Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Crazy couple of weeks!

December 13th Letter:

Hey fam,
Well sounds like you guys have had a pretty emotional week.. It sounds like putting Rosco down was super hard. Mom those stories you told me were horrible what are you trying to do kill me?! haha jk it´s ok. Well I´m pretty glad I wasn't there for it to tell you the truth, sorry you guys had to go through with it.

Well this week hasn't really been the best for me either, that family that I had that was going to get baptized ended up moving to Usulutan all of the sudden on Tuesday... so all five of them had to back out. Hopefully they get baptized over there but it´s pretty tough when stuff like that happens because they get used to the ward and the missionary's, and when they go somewhere else it´s just not the same and they go kind of cold, but I´m hoping for the best. Things with my companion are not the greatest either still haha laugh all you want! I really do hope I have changes or I might go out of my mind! Well this Wednesday we have kind of a mission Christmas party so that will be fun. It´s just with all of the zones in the city so the whole mission won´t be there, but it´ll still be a good time I´m sure. I´m hoping that I get the packages today!! I thought that I would get them last week but I didn´t so that was kind of disappointing, but I´m almost positive that they will be here today.

So it´s been super cold here lately! Well in the day it´s pretty hot but at night and in the morning I'm dying. It´s like high 60s! It´s pretty funny though, everybody here when it's that cold is wearing coats and sweaters and stuff and I know that if it was that temperature in Utah everybody would just be wearing jeans and a t-shirt haha. I´m seriously going to die coming back to Utah in November! So it hasn't really be snowing much lately? From what the boys told me it sounds like the weather has been pretty weird. Hey when does Nate Naegle come back? Isn´t it like next month? Man that´s so weird...

Well there have been some pretty crazy things happening in the mission lately.. there are a lot of REALLY disobedient elders and well one of them finally went to president and just told him EVERYTHING that he knew and that elders have done including himself. There are going to be some crazy changes in the next couple weeks and so I'm hoping it results in my being in a new area haha! But yeah its way sad what´s going on, I'm pretty sure some elders will be going home soon for things that they have done here in the mission. I was pretty shocked when I heard some of things that have been going on. Well what´s going on in the ward, anything new? Tell everybody hi for me. Ss the family Christmas party going to be on Christmas Eve like always? You´ll have to take some video for me. Well love you all soak up the holidays!!!! Talk to ya next week!

December 20th Letter:

Hey fam!
Well in just a few days we will be talking on the phone, I can´t believe it has already been 7 months since the last time that we talked! I remember us saying, "wow the next time we talk I will have more than a year in the mission.. pretty much home!" haha time is so weird because I feel the exact same as a did then, like not much has changed and not that much time has past. But then I look back on all the stuff that has happened and some differences in myself and it definitely seems like seven months if not longer! Anyways, I probably didn't make too much sense. I´m pretty sure I'm just going to buy a phone card (with plenty of time) and try and get a cell phone from a member to use because it´s cheaper that way. I´m way excited!!!

Well sounds like everybody is excited for Christmas, do you guys have any fun plans or are you just going to go to the family party? I'm sure that´s been fun to plan... haha I´m glad that you are doing it at the church though and not the house... it would be destroyed! Well I got the two packages!! I love them, the Feliz Navidad thing was a way good idea and it was soooo good to see all of those people! I have the wrapped presents sitting on my desk ready to go with my tree all made up and everything haha. I ´ll send you a pic of it it looks pretty good I won´t lie. Anyways loved it all thanks a lot!! Getting packages are the best. I´ve already pretty much downed all the food that was in there, haha the corn nuts tastes so good.

Well this week has been absolutely crazy. I can give you guys some more details in the phone call.. but this is it in a nutshell: I don´t really know if I have told you guys or not, but this mission is extremely disobedient and there are missionaries doing things here that would even get them in trouble if they weren't missionaries.. it´s a joke. Anyways a good friend of mine in the mission did something pretty bad a little bit ago, and felt really horrible about it. Anyways him and another elder were talking about how bad they felt and they knew a tooooon if things about other missionary's and other bad things. They knew by telling president they could literally change the mission. So they decided to go in and confess not only what they had done, but also EVERYTHING that they knew about EVERY elder in the whole mission. I give him a ton of credit for what he did, because he pretty much knew confessing to president meant going home early. But it was the only way if he really wanted to repent. To say the least president was pretty shocked and upset but didn't say much, just found out all the information he could and said he would talk to them later. Well a Monday night I got a call saying that there was a meeting that me and my companion had to be to and a few other people from the zone, in Cuscatlan. Well we got to the meeting the next day and they told us to sit down and study until president came. As I looked around I saw that everybody that was there were just the troubled missionaries and their companions..(so thanks to my companion I had to be there) so I kinda figured what the meeting would be about. So finally after about an hour president came in and said "you can all relax, you aren't going to be hearing a word from me today." what the heck does that mean?! After a little bit they separated us into two different rooms and the assistants were just talking to us and teaching us a little bit, but as they were doing that, the president was calling elders out one by one to be interviewed. So I was just sitting nervously waiting, and my turn finally came. I went out into the hall was greeted by the president, but he just pointed down the other hall. Well I turned the corner at waiting at the door was Elder Clark from the area 70!! He just shook my hand asked my where I was from and took me into an office. We started with a prayer and started talking. He started off by asking me if I would be 100 percent honest with him, so I said yes of course. Well he pretty much just asked me about my companion the whole time, and about the mission. So I told him what I knew and what I though we be of help to him. Turns out my companion had done some pretty serious stuff last change and he might be going home, along with about 10 other elders in the mission. Not only did Elder Clark come, but also elder Falabella and elder Martino from the area 70, the whole presidency!! I have never seen slash heard of anything like it. After all the interviews were done elder Martino came out and talked to everybody about the atonement and how if any change was going to be made it had to be right then. It was really cool and he was super forgiving and relaxed during the whole thing. I´ll never forget it! So pretty much a bunch of elders are just waiting out the transfer to see if they will be sent home or not. I'm just way grateful that I haven´t fallen into any temptation during the mission because there are a lot of elders who hate their lives right now and might be seeing there families a little earlier than expected. The changes are going to be crazy!!! Im almost positive I wont be with my companion again.. but we´ll see!!! Anyways sorry this has been so long, but we are going to talk this weekend!
But thanks for everything love you all, tell everybody Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Talk to ya Saturday!!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

