Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Waller Week 18

Hello mom!

So the bad news is that I am getting transferred. I'm gonna be leaving Waller and headed out to new places. It would be fun to come back, but I don't know if I will. I will miss all of my people out here. There  were just a lot of things that I wanted to do here in the coming month, but now I can't.  I will let you know of my address as soon as possible. 

The weather this week has been a healthy combination of hot and hot, with some rain yesterday. We have not lost our power, thankfully. Though it has been extremely hot in Texas. Sometimes I go out just for a little bit and then I start sweating, it's not too fun, but I still love it here. This week we had a family home evening with one of the members and our investigators, it went well, and I'm loving how well the family is doing. They are really humble and willing to make the changes they need to make, which is really awesome.

It was one of the sister missionaries birthday this week, she turned 21, so we got her a walker, it was really funny. At the end of district meeting after a good discussion on repentance, we played Bean Boozzled. It is a jelly bean game where you spin a spinner and see which flavor of jelly bean you get to eat. The funny part is there are normal beans and then disgusting flavored ones, barf, boogers, dog food, etc. After district meeting, I went on exchanges with Elder Wagner down in H10 (a Spanish ward). It was fun to go down there and experience that. We
went to a baptism there and taught some pretty good lessons. We switched back on Saturday and then had a baptism for the Spanish branch which is awesome, it's a guy the sisters are working with, and he is just really cool. Sunday just a lot of church. That was pretty much my week.

I am off to hang with the district and enjoy the last day with them.

I love you all!

Elder Atkinson (Nic)

English Class

Waller Week 17


I am doing absolutely fantastic here in Texas, all the flooding you probably heard about, didn't happen here. We got some rain, but for the most part it was hot and sunny this past week. I did get the 2 packages and they were great, thanks for thinking of how much I enjoy Star Wars.  Also, we get transfer calls this Sunday, so I don't know if I'll be staying or leaving, I've been praying to stay, so I hope I stay. 

This week has been awesome, the family we are teaching (Parents and a teenage son)  are doing great, they love the members and the atmosphere of church. They are also reading the Book of Mormon which is really cool. They all went to church and loved it, we went been over to there house multiple times this week and every time they are so excited to see us.  You have no idea how excited I get to go over there.

On Friday we had a party with the Spanish branch for Father's Day, which was awesome! They love to party. It was a really fun night with everyone, lots of laughs and everything. On Wednesday morning we went to the temple, and it was fantastic. I love going there and the spirit that is there is incomparable. I learned so much there and was really happy to have gone. I hope the president makes it a thing to go every transfer, which I think would be really cool. I did get to do some random service things for members. I helped paint a baby crib which was pretty fun, then had bomb lasagna.

That's basically my life here in Texas, and all the other little things missionaries do.

Much love from down here! The favorite kid (I know it's true)

Elder Atkinson (Nic)


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Waller Week 16

Hey Mom!

Texas is doin' great, getting a little hotter! But that is kinda what I expected. I don't really know how hot it is getting here, but high 80's low 90's sounds about right. I'll work with the case for a bit and see how I like it, I'll probably just stick with it cause that is my way, do what is easiest (with things that don't matter too much). (His new Ipad case is VERY protective, he seemed to think it was overkill.  I told him the missionaries here really liked theirs so to try it out for a bit) 

Could you send me an update on what the temple looks like the next time that you go? It would make me super happy to see how it is comin' along. Will it be done by the time I get home? If so I definitely want to go and do a session in it when I get home. Speaking of the temple, I am gonna go this week (Wednesday)!!!! It will be so exciting, I will do a session and it will be absolutely great! Can't wait! 

I'm glad to hear that everyone at home is doin' good, and those abroad. I love Lathen's talk, it makes me really happy every time that I see it. (Kiley is in Japan and we recorded Lathen's first talk, at home, not in church, and sent it to him) 

Dej├íme ver (Let me see), my week was really fun. We were able to get in and teach the family a lot which is really fun, and it's really cool that they are reading the Book of Mormon together and then discussing it. I love seeing how people grow and change when the Gospel comes into their lives. We set a goal that the middle of the next month they will be baptized, which I am really excited about. It is totally doable, they are so prepared! 

This week we also did some service, como siempre (like always)which was really fun, tambien como siempre (also, like always). We helped out at this one ward members house putting on a roof and some framing, which is really fun. Afterwards we got to eat a pulled pork roast, corn, potatoes, and chili, the majority of which is from his garden which was really cool. I also got to eat a really good omelet this week, I'd say it was
bigger than my hand, but it was soooo good!

