Monday, July 28, 2014

There Is Only Up From Here!

Alright everybody, lots has happened since I last wrote you. Before I say anything, I have to thank you for your support and for your prayers in my behalf. They have definitely been received and answered! I have felt the effects of prayers sent from you, and I am so grateful for them. They are so appreciated, and I wish I could thank you all individually and hug each of you, but I can't. So just know that I love you and am continually grateful for your love and support!
"Saying Goodbye to my lovely Sister Duff.  I will miss her, but
La Center, Washington is blessed to have her. :)"
Transfers happened! And I received another one of the most amazing people I have ever met in the whole world. Her names is Sister Cone, and she is wonderful. We are VERY similar, and she has been the best thing for what has been happening this past week. When I say we are very similar, I pretty much mean we are the same person. We are ALWAYS thinking the same thing, we sing the same songs, and we definitely dance to the same tune. She is a fighter, and so am I. This transfer is going to be AWESOME!!!

This week was a bit slower than usual... As you are aware, something has not been quite right with me physically as of late. Last week I had the GI Scope, and this week I had a CT Scan and a 5th round of blood tests. Unlike the last few tests, the scan actually gave us some answers! Woo Hoo! I have what's called mesenteric lymphadenitis. Which means that my mesentaries (the little tissues that hold your intestines to your body) are enflamed and rock hard. Well actually the lymphnodes in them are enflamed and rock hard, which is what is causing me all the pain. There is no treatment, but the good news is that my most recent blood tests have shown that my liver is chilling out, which means that the sickness and virus and such is leaving my body, so the pain should follow suit pretty soon. Yay!!! Your prayers have been heard and they are definitely being answered. Again, thank you so so much!
"Moment of Truth!"
They tried to send me home, but because my liver is doing better and I am still ready to work, I am able to stay. It was quite the miracle. Know that I am A-Okay and that things are really looking up. I am going to be completely healed within the next week or two, and this area is going to have to prepare itself, because Sister Cone and I are going to ROCK IT!!! She has already taught me something huge, yet something I already knew. Tell everyone the good about them. Sister Cone is an expert at this. We will be walking through the grocery store, or tracting, or parked at a stop light and she will go out of her way to say things like, "You are absolutely gorgeous." or "You have a fantastic smile!" or "You are a beautiful person." She says those things to random strangers ALL the time, and I love it. I need to get better at telling people they are great. Because everybody is great, and everybody deserves to hear it every once in a while. Pay someone a compliment today, because you never know who you are going to influence.

I apologize for the shortness of this email, but we are going to go have a super fun Pday with our zone today, so I must be off. I PROMISE next week I will have a better post for you to read, but for now, I have to go. Have a phenomenal week, and I shall talk to you next Monday! I love you I love you I love you! Don't forget it!

Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Third of the Way Already?!

I have been on my mission for 1 day short of 6 months now. Does that
sound ridiculous to anyone else? That means I'm already a third of the
way done, and I only have a year left! I DON'T LIKE THAT!!!! Sister
Duff always tries to kid herself by saying she's "only been out for
two weeks" rather than a year, and I think I'm going to follow suit on
that statement. I've only been out for two weeks! I have a full 18
more months left! Believable, right? Think President will buy it...?
Haha probs not. But I will keep trying! I wish I could stay out here
on my mission forever! It's just that amazing! Anyway... 6 months are
gone. Time to make this year the best of my life! I'm stoked!

This was another week PACKED with goodness! There were a ton of crazy
things that happened, but for the most part they are the "good" crazy.
There was only one and a half not-so-good crazy things, but even they
can be looked at as a good thing! I'm not making any sense... Oh well!

One of the not-so-good crazy things that happened this week was that I
got to go to the hospital! Yay! Haha calm down, I'm not dead. I've
just been having really awful stomach aches in my upper abdomen for
about 2 months now, and the pain has only gotten worse. So far, I have
had 4 blood tests, an ultrasound, and as of Friday, an upper
endoscopy. Hence these pictures:
"Notice my tag? I'm still a missionary! Even in nasty looking hospital gowns!"
They have not quite figured out exactly what is wrong and why I am in
pain all the time, but they did discover that my liver is a little
bigger than it should be. And they pinpointed the pain to my liver
so... Yeah. That's what's up. The endoscopy came back normal, so
that's good! Except that means we still don't know what's happening...
But never fear! We will uncover this mystery, and solve it! Like I
said, I'm not dead or dying yet, so don't worry! The Lord's work is
much too important for me to be sick, so I know as I continue to work
hard and keep my faith strong, everything will work out! So yeah, got
to spend a day in the hospital. There's a SUPER crazy story that goes
with that experience, but I haven't the time to type it right now.
Maybe I'll put it in the P.S. Maybe.

