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

Back to Waller Week 3

Hello Mother!

I have had a great week this week, a bunch of cool miracles happened this week, Heavenly Father is definitely been helping me out a ton. To start from your questions, I just knock where ever hasn't been knocked recently, and that is mostly from what my companion tells me. And last week the little accident, we haven't gotten that all the way fixed up yet, we will lose the truck for a little bit, and get another one, but then she will be back.

Last Monday was a pretty good day, we basically just hung out with the other missionaries in our district just doing whatever. One of them tried to teach us to breakdance, don't know the success level with other missionaries, but I feel I didn't do to well, oh well. That night we went and taught Juan Nuñez, on of the Juans we are teaching and told him about English class and other activities during the week. So it was a pretty good lesson. Tuesday was a pretty good day. We had a little meeting with the other missionaries in the zone, focusing on what we can do to have more success as a zone. It was funny during that meeting because one of the Zone Leaders asked a question and nobody answered him, then he turned to me and said "Elder Atkinson, what do you think? I know you'll be honest with me." So I guess I'm the guy who speaks his mind. I thought it was kinda funny. 

After that meeting, we went out and did some door knocking and what not. We found some pretty cool people that day, one was another Juan, yay us! That night was English class and we had a pretty full class Juan Nuñez came, so that was cool. Wednesday, HUMP DAY! Lol. It was a pretty good day to go around and do stuff. We did some door knocking and all that fun stuff. That night we went to eat with the Smuin family, dinner wasn't quite ready, so we played some Mormon mouthful, don't really know how to explain it briefly, and I did pretty well.  We taught Juan Alvarez that night, and he is doing awesome, we taught him the next few days as well to help him prepare for baptism. That night we had Ward missionary correlation with the English Ward. 

Thursday was a normal day for me, wait jk we had to drive out to Houston to get our car checked for an estimate.  Other than that we just knocked doors, did some weekly planning, and then had the English class. Oh, we got a giant baked potato filled with all sorts of deliciousness, cheese butter carne to name a few. On Friday I was on an exchange with Elder Norton, you should recognize that name, I was with him a while back in H5. There is definitely something cool about going on an exchange with an ex companion. We had a blast that day, taught some good lessons. Oh how could I forget District meeting that morning, shame on me. It was a good district meeting, we discussed a lot about contacting and how to make it more meaningful. Saturday was a fun day. Started with Elder Norton, then switched back to Elder Sellers. That day was just a little bit of contacting and trying to see people to get them to church. We had a lesson with some that I had contacted with elder Norton, and it was a cool experience because she had prayed the night before we knocked her door for a sign. Later that evening, we went to a baptism for a child and Juan Alvarez came so he could see how it happens. 

Sunday came around, and we started out with church and all the meetings that come with that. I had to give a talk in the Spanish sacrament meeting, I forgot about it so I just had to wing it. I think I did pretty good. After the regular church hours, Juan Alvarez received his interview, and passed! He is gonna be baptized this Saturday! Wahoo! The rest of the Sunday was a normal Sunday trying to find people, teaching and seeing less actives. That sums up the week, and I had a great time. I would like to wish Bella and Arielle a happy birthday, Bella today and Arielle on Saturday this week!

Elder Atkinson (Nic)

Back to Waller Week 2

Hey mom!

So, I am enjoying myself greatly out in Waller again, always a bunch of fun to come back to a great area. It has been quite hot out here, I step out of the car and with in seconds sweat starts forming on my skin, and then you get back in the car and your are basically choking on heat, but it is fun. Over all the weather has been decent to us, not a ton of rain, which has its ups and downs, but nothin else really to special about the weather. 

To start of how the week went, after returning home on p-day, we went out and knocked on some doors for a little bit. Again it's something that has grown on me to start enjoying. It's been a little tough knocking doors, just because people are always rejecting you, but I know there are people out there that need to be taught. 

