Sunday, December 8, 2013

Week 13


Wow!!!
     Life is pretty great here in Hungary right now! I have also discovered
where the English keyboard button is at on this keyboard so now I can
hopefully type a little faster! I just got done doing "Greeny training" at
the mission home with the APs and the mission president and his wife with
Cathcart Elder. It was good to see him after a few weeks! I was really
happy to be able to talk to him and see how things have gone! We went and
got our residency cards then went to Subway with the mission secretary
missionaries for lunch, it was so DANG good! I had some American food!
(also, sorry if my spelling is bad, spell check is only in Hungarian here
and I am only capable at spelling now for the most part in Hungarian...
hahahahaha)
     Now, let's talk about some of the most amazing experiences this week
in Hungary. There is always a ton, and I honestly never know where to start
and to begin to tell you all. But I am thinking I will just start. So we
ran into this old dude who let us in and started talking about how much he
loves Jesus. Which was good I guess, we thought we could work with that!
But then he complimented me on my Hungarian and told me I could learn
faster. I naturally asked how. hahaha, then he said you basically get a
Hungarian girlfriend. Me not knowing that much, I said “igen”, which means yes!
But my comp started laughing and I asked him to repeat it then I heard what
he said and quickly fixed it! Woo, hahah. So along with some crazy experiences, we
run into a lot of interesting people. It’s not always too bad but sometimes we decided to ask people about the gospel another time:) hahahaha.
     Now this week we have one baptism which my comp will be doing with one
of our investigators! I cannot wait, he is such a great guy and has
improved so much! After the baptism he invited us to his house with some of
the other elders for a quick lunch and to learn to cook Hungarian! So
SWEET!! The next Saturday we have another baptism which I am currently
unsure who will do what, but I cannot wait to see what will happen! He also
is improving.
     Yesterday we visited this family who is so incredible! They are so
nice and loving, and they gave us 4 palacsintas each(4 Hungarian pancakes)
and they were so good! Then the people here really like caffeine, so we had
coke to go with it. They are super loving, and super kind. I hope that they
continue to improve in the gospel. I think they will.
     We also met a man who was baptized 12 years ago and went inactive 10
years ago. We ran into him when we were tracting. It was good, because he
invited us in and spoke only English being from America. It was
interesting, he is a psychologist guy and also likes the Buddhist religion. He
met Mike Tyson and was a boxing judge and coach. And also, this guy is
incredible, he said he would look up health related programs for us to use
on our mission. I cannot wait! Oh, and he said we would make Peanut
Butter!! There is no peanut butter in Hungary, people! That is like the
worst thing, no P.B. and J. Just honey that we found in the apartment. That
is all. Hahahaha.
     So the guy on the other side of my cubicle is laughing and saying
"seriously" all the time in Hungarian.. Just funny!!! Hahahaha
      Oh, and people here find it hard we don't, won't, never have or will
drink coffee, smoke, or break the law of chastity. It is like, come on
people!!!! Our message can help! And it is, helping so many people. Last
year I guess the baptisms for the year was 100. Not bad right, I mean it is
Europe. Well, this year we are at 172 ish. Ya, we can hit 200!! I hope, it
will be close. All well. Well I love you all! Have a great week! READ the
BOM!!! It is so good!

Szia
Nikolsz Elder

Week 12

So...
I probably will not be typing a lot this week because once again the
keyboard is super sketchy. But I will try and I hope that I can get the
point across too. So far, I have been super grateful for the many things
that have happened in my life and grateful for the opportunity to serve
here in Hungary with some of the best missionaries and people in the whole
world. I am loving it to death and I hope to be able to stay here long
enough to make a difference. But that is one thing that I have learned on
my mission. That every little second counts. When you meet someone on
the street, you have one little moment to change their lives. I don't
know about you, but I really don't want to mess that up. That is why it is
so important to be able to be worthy of having the spirit with us on a
mission at all times. You never know when you will need it, or when there
might be a life changing event that pops up out of nowhere.
Today I was actually able to go to visit hero square again and actually
visit an old castle here too. There is a motto that I would like to start
living by on my mission. That is, "tracting is always the best on P day." I
would completely agree with this, because this last week was hard for us.
We had programs but not as many as we would like. So when today we had
someone let us in who seemed somewhat interested, it really made our day. I
am loving when we can get let in and be able to share the message of the
gospel into this people's life, it is absolutely vital. I have seen the
Lord help us already in the two weeks I have been here.
Last week for example.
My comp always asks where would I like to tract or street. And it is hard
because I do not know a lot of places to go!! So I usually just say the
places I know. But last week I chose an apartment complex and here in
Hungary you have to call from the door outside to get let in the building.
So I tried, and the first person I called let us in!!! We went to their
door and a lady in her 30's answered the door. We asked her a few questions
and then she started crying. Her question was, "Why do the best people in
life die?" This was the opportunity we had prayed for. And immediately we
started to testify. We gave her our number because she had people over, and
a small pamphlet about God's plan for us. I pray she calls. But little
miracles like that are happening all over the place in Hungary.
The weather here is a little cold. Today I had to go buy a beanie and a
scarf from Tesco, basically like the Walmart in Hungary. So that was nice.
 hahaha.
The time is flying by here, I hope it is there too. I hope things are going
great! Every day I think of home, and I hope you are all doing good.
Szeretlek titatek,
Nikolsz Elder

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 11


Hey family, How are you all doing on this fine day? I will try to tell you exactly what has been happening since I arrived in Hungary. Where oh where do I start. So firstly, I would like to say how hard it is to use a Hungarian keyboard. It is really tricky because the z and y keys are switched. So if I use them in the wrong places that would be why.

     My new companion!! His name is Elder Christensen and he is a pretty cool guy! Wait wait wait I need to back up and tell you what has happened since the beginning. Holy Cow. The flights to Hungary were way long so it was very hard to sleep. Everyone was watching some kind of movie or film and I had Dutch people around me for the longest portion of the flight. Ya, it was not terrible, but at the same time I did not say a word of English for 7 hours. It was painful and super long, but somehow I made it work. We took off from SLC at 9:45 a.m. and the flight to Minneapolis was only a couple hours. I loved that portion of the flight. Then it continued and we flew to Amsterdam. That flight was the longest thing of my life. 7 hours of torture. When I finally arrived in Budapest it was such a beautiful day which is weird because all of the time I have been here, it has only been sunny two days. Kind of a bummer, but we learn to live with it.

