Monday, October 27, 2014

First Week in Paraguay!

Monday October 27, 2014

Hola Familia!

Well I’m still alive -haha and I finally made it to PARAGUAY!! I woke up at 4am in the CCM, got on the airplane for a couple hours and I made it! I’m just gonna run by some cool stuff that happened this week!

Driving here is literally insane! Going from the airport to the mission office was so crazy! I don’t know how we all made it alive -haha but really there are zero rules when it comes to driving. It’s super sketchy. We got to the office and they fed us some really good food.  We had a couple of meetings and then we got to walk around the temple. Man that was super cool. After, we practice a song and didn’t know why we were practicing, but then they told us we’re singing at a baptism service tonight! It was one of the coolest experiences of my life! We got to watch the baptism and everything! Also on the ride back to the office I was in a van full of Latinos and then just me. There was only spanish speaking going around... lets just say it really hit me how hard this is going to be to learn the language! Also on the ride back I saw these super sketchy looking wooden huts with metal roofs on the side of the road.  I didn’t want to ask the question being afraid to hear the answer but I asked it…”Do people actually live in those things?” I got an answer back that I will never forget.  From the AP who spoke English. He said, ¨Oh yeah! Those are the really nice ones too because they have wood sides and actually have a roof.´´  Wow. I have definitely learned to be grateful for what I have and how lucky I am and I continue to thank Heavenly Father everyday for it. 

The next day I got my first comp! His name is Elder Hathaway and he is from Corona California. He has been out for a little bit longer than a year. He’s a super cool guy and the most important part is he speaks ENGLISH!!!! Anyway, they just told us to leave the office so we had to grab all our stuff and find a taxi to take us to our new area, which is like 1 hour and 30 min. away from Asunción.  The city is called Itauguà. It’s a small city right at the center with some supermarkets and stuff but if you walk 15 min out it gets chaco(jungle) super fast -haha. The food is so good! I eat empanadas all the time and I’m always trying new stuff!  We are whitewashing in this new area and it has been closed for the past little while so this should be fun.  

Next my first real normal day in the mission! We woke up at 6:30 and exercised for a bit then had to go get some groceries cuz we have no food -haha yeah that was my first time buying groceries.... I ended up with some frosted flakes, a bag of milk (yeah, milk is in bags it’s super weird) and some bread-haha.  Then we just had to go contact everyone to try and find people because we were whitewashed here. It was cool though the other elders in our area next to us showed us this kid named Edurado and he took us around the rest of the day to talk to members and meet them. The other elders are super rad and everyone in our district is from America so I can speak in English! But I walked sooooooo much! 

Today, I have already improved in lessons and my language! Don’t get me wrong I can still barley speak the language but my comp is so great, he lets me teach a tiny part of the lesson or he´ll be talking and I’m not understanding any of it, then he´ll whisper in English ¨testimony about prophets¨ or something like that and I can do that! I know I’m almost useless -haha but one thing I’m good at is bearing my testimony! I love sharing what I know to be true. One thing I’ve noticed is that I feel the spirit soo much more when I’m out teaching. Like, I’m not used to feeling it so strong and so often! I know God is looking over me and is blessing me with so many things to help me out.  

