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