     Me and Cathcart Elder were picked up from the airport by the AP's and the mission president and his wife. They were so kind and really took us in. We went back to the mission home which is so nice! We were able to go with the AP's tracting and to a program that night. While we were tracting, we actually got a “let in” and talked to this super nice (committed to Catholicism) lady. But we talked to her and got her to be interested in the English class which we teach every Thursday and Saturday. She was super nice. Then we went to a program where a lady made little biscuits with nuts on them for us. They were not terrible, but I chose to only eat a few of them hahaha. Then we returned and went back to the mission home and ate with the mission president and his wife and the AP's. That was a really good homemade meal by Sister Smith. It was like rice with whatever you want on top of it. Then we were taken to Gellért Hegy (which is just the top of a hill where Elder Russel M. Nelson dedicated the land, kinda like ensign peak.) Ya, it was super pretty at night time. Then we returned and crashed at like 9 o’clock here. (the time difference is 8 hours ahead of you.)

      Next morning we “streeted” and that was rough. Ha, Cathcart Elder and I had to street alone. But we gave away a Book of Mormon and some pass along cards while we were out. It was not too bad, and we were out there for over an hour. Quickly, I realized I do not understand like any Hungarian. Hahahaha. I then got my new companion which is Elder Christensen. He is a way cool guy, and very humble. He has been here for just over a year, and we are serving in Pest (the East side of the city). We actually have the stake center in our zone which is nice. And apparently there are about 120 members attend each week. It's quite funny for me, because about half of the church yesterday was in English. Half of the people there do not speak Hungarian. So, that was not too bad. I understood them.

     We have been teaching a ton of lessons, and a ton of people. Right now, we have 4 people on baptismal date and hope to commit a couple to baptism this week. The work is moving forward here!! I have walked further than ever here, and we use a lot of public transportation. My feet are becoming like shoes, in the point they are getting pretty hard. And I found out I had to buy a new side bag because backpacks are not allowed. So I will just wear my backpack when I travel. And I just bought a side bag today. It looks way sick. The other elders here in the zone are Elders Day and Judd. They are way cool and the sisters in Pest are Sisters Magda and Larsen. They are way kind too. Ya I love it here. There is also sport day on Thursdays when we play with members and the investigators. And guess what sport.... Soccer. Of course. hahaha. Our apartment has its glitches. Ha, there is duct tape everywhere and of course leaks too. My bed is like a couch and our bathroom door does not lock or shut completely. Ha, but we do have a tie bag (where missionaries buy a bag of ties for like 100 bucks and then it's a whole bag of ties. So I looked through the leftovers here. Not too good... ha.

     I was very sad to hear about the death of Grandma. I cannot believe that. I hope that the family is doing well and I hope the funeral was nice. I miss home, and I miss the family and friends. It is not easy here. Everyone stares at you and they really do not like us. We get rejected a ton... But... When they listen, it is the best feeling. Here in the mission it is super hard to write letters. I receive them ever so often but only when someone in our zone goes to the mission home. So like once every other week. But we do receive them. And yeah, that's about all. There is not a lot of time here to discuss home, so it is pretty easy to stay focused. Ha!

 

Szia és Szeretlek titaket

Nichols Elder

 
I don't know what this is called. But it's my first night tour 
Hero Square in Hungary
 Part of Buda from the hill. On the right side of the picture is Pest (where I am serving)
 Another picture from the first night tour
Here is one of the churches we toured today with Elder Christensen and Elder Day. Elder Judd is taking the picture. 
Here is Szent Istvan (the theatre/church to his name). It was huge!! 
Here is the right hand of Szent Istvan. haha

First Companionship in Pest


Dear Brother and Sister Nichols:

I am so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family. I called Elder Nichols. He told me, as you had, that he had the chance to talk with her before he left. He said she was struggling but he was able to talk with her. She said she would be with him on his mission. I know she will, if she can.

My mother passed away while my daughter was on her mission. I know how difficult this can be. We will do what we can to help your son. Your son is terrific. I had a nice interview with him yesterday. He went tracting yesterday and attended a program (discussion) where he bore testimony and said a prayer. He was great.

Today, he received his companion (Elder Christensen) and is assigned to the city of Pest. He has a wonderful companion and is in a great city. Here’s a photo of Elder Nichols and Elder Christensen:
Again, I am sorry for your loss. I pray that the Holy Spirit will whisper comfort at this time.
With my deepest sympathies,
President Smith
 

Safe Arrival - A Message from President Smith


Elder Nichols has arrived safely in the Hungary Budapest Mission!  We are excited to finally have him here! When we returned from the Airport, the missionaries went out tracting – and helped teach two discussions (“programs”).  We then held initial interviews.  Following interviews, we held a nice dinner in the Mission Home. The missionaries then went on a short tour of Budapest - including visiting Gellert Hill (the place where, in 1987, Elder Russell M. Nelson dedicated Hungary to the preaching of the Gospel). Tomorrow will be a busy day.  Following the completion of interviews, the missionaries will have photographs taken for residency permits.  They will also be “contacting” individuals on the street (called “streeting”). When the missionaries return to the Mission Office, they will receive some brief training and will then be assigned their first companionship and their first city.  The missionaries will depart to their new area of service. We have asked the missionaries to e-mail their family on Preparation Day (Monday). 


 
 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Week 9


Hey all!!!

     So where to start oh where to start. Let's start with TRC last Thursday night. So Marcus came again and it was so cool to get to see him again! I feel like our relationship with him just continues to grow and to grow! He continues to keep commitments and continues to share those experiences he has with us! He is a great returned missionary, husband, and father. I have found a love for our investigators this week that is quite indescribable!! I just don't know how to describe it!!! Oh wait I just said that. hahaha, but anyways that leads into the longest week of my life I feel like. 

