with Mexicans.  

Mom, good prompt questions :) thank you.  Well... This week I ate "fish soup" (caldo de pescado) for the first time.  It had shrimp in it.  Like the entire shrimp.  We had to take the head off and the shell and stuff.  That part was pretty cool and pretty good and pretty messy.  There was also an entire boiled fish in there.  That part I didn´t like as much.  It was really hard to eat and I almost ate a bunch of bones and it was even more messy. They eat a ton of soup here.  They think it´s really really healthy.  It´s usually chicken soup, which is probably fairly healthy.  Other times, it´s beef soup.  Really fatty beef. Like you feel an entire coating of fat in your mouth after eating it.  So soup is kind of the bane of our existence because it´s so hot and we don´t really want to come and eat some nice piping hot soup when we're hot.  The good thing is that when you´re hungry, everything tastes good.  And, I do want to say that I have never left food on my plate in my mission. And I can almost always down seconds, even when I don´t like it.  Because I do really appreciate the sacrifice that the hermanas make to prepare us food and I don't want to offend them.  That would make me sad.  

But anyway, every Wednesday, we eat with the members that own our house.  They actually have this property with a big fence around it.  Their house is inside.  Also one of the kids of the hermano have a house and then another little house (that´s ours).  They hire a lady to keep up their house and the property full time and to do laundry and cook and stuff.  And she cooks really really good food.  So every Wednesday is like a three entre meal.  They give us a little soup or bowl of beans ("la entrada")(but a good soup, not the soup I just talked about), the then main entre ("el plato fuerte"), and then dessert ("el postre").  And it´s always really good.  Like last week, she totally made us barbeque chicken with potato wedges.  And they do NOT make food like that here.  So that was pretty sweet.  And she also puts a nice salad on there which is great because they don´t eat enough vegetables here, especially raw vegetables.  Remind me to explain Mexican "antojitos" next week.  Because that´s my favorite part.  And a little bit about Chahuites. Because my time is up.

Oh, I just talked with the assistants, and I´m almost positive we´ll be able to skype for Mother's Day.  The time limit is 40 minutes :/ but, that´s ok!  We´ll probably do it on Mexican Mother´s Day (always the 10th) because my comp is going to be Mexican.  I´ll let you know for sure next week.  Also, from talking to them I learned that my new companion is the Elder Reyes that I thought.  So, I´ve got that figured out now, too :)

Anyway, I love you all very much :) you´re great.  And I love you.  If I didn´t already mention that.  Seriously though.  I´m just in a really great mood today (don´t think it´s because I´m glad to be getting rid of my comp, because we did really get along really well!).  So, I love you all extra much. 


Con mucho amor,
Elder Andrew Nickerl

Sunday, April 28, 2013

April 22, 2013--Week 60

Dear Fam,

So, I feel like these weekly emails get really repetitive.  Same old, same old around here :) I´m doing well.  I´m happy.  I´m constantly sweating, but that´s ok :) hmm... what else?  People here stare at us a lot.  Like right now there are these two little kids here in the ciber with their mom and they´ve been staring at us for like 10 minutes.  I think it´s because they´re used to seeing missionaries, but not two gringos.  And, Elder Enke is like 4 inches taller than I am and played football and lacrosse in high school too so we pretty much walk around like giants around here.  It´s kind of comical.  Yeah :) I don't have too much else to say nor do I have pictures to send today.  And I´m running out of time.  So, I´ll just share a scripture real fast :) I´m going to start doing weekly scriptures again, I think, since I´ve pretty much adjusted to the computer time being how it is now.  

The scripture is in Doctrine and Covenants.  That reminds me--everyone here says "Doctrinas y Convenios", which really bugs me, because it´s not Docrinas, it´s Doctrina!  There is only ONE doctrine.  But anyway.  Sorry for that rant.  The scripture is Doctrine and Covenants 50:41-44.  I don´t really have any comments on the scripture.  I just like it a lot :) I love the way that the Lord speaks in these verses.  That´s something really special about Doctrine and Covenants, it´s the Lord´s own voice.  Anyway, I hope you guys love this scripture as much as I do.  Have a great week!  I love you all very very much and can´t wait to talk to you in just a few week (Also, I haven´t heard anything about it, but I´m assuming we get to skype like we did at Christmas.  I´ll ask next time I get a chance.)

Con mucho amor,
Elder Andrew Nickerl

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 15, 2013--Week 59

Hello everyone.

So, on the keyboard that I´m using today the number row doesn´t work, just the side one, so that means I can´t type exclamation points and parenthases and stuff... I´m going to have to copy and paste them in and will thus not use as many as I usually do and this email may not sound quite as animated as usually.  But I´m just as excited as usual, it´s just that the keyboard is a little depressed today.  

First of all, happy birthday to Adam and Jared!  I can´t believe you guys are already 18.  I feel like I just turned 18.  It really feels like almost no time has passed.  Pretty crazy. Wow.  

So, nothing new to report this week.  I feel like I kind of just do the same thing every week so there´s nothing really new to talk about.  But, we didn´t end up having a baptism this week.  We had to re-schedule it for a couple weeks out.  Other than that... really no new news.  We wake up.  We run.  We shower and get ready.  We study.  We leave.  It´s really hot.  We walk around a lot.  We go to people´s houses.  And we teach them about the Gospel :D and that´s that.  And then we get home, we plan for the next day, sometimes we eat, and then we go to sleep.  So there you have it.  