No Comp! November 29th 2010

hey guys how´s it goin? Happy Thanksgiving! Late.. haha sounds like it was pretty awesome though, I wish I could have been there! I totally forgot it was thanksgiving until one of the Latino elders in the zone came up to me and was like hey man pretty good day for you huh! I just kind of looked at him confused and was like yeah.... great day....what are you talking about? He just laughed and said wow that's sad, I know your countries holidays better than you do! haha pretty funny. But it was actually a pretty interesting day.

Sadly, my companion went home. We were sitting there Wedensday night and he was just mad because he didn´t think anybody was taking him serious about him wanting to leave and that everybody just thought it was a big joke. His stake president still hadn´t called him and it had been a week and a half, and when he called president all he would say is that he had to wait for the call from his stake president. So that night he told me,/.l look they either do something about this and we can do this the right way and they can help me out, or im just going to get on a bus tomorrow morning and im leaving on my own. So I called the assistants and told them what was up and that if they doing figure something out my companion was just going to leave. Well, it worked. President called the zone leaders on thursday (we were having a zone meeting) and asked to talk to my companion. He said Elder Rojas, I hope you´re already packed up, cause you have to be at the bus at one O clock, I hope you´re sure about your decision. Well he had been packed since the Friday before that, so yeah he was ready for some time arleady haha. So me and the zone leaders went and dropped him off at the terminal and off he went to Honduras. It was all pretty horrible to tell you truth. I feel pretty bad that I couldn´t help him and make him stay. But we all have our agency. But then again it is a commandent... ah I dont know haha. Just crappy all around. So the other problem is that the mission pretty much has nobody to send me right now , there are no trio companionships or anything. So I´ve been with the zone leaders in their area the whole week! I talked to the assistant last night and he told me that either I'm just going to have to stick out this change with the zone leaders and we can try to work once and a while in my are and with the people that I have, or they are just going to send me out to another zone and put me into a trio. Stinks being in limbo! But it´s alright... the work is the work. It doesn´t really matter if I'm here or in my area. It´ll be interesting to see how it plays out, I should know by tomorrow.

So for my sweet Thanksgiving dinner we went to a mexican restaurant and had burritos haha so good. Seriously though I love mexican food. Cafe Rio is on the immediate to do list when i get home that´s for sure. So what are you guys thinking you are going to do for christmas? any fun plans? So remember those scripture covers that I ordered..? I still haven´t gotten them! It´s making me nervous. We are going to go to the office today to get a few things so I'm hoping that they are there. Sounds like you guys are enjoying little Sophie. I forgot to ask, how are Rosco and Joey doing with that? Well not much more going on here right now. Thanks for all your support, I miss you guys all the time! Have a good week. love you all.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

1 more year to go! Monday November 22nd

Nick and Elder Alviso before transfers

Dear Fam,

I HAVE A NEW SISTER?! haha call me an idiot but I kinda freaked out when I read that. Who knows you could have adopted somebody or something, I wouldn´t put it past you guys! Alright I´ll admit Sophie is pretty dang cute... but I'm getting pretty mad that I keep missing out on pretty major things AKA Reese... now a new puppy! So is she going to grow a lot more or is that pretty much it? she´s tiny!

Well this week has been pretty interesting with my companion. Last monday night I had a long chat with him about the mission and about his challenges and we finally came to the conclusion that he should just call president and talk to him. So he called and pretty much just told him that he simply does not want to be here and the mission is ruining his love for the church and if he stays here he is just going to go inactive when he goes back. So President called his stake president, who then called him. His stake president told him to wait it out a week, work as hard as he can, study, pray, and if he still feels the same way at the end of the week then he can go home. So I´ve been working like a donkey this week trying to animate him and we even found a sweet family that I'm almost possitive we will baptize the first week of December. But even with all of that, He started packing his stuff Friday night... there´s no stoppin him. So I guess it's just a matter of when he goes home now. I don´t want to push him to hard or try and convince him to stay more than I already have because you shouldn't force anybody to be on a mission, that's why it's called service. If you don't love the people and what you're doing you're not going to have baptisms, let alone converts. So yeah that´s all the drama that is going on right now, so I very well might have a new companion by next week.

But on a good note, that family that we found is waaay sweet and they went to an activity at the church on Saturday and then to church on Sunday. There are 6 of them. So we´ll be working with them real hard the next couple of weeks. So supposedly Elder Alviso is now in my old area in San Miguel! sweet huh? So I told him to take care of my converts.

Well sounds like Thanksgiving is going to be pretty sweet at Uncle Mark's house! I can´t believe that it snowed so much already that´s so sweet, when I heard that I about died ahhhh snowboarding!!!!! Haha send me some sweet video at least. Sounds like Harry Potter was pretty sweet, at what point did it stop? It willl be sweet to be able to watch the two movies at once when I get back, (I planned it that way).

