Monday, January 9, 2017

January 9, 2017--Week 74

Hey Everyone,

This week has been SO fast. I am super bummed that it is transfers already. Time is going by too fast and I am really sad to see Elder Merritt go. My new companion is Elder Lee and I know almost anything about him except that he's just coming out of training. I’m happy that I'm staying in Jersey City where there are people to talk to and a ward that is functioning. 

This week we ate. And ate. And ate. One night, we had 3 meal appointments from 2 Puerto Ricans, and then a Filipino after. It was seriously the worst night of my mission. I ate more food than should be allowed and prayed that I could have an extra stomach. I am pretty sure there was divine assistance. The first picture below was our first appointment. The food in the photo is half of what we ate. Naturally, when we finished that portion, the sister asked, “Do you want more?”  At that point we had plenty of room, so we ate more.  After that she asked, “Do you want cake?" NO!! But of course we had to eat it too. After the first appointment we weren't sure how we would make it through the next, but somehow, we got to the next appointment and the brother has these giant plates of spaghetti and shrimp with a huge plate of bread (see second photo). Then the dessert followed.... By this point I was struggling to keep the food down and we still had to walk 2.5 miles to our next appointment and do it in 20 minutes. We decided it would be a good idea if we called another companionship of elders to come and help us eat the food because the was no way we would be able to eat a Filipino meal by ourselves. The whole way there, we tried to make ourselves throw up, but  couldn't. When we got there, he had more food than he has ever cooked because it was Elder Merritt's last day so he wanted to do something special for him. Then of course dessert followed. That night, we just could not sleep or be comfortable sitting, laying, or standing. It was literally the worst day of my mission (not emotionally—but for my stomach!). I wanted to die.

Life is good.  Thank you for all your prayers!  I hope you all have a great week and I love you all!
-Elder Nickerl

P.S.  The last couple photos are:
Saturday we had a HUGE snow storm so we spent the day shoveling snow for all our neighbors.  

Sunday, we cooked one last Korean dinner together and ate it while we listened to the transfer call.

Monday, January 2, 2017

January 2, 2017--Week 73

Hey Everyone,

This has been a really crazy week with all of the holidays, but it has been fun. I am loving everything here. Finding people has been really hard as usual. Everyone keeps cancelling appointments and being super flaky, but that's okay because that's how it usually is. Overall though I am loving life and am not stoked for transfers at all (which are next week).  

Anyways, I just wanted to let you all know that I know that this Gospel, the teachings of Jesus Christ, are really truly the secret to true peace and happiness in our lives. Even amongst all the trials in missionary work, I have never been happier in my life. I know that no matter what we go through in life, we will be happy and have joy, if we prioritize our lives to have Jesus Christ as the focus, nothing will go wrong. 

I love you all and have a great week!

-Elder Nickerl

December 19, 2016--Week 71

Hey mom (this can be my weekly as well),

I will try to answer all of your questions...
First, skype time, I’m not sure because we have A LOT of appointments and we got permission to go see the Korean branch and I don't know what time that will be. I would imagine around 4-5pm our time would probably be the easiest for us, but I am sure I will be able to call the day before as President Taggart has let us do before to schedule for sure. If not, plan for about 4-5pm my time and just know it will work out. I will worry about it later in the week. Along with the skype call now before I forget, I would like to teach a 4 minute version of the Restoration to the family. Maybe at the end or beginning. 

Second, my eyes are doing well. I get my right contact this past Thursday. My left one is doing okay.  It is better than having nothing in, but it is still pretty hazy…maybe at about 20/70 right now. It is VERY hard to put these contacts in and it requires a different kind of solution. I will explain the process on the skype call later. But the eyes are doing good. There is no rejection now in the right eye… Dr. Constad says that  if I continue to baby it and treat it, I may be fine indefinitely. So we will see. I also got a awesome blessing from Elder Merritt last week (pre-surgery) that had a promise that if I am obedient to mission rules and work hard, I will be able to stay in New Jersey to finish my mission. So I am trusting that. 

Third, the mission conference was fun on Friday. I got the big package that you sent then.  Thank you!  It was basically just a big get together with fun and spiritual stuff with the whole mission so I got to see all of my friends from the mission and spend some time with them. Sunday night we had a NJ wide Christmas fireside put on by the missionaries. I was able to see a lot of people there who I haven't seen in a really long time (Collin, Rocksan, a lot of the members from the Korean branch who I got to talk to) and it was super awesome.

Everything else this week is going really well. I am loving it here and I’m ready for the holiday season to be over—so that we can get back to our regular world, but this week should be awesome!


P.S.  Here is a few pictures as well. Bart Oats (a 5 time super bowl winner O-lineman) is the bishop in a ward in NJ and came to speak to us this Friday. We got a picture with his super bowl ring. Then a picture with Elder Koo (my trainer) his other two trainees and I. Lastly, a picture from our ward Christmas party with our Asian santa :). I love NJ!!!