Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29th

Hey Guys!

I started out my P day today by getting a haircut. There is an Hermana in my ward that does haircuts for us for free, so its pretty nice. I still don't know how I feel about parting my hair. It just isn't me. Haha But it will be my hairstyle for the rest of my life I guess. Oh well. :) Elder Lumbreras says Mucho Saludos a ustedes!

Christmas was pretty good for me! It was a normal proselyting day, but it was very good. I was a little homesick after skyping, and so was Elder Lumbreras. I gave him a blessing to help him. He only got like 20 minutes to talk to his family, and I think it was pretty hard on him. He only got like 8 minutes to talk on the phone with his mom, because she was in the car, and he got 20 minutes with his dad and brothers. We both had a little bit of a hard time, but we are powering through here and it is really paying off. The dinner at my stake presidents house was really good, really really good food. And one Hermana in my district gave everyone in the district a lava lava, because she is samoan, but she lives just down 4800 west from us. Well past the olympic oval, but not too far away. I will have to see if I can get the picture of all of us wearing our lava lavas.

We have been working a lot with the members this week, and trying to get referrals every day if it is possible. The other day when we were out, we stopped by a members house in our ward to use her bathroom, and after ask for references. She didn't want to change into real clothes to go out and help us get references, and said "estoy ocupado" when we asked her if she would help us. I gave her crap for that after. Haha But we have two great new investigators because we worked with a member, so that was a highlight of Saturday!

Yesterday we had a baptism, and that was great. Her name is Leticia, and she was really happy when we baptized her. We had an interesting circumstance because she has really bad back problems, so Elder Lumbreras and I baptized her together so that she wouldn't have pain in her back. The other picture in this email is from the hike 2 weeks ago, and I thought that this was a funny picture.

Dad, You will have to get me caught up on all of the TV shows and movies when I get home. I sometimes miss watching Doctor Who with you and Syd. That was always fun on Saturday mornings when we were just relaxing in the house. Christmas day wasn't really different at all than any other day in the mission. We just taught lessons, but one Hermana gave us some really good food to eat in the night, lasagna, and crepes. Man were they good. I still don't speak Spanish great, but I feel like it is getting better. I can understand the language a lot better than I can speak it. I hope Steve is right and that I sound good in Spanish. Haha

Mom, If things go as usual, then I should have a transfer in 4 weeks. Can you guys believe that I have been in Mexico for 8 weeks now? It is going by really fast, and it really does seem faster and faster every day, especially since it is almost 2015. I hope it continues to go fast for all of us. I don't want to wish away my mission by any means, but I really do miss seeing everyone all the time, and I can't wait to come home to be with you all again. We are being very careful every day. We sometimes decide not to go to a certain area because we don't feel good about it. And we are always very cautious. The other day we saw a group of guys with stuffed animal type people in their trucks piled pretty high. Elder Lumbreras told me not to look at them in the eye, because they are killers. Needless to say, we got away from that area pretty fast and got back to teaching. You will do great in school Mom, I have faith!

Kenzie, It is crazy to think about how fast time is flying in the mission. It will just continue to fly, believe me. Here days are weeks, and weeks are days. It may not make sense, but in the mission it is very true. Haha I blink and here we are in another P day. We only had the ice cream that night, because we had a big dinner at the stake presidents house. And pizza is 200 pesos to eat. Its really not that much, but we only have 1500 pesos every month, and sometimes I even have to use my debit card from home to get pesos. I can't wait until I am just a drive in my truck away to hang out with you and Justin again. I am really glad that we hung out a lot before the mission, but now I wish that I could be there right now hanging out with you guys. Haha But I know that it will come fast for us to be able to have Halo parties again. I miss you sista, and hope that everything in your life continues to go well.

We lost one of our golden investigators a couple weeks ago. It was Angeles, the woman that found all of the Anti Mormon crap in the internet. She texted us and told us that she didn't want it any more. And now every time we go to her house and knock on the door, she tells us that she doesn't want it, and thank you. It is kinda sad to see people go cold like that, but oh well. We sparked a fire of the spirit in her that she will never be able to deny. She told us herself that she had beautiful feelings in her heart when we talked to her. Freaking Satan!

Alex, I hope things are going well for you in your life right now. And that you continue to date Nicole, and never forget to make her feel happy. Haha I hope that you continue to keep this job, and that it is always good work for you. I can't wait to see you again, and nerd out on video games again. Haha Have a good week bro, I love you!

Syd, Hows my little sister doing? I hope that you are still enjoying seminary, and learning about D&C. Remember to read the book of mormon from the beginning as well as your studies in D&C. It really will be a blessing in your life if you continue to study in the scriptures, and you will always have a love for studies in the gospel, and enjoy reading your scriptures. Mark them with certain colors for certain topics. Believe me, it will be cool when you can go through and see what meaning you found in all of the scriptures, and you will have a reference for your scripture study. Never forget to pray. You can pray at any time, and in any place. I have prayed in the middle of the street many times, and it really helps me to have the spirit with me throughout the day. Have a good week sista, and remember that I love you. I miss you, and can't wait to see you in a short amount of time. (believe me it will go fast)

Justin, How is your new job in South Jordan going? I hope that this job turns out to be so much better than the District. Hopefully you will be able to go to family functions more with this job too. Have a good week bro, and I can't wait to hang out with the family again. We will have a great Halo party with a lot of Voltage when I get home. I hope that things continue to go well with you, and that you and Kenzie continue to have a happy marriage. I love you Bro!