     So Friday during gym I was just playing some good ol volleyball as usual and it was so fun and so dang good that day! Everybody would try and hit the ball at least 3 times before sending it over the net. It was going good and then out of nowhere my knee started to hurt a little bit. But I continued to play on and it gradually got worse. By the end of gym, I could not straighten my knee and it got a little bit swollen. So I ended up hobbling around on it for like 2 days. Saturday night comes and I was like, ok. I leave to Hungary in a week, I need to make sure that there is nothing wrong with me before I go. So turns out the doctor was closed on Saturday. So the front desk called him for me and he said just to take 600mg of Ibuprofen 3x's a day. Simple enough. So I did like the doc ordered me and Sunday morning my knee felt really quite well. Sunday we were able to walk to the temple being at main campus. It was so pretty and I took a ton of pictures. I was so happy and the day was quite cold, but still beautiful. My knee started hurting during the walk up to the temple, but not too bad still. Ever since then my knee has just been a little in pain.

     Turns out on Monday, the doctor followed up with my phone call and he made an appointment for me. So that made me miss my class in the morning on Monday. That appointment led to us going and getting x-rays and then coming back to just find out nothing was wrong. He told me  not to play or run at gym on it. haha, well I totally did and it was so fun! I didn't really even notice it when I was playing, and Tuesday it just continued to improve. Wednesday the doc randomly called me in again for a check up and asked how it was. I told him it was doing much better and was probably like 85% back to full strength. He didn't like that answer. He set me up for an MRI appointment today. Go figure. Now... let's talk about today!

     Thursday, woke up and went to the temple for the last time for probably 2 years. Super sad and I miss it. But I will be ok:) Took a lot of pictures there too:) haha, then returned and started the never ending journey today. So Cathcart Elder came with me all day, oh how I love him. Vanem Sorensen wanted to stay here and go to class and do P day stuff, I don't blame him. (this is why I am emailing late tonight, this is the first chance I have gotten to email.) We caught a ride from a MTC shuttle driver(van driver) and went to Riverwoods Imaging center. My appt. was for 1:40. Yeah, of course we were there 30 minutes early, and we didn't get in for a hour and a half. So when I finally got in, they had me change out of my clothes and remove all the metal. We walked into this huge room, and left Cathcart Elder in the other room. I laid on the table, they secured my knee. And then, the longest half hour of my life started. The machine was constantly buzzing and was really annoying. I got the biggest headache from it being way loud!!! After that was finally over, couldn't move while I was in it and all that jazz, we returned. We ate dinner, and went to the doctor. He said he would meet up with me tomorrow. So, I am missing part of my infield orientation tomorrow to finally and hopefully get a  result on this beautiful injury:) ah:) ya that's like all. Sunday was way good, testimony meeting was incredible. It has all been for the prepartion of leaving to Hungary. I miss you all, and I pray for you:) Read the Book of Mormon(the good book) and use it! 

     Oh, and I leave at 5:05 a.m Monday morning and my flight leaves at like 9:45 a.m. After that, we should land in Amsterdam, Netherlands at around 11:30 p.m. here. 3 hour wait. Then fly a couple to Buda. I will be there around 5 or 6 a.m here:)

 
Nichols Elder

First Day at main campus in our tiny little room;)


So we are freezing in this picture. So if you look too close at our faces, they just don't seem happy. I blame it on my cheeks being frozen stiff:)

Here is a beautiful little temple flower. Oh, so cute:)

So this is today! Our last day at the temple. Still cold, so I decided not to smile that much:)

 Here is when the Provo temple was dedicated:)
Ya I am on the floor. I just wanted to:) but this is the back side of the Provo temple today. This is me and my comps, and the new finnish! We have gotten to know them and love them.

I was standing a little close to a sister. So I stepped back;)

Week 8 Pictures


Me and Jared Barton, it was nice to see him as well!!! And I just noticed, I usually don't eat with my jacket on, that is why in every pic so far I am not wearing a suit because it is in the cafeteria.

one of my fav's. We were waiting for the new finnish on Sunday to go a our sunday walk. And this is what we ended up doing:)

 This is during our Sunday Walk. It was such a nice day!!!
 I turned on Super vivid mode on my camera to catch all of the colors:) I am wearing my awesome glasses that change to sunglasses. I just like this pic, I don't know why:) I look like I am preaching;)

So this is probably really hard to see. But there's me and my comps climbing the MTC (mountain to climb or missionary training center) Then we cross the river of our countries. And then we climb the mountain of life.... So all of it is English, then some Estonian. The only thing Hungarian is Magyaroszag and Esztorszag

 
This was today, when we had to wait in the MTC main campus doctor's office for Vanem Sorensen. We found this bottle game. There is two holes in the stick. there are two bolts, two washers, and two nuts in the bottle. You have to get the bolts in the holes and fastened on. Without taking any of it out of the bottle. It took forever, but I got it:) I signed the stick to prove it!!!
Nathan Goins and I!!! He is doing good, actually he is in Washington now. Haha

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Week 8


Sziastok Everyone!!!!

   How is everyone doing? I hope everyone is doing just great, I know I have been. But here is the weird information for this week. So along with moving to main campus on Monday, I have also received a new mail box that I will be using for the next week and a half.

Nichols Elder

Nov 11 Hun-Bud

2023 N. 900 E. Unit 306

Provo, UT 84602

     I would love to receive letters and stuff from you all. All the stuff that was sent to my old address will hopefully be forwarded here. So that is why I have not written everyone a whole lot this week. I will try to use some of my time today to write back to everyone. So... How to put this. Main campus is alright. Yup, that's all I have to say about this campus. That, and the keyboard on this computer is so messed up. The shift key is hard as a rock, so if I have an accidental lowercase somewhere, please forgive me. 