A good crazy thing that happened was a lesson we had at Jamba Juice.
We were doing our weekly planning last Friday, and there was a
potential investigator named Dan that we had never met nor tried to
contact before, so we called him. He answered and said he would agree
to meet with us IF we met in a public place, and if we promised to
come with an open mind. We were kinda confused, but we agreed because, well, we're missionaries and we're not gonna pass up an opportunity to teach! So this week, we met him at Jamba Juice. We were a tad
nervous... But he turned out to be really nice! Just chatty. :P We spent the whole 45 minutes listening to his take on deity. It was very interesting! Everything he said, whether a positive comment or more of
a negative concern, touched on a principle of the Gospel that we teach. So even though we had no time to get any words in, he gave us a lot of things to prepare for for the next time we see him. He was very
kind. I love being able to go home and study the scriptures so that I might know how to best help each individual person we come in contact with! It's wonderful!
"Brother Mckenzie and his kitty.  Love that guy."
On Wednesday, we had interviews with President Taylor!!! Oh man, I
LOVE interviews! President and Sister Taylor are phenomenal people,
and I couldn't have asked for a better mission mom and dad. I love
them! My interview was great - interviews are the only time we get one
on one time with President, and I loved every second! I asked him some
doctrinal questions just because I knew his answers would be simple
but elaborate at the same time. And they were! President is an
inspired servant of The Lord, and every time he speaks to us I always
know that he is following what God wants him to do or say that is best
for the missionaries. He told me at the end of my interview that he
would be keeping me and Sister Duff together for this next transfer,
and I was so excited! I LOVE Sister Duff! Ya never know what
information you're gonna get at interviews... Hehe.
"Sister Gomez"
Sister Gomez and I both went to Pleasant Grove High School. She lives in Lindon. We talked for about 45 minutes about ourselves, and in the last minute, realized that not only did we go to the same high school, but we KNEW each other! We used to talk in the hall every single day! And neither one of us recognized the other until we showed pictures of ourselves! It was crazy. We decided it must have just been a change in our
countenance...? Haha! Fun huh?

On Thursday, we got to go to the temple! It was amazing and beautiful
and peaceful and perfect, just like it always is. I feel spoiled
because I just got to go 6 weeks ago, and I already got to go again! I
love the temple. There truly is nothing better than The Lord's house.
I feel the Spirit in abundance there, especially as a missionary. God
loves me so much, and that is made so apparent in the ways He is
blessing me and the calm feelings I have as I go about His work and
enter into His temples. I love Him very very much. :)
On Friday, when I got home from the hospital, Sister Duff came to me
and said, "Sister, I have some bad news..." I was freaked out! She
then pulled two envelopes out of her purse that were from the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We got TRANSFER letters! What?!
President told us we were both staying here! I guess God changed His
mind. I am losing Sister Duff on Wednesday. She is going to La Center,
Washington. I'm devastated. BUT! It will be okay. I can handle taking
over this area, right? I will be receiving Sister Cone. I don't know
her, but I know OF her, and all I know is good things. So that will be
interesting to get a new companion and to be the one who "knows the
most" about this area. I'll miss Sister Duff like crazy though! I
mean, look at her!
How can you not just love her immediately? She is amazing, and I am
definitely going to miss her. It will be different here in Portland
without the guidance of my current companion, but I know that Heavenly
Father has a plan and a reason for transfers. There are still people
in this area that I need to find, and find them I shall! I know I say
this every time, but I really truly love this work. I know this is
where I am supposed to be because no matter how gross my body is
feeling, I am always genuinely happy and feel good spiritually.
Anything good is of God, and that is why I know I am where He wants me
to be. I love you all very much, and I hope you share in the happiness
I am feeling as I serve my Heavenly Father. It truly is a spectacular
feeling! I'll talk to you next week!