Today was my first Sunday in Paraguay! I was really scared because most of the time the missionaries have to teach the classes or give talks in sacrament like my new comp was telling me he had to teach every single class in his other area.  So I was stressin just a little bit...haha but I totally lucked out! There are 2 returned missionaries in this branch and one is the branch president while the other is the ward mission leader and they taught all the classes. I understood almost nothing because everyone speaks so fast! But church was a super cool experience. After contacting the whole rest of the day we came home and Elder Hathaway said something I really liked.  After contacting this whole week and being constantly shut down, people hiding from us and getting mad at us. Yelling and laughing at us. I was a little heartbroken for these people that are missing out on our message and that we haven’t helped convert anyone yet. He told me that I have already converted someone. He told me the first person I convert on my mission is me.  And before I can help convert anyone else I need to have a rock solid testimony out here and be converted myself.  Which is so true because when I think about it in the 7 weeks that I’ve been away from home my testimony has grown so much! It’s so crucial that I have a rock solid testimony too because if I didn’t, to be totally honest, I would have been on a plane back to the states a couple of days ago.  This is by far the hardest thing I have done, we walk so many miles everyday and by the time I get to go to bed my legs are completely dead and I usually can’t feel the bottoms of my feet anymore.  We walk around all day in the scorching heat past 100 degrees and full of humidity, which doesn’t even go away at night. I’m lucky if I sleep for the whole night and don’t wake up because I’m soaked in sweat. Trust me I could go on about so much more -haha but I know my mom is reading this so I wont:)  But, I would not do ANY of this if I did not know for 100%, without any doubt at all, that the Book of Mormon is true and that this church is the true church of Jesus Christ restored on the earth once again. Because I know this I am willing to go through any trial or challenges, no matter how difficult it is, so that I can go help bring the gospel into these peoples lives. I know its really hard but honestly I am happier now that I have ever been in my whole life! I am finally starting to get why they call it the best 2 years.

I miss and love you all!
I hope you are all doing good and have a fantastic week!:)

Elder Midsize(Nyberg)

First Companion: Elder Hathaway 
First Area: Itauguà

                                                                     Paraguay Temple

                                      Nate's & his cousin in the CCM

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Paraguay Arrival

October 20, 2014
Hey I’m leaving to Paraguay tomorrow morning super early but my fight leaves 7:35am Argentina time and my flight number is JJ8122K just incase I pull a Lost and my plane ends up on an crazy island in the middle of nowhere.  My Spanish is nowhere near fluent and I find myself playing a lot of charades –haha. But I can always get my meaning across so this should be really fun! I’m hoping and praying I get a sick trainer and same with my area. I’ll make sure to take tons of pictures. I’ll probably have some crazy stories about me taking on a jaguar or something. So yeah, look forward to Monday;) Laterrrrrrr

Elder Nyberg

October 21, 2014
Hey I have a couple minutes to email you. I made it to Paraguay safe and sound! It is soooo cool! I can tell already these are going to be the best 2 years! Anyway love you guys. My next p-day is Monday. You'll hear from me then! I love you all!

Elder Nyberg

Dear Family of Elder Nyberg:
We are so happy that your son has joined us here in the Paraguay Asuncion North mission.  We know that as he commits to work hard and be obedient to mission rules, and continues to study and seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost, he will have a great experience on his mission.  He will grow to love the people, he will be willing to pass through difficulties, and he will come to know and love his Savior in a more profound way than he has ever known.
Their first day here, we were able to give all the incoming missionaries some training on staying healthy, finances, mail, etc.  We were able to share some of the history of the Church here in Paraguay, go to the temple grounds, and participate in a baptism. 
Your son was interviewed and met his trainer, Elder Hathaway, who was specially chosen for him.  He has been trained to help your son in all the skills he will need to be a good missionary.  We hope you will enjoy these pictures that we are attaching.
Thank you for raising such a fine young man who is so willing to serve his Father in Heaven and be a blessing to the people here and to his fellow missionaries.  We truly pray for them every day and are committed to working diligently to help them in whatever they need to be happy and successful.
May the Lord bless you and your son for the sacrifices, the faith, and the love that you are extending to the people here.  Thank you for all of your support.
With love,
President and Sister McMullin

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Last Week In CCM

Hola Familia!

This week was a really good one and I hope you all had an awesome week too! I’m just going to go into some highlights throughout the week!

