Monday, December 29, 2014

Louetta Week 10

Hello Mom and everyone else,

The big thing that happened this week was I got to Skype with my family. It was really fun to see them all and hear how everyone was doing. I loved that I go to see my little brother, and it means a lot to me that he is still thinking about me and missing me. It was also fun to hear Arielle play a song on the ukulele, and to just see how everyone is still the same dorky family that I left (especially Lilly). It was really fun to just sit and talk with all of them.
The rest of the week was pretty good, we got to go over to a members house Christmas Eve. I enjoyed going over there. They are a good family and have been very welcoming to Elder Grasse and I. While there, we had some dinner, some rice, noodles, chicken, and ribs, which was fantastic. After dinner, they gave all the missionaries their gifts, the first gift was a prank gift. I got toilet paper. Then they pulled out the real gifts and I got a nice long sleeve t. That was a fun Christmas eve. Then Christmas rolled around, got to call the fam, then we had a great dinner, hayaca, which was real good. We got to see the Skype call of the son of the family we were eating with, who is serving in the DC North Mission. It was fun to see him because we worked with him some before he left on his mission.
The rest of the week, we were pretty much just knocking and contacting people. It was kinda awkward, because the people didn't really want to let us in, but said that later would be better (out of the Christmas season). It was fun to go knocking, we met two people who seemed really interested in hearing more. 
I love you all, and you all are the best!! Nic


Louetta Christmas time!

Monday evening I received a letter from the ward mission leader in the ward Nic is serving in.  It was so exciting to hear these nice things said about Nic!

Dear Sister Atkinson,

This is Brother Mario E BerRios, ward mission leader at Louetta Ward.
It has been a great blessing for me to know and work with your son, Elder Atkinson. Since the first day in the mission field, I did feel the power and spiritual strength of him, who openly and very fluently spoke to me in Spanish. I was amazed at his talent and disposition to serve. Now, after this time serving in our ward with Elder Grasse, I can tell you again and again, you have done a wonderful work in raising such a powerful missionary. Thank you Sister Atkinson. Thank you to you, your husband, your children, and all those whose influences have helped to form this fine missionary.
Here, I am sending our family Christmas Greeting Card and some pictures from our Ward Christmas Program. May God bless you and yours, always. Your son is a powerful servant of the Lord.  
Sincerely, Brother BerRios
This was a special Christmas treat for me!  I am very grateful he took the time to share his thoughts of Nic as a missionary.
Christmas day we were able to chat with Nic.  He was at a member's home waiting for extra family to arrive and have dinner.  If was fun to see his smile and ask him questions without wondering if he would really answer! :)  He serves in a ward with 2 other sets of sister missionaries.  He and some missionaries went Christmas caroling during the beginning of the week.  He had a fun dinner and gifts given him from a member on Christmas eve.  He misses us, but isn't homesick!  No surprise there, it is just nice to hear. 
We love our missionary!


Louetta Week 9

Hello Mom!

1- I got the package, they were hoarding it until the party.
2- It is probably just a busier time so it is probably taking a bit long than normal (Speaking about another package).
3- I have not received Skype info yet, but yes it will be skype. It will be about 2 or 3 our time on Thursday, but knowing you guys, you will probably be home all day (When asking if he knew when we would chat Christmas Day).
4- I will be at a members house, and we will get dinner there (What will you be doing for Christmas)
5-The week has been pretty good, the one thing that stressed me out the most (looking forward) turned out to not be all that stressful. It was called 8 Week Training, and we had to prepare outlines for it (really stressful). It was not that bad, President Mortensen basically just checked up on us to see how we are doing/adjusting. Then the trainers and trainees split, President went with us and the APs took the trainers. President asked us what we feel like would be the biggest struggle if we were to train next transfer. It was reassuring to hear the answers of everyone around, and President offered advice for each of our concerns. It was good to here his advice, and hopefully I can apply all of it. After that we did a lot of role playing (teaching the trainers) which was good, President also gave me some pointers to help me teach. I was glad that it didn't turn out to be overly stressful.
Something that was really fun was the Christmas Conference on Friday. It was a mission wide thing, so I got to see everyone in the mission. At this conference, we took a huge picture, had some teachings about the birth of Christ, and watched the Nativity. Then we had lunch, which was really good (especially the rolls). After lunch, we sang songs, had some musical numbers and testimonies. At the end of the conference, President started saying that "Santa" had gifts for us, I was really excited because I thought that that meant iPads, but when we went to the rooms to pick it up, it was the packages that they received over the past month. These are the big things that happened this week.
This month has been pretty good over all, we have this one less active that we have been working with, he is slowly (slowly what?  I am not sure what he meant here. :), but hopefully we will get him back. It has been a pretty good Christmas month to be a missionary. I feel it is easier to bring up the gospel since it is the time of Christ's birth (since the gospel is centered around Christ). The busy feeling comes and goes from day to day, but I feel busy most of the times.
I love you mom, and everyone else.
Have a Great Christmas. Nic