I love you all, and I really mean it when I say that I can’t wait to see all of you again, and talking on skype really was great. I really do miss home right now, but I have a better purpose here. I have seen miracles in the mission, and it is a really humbling experience. My faith is so much stronger now than it ever has been. I really do love the people here. The members are great, and all of the people we come in contact with are very humble no matter what religion they are. But people that are hard to work with are Jehova's Witnesses. They are just a little bit difficult because they try to debunk everything in our religion, and find reasons why it isn't true, but we are firm in our faith and just ignore those people if they are a problem for us. We don't encounter a whole lot of them, but some of them are not very open to listen to our message. But nothing can stop me from preaching the gospel!

I love you all!

-Nick



December 22nd Email

Hey Guys!!

I figured out that I can Skype if I want to, so I would try to get that set up soon. But if I don't have time to get to a computer or something, it will probably just be a phone call. But I really hope that It can be Skype, and I will try my hardest to make it possible for us to Skype in 2 days! We are planning to call at 6:00 just so you guys know also.

Christmas is a lot different down here. They celebrate on the 24th, have a huge meal, then they sleep all day on the 25th. Unfortunately the sleeping part will not be a part of my day. It will just be a normal day in the life of a missionary! haha

And Dad, to answer your other questions, I have a couple really good investigators. One is named Victor, and the other is very new and his name is Cesar. Victor is great but he has a lot of doubts. He was supposed to be baptized yesterday, but he told us again that his answer was no. We explained to him that all of these feelings of not wanting to be baptized are from Satan, and that he really has received his answer through the spirit. He had an interesting experience during a prayer the other day after a lesson. He experienced an immense amount of pain in his head, and he took that as his answer to not be baptized, and remain in the Catholic church. I showed him that in the Bible it says that feelings of the Spirit are Joy, Happiness, and Peace, not pain. He still said no, and that he isn't ready at the moment. We are going to work very hard with him to get him baptized, and we are holding a family home evening with his family in their home. His sister and her daughter and sons regulary attend the church. Her daughter and son are baptized in the church, but she cant right now because she isn't legally married, but we are going to work hard so this family can go to to the temple in one year. And Cesar is great. He was a street contact like two weeks ago, but he is turning out to be great. So far we have had two lessons with him, and our last lesson was great. We actually taught every principle of the first lesson to him, and it was very interactive. He asked questions about doubts, and had a lot of questions answered in that lesson. We invited him to church like we do with all of our investigators, and he said that he wanted to go to church! We hoped that he would come with us, so we went to his house before church and found him waiting for us with his door open. That never happens! He asked us if he should bring his Book of Mormon with him, and he is just turning out to be a golden investigator. He actively participated in Sunday School, and also in the Priesthood lesson. He is very excited, and asked us yesterday, "So who can I have baptize me when my date comes around?" He really is golden, and is very excited to learn more about the Gospel.

Also the kid that I baptized last week was confirmed a member of the church yesterday, received the office of a priest in the priesthood, and baptized his little 10 year old sister in the same day. It was a very happy day for him.

Cerro Del Borrego is the name of the mountain that we hiked last week. You can look it up, I am pretty sure that it is a State park. So they probably have a website for it. We hiked with another member in our ward Mauricio. He is really cool, and was glad to go with us.

Mom, That's awesome that you were accepted into the program in BYUI. I know that will be a great thing for you! Have fun with the homework! haha At least be glad that it is not my homework that is late, or due the next day. :) That is one thing that I am not looking forward to in coming home is going to college. But it is something that has to be done. haha And that's funny that Syd was so excited about the fact that he was still wearing her rainbow loom while he performed on stage. Things have been going pretty well around here!

That's awesome that they are getting a Cafe Rio in Jordan Landing. Man, I miss me some Cafe Rio. It will be weird seeing all of the changes in Utah when I come home. I'm sure they won't be drastic, but they will definitely be noticable when I get home.

Not much has changed around here, other than the investigators, and also our work ethics. We are working so hard, so that we can have a baptism every week. That really is a goal that I want to see happen with all missionaries here, because it is completely possible with the right work ethic.

Kenzie, Dad better be famous because of that video that you took of him. You need to make sure of it that it happens before I come home.:) I promise that these 2 years will go by fast. Think of how fast almost 3 months has gone by. Only 21 more to go. Its not really that long when you think of how fast time is already going. That is awesome that yesterday was the 6 year anniversary of you and Justin dating! That really makes me feel like the time in the mission is going to be gone in the blink of an eye, and it really will especially with how much I am enjoying it. I blink and another week has gone by. My week has been pretty good. Same old, same old in the mission. Haha Teach all day, sleep, teach all day, sleep. And man, 8 hours of sleep really is not that much when I am out proselyting all day.

I don't have a whole lot more time, but I love you guys all very much and hopefully I can have more time to adress a part of my email to everyone in the family as well. I had to do a sirvey about preach my Gospel that President Cordova wanted all missionaries to complete today. Enjoy watching A LOT of A Christmas Story for me, and have an enjoyable Christmas in the family. Eat a lot of food, and make sure to BE HAPPY. And always remember why we celebrate Christmas. Its in the name, CHRISTmas. He was the first gift of Christmas, and always will be the most important that you can share with everyone.

I love you all!!

-Nick

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15th

Hey guys!!

Today I had a pretty good P day! We actually went on a hike in the mountains. It was about a 35 minute hike, and it was beautiful. It was a lot of fun, but it made me realize just how out of shape I am. Haha I'll send some more pictures from the hike next P-day if I get the chance.

My baptism was great yesterday! He is such a cool kid, and he was ready to be baptized. I asked him how he felt after, and he told me he felt very peaceful, and that he felt great. When he asked me to baptize him, he told me he wanted it to be special for both of us since it was my first baptism in the mission. It was a great day yesterday.

Our zone hasn't been meeting our goals lately, and it isn't good. We are all working so much harder now, because we have a goal of 17 baptisms for this next month. And I know that we can do it!