Hey, Brother Cefalo sent me a letter saying that they will be sending the ward news letter to us by email now and that he wanted me to tell you if I got it or not...so.. I got it! Haha well guys have a good week love you all, I'm sad I can´t be there for thanksgiving but I'm greatful for you guys....a lot! Eat until you die!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Last Two emails- November 8th and 15th

November 8th-

Hey guys,
Well the change Is officially done, and it´ll be interesting to see what happens on Wednesday! To tell you the truth im pretty sure that my companion will leave, just because President Perez doesn´t want to do any changes right before Christmas, so if we don´t split up this change that would mean we are together for 3 changes! It´s unheard of to have two gringos together that long, so yeah im not counting on it. But it would be sweet! This change has been super fast it´s crazy. Next Thursday I complete a year!! unreal. Well this week has been pretty good for us. This sisters had a baptism so I had to do an interview for that which was a really good one, one of my favorites. He asked me to baptize him so I was able to do that which is always fun. This guy is crazy smart, supposedly after like the first lesson when the sisters went back he said, "so I´ve been doing some studying, and am I wrong in thinking that we can become Gods?" haha pretty sweet. Anyways I´ll try and send you a pic of that. Also we have a baptism date! This Saturday Bonny is going to get baptized. She has been wanting to do it for a while along with the guy she lives with but he just did not want to get married. We tried and tried forever but he just wouldn´t do it for some reason. Anyways last week we went over there and find out that he left her in the middle of the night. They have a 3 year old together and he just bounced! Way sad. Said he just doesn´t love her anymore blah blah blah. ANYWAYS she told us that she had a dream that her and her son were in a huge building walking up some stairs, and the whole building was completely white and they felt super calm and peaceful and happy. Temple anyone? haha and we had just had a little lesson on temples a little bit back and I told her that is exactly how a temple is. Anyways long story short she is getting baptized Saturday!

Other than that everythign is good here. It has been sooooo cold in the morning and at night lately it´s a joke. Supposedly it is just a weird cold front that has come through and should stop soon but in the mean time I am dying and have never wanted a warm shower more than I do now haha. I was actually very close to boiling some water the other day. Desperate times call for desperate measures! That´s sweet that you guys got a letter from Nate, he´s making me look bad! haha I´ll tell him I know he´s just sucking up to get a package. Speaking of packages Mom for the Christmas package the other day I had the biggest craving for trail mix... throw a bag of those in there for me!
That´s devistating that Utah got blown out like that.... I almost cried. Oh well as long as we beat BYU, it will ease my pain. Well love you guys thanks for all your support. Im gonna go get my soccer on now. Talk to ya next week!!

November 15th-

Hey guys,
Well this has been a pretty crazy week, the mission has changed a lot. Pretty much everybody in the whole mission had changes because the President doesn´t want to do any changes right before Christmas. Two zones in the mission got shut down, so along with four zone leaders. The zones are now a lot bigger and there are fewer district leaders and bigger districts. Alot of people got dropped from being district leader, but for some reason papí Perez saw it fit to keep me in there. I now have 6 other elders in my district. Also president started a new rule that the zone leaders have to have a district leader as well give their numbers to and all of that, and so I'm the zone leaders district leader.

Well my companion ended up having changes unfortunately, but he actually got sent to my old area in Roosevelt San Miguel so that´s kinda cool! My new companion is Elder Rojas from Honduras. He´s 26 years old, absolutely hates El Salvador, the people, the food, their culture, and thinks that everything in honduras is so much better. And I'm for sure going to be with him for three months. Haha I knew that my last change was to good to last. But oh well we got along fine personally, it's just wearing to here him complain all the time and treat the people so rudely. Other than that everything is fine here, just working and trying to find people.

I got my humpday package and can´t wait to open it Thursday!!! I can´t believe that I have reached a year, I never thought that it would come. I feel like the exact same person I was when I first got here, so it´s weird to think that I am actually half way done! I used to look at the people with a year in the mission as so experienced and pretty much all the way done, haha now that I´m there it´s seems kind of silly. So are you guys all getting ready for Thanksgiving?! I can´t tell you how good mashed potatoes and gravy with some stuffing and turkey sounds. Im drooling Homer Simpson style right now. So I'm glad that everything went well your surgery Mom, that would have been torture to have to wait until the next month. Sounds like everybody else had a pretty busy week!

I heard a really funny spanish version of i saw mommy kissing santa claus the other day haha Im definitely buying it when i get back. Man I can´t believe that guys like Nate Naegle will be coming home soon.... time is such a blur. Well guys thanks for everything that you do, I think about and miss you all the time. Have a good week!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Two weeks of catch up! Oct 25th and Nov 1st

School Service Project with Elders and Sisters

Nick, pretending he's golfing!

Elisa's baptism, she's so tiny!

November 1st:
Hey fam,
Well happy halloween! Sounds like nothing too excited went on back home, just baseball and football... not that I would want to watch that or anything..haha :) but the two teams that I wanted to win won so that´s good. This week has been pretty good, we had the Multi Zone meeting on Tuesday and every elder that was with me in the MTC was at the meeting so that was way sweet to see all of them. Nobody has gone home so that's a good thing! haha. It was a good meeting though we learned a lot, I always love hearing from President Perez. We went and did service at that school again and finished up painting, which takes about two hours to paint one wall with all the kids swarming you the whole time! This change is almost done there is only one more week its crazy! I think this has definitely been the fastest change of my mission. Hopefully my comp and I will stay together, but we´ll see what happens. We got to baptize an 88 year old women on Saturday, I'll send you a pic you´ll love it. Her name is Elisa.