     But, last weeks TRC, well it was just an interesting one to say the least. So Neni and Marcus showed up again(Neni is grandma) and we taught them. We had a super good conversation with them at the beginning, everyone was laughing and participating. Then we said an opening prayer and started going into the revelation through church doctrine. So we asked Marcus how he felt about that on his mission. We heard what we expected but it was neat to hear about his experiences in Hungary. Then we heard from Neni. And she, no joke, spoke for the next 40 minutes in Hungarian about her conversion story. It was so unneeded but it's whatever. It was cool to hear about, minus the part we were supposed to be practicing teaching not listening. But I liked it!!! The weekend went well, Sunday was our last real day at the West Campus. It was sad saying goodbye to Parker Howell, and Jared Barton. But I'll see them in two I guess. Then all of our food that we had. Which was a ton I might add, we gave to Parker and his companions. They basically love us now:)

     So main campus. The rooms are smaller than a whole apartment obviously!!! But, we are making do with what we have.  Now trying to run around and figure stuff out is the fun part. Like today for instance. Today is the start of my consecration week with my companions. And it is killing me already. I think it is quite funny how Vanem Sorensen doesn't understand us though and we're talking up a storm. But I think he will get irritated with us quite soon. He made a rule not to speak any English with each other. NONE. So, it is going ok right now. Cathcart Elder and I are enjoying this though. We just talk all the time. Minus right now, when I promise you this is the quietest time of the whole week. When all you hear are computers and keyboards just trying to fly at the speed of light while the operators(us) try to type as fast as we can. hahahaha, I think it is funny.

     Spiritual Experiences this week. Good question. I think that this week was so good!! I felt the spirit quite a bit, but Tuesday night we had our devotional, sang "Be Still My Soul" in choir and then listened to Carlos A. Godoy. He shared his conversion story with us and it was so funny!! He kept us laughing so much, he just made you want to sit forward in your seat and pay attention. And he kept it at a level that the missionaries could understand. I got a lot out of that talk. We received new missionaries last night. It was definitely interesting, because I was told by one of my comps that I talk too much. Which isn't hard to believe because I like talking to people. So naturally I sat there, and tried not to do too much. But everyone just sat there!! I was like "What the Crap!!!!!" The MTC should be fun, so I made it fun. We got talking, and talking, and laughing. But when the time was running out, I still had time to bear testimony and get serious. I feel like even though I did not stay quiet like I was told to do so, I learned a lesson. Sometimes, I need to be more focused, and now that I am trying to do that, I am grateful that Elder said that. 

     I am grateful for all of you, I pray for you. I miss you. I have one more P-Day in the MTC. So I am naturally excited for that. Miss you all, love you.

 Nichols Elder

 

Oh, read the Book of Mormon. It is TRUE. I bear simple testimony to you that if you will apply it and really use it. It will guide you.

 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Week 7


Szia Everyone!!!

     How is everyone doing? P.S., this is where you write me back and say, it's just fantastic Nichols Elder!! So now that I got the point that I love receiving letters from you all and hinted you all to write me more, I will start talking about this week. This week has been mind blowing! I am so grateful for all the blessings and miracles I was able to witness this week!! The gospel is so true and I know it, oh how I know it.

     So to start I want to talk about last thursday, which was the most spiritual day since I have been here. The TRC last week went well. We ended up teaching one returned missionary and his wife who did not understand what we were saying the whole time. And then a neni(grandma) who was Hungarian came in and she was so nice and her accent was incredible, so basically I was trying to say what she said the rest of the night(if you could imagine me trying to make words sound like an old lady...). Then as usual, Marcus, our favorite TRC investigator came. We taught him and followed up and all. He really had to think about the questions we asked, and you could just feel the spirit from him. After every TRC we always get reviews from the people that we taught at TRC telling us what they felt, what they liked and what they think they can do better. Well, for the first time ever. We had our investigator, Marcus, write on the paper, that he could tell we cared for him. And that really made my night. The rest of the night I couldn't stop thinking about that and how when we care for our investigators the lessons and material we want them to learn just goes smoother. They can feel that this is important to us and when they see that, that opens up the opportunity for the spirit to touch their hearts. Now if that wasn't enough! As we were packing up our gear from the classroom, one of my companions wasn't feeling too good. He basically told us wanted a blessing when we got back to the apartment. I told him to think about who he wanted to give it and when we arrived back, he asked me. I was happy to. Now for those who do not know this, this was my first blessing I have ever given. And I was shaking and way nervous. So I reviewed how to give a blessing in the "white bible"(missionary handbook) and then put my hands on his head. As soon as I did that, I received and overwhelming feeling of love and comfort. In my head I remembered, open your mouth and God will put the words there. So that's what I did, and I cannot tell you anything I said. It just happened, but! After it happened, I looked at my companions and you could tell that we all just felt the same thing. The spirit was so strong in our apartment that night and we could feel it. So strong.

     So Sunday I was put in as an official zone leader and got to sit on the stand and stuff with my comps. It was kinda cool:) It was also a really sad day, because all of the "old" finnish that we have been with for the past 6 weeks were leaving early the next morning. It was crazy, and super sad. But all the new missionaries have a glowing light about them and I love to see that. I have gotten to know them better and I look forward to the next 2 and a half weeks with them til we leave. Monday morning, we woke up at 4 and said goodbye to all our old fins, it was so sad and hard. But I know they are doing well now.

     So the rest of the week was pretty basic in the MTC, minus the part that we move to main in 4 days. Tuesday we have to be packed up and moved into our new home. They are making this whole campus Spanish. And I have seen Jared Barton and Parker Howell since being here. It has been super nice.

      And today!!! So we went to the temple with the new fins, and they all loved it. But we waited for them so we could show them where to go on main campus to get travel stuff done. After we showed them where, they all left back to West campus. We stayed because Vanem Sorensen wasn't feeling too good. So we were there an hour, then  they sent us to go get x-rays. Which was down the street at the byu med place. Then walked all the way back to the campus. To find out we needed to go get a prescription, then walked all the way back to the byu med place. And after that we were able to come back home:) It's been a long day already, but I hope yours will be good!!! I miss you all and think about you often! Can you believe it has almost been 2 months!! In a couple weeks!!! Mind blowing!!!

