Called to Serve

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Monday, May 27, 2013

May 27, 2013--Week 65

Hello :)

This has been another wonderful week.  We had our baptism Friday.  It was an awesome experience.  I had the opportunity to perform the ordinance, and it was just an awesome service with a lot of support from the branch, especially the youth and their leaders.  The girl who was baptized is a friend of all of the young women here in the branch and she started going to seminary every day, so they introduced us to her.  And then we taught her.  And then she wanted to get baptized :) and then this week, she got baptized.  

Also, we´re for sure going to have another baptism at the end of next week.  We´ve had more investigators in church the last couple of weeks as well, which is awesome.  We´re super excited.  We´re going to have lots and lots of baptisms in these next couple months.  Up until this point in my mission, I haven´t been in an area for more than 4 months.  We don´t have changes for another few weeks, but I really hope that I have the chance to be here a while with Elder Reyes.  I´m learning a lot from him and we work really well together.  

Umm… Other than that, there´s not too much new :) I´m sorry that´s what I always say.  I feel like I´ve gotten progressively worse at writing home since the beginning of my mission.  

Oh yeah one thing I was going to tell you is that the members we live with had some really dirty and dusty exercise machines that nobody had used for a while, and we finally cleaned them off and decided that we were going to use them.  So I´ve now been running on a treadmill (although I hate treadmills and this is a horrible treadmill).  And I realized that I´m in horrible shape.  So, that´ll do me some good :) 

Have a great week!  You are the best!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Andrew Nickerl

We did have a baptism this week.  Here's the photo...and I look like a giant as usual.  :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 20, 2013--Week 64

Hello everyone!

What an INCREDIBLE week this was :) I´m so happy.  We didn´t actually end up having our baptism, but it got cancelled for a valid reason on the investigator’s part and we´re going to have it this week.  So, this week we taught a ton of lessons and we´ve been working a lot with the members and we´ve basically just been all over the place.  We´re going to have another baptism the 8th of June, and we´re hoping to put a couple more baptismal dates on the calendar in the next couple of days.  We´re super psyched, because the entire zone is baptizing!  There are a couple of areas that haven´t baptized in a LONG time, and each one of those areas is going to baptize in this week or the next one.  So, we´re pretty content.  Other than that, we have zone conference tomorrow in Arriaga with the Arriaga zone.  That´s always an awesome experience.  President always tells us a ton of stories from his mission :) he served here in the same mission, and here in the Oaxaca zone too (but he was in an area that´s now part of the Oaxaca mission). But yeah, he baptized like 300 people on his mission or something ridiculous like that, so he´s got a lot of awesome stories to tell us :) ummmm... other than that... I got the news today that they found my camera charger in Comitán (sorry that you had already ordered a new one)!  I´ll get it in a couple of weeks--the next time we go to Tuxtla.  

I´m very happy :) I´m so grateful for the chance that I have to be part of this great work. I've started contemplating a lot lately how blessed I have been to grow up with the Gospel and experience it´s blessings my entire life.  I know that God loves us.  I feel it each day; both His love for me and His love for His children here whom I serve.  I know He wants to bless each one of them in the same capacity that I´ve been blessed as I´ve experienced the blessings of the Gospel.  That has become one of the greatest motivators for me as I work.  I want you to know that I have come to love the Lord, His Gospel, and His Church much more than I could have understood before.  

That´s about all that I have to say for today. :) Sorry, I feel like I don´t send all that much more information in my emails anymore... Everything just blends together for me.  If there's ever anything you want me to write about you can ask me!  :) I love you all very very much.  I love hearing from you, and it makes me so happy every week to see the success that you´re having in your lives.

Con mucho amor,
Elder Andrew Nickerl  

P.S.  Oh, and I thought of some more things that I would like in my package if you can get ahold of them :) and I wrote them down—so I remember. Mostly it´s music.  There are a couple of songs on on a new album by the BYU men´s chorus called "Set Apart".  They´re missionary hymns.  And I really love the ones that are on there and if you can get it I would love to have the CD to listen to in the house.  Apart from that, I´ve been listening to a lot of instrumental music lately, and I was wondering if you could get me some Jon Schmidt music (if I remember right there's this one of his that I really liked called "Renaissance Hymn and it turns out that we can listen to other instrumental music so just whatever awesome music of his that you can find as long as it´s not irreverent... And, one of the youth in Comitán was telling me that he made a group with a cellist called "Los chicos del piano" (which I´m assuming is "The Piano Guys") and put some of the music on (apparently a cover of a song called "Titaneum" or something like that) and it was pretty awesome.  And, I don´t have the song "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul" from "17 Miracles" and I´ve been wanting to listen to that for a while.  So if you can find some of that music that would be great.  If not, don´t worry about it :) Also, one just randomly gets those food hankerings. And, if you could put a box of pop tarts in that would be pretty awesome.  I don´t remember about the flavors.  Just whatever looks good :) And those are the only specific things I could think of.  Thank´s so much :) You´re the best!