I had to teach the combined priesthood/relief society meeting yesterday at church so that was a blast... haha it went well though. It´s been perfect weather here lately, I'm not sure the temperature but its not too hot and there's always a nice cool breeze. Almost feels like Hawaii! So you guys are gonna put down Rosco huh... gosh that´s sad. I´ve had that dog since I was 5!! and the boys their whole lives. We´ve had him longer than Adam and Justin haha. But clearly he needs it, sounds like he has been doing pretty bad lately.

I had no idea that Kelly and Leesa went to Guatemala?! Freak they should have come visited me!! Did they say they liked it? It's a lot like here actually I hear, but cooler stuff to see. How do they get around when they are there? Do they have a translator or what? Was it just those two who went? Well guys love you hope you all have a good week. Mom, Dad, if the boys get out of line (or Brooke for that matter) just read them Proverbs 23 verse 13 and 14. :)
love Nick

October 25th:
Hey guys, Well this change has gone by incredibly fast so far, there are only a couple more weeks until changes! This week has been pretty good, super super busy! Some of us from the zone went to a school by my house to do some service painting and teaching a few classes about the strength for youth pamphlet, mainly just about accountability and responsibility and agency... stuff like that. They loved it though, just the fact that there were like 6 Americans there made them go nuts. I can´t tell you how many times I heard the phrase "how do you say this in English?!" And "are you a gringo?" haha it was fun though. Also that one investigador of the sister that I have been helping did decide to get baptised but then satan just kicked him in the face and put doubts in his mind about tithing. So me and my zone leader went over there and had a sweet lesson with him and re-interviewed him, and he passed! Then Satan just didn´t want to give up so he called me Friday night (the night before his baptism) and said that he was super sick and didn´t think he was going to be able to make it. They have been working with this guy for like 6 months so it was like alright if we wait any longer something is going to happen and he is never going to get baptised. So then next morning I went over there and talked to him and gave him a blessing. After the blessing his attitude totally changed and he said that he would do whatever it takes to be there even though he felt so sick. So he got baptized! Really sweet. I´ll send you some pics from that as well. Let´s see what else is going on here.... nope still haven´t found a cook but oh well, I´ve pretty much just given up haha. The couple who needed to get married had a big fight Saturday, so yeah that has taken us back a bit... I seem to be able to convince everybody to get baptized besides my OWN investigadors haha.
Sorry that you have to get surgery mom that stinks, but hopefully that will help it and you can get back to normal fast. Gosh what´s up with all the sad stuff going on, haha poor Rosco that makes me sad to think about ... you guys will have to keep me filled in on what you decide.  Well guys everything is good here, I can´t believe I'll be coming up on my year mark soon... me and Alviso already have big plans to celebrate haha. Time flies it really does. I hope you all have a good week love you all.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

11 months In! Monday October 18, 2010

Nick's new comp Elder Alviso

Getting creative with his camera

Nick teaching English to the people of El Salvador

Happy 20th Birthday!!!! He made a birthday cake from a mix we sent him

Celebrating his Birthday with his district

Dear faaaaam,
hey guys! Well today I have 11 months in the mission... sweeeet! time has been flying lately, seriously its nuts. I dont know what´s going on. This week has been a good one, we got a young couple to come to church for there second time but they aren´t married (like the whole country of El Salvador) so we are working on marrying them and getting them baptized. Hopefully it all works out! I had a way cool experience helping the sisters with an investigator they have had for a super long time, and ended up commiting him to baptism. I don´t know what it was but the lesson was so sweet and he just out of the blue said " alright I'm getting baptised Saturday, I just barely made my decision."

Mom, Im in zone San Salvador, and yeah my first area was Lyco. That´s cool that you guys went to Elder Twitchell´s homecoming! I never met him but he seems nice. What was the name of that other elder that was in his ward? Anyways my area is pretty cool like I said it´s pretty, surrounded by mountains, and poor like always. We haven't found a cook yet and I haaaate it! Haha I have just been having a ton of top ramen for dinner, but for the first time I actually cooked yesterday! haha you ready? Take notes if you want....
step 1: you take a tortilla ( be careful not to burn it)
step 2: scramble 3 eggs (do NOT let any egg shells fall into the mix).
step 3: heat up pre made beans ( refer to advice on step number 1)
step 4: put it all into the tortilla and throw on some cilantro if you want to make it look fancy.
yeaaaah I´ve picked up a skill or two in the mission.

It´s been pretty fun being able to train, I'm enjoying it. The only thing I dont like is that I feel like little things about my spanish are worse and it bugs me, oh well I guess that´s what I get for having to speak English all the time. So ever since I´ve been here, me and the sisters have been giving free English classes for anybody that wants to come so that's been really fun, and we´ve gotten a few contacts out of it, so that's always good. I was also able to make my cake in the church on Thursday and it was gooooood. I´ll have to send a pic with it. Sounds like your trip was successful mom, I´m glad!

So like I said to Josh, my companion has just been telling me about a ton of movies that have been coming out while I have been gone haha, gosh it´s been killing me. A new robin hood came out?! I love robin hood. Man doesn´t Nate Naegle come home soon? That's so sweet, I'm sure his fam is way excited. Thanks for those pictures you sent mom, the backyard looks so pretty and New York looks awesome. Well guys don´t have a lot of time this week so I´ll cut it off, but thanks for everything you do. Love you all have a great week.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Sweet Life! October 11, 2010

All the Gringo Elder's and Sisters watching Conference

Hey guys!
Well this week has been pretty good, a little stressful, but good nonetheless. I really like my area a lot and the fact that I have an American companion is soooooo sweet. I´m loving it, I feel like ever since I have had him as a companion I have just been on divisions this whole time haha, so that´s a bit of a challenge to get the frame of mind that he's really my companion. But it´s a good time for sure, I can´t remember if I really told you much but he´s from California, close to Fresno. He´s going to turn twenty in November and he´s been a member his whole life. The weirdest thing about having a new American companion is that I'm the only one that speaks Spanish! Haha it has totally reminded me of my first couple of weeks here, barely understanding anything. It´s so weird how time flies, it seems like just yesterday I was in that same boat. But lucky for him, if he doesn´t understand something he just looks at me and I tell him in English haha. In fact the other day he was trying to say something but instead said a realllly bad word so I enjoyed that along with everybody else.