That´s about all for this week.  I love you all very much.  I pray for you often.  Have a great week!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Andrew Nickerl

I just wanted to send this funny picture.  This happens all the time in Mexico.  There are just drunk guys sleeping on the curb and sidewalk and I´ve always wanted to take a picture with one.  So I finally did.  My companion also took one by him.  It was pretty hilarious and we were really cracking up so we´re pretty surprised this guy didn´t wake up.

Our investigator has a new... Raccoon?  Yep, our investigator does have a blind raccoon.  First time I've touch a raccoon in my life.  But it get´s kind of viscous sometimes and bit me pretty hard so I don´t mess with it too much haha.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

April 8, 2013--Week 58


It was great hearing about your trip to Utah this week.  That´s really exciting :) I just realized while reading all this that I´m going to be back there again in about a year and I was like whatttttt where did all the time go?  It seriously goes really, really fast.  Thank you as well for all the pictures!  I really loved the ones at the Y.  I don´t know why--but just I love BYU so much.  It´s just a really awesome place and I´m so glad that Adam and Jared are going there as well :) that makes me really psyched that we´re all going to go to BYU juntos.  

So, as normal... not too much time to type.  But I want to send a few pictures today. Just to answer your questions:

I´m doing great and I still love my new area :) We´re going to have a baptism this week! Finally! :) That makes me really happy.  We´re baptizing the same girl that I told you about last week.  

It is still very hot.  There´s a lot of wind here though so that kind of cools it down sometimes.  But it also blows dirt all over everything and it´s super dusty here so it can be a pain, too.  We´re still walking a lot.  That´s never going to change. :) My shirts are holding up really really well.  All the ones that Grandma bought me (the CTR clothing brand) really are super awesome missionary shirts.  The first Van Huessen one that I brought is starting to tear up at the collar from so much hand-washing.  The rest of the Van Huessen shirts I now just use for special occasions like zone conferences and stuff like that.  But, I´m doing well with lots of shirts still.  I´ve had to throw away a couple of pairs of pants just from wearing them out after lots of walking.  Could you maybe send me one new pair?  The dang shoes are really what´s a pain.  I was very unimpressed by the shoes I bought here.  They´re pretty shnazzy looking, but not great for walking miles upon miles.  Both pairs are pretty worn already.  One pair I litterally wore a hole through the sole of the right shoe--I´m going to try to get the soles replaced, because they rest of the shoe is still fine.  On the other (and newer) pair, the sole is just tearing off the right shoe.  I don´t know if you can, but if you could send me another pair of the ones that I came with, that would save a lot of money.  And, I was also going to ask for some of those dental flosser things.  Like the ones that are a little stick.  That´s not all that descriptive but I think you know what I´m talking about.  

Anyway, I want time to send some pictures so I´ve got to go.  I love you all very very much. :) Have a great week!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Andrew Nickerl

There are lots of iguanas here.  Sorry I´m not in the picture, but the iguana would have taken off running.  I´m still working on finding someone that has a pet iguana so I can get a picture of that.  

This is my generation of missionaries.  We saw each other at the conference/zone leaders council with Elder de Hoyos.  Elder Turner and I used to tell each other that they day would come when we saw each other in the mission and we would be able to talk to each other in Spanish just as easily as English.  That finally happened. :)

This picture is kind of funny because sometimes with the glue that they call gel here you can kind of create yourself a bad hairday.  I didn´t realize until I took this picture that I had been walking around with an anime-type hair-do all day.  The facial expression kind of accentuates that, too.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April 1, 2013--Week 57

Dear Mom,

So, I´ll try to talk this week about the things you asked me to talk about. :)

I get along super well with my comp.  He´s from Massachusettes (no idea how to spell that) but has moved around a ton in his life too so we relate pretty well on that.  For the first week we did really well at speaking in Spanish all the time.  Then, we kind of went a little bit down hill from there and we´re speaking mostly English now.  I´ve realized from this that even though it´s not at all hard for me to express myself in Spanish anymore, I can express myself more fully in English just because of my lack of Spanish vocab.  I´d like to get the point where I can express myself in the same way in Spanish as I can in English.  Anyway though, it´s been pretty cool to have another American comp again finally, and we´re doing well.  He´s just going to be my comp for this change, though, because in this mission nobody ever finishes their mission as assistant or zone leader, so their last change they´re a normal senior comp, and next change is going to be his last, so he´ll be going to another area.  

So, as far as investigators go, there has been quite a bit of success in this area lately and success breeds success so I´m very grateful to be able to be here.  We´re going to have a baptism the 13th of a friend of one of the recent converts.  Her name is Pato.  Which means "duck".  But that´s just her nickname.  Anyway, we just started teaching her cousin this week, too, because she was just randomly there when we went to teach her a lesson.  There is a place in Preach My Gospel that it says roughly that the Lord will put the people who He has prepared in our path.  It's kind of cool that we experienced that.  The cousin is going to be baptized within a couple of weeks, too.  Also, we found this lady a couple weeks ago and started teaching her.  After teaching her a couple of times, we learned that she was baptized a really long time ago.  So, that was kind of funny.  We´re working on reactivating her instead.  Apart from that, we´re also working with the family of a guy who got baptized a couple months back.  He stopped going to church already, so we´re working with him too.  But, his wife isn´t a member.  And, we´re working with several other families like that, too.  There are a lot of part-member families here.  I love working with the part-member families.  I think it's much better than working with individuals, because we´re uniting families and preparing them to be eternal families.

Well, that´s all I´ve got to report this week :) I love you all very much and hope that you´re well.  Take care!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Nickerl