Mom, to answer your questions. I do not know when I will get to call you, and I don't know if I will be able to skype with you guys, but I only have 40 minutes to talk. I can talk either on the 24th or the 25th, so hopefully I will be able to plan and let you know more before hand. I have not gotten the package yet, because the president hasn't been back to Orizaba for a little while since our zone conference. The weather has still been pretty cold here, but it got a little bit better today, because the sun was actually out for a good portion of the day. But it still has been pretty cold. I wish I had more pictures of the mountains here. They are beautiful, and not one part of any of the mountains is bare. They are all covered pretty much completely by trees. And to answer your question on food, we eat at a members house every day except for P-day. And for the most part I really love all of the food that is served. The store that we have for food is called Soriana, and it is pretty much a Harmons but in Mexico. Usually we only buy stuff that we can eat quickly before bed, and usually cereal and other things for breakfast. I took 600 pesos out of my account today, because I don't have my mission card yet. But don't worry, 600 pesos is only like 60 dollars. But I need it for the week. I am doing pretty well. My Spanish is coming along a lot better, and I can speak a lot more in lessons. I need to learn the lessons better still, but it really is coming along.

Dad, I don't know about the calling, whether it is collect call or something else. I have not heard too much about it myself, so I will let you guys know as soon as I can. I actually did get a letter from Lia a couple weeks ago, and the letter was actually from when we were both in the MTC. She sent it straight to the mission office because it wouldn't have gotten to the MTC in Provo in time. She seems very happy. She also emailed me today, and it sounds like she is enjoying it a lot in Chile. And she is having great experiences as well. I figured why not email her. Because everyone here emails friends, so I just decided to email her as well. He is the gift is awesome huh! I get kind of sick of it at times, because I usually watch it a few times a day, but it is a beautiful video. Don't worry about making me homesick. It has been getting so much easier with more time here, and understanding Spanish better, and also getting to know the other Elders and Sisters in my zone and the members in my ward. Everyone here is so great. Tell Uncle Doug that I say "Hi!" as well. haha I am glad that people enjoy reading my letters. And about your dizzy spells. I know how you feel, because I had a lot of them in the MTC, and also I have had a few here where it just feels like the entire room is spinning. I miss you every day too dad. I was glad that we had the little trip to Bobby’s before I left. In a letter that Grandma sent to me she said that Grandpa still talks about that trip. I really enjoyed that trip as well.

We think that we may lose two of our investigators this week, because they have been acting strange. One is the one I talked about in my email last week. She is so great, but now she never answers her phone when we try to call, and she never answers the door when we go to her house. We have the same problem with another one of our investigators, Lety. She is great as well, but she told us that she knows the church is true, and she believes it, but she doesn't want to change. It is a little difficult, but we are hoping that we can turn them into progressing investigators. Because if that does not happen, today will be a goodbye lesson for both of them, and I really do not want that, because they are both great.

Kenzie, That is awesome that you got spongebob socks from a white elephant exchange. It was just meant to be. haha :) Like I said to mom and dad, I am not sure if I will get to skype with you guys, but I really hope so. If not, calling is just as good. You need to get shopping, or you are going to procrastinate everything until Christmas Eve. haha I really hope that Justin gets that job in South Jordan! I will pray that he will, and cross my fingers and toes. I pray so much more here than I ever have in my entire life. It really does help though, especially when it is a prayer in faith. Never forget to pray when times get tough. I pray for you and Justin every day, and for the entire family. I hope things continue to go well with you. Hab a na da!

Justin, My ninja brother! I really hope that you get that job in South Jordan. It will be so much better for you than the one in the District. I pray for you always, and I can’t wait to see you again, and have an awesome Halo party. I love you bro!

Syd, I hope that you are having a good time in School. I pray that you do every day. Never forget to pray, EVER. It is very important that you continue to pray, and read your scriptures. It will bless your life more than you can imagine. Have a good day sista!

Alex, I hope that work and everything has been going well with you. I hope that this job continues to be a great job for you, especially with all the time that you spent trying to find a job before this one. I can’t wait to see you again Alex, and I can’t wait to have a Halo party when I get home!! haha Have a good week Bro!

Can you guys believe that I have been here for over a month now? Time is flying by already in the mission and it is crazy. I hope you guys all have a good week. Know that you are always in my prayers.

This is all I have time for, but I love you guys all so much.

Para siempre Dios este con vos.

See if you can figure the last part out without a translator. :)

-Nick



December 8th - One Week Late

Hey guys!!

I hope that everything is still going well. I did get the new debit card at my zone conference the other day, and I have some pictures from the zone conference that are attached in this email. One picture is with President Cordova and his wife, and the other is all of the zones in Orizaba. And I promise to keep taking pictures as often as I can. And my prayers were answered yesterday on a bus believe it or not. I got of the bus and we started walking towards our house, and the bus driver got off the bus and ran towards me, and he had my wallet! He told me that a kid that was on the bus gave it to him. I seriously prayed that someone would be honest and return my wallet to me. They took the 150 pesos, but that is not a big deal, it’s like 15 dollars. But it had my insurance card, other debit card(which i cut up), and it also had my license in it, so don't worry about working with the DMV now. Man I was so happy when he handed my wallet to me.

And mom to answer your laundry question, we usually have a member do our laundry, or we go to a members house and use their washing machine. Laundry has been great. Like today, we don’t have to worry about our laundry because a lady in our ward is washing our clothes. And we did start putting up the decorations in our house. We have the little tree with the lights on it, the Merry Christmas thing, and the felt Christmas tree. We had fun one morning putting up decorations. And I did not get any pictures of opening presents....lo siento(i'm sorry). My church debit card will be here in probably like 4 weeks, because it has to come in from church headquarters in salt lake.

