Monday, May 19, 2014

Waking Up!

This week was amazing. Like, supercalifradgilisticexpialidocious amazing. It was really just THAT wonderful! Sorry it took so long to email you today, we went on a hike to Angel's Rest. It was beautiful!
We stopped at Multnoma Falls to take pictures first, then we went to Angel's Rest. It was quite the hike! But don't worry, I made it. This was the first time that we actually did something super fun all together as a zone. Elder Tiko ( from Fiji) had been there before, so he kinda led the way. Once we got to the top we sat on a bunch of rocks over looking the Columbia River and listened to some music. Brandon Heath to be exact. It was really nice! The weather was perfect, and although we all looked gross, we had a great time!

Me and Sister Rasmussen at Multnoma Falls
Our Awesome Zone
Elder Tiko likes to photo bomb everyone's pictures.
Angel's Rest with the Columbia River below

This glorious week began on Tuesday with exchanges. Exchanges are certainly not something I look forward to, but I really really enjoyed this one. We had dinner with a member who happens to be related to Cayden Morton. It is always fun to meet people out here who know the same people I know from back home. :) Exchanges were a tad different this time in that we exchanged at 10:30 in the morning and changed back the next day after studies instead of exchanging at night. It was interesting, but I kinda liked it. That night, I was sleeping in a rock hard bed so I didn't sleep a wink, but instead had all night long to ponder things. I'll come back to that.

On Thursday, we had zone conference. This is only the second one I've been to, but it was just as good as the first. I learned a lot about the kind of missionary I should be, and the way to get there! We learned this really awesome and incredibly simple way to teach the Restoration. I already know that the power if the Priesthood and the proper authority from God is necessary and super important in fulfilling the ordinances that God wants us to perform here on earth, but how to teach that to somebody else in a way that they will
understand that importance? Here's a thought: Why did Christ seek out John the Baptist when He was going to be baptized? Without going into the complicated lineage of John the Baptist, just ask yourself: Don't you think Christ would KNOW the correct way to be baptized? Wouldn't He KNOW who held the proper authority and who was able to perform that sacred ordinance? Oh I love that! We learned so many wonderful things at zone conference! Also, the night before, the AP's texted and asked if I would do a musical number. So I did. Except I made Sister Rasmussen do it with me. :) So we sang "Nearer My God to Thee" with the Ukelele accompanying us. It was nice.

After Zone Conference (which went from like 9 am to 4 pm) we went home and ate dinner. Then we met up with our ward mission leader and missionaries and ward mission leaders from other wards to go on a "Stake Ministry" split. We went with President Gillespie who is in the stake presidency. We visited Keith and Gabrielle, Chris Archer, and Frank. It is SO much easier to talk to people when we have members with us. They let us in 50% more often than they do when it is just us. So again, I beg you: GO OUT WITH THE MISSIONARIES!!! We need you!

Friday night, we took Eva and her two sons on a church tour, which was STELLAR. She asked questions about everything, which is what we want, and at the end of the tour, Sister Rasmussen and I sang "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" while I improvised on the piano. After that we watched the Because of Him video, and the spirit was SO STRONG!!! We didn't want to take away from the spirit so we ended there. It was
great! She said she would come to church in her own time, but that she is very grateful that we showed her around. I love church tours!

Saturday was a day of service. We started the day by going to a high school and helping out with a 5K race and an elementary school run. It was fun! Then we got home, got ready, and did yard work for an investigator named Sharon. :) She made us some yummy mini banana muffins with some sort of walnut from "back east." They were delicious. I learned this week that I LOVE being outside, especially when I am helping someone with something! The baked goods help too. Haha! But really, after hiking just now, and being outside all day Saturday, I realized that I really truly adore being outside. It's just so beautiful everywhere! Particularly here in Washington and Oregon. It's green everywhere, and there is no nasty inversion. I love nature!!!

Yesterday, we had a Relief Society lesson focusing on gratitude. It really magnified the things I had been thinking about all week, and it helped to pump me up even more when it comes to serving a mission! The
past few weeks have been rough, but ever since Tuesday night, I have realized that there is nowhere to go but up! In the first chapter of Preach My Gospel, it says that, "You show your love for the Lord and
gratitude for His Atonement by bringing souls unto Him." That's one of the main reasons I am out here! I am so grateful for the comfort, guidance, peace, love friendships, and grace that the fullness of Christ's Gospel has brought me, and one way to show my gratitude is to find those who don't have it yet, and share it with them. Heavenly Father wants to know and love ALL his children, but He also wants us to learn and grow. He could do all this missionary work in the snap of a finger if He wanted to, but He gives us opportunities such as serving a mission, so that we can grow in our own testimonies, and come closer and closer to Him every day. I am so grateful for my loving Heavenly Father and the opportunities He gives me to build myself up through Him.

That brings me back to Tuesday night. It had nothing to do with exchanges, and nothing to do with circumstance, but as I was praying while I sat there awake, everything finally came together. It was so many simple things that I already knew, and that others had told me many times, but I finally got it. Kind of like a testimony. People can talk at you and teach you all the live long day, but until you get on your knees and ask for a personal witness through the Holy Ghost, you will never know for yourself. I suddenly knew EXACTLY what Heavenly Father wanted me, no, needed me to do in order to become the absolute BEST missionary that I can be. I knew every step, every feeling, every action that I needed to take in order to become that missionary, and overall, that person that I have dreamed of becoming for my entire life. It was laid out in front of me, just like an instruction manual for good old OCD Sister Guilott. I got up Wednesday morning with a new look on my mission, on life, and a new attitude about pretty much everything! Since then, my companion and I haven't struggled nearly as much, I have slept like a baby every night, and I can feel my
relationship with Christ strengthening by the minute. The more I follow the promptings of the spirit, and the revelation that I had on Tuesday night, the happier I am, and the closer I am to becoming that ideal Nicole Guilott permanently. I love this work. I can't say that enough. If I hadn't come on a mission, I never would have seen the path made so crystal clear, and who knows who I would be? That doesn't matter now. All that matters is that I continue to do what Heavenly Father has planned for me, and that I continue to be grateful for all that He does for me. I love you all, and I can't wait to talk to you again next week!

Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott

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