Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Back to Waller Week 10

What's up mom!

Wow, my last letter, it's kinda strange.... So my first dinner, could we have Cream Chicken on Toast? I really have no preferences, just stuff to remind me of Philly, Wawa, cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, nats pizza, stuff like that. Ok, I'm good on my topic, I think I've had experiences that have built my faith during the mission. I do have a few questions about the high council report, what do I talk about? Will I be released the night I get home, or when I report to the high council? I'll make sure nothing's over 50lbs, and I was about to ask what I should bring home. Should I take my towels or leave them? 

Well, on to my week, it was a pretty good last one, full of bitter sweetness for sure, but I had a bunch of fun. Last p-day was a blast, we were just hanging out at the church, and then decided to do a nerf war. It was really fun, shooting other people with foam darts brings a joy, don't know why. That night we just had time to go and find, some people, but nothing too solid. Tuesday was a pretty normal day. We went and did some service at a thrift shop we go to every now and then. After that there was a call elder sellers need to take, so we did that and then saw Mary Lopez, a less active. Other than that, we ate, did some finding and then went to English class. After English class, we saw Joe and Juan and they are doin awesome.

Wednesday was pretty fun, we went to Zone Conference, always a fun experience. The funny thing is that I gave my departing testimony... Again, lol. I believe I am the only missionary to give it twice. We talked a lot about faith and what faith actually means to us and how we apply it more fully in our lives. After we went on an exchange, I
stayed in Waller with elder sellers, and then elder Pogroszewski came to us. We ate with the Adams family, it was a delicious crock pot style meal. After that we saw a new family and had a solid restoration lesson with them , I'm super pumped for them. 

Thursday was a normal Thursday, we exchanged back and then did that weekly planning. We also got baked potatoes, so good, I will miss them a bunch. We also had a bashy lesson with a preacher from a local church. It was... interesting.... We ate with the Theiss family, they have a son who gets home a few weeks after I do. We ate Salisbury steaks, they were delicious. We had English class and then saw Juan and Joe.

Friday was a fun day, we had district meeting and president came to it... He gave me my exit interview while I was there, so I'm basically dead. After that we went on an exchange, me, elder self and elder Marquez. We had such a fun time together. We saw Juan Nuñez, Mary Lopez and Sidney Johnson. We tried setting a date with Juan, but he rejected it. Mary was good, we finished the plan of salvation with her. Sidney is cool, he is the mayor pro temp of Waller and he was sad to learn that I was leaving. We stayed up really late celebrating the year mark of elder self.

Saturday was good, we had some delicious Jamaican food with a family from the English ward. We then switched back and knocked a bit. We didn't find anyone with too much potential. We ate at the Bonilla house that night. They have a zip line in their backyard, it was so much fun. We ate Olive Garden, it was pretty delicious. After that we had a little party with Joe and Juan. They bought a cookie cake and they celebrated one of my last times there. Sunday was normal. We went to church, and I played my last time in church, it was kinda sad, but oh well. After church we spent time trying to see potentials, but no one was home. We ate with the Alvarenga Familiy, a new family in the branch, and celebrated elder selfs birthday. Then we saw Juan Nuñez, and had to drop him. I love you so much see you en 2 days! 

Elder Atkinson (Nic)

Back to Waller Week 9

Hey mom, just so you know, I did know that it was your anniversary on the 7th. I was talking with someone this week and they too had an anniversary on the 7th, so I was like, "Woah! That's my parents anniversary!" So congrats, in two years it is the big 25. It sounds like y'all are having a bunch of fun with the family. I'm super
excited to get to see them all again, don't miss me too much though. I'm excited for grandma Becky and grandpa Bill, they are going to have a blast in their mission, it is super fun. 

So, this week was really good, there was a bunch of fun things that happened. Again, it was a week filled with exchanges, so that was fun to be with other missionaries. On Monday, we had a fun p-day, just played a bunch of sports and what not. For me it's really fun when I get the chance to sports it up. At the end of p-day, I went to Louetta on an exchange and I stayed there until Wednesday. On that exchange I was with Elders Self and Pigott, both two really cool elders. Monday night, we went and ate at a recent converts house, and had a fun little family home evening there. It was pretty fun, we ate some delicious papusas. 