Well my ward is pretty sweet I like my bishop a lot. It´s a little weird sharing the ward with the sister missionaries but fun at the same time. The average attendance is about 130 people which is better than my last ward, but the church is alot smaller. Well what else can I tell you.. it terms of investigadors the last missionaries who were here didn´t leave with pretty much anything so we are just knocking doors alot and asking for referances from the members.

So my birthday was pretty sweet, looooooved the package, and yes I did get the one from Elder Twitchell´s mom last Monday. Gosh I love seeing video, it´s my favorite thing. Looks like Hawaii was awesome like always, I can´t wait to go back!!! It was awesome to see that Yellowstone trip as well, and of course almost the best part is always just seeing the stuff around the house. Brooke thanks for those vids of just driving around that was sweet to see, it hasn´t changed a bit, which is a good thing! Gosh seeing the golf course just about killllled me haha. Those rice kripsy treats tasted sooo good too. I haven´t be able to make the cake yet just because finding an oven hear is pretty tough, but there is one in the church so I'm going to try and make it this Thursday when we have a zone meeting there. That birthday card was pretty sweet haha, and hearing the Star Wars theme song got my adrenaline going as weird as that sounds!

So mom I really hope that thing in Phili helps, and hope you enjoy a little New York action (remember when you said you would take me there when I was 16?) :) Im sorry that you messed up your knee again! Gosh I hope you don´t have to get surgery or anything like that... maybe a little New York broadway is all you need haha. K what happened with Grandma´s leg nobody ever told me about that... fill me in!
Well love you all thanks for all the support, say hi to the ward and thank them for everything they do. Wish me luck for finding a cook this week, because as of right now we don´t have one and it is nooot fun. haha well love you all talk to ya next week!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New Area!!!! October 4, 2010

Hey Fam,
Well as you already know I had changes, I have been sent to zone San Salvador! My area is actually pretty sweet; it´s called Colonial and it is pretty much a huge valley surrounded by huge mountains like a big bowl. I feel like I live in a crater or an old volcanoe or something haha its really cool and pretty. Soooo about my companion... Im training! President perez called me the night before changes and said that I would be training and that I had to be in Lyco at 8:30 in the morning.. so that means I had to wake up at 3:30 in the freakin morning, walk out in the rain with all my bags to try and find a taxi to take me to the bus terminals to San Salvador. haha needless to say I have been pretty dead this week. So we got there and I saw a bunch of buddies and got to hang out for a while while we waited for the newbies to get there. We had a short meeting with president where he just pretty much explained how important and big a job it is to train and how we are setting the pace for our companions for the rest of their missions. Well I was pretty nervous to see who my companion was going to be. All the trainers were on one side of the room and all the newbs on the other, and president would just call the trainers name and the area was he was going to be in followed by his "hijo" or brand new companion. So it turns out I am training a GRINGO from California!!!! His name is Elder Alviso. His great grandparents are from mexico but he doesn´t speak a word. I couldn´t believe it! I never thought I would even have a gringo companion let alone train one, so im pretty excited. He´s a cool kid we get along really well! Also Elder Montoya (my trainer) is in the same zone so that´s way sweet. I am also the District leader over Elder Ramsey who was in my district in the MTC, as well as two sister missionaries who are ALSO both from the states, Colorado and Utah haha! So out of the six that are in my district only one of them is Latin, Elder Ramseys companion! It´s pretty crazy, I can just about do my district meetings in English if it wasn´t for that one elder haha, except I doubt I would even be able to talk about missionary stuff in English without sounding like a huge idiot.

Well that´s the big news for me here, just been getting used to my new area. It´s been pretty hard since my comp is brand new because neither one of us knows the area at all, so we´ve been doing is walking around blind relying on help from members and things like that. Opening an area is tough! But im excited it´ll be good.

Well confernce was pretty sweet eh? I did get to watch it in English with all the Americans in my zone so that was good. My favorite talk, like dad, was definitely by Elder Uchdorf about pride, that guy is a stud. Brooke and Mom definitely need to read it when the Ensign comes (not that you are prideful, just cause you werent at priesthood conference haha)!

Well sounds like the funeral was amazing. I can´t tell you guys how much I wish I could have been there, but I can´t wait to listen to the disc of it. Sounds like it was super emotional, but everybody was strong. Im way proud of grandma and the way that she has handled it all, pretty impressive. The pictures that you guys sent are awesome, thanks for sending them.
Well tomorrow I´ll be 20.... freak. Haha man time goes by fast I'm coming up on a year! I did get the package that you sent and I'm soooooo stoked to open it tomorrow. That will definitely be the highlight of the day! Thanks for all your birthday wishes, isn´t it kind of weird that none of you will even know me as a 20 year old? So a couple days ago there was a small earthquake here! Well I guess you can't really call it an earthquake, but it was definitely a good shake for about 3 or 4 seconds. I thought it was going to start up big again and my heart was racing pretty fast afterwards, haha and the funny thing is my comp had just asked me if I had been in any earthquakes here yet. Well I love you thanks for all your love and support it means everything. Talk to ya next week!!
love nick

Monday, September 20, 2010

Waterfall! September 20, 2010

Zone Pday activity-Waterfall Hike!
All the Gringo Elders singing the National Anthem!