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Louetta Week 8

HI Mom,
WHAT!?!?!?!?!? How on Earth is Val not stressed, that must mean some evil robot took over her and has replaced the sister that I know and love. And Kiley went on a date!?!?!?!??!?!?!?! Did some evil robot take her over as well? I'm gone for three months and everyone has decided to change everything on me. At least she is still rocking basketball, and Arielle still loving her music stuff. Tell her that I was in the ward choir. Everyone is growing up, Lilly and even Lathen, I love seeing the pictures that I get throughout the week, they are really nice. 
My week went good. We went on exchanges on Friday, and I had to be in charge of the area down here for the day. It was my first time really planning out the whole day, where we where going to go, where to knock and all that jazz. Teaching is going pretty well, there is a meeting on Wednesday to see how well we will be able to teach and stuff like that. I'm kinda nervous for that just because I am still not 100% with the Spanish. My area is pretty nice, it ranges from nice houses, to kinda rundown apartments. The one thing about it is that a little over a fourth from the bottom right corner is pretty much all African American people, so there aren't many Hispanics there, so that limits our proselyting area quite a bit. There are some main apartment complexes and house areas that we go to find, and where most of our investigators are. So I guess it is a little hard to find because the area is kinda small, but we are working around it. The regular dinner schedule, about 2-4 dinners a week depending on the week. 
This last Sunday was our Christmas sacrament meeting thing, and I was part of the choir. I was a little scared because while we where practicing up till that date, I was the only tenor in the choir, and you know how I sing, so it was a little sketchy. Fortunately  Un Hermano  joined the choir and was able to help me with my, er, singing talent. 
I love you so much, Nic

Louetta Week 7

Hi Mom!
 I have not gotten your package yet, but the last time I checked was on Tuesday, it probably arrived between now and then. There is nothing that I can think of that I want for Christmas, good Christmas music is a definite though (Trans Siberian Orchestra).  Mom, no tree is ever too big (I told him ours was a ridiculous size this year), I'm just upset it got bigger when I left.

 OK, first week of December went by pretty good. Not many lessons came through, but the ones that did where real fun. Elder Grasse and I did a little Christmas tree hunting ourselves, we got an artificial tree that stands about 6 feet tall, not as big as yours, but it is what were able to manage. It was fun, we got some lights and put them up all around the house, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere I go... I am really enjoying the holiday season so far, and I am looking forward to what Christmas day is like for the missionaries. On Saturday we had a meeting as a stake and missionaries ( just the ward leaders from each ward) about how to have a better consjeo del barrio (ward council). It was good, President Mortensen taught us all a little about how to make the consejo more effective while we are there. Something fun about this day was that I got to meet a lot of missionaries whose name I have heard, but have never put a face to it.  I enjoyed just talking with all the other missionaries in our stake. Last night was the Christmas Special, and Elder Grasse and I went to the church to watch it. Unfortunately it was in Spanish and it had all the weird voice overs, which I didn't like too much. I wish I could have just listened to their regular voices. That was pretty much how my week went.
 I love you, Nic

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Louetta Week 6


 Some good news, we got our car back on Wednesday! Elder Grasse and I were super stoked about that. For Thanksgiving we went over to a recent converts family's house and had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, the food was delicious. It was really cool, no one else in his family are members of the church, but we got to give a blessing to one of the family members there. While I was there, I got to see the Eagles start whooping the cowboys, which was fun. The rest of the week was fairly uneventful. We just drove around not having too much success, but at nights it would begin to pick up. It was just another week in the field for me. What is fun is that it is December, everything feels like it is going by so quickly, soon enough it will be Christmas and I am skyping you. Could you send pictures of the tree when you get it and the lights outside please. Tell Lathen that he needs to shape up, and tell Dom that "i dont got no formal learning." 
I love you a lot