Monday, June 30, 2014

1 Year of the WVM!

Hello Family!

I'm sorry it took me so long to email today, we had a
Mission Party to celebrate the one year anniversary of the mission for
Pday so I have been a bit preoccupied. It was super fun! I got to see
all the missionaries I came out with, my old zone, and all the office
missionaries! I love being around other missionaries. There's really
nothing better! Our mission has only existed for a year, and yet it
has felt like much longer than that. The missionaries, the areas, and
President and Sister Taylor have only been a part of the Washington
Vancouver Mission for one year! I am so grateful to be a part of it!
There is nowhere I would rather be than here in this beautiful place
with these phenomenal people. Oh man, my mission is amazing!

This week was a good one! We saw a lot of wonderful people, taught
many a lesson, and felt the spirit super strongly all week long.
Nothing particularly exciting happened this week, but that is because
this upcoming week is gonna be one of the best!!! I have no doubt that
we are going to find people like crazy, teach and invite like crazy,
and help people to come unto Christ like crazy! It's gonna be good. I
can feel it.

Sister Duff and I had some good times this week though.

"We celebrated Sister Duff's One Year Mark with Wendy's"
"We can't take pictures very well...."
So there ya have it. We like to have fun. It was a good week to have fun
like this too because the work is going so well here in the Columbia
River Ward! Things are really going places with the members of the
ward and the investigators. There is a genuine interest in the Gospel
of Jesus Christ in this area of Portland, and I am so glad I get to be
a part of it!

This could possibly be the most pathetic email I have ever sent, but
we kind of have no time today to email... Pday ends at 6 which leaves
us an hour and a half to email, shop, clean, prep, and eat dinner. I
am so sorry, but I promise next week's email will be better! I love
you all and I pray for you every day! I'm still loving my mission, and
I love it more and more every single day. I could honestly do this for
the rest of my life! Bringing true happiness to people is the best way
to spend my time, and that is all that a mission is! Have a great
week, and I will talk to you again next time! :)


Sister Nicole Guilott

Monday, June 23, 2014

An Abundance of Blessings!

There is something incredible about the blessings received because of
missionary work. I have always been able to see the blessings and
gifts that God is giving me, but the ability to recognize those things
is magnified as a missionary! I guess it could just be that it is
because there are so many more miracles and blessings that come about
as a missionary, but I don't think that's the case. I've been
pondering quite a bit lately the blessings I've received throughout my
life, and it baffles me that The Lord just keeps sending them my way!
I've discovered that there is almost no greater gift than the ability
to recognize what He is giving us, and being able to be truly grateful
for those things. I also realized that it is when we devote our time
and attention to The Lord that they become most apparent. Why is that.
Because when we give Him our attention, our eyes are more opened to
Him and we are able to SEE Him blessing us. This feeling of gratitude
and happiness is not available to only full time missionaries, but to
everyone who chooses to give God their attention. I challenge you to
do that this week! Do everything you can to give God your full
attention, and I promise that you will be able to recognize the many
ways He is blessing you, and the true love He is pouring out to you
every day!

This week was clearly a week full of happy things and obvious
blessings. We had some truly amazing lessons! We didn't have very many
lessons with people this week, but Heavenly Father provided us with
opportunities to bear strong testimony and have a big impact on the
few that we DID get to see. We had 3 really phenomenal lessons in
particular. The first was while we were street contacting. We saw a
group of four men down a long driveway and we thought we should
approach them. From far away they looked scary so we were nervous to
approach them, but there is no denying that we were being prompted to
talk to them. So we listened to that prompting and walked down the
long driveway to talk to the four big men. When we got to them, we
discovered that three of them were disabled adults with mental
handicaps and one was the caregiver. They were so sweet! The
caregiver's name is Shawn, and we had a great mini lesson with the
four them, giving three of them Book of Mormon's upon their request.
Shawn promised them that they would have a group Book of Mormon study
every day and that they would each learn to pray. It was awesome!
Shawn grew up Catholic, but fell away from the church at a young age
and would love to find his relationship with God again. So we picked
him up as a new investigator! We have a return appointment with him
for tomorrow night at his house, but when we put his address into the
GPS we realized he lives on the wrong side of the street. He's not
even in our zone. So we sent his information in as a referral, and the
Elders in his area will be teaching him instead. But that's okay! It
was a good experience for all of us.