Hey guys,

Sorry that i am late writing this week, we all went to a waterfall as a zone this morning! It was pretty sweet, although the water was pretty gross haha. Oh well it´s not like I could have swam anyways. But yeah this week has been pretty normal, just enjoying my last little bit here in San Miguel. It really will be pretty sad to leave, I have gotten to know a lot of people that I´ve grown really close to and care about so yeah when it comes down to it, it will be tough to leave. I´m getting nervous as to where I'll be sent! I´m almost positive that it will be in the city. My buddy who was my zone leader in Lyco is now assistant and came to the zone last week to do divisions with everybody and I got to be with him for about half a day so that was really fun! I told him that he has to take care of me and send me to a sweet area with a good companion haha. He told me he´ll do his best.

Sounds like you guys have had a pretty crazy week, I'm really sorry to hear about grandpa... poor guy. Tell him I love him and that I hope everything works out well. I can´t believe he broke his femur!! That´s incredible that an 87 year old man had to have surgery and is doing well... I'm sure with the help of a lot of prayers. So have they told you guys that he´ll have to be in a wheelchair for a while or what´s going to happen with that? I can´t imagine how stressed out Grandma must be with all of this... how´s her back doing? I will definitely keep both of them in prayers!

Gosh it sooo weird that people in my grade are getting married.... i feel like I'm still 12. And probably still act like it haha! Me and Nate were saying that we´re not getting married for at least a while haha, so remind me about that promise when I get home. I can´t believe that I'm coming up on a year.... it kinda scares me that I'm almost half way done! I still have a ton to learn. I always looked at return missionaries like brilliant accomplished adults with their lives set haha. I've got a long ways to go to get to that point! But I have learned and grown an insane amount in the last 10 short months and know it´ll just keep getting better. Thanks for all your love and support I miss and love you all!
Love Nick

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In come the tanks! September 13, 2010

Tanks for gang security
Rolondito's birthday (his cook's son)
Original Spanish Book of Mormon (above and below)

Hey fam,
Well this week has been a little crazy! A law was passed here in El Salvador against the gangs saying that just being a part of a gang is now a crime and they can put you in jail just for finding out you´re a part of the gang (or have any tatoos of it ec), as apposed to how it has been up until now where you have to get caught doing something to get in trouble. So needless to say the gangs didn´t like that and let it show. They burned a bunch of buses in the capital and one here and killed a whole bunch of people. Tuesday, Wednsday and Thursday there were absolutely no buses or micro buses (which means there is nothing in the streets if you´ve been to El Salvador), because they said if anybody runs the buses they will kill them and burn the bus. Soooo needless to say we had to be in the house and 7 at night pretty much this whole week and the work was extremely slow. Everytime we knocked on a door they would just look at us weird and say "you know... you shouldn't be on the streets today, go home and come back another time." The country actually told everybody to stay indoors after 6pm, so yeah absolutely a ghost town!! It was super weird. I never thought that I would live in a country where the bad guys have more power than the good guys. That´s literally how it is. If they say there aren´t buses.. there aren´t buses.

But other than that everything else has been good this week. Dad it was funny you mentioned the reactivating thing because we actually reactivated a family this Sunday that hasn´t been to church in 4 years! I found them like a month and a half ago and I couldn´t get them to budge, the Mom just kept making excuses like she has to do wash and make breakfast in the morning, so she doesn´t have time blah blah blah. So I made her a deal and said that I come to her house super early Sunday morning, wake up her family, and cook the breakfeast while they got ready. She agreed just because I think she didn´t think I would do and would be impressed if I did. Well we did it and they went to church, haha it was sweet. So hopefully they keep going!

I was at a recent converts house the other day and we got talking about how long ago the missionaries first visited him and he said it was super super long ago and that he actually still has the book of mormon they give him. So he brought it out and it is sooo sweet and so old looking! He saw how much I liked it and just gave it to me! I´m going to send you a picture of it! It´s gotta be the first edition in spanish ever made. (Dad don´t get offended if these are the ones that you passed out on your mission haha!)

That´s cool that Conner Winters got called to the same mission as Jeremy! One more guy to speak spanish with when I get back haha. How´s grandma and grandpa on both sides? Tell them all I say hi! haha I had to laugh pretty hard when I read what Will Naegle said to Nate. To avoid that little problem here my president held up the missionary hand book in a meeting and said " while you're on the mission, these ARE commandments." haha good old Papi Perez. Well guys I'm glad that everything is going well I think about you all a lot. 10 months on Saturday! pretty nuts. Love you all I´ll talk to ya next week!
Love Nick

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Crazy Week! September 6, 2010

Hey fam!
Well sounds like a pretty busy week for you guys again. I feel like so much has changed at home since i have been gone! I dont think im hardly going to recognize some of the things that are going on and just the way life is for you guys now! Pretty weird how much can change in such a short amount of time.