Tuesday I spent half the day in Louetta and the other half with President Mortensen. In Louetta we just contacted and studied. With President we went to the temple and did a bunch of going  home activities. The temple was a really cool experience as always, honestly super pumped to be able to go there more often. After the temple we ate at a little Mexican restaurant. It was more Tex Mex style than Mexican, but it was still good. After that it was a little fireside about dating and marriage leading into a testimony meeting. It was a really awesome spiritual experience for me. On Wednesday morning I did all my usual things for the morning, and a little bit of service at a food shelter. Then I exchanged back with my companions. The rest of Wednesday we just knocked doors and tried to see people. We went and we talked with Juan Nuñez at a park. It was really fun to go there and play on the park a little with his kids. The life of a niño is so carefree, it's awesome. 

The next day was Thursday, a normal Thursday. We did the weekly planning deal where we planned for this week, my last full week... After that we had some food, we ate with a member of the English ward, they are vegetarian, but their food is really delicious. We ate a vegetarian curry, it was pretty tasty. Friday we had zone meeting, so that's always fun to go to, get spiritually uplifted, and spend time with other missionaries. After that there was a meeting for the leadership, so the rest of us just played musical chairs and just had a bunch of fun. After we ate at Taco Bell, and started an exchange. I was in Waller with Elder Marquez and Pigott. We had such a fun time together. I definitely look to hanging out with them after the mission. We had a cool miracle, the last door we knocked opened up and let us in. They took the lessons in the past, and they are super open to starting up again, a plus is that they fed us :). We stayed up late that night talking and what not. Saturday we changed back, and then continued the day normally. We were able to knock a lot of doors, some people who were interested. We also were able to see Joe that day, he is doin pretty good, so we are happy about that. We also were able to go and help set up a party for one of our investigators. Too bad we needed to leave before we could actually party. 

Then Sunday came around, a normal Sunday. We have a new senior missionary couple, the Benedict's, who are going to help us with the ward and branch, so that's cool. They are kinda like mission grandparents, it's an interesting feeling. The rest of the day we ate with the Benedicts, and saw a few less actives. It was a pretty solid day. Today should be a ton of fun, we have to go hard it's my second to last p-day.I love you so much mom! Keep up all the fun times that you having right now!

Elder Atkinson (Nic)

Back to Waller Week 8

Hello mom!

So, my week was pretty fun, filled with exchanges, but fun. Also it's weird to think that I'm in the month that I am going to go home in. So, to answer your question, I am cooking. I made some banana bread for district meeting on Friday, haha I know what you mean, I'm not cooking too bad, I only got a little sunburnt this week. We did some service under the sun and I got touched by the sun. 

So last Monday I had an awesome time with the district. We went over with our district to a member in Louetta and had a BBQ (shish kabobs). After the food we played a few games, and I got my eyebrows waxed. It didn't hurt that much, I was kinda disappointed. Then we made a song, it's pretty cool, just fun with the fact that we made a song. That night we ate and saw a less active, all very fun. 

Tuesday was pretty fun, I went down to Louetta with Elder Self, and we had a fun time together. It was fun to see everyone that I used to know, and they were excited to see me as well, which made me feel good. We saw some of their investigators and taught pretty well. We stayed up pretty late that night talking and what not. We got up the next morning pretty tired, but it was worth it. Wednesday we woke up did the normal thing, then did some service at a food shelter. We filled boxes with cans and other foodstuffs so they could be given out. It was pretty fun, I was fairly quick at filling boxes. After that family history training then I returned to Waller. I slept on the car ride back, it was nice to sleep some. 

We then ate with the Sosa family, a stew like food called posole, it was delicious. We then contacted a bit, just the normal missionary work deal. Thursday was good, we did the weekly planning deal, like we do every week. I only have two of those left... Weird... We got a call from the Smuins and they invited us over to eat some lunch. The Smuins are a family in the English ward, they are really cool and they love the missionaries. 

After all that, weekly planning and lunch, we went and ate with the Ramirez family, I know it seems like all I do is eat, and I love it. We had some delicious tacos there. That evening, we had English class and then went to teach Joe. It was a moving lesson, we talked about family history and the spirit was felt strongly. Friday was a pretty good day, district meeting went pretty well, it usually does. Then elder Marquez went down to Louetta, so it was just elder Sellers and I for a few days. We had fun, on Friday we just knocked some doors and what not. We ate some bisect (similar to steak) with beans and rice. It was really delicious. That night we saw Juan Nuñez, he is the same, we might just stop passing by for a little bit,see if he starts reading and whatnot. 