The second really wonderful lesson was with our investigator who is on
date: Richard. He is going to be baptized on August 2nd. He was
introduced to the church by his inactive roommate, Brian. Brian has
been inactive for 30 years, but he and Richard both decided that they
needed to turn their lives around, and Brian knew exactly where to go
in order to do that. Richard has a speech impediment, so the Sisters
have had a hard time discerning whether or not it is his own desire to
be baptized or if it is just Brian pushing for what he thinks is best.
The lesson we had with them this week definitely cleared that up.
Richard is SO excited to be baptized! Both he and Brian are learning
the doctrine and the principles of the gospel together, and it is so
obvious that they love learning and are definitely feeling the spirit!
I love seeing people just as excited about this gospel as I am!

The third great lesson is with Elia. She is the sweetest woman in the
world. The Sisters tracted into her the week before I got here, and
made a return appointment for last Thursday, but Sister Duff thought
it was THIS Thursday. We were trying a potential investigator in her
apartment complex when we saw her pull in. She got out of her car and
came right over to us. She said that last week was hard and that she
could only think about how excited she was to see the missionaries,
and then how sad she was that we didn't come... We felt so bad! But we
made sure to go back on Thursday and teach her, which was amazing. She
told us that they had just found out some really scary news and had a
said a prayer seconds before the missionaries knocked on the door. She
knows that we are an answer to her prayer, and she wants to do
whatever it takes to strengthen her little family in the Gospel. We
soft committed her to baptism, and had a phenomenal lesson with her.
We were all emotional, and the Spirit was overflowing her apartment.
Her home has a definite presence of the Spirit, and we can feel it
every time we go there. We ran into again yesterday and were able to
read a chapter of the Book of Mormon with her and her husband Greg. We
are also seeing them tonight!
As you can tell, we had a blessing filled week! For the people who
asked us where they should go for a happier life this week, this
bumper sticker says it all! It is so true though! Something else cool
that happened: I was standing out in the road getting ready to back up
the car, and a guy walked by. I've been trying to get better at
talking to EVERYONE who is within earshot of me, so I turned to him
and offered him a card. He took it, but with slight
reluctance. As he was turning to walk away, another guy came up to me
and said, "Can I get one of those cards please, ma'am?" I was
astonished, but of course said yes and handed him a card. He was in a
rush to get somewhere but he said he is very interested in learning
more and said he would call us about meeting somewhere to discuss it.
I tried to ask for information, but all he had time to tell me was
that his name is Jared. It was amazing! He hasn't called yet... But we
haven't lost hope!

Tuesday was exchanges day. I was still indecisive about how I feel
about exchanges, but after Tuesday I can honestly say that I love
them! I went with Sister Steadman to her area (Kelly Creek), and we
had a wonderful day! We were busy the whole time, but still able to
have lots of fun. I love being with missionaries who allow themselves
to laugh! While we were street contacting, there was this guy at a bus
stop that we talked to who was Pagan. Neither of us really knew what
that meant, but he didn't explain it very well so we are still
confused. Anyway, as we were walking away he stopped us and invited us
to come to a pool tournament at a local bar. We told him we don't
drink, to which he responded that he doesn't either and he'd be happy
to buy us each a club soda. I didn't know what to say, but luckily
Sister Steadman answered and said if we had time we'd be there. I
found it quite humorous. :) On Wednesday, Sister Archer came down from
Lacamas Creek and took me and Sister Duff out to lunch! It was so nice
to spend some time with her. She really is one of the kindest, most
caring human beings I have ever met. I adore her.

Overall, I would call this week a success. Even though we didn't have
a bounteous amount of lessons, there were still plenty of wonderful
things that happened. I am just overwhelmed with gratitude this week
as I am able to see the blessings God is giving me on a daily basis.
Lately, it feels more like an hourly basis! Something amazing seems to
happen at least once every hour, and I am so grateful that He has
shown me that He is aware of me and that He wants us to succeed. Being
happy is a great gift, especially in such a taxing work. Though it is
sometimes tough, it is so rewarding! I feel like I say that a lot, but
that's because it's true! I love my Heavenly Father and I know He is
there and that He knows me. I'm excited to see what miracles happen
this week! I'll be sure to let you know next time!