I went on an exchange down to the Fairfield area where I got to ride a bike, which was cool to pretend I was how people see the majority of the missionaries (on bikes). 

Sunday was really fun, we got to go to the Temple Tours, which President Mortensen set up to help show investigators, less actives, etc about the importance of the temples. It was really cool to go there and feel the spirit of the temple. 

So this week was pretty much a blast! I am excited to get the packages! Could you maybe record each of my
siblings doing something, preferably where I could hear their voices and then send me that video so I could have it. I have really enjoyed Lathen's and I think it would be cool for my other sibs to get the same chance. I love hearing from y'all, and y'all's stories! Keep them comin' mom, even if they are boring. I love y'all so much, and miss y'all. You are great influences in my life and good examples. If you ever have advice for me, send it my way pls.

Elder Atkinson (Nic)

Waller Week 15

Hey Mom!!

Your favorite elder is doin' great, don't worry I won't tell anyone that I'm your favorite. I have been having a good time in Texas! To answer your question look at the bottom of the email. (His mission received Ipads this week). I got one of the two packages,probably the second will get here today.

My week has been pretty fun, we helped out a lot setting up a party, like getting the yard ready, so I feel your pain with the yard work, but I was doin' it in Texas heat, so HA! 

The one family that we are teaching just went to the hospital, so we have been praying for them
and everything has been going pretty good with them. We stopped by on Saturday and they said they have been reading in the Book of Mormon and discussing it which is really awesome.

On Wednesday, after doing service with Bill, we had steaks, sooooo good. It was a nice rib eye, and it was delicious. Mike, the guy we baptized a few weeks back is doing great, we saw him and he is on fire. 

On Saturday we went to a bit of the party we helped out with and we were able to talk to a lot of teens that were there a little about what we do as missionaries, that was really fun. Also, at the party we got some good ribs and sausage and brisket, so lucky that I am in Texas!

On Friday we had our zone meeting, which was pretty fun. President Mortensen came to it, so it was kinda scary at the beginning, but towards the end, I was really glad he came because I learned so much from him. During the time to practice, we practiced contacting and my comp and I had to contact him. The way he taught us to contact is really awesome and he opened up a whole new door that I haven't been to before. I love all of y'all back at home, y'all are all very important to me. Make sure to tell the kids that the kids here in Texas got out of
school last Wednesday.

Elder Atkinson (Nic)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Waller Week 14

Hey Mommy-o!

1st, the weather has been really wet, but we haven't had to help anyone with over flooding, the majority of the flooding has been happening closer to downtown. Our area has been pretty wet, real soggy and muddy, but other than that it has been pretty good. 2nd, awesome for Xavier and Hannah and I hope they enjoy their missions.
So other than the weather, my week has been pretty fun. Like I've already told you, we are gonna get iPads in the near future, and we had a special training on them on Tuesday, but I think I already told y'all about that. Rumor is we will get them on Friday, I just had another training today. To start off, cause the church wants to take things slow, we will transfer information in the area book to the iPad, and we will learn how best to use it in lessons and for personal study and all that fun stuff. You can tell my Seminary teachers that it would have profited me to use my device in Seminary! Haha, jk, I am only saying that cause the reason they told us not to use them was that we would need to know where the scriptures were that we wanted to use.

Other than training,etc., this week has been pretty fun, I got to meet a lot of the English ward members. One has a farm that we are gonna go work at, like with potatoes and all sorts of vegetables. I'm really excited about that. We found a couple new investigators, there is one family that seems like they have great potential, and I believe that they are gonna progress great. Something fun was that on Saturday, we did service with a few people. We helped build a chicken coup with the Schilds, which was really fun; and then we helped out on a ranch which was really fun, this was with someone who has been helped out by missionaries for 17 or some odd years; and then we helped someone move into their house, which was really fun. We got to unpack all the pictures they had and got to hear the cool stories behind all of them and some were really interesting. At the end of moving, they had a slide in their house, so I slid down it.

Yesterday (Sunday) we spent a long time at the church, almost 12 hours, between the church meetings, the before meetings and the two baptisms we went to. So needless to say, it was a long Sunday. That was pretty much my week. And I can't believe that May has already gone by.

Love y'all so much!

Elder Atkinson (Nic)

Waller Week 13

Hey Mom!