 
Szia, Nichols Elder

Saturday, October 19, 2013

WEEK 6

Dear Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Can I just say that this week was probably the most frustrating, the most difficult, and probably... no it WAS the BEST week as well!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Ok so let's start at the beginning.  Last Thursday we got to teach in TRC again. And we had the same guy as the week before! I absolutely loved it because we got to have a really nice conversation with him and understood and participated in it!!  I know that I could not have done that all by myself. When we ended that 20 minutes with him, we came out into the hall and talked to our teacher. He always asks how we can improve. And...well we decided that we talked really well, but we didn't teach any lesson or principle to him. So...we decided we needed to do that next time. We went back in the room and taught him one more time. And that time, I felt the spirit and he did too. I think that was a turning point, that let me know that I really can improve in the language, and that I really am blessed to be learning in the MTC, where I can feel the spirit everyday.  
    There are always those lessons where you just get super frustrated, and you know that your investigator is not feeling it. But!!! Fortunately this week, that was not why I got down a bit. The lessons we taught this week were so strong and powerful. I don't even remember what I said coming out of one of the lessons! It is incredible how if we make a plan and study the language, the scriptures and the principle then go into the lesson and really follow the spirit, you almost ALWAYS change your plan and teach, WITH the spirit as your guide. It is a truly incredible experience and it makes all the hard days ten times better.
    The frustrating thing to me this week was struggling making a lesson plan together. A lot of the time we are super determined that our lesson plan is better than the other comps and that is not always the case. I really try to listen to them, and it does help a lot so it hasn't been that bad this week. I have found that through praying for them, and through loving them unfeigned that my day, their day, our teaching, everything goes a lot oh a lot better. I just love it.
    So...Sunday, we had a devotional where we went to the chapel here on Wyview campus and watched a broadcast from Richard I Heaton. The Director of the MTC. It was good I thought. And then here comes the way fun news! So that .night we were given a service card by an employee telling us that we had service on a Sunday night at 9...Ya we thought it was dumb too. But we went and watched our Sunday night movie which happened to be about when Elder Holland came to the MTC awhile back.  It was so good, I was taking so many notes! Then, it came time to go do service. So we picked up our stuff and as we walked out of the door of the cafeteria (where the movie was held) it was pouring, and when I say pouring, I mean pouring rain!! NO JACKET, NO UMBRELLA. Probably the most wet I have ever been. Then our whole zone ran through the rain, got to where we were supposed to meet for service and the entire room was black, and empty. No one was there. So then we ran in the rain AGAIN to the main office. They said that we needed to come back another day. Wow...fun right. So we then had to run all the way back to our residence. It was a run, let me tell you. I am so out of shape on the mission!!!! But along with hating it in the moment, as soon as we sat down, it was so much fun to talk about it!! I think of it like this...I have two years to make the best movie anyone  has ever seen and heard about. I am writing the script everyday. And God has a huge influence on the script, but some days he likes to have a little fun with us:)
    So, Tuesday finally rolls around and guess what?  We rode the bus to main campus and got to sing in the choir there. Yes I am one of the fifteen high tenors in a choir with over 500 people.  Ya...we hit some dang high notes.,. But it was fun nevertheless. So we walk in and sit down and of course I look around for people that I may know. I casually said hi to the person behind me, then took a second look...IT WAS PARKER SAMUEL HOWELL!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh how I love that elder! It was so nice to talk to him for the longest time.  I was surprised that he was singing in the tenor section...but whatever:) 
    The awesomeness of that night doesn't end there. We were broadcast live that night to all the MTC's worldwide because Dallin H. Oaks spoke to us. One of the most incredible talks I have ever heard from him. When his wife got up to speak first, she told us to pray for her husband right now before he speaks. So of course I'm like, well I pray for my companion while we teach, so that makes sense. As soon as I bowed my head, I mean that instant..Wow, I was filled with the spirit. I couldn't move, I couldn't think, I was just overcome with it!!  And that really made the talk ten times more spiritual for me and he answered many questions I had!!!
    So this leads us to Wednesday. If I have not mentioned this earlier, I am sorry. But the Finnish we are here with in our zone, ya they leave on Monday.  So we got new Finnish!!!! They are so young, and innocent. I can't wait to teach and be a zone leader (oh ya I was made a zone leader on Sunday) to them and set an example. I really am so HAPPY!!!!!!
    Now today, the temple was good of course. I really enjoy going there and feeling the spirit. It is nice to not have to worry about speaking Hungarian in the temple. The grounds are so beautiful. But really, I love the view you have from there. You can see Utah Lake, and the football field (which by the way is basically across the street from where I live right now!!!) So I can hear some of the game from the announcer...not like I try or anything;) No really, but some take it way too far when that happens and go to as close as they can get on the campus, sit down, and listen. That's when its like you're just stupid. I don't say that, well, maybe not in English;) Haha, no I love it here and God really does play a huge role here and in the mission field and in LIFE!!!
    Love you all, I love hearing from you all the time!!
 Szia,   Nichols Elder

   

Week 6 Pictures

 Ya, I love Elder Howell!!!
 5 men who all went to high school together. From left to right. Cameron Chester going to Brazil. A.J. Halling going to Boston. Anthony Enniss going to Denmark. Parker Howell going to Argentina. Me going ... somewhere ;)
 The view from the temple this morning!
So this is us, like 2 hours ago. We basically got really bored and started taking pictures. So I set the timer and this is what happened!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Week 5