Sister Nicole Guilott


We got to go to a baptism for Sister Duff's investigator from her last
area. This woman isn't the one who got baptized, but she wanted a
picture with all the missionaries. She's a sweetheart, and this
picture describes her PERFECTLY. :)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hello Portland!

It happened! I have been transferred. From the beautiful Vancouver to
the... Well to Portland. Haha! Portland is different alright. My new
companion, Sister Duff, is the absolute bomb dot com! I love her. She
is from Florida and she is amazing. We live with the Jensen's, members
in the ward, but we don't live in their house. They have a guest house
that everyone calls "the Cottage." Because that's what it looks like!
We have a kitchen, a living room, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a
backyard with fresh raspberries! Those are my favorite!

This area has definitely been prepared for missionaries. We found 7
new investigators in the first 5 days of being here, and they were all
found from street contacting! Even if Portland is weird, the people
are ready for the gospel! Strange experience for the week: we were
knocking on an apartment door for an appointment that was at the top
of some stairs and had 4 different apartment doors in a teensy semi
circle. I felt like Alice in Wonderland. Our appointment didn't answer
the door, but while we were up there, some lady was screaming at her
child somewhere in the parking lot, cussing her kid out. "Get your
'bum' up! I ain't takin' anymore of your 'silliness' today!" etc. etc.
THEN some music started. It was very very loud, like it was being
projected at a rodeo or something, but we were in a pretty isolated
area. It was mariachi music... It was super weird. Kind of like a
strange dream that no one understands. That's Portland for ya!

Happy Birthday to Emily who is now 18 and Dad who is now... Well maybe
I'd better not make that public. ;) And happy Father's Day too! Oh
geez, I love my family lots. I hope you guys had phenomenal birthdays!
So, leaving Lacamas Creek was tough. I love all of those people so so
much! Here are some more pictures from my wonderful first area!
"Keith and Gabrielle! Oh man.  I love them.."
"Brother Garcia!  I'll miss him and his goofy personality."

"The Slifka's.  Oh man.  They are absolutely wonderful!"
"Sister Steelman and TJ.  I love sitting in Sacrament Meeting and listening to TJ sing the hymns.  He's a hoot!"
"The Wallace's.  They are awesome.  Bonnie is amazing and Jeff likes to think he's funny."
"Jaynie Williams and her son Troy.  I  love them too!"
"Shana and her daughter Tailor.  I ADORE them!  Shana is coming with me
and Sister Major for our 24 day horse ride from Utah to Washington."
"Janet.  That's the room that Sister Major and I helped paint!  Janet is an absolute gem."
"Sam! She is miraculously on date. I can't wait to go back for her baptism!"
What a great area! I will most definitely miss it. But it's okay
because new people and new miracles await here in Portland. This first
week has been wonderful, but also hard. My neighbor from home, who I
didn't know very well, passed away unexpectedly this week, and so did
Michalla Beardall, a friend from high school. We weren't close by any
means, but she was on of those gorgeous people who is genuine and kind
to everyone. Some girls who are stunning, KNOW that they have an above
average appearance, and it helps them justify the "lesser than me"
attitude that they have towards others. Not Michalla. She treated
everyone with respect and care. She showed genuine interest in the
conversations she had with everybody who talked to her. I always
looked up to her, and since I sat behind her in choir from the 8th to
the 11th grade, I admired ALWAYS envied her hair. She knew how to do
it! She told me once when we were on Choir Tour that she would teach
me how to do my hair that way, but we never did. Haha she was so much
fun! This is the sweet Michalla.
Gorgeous huh? Since I have been on my mission, 8 people that I am
associated with in some way have passed away. That is a lot of death.
The only thing I can say is that I know they are where they are
supposed to be, and the missionary work they are doing on the other
side is bringing so many people to the knowledge of the truth who
never had that chance when they were on Earth. I trust that God knows
what He is doing, and I'm excited to see those people again and to see
the eternal perspective of it all.

I'm sorry this email is short... Transfers kind of make things crazy.
I am very excited to be in this new area, and I love the people
already. I'm so grateful for a great companion who is kind, loving,
fun, and willing to be a goof with me! I love my zone (which is
currently the smallest zone in the mission consisting if 12
missionaries), I love my area, and I love my mission! I miss my old
area, but change is good, and I am excited to see what experiences
Heavenly Father has in store for me here in Portland. I love you all!
Talk to you next week!