Well this week has been pretty good for me, I had to do three baptismal interviews on thursday which was really cool, and really sad. The first one I went to was for a lady that has aids. We showed up to her house and we knocked on the door and she wasn´t answering. We could kind of hear something through the window so we peeked through and saw her lying on her bed, clearly in bad shape. We called her name but she wouldn´t answer and her body was just in a way weird position. So we no joke ran about two miles to find her family to try and get keys to the house. When we got there we talked to the mom and we told her that her daughter is super sick and that she needs to come with us to open the house so we can help her. The mom said "It´s my turn to visit her every two days and im scared of crossing the bridge so i´ll just go tomorrow..." I couldn't believe she didn´t really care at all. So her 11 year old son was actually on his way there to give her food so we went with him there. I dont think he really understand the sickness that she has so I was talking to him about how if his mom is bleeding or has anything like that you CANT touch her or he could get really sick. So when we got there we opened the door and went into her room was she was just about dead. She could barely utter a word and her head was just hanging off the bed. So we tried to call an ambulence but the only hospitals that have ambulences here are the private ones and the family doesn´t have money to have her there, so we ran and got a taxi. It took about an hour to get her from the front door to the taxi because she really didn't have any will power, she just wanted to die. When we lifted her up her back we could clearly see that she hadn't even moved for about a week, her family hadn't been doing anything besides her 11 year old son! Well we finally got her to the taxi and off to the hospital. I have no idea what happened to her but I would not be surprised at all if she died. So sad. 28 with three kids. It was a super weird feeling being around someone that sick in that bad of circumstances.. you should see the house she was in.

After that i went and did the other two interviews and they passed with flying colors. It was really cool to do the interview i enjoyed it a lot! My convert Miguel got the Melchezidek priesthood last week!!! So sweet. It was cool to see him progress and he is preparing to go on a mission. fruits baby! Early this week I had to go take out a birth cirtificate for an investigador in another area and the city where she was born is right by the beach so I saw the beach!!!! sooooo sweet ah it was so good to see the ocean. I´ll try and send you some pictures of that.
So Angie is going to BRASIL!!!!!!!!!! that´s so nuts....! she´ll love it though, it is sweet being in a foreign country. I have definitely had my eyes opened here. I just found out that in the month of August there were 376 murders.... in ONE month. And a member was explaining the me the cayote system of how people from here and Mexico and get smuggled into the US. It is a legit business! Pretty crazy. It was really good to get the emails from Dani and Ashley! Whenever they come over tell them to write me, even it is during the week so that I can hear from them as much as possible! Well other than that everything is going well here. 6 months is a long time but im staying strong. haha but yeah mom what you said about the one ward thing that's how it is here too, we are assigned to only one ward. The area is usually pretty big but yeah I go to the same ward every week. I've got some good people that we are working with right now, so we´ll see how it plays out in the next few weeks. I love you all thanks for your love and support. I couldn't be here without it. Seriously! Talk to ya next week! Portense bien

love nick

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back to School- August 30, 2010

Making smoothies at a member's house
Nick and one of his favorite members at her pupusarie
Nick's cook's cute little boy (Nick likes to call him Chancho off of Nacho Libre)
View of the volcanoe. He walks up this path everyday for breakfast and dinner.

Hey everyone,
Well sounds like you have all had a pretty busy week!! Boys sorry it´s back to school time haha. This week has been pretty good for me, and pretty busy. We had stake conference on Saturday and Sunday which went pretty well. It´s a bit frustrating at times here because the leaders just aren´t as organized as they are in Utah, so confusion and disorder are pretty common! Half of the meeting the microphone wasn´t even working, people were getting up off the stand to go and answer their phone, kids were running up and down the isles and the parents weren't doing a thing, yada yada yada. Haha but with time I know the church will get more and more organized as it gains time and experience. The José guy was baptized, but he actually wasn´t in my ward. We found out at the last minute that he actually lives in the boundries of my ZLs, and so they were the ones who finished up the teaching and baptized him. I was kind of mad but that kind of thing is pretty strict here, just so that the whole word doesn´t go to one ward over the other over little things like not getting along with a leader.

So I've been getting a lot of complaining about the whole Arizona immigration thing. Supposedly they are shipping out any illegal immegrants and there were quite a few from El Salvador, so yeah almost everytime I talk to someone that gets brought up and they somehow act like I have a say in it. I finally kind of blew up yesterday and told a guy "well maybe if they weren´t breaking the law and just got citizenship papers it wouldn´t happen. That´s how it is in the States, you break a law and there´s a puinishment.. not like here where if you kill somebody you are in jail for 6 months maximum." Haha so yeah that kept him quiet. Also I guess a group of 72 people headed for the states got murdered by gangs in Mexico. Man there are some evil people out there. So did you guys really not get any of my pictures last week?? I sent like 10! I will make sure to send them again this week.
Well other than what i have told you everything is going well here and im just sticken out my last month in San Miguel. I can´t believe that I will have been here for a fourth of my mission! crazy. hey do you know what I was thinking about? I will be coming home the 23rd of November and Thanksgiving is the 24th... how is that going to work out if you guys want to come and get me..? Let me know what you think. As for my health im doing just fine. Im skinnier than I would like to be but at least im not sick. Well guys I love you all and thanks for all of your support. Keep being obedient and doing the little things! talk to ya next week,
love Nick

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Same Same August 23, 2010

Hey fam!
Well like you already know... 6 more weeks in San Miguel! Man I never thought that i would be in an area this long. I would always hear about some elders being in an area for 6 months and think wow I would die if that happened to me haha. But as of right now im not too bad and im sure I can bare 5 more weeks. Im pretty sure we will be baptising a 22 year old guy named José this weekend so hopefully that goes through! It is stake conference this weekend so all the missionaries will be there in the same meeting and they are reserving the first 2 benches for us to bring investigators. Haha, I think its going to be a bit of a competition to see who can bring the most. The mission really is so competitive it´s kind of funny. This week we are going to have intereviews with president Perez. Interviews always make me nervous ha but it´s fine they are usually real short and president always has great advice and makes you feel good.