Thursday was p day and it was by far the funniest day of my whole entire mission so far! We usually get to go to the temple on p days that takes up most of our day but since its closed we got an extra 4 hours to play soccer and do whatever we want!  First of all today we got 21 new North Americans and 43 new Latinos! So it was super fun meeting everyone and we got 4 new Latinos in our room. One is even from Paraguay and he tells us tons of stories all about Paraguay its so legit.  Also, I met my second cousin Elder Evans.
The funniest part by far this week was; it’s been raining a ton all day and since we couldn't play soccer on the cement with the goals we started a game on the grass with shoes as goals.  It started raining like full out pouring and then the new missionaries joined in and the grass/dirt started to turn to straight mud.  It was soooo much fun! We played for like 4 hours straight!  We would be running and slide tackling like 10 feet every time we slid.  And the ground was super slippery so people were falling and slipping all the time.  Ah man, it was so funny! Once we scored a goal we would all do penguin slides through someone’s legs -haha or some other goal celebrations. Man, I love South America. life is good!

Saturday we got to go proselyting!  So first off there’s this one kid in my district who slipped and hurt his head, so my companion and me got stuck with another missionary in a trio for the whole time -hahaha that was........... Different.  It was really weird because my comp and me work super well together and compliment each other when we teach then we had this other missionary just going in at random times and really mixing it up.  He is one of those guys that is super excited to speak and always tries to talk as much as possible but doesn't think about where he is going with anything -hahah he just spits out whatever he is thinking.  The best part is right after he would say his random thoughts he would look at me to save him and explain everything -hahah lets just say I got lots of practice at adapting to a TON of different things -haha.  Something really good from having an extra person was we got to have more than usual book of Mormons and material to hand out! It was a really good day. We all worked really hard and compared to our last time out proselyting we tripled our numbers. My favorite investigator that I talked to for the longest time was Juan.  I don't know how or why but we always luck out and find people who speak really good English and Juan was one of those people -haha. He was 20 years old and kinda short like everyone else here –ha. He told me I look like I am 21 and my comp. looks 25!  Anyway, when we started talking to Juan he told us he didn't believe in a God.  He straight up said I only believe in science, I won’t believe something until I see it.  I had a really good conversation kinda like an Alma/Korihor thing goin on and it was sooo legit.  Mixed in some killer testimonies and the conversation was going really good.  Juan was a little stubborn so he would try to throw questions at us that he thought we would have no answer to. It’s crazy to think about all the answers and knowledge that comes from the gospel that I’ve had and just grown up with all my life.  There are so many people in this world who don't have that knowledge and have to just figure out life without it. Anyway, I was answering his questions just as fast as he could come up with another one to try and stump me.  In the end, He was kinda stubborn so he wouldn't take a book of Mormon or anything but we gave his friend one and a couple of pamphlets too.  I could tell Juan was really interested and learned a ton even though he shut me down in the end.  I did my best and even though he didn't accept everything, I definitely planted a seed for his faith to grow.  It might not be today, tomorrow or even in the next couple years but at sometime I really feel like his faith will begin to grow and he might even start to read the Book of Mormon we gave to his friend. 
Being in a place where barley any people know about the gospel and the knowledge and blessings it brings is really an eye opener for me.  Can you imagine not having any knowledge of the gospel and trying to figure out your way and purpose in this life?  I still can’t even grasp how lucky I am to have been born into the fullness of the gospel and all the blessings that come from it!

I found a fun fact kinda thing I wanted to share!  I learned for missionary’s in the Buenos Aires mission down here they get 1000 pesos a month to live off of which is like 120 bucks in US money.  I just checked my account balance for the month and I get $66.24 dollars to live off of for a whole month in Paraguay -haha, which transfers to 300,800 Guaraní. That kind of puts perspective on how bad their money is down here and how crazy cheap everything is!

Anyway, I hope you all are having an awesome time back home!
This is my last email before I’m shipped off to Paraguay so wish me luck!
I love and miss you all.

Elder Midsize(Nyberg)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

dulce de leche

Hola familia!

Just giving you a heads up this email is going to be kinda short because not much has been going on this week! We had conference so we didn’t get to go out proselyting on Saturday but it’s all good because I learned soo much! I’m gonna give you all a little run down on a couple of my favorite talks too.