Why Szia everyone!!!
    How are things going at home?? I hope all of you who read this will write me and let me know how you really are doing and what has been going on at home. I miss home a lot and there still hasn't been one day where I haven't thought about the people, my family, my friends, random things!! But I can testify that since I have been out in the work of the Lord, I have seen many great and important things happen in my life. And little miracles. So now, I will start to describe my last week and those little miracles that have occurred!!
So! Last Thursday I got a haircut and it looks mighty fine if I do say so myself!! I talked both of my comps into getting the same length of hair, so we all basically look the same, it's fun! Then we taught TRC, so that random investigator who is usually a returned missionary speaking Hungarian. It is extremely hard because they usually already have a solid grasp on the gospel, so we usually just try to point out how their mission was very powerful and how sometimes when we're in the real world, we lose track of that. So we try to get them to commit to studying more and making time for it, and it has worked every time for us.
Friday, hmm... Well Friday and Saturday are always pretty lame around the MTC. Minus the part that it was conference this last Saturday!! Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was told by my teachers, to only write down what the Spirit directs me to write. And basically, I filled out like 20 pages in my journal. It was go good, by far the most meaningful conference to me. I could relate almost every talk to me someway and being on a mission, I really really really like Edward Dube's talk. It was so good, I encourage you all to read it again and put yourselves on the missionary train, and start finding ways you too can be better and look forward and what work there is still for everyone to do. Sunday was also a very good day at the MTC. So for conference, all of us west campus people wake up early in the morning and have to be in our seats 30 minutes early. Then we watch conference in the most uncomfortable chairs. Then go and eat at the cafeteria which is huge! But when there are a few thousand missionaries in there, it's extremely hard to move, let alone get food. Through all the grief of being on main campus, I am so grateful that I am where I am. Then Sunday night, for our devotional, we had Vocal Point come and sing and perform and also share some of their thoughts on their missions. It was so strong, and the last member of the crew to bear his testimony, really hit me strongly. He was a greenie in his mission, just got there that day. And his comp was having a hard time. His comp was there a year and a half. Then for some reason, he thought of a scripture about repentance. Turns out, the elder had not repented of past sins. And this event led to him feeling better and finishing his mission worthy and feeling that worthiness from the Lord.
    I could go through all the days, but none really stick out to me. So here are some experiences I had though. Cathcart Elder and I teach Hungarian almost every day to our teachers, and they pretend to be investigators in Hungary. So it's frustrating almost every day. But at least once a week we feel the spirit so strongly. And the words from our mouths just flow and when I get lost, he picks up right where I left off. And same with him. I know that God has a lot of say in what is being taught, actually he has all the say. I know this because we have prepared lesson after lesson on what we think the person needs to hear. Then we go in there, and somehow we end up following the spirit and it leads us to a completely different topic. But I know that the investigators can tell the difference, and I know that I can. Teaching with the spirit, having the spirit in our lives is so necessary and important.
    So this week I will be reading in the Book of Alma about missionary work. I am reading Alma 17 through 25. I invite all of you to read this with me and share insights you receive with me.
I miss you all, love you all. Oh and my eye is getting better slowly, but it is!! So that's a relief. And the Finnish elders and sisters all started their consecration week today. So they can't speak English until next Thursday. I am still losing a little weight. Not much. But I eat all the time, so I don't know. Life is great, miss you.

Szia,
Nichols Elder

 At conference with my comps!!!
 I don't know why, but this tree smells like cream soda :)
This is during TALL, and interactive program to speak and listen to Hungarian

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Week 4

Why Hello Hello!!!
     The MTC recently has been really good. This last week was one of the most, no, probably the most spiritual experiences I have ever had in my life. But I'm going to go day by day to describe my experience. So first thing first!!! Last Thursday me and Cathcart Elder got to teach TRC (training resource center). So what happens is a member, usually returned missionaries come and speak all Hungarian to us and no English. It is really neat experience because they never really slow down. It is also really frustrating because you really have no clue what they're saying and then they start laughing or something... ya... But it is good. And we flowed pretty well with our teaching that night. Friday came and went. Nothing really happened that was too crazy. I specifically remember Friday was the hardest day of the week. Mainly because I started to get sick. I got the sniffles and a sore throat. It was rough the last week trying to get over this. But today I think it is mostly gone. I'm still a little stuffy but for the most part I feel extremely good!!! On last Saturday we didn't really do anything too exciting. Sunday though!!! Sunday was amazing!! First it was our first fast Sunday since we have been here. It was neat because we started the day with a Mission Conference. Mission Conference is basically like MTC Conference. We all meet in the Chapel, cafeteria, and main campus to hear from a member of the seventy and from our MTC presidency. It is really neat. And 2 whole hours. So most of the missionaries dozed off, I am happy to say. I was only out like 2 or 3 minutes :) That night, we had our usual Sunday devotional. This time we had the Provo Temple President come and talk to us. He really based most of his talk on the women of this church. And the importance of respecting a woman. And how God, wants us to respect women as much as possible. I know that the importance of women is indescribable. And after he went on about women, he then got into our quiet time. Quiet time is time to ponder on what has happened that day. And I really have started doing this with more purpose and more meaning. And it makes all the difference in the world to get down on your knees and thank God for all that has happened in your day and much much more.
     Monday rolls around!!! The days are still going good. But on Monday morning, I woke up with a lovely still growth like thing under my left eye. It kinda bugged me. But I put it off and said oh whatever, it's not going to get in the way of my teaching and learning here at the MTC. I got letters. On Monday, we do not have a family night or anything like it. It's just another night to plan and get ready for the next day. Tuesday was really good as well!!! Tuesday we were able to teach in Hungarian again (well everyday we teach in Hungarian), but Cathcart Elder and I have been a lot more unified and Tuesday's lesson was an example of that.I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve with him and cannot wait for the 5 weeks to come here at the MTC. The Tuesday night devotional we were invited to attend at the main campus. So we all walked up the main campus. It was funny though because the bus asked if we wanted a ride, and we said we wanted to walk. Then one of the sister missionaries in our zone got on the bus and it drove away. So basically we lost one of the missionaries in our zone. I thought it was funny and just a learning experience. That IS why we are at the MTC, to learn to not make those mistakes in the field. The devotional last night was really good as well. It was given by David S. Baxter of the seventy. He focused on how "Christian" we really are. And all the things that we do, and how we don't have faith on a cross, but on our people. I really liked that. Later that night we met with President Anderson (our branch president) and we had a devotional review. Everyone in our zone shared their thoughts and bore testimony of what had been said. But then, Pres. Anderson got up and gave his remarks (for those of you who do not know him, aka... all of YOU!!! He is a man of God). He started off by saying, "the only thing empty in our religion, is the tomb." Wow... Then he went on and bore strong testimony of the things which had been shared. I love that man, and he loves us. I know that.
   Wednesday was crazy. One, while me and Cathcart Elder taught our lesson in Hungarian, the words just seemed to come out of my mouth!!! I struggled early on in the lesson. But by the end! You could definitely feel the spirit in there, and Cathcart Elder and I just flowed and filled in the gaps for each other. If I didn't have a word to say, he would say something. And it worked the other way around as well. I felt the spirit so strong in those lessons. I love being able to feel the spirit as much as I am while I am here at the MTC. I am grateful for my teachers, zone, and comps. You can really tell that all of us have strong leadership qualities and there are reasons we are all going to Finland, Estonia, and my country of Hungary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wednesday night is also clean up night. Our inspectors (MTC workers) come and inspect the cleanness of our apartment. I hate these nights, but it was good and I think we will pass this time!! (We didn't pass last week.....) But yeah :):)
Oh today. Well today we went to the temple, and guess what!!! WE DID MORE INITIATORIES!!! That really seems to be all we do on a P day. But it's good because then we went to main campus to have my eye checked. It's nothing bad but a small growth on the bottom of my eyelid. They said to take Cephalexin to reduce the growth and then apply heat to my eye about 5 minutes a day through a wet wash rag. Easy enough right? ;)  We also did service today and we made a ton of beds in a new apartment. It was fun and we are all... well.... we talked more than we worked. But it's fun and we still did a lot!!! We sing all the time too!!! Basically, I love the youth music on lds.org :)
   We are not going anywhere for conference, just walking up to main campus all day both days to watch. No one is singing in conference either... bummer. The language is really coming. I am more and more satisfied almost everyday.!!! How is the blog going Madre?!?! I hear you are trying to figure out how to use it.. Well... Amanda can help you with that :) Mark... oh my dear Mark. I hope you get well soon dude!! Get your butt in the mission field, it is so worth it. My testimony, my learning, my skills, All of this has increased drastically!!! We also heard recently that my comps and I may be moved to main campus in November. That is not good!!!!!!!! I love it here, and I would rather not group shower..... :) Some of the things we work on as a companionship is memorizing scriptures almost every week and reciting them. Then setting new and improved goals. It is going really well with that!!! Well, I have a haircut to get to. My hair is getting a little long. And it's free here, so I might as well take advantage of that!!! Don't worry Mom, it won't be cut TOO short ;)
   I love you all, and miss each one of you
Szeretem Neketek (I love you all)
Nichols Elder