Saturday was a fun day with a lot of service. In the morning we went out and helped lay some sod at one of our members house. We did that in the morning time and it got pretty hot. I was decked out in boots and my hat, cowboy style. As with a lot of physical labor, I really enjoyed it. After that we ate some papusas with them. I don't know how to describe papusas other than delicious. After that we did service with the Smuins, helped load up a truck with a couple hundred+ pound coolers. Good thing I'm strong! 

The rest of the day, Elder Sellers had to give a baptismal interview, we visited Joe  and talked with the Thomas family. They are kind of concerning me, hopefully I will be able to help them out sufficiently before I leave. Sunday was another regular day. We had church, I played the piano like always. In the Spanish branch, we, as missionaries, had to teach the youth during the second hour and then primary the third hour. It was pretty fun. We talked about the plan of salvation and the story of David and Goliath respectively. I also talked with one of the members of the English ward about engineering, I think mechanical is sounding pretty fun, but so is electronic. After church we had a little meeting with other missionaries, it went pretty good, just talked about district meeting a little bit. After that we ate with the Schild family, always a very fun time. The rest of the day we tried by a few potential investigators, only one was home, and he turned out to be not that interested. The end of the night we stopped by the Martinez family. They gave us some food, just a normal thing when you stop by Hispanics.
It was a great week, thanks for sharing some fun things of y'alls week. I hope y'all have a great time in Idaho, the pictures made me miss thefam a bit, not just the immediate but the extended as well. I love y'all! Keep awesome!

Elder Atkinson (Nic)

P.s. I'm not ok with Arielle going to dances, it's too weird for me.

Back to Waller Week 7


Did get your package, I loved the shirt, it was perfect for me. I love having three companions, it is such a blast. 

My new companion is named Elder Marquez, he is from California and it seems like we will have a blast this transfer. So Monday was a pretty fun day, we just chilled with the district and then went over to the Schilds house. I got my haircut which was long needed, now I look beautiful. I'll probably get another one just before I leave. That night we just enjoyed the Schilds, then went and tried our own thing. 

Tuesday we went down to transfers to pick up elder Marquez, it was sad to see all the missionaries that were leaving go. I feel like I've lost a lot of friends over the years, but soon I'll see them again, so it's all good. 

That day we just got everything situated, then contacted some up in Hempstead. It was pretty fun. That night was English class and then we went and saw Joe. Wednesday we had an exchange, Elder Sellers just got made District Leader, so he went up to the Zone Leader. We had a fun day, did some family history training and then went contacting. That's what we did a lot this week, contacting. We then ate a tasty lasagna with the Adams family. We had a normal day other than that. At night we did a "Fright Night" type thing were we decked out the apartment and tried scaring the guy who was trying to find us. 

Thursday was a normal day, we exchanged back and then started the weekly planning. For lunch/dinner we got baked potatoes from a BBQ joint around us. That's what my birthday dinner was, cause we had someone planned for Friday's dinner. The rest of the day was normal, English class then we went to see Joe we set a baptismal date for August, I won't be here, but I'm super pumped for him.

 Friday was good, district meeting and all that fun stuff. After district meeting we ate some smash burger, a burger joint down here. Once lunch was done, we did some service for this one guy, helping him move his bed. After that we knocked some doors and then went to eat at the ward mission leaders house for dinner and correlation. It went pretty good, vegetarian tacos. After that we went and knocked some more, then visited some potentials. Saturday was a fun day, during studies we got a call about some service we could do, so we went and helped out with that. After that we got to process some rabbits, remember when I did that to chickens last year? Well now I can do it with rabbits too.

 The rest of Saturday was contacting and trying to get people to a baptism that we had, not an investigator, but someone for the branch. The baptism went well, I played the piano. Sunday was a good normal day. Church happened, and then we went to a family history class to help out someone who speaks Spanish. That night while we were contacting, we ran into some drunk people. I learned that Latino dunk people are nicer than American ones. The Latinos are less rude. we also saw Juan Nuñez, we might be dropping him soon. Well, that was my week it was fun and I'm looking forward to these last few weeks.

Elder Atkinson (Nic)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Back to Waller Week 6

What's up mom!

So, it is my birthday, and my sentence is sure, I am staying in Waller for the end. Please don't send me anything too much, it's so close to going home, it's almost not worth it, but if you want to send me something you can. It's good that you had a busy week. 

