Called to Serve

Daisypath Vacation tickers

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December 16, 2013--Week 93

Dear Family,

Mom, congratulations on your finals!  The Lord does work--and we can see His miracles when we look for them. :) On that note we had a really cool experience giving a blessing this week.  One of the families of investigators that we´re teaching has a son that has had a high fever for a couple of weeks. The medicine that they'd given him had no effect. We gave him a blessing and two days later when we came back he was just fine. I don´t think that they realized the significance of what happened, but I definitely did. I know that God is still a God of miracles today just as much as He was anciently.

Ok, so my time is short--again. :/ Sorry about that.  This week started off really awesome.  We found 5 new investigators who we set baptismal dates with.  That was pretty cool.  The really uncool part was that not even one of them came to church on Sunday (although they had all committed to doing so), which also meant that their baptismal dates no longer exist (since they have to go to Church five times before being baptized).  The family that we found last week was really excited (we found the dad on Tuesday and had an awesome lesson and set baptismal dates with him and his wife), but then on Friday, the pastor from the Church that they had recently stopped attending, came to see them and talked to the mom.  And since the family is indiginous (we think they´re Tzotzils but we´re not sure) and very humble, it also means that it´s a very male dominated culture and the women have very little say.  So, having said that, she sees the pastor as a huge authority figure and he told her not to go to church with us anymore or even to accept us in her house.  So, that was really frustrating and we wanted to have a few words with that pastor but unfortunately (or rather fortunately haha) he was no longer there when we got there.  So she won´t let us talk to her anymore but we´re going to see what her husband says when we have an opportunity to meet with him.  

So, it would have ended up being a pretty discouraging week, but last night we had stake leadership training with the Area Seventy (his name is Elder Reyes).  President Cárdenas called us on Saturday and told us that we would be attending this meeting.  So, we went and Elder Reyes talked about Hastening the Work of Salvation.  And he said that the purpose of the ward council is to carry this work out. So, what we gathered together in Ward Councils and made lists of people (one list of non-members and one list of members) for us to visit.  Actually, we didn´t make the list, the ward council did. Our ward council came up with more than 50 names on each list.  So now, we´re psyched to work with the all these new people and we ended the week on a great note.  ...And better yet, the ward is now focused on filling our planners and giving us people to teach. :) 

I´m so grateful for modern revelation and I know that this work will move forward so much more powerfully this way.

I love you all!  Have a great week!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Andrew Nickerl

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013--Week 92

Dear Family,

So, this week was pretty great.  We started off by going to Tuxtla for the leadership council and President talked to us about working with the ward councils and the members so that the Work of Salvation moves forward correctly.  That´s been all of the focus lately.  I can´t believe how much that´s changed for me since the beginning of my mission--we used to just knock doors all day.  I´m so thankful that the Lord helped us see the more effective way of doing things.  This week we received a referral from a recent convert of a complete family.  They´re a very humble family.  They don´t have much, and the dad is always gone working (we still haven´t met him yet, but we have an appointment with them tomorrow and we´re hoping to find him).  On Sunday morning we went with a brother in the ward to bring the mom with two of her kids to Church.  Next week we´ll be turning that reponsibility over to the ward mission leader, who will make sure that they get to church. :) Working with the members really is more effective... Imagine how many more people the members can bring to church together than just us two missionaries (actually four... there are four missionaries in this ward, too) without a car.  Speaking of that, this is by far the biggest ward that I´ve been assigned to work in (although Chahuites is heading this way, too), 120-130 people attend every week.  So, that´s all I have for this week.  Sorry it´s rushed, but I´m out of time.  I was going to send a couple of pictures, too, but again, I´m out of time.

Anyway, I love you all very much :) Thank you for your prayers.  I feel them in our work here.  Have a great week and for everyone that has exams and finals--trust in the Lord and know that if you do your part, He´ll do the rest.

Con mucho amor,

Elder Nickerl

P.S. I wanted to tell you that this week when we went to Tuxtla, they gave us the time-frame for our Christmas call.  We plan on calling on Dec. 24th.  I´ll have time to do my videochat at 7pm here.  It´ll be on Skype just like the last two calls.  We´ll be doing it in the stake president´s house.

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013--Week 91

Hello from the cold!!

So, this week I just about froze to death (but I didn´t). San Cristóbal actually has a beautiful climate (that we´re now enjoying), but the same day that I got here there was a cold front from the Gulf of Mexico which lasted about 3 days. And the sun didn´t come out. And I was really cold. But on Friday the sun came out and although it´s cold at night we´re enjoying beautiful weather during the day. I´ve just been reminded this week that I don´t mind the cold--as long as I live in a heated house--which I don´t.  haha. But anyway, apart from the cold, San Cristóbal is AWESOME. It´s a beautiful city and I now understand why it´s the tourist center of Chiapas. That´s been another super weird thing, by the way... I see white people here all the time. I was not used to that. I was the white guy in Chahuites. Speaking of Chahuites, I miss my little town and all of my people there. As awesome as San Cristóbal is, I don´t recognize everyone that I see in the street and it doesn´t have the same general friendliness as Chahuites does. But yeah, anyway, I´ve heard so many languages here. I´ve heard people speaking English in the street a couple of times, but mostly I´ve heard German and French and other languages that I don´t distinguish. Also there are a ton of indiginous people here, mostly Tzotziles and Chamulas. I´ve started learning a couple words here and there in Tzotzil, mostly to lower prices on the stuff that they sell. (haha)  I know how to say (the spelling on the tzotzil words is very likely not correct, it´s just how it´s pronounced in Spanish) "Hi/good morning/good afternoon/etc"--"Leoté", "How are you?"--"cushailán", "fine"--"lecoy", "What are you doing?"--"Cushi-shapás", "How much does this cost?"--"cus-tojol", "That´s really expensive."--"Toj-toyol", "I want a lower price"--"tsu-lesó", and "thank you"--"kolabal". So that´s been fun. I´m going to try to find a good Tzotzil book and learn a little bit more. :) 

As far as the work goes right now, we don´t have many of investigators here, so we have been/will be visiting a lot of members and teaching them the lessons and inviting them to invite their friends to listen to us. We know that we`ll find a lot of people that way.

Another cool experience really quick before I go... yesterday we were waiting outside the church for our investigators, and a whole bunch of members from Utah showed up. And they didn´t speak Spanish. So they asked me to translate for them in sacrament meeting. To my great surprise, I did so fairly successfully. Just one time I realized that instead of translating what the person was saying I was just repeating it in Spanish... everyone turned around and looked at me and laughed... that was embarassing. But other than that it went pretty well :)

That`s it for this week.  I love you all very much! Rely on the Lord in these couple of exam weeks and everything will go just fine :)

Con mucho amor,
Elder Andrew Nickerl