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)