So, this week was pretty fun, Monday we went out to the museum in Houston. It was a pretty fun p-day, John Marin and Pablo Ramirez went with us, so we had a really fun time there. My favorite part was seeing the dinosaurs. That evening we just ate with some members, I love the Hispanic culture! We then took a little time to go contacting and try to find people. Tuesday was pretty normal, that morning we went out to give service with a thrift shop up in Hempstead, that was pretty fun. It was something that we did last year, so I enjoyed going back there. Then we saw Mike ball, one of my recent converts, and he is doing pretty well. The rest of was contacting, and then came English class. That went pretty well, we had some new people. Then we went and saw Juan Alvarez, and he is doing great. 

Wednesday was cool, we went and did some family history training. After that we went over to have interviews. Mine went pretty well, we talked about some of the people in our area and how we could best help them. At the end I felt like I needed a blessing, so I asked president, and it was awesome, something that will help me finish strong and continue til the end of my life. We came back and knocked some more doors. We ate chiles rellenos that night, Elder Sellers thought they were picante, but to me they weren't. Thursday was weekly planning, the joy and wonder that is that thing. After that we went and ate with the Ramirez family. I don't remember what, but it was delicious. Then that night was English class, the same people came, and it went pretty well. Then we went to go see Juan and his friend Joe at night. We had a good plan of salvation lesson. Friday was district meeting, and all the joys that come with that. Everything went pretty well, I don't have too many of them left, so I guess I need to savor them. That day I went on an exchange with Elder Self, he is a cool guy, and we had a ton of fun together. We knocked doors, had breakfast for dinner, then went up to a watermelon festival in Hempstead. That night we saw a guy named Sidney Johnson, and had a good lesson with him. 

Saturday I spent the majority of the day with Elder Self. We had fun, we contacted a little bit and then tried seeing a few investigators, but they were not home. We switched back and then went and saw Joe and Juan, that basically carried us into the rest of the night. Sunday was good, Juan Nuñez was able to make it to church as well as Joe, so that's something to be excited about. We went and had some brisket with the Ramirez family, and we laughed and had a great time over there. Then we traveled up to Hempstead and saw one of our
investigators. Then we got transfer calls that night, I'm staying with Elder Sellers and we are going to get a third missionary. Well, I love you, so have a great day! Ttyl! 

Elder Atkinson(Nic)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Back to Waller Week 5

What's up mom!?

My first week in July flew by, I can't believe how fast it is all running, I feel like I have just written y'all, but it was a week ago!  I had a fun week, nonetheless, a good ole week in the mission. Mucho proselyting, but that's fine with me.  Service this time around has been a little slower, I guess there is more emphasis on going out and finding than serving during this tour in Waller, but I'm ok with that. 

Last Monday was a really fun day. The Fourth of July! Woohoo! We had a pretty relaxing p-day, full of eating. There was a party with the branch so we went and partied there. We played some soccer and ate some yummy Hispanic food. Some rice thing with shrimp. After that we went out to Spring to have a BBQ with the other missionaries in the district. Always a fun time, BBQ and other missionaries. That night we did some door touching, and then saw the Thomas family that night, I loved seeing  them, always a treat for me. 

Tuesday was a pretty normal day, nothing too much happened. We went and saw Mike Ball in the morning and he's doing pretty good, nothing too different with him. After Mike, we had a meeting with Sam Arungwa, same ole same ole with him. After that we went up to Hempstead to touch some doors. We did that basically from after the meeting til English class that night. We met some interesting people, no one with too much potential, but we'll see. 

After English class that night, we met with the Mayor Pro-temp of Waller, he's pretty cool, he talks a ton though, so we shall see how to help him. Wednesday was a pretty normal day, started of with some door touching, and then we had a meeting for Family History, to do it and learn a bit more about it. It's not too bad, I enjoyed myself. There is this thing called relative finder, and you can see how close some people are related to you, I have a lot of relations in the Texas Houston Mission. After that it was more touching of the doors and then we went and saw Juan Nuñez. He is the same, hopefully we can help him out. Then the ward missionary correlation meeting, and thus endeth the night. 

Thursday, sweet Thursday. It was a pretty good Thursday, we had a pretty effective planing session for the week to come. During this, we are some giant baked potatoes, honestly I don't think they are the healthiest for me to be eating, but they are so delicious. That night more visiting people, and knocking until English class. No one was able to make it to that one, :( , so we had a little time to go and talk with Juan Alvarez and see how he was doing, any questions he had etc. he's doing great.