And Dad to answer some of your questions. We have a pretty good sized ward! Probably 100+ members in our ward. Our bishop is really cool. He took me and Elder Lumbreras out to a fancy restaurant in Orizaba. It was really good food. He is such a cool guy. I can’t wait to hopefully introduce you and mom to him after my mission. One member that I am pretty close to is Ivan. He kinda took me under his wing when he met me, the new gringo. Haha He is really cool. He tries to speak English to me, everyone does, and it is actually kinda humorous. All of our finding with new investigators is either with street contacts, or references from members or other people in the area. We aren't allowed to just go door knocking for safety purposes, and its more effective to get references or talk to people in the street, because those people are usually ready to hear the gospel.

We had a golden street contact the other day with a woman named Angeles. We approached her in the street and presented our Christmas message to her. If you guys haven't seen it already I encourage you to watch it. Go to christmas.mormon.org, and watch the video. This is what all missionaries are sharing to members and investigators in the Christmas season. Anyway, We presented the message to her, then we asked her if there would be a time that we could set up an appointment with her, and she said, "how about this Tuesday?" We were so surprised when she just invited us into her home like that. We gave her a restoration pamphlet also. When we went to her house on Tuesday, she told us that she had read the entire pamphlet for the restoration, we were so surprised. She had a ton of questions that we tried to answer and clear up, and told her to keep pondering questions that she had, and we would try to answer them in the next visit. We got a text from her saying that she wasn't interested anymore and that she was too confused to decide on whether or not to keep taking the missionary lessons, and that she hoped that we would understand that she wasn't interested anymore. We went to her house that day still, because we did not know what was going on with her. When we started talking to her, her and her husband had found a crap-ton of anti-Mormon stuff on the internet, about how Joseph Smith had 7 wives, and lots of other things. We sat and explained to her that the only website that she can trust for Mormon things are mormon.org, and lds.org. I also told her that it isn't the church of the internet, it is the Church of Jesus Christ, and it is the same teachings that Jesus taught in his time. She agreed to keep taking the lessons, and only trust us to answer questions that she has for us. Her husband is very skeptical, but she told us that she has wanted to find the truth for years, and has investigated many churches. So now she has found the true church. :)

Another investigator that we have is great. His name is Jordy, and we have been working with him for a while. He has a very strong testimony, and we conducted a baptismal interview for him the other day, and he will be baptized this next Sunday. Elder Lumbreras asked him who he wanted to baptize him, and he said that he wanted me to baptize him! It will be my first baptism of the mission. :)

All missionaries got to watch the first presidency Christmas Devotional last night, and that was awesome. They had a room set up for the gringos to watch it in English. It was kinda nice to be able to understand everything. We actually didn't do any proselyting yesterday, it was just a very relaxing Sunday for the missionaries.

The days really are weeks, and the weeks are days. I blinked, and now I have been in mexico for 4 weeks. It just keeps flying by! I am enjoying it a lot more since I understand more Spanish, and since I can speak a lot more. I still am not great, but I am very confident in lessons with investigators, and I am beginning to learn all of the lessons better so I can have them in my head for when I need them.  
Just think, one more Christmas in the mission, then I will be home the next September. It really will fly by. I dont know about all of you, but it feels like time is just flying by. My training will be done soon, and then I could potentially be a trainer. My companion just told me that he wants me to be a district leader in the mission. And that is a lot of pressure. Haha But I am going to try very hard so that President Cordova will see me as leader material.

It’s funny. With more time in the mission I find that more and more regular songs from home pop into my head while I am on a bus or walking down the street. Today the song was Bleeding Out by Imagine Dragons. I figure if it isn't a bad song, then it is ok if I sing them and have them in my head.

It has been raining here for the last 3 days, pretty much non-stop. And it is so freaking cold in the nights. That’s what I get for being in the coldest area. Haha There is like 5 other people from Utah in my zone, and District. It makes me laugh that we all got assigned to the coldest area.

Kenzie. I can’t believe it will be 2015 soon either! It makes it feel like the mission is flying by even faster. If you count the MTC, I have been out for 2 months in the mission. It is crazy how fast time is flying by in the mission. I found some spongebob toys in some cereal boxes, and they sit on my study desk to remind me of you each day. Haha The little spongebob dude broke off of your pen the day that I actually decided to have it sticking out of my shirt pocket. You should be proud of me. :) I even wore it to ward council. Haha I miss you sister, and I pray for you daily. I hope things continue to go well with you and Justin. And hopefully Justin can get a job in the West Jordan Harmons. Especially since Brother Norris is one of the managers.

Justin. What’s up my brotha!! I hope you get that job in West Jordan. I will pray for you to be able to get that job. I hope that you and Kenzie continue to have a happy marriage. I also pray for that. :) I saw a commercial for the new Halo in a member’s house the other day, and it looks sweet. I can’t wait to have a halo party with the new one when I get home. And that really won’t be too much longer from now. Miss ya bro, and hope things continue to go well with you.

Alex. What’s up brotha!! How has work been going for you lately? I hope that it has been going well, and that it continues to go well. I can’t wait to see you again, and hang out and play the new halo. It will be awesome!! haha. Have a good day bro!

Syd. I hope that school has been going well for you, and that you are still enjoying school. I pray that you do every day. I miss you every day little sis, and can’t wait to see you again. Remember, "so when life gets dark and dreary, don’t forget to pray." Always pray. I have prayed more here than I probably have in my whole life, and it really does help.

This is all I have time for, but have a good day and remember that I always pray for you all. And remember that we are always one day closer to being reunited.

I love you all!!