Sister Nicole Guilott

Okay, I guess I have time to tell the story. When I had my "procedure"
done on Friday, they put me under "twilight sedation," which means I
am technically awake, but at the same time I am unconscious and won't
remember anything when I wake up for reals. So apparently, it took the
doctors a whole lot of medicine to knock me out - much more than
normal. When it was time to wake up I remember hearing nurses saying,
"welcome back, sweetheart. It's time to wake up now." I responded out
loud to that with, "it's good to be back!" But I guess no one heard me
because they kept on talking and telling me I had slept too long and
it was time to wake up. I was confused. I kept talking, but they
weren't hearing me. I could hear them perfectly, and I could feel when
they touched me, but I couldn't see. It took a minute for me to
realize that my body was still asleep, but my mind was awake. I wasn't
actually talking out loud at all! The nurses were super confused as to
why I wasn't waking up, and I think I made them nervous... They tried
everything to wake me up, not realizing that I was conscious and could
hear and feel everything they tried! They tried tickling my feet, then
scratching my feet, then taking all my blankets off and stripping me
to try and freeze me awake. They shook the bed, then they shook me by
the shoulders. THEN they decided to try some ER maneuvers. They did
the sternum rub thing on my chest to try and wake me up through pain,
and when that didn't work, they pulled my jaw forward! Nothing was
working! The whole time, I was screaming as loud as I could so they
would hear me, but nothing was coming out of my mouth! I felt like
Melanie from "The Host" because I was trapped in a body I couldn't
control! That's when I started to panic. "Am I in a coma? Oh my gosh
I'm in a coma! They don't know I'm awake! Is this what everybody who
is in a coma feels like? Let me out! Let me out! Wake me up!" It was
traumatic. When I finally did wake up, I was in a recovery room
different from the one I started in because they thought they'd have
to admit me to the hospital if I slept too long. I told the nurse what
I had heard the other nurses saying, and what I had felt. And she was
shocked! She said that never happens, especially with this procedure
which they do multiple times daily. It was crazy. Anyway, that's my
story! No worries though, I'm awake now. Obviously. :P Have a great
"This was a souvenir I bought last week at the Mall.  Pretty great, huh?"
"The Fam Bam was in Newport Beach, California the past two weeks, so I had to take a picture with the lady who worked at See's to show that I will always find a way to keep up tradition! I hope y'all went to the See's grandma Aggie took you to while y'all were in Cali!"

Monday, July 14, 2014

Could It Get Any Better?

You're excited about this post title aren't you? Well you should be!
This week was on fire! We saw so many miracles this week, it's unreal.
There are times when missionaries get down and think, "man, why am I
here? I'm tired all the time, people are jerks all the time, it's hot
all the time, and we aren't getting anywhere!" But this week was one
of those that shows us why we are here. I'll tell you all the good
stuff, and insert pictures of good and fun things in between.