May 13, 2013--Week 63

Dear Family,

It was so great talking to you guys last night :) although Jacob and Anna, I´m so sorry that we had the change of plans and that I talked later and didn´t get to talk to you guys. But, I was really happy to be able to still talk with Jared, Adam, Mom, and Dad.  

So, this week we are just overwhelmed with work!  We have so many investigators!  I love it so much!  We´ve been working super super hard and it´s paying off.  It feels so good to have the support of the members.  We´re going to have a baptism this week :) and hopefully the week after.  And the week after would be nice as well but we´ll see about that :) The family I was telling you guys about last night is awesome.  The Mom hasn´t been religious her whole life but now that she´s married with three little boys I think religion is starting to become more of a subject of thought for her.  She read Alma 32 and just yesterday we taught them about exactly HOW to plant the seed that Alma talks about, and now she's going to start reading to Book of Mormon and praying to know if it´s true and about the Restoration of the Gospel.

Sorry that I have no photos to send... since I lost my camera charger again that makes it kind of tough.  I´ll send one next week of the baptism from Elder Reyes´s camera.

Hmm... that´s basically my report for the week :) Oh!  I thought of more stuff that I would like to ask for in a package.  And I forgot half of it already.  So, for next week I´m going to write it down every time I think of something.  But, when Dad sent me a package from Afghanistan, he sent me gatorade powder, and that was cool.  And also he sent me these beef sticks that aren´t like beef jerkey, they´re softer.  I think they´re called snack sticks. I don´t know if you could try to find some of those, but that would be wonderful.  And Jared´s idea sounded good...just stuff that looks like it doesn´t exist here in Mexico. Umm... I definitely had thought of more things.  But they walked out of mind while I wrote our weekly report to the assistants.  So... yeah.  Hmm.  I promise I'll write them down for next week :) 

Have a great week!  I love all of you!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Andrew Nickerl

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May 6, 2013--Week 62

Hello family!

What a great week!  This has seriously been the best week that I´ve had for a very long time.  My new companion is awesome.  We get along super well and he´s the hardest worker that I´ve been with yet.  We went crazy this week and found around 10 new investigators.  And almost all of them are part member families!  That means that we´re working towards uniting families for time and all eternity... :) which is the very best.  So, the baptism that we were going to have last month but fell through we also scheduled for the 18th (and fixed the problems that made it so that we couldn't have it last time).  And another one of our investigators after a very long chain of events can now finally get married to the guy that she´s living with so that she can get baptized too!  And, out of the 10 new investigators that we found, I feel like a lot of them are going to progress.  So, in the upcoming weeks we´re going to be baptizing a lot of people :) and I am really, really psyched.  

So... umm... other than that.  It's really hot.  Really, really hot.  Like hotter than it's been my entire mission.  Fasting yesterday was ridiculously hard.  Probably the hardest fast I've ever done in my life.  When we finally ended our fast, we drank like a gallon of water each and both got really sick from drinking water too fast.  Oops.  But we still had a ton of work to do so we left anyway and found more new investigators!  And it ended up being a great day.  I just got a little bit burned this week because it's a lot dryer here in Oaxaca than in Chiapas and the sun seems to have intensified a lot starting on Wednesday.  So my tan lines also passed from ridiculous to much more ridiculous.  But I´m drinking lots of water and staying very hydrated (we go through two 19 liter garrafones each week, and I drink more water than my comp).  

I can´t think of too much more to say, but I´m happy and healthy :) I have a testimony of this work and I know it changes lives.  It´s changed mine more than I can believe.  I love the Lord and I´m so grateful for the oportunity that I have to serve Him in this capacity.  

I love you all and I´m so grateful for all the success that you´re having in your lives. Each week you all inspire me. :) Take care!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Andrew Nickerl

P.S. Oh, and we´re going to be able to Skype for no more than 40 minutes on Sunday.  I know that´s not very much time but that´s the rule. :) I´m just grateful for that time and can't wait to talk to all of you.  We´ll be getting on here about 7 pm.  I´m not sure what that time is where you guys are.  I may be a little late too because I might have to download skype on the computer I get on and because we have an appointment right beforehand.