 The last night at the Marriott Center, it was a blast :)
 The sunrise from our apartment
 Look who came to the MTC, he still has his dork dot! haha
 Teaching Cathcart Elder (aka Novak Djokovic) to shave ;) he looks just like him!
 Rehearsing a new piece for sacrament in a couple weeks!! :)
Got to see Elder Ericcson the moment before he left for Russia!!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Week 3

"Sziastok!!!!
    Well... It's official. My life in the MTC is super tough. Last week I had the opportunity with my companion, Cathcart Elder, to teach our first lesson to an investigator in hungarian. Like zoinks!!!! I was super nervous. As we taught, it was not as flowy as when we taught ricsi (our first English investigator) in English. We struggled and we didn't know how to ask "may we come in" or "we need to go, when can we schedule our next visit with you!!??" Ya... Probably pretty important to learn how to say those things when you are in a lesson.
     The teaching continues, and we have now taught 4 lessons in Hungarian, which by the way has to be ten times harder than Finnish because I have learned more Finnish listening to the elders in my zone than I have Hungarian!! And they sound nothing alike. We have determined that Estonian and Finnish have a lot of words that are similar. And then there is us Hungarian elders. Ya... It's hard.
     We also had our first SYL(speak your language) day... Last Friday we tried to go throughout the day only speaking our language. It was especially hard for me because I love talking to people. I couldn't figure out how to say what I wanted to in English in Hungarian. But yesterday, oh yesterday. Yesterday Cathcart Elder and I gave a lesson to Erik (an investigator). He was literally falling asleep the whole time and it was frustrating because I didn't know enough to keep him awake. Then we couldn't feel the spirit at all. After the lesson, we came out of the room, sat at our desks, and thought. How can we change what just happened and make it better. We set a lot of new goals that we are trying to meet each time we teach now and I hope it goes ten times better than what happened yesterday. Speaking of yesterday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BEST DADDY IN THE WORLD!!!! YOU DA BOMB!!!
    On Sunday we were able to attend church in the chapel this time instead of being crammed into a little room, which was nice. The way they do it here, you run through the beginning, and then do the sacrament. And right after they are done passing the sacrament, the Branch Presidency stands up and announces which one of us is speaking. So we have to prepare a talk every Sunday so that we are prepared and don't sound way silly. After church we went to choir. Oh choir, we may be a lot of young strong voices, but they are not NEAR the pitch that we should be hitting. haha, I think it is quite funny and I end up usually laughing and smiling all of choir practice. We attended our last choir and devotional at the Marriott Center on Tuesday. They are not letting us go back on Tuesday night devotionals because guess what... Basketball is here finally!!! That last devotional on Tuesday was by far the best talk I have ever heard. I heard so many things that I needed to hear, and it directly related to me as a missionary. Don R. Clark of the seventy is who spoke and he had some cool quotes that really stuck out to me. One of them being, "Don't teach with your head, teach with your heart." or "the work is not for all of you, some will become MISSIONARIES, some will never fully understand that word."
     Gym time!!! Gym time is the best time of the day by far! Because we can "unwind" not "unravel" and be who we are! It was so much fun the past few days because I have been playing a lot of beach volleyball and there is one elder, our zone leader, Vanhin Call. He is so much fun to play with, and me and him get along really well. Then yesterday it was pouring rain and it was freezing cold. But we chose to stick it out and play basketball. Our hands were numb and we were soaking wet, but that's what made it fun. Since we had no traction on the street we couldn't play competitively at all. So it was more of a joke and just goofing off and laughing about every... oh... I'd say 5 seconds:) We go to the temple every Thursday with our zone, and it is the best experience. My companionship have decided to do inititories both weeks we have had the chance. Because Cathcart Elder has had to go to main campus to get immunization stuff since he is from Ireland. So yeah. But service is every Thursday and it is way fun!! We cleaned the laundry mat today! yeah... not fun. But we made it fun as we sang songs and worked. So apparently it snowed in the mountains? I saw snow this morning! I think that about covers it. Oh wait!!
      Tudom hogy, ha olvasnád a szentirás. Tudni fogsz az evangélium igaz. És, olvasnunk kell a mormon kőnyve sok mert a mormon kőnyve segithatunk. tudom hogy, tudom hogy.
      Szeretem téged sok
      Sziastok
Nichols Elder"

Here's a photo update!