Sister Guilott

P.S. More pictures.
"Clearly, I struggle getting into Hammocks.  This is my "concentrated" face."
"These are a recent convert, Erika's drawings of runes from my favorite book series.
Thought Caroline would appreciate this picture since she is currently
addicted to the series. :) Love you Sweetpea!"

Monday, June 9, 2014

Saying Goodbye to my Mission Birthplace

We got our letters this week... Our transfer letters. Turns out I am
being transferred to Portland. The Portland East Stake and Columbia
River Ward to be exact. I have so many mixed emotions about it, I just
don't even know what to do with myself! I am getting a marvelous
companion, Sister Duff, and I'm so excited to be among "the weirdos."
That is what Portland is known for, ya know. Land of the freaks. Haha
so really they're all my people! ;) I'm excited to go to a new place
and have new experiences and meet new people, but Lacamas Creek is my first area! My baby area! I was born here, so naturally it's very difficult to leave. But what a wonderful week to be my last here! Let
me tell you about it:

Monday night was awesome! We had a fantastic Family Home Evening with our sweet investigator, Eva, at her neighbor's house (who are
members). We watched "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration,"
the hour long video for FHE. After the movie was over, the parents and
5 daughters all bore testimony about Joseph Smith. It was touching. :)
Eva is such a sweet spirit, and she is definitely progressing towards
baptism in the church, she is just going at her own pace. I am so
happy to know her! She is a blessing in the loves of every single
person who meets her. She brought me and Sister Rasmussen flowers that she cut from her yard! What a sweetheart she is.

On Tuesday night, we went to the Skaugstad's house. We have had a hard
time teaching in that home because they are kind of FORMER
investigators, but we haven't given up, and on Tuesday we made
strawberry jam with them! We took a sweet sister named Katie Burbank
from the ward with us that night. She had just turned her papers in
(and she now has her call and is going to Bangkok Thailand), and has
been coming with us to appointments to get ready for her mission! It
was fun. To share a spiritual thought, we sang songs while Sister
Rasmussen played her ukelele. Hymns of course. :) What a fun night!
And it was rewarded with yummy homemade jam!

On Wednesday, we went to Keith and Gabrielle's house and helped them
paint the house for a long time. I'm sorry I don't have pictures with
them yet, they are some of my absolute favorite people in the whole
world. I'll be sure to get pictures for next week. That night, we had
a phenomenal lesson with the Rodriguez family that happened because we
followed the promptings of the spirit. We read a chapter in the Book
of Mormon, Alma 32, and afterwards I asked if we could
go around and all bear our testimonies. We had another potential
sister missionary from the ward with us that night too, and she said
all the right things. Isaac, the nine year old, bore his testimony
first and said simply, "I know the Book of Mormon is real." I could
have died and gone to Heaven right there and then. Everyone bore
testimony, and it was a perfect night. Oh I love what the Spirit does
for people. It just makes them all so happy!

Friday was magical. We woke up super early in the morning and drove
with Sister Archer to the Portland temple. It was amazing. There is
not a better feeling than being in the house of The Lord. I felt so at
peace in there! The mission is wonderful and I love every second of
it, but it was so nice to just relax in the temple for a few hours and
feel close to my Heavenly Father. I am so grateful that we got to go
on Friday. It was such a blessing! I wish I could just live at the
temple! It is always so perfectly clean and pure and peaceful and I
love it so much!

On Saturday, we had a mission conference sort of a thing. All the
missionaries in the mission seemed to be there except the ones in very
faraway places like Seaside. It was fun to see the missionaries from
my MTC district! It was only 2 hours lomg, but it was good.
Brother Randall L. Ridd and Elder Robert Call came and spoke to us. I think one is of the Sseventy and the
other is in the General Young Men's presidency. I'm not sure. Anyway,
it was a really good meeting filled with lots of insight about
missionary work. I quite enjoyed it.