So everything was closed yesterday, so I get to talk to y'all today!

OK, my new companion is named Elder Noriega and he is from Los Angeles California. He is a pretty cool kid, likes to have a laugh, but also likes to work, so I can see us getting done a lot this transfer. It was kinda hard to say goodbye to Elder Alexander, it's just like saying bye to a brother, I know he is loving the fact that he is home, and I am happy for him. I took him to transfer meeting, there we said goodbye and I got Noriega and then we left. Our new district is really cool, we had a water balloon fight on Monday, and played some sports. I can tell p-day activities are gonna be a lot of fun.

This week there has been a lot of introducing Elder Noriega to everyone and trying to meet new people to teach and all that fun stuff. So there was nothing really overly interesting that happened. Wait, on Saturday we were able to go to a baptism for one of Elder Noriega's investigators from another area, which was really fun to go down and hang out for a bit with all the other missionaries. I find that that is one of the really fun things to do, hang out with the missionaries and just kinda act our age for a bit, nothing too crazy, just a little more normal interaction than "How is your reading of the Book of Mormon going?" type of thing. 

On p-day we hung out with our district, playing some basketball and a water balloon fight, and then went out to eat, it was a fun time. Unfortunately there were no Memorial Day events going on that I heard of, so we just did normal p-day stuff.

Some interesting weather updates, we had a tornado warning Sunday in the morning and Monday at night. And over the past few days there has been a lot of cool thunderstorms and lightning, and a lot of rain. Fortunately it was a down pour last night while we were in a lesson, and so we didn't get too wet.  It's not bad around us though, the flooding was mostly more towards the city, the main thing here that gets flooded is land. My trainer's car actually got flooded out, they were driving home, and ran into 4 feet of water.  There were also a lot of apartments that got flooded out. It is scary, but kinda cool to see how it is around us.

Oh, how could I have forgotten, we had a training today about how to properly use technological devices and are on our way to be getting iPads! Isn't that exciting!?!?! I hope everyone uses the iPads properly because I would think it will help us out to have them.  Apparently we are only 1 of 86 missions that will have the iPads, which is cool that we are part of the beginning.  One cool thing that the Seventy told us is that the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve trusts us to make the proper decisions.

Tonight we have dinner, teach some people we contacted into, English class tonight and that's pretty much it. Meet new people and other fun missionary stuff.

Love y'all so very much!

Elder Atkinson (Nic)
His new companion is in the above picture.

Waller Week 12

Hey Y'all!

OK mom, I understand the rule about the ties. I will live it and follow it, I was kinda hoping that they looked like balloons to celebrate for Elder Alexander (
He wore his Easter tie at a goodbye party where I was sent a surprise picture by a church member!!??!). 

We haven't been to the mail for a bit, but we will check it out today and see if the package is there. Yeah, the library will probably be closed next week, so you can expect something on Tuesday. As always, it is exciting to hear about the lives of everyone at home and how they are all changing, and growing. Tell Kiley she had an easy instructor (Kiley passed her driver test on the first time, unlike her two older siblings).

So, this week was an absolute blast, a great way to send Elder Alexander home. We had a good week in the early hours with service, as always Bill's was a lot of fun, we just did a lot of different little things to help out. The majority of the week was spent trying to help plan for the baptism and make sure everything was ready. It was a lot of work, but so worth it at the end of the week. On Saturday we had the baptism and it was absolutely awesome, and I was just so happy for the rest of the day. Then on Sunday when he was confirmed, again, it was so awesome to be a part of all that experience. On Sunday, we also had two of our investigators from the Spanish branch come to church which is really awesome, and I was really happy about that.

On Friday we got together and said goodbye to some of the people from the English ward, which was a lot of fun. The pizza there is really good, and huge! And then on Saturday we went to a party the Rama (Spanish ward) threw for Elder Alexander, again it was so much fun. The atmosphere from the party with the Rama was just different, and something only a close little tiny Ramita could bring. It was fun to hang out with all of my Hispanic family and speak in Spanish and watch them say their goodbyes to Elder Alexander.

Great week this week, and I love y'all and wish the best for y'all. Oh, this morning we had a tornado warning, I don't know if you were paying any attention to it, but there was a tornado cloud that passed right over our heads in Waller. It didn't touch down, which I have mixed feelings about, but it was really cool to see the cloud.
Love Y'all!

Elder Atkinson (Nic)