Here is my name tag!!!
 Thanks to Brandon Nichols, I now have 26 ties to choose from each day :)
 These are some of the Finnish elders dropping by for a pic! Vahin Call is the one in the orange, he's pretty cool :)
First time at the temple last week!! :)
Here is the travel center at the MTC, and our famous 'where we are going' pose... :)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Week 1

"September 19, 2013

Hello Everyone!!

The MTC how do I put this... It's extremely hard and frustrating at times. But like all the other missionaries here say, make it to Sunday and you can do anything. I think they told us that because the first few days you are running around trying to figure out how to do things. Let me start at the beginning for you:)

The first day of the MTC I was told I was going to West Campus. I was very excited that somehow I was able to be in the new of the MTC!!As I arrived on the bus, I looked out the window and what did I see!?! Elder Nathan Ericcson from Riverton, one of my good friends!! (He just left this week to Russia) He showed me around and told me I had two companions. He then told me where class was. Class is across the street every morning. The classroom is an apartment with a bunch of desks in it, a whiteboard, a kitchen, two bathrooms, a computer for the teachers and a tv. When I walked in I was expecting to see all the Hungarian missionaries! And there was one. He happens to be one of my companions.  Cathcart Elder (last name first in Hungarian) and he is so much fun! He is from Ireland  and speaks with a hard accent! I have 3 teachers, Runnels testver, Grossen testver, and Moody nover. (testver is brother and nover is sister) They started speaking Hungarian as soon as we walked in the door. The day went by and then I was able to meet the other members in our district! (basically districts are elders in your rooms up to six) Well we only had one other member. His name is Vanem (elder) Sorensen. Vanem Sorensen is from Lehi and has graduated UVU with a bachelors in digital media. He is only 19. So we have three in our apartment and it is really nice. I have my own room and closet and my own desk!!! basically I'm just loving life. As the days have progressed we have had opportunities to go to devotionals on Sundays and Tuesdays. Tuesday I was able to sing in the choir at the Marriott Center!!! So beautiful. One thing that I have noticed about the MTC is that I end up feeling the spirit everyday, more than ONCE!!!! It is such a blessing to be here and draw myself closer to God.

Cathcart Elder and I have been teaching an investigator by the name of Ricsi (Ree Chee) since the Friday we arrived. Fortunately, for us our teachers want us to understand how to teach in English first, then this Saturday, the 21 of September, we teach our teachers in Hungarian. Wahoo...The good news is Cathcart Elder and I really do well together. We are getting better at teaching since we started. Personal study is really nice. I have found a whole new look on how to read the scriptures so I started over:)

Gym is so much fun!!! The other elders in our zone (the finland elders and sisters) invite me to play basketball with them which I have found to be a good workout  and fun. I try to workout at least 3 times a day and just maintain somewhat healthy. The food at West Campus...is...worse than Riverton High. Yes...I am saying that is 100% the truth. But they basically offer a donut every meal and always have soda!!! That's nice:) I like Sprite..:) I have actually lost a belt loop of weight, so I am excited!!! I kinda forgot my becase I was so excited to email.. so I haven't tried to get pictures in an email...I will for sure try to remember next! And I have been taking a lot of pictures. The language is coming. I probably know 200 words and the alphabet. It's hard in Hungarian because of all the cases. The endings that we put at the end of the word. For example, megyunk, is we go, or megyok is I go. AND  I AM PRETTY SURE YODA OFF STAR WARS IS BASED ON HUNGARIAN!!!!   You don't say I will try, you say, TRY, I WILL:):)
That is for the most part everything that has happened this week. P-day is on Thursday and I would really appreciate mail or packages!!! It does seem to make our days a lot better! Dear Elder is a good way to communicate with me here. I have been receiving letters from my family and it seems to really work well!!! Minus the fact that apparently it takes 6 days for my letter to get home...So do what you please. I will bless my testimony and then let you all have a nice week and enjoy the various activities you may be doing.

Tudom hogy, az evangelium az igaz. Hogy Jezus Krisztus es Isten szeret minket. Az evangelium megaldnak csaladak. Menneyl Atyank szeret minket es szeretunk Istent, Jezus Kristztus neveben, Amen.

I know that you don't understand that, and it is brief and probably mostly wrong. But it will get better!!! Oh and read the Book of Mormon today if you haven't this week. The words are meant for each of us personally, and I bear testimony of that.

Szerette (love to you all)
Nichols Elder"

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

FINALLY A LETTER!

We're so glad that a letter finally came! He wrote it on his second day at the Provo MTC, but didn't mail it until Monday! And it's even handwritten!

"Sept. 12th, 2013    10:29 PM

Dear Family,

Yes I am here safely! My lights are supposed to be out... But I thought I would write you and let you know I am doing fine! The first and second day have been extremely hard. The first day our teachers only spoke Hungarian! And to make it more interesting... My entire district, companionship, and roommates  are 2 elders :) Cathcart Elder (from Ireland) and Vanem Sorensen (from Lehi). Cathcart Elder and I are the only two Hungarian missionaries. Vanem Sorensen is the only Estonian missionary. I have my own room and tonight (Thursday) I was just appointed District Leader. The language is super hard but we're working on it. I found out P-day is on Thursday. So next week I will email you! I'm now five minutes past bed with so much more to say!! I need to be an example here, so I'm going to bed. Miss you, Love you.

Nichols Elder"