-Nick


Nick with President and Sister Cordova
Zone Conference - Nick is the top right Elder




Monday, December 1, 2014

Yo Yo Familia 12/1/2014

Hey Guys,

I got my package on Wednesday last week when I went into the mission office, and needless to say Elder Lumbreras and I had an early Christmas in our house. Haha Thank you for everything in the package. We both already finished all of our candies, but we were both very happy. Elder Lumbreras said to me that he will remember that for the rest of his life, and that he is very thankful that you did that for him. He just kept saying how awesome our family is.

The new misson debit will be here in a month, because it comes from Salt Lake church headquarters, but I used 50 of my cash today to exchange for pesos, and the exchange rate was 665 pesos for 50 dollars, which is actually really good. And yes, my drivers license was in my wallet as well. Also it had my AETNA card in it, so I hope that isn't too much of a problem.

I hope you guys had an awesome thanksgiving!!! It is true that I will be home for the next one at our house. Time is already starting to fly in the mission! I was told by my Zone Leaders, and also by Elder Lumbreras that I could very well be a senior companion in the next two weeks, which kinda scares me a little bit because my Spanish still is not great. I can talk well in lessons with investigators, but in normal conversation I usually stand there like an awkward gringo.

I have not taken a whole lot of pictures, because we aren't supposed to take too many pictures outside of the apartment, but I will start carrying it with me more and take pictures of me with Elders in the mission. And maybe I will be able to get one with President Cordova sometime. He is such a nice guy. We had stake conference yesterday, and he came up to me after and asked how my spanish was. I gave him my response in Spanish, and I think he was just happy that I could speak that much. Him and his wife are very nice people.

The food hasn't been too bad lately. I really only feel sick from too much food. haha I am not used to eating as much food as Mexicans do. I had one bad week with "Montezumas Revenge" and that was outer darkness...haha But I made a note in my journal to show you my entries around the time when I was very sick, because they are pretty funny(if I say so myself).

I have one new investigator family, the mom is named Monica, and they have 3 kids, and 2 are pretty young. They are kinda weird though, because they keep inviting us over but they have those typical answers about not wanting to change their religion, and how we believe in the same stuff as other religions so there is no reason to convert. But we really hope that we can get to them, and hopefully even get them to the temple after they get baptized. The only time we get to go to the temple is if one of our families is being sealed.

I am not sure about skype on Christmas, I think I should be able to skype with you guys but I don't know for sure. I really hope so.

My spanish is starting to come along, but I really still suck so bad, but its like we say in espaƱol poco a poco. Which basically means a little at a time.

That is so cool that Tasi enters the MTC on wednesday. I am so excited for him to embark on his mission as well. You'll have to tell the ward that I am doing well, and that I am happy. I have good days and bad days with happiness, but for the most part I stay happy. I had one day where I was just really homesick. Especially since I am a whole country away instead of just 45 minutes away. I find that having the family pictures really helps. I have one of them hanging by my bed, and the other one is on my study desk.

So are you going to be able to get me a new license even though I am in Mexico? Hopefully they will be nice about it given the circumstances.

Dad: How has work been going for you?  I hope things have been going well. Thats too bad about Claudio. How is he doing now? Any better? Hopefully he can get feeling better very soon.

Mom: How has your week been with the pups? Are Murphy and Max still doing really well? I sometimes really miss having those guys running around. Have you been watching the price is right? You gotta keep the tradition alive mom. :)

Alex: Hey bro! How has work been for you this week? Any trouble, or frustrations? I hope that all of it has gone well for you. I saw the commercial for the new Halo in a members house, and it looks sweet. Hopefully it is a lot of fun for you to play. We will have to play it when I get home from the mission. I miss you bro and I hope things continue to go well for you.

Kenzie and Justin: How are my sister and brother in-law? That is too bad about Koda. Poor guy. I hope that work is going well for both of you, and that you guys are happy. I pray for you always and hope that you guys don't miss me too much. :) I cant wait to see you both again. I miss you guys so much and pray for you always.

Sydney: Hows my little sister doing? I hope that school and everything continues to go well for you. I heard about your talk and read some of it, that was an awesome talk. Always remember how important the Gospel is in your life. Read the scriptures, pray, and have a lot of faith. Miss ya sister. Have a good day.

I don't have a lot more time, but I love you guys and pray for you always. Have a good rest of the day!!

-Nick

Monday, November 17, 2014

Emails from today

Hey Guys!

Today is my first p-day, and I feel like it has gone pretty well so far. When I got here the first day, we arrived at the airport to find that we did not have a ride to the mission home. We were supposed to be greeted by the mission president, but nobody showed up to greet us, and we were left alone at Veracruz airport for a couple of hours until we could get ahold of someone in the mission office.

And guess what? I got put into the hottest area...NOT!!! I am in the coldest area of the mission. Most days I end up wearing a heavy coat, and I always carry an umbrella. As we speak it is raining here, but it really is a beautiful area. I am not allowed to take pictures in the street for safety purposes, so I won't be able to take pictures of my area. Its sad, but it is even more reason to come back after my mission. :)

I have a few pictures, one of me and my companion, and some of my house. My house is an actual house in a neighborhood in Orizaba (my area) and it is a small little house, but it is home. My companions name is Elder Lumbreras, and he is native to Mexico. He speaks a little english, so we are helping eachother learn english and spanish. He lives in Iguala Guerrero, Mexico.

How is everyone doing back home? Is everyone doing well? I pray for all of you every day.

We actually had one of our investigators, Lety come to church with us Yesterday, and she is great. She even stayed for our Gospel Principles class. :)

I cannot speak spanish very well. I realized that when I got into Mexico. But I am getting better. I can start to explain things, but I mostly just testify of things that we are talking about with investigators.

I'll be on for a while, so ask any questions you want. :)

P.S. I would just probably use the mission home address for now. I think they send the mail to our area, but I am not sure, because the mission home is a 3 hour drive from my area.

