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. :)

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