Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas! December 22nd

Heeeeeey fam! I can't believe Christmas is on Friday... if it wasn't for Mom's amazing packages it definitely wouldn't feel like it at all! Seriously though thank you so much for the packages I have loved every single one of them! I got the bagels yesterday those were a hit haha my district says thank you and Josh Bastian says thank you for the salsa and for the bagels (We pretty much just have a feast every night before we go to bed) haha he can always count on me getting somethin sweet from you guys. You're the best! Tell Grandma thank you so much for the sugar cookies they were SO good! they were gone within a day haha and they stayed soft for that whole time.

So this week as been pretty intense. Every week we have a LGM (large group meeting) where pretty much a couple zones get together and are taught by someone and we just talk about different stuff, but anyways this week it was taught by a man you looked and sounded EXACTLY like Bill Murray.. no joke! I was so tempted to just raise my hand and say "I think he can hear you ray", or "back of man.... I'm a scientist". haha so I went up to him after the meeting and was like has anyone ever told you that you look and sound just like Bill Murray? And he was like, "yeah almost everyday" haha he taught a really good lesson though, anyways I thought you'd enjoy that. So somethin kinda cool happened last Wednesday we all had to teach a lesson to one of the teachers that work in the MTC, and me and Elder Dennis taught a teacher and it went really well and afterward she told us that we taught the best lesson she had ever heard from missionaries in the MTC! how sweet is that?! haha that gave us a little confidence booster, which was immediately shot down the next day when we started having to do everything completely in Spanish.

Tomorrow we have to teach the first lesson in Spanish.. I'm way excited but pretty nervous. I think we're prepared though so we'll see how that goes. Also I've been making some calls in the RC (referral center) to people who only speak Spanish so that's been pretty dang sweet! It's way scary but I pretty much just follow a script which isn't too bad but then when they say something back that's when it can get pretty tough especially over the phone, but it went a lot better than I thought! I love it. Me and elder Dennis also blessed the sacrament in Spanish last Sunday! I didn't have to say it over again which is good, I got pretty lucky. So yeah the point of all that being we're really having to start diving into the language now which makes for pretty stressful/rewarding weeks.

So guess what? I've gained 8 lbs so far being here! I'm more than half way through so im thinking by the time I leave i'll be up to about 15 lbs total. But no worries I don't think it's bad weight I do push ups and sit ups every night so hopefully it's good weight that I'm putting on. So Blake and Cathleen sent me a Christmas card. You'll have to tell them thanks for me and that I really enjoyed it. The twins are pretty dang cute! Mom I haven't been able to listen to that talk you sent me yet I've been so busy but Im going to have some extra time today because the temple is closed so Im going to listen to it here in a bit.

So have you guys ever heard of Stephen B. Allen? He came and talked to us on Sunday and I love him I would highly recommend looking him up he gave an amazing talk and he is way funny. So I'm pretty sure an apostle is coming tonight! I’m not sure which one.. but I'll find out here in 9 and a half hours. I can't wait! I also can't wait to see who speaks on Friday.. it'll be so awesome. So I'm going to be able to write all of you guys on Christmas so that's why I'm not really saying anything to anyone in specific cause you can all expect letters from me sometime soon!

So I talked to this guy from El Salvador who is a teacher here. It got me soooo pumped! He said "Dude... you are gonna have the best mission" he said that they eat these lizards that are like two feet long and he says they are amazing haha we'll see... he also said that we will be living in very poor conditions, which I expected, and he also said that it is hotter on the East side than on the West side. Well I'm running out of time here so I better go but like I said I am going to be able to write you guys on Christmas so expect some letters! I love you all hope you have an amazing Christmas and a good rest of the week! p.s. have you guys gone skiing yet?

Love Nick

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Snow -December 15th

Thanks so much for the package, I can't wait to get a package everyday from now until Christmas!! You guys are the best. Alright so this week went by suuuuper fast! On sunday for our devotional the BYU men's chorus came and put on a little program, it was so good. I miss choir! Their last song they sung was called something like "who is that in yonder stall".. that might not be exactly it but anyways It's one of the best christmas type songs I've ever heard so If it is possible is there any way you could send me that song somehow on a cd? I would love it. So the snow just keeps comin! has it been pretty bad at home? It was so funny the other day it just got done snowing way hard and I looked outside of my window while sitting it class and there were a bunch of latino elders who clearly had never seen snow before making a huge snowman haha it was one of the funniest things I've ever seen, they were so excited! So after class I went outside and talked to them for a while. I love talking speaking spanish to latino elders whenever ever I can even though I dont know a ton it's such good practice and It really shows you where you are at in your spanish. Anyways it turned out that one of those elders is from El Salvador and I talked to him about it for a while. It made me so excited it sounds soooo sick! He told me a few stories that would probably make Mom and Dad a little worried so I'll just keep those to myself.. haha but nah I'll be fine.  Our teacher who went to Argentina was talking to us last night and giving us tips on street smarts and how to stay out of trouble and I really don't think it's going to be a huge issue... I just need to use common sense and be smart.