-Nick

I can't do what I did in the MTC. I can only send one email, and that is it. So I can't chat back and forth, but at least you get to hear from me at least once.

I will make next week’s email even better, and longer. I wish I could talk back and forth, but Elder Lumbreras said that it is against mission rules to do that, so I really will try to say more next P-day.

I love you guys so much, and pray for you every day, multiple times.

I love you,

-Nick

Emails from last week

The first pictures I sent are of me and one of my zone leaders, Elder Combe. And then there's one of me and Elder Merrill, and he is in my district. Then me and Elder Taylor, another one of my zone leaders. Then me and Elder Capell. The next couple of pictures are of me and Hermano Holman, and the district with Hermano Holman. Our night class last night consisted of all of his mission stories from Nicaragua. That is all we did, and it was awesome. In one of his areas he had to speak an indigenous language called Miskitu, and it is in no way related to Spanish. He said it has the same grammatical structure as Japan and you read the sentences backwards. He had a lot of cool stories. Well, I will be on for a while to talk, so let everyone know and I will answer any questions.
-Nick

Mom,
You're welcome!! The guys going to Veracruz with me are the blonde guy right next to me, Elder Lind, and the guy kneeling down next to Elder Ryum, Elder Sowards. I am going to be very busy getting ready to go. That's why we all decided to get all of the laundry done early, so we could have some time to pack all of our things. It was a great class last night. Hermano Holman is such a good guy. He actually told all of us to hit him up when we get back, and we could go to lunch sometime. He has helped me so much on my Spanish skills. I am a little congested lately, so I have had a little cough, but it really isn't that bad. I am just glad I haven't been too sick since I am flying out tomorrow.
I love you too Mom!
-Nick

Mom,
I haven't been too sick. I am very grateful for all of that medicine that you packed with me. Especially when I had the migraine that required 4 pills. That was no bueno. I am so ready to get into the field. I just told Kenzie this, but we call the MTC "spiritual prison" which is preparing us for the actual mission. I am so glad I am missing the snow. That is one thing I don't necessarily like about Utah, is the winter. I like snow, I hate the cold.
That'll be fun for when I come back to watch all of the movies that you guys are putting on the list. You guys will have to make a list of TV shows too. I will definitely have a lot to catch up on. Haha
I love you too!
-Nick

Dad,
I honestly cannot even wait to get to Mexico. I am so done with the MTC, and I am just ready to get out into the field. I have one more class tonight, but I am not sure if we are going to do anything though. We learned all of the grammar principles that were required to go into the field. I can't wait to talk to you either.  They have scales in our residence halls to check the weight, so I should be good on that. I am going to do my best to make sure I have them both under 50 pounds.
-Nick

Dad,
I am just so ready for the field, it isn't even funny. That's cool that there are a lot of similarities between Mexico and Thailand. It should be such a cool experience. Don't worry, you know me. I will make sure that if there are sister's in my district that they are taken care of, or even just have someone to talk to if they are having a hard time or something. It feels insane that on Monday at 2:00 I will be in Veracruz. It is a crazy thought, but it is also so exciting. I know I will miss the snow, but I like the snow, not so much the cold part. But it really does wake me up in the morning. Haha
-Nick

Mom,
I am glad I haven't been too sick either. I had a really bad cough at some point, but that was also when every single person in our zone was getting sick. I can't wait to get to Mexico. I want to actually start experiencing the mission instead of a daily routine set for me in the MTC.
If you hadn't moved to Utah, I wouldn't have been born and I wouldn't be on a mission. That's a good reason for moving to Utah. :)
It really will be fun to catch up on shows and movies for when I get home. But I really am more excited for Mexico.
-Nick

Dad,
My hour is starting to come to an end, but I just want to send everyone one last email before I end my hour. Elder Ryum leaves after me, and my new companion will be Elder Dawson. He was actually the first person I met at the MTC when I first got there. He is a cool kid. It really is funny how similar our experiences in the MTC are. And how we both got called to very tropical climates.
I will definitely let you know if I need/want anything while I am down in Mexico. I am so excited for the experience of a mission, but I am not looking forward to how fast it will fly by. Judging by how fast my time in the MTC went by, the mission itself will just be a pinpoint in time. I am so excited to start serving the people of Veracruz. I can't wait!
I love you Dad
-Nick
P.S- I wear your cancer pin every day. I have people ask about it all the time. It is something I cherish of yours.

Mom,
This will be my last email, but I hope you have a good day today. I will always love Utah. It really is a beautiful place, and our family wouldn't have started without you moving here. So that is a good point. :)
I am glad you enjoy getting my emails. I really enjoy getting all of yours too. I think my P-day should be on Mondays once I get into the field.
I will check for the package today sometime.
I love you Mom! Have a great day today
-Nick








Saturday, October 25, 2014

Hodge podge of Emails from today

Hey everyone!!
I am going to be online until a little after 11:00. So I am online to chat back and forth for a little bit. I can't wait to hear from everyone for a little while. It'll be nice to actually have time to talk to everyone for a little bit. And I will have some time to respond to personal e-mails, So whatever you have to ask or say, bring it on. :)
I love you guys

Hey Dad,
I think I will need another one of the SD card adapters if you can do that. I think someone stole it from me, and I want to be able to send pictures to you guys. I'm not sure what happened to it at all, so I just want to be able to send you pictures still.
The district is doing really well. I don't know if I told you guys yet, But I have been made district leader. And I feel like it is going pretty well so far. The only thing I am not looking forward to is Sundays. Other than Sacrament and priesthood, I have to go to meetings with the Branch Presidency pretty much all day. Now I know how it feels to be in a bishopric in a way. Haha
I am so glad that we have some time to just talk back and forth a little bit. It makes my P-day just that much better. And I still love getting letters each day. All of the Elders in the district like to say that it is our daily Christmas when we go to check the mail. The letters seriously mean so much to me.
-Nick