That night we talked with a family called Muñoz, they have questions and want to learn, but I don't know if it is just academic or if they are willing to let the spirit touch their lives. Tuesday was pretty good as well, just another normal Tuesday. I had a meeting to go to with one of the members of the English Ward to see how we can help him out, so we'll see where we go with that. This English member's name is Sam, and he is pretty funny. After that we went contacting and that is always a good time for me. Dinner came along and we had some Pizza Hut with a member, pretty yummy, and then we had to rush to English class. Sadly no one came, but our Ward mission leader was there, so we had correlation. After that we took Brother Ramirez (the WML) out to teach Juan Alvarez, our investigator, who is progressing a lot. 

Wednesday, we had another deal where we helped out Sam, still don't know 100% what exactly we are doing for him, but it's service, so it's fun. Then we headed down to Hockley to visit with a member down there, and then knock a little bit in that area. It was good, we found a few potentials, we'll see where we go with them. Then that night we went up to help someone clean out their house from the floods that happened, it was a nice change from the normal laborious labors of missionary work. 

Thursday was just a normal Thursday day. We took up a bit of time weekly planning, and got ourselves ready for this week. Then we ate a quick bite, and headed out to work, ya know just trying to bust down the doors and teach people about the gospel. That night was English class and afterwards we went to go see one of our investigators and invited him to the Father's Day party we had on Friday. Friday was fun. We had a good district meeting, and then ate out as a district. I love these little nuggets of time where I can socialize with the missionaries around me. After district meeting we went back to breaking down doors and trying to teach people. We got in with a less active, and she told us very directly why she doesn't go to church (she got offended). Once, while we were knocking, Elder Sellers was nipped by a dog. It wasn't serious, but I still thought it was funny. Then that night we had the Branch Fathers Day party. It was a blast, and I enjoyed myself greatly. It was great just partying with the members there. We did a bunch of fun little activities while we were there. Saturday was full of knocking and trying to see people before Sunday so as to help the get to church. We had some family history training, and then we came back to our area. We went out to teach Juan Alvarez, and while we were teaching him, someone hit our truck. It wasn't bad, mostly just a little bit of scrapes, but still we got hit. After that we went and tried seeing some people, but to no avail. We finally stopped by the Thomas family, recent converts from last year( I taught them), to see how they were doing and share a little thought with them to help them out. 

Sunday was a pretty normal day, a good Father's Day. One of the things I like about working the two wards is that I get the spoils from both on Father's Day, so double the treats for me! We had two of our investigators make it to church, Juan Alvarez and Juan Nuñez, yeah, we teach everyjuan we can, lol. After church, we went back to beating down doors and trying to help people out, still finding, still seeking the prepared. We had dinner with a pretty cool family, chicken and rice American style. One of the people I met there is headed to BYU in the fall, so I might see him there. At the end of the night we stopped by a less active family and shared a little message with them. Today is Monday and we will see what fun is in store for me!
I love y'all so much! Stay cool and stay fresh!

Elder Atkinson (Nic)

Back to Waller Week 1

What's up?

I am doing so great. I'm back in Waller, as you know, and I love it. I'm so happy to be back here. I love the people, and I love the area, time to go hard and finish strong. 

I've got a new companion, his name is Elder Sellers, he is from Denver, Colorado. I like him, we have quite a bit in common, he likes Brandon Sanderson, so we talk about that.  That's so cute what Lathen said about wanting to go to Texas. Monday was a good day, we hung out on p-day and did all that thing. After p-day ended , we went out and I said good bye to all of the people I needed to say bye to. I'm going to miss that Ward, there area lot of good people in it. 