So the other day while playing basketball Elder Dennis sprained his ankle pretty bad (yeah that's right I crossed him over so bad I broke his ankles!) haha just kidding he just came down on it weird but its still super swollen and bruised and stuff so we might have to take a trip to the hospital here in a couple days to get it looked at... so that should be a good time! I'm always down for getting out of the MTC haha. Speaking of injuries, Nate was playing basketball on his P-Day (which is against the rules) and he broke his hand pretty bad so I think he might be getting into a little bit of trouble haha poor guy.

So we start teaching our lessons completely in Spanish next week... I'm terrified! But way excited at the same time. Brooke told me Grandpa fell the other day.. is he okay? I hope so. you'll have to tell both of them hi for me. I can't believe there is only 10 days until Christmas!! It doesn't feel like it at all.. I really hope President Monson comes! I think he will... if not then Uchedorf would be awesome! So I've been reading Jesus The Christ a lot lately and it is such a sweet book holy crap I can't believe I had never read it before now!! I know dad has read itso Mom and Brooke if you guys haven't read it I would highly encourage doing so. Well Im sure I'm leaving some stuff out but it's really hard to remember stuff that happens during the week.. the days just all blend together haha so I'm sorry. But I plan on replying to Moms and Dads and Brookes letters so plan on that tomorrow or the next day! I love you all and hope everybody is doing alright. Thanks again for all your love and support, I'm way lucky to have such an amazing family!! Hope to hear from you soon,


Sunday, December 13, 2009


We can only get printed pictures from Nick while he is in the MTC, so these are scanned pictures and are not the best quality, but still fun to see...enjoy!

waiting in line for Elder Holland's talk on Thanksgiving!

Humanitarian Service Project on Thanksgiving!

Elder Reid and Elder Dennis

Nick Studying, he says his room is freezing!

Elder Reid and Elder Dennis

Nick's District

The room

Nick at the temple, he has a little bit of his Mom's photography skills!

It's Freezing! -December 8th

Hey fam!! Well I've made it another week! It's so weird to think that just one more week and I will have been here for a month... crazy! Thank you so much for the little Christmas package you sent me I love it!! It definitely made my ugly room a lot nicer haha everyone loves it. Mom thanks so much for the blanket I was acutally going to ask you for a blanket because the heater in our room is broken and I swear I can see my breath in the morning haha it makes it a lot harder to wake up! So yeah thanks for that I love it. You aren't going overboard on the packages I love getting them so send as many as you please!

So spanish is going pretty well. It's getting way tough though we're getting into some crazy stuff. Dad you told me that I will learn a ton about English grammar while learning a language and you were so right, I think I have learned more about English while I've been here than when I was in highschool! haha. So how much snow did you guys get there? It has been snowing in provo for like the past three days straight! There is a ton and it's making me want to snowboard way bad haha.

So I had quite the experience yesterday that I think you'll enjoy hearing. K so Elder Dennis ripped his suit and it's the only one he has and we are supposed to wear a suit 24/7 here and so we went to the lady to see how we were supposed to get it fixed really fast so she gave us this little pass that allowed us to go outside of the MTC grounds and we walked quite a ways up the street into the outside world to a seamstress place!! I felt so rebelious! haha it was so weird just being out and about. Everyone was honking and waving and when we went in there everyone was super extra nice haha I felt like royalty! It all lasted for about 45 minutes then we went back.. but it was fun while it lasted that's for sure! I kept thinking I'd see somebody I know but it never happened haha.

Ok so I just realized that I have never really told you about my district I forget everytime! so here you go. There is Elder Dennis and he is from Alaska. Elder marchant and Elder Ramsay who is from Colorado. Elder Stapleton from Washington and Elder DelMarcado from vegas. Elder Street is from Richfield with Elder King from Manti. Elder Carlson from Vegas with Elder Mays from Cottonwood. So there you go! Everybody in my whole district is going to my same mission except for elder Carlson and Mays, they are going to Guatemala. Speaking of Elder King... he reminds me SO much of Ashley it's so hilarious! Just some of the things he says and the way he acts.

So how was "the maddox" with grandma and grandpa? You'll have to tell her happy birthday for me! So guess who has written me like three times while I've been here? Uncle Nate! If you happen to talk to him or see him tell him thanks a lot. He says not to write back cause he knows I'm busy so you'll just have to tell him for me.

It's pretty crazy how much I've learned here already. Not just language and stuff but about the gospel. I always thought that the church was just pretty simple and straightforward but I'm looking at a lot of things in a different light and learning a ton about how the spirit works, It's pretty awesome stuff. It's hard to distinguish days here because I do pretty much the same thing everyday haha. On Sunday we got to watch the Christmas devotional thing that the first presidency puts on every year. It was awesome! Did you guys get a chance to watch it? If not you should look it up. President Monson seems kind of down.. I'm assuming it's because of his wife, I feel bad for him. Dad is he still at the hospital quite a bit? Well I'm almost out of time so I've gotta go but I love you all!! I miss home a lot and think about you guys often, but I love the work that I'm doing. Hope to hear from you soon, have a great week!!