Lots of miracles happened on Saturday too. We now have 2 people on
date! The first is Tony, who was supposed to be baptized last month
but didn't want to put in the effort, and the other is our 17 year old
investigator named Sam. That one was cool. We went to her house to
teach her, and before we even started, she said, "Ya know what's
weird? I've never been baptized. I know it's really important though,
and I'd really like to be baptized eventually." We kept our cool and
said, "We can definitely help you get there." She is on date for
August 23rd! It was awesome. We also ended up contacting some less
actives in the ward that nobody else has been able to contact. They
are sticky situations, and not even ward members have had much contact
with them. We thought maybe we should stop by and leave a stickie note
on the door or something, but they both answered, and they both
invited us to come back! It was cool.

Yesterday, we went to a baptism with our investigator, Sharon. Oh I
love her. She asked some really good questions, took a Book of Mormon,
felt the spirit, and felt like the only difference between our
churches seemed to be Joseph Smith. Haha she is the best. The baptism
was incredible! The speakers were awesome, and everything they said
was just perfect and exactly what Sharon needed to be taught. I loved
it! God knows exactly how His children learn and feel, and He helped
those speakers prepare their talks for Sharon. I know it.

This really was a wonderful week to end on! So many awesome things
happened, and I had some lovely goodbyes with my sweet Lacamas Creek
people. I'm going to miss them, but it'll be good to start a new
adventure in Portland. I hope everyone had a good week, and that this
next week is even better! Remember to keep Heavenly Father close! And
for those of you who took up President Taylor's Book of Mormon
challenge, that ends on Wednesday! I hope everyone is reading the Book
of Mormon! It is truly inspired. I love you!


Sister Nicole Guilott

P.S. Here are some more pictures from this week. Cool things and
wonderful people!
"Prepping the chicken to feed to some wild hawks!"
"The meat sitting on top of the post waiting for the hawks to eat it."
"A sweet retired horse named Duke"
"I just love Weasley...and clearly he loves me too!"
"Bettie Grange.  The sweetest woman on earth!"
"The Treasure's.  So cute!"
"Sister Fanning! The hawks are in her backyard.  I love her!"
"Sam Bessas from Laous.  She is the angel who introduced me to Rambutans.  I adore this sweet woman!"
"Rodger and Yvette.  This picture says it all."
"The Combs.  Such a blessing to have lived in their home for the past 4 1/2  months.  I will miss them!"

Monday, June 2, 2014

"God Doesn't Do Random"

President Taylor has this signature saying, "God doesn't do random."
As I have gone throughout my short 4 months of my mission, I have
often thought of that saying when we meet a new investigator in an
accidental situation, or when something comes out of my mouth that I
feel was not intended and that is later acknowledged as the comment
that brought someone to the Gospel, or simply in reference to things
that are "coincidences" with a miraculous outcome. However, this past
week I saw that phrase in a new light...

On Tuesday morning, all of the Sisters in the mission were invited to
attend a "Specialized Sister Training," which was basically a mission
conference, but for only the Sisters. When we got there, Sister Taylor
asked me to play some prelude music, and as I was sitting at the piano
playing hymns, she told me that I was the one who gave her the idea to
have this training meeting. I was confused... What had I said that led
her to that? During her talk at the beginning of the meeting, I
understoond. Back when Sister Rasmussen and I were having an
exceptionally hard time, we went up to the mission home so that I
could talk to Sister Taylor alone about everything, and in that little
meeting with her I expressed how I felt like so many Sisters were
being sent home for any and every reason! I guess her thought process
stemmed from that, and she decided a Specialized Sister Training would
be very beneficial. Back when I decided to go to the mission home to
talk to her, I felt like a loser. I felt wimpy and like I was going to
be judged by both my companion and Sister Taylor for asking to talk to
her that day. But if I hadn't, she never would have come up with the
idea to have a Sister Training. God doesn't do random.

While we were all at this Specialized Sister Training, Sister Taylor
needed help running the technical stuff (the computer, projector,
sound, etc.), and I happened to be standing there when she mentioned
how worried she was about not knowing what to do about it. I told her
I am good with techy stuff, and I became the designated technician for the
day. :) I sat over in my own pew in the chapel next to the computer
and projector and ran the show. It was fun! God doesn't do random. Now
wait, this goes somewhere I promise.

