Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 28, 2015--Week 21

Hey everyone!

Merry late Christmas and happy early New Years! 

We had a pretty interesting week. Because it was raining and because of the holiday season, we haven't had too many people stoked on listening to us, but we had a few good lessons. We are really trying to think of ways "outside the box" for working with the Korean people and to work with the members in the Korean branch. It's unfortunate, but just contacting Koreans on the street does not get very good of results and almost gives us negative results. So rather than street contacting, we are working a lot more with members and thinking of absurd things to try. 

Outside of that, we've done a lot of caroling this week. We caroled to our land lady who let us in on Christmas day. She was super nice to us and gave us cookies and talked with us for a little bit. 

Also, I gave a talk last Sunday in the English ward that we work with. I wasn't one hundred percent sure how to prepare it because it felt weird to do as a missionary, but I think it went okay. I felt somewhat good about it afterwards because I had a few people come up to me after Sacrament Meeting and ask for my notes with the talk.  I had to disappoint them because my notes would have made no sense to anyone else because it was just an outline with a quote and a few points. 

That's pretty much it for this week. We only had one investigator at church, and that was Li. We're hoping after the holidays the work picks up because it's pretty slow right now. 

At this time of year as we are all making goals and getting ready for the New year, I would like to share one of mine. My main goal is to be able to answer yes to this question every night before I go to bed: “Did I do the best I could every single day?" It's a hard goal to measure, but if I ever have to answer no, then I have a sick feeling in my stomach. But I know as I strive to do my best every day, and then let Jesus Christ's grace take care of my inadequacies, I can do much more than I think I can. I love you all!

Have a great week!

-Elder Nickerl

This is the family that we ate Christmas dinner with and also all the missionaries in our area.

This is Elder Kim and me. He is from Korea and in the English program. He came out the same time as I did and so we go home at the same time.  We went on exchanges for some reason, even though we aren't in the same district and neither one of us is in a leadership position. But it was fun. And helpful for both of our language learning. 

December 21, 2015--Week 20

Hey everyone,

   This has been a pretty long week because we did a lot of contacting. I am not a huge fan of contacting because it takes a lot of enthusiasm to go up to random people and start talking to them and I am not very good at it, but we have been working to find new different approaches and came up with a few this week that have worked really well for us. We found 4 new investigators this week which is really good for us. Putting it into perspective, since I have been here, we have only found 2 new investigators until this week we found 4 new ones. 

   Outside of finding new investigators, it is getting really cold here and it's kind of miserable. It's too hot to be snowing, but it's about 40 degrees with a lot of humidity and wind making for cold fingers and face. It also means people aren't quite as friendly when we try to talk with them because they don't like standing around outside much.

    I don't really have too much to report on this week, nothing really major happened outside of a lot of finding. This next week is Christmas week, and we are looking forward to calling home. For our other investigators, we have Li, he is still doing Li things. He is coming to church, but is struggling with smoking. He will come around eventually, so we aren't too worried about him. We don't teach him more than once a week anymore because we can't do much to help him past his smoking so we just stop by every week. He keeps coming to church though and loves it and wants to keep learning more. He reads the scriptures every day. Quan, we dropped, he wasn't willing to keep commitments. Then we found 4 new investigators this week, please pray that their appointments will go through and that they will be open and receptive. 

     This week in my studies, I came across Ether 12-23-27 which I have read many times, but I caught something this time. In verses 23-25 Moroni sorrows because he thinks that because of his weakness because of what he considers his inability, the Gentiles will not listen to what he has to say. Moroni worries that because of him, the people in our generation will not accept the gospel. But after this in verses 26 and 27, the Lord comforts Moroni and explains why he has allowed Moroni to have this weakness. I encourage all of you to study this scripture this week. I know as I studied this scripture, I found many weaknesses that the Lord has given me, and I think he wants us to bring these weaknesses to him so that he can make them strong. I testify of the power of Jesus Christ's Atonement. I am proof that it works. I have seen it work in my life as I have worked to learn a new language and overcome fears. I know that this same Atonement is available to all those who come unto Christ. 

Merry Christmas to all of you and enjoy your time!

-Elder Nickerl

December 14, 2015--Week 19

Hey everyone,

   This week was transfers and it was a bit of a surprise, but a good one. We were expecting Elder Koo to go to the driving area of the Korean program and for me to get a new companion, but we found out this morning that we are staying for another transfer. We're excited because now we get to keep our relationships with our investigators and that is always a good thing. Outside of transfers this week, Elder Kahng is going home tomorrow. Elder Jeon is going to follow up train Elder Trask in the driving area of the Korean part.  

Elder Evans of the 1st quorum of the seventy came this week to talk to our mission. He pretty much laid it down for us and called us to repentance. Not really, because it was really spiritual, but we learned a lot from him and he made some pretty big changes in the mission. He also gave us some good insight on teaching repentance and talked for a while about our desire for our mission and how to go about achieving that desire. He laid it out pretty clearly. There are no shortcuts to achieving what we want, you simply have to do it. He talked about how to become what we want. His tip was that it is in the small things that we do consistently over time. 

After he came, the only thing out of the ordinary this week was going on exchanges. Elder Trask and I went on exchanges on Saturday and it was pretty cool. We got 3 Korean phone numbers in 2 hours of contacting. That's more phone numbers than we normally get in a week from Koreans and the reason that was cool is because neither of us speak Korean well. And so that was really awesome. I don't have a ton of time this week, so I'll just send a few pictures.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! I am thankful for all of your love and support. Until next week!

Elder Nickerl

This is all the Korean missionaries except for Elder Trask.  He was talking to someone else.  

Here is Li and I drinking Korean yogurt. 

This is the Korean branch!

Elder Koo and I with New York in the background.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

December 7, 2015--Week 18

Hey everyone,

I don't have a ton to say about this week. We pretty much did what we do every other week. Went around, talked to people, met new people, knocked doors, met more people, share the Gospel, do service, teach English class, ate food, met more people, taught lessons, went to tree lighting events in the community, got kicked out of every single one of them within 10 minutes, met more people. That sounds pretty much like a good summary of this week. If anyone has questions about anything going on, or anything in general, feel free to ask because I never know much of what to say in weekly emails. 

We taught Quan and Li this week, both are doing well especially Li. He's getting close. Both
went to church. Li has started on the Word of Wisdom and is doing very well. Quan isn't going to make his baptismal date because he hasn't been to church enough, but he is still doing pretty well. We have some investigators in the Korean ward. We teach a lady, Monique, we just started the lessons with her, but she has been giving us food weekly since I got here. That's it for the most serious of our investigators, but we are still teaching a lot of lessons. That's about it to report, still hanging in there and doing well. 

Last night, I loved the Christmas fireside. In Sister Burton's talk, she talked about our Savior. She asked this question, quoting the Savior! "Will ye also go away?" And That is the question isn't it, when it is all said and done, will we go away? Will we turn away from what we know? Will we reject our Savior who has given us everything we have? Don't forget to remember him who gave us all we have. His love and help is right in front of us and all we have to do is ask. Don't turn away, don't reject it. This week, we faced rejection from a person who we have come to grow close to and it hurt. I felt just a fraction of the pain that I am sure our Savior feels when we turn away from his help. I do not intend to compare myself to Jesus Christ, nor did I mean that to sound that way, but if it hurts me to be rejected by those I care about, I am sure that pain is multiplied that our Savior feels. I know he loves us and cares about us, accept that love, and you will be happier.

Love you all,
Elder Nickerl

Elder Nickerl's new Christmas tree all decorated.

With the 12 Days of Christmas gifts!