First of all, we had like a zillion scheduled lessons, which is super
awesome! Usually, we have a few scheduled ones here and there and then
the rest of our time is spent trying people at random. But this week
was different! We had a scheduled appointment for almost every hour of
every day! Some of them fell through of course, but no worries. God is
just saving the miracles with those people for next week! I can't
really remember the actual order that everything happened in, so I'll
just tell you all the good things that happened in an unorganized
manner. (Sister Guilott? Unorganized? What?!)
"I made egg-in-a-hole with heart shaped cookie cutters!
Just showin my Daddy that I love him!"
We had an online/skype lesson with a friend from home! Okay, so
technically I've never met him in person, but he is a cousin of a
friend! His name is Dylan, and he currently lives in Nevada. I've been
teaching him via Facebook, and we were finally able to have a
legitimate lesson over skype this week for the first time! It was
super great! I love that we are continuing to find ways to utilize the
tools given to us as missionaries. These iPads are awesome! If you
have anybody that you think could use the message we have to share
(and that's everyone, so I WILL be expecting some names and responses
to this), please tell me! I would love to skype them or chat with them
and help them progress towards coming unto Christ! :) Anyway, it was a
really good lesson, and it loved that I had the chance to skype in
order to teach!
"Alaskan Malemutes (or however you spell it)!  I love these dogs!
There was this one time, we were heading to an apartment complex to
try someone, and Sister Duff was like, "Let's walk." I was like.
"A'ight." So she parked somewhere and we got out and started walking.
We picked the WORST time to walk! We were a good 12 blocks away from
our destination, and we chose to walk so we could OYM some peeps on
the street, but the sun was right over us, and NO ONE was outside. I
was sweatin' like Olaf in summer time! It was awful. We felt like
maybe we should turn down a street right before our destination, so we
did. When we got to the end of the street, we met Serena. She was
super sweet and she became a very solid new investigator! Moral of the
story: never doubt promptings of the Spirit. God knows what He's
doing, and sometimes He wants us to walk in skirts in the heat to earn
the reward. But it was quite the miracle!
"I got a SWEET package from my fam bam this week with a bunch of pictures of me
miraculously with them all in New Orleans!  My mom is super creative! I LOVE it!
This other time, we went over to our new investigator Rita's house.
She's the one from Jordan that is Arabic. Anyway, we went over to her
house to give her her Arabic Book of Mormon, and she happened to have
a friend over! Her name is Rosa, and she is from Nazureth, Israel. She
read a bit of the Arabic Book of Mormon, and then demanded that we get
one for her too! We asked her if we could send missionaries her way,
and she said "You better!" So we took down her name, number, and
address, and promised her she'd have a Book of Mormon in no time. We
called in the referral, and now the Elders in Gresham are teaching
her. #Miracles!
"Saturday we had dinner with the Pratt's.  They took us to Hometown Buffet, which is out of our zone...we were panicking a little, but we called the zone leaders and they gave us permission.  Turns out, they had planned to meet up with the Sisters currently serving in Happy Valley!  It was a super fun surprise. :)"
"MTC roomies reunited at a yummy buffet.  What more could ya ask for?"
Okay kids, here's where it gets REALLY good. Buckle up! On Wednesday,
we had an amazing zone meeting where we were trained on a lot of super
good stuff. For the past couple weeks, we have been texting in a
miracle or two to the zone leaders every day, and then they send out a
voicemail to the zone each night telling us all our miracles
collectively as a zone. This week though, they wanted to add
something. They wanted to add how many times we invite people to come
to church and how many times we invite people to be baptized. So we
made an extra effort to invite with real intent and a sincere heart
for these sweet people. After our meeting, we went to an appointment
with a part member couple. They are both in their 80's, and the member
(Helen) is less active. We taught her and her husband Jack, and at the
end of the lesson, we invited Jack to be baptized on a certain date...
It was terrifying. But he said yes! We were stoked.

The next day, we had a lesson with Sylvia. Have I talked about her
before? She is amazing. She's in her late 60's or early 70's I
believe, and her husband is a member. We've been trying to get her to
let us teach her the actual lessons, because she has expressed that
she is going to be baptized eventually, she just "doesn't have time"
right now. Well, she had an interview with the Bishop about a week
ago, and he said the time is now. She agreed, and we were finally able
to teach her the first lesson! There were two other nonmembers there,
and we brought bishop as the member present. It was a great lesson! At
the end, we invited her to be baptized on August 10th, and she agreed!
She then invited the two other nonmembers there to be baptized with
her! They declined, but no worries! They'll come around eventually.
Once you discover the lasting happiness that is this gospel, there's
nothing you want more than to be a part of it forever. We are so
excited!!! That makes 2 more people on date for baptism!

On Sunday, we had a lesson with our 14 year old recent convert and her
mom Jackie. We talked about baptism again, and we decided that Jackie
would be more at ease if she had a goal and plan in mind for baptism.
So we put her on date for November 15th! That's a little far away, but
she was comfortable with that goal in mind, and if she is ready before
then, we will baptize her earlier. Isn't this wonderful? That means
that in a matter of 5 days, we went from having only 1 person on date
for baptism (Richard) to 4!
"A member found these kitties abandoned at his apartment complex,
so he is taking care of them.  Aren't they cute?"
I am just overwhelmed by the many miracles we were able to see this
week. Things have been a bit difficult recently, but God has not left
us in the dark. He will always provide for His children, particularly
when we are doing His work! This week was absolutely wonderful, and I
couldn't have asked for anything better! Now, the hope is that this
upcoming week will be just as wonderful and just as miracle-filled! I
love this work so so much, and I really hope that every single one of
you is looking for ways to share Christ's true and restored Gospel
with those around you. You will see an abundance of blessings as you
strive to do so! Email me, write me, or comment on here some of the
missionary experiences you have had recently. I would love to hear
them! I hope you all have an extraordinary week! I know I will. :) I
love you!

Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott

We were both asked to speak in sacrament meeting this Sunday, and so
in case anyone is interested, here is my rough draft of my talk. I
promise it came out a lot better than it is written. This JUST a rough
draft! I was asked to speak on conversion. :)

What is conversion? Growing up, I thought it meant helping someone who
wasn't a member of the church come to a point where they could be and
wanted to be baptized, but I was wrong. It is much much more than
that. So if it doesn't mean just baptism, what does it mean? The
dictionary defines it as, "Cause to change in form, character, or
function." This describes conversion perfectly! Christ wants us to
live our lives in line with the plan of happiness that He has laid
before us, and we can only follow in His way if we first change OUR
ways. That is what conversion is: changing the way we live so that our
will matches with God's will, and doing so out of love, true desire,
and real intent. If we change begrudgingly, are we converted to
Christ? No way. It must be our genuine desire to come unto Christ and
become like Him, and then we must act on that desire in faith before
we can really count ourselves converted. It would be wonderful to have
a desire deep in our hearts to keep the commandments without anyone
constantly reminding us and to have a firm conviction that if we
follow the right path, we will have the blessings promised in the
scriptures. But how do we get there?

As I have studied, I have found a common factor in true conversion --
it comes through gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon. In Preach
My Gospel chapter 4, there is a suggested activity for missionaries
that invites us to read Moroni chapter 10 in the Book of Mormon, and
then rewrite in our own words what Moroni is inviting everyone to do.
This was my interpretation:

"I would exhort you that you should read the Book of Mormon! That you
should recognize and remember how merciful The Lord has been. After
you have read it and pondered it for yourself, pray and ask God if it
is true. I promise you that He will answer you through the power of
the Holy Ghost. Everything good is of Christ, so if you feel good,
that is your answer. Have faith and don't deny the power of God, nor
the gifts of God, for everything is done by the same God as yesterday,
tomorrow, and forever. Teach the words of wisdom, knowledge, faith,
gifts of healing, miracles, prophecy, angels, tongues, and that they
are gifts of Christ. Remember faith, hope and charity! Come unto
Christ! Follow, and be perfected in Him!"

Reading, pondering, and praying about the Book of Mormon are critical
for an enduring conversion. Those who begin reading the Book of Mormon
for the first time take important steps toward coming to know that
Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and that the true Church has been
restored to the earth. Moroni's promise is incredible! It is so simple
too: read the Book of Mormon and pray about whether or not it is true.
If you have a real desire to know, and faith that God will answer you,
you WILL receive an answer through the testifying power of the Holy
Ghost. The Holy Ghost is so much more than I ever realized. As soon as
someone is able to realize the role of the Holy Ghost and recognize it
in their lives, they will surely be converted to Christ! The power of
the Holy Ghost can be felt by anyone before baptism, but the GIFT of
it is what is received through baptism -- the constant companionship
of the Holy Spirit and comforter.

So what about those that have not yet been baptized by the proper
authority and received the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost?
There are those that haven't found this happiness and the fullness of
the gospel simply because they know not where to find it. But YOU do.
You know where to find it. You have it! As part of your baptismal
covenant, you promise God that you will serve Him and be as Christlike
as you can. Christ was a teacher. He did all He could to share His
gospel with everyone He came in contact with. Which leaves you with
the same responsibility. Joshua 24:15 says it perfectly: "Choose you
this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will
serve the Lord.” Joshua’s declaration demonstrates true conversion to
the gospel. For Joshua and all of us, conversion to gospel principles
comes through righteously living the principles of the gospel and
being true to our covenants with the Lord. And in turn, sharing those
gospel principles with others. This work is so important! It is truly
the war for the salvation of souls! These are our brothers and sisters
that we are surrounded by every day, and most of them simply don't
know about the gospel and the happiness that awaits them if they
choose to follow it's principles and come unto Christ.