Hey Mom,
I really liked the package. It was great. :) thank you guys for the pictures, and for the banner signed by Bronco. That is so cool!
I told Dad this, but I need a new SD card adapter, because I don't know what happened to mine, so if you could do that I would be very appreciative.
I am on the other side for about another 40 minutes, so If you have any questions or anything, lay them on me!
I love you
-Nick

Dad,
That's what I thought too when I was made District Leader. I thought of that line in my patriarchal blessing too. That would be cool if you could come to my classes. I learn so much from the teachers that I have. It could be a day in the life of Elder Carbine. :) I will have to teach you some basic Spanish when I get back for when we go to Veracruz on vacation, but you probably won't have to worry too much, I will be able to translate for you whenever it is needed. :)
The pez dispenser was perfect. Haha It made me happy. Along with all of the pictures.  It made me happy to see all of you, and to even see the dogs.
I'm still here for a little while, so keep questions coming. :)
-Nick

Mom,
Thank you for getting me another adapter. I really don't even know what happened to it. I really didn't see myself becoming district leader. But obviously my Branch President, President Sanchez saw more in me than I did. And I really think that some of it has to do with what it said in my patriarchal blessing about me being a leader. That's what dad told me too.
My P-days are always planned out, so I don't usually have too much time for fun plans. It'll be so much more different in the field. But today the guys in my dorm decided that we were just going to skip breakfast and sleep in. You have no idea how good that felt to even sleep in an extra hour.
My travel plans should be here this next Friday, and my VISA is fine because I went to the consulate in Salt Lake. That finalizes the visa, and just makes sure we are who we say we are.
I am still here for a little bit!
I love you too!!
-Nick

Dad,
One cool spiritual experience I had is teaching one of the practice investigators. I keep finding that I will say something in spanish, and realize that I forget what I said right after. It just solidifies my testimony that the Gift of Tongues is a real thing.
I find that the hardest thing about the MTC has to be how many classes we have. I find that I haven't been able to read the Book of Mormon as much as I have wanted to, but I still get in as much as I can. What I like best has to be learning how to teach. It is still stressful, but it is so cool.
Tell syd that her response will be there soon. :)
-Nick

Thank you guys for writing me today!
You have no idea how much it makes my day to talk to you, and makes me feel like I am back home with all of you guys. The pictures made me feel that way too. I love seeing pictures of our family, and being able to see you without seeing you.
I do have an idea what this hour means to you, because it means a lot to me too. It seriously is like Christmas each P-day.
I am out of time, but I just want you guys to know how much I love you. I know I didn't say it enough, but I really do love you guys so much.
Thank you for chatting with me today. It seriously made my day.
I love you guys so much!
-Nick

Saturday, October 18, 2014

3rd Email 10/18/2014

Mom and Dad,
I am doing pretty well! Thank you for the pictures of Lia, they put a smile on my face. :) I am so excited to go to the temple, I can't wait to feel that peace at least for a couple of hours. I am getting along great with all of the guys in my district, and we all really do have a blast. My mailing unit is 381 I mis-typed, but I am having a great time. I will try to write some letters here and there too, because I can write those even on days other than my P-day.

A typical day for me is usually 3 hours of class, an hour of gym time, lunch, 3 more hours of class time, then dinner, and then 3 more hours for our personal studies. It is a lot of stress, but it is beginning to get easier and easier as all of the days go by.

I'm glad that you're not too worried about the tie, I wasn't sure. But I am so glad I got to see that picture of you guys and Bronco too. That is so cool! 

I hope you guys have a great day today. I am out of time to write today, but like I say I will try to hand write some letters too so we can talk even when it isn't my P-day.

I love you guys and I can't wait until the day that I get to see you again.

I am trying my best not to get homesick, but sometimes it is hard. I will try my very best. I love you so much!

-Nick

2nd Email 10/18/2014

Hey Guys!
I hope you guys all liked the pictures. I tried to get you as many as I could. Those pictures in the package made me happy. I feel better seeing pictures of everyone. Dad, I love that picture of you in the MTC. That really made me smile. It looks like you had a lot of fun in the MTC too. I feel like the stress is getting a lot better. It is always still there, but I think I am getting better at ignoring all of the feelings of stress. I'm going to send one email to everyone, but I will have a little while to email, so feel free to send me personal emails too.

That's cool that Logan is going into the MTC soon. I am excited for him. I haven't heard anything from Tasi, so I don't even know the status on him getting out on a mission. How is everyone doing? No more tears right? :) I hope you are all doing well. I am doing pretty well too. I still get so frustrated with the language, but I know that it will come so long as I am working hard and being optimistic. Today a little after 1:00 I will get to go to the provo temple to do an endowment session. And I am pretty excited for that. :) 

Dad, I have a question for you. I was told silk ties will get ruined in an environment like Veracruz, is that true? If so, that green tie of yours that I really like is 100% silk. I want to be able to wear it, but I also don't want it to get ruined while I am out in the field. On my last P-day which was 2 weeks ago, we went to burgers supreme for lunch and that was pretty good. But we are not allowed to go off campus other than going to the temple on our P-days on main campus. They are a lot more strict here than on West Campus.

My new mailing address is:

Elder Nicholas James Carbine
NOV 10   MEX-VER
2013 N. 900. E Unit #381
Provo, UT 84602

I'd like to go back and forth for a bit, so I'll let you guys respond with anything you want to say. :) I have been looking forward to this for a while

New P-Day after his move to the Main Campus 10/18/2014

Hey guys,

This email is going to be short so I don't use up all of my time e-mailing before you are awake, so I wanted to at least send you some pictures that I have taken.  I will continue to take more, but I will be back on to e-mail you all around like 10:00.  I ran into Elder Lowry at General Conference!  And many times before he left for Mexico.  He was in my zone.  I love you guys.  I will get on in a little while so I can talk to you all.  Probably around 9:45 to 10:00 I should be back on the computer.