Friday was a normal day. We had district meeting in the morning, and everything that is fun that comes with that  we had a district language study and Elder Sellers and I had to put on a skit using a bunch of Spanish idioms and proverbs. It was pretty funny and had no point. After district meeting we went and knocked some more doors and
tried to see what we could do to help the people  in our area out. We had dinner that night, but it turned out to be a party, the struggles with Hispanics, everything becomes a party. We ate flautas, which are some of my favorite Hispanic foods. Then Saturday came rolling along. It was a fairly busy Saturday, bien lleno del proseletimo. We knocked a lot of the day and also taught some people. We saw a lady named Alma, her big struggle right now is
that she works a ton, and she's trying to make time for church, but right now she can't. Then we started teaching one of Juan Alvarez's friends. He seems really cool, like he has a lot of potential, so we shall see what happens there. 

That night we had another dinner turned party.... But this time we ate tacos! I love tacos, they are the best.
At that house, there is a massage chair, and it feels so good.  Sunday was also very normal. Church came rolling around with all it's meetings. It's goin to be weird not having to go to ward council or anything of the likes when I get home, and also to not be overly worried about everything that goes on in church to make it the best experience for my investigators. After church we ate, and then went out contacting. We didn't see too much success with that, but I know it will come. I met a guy from Iran while knocking, and he told us he
was trying to run away from religion. He was a really nice guy, but not too interested. At the end of the day we talked a bit with a recent convert. All in all it was a pretty good week. I had a blast this week, I push forward a bit every day, I love y'all so much! Toodles!

Elder Atkinson (Nic)

Back to Waller Week 4


Happy 4th of July!! It's weird to think that it is already July, I feel like June had just started... I'm not going to be doing any fireworks :( but I might see some tonight from our house, there is a place fairly close by that will light off big ones I think. We do have a Waller Freedom Festival going on right now, but I think for the most part I will be down with Hispanics or the district today, maybe doin a little BBQ, yummy. I did get your package, they are quite tasty the little chocolates, no they did not melt, so yay for me! 

This week was pretty Good, on Monday we had a nice hangout day out in Waller, we went bowling later that day with some people in the ward. I'm not the best bowler, but I got through mostly. My thumb was a little sore from throwing, but that's ok. That night for dinner I had a tasty  lasagna as well, it had a little bit of a kick to it but tasted delicious. The rest of the night was just a bunch of people not there for their lessons. That night, we exchanged our truck so it could get fixed, and we got to use a Toyota Tacoma, honestly I think it's the best car in the mission, and one that I've wanted to drive for a long time. 

Tuesday was a pretty fun day as well. We started out helping out Sam Arungwa, ya know, just a poquito of the service that gets done out here. Then we went to see Mike Ball, someone who was baptized last year when I was here, and he's doin pretty good. Upon finishing that, we went and did some contacting and visiting of people around Hempstead, and that was pretty fun, it was nice to be back up there, we hadn't been there in a while. Then came the English class, but no one showed :( I guess that's what happens when it rains, the Hispanics all hide. Then we went to go see Juan Alvarez and helped finish up preparing him for baptism.  Wednesday was also pretty good, we did some service with Bill that day, and that was pretty fun like usual. We helped clean out a barn, and then burned a ton of stuff. After the service he took us out to eat some delicious BBQ sandwiches. After that it was a day like normal. We saw some people, but nothing too exciting. We had Ward missionary correlation which was pretty good as usual. Thursday as well was a pretty good day, normal day though. We planned for the week and then went out to see the person we knocked into last week who had the dream about us the night before we knocked. Then we had dinner with the Bayles family, it was different because they are vegetarians and we had taco salad, but instead of hamburger meat we had quinoa. Then came English class and we saw Juan Alvarez that night. Then came Friday, we had zone meeting this Friday, and I realized that I was the oldest one there... By far. It was a good meeting, I learned a bit. After that I went on a exchange up to Conroe. I had a pretty fun time up there, Conroe is a nice place. There are more Hispanics there than Waller, but it's a little more city there. We did some knocking and helped move a family. We stayed up really late talking, but thus is the nature of exchanges.

Saturday came and I came back Waller. That day we did some knocking, and then prepared for the baptism of Juan Alvarez, it went really well. We had a lot of support from the branch, so that was super awesome. It was really cool because it was Elder Seller's first baptism. Then Sunday Juan got confirmed. Juan brought one of his friends to the baptism, and then to church so that was cool for him to have already thought about these things. 

After church Sunday was a normal day, had some delicious tacos and then went out knocking. We met some who just talked to us for an hour. It was a little annoying because we couldn't talk to more people, but he had a bunch of cool stories. Then we saw the Thomas family as well, and they are doing pretty well, I hope to help them out in this last little bit that I have left. Today will be parties galore, so I'm going to enjoy it!

Elder Atkinson