This week consisted of tons of class and learning just like every other week. It helps that I get to be with my district while going through all of this. I really love my district. I have grown so close to them all! We have the best times together and I will always remember them for sure! I am having the best time of my life down here in South America! This week consisted of tons of class and learning just like every other week. It helps that I get to be with my district while going through all of this. I really love my district. I have grown so close to them all! We have the best times together and I will always remember them for sure! I am having the best time of my life down here in South America!
K, so there is this amazing stuff down here called dulce de leche, which is kind of like caramel but so much better! It’s in pretty much every candy and sweet thing down here.  It is super good with bread too. Anyway, they have a tray of them most mornings for us to eat at breakfast and they are sooo good! Since day 1 we were brought in on a secret group of elders that all have one big stash of dulce -haha. Since the older group of North Americans were leaving the next day (which was kind of sad) we all made it to our goal of 600 packets of dulce de leche -hahaha. There is a full drawer of them all the way to the top.  It’s so heavy; some elders struggle to even lift it up! I got some pictures ha all the elders are so proud of it. I’ll try to send a picture.

Neal L. Anderson had a pretty sick talk that I learned a lot from. I’m just going to run through a couple points that I liked, but I invite you all to go back and re-read it! 
- The Internet doesn’t have a "truth filter" about things you can find on Joseph Smith or the church. It might have an Infowest "Clean Filter";) but lots of false things are said about our prophets and our church that are out there, so be careful on what you find, read, and believe. God gave us his scriptures and prophets for us to use to learn and grow from.
- You wont be much help to others if your own faith/testimony isn´t solid. Just like the airplane video when the oxygen masks falls down. It says to put on your own mask first and then you can start to help others with their masks.
- Never doubt the testimony that you already have. 

Dieter F. Uchtdorf
- My favorite part of this gospel is that we can know the truth for ourselves. 
- God cares about us, he will listen and answer us.
- 1st Search the scripture of God with a sincere desire to uncover truth and prepare our minds to receive the truth.
-2nd, consider, ponder, try to believe, and be grateful.
-3rd. Ask Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ for the truth having a sincere heart and pure intent, and WITH faith. Having faith and showing our faith when we ask for truth doesn’t always mean we get an answer right away. I have had experiences where it took a while and lots of prayer, always keeping faith that God will answer us. 
-4th. Live the Gospel doctrine in your life you can test them with a sincere desire and intent to know for yourself.
After we have done these things God WILL answer you. Keep in mind answers can come many different ways and sometimes we can receive them when we least expect it. But I know he will answer your prayers because he has answered mine.
- "Gathering spiritual light is a quest of a life time but if we do our part it will come and it will be glorious"

My favorite talk was Jeffery R. Holland’s. If anyone hasn’t seen this, or even if you have, go back and watch it again. It was so good!
-It’s Mostly based on being humble and about the poor. For some reason I don’t know why, these two things have always felt like really important to me. Even starting with my mission call, my dream missions was someplace in Africa or in South America where the people don’t have a lot but they are completely humble. And somehow I’ve been blessed to serve in close to the poorest country in all of South America. I am still blown away that I get to wake up every day and live my dream.  I haven’t got to spend a ton of time outside the CCM to meet a lot of people but I can just tell these people are very humble and I am already starting to love them.
-Later on in his talk he gave the example of our prophet Tomas S. Monson coming off the airplane arriving back home from his mission wearing his slippers and different clothes because he gave EVERYTHING all the clothes down to his shoes to the poor. This part in the talk hit me so hard.  This is what I strive to be. This is where I want to be. I want to have a love for the Paraguay people so much that I would give anything to help them. I am grateful for the prophet and the example he is to me and all the other examples in my life, even Jesus Christ, the greatest example of all!

I love you guys. I hope you are all doing great! 

Elder Midsize(Nyberg)