Love Nick

Hey Fam- December 1st

Hey everyone!! Wow this week has gone by pretty dang fast. It really has flown since Sunday. In the past week we have listened to TWO apostles speak! Elder Oaks spoke to us on Tuesday which was really good and then I'll tell you about the other one in a minute. But I have some GREAT news. Ok here's the story. So you know Elder Dennis came into our companionship? Ok well he was having a REALLY hard time with Elder street. Like worse than me by far, he really couldn't take it. So one night he just lost it at him at they got into a big fight and Elder Street said some pretty harsh things so Elder Dennis stormed out and talked to the zone and leaders and the zone leaders talked to our branch president. Anyways long story short The next day we get a call down to his office and he told us that there was a new Elder he was going to put into our district, Elder King, and so Elder Street was going to be his new companion.. so.... Im now just with Elder Dennis!! happiest day of my life haha. Things got SO much better ever since I can't even describe it to you. It is still hard.. but that took such a load off. So life is good. I love Elder Dennis. So about Thanksgiving, it was alright. The food was pretty good! But now all the food is just starting to taste the same no matter what it is.. the package you guys sent me on thanksgiving has saved my life haha no joke I absolutely loved it!! It had everything that I love in it, you guys know me pretty well. But anyways in the morning there was a devotional and guess who it was?! Elder Holland! It was so awesome he is an incredible man. Dad it's funny that you sent me that talk that Elder Holland gave because that was like just a couple days after I heard him speak so it was way cool. So later that day the whole MTC did a huge service project putting together food kits and stuff like that for kids in Africa. We watched a movie on it before it was way sad... so it made me feel good to help out. let's see what else... oh yeah. Saturday was probably the worst day of the mission so far I could hear the crowd from the BYU game way well and it made me way home sick.. it was horrible. Plus when I heard the outcome of the game it made it even worse haha. But its alright Sunday was awesome!

Well we are started to get pretty in depth with Spanish.. it's way tough. I love it though, I've got Joseph Smith's first vision memorized en Espanol! Oh yeah one more thing that was cool, When Elder Oaks came to speak the choir ( I joined the MTC choir.. i love it) we sang Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. It was so awesome probably one of the best moments so far! It was so nice to have some music in my life. Here at the MTC we can't even listen to hymns because they don't want it getting to loud in the rooms with people competing to hear their music...? Weird I know... but I've just learned to not ask questions haha. Anyways it's really nice to finally be starting to get into the swing of things. Me and Elder Dennis have been practicing teaching and it's incredible how strong the spirit can be when you are just teaching pretend investigators.

So here's a cool story, there is like a call center type thing here that people can call into from the number that is on like the LDS commercials, so they can ask questions or order Bibles or BOM'S or just get the chat room things and us missionaries run it! So I was taking some calls and I pretty much taught this lady the whole first discussion. She was this way southern lady from North Carolina and she has received a Book Of Mormon and promises to read and pray about it, it felt so cool! So that was fun. Well I've met a lot of cool people here and have gotten really close with a lot of people. We will be getting a new district tomorrow I'm way excited! I can't wait to feel older and more experienced than someone haha even though I've only been here for two weeks... it feels like I'm pretty seasoned! Well I'm almost out of time, I love you all and you'll be getting letters later tonight! Hope you all have a good week.

Love Nick

Nick's First Letter- November 24th

Hello everyone!! so listen to this. i just got done writing this email for a whole half hour(our elotted time) and i wasn't paying attention and ran out of time so it just exited me out and i lost everything.... SO devistating. luckily the staff was pretty understanding so they let me have another half hour so i'll do it again! I've made it a week! I wont lie to you guys... its been the longest week of my life. The first couple of days were so hard... you're just not used to being so spirutal 24/7 plus you are constantly just working and working and working plus missing everyone a ton and realizing wow... this is for real, added up to be some of the toughest couple of days of my life! But the legend of the "hang in there until sunday" myth is very true. I got to sunday and just felt a ton better about everything and just started to be happier and not as depressed and everyday has just been getting better and better so im really looking forward to this week. Mom and Dad thanks so much for the packages!!! i loved them. Alright so first off... my companion. His name is Elder Street.. and well.. let's just say dealing with him has been one of the biggest tests of patience i've ever had. wow. we are just so different and like he just all the time is trying to prove that he is somehow more spiritual or knows more about the gospel than me. way prideful. no bueno. But i'll stop bashing on him he's a hard worker so that's good. i think the lord knew that i really couldn't last this MTC with him so another Elder in my district got moved into advanecd spanish (he is latino) and so his companion joined me and Elder Street to make a threesome. THANK goodness. His name is Elder Dennis and he is a really cool kid, he has probably saved me this last week. Thanks everyone so much for the letters i seriously love getting them i really look forward to it.

The food is okay... i liked it a lot the first couple of days but it's alright getting very old. so i love when you send stuff. I'm loving learning and speaking spanish its so fun. Like you said dad it is pretty intense but my teachers are really patient and good at what they do so its all good. This is still all pretty surreal. Alright well im almost out of time again and don't want to make the same mistake as last time so I love you all and miss you all a ton! Feel free to send me dear elders whenever you feel like, i love getting them. I'm off to the temple now. hope to hear from you soon!

Love Nick