Tuesday I went down to transfer meeting, and switched up everything and then got on my way down to Waller. That day we went out and did some door touching among other missionary work. It was good being back, I also get a truck, so that's fun. We taught English class and then went to see an investigator, it was pretty cool. Wednesday was fun, we drove all over the area that day, not that we were trying to, but that was how it ended up being. I met some of the people that we are teaching, and they are pretty cool, we'll see how far they go. We had Ward correlation with the English Ward because we work with them. Thursday was a normal Thursday, we went and did some weekly planning and everything that's fun that comes from that. We saw a less active after that and then came English class, so we taught that and it came out well. After that we went and saw the Contreras and it was really cool to see them and check up on them. 

Friday we had a pretty relaxing day, again we went everywhere, so we drove a ton. I didn't have to do district meeting, because I'm not one anymore. We continued seeing the people that we are teaching, we have some really cool people who we are teaching. Then on Saturday we went out to try and see people and get them to come to church. Sadly no one was able to come. We also had a training in family history with some others in the district. Other than that we did some more knocking which is fun. 

Sunday was especially fun for me. Church was so much fun with seeing everyone from everywhere. It was cool seeing things that have changed and the friends that haven't changed. It started thunder storming so we got a ride in a '56 Belair, and it was sick. The rest of the day we contacted and ate at a members house. I loved this week and am super excited for the weeks to come! 

Elder Atkinson (Nic)

Back to Houston 5 Week 6


Wow, it sounds like y'all had a busy week this week, which is awesome. I hope y'all have a quick busy filled weeks until summer comes. So, just to clarify, I have more than one transfer left, a little more, but still. And this transfer, I'm leaving. I think that I'm going out to Waller, president had talked with me about that a few weeks ago,
but tomorrow we will see for sure. 

We had a pretty good week, a great last week in H5. Monday we had a normal p-day, the only thing really special thing was going out to eat with a member. The member was pretty funny. That night we went and saw the Renteria family and a part member family that we have been trying to see.

Tuesday was a pretty good day as well, lots of rain throughout the week, but that day wasn't too bad.  We did some English class in the morning, and that was pretty fun. After that we spent the day just visiting with some random people, and doing some knocking. It's fun. That night we had splits and I went the Elders Quorum president, he is one of my favorite members. His name is Pablo Ramirez, and we had a good heart to heart in the car, lol. We saw the Renteria family, and a recent convert as well. 

Wednesday was a day where it dumped on us on and off the whole day. Again, it was a day filled with visiting people and knocking doors as well. It was pretty fun to be able to do all of that. That night we had a really good lesson with one of our recent converts. The spirit really inspired that one because she needed our help in that moment. 

Thursday was an awesome day for me. I had the opportunity to go to the temple, which is always the best. Again we got to do all the ordinances for our antepasados, so I got to go through the whole thing. A unique thing about this time around was that I baptized and confirmed my comp for his antepasado, and then he did the same for me. It was just a really cool neat experience that I had there. That night we went and visited with Eduardo Parra and talked with him for a bit.

Friday was awesome for me. We had zone meeting and it was just what I needed to help me to finish out strong. We focused a lot on how our time here is limited and how we need to remember our true purpose here. I feel like I've never been sharper, so that's awesome for me. 

Again we went knocking, and I tried to apply some of the principles I learned to see how I could get better. It went pretty well, I feel like I had more meaningful contacts. Other than that, we just visited other people. Saturday was a pretty fun day as well. We were going to have the barbecue, but it rained out, so that didn't happen. Instead we went to the pulga to try and talk with people there. All cool, it is definitely a place to go after the mission. Other than that, just visiting other people and doing our best to try and get people to church. 

We saw the Renteria family that night. Sunday was normal. We went to church, and even though the Renteria family said they would come to church, they didn't end up making it:(. After church we had a pretty cool lesson with a potential and then went to eat some taco stuff. That night we saw a part member family. The Mexico contra Uruguay game was on, and I was shocked when they turned it off so we could talk with them. We received the transfer calls hat night, and I learned I was leaving. Now where to...That's how it went down, I love y'all so much! Cuídense

Elder Atkinson (Nic)