For the hour and a half just before lunch, we went into our "Break-Out
Sessions," which means smaller classes for individual purposes. My
group had President Taylor's class last, and about half way through
our class, Sister Taylor opened the door crying and said to President,
"I need you. It's an emergency." President went right out the door and
told us to continue on our own. As the door was closing behind him, we
heard him say, "She WHAT?" None of us had ever heard him sound so
upset. It scared us! So I volunteered to say a prayer of comfort for
whatever had just happened and asked that President would be able to
handle the situation with peace. We stayed in that room by ourselves
until lunch. Everyone was gathered in the cultural hall filling their
plates with taco salad when President came into the room, got our
attention, and announced that a Sister in our mission named Sister
Lierley had passed away. The feeling in that room was indescribable.
Some Sisters gasped loudly and burst into piercing sobs, others cried
silently, and nobody said a word. President left to go to the
hospital, and we all sat silently in the cultural hall, the only sound
a quiet sniff as we tried not to make our tears noticeable. The
sobbing sisters left the room and were in classrooms and bathrooms
crying elsewhere. Nobody touched their food or spoke a word.
Eventually, "Lead Kindly Light" broke out in the cultural hall and all
the Sisters sang hymns for about half an hour. Finally, some Elders
came in and told us we were going to meet up in the chapel to continue
our meeting, and they encouraged us to eat something. I couldn't. A
lot of Sisters were having a really hard time, but because their
fellow Sisters and friends were present, the were able to be comforted
and feel a bit more at peace. The fact that we were all joined
together as Sisters in the mission when one of our Sisters passed
away, was not a coincidence. God doesn't do random.

There were balloons set up for the Sister Training as decorations that
we ended up being able to use for a balloon release for Sister
Lierley. We never have balloons! God doesn't do random. I was the one
to record the balloon release, and it gave me an idea. I volunteered
to put together a tribute video for Sister Lierley and her family, as
a contribution from the mission. I like making videos, so I knew I
could probably put something together by the following Pday (which
would be today). After I offered, they ended up wanting it before the
funeral which is today, so on Wednesday night I stayed at the mission
home in the general authority bedroom, and spent from 8:30 am the next
day to 9:45 pm. I still wasn't done, so I stayed the night with some
of the office missionaries and finished it in the morning. I did my
best for the short amount of time that I had, but I think it was a
good way to show how much we love Sister Lierley. I think they played
it at the funeral today... I needed to have the opportunity to put
that video together. It felt good. And I was able to help. If
anything, having that opportunity to DO something for the family
helped me to feel better. I'm grateful God helped me to know to film
the balloon release and put together the video. He doesn't do random.

To share the more upbeat side of things real quick, we had a nice
week. It was kind of slow, but a lot of that is because everyone in
the mission is kind of in mourning. However, some good things
happened! There was one night at the Rodriguez's when we went over
that no one was home except Meg. This was momentous, so I had to take
a picture with just her and I. She was so excited that the house was
so quiet! It was funny.

 Also, we left sticky notes on a door for an investigator who was
having a rough week, and she made the little picture I drew of her
family her cover photo! I feel like I should have taken more time to
do a better picture!

We had dinner with a Laous member in our ward this week (the one who
introduced me to Rambutans) and we got to play the Khene! The Laous
national instrument! It was fun. Those things are weird.

Today we went on a hike for the 3rd week in a row because I LOVE
WASHINGTON!!! This time we went with Sister Combs (who we live with)
to Round Lake, which is a smaller lake off of Lacamas Lake. It was
gorgeous! There are some cool little pools that I am definitely going
to come back and swim in when I have the chance! What a lovely hike!

I hope that you know how much I cherish my mission, just like Sister
Lierley did. She died doing what she absolutely knew was right. She
wasn't sent home, she was simply "transferred" to a new area. She is
doing missionary work up there on the other side for sure! I can't
wait to talk to her and to be able to see what Heavenly Father needed
her home for right now. It will be amazing. I know this is where I am
supposed to be. I know that the things that are happening out here are
crucial to the plan He has for me, and I wouldn't have it any other
way. I'm grateful for Sister Lierley and the example she has set for
me. I can know that in the darkest of times out here, it is for a
greater purpose that I might not be able to comprehend, and I am
grateful for the ability to recognize that things are as they should
be. I love my Heavenly Father, and I know He is taking good care of
His missionaries both here on Earth, and up there at home in His
presence. I wouldn't trade this work and this time for anything. Do
everything you can to help the Lord's work to continue! I know I will!


Sister Nicole Guilott