The plan of salvation is God's true plan for us to be eternally happy.
He has provided us with steps to take to make sure we are able to
return to live with Him again someday. In this past April General
Conference, Richard G. Scott spoke of the example Christ gave us, and
the importance of sharing the gospel. He said, "When you focus your
life on the basic principles of the plan of salvation, you will better
concentrate on sharing what you know because you understand the
eternal importance of the ordinances of the gospel. You will share
what you know in a way that encourages your friends to want to be
strengthened spiritually. You will help your loved ones want to commit
to obey all of His commandments and take upon themselves the name of
Jesus Christ."

Remember, loving them is the powerful foundation for influencing those
you want to help. In chapter 4 of Preach My Gospel, there is another
activity for us missionaries to try out. It has us search the
scriptures, and come up with a list of things that WE need in order to
help someone become truly converted to Christ, and a list of things
THEY need to feel in order to be converted to Christ. 2 Nephi 4:16-35
gives us this list: they must feel sorrow for their sins, love of god,
faith in god, the Holy Spirit, a desire to be rid of their sins and
truly change their hearts, a love for God and a desire to rejoice in
Him, and a desire to follow Christ forever.

Sorrow for sins is something that we all need to feel in order to be
truly converted to Christ, because that leads to utilizing the
Atonement of Jesus Christ and true repentance. The Apostle Paul taught
that “godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation … but the sorrow of
the world worketh death.” Godly sorrow inspires change and hope
through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Worldly sorrow pulls us down,
extinguishes hope, and persuades us to give in to further temptation.
Godly sorrow leads to conversion and a change of heart. It causes us
to hate sin and love goodness. It encourages us to stand up and walk
in the light of Christ’s love. True repentance is about
transformation. And transformation is change, which is part of our
original definition of conversion.

(Here I was prompted to talk about Enos and Alma the younger and their
examples of true conversion)

We can't convert someone past our own conversion. Lehi teaches this
perfectly when talking about the dream he had about the tree of life.
In 1 Nephi 8:11-12, he says, "11 And it came to pass that I did go
forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most
sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the
fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever
seen. And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with
exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my
family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable
above all other fruit." Once Lehi knew just how glorious and wonderful
the fruit of the tree of life tasted, or in other words, how
phenomenal eternal life in the presence of our Heavenly Father will be
the first thing he wanted to do was share it with his family! That is
what it takes for us to be able to help others become converted to
Christ: True conversion yourself to the fullness of the gospel,
followed by a true and sincere desire for your brothers and sisters to
partake of it's goodness as well. Do we all have such a burning desire
to share the miracle of this Gospel with our brothers and sisters?
Mosiah 28:1-4 teaches us that the idea that even one soul should
suffer should sicken you, giving you a determination to bring
salvation to as many people as possible. Relieving them of their sins,
sorrows and guilt, and bringing them to the knowledge of an eternal
happiness that God has laid out for each of us.

All we need is a true love of Christ. When Christ asked Peter, "lovest
thou me?" And Peter assured Him he loved Him, Christ responded with,
"feed my sheep." Once we are truly converted to our Lord and Savior,
our Brother Jesus Christ, and we have a genuine love for Him, we will
do what He asks of us, which is simply to "feed His sheep." We must
anchor our lives in Jesus Christ, showing our love for Him by doing
what He has asked of us -- sharing His light and His love with others,
bringing them the eternal happiness of His restored Gospel on the
earth. That is, feeding His sheep.

I know that what Bishop Dean M. Davies said in the April 2013 General
Conference is true. Which is, that "by anchoring our lives to Jesus
Christ and to His Atonement and by carefully following His plans for
our happiness, including daily prayer, daily scripture study, and
weekly partaking of the sacrament, we will be strengthened, we will
experience real personal growth and a lasting conversion" for
ourselves and a greater understanding of the importance of helping
others to become truly converted as well.

I testify to you, that as we concentrate on our own conversion to
Christ, we will be able to better understand the importance of sharing
His gospel with others. I know that this work is incredibly important,
and I know that it helps me with my own personal conversion, as well
as the critical work of others lasting conversion.

(I then bore more testimony, and closed in the name of Jesus Christ.)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy 4th of July!!