Yeah it is still raining here pretty consistantly, which I like. Except lately it has just been raining in the morning and then being sunny in the day so it´s even more hot because it is incredibaly humid. That will be one good thing about when i go to a new area, hopefully i will be able to gain some weight! Sounds like you guys had a good time in Yellowstone! Sorry Mom and Adam couldn´t go.. but sounds like everybody got to have a good time with Reese sleeping over. Tell Danielle i loved getting her email and that i´ll be waiting for her letter to get here!

So the other day i was eating lunch and there was this thing playing called "viajeros de El Salvador" showing all the sweet places here and this guy going to them. wooooow they are some sweet beaches and some awesome places here that i didn´t even know existed! Mom and Dad are going to have to look them all up and just plan out the week that you come here with sweet things to do!
So that´s cool that Ivette added Brooke on facebook! Remember she doesn´t speak english... haha so you can´t get too indepth. Well i´ve got some pictures to send next week, but i love you and and thanks for all your love and support! I´ll talk to ya next week.
Elder Nikko Reid

Monday, August 16, 2010

9 months! August 16, 2010

hey fam,

How's it going guys? Sounds like the same old stuff back at home and that everybody is doing well! Wedensday we have changes which is kind of nice not being on a Monday now because it doesn't waste an entire P day. To tell you the truth I really have no idea what is going to happen... could be anything. Elder Brummond is going to for sure be training this next change so he is leaving, along with his companion elder Canaza. So BOTH the zone leaders will be leaving which is really rare. If I don't leave I will have at least 6 months in this area.... that´s a long tme! To tell you the truth I would be more or less fine with being here another changes just as long as I get a swich of companion. I dont know what is going to happen though, I´ve got a feeling things are going to stay the same way they are right now.

Other than that everything is going well here!! It was really cool yesterday in sacrament meeting my convert Miguel blessed the sacrament. It has been cool that he has progressed a lot and might possibly serve a mission. He is already 22 and would have to keep working at it but he could do it! Things are pretty good in the area, although I feel pretty burned out. I feel like i have knocked every door at least twice.. haha.

Wow that surprises me that Adam Jones in the office! You´ll have to let me know how that goes for him... everybody who is in the office here can´t wait to get out. Which reminds me, Elder Street is now in the office. But yeah keep me updated on him. That´s awesome that Shawn and Nate visted you guys.. miss those boys. Im so stoked that Shawn is going on a mission and SPANISH speaking. Although I hear spanish in the dominican is weird ha.

So thinkin about building a new deck eh? that would be sweet! Im sure josh would be down now that he´s going into high school, bringing over his teeny boppers for some hot tubbin haha. just kidding. (you know it´s true josh) But yeah the idea sounds good to me! Let me know if it happens or not.
Well if i stay here im hoping that I will at least get a different district. Man it´s so weird that so many people are going home this next change... it´s going to be weird for me. Some of my best buds will be gone! Time really does go by quick and when I look back to just a couple months ago. I can always see progress that I have made spiritually, with the language, and just regular life stuff. The mission is good stuff! Tough at times... but good. Well I love you all thanks for your love and support.

love nick

Monday, August 9, 2010

Almost 9 months! August 9, 2010

hey guys!

Well this week has been pretty busy. We had that training thing with president which was really cool. My president is a stud, terrifying.... but a stud. haha but while I was there to my surprise I saw Elder Dennis!! He isn´t a DL so I didn´t think that I would be seeing him but they invited him to come so I'm sure that means he´ll be going up this next change. It was way good to see him, we pretty much just hung out all three days. People came from all of the areas of this side of the country so there were about 24 elders all in my zone, so two other elders stayed in my tiny little house and went out to work with us in the nights. They were both way cool so it was a fun three days and nice to be with some people that I could actually talk to. But I learned a lot from the meeting and had a good time. We learned new ways of teaching that pretty much is competely different than anyone has ever done but i really like it and i think it will help the misson out a lot. I also got the package!!! thanks a ton i loved it! I´ve pretty much already read the book and that pillow is soooooo nice. As well as the food, good choice on the gold fish those tasted good! Other than that the week has been pretty good, nothing too exciting. One week until changes. Speaking of that, changes are now on wendsdays and not mondays just so you know. I´ll be able to write regular on monday. Yeah i wont lie im hoping i get changed, but I could very easily stay here. So I'm not getting my hopes up! Either way it´s all good, time is time haha.

So that guitar is sweeeeet! Man I have always wanted a 12 string I can not wait to play it when I get back. The office looks really good! Hey you should send me a picture of that ipad thing I really want to see it. Im glad everything is ok with Grandma R.. I bet that was scary! That´s awesome that grandpa k is actually gaining wait!! tell both sets of grandparents hi for me and tell grandpa reid that I have been getting his emails and I appreciate them. So why did Leesa have to have back surgery? that stinks... Leesa and staying down for two weeks... doesn´t go together haha. I totally didn´t realize that my birthday is coming up in while.... 20!! man that stinks... I dont want to leave behind the teenage years haha. Don´t worry about what to get me Im really fine with anything and there is nothing really that i need right now but if i think of something i will definitely let you guys know. I can´t believe nate naegle comes home in december! thats nuts.. went by way fast.

Well guys everything is good here and im pluggin along. A lot of my buddies here in the mission are going into their last change so that kind of stinks....I'll miss them. El Salvador is its regular crazy good old self. Still raining pretty regularly in the nights but hot in the day. Maybe I'll get lucky and get sent to a cool area next change! There is one area called Berlin that is sounding preetttty nice. Well love you all thanks for all your prayers and support, I couldn´t do it without them. have a good week!!
love nick