I love you,

Nick





Wednesday, October 8, 2014

1st Email from Elder Carbine 10/8/2014

Dad, Mom, Kenzie, Sydney and Justin

I am doing great so far! Its hard right now with learning Spanish, but I know that will come with time, study and patience. I have felt the spirit more in the MTC than I ever have, and it is an amazing feeling. I can definitely feel the saviors love in my life, and I can feel your prayers, because the first couple days I was having a hard time, but now i'm getting more into the groove of things, and I can tell that it is only getting better from here on out.

I am on the West Campus, and right now it is the place where all of the Spanish speaking missionaries are staying and studying, but on October 15th we are moving to main campus. Everyone just keeps telling me to enjoy the freedom while it lasts. But today started out really well! We got to go to do an endowment session this morning, and that was the best way to start out my first P-day at the MTC. After we were done at the temple we decided to go to Burgers Supreme and get some food that won't send us to the toilet every couple hours...And I went and got a Jamba Juice before we came back to email.

My Spanish is definitely starting to come. It is really hard and I can only understand so much right now, but el don de lenguas es verdadero (the gift of tongues is true.) I can say a rocky prayer in Spanish, and I know that will get better, and I can also bear my testimony in Spanish. We have a teacher named Andres who is our "Practice Investigator" so mostly every day we have to come up with a lesson to teach him, but the hard part is it is in Spanish as well.

I can already feel those blessings that President Rowland gave to me, and I can personally testify that the gift of tongues is real. I have learned more in the MTC than I have in 3 years of High School, that's how amazing this work is.

Conference was amazing! I have never enjoyed conference as much as I have at the MTC, and I felt the spirit so strong as I was listening to the talks and writing down notes from conference. The Sunday session was hard on all of my District though. We were just all so exhausted that we all pretty much ended up falling asleep in the auditorium seats where we were watching conference. That's one thing that's hard about the MTC is that I just get so exhausted every single day. It is hard work. I really wish that I could have sang in the Priesthood session with all of the other elder's, but I missed being able to do it by a week. I thought it would have been a blast.

My companions name is Elder Ryum. He is from Korea, and he is here on green card. He moved to the US when he was 6 years old. He and I have got along great! we both say at the end of each day that we can tell that we were meant to be mission companions.

I miss you guys all a lot! I pray for you guys every day and night. I know that it's going to fly by after the first couple of months. Especially when i'm in Mexico and not in Utah where I'm only a small drive away. I'm so glad to hear what dad's new oncologist said to him! That cancer is never coming back. I prayed for Dad a lot yesterday because I knew it was his 6 month check. Thank you guys for all of the letters! It always makes me happy to get to hear what's going on with the family. I'm only going to do one email for everyone today, because I have limited time on email. But I will try to give myself as much time on P-day to send you all an email, and i'll keep writing back to your letters.

Kenzie: I miss you so much. I miss just being able to come over to your apartment to play Halo, and hang out with you and Justin. I really enjoyed having all of that time to bond with you and Justin. You are my best friend. And I can't wait to see you. Like I said in my letter, less than two years (Sept. 12, 2016.) I can't wait to get home to see you, but I also can't wait to get out into the field in Mexico. I love you and miss you.

Sydney: I miss you little sister! I want you to know that you are a great young woman. I can tell you are getting more engaged in the gospel, and I love it! Never ever take the gospel for granted. It is an important part of all of our lives. I know that the savior is such an important role in all of our lives. I love you and miss you!

Justin: My ninja brother in-law! I miss you so much. I'm so glad that I got to spend time with you before I left for the MTC. It means a lot to me. I've always been so glad about how close we are. I considered you my brother before you and Kenzie got married, and I will always look up to you as my brother.

Dad: Thank you for being such a great example to me. Without your example, I may have not decided to go on a mission at all, and that would have been a stupid choice. I can already feel my relationship with Heavenly Father growing, and I love it. I am so glad that I made the choice to go on a mission. I don't know where I would be without the gospel in my life. I love you so much, and I'll see you before you know it. P.S. the food here does not agree with me at all. it feels like they put a laxative in everything they prepare for us, and it is no bueno. I ate at Burger supreme today, and all I could think about was going to BYU games, and being with you guys. But it feels nice not to have to go to the bathroom for a while for once.

Mom: Thank you for being such a great mother. You are an amazing strength to me, and the family. I'm glad that we had the chance to watch the price is right every morning before I left. :) it may only be a TV show, but it was a bonding experience before I left. I can't wait until I can see you all again, but I also can't wait to truly serve. The MTC is cool, but I already want to be in the field. I love you so much.

I could hear and see the BYU game from where I was and it just about killed me. All night until it was over I could hear it in my apartment. I know it made me really miss the family, and just going to the BYU games. But I have a higher purpose as a missionary.

This is it for this email, but I want to bear you all my testimony in Spanish.

Yo se que Jesucristo es el salvador, Yo se que el libro de mormon es verdadero, Yo se que Presidente Monson es Profeta verdadera.

I love you all, and miss you all so much. You are all in my prayers every day. I cannot even wait to get into the field, but I also cannot wait to see all you guys again. I miss you guys like crazy.

The gospel is true!

-Nick

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

First Mission Post

This is Nick's Dad...Michelle and I will be updating this blog periodically while Nick (Elder Carbine) is on his mission.  We will share some of his letters and experiences.  We are so excited for this wonderful adventure.  Nick is an awesome young man and will be an awesome missionary!