I love missionary work. For many many reasons. The spirit is always
incredibly strong, I get to meet a bunch of new people and grow close
to them, I get to testify of what I know to be true, I get to teach,
and I get to be an ordained disciple of Christ. I love listening to
peoples missionary stories when they come home from their missions,
and this week I had 5 experiences that are part of the crazy ones I'll
share when I get home. "When I was on my mission..." Blah blah blah?
Yeah, a ton of crazy things happened this week. After all, I am in

The first one was towards the beginning of the week. We were visiting
a sister in the ward who was less active. I had heard all sorts of
things about this person, but I was always confused by the comments
made. When we got there and I met her, I understood. She is a
hermaphrodite with a very open opinion about everything. She's super
cool, but there have been some instances where she has said things to
the old ladies in the ward that have caused contention and all of this
stuff that I don't know much about. Anyway, we had a good lesson with
her and told her we would save her a spot in church and relief
society, and we left. I really like her. Teaching her is a different
experience, but very exciting! As we were leaving, we walked down the
tiny sidewalk that goes down the middle of the apartment complex, and
a man in his 20's was walking up to one of the doors and knocked on
it. We attempted to OYM him. I said, "Hello!" And before I could get
anything else out, we felt an overwhelming feeling that we should keep
walking and get out of there as soon as we could. As we walked he
said, "Well hello. Mmmm. Too beautiful. Mmmm. I like your outfits."
....We definitely got out of there fast. Sister Duff had our pepper
spray at hand though, no worries.

The next day, we were trying to contact a nice lady we had set up an
appointment with named Karen. She didn't answer, but while we were
standing at her door, a man walking by made some comments about our
appearance, and then asked us who we were. We gave him a
card and introduced ourselves, but again felt like we should leave. We
had told him our names and he said, "Duck and Gillof? Hello pretties."
As we walked away, he kept calling out to us and making creepy
comments, so we got out pretty quickly. There was the definite smell
of alcohol on his breath as we walked past him. We made it to our car
safely. :)

The last sketchy instance happened yesterday. We were driving down a
street and I told Sister Duff to stop by this one man walking a bike.
He had a vacuum and a trash bag full of cans on his bike. We stopped
and OYM's him from the safety of our car this time. He had tattoos all
over his face and he asked us if we believed that Christ was
assassinated. We were confused... He said, "Yeah! The last
missionaries who talked to me said that Christ was assassinated. They
were bigger girls like you two too! But it's okay. I prefer bigger
girls. I spent 18 years in prison so I don't really have a
preconceived idea of what I want my wife to be, but bigger is better."
Anyway, we drove away after talking to him, all confused that he had
kind of hit on us by calling us fat...? That's new.

So besides all the creepy stuff that happened, we had a really
successful week! We had only 1 progressing investigator last week, but
we have 5 now! Isn't that awesome??? I just LOVE when people really
get a hold of the Gospel and understand that we are teaching truth.
Once they see that, it becomes a priority, which is exactly what God
asks us. To consider Him our top priority. The difference in these
people is amazing! They are happier, healthier, and things seem to run
much more smoothly in their lives when they make that switch. It makes
me so happy to see that!

One thing I really love about the northwest is the gardens! You can
grow so many delicious things up here! This week while we were
walking, a member invited us to partake of his garden while we talked
to him, and I had some of the best raspberries and blueberries I have
EVER had. They were so good! And straight off the bush too! Speaking
of walking, we discovered that there is a nest of evil raccoons living
in the tree in our front yard. We had a close encounter with the mom a
few days ago, and now I'm terrified to walk past the tree in the
morning! Haha dumb raccoon.

Oh! Here's some pictures from this week!

"A mini Mardi!  He is so small and twice as fiesty!"
"Yummy lunch outside for the Fourth of July!"
"No fireworks in sight..."
I apologize for the scattered nature of this email, I don't have a ton
of time. So I thought I'd hit on the exciting stuff and call it good.
Haha! There is one more story that I PROMISED I wouldn't reveal to
anyone until I was home from my mission, but just know this: it is up
there on the same level as Mike Pickard's mission stories. Yeah. THAT
good. Be prepared!

I love you all very very much and I hope to hear from you soon! Keep
sharing your testimony and bringing joy to all of those around you!
Your shining example does not go unnoticed, I promise!

Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott