NOW BACK TO NICOLE'S LETTER:
There is so much to cover, I don't even really know where to begin!
I'm sorry I didn't post for the past 2 weeks, that was lame of me. But
it's okay because now I can catch you up to speed with everything!
Being home was weird. Wonderful because I got to see people and I got healthy again, but also strange because it was in the middle of my
mission. There were some wonderful blessings though that came from it! I got to be a part of a lot of great missionary experiences while I
was home which was incredibly helpful because it kept my focus on the
work of The Lord. I even got to participate in a baptism while I was
home! A family friend of ours had taken the discussions a few years
ago, and decided recently that he wanted to be baptized. :) So I went
over with my Aunt and the missionaries and taught him and set up his
baptism. It was awesome!
|"The one in the middle is who got baptized, and the one on the right is my uncle who |
baptized him. Such a cool experience!"
love being able to see the amazing progress and the wonderful spirit
that is felt at baptisms. Especially that this time it was for someone
who I have known for quite some time rather than an investigator who
I've only known for a short while. God doesn't do random, and for some
reason I was meant to be home for that baptism. I am so grateful that
He loves me enough to provide me with plenty of opportunities to
remember my mission and continue the work.
Another great thing I got to do while I was home was attend the temple
often. :) I went at least 5 times while I was there, and it was
perfect! The house of The Lord is my favorite place to be. I learn so
much every time I go, and the 5 or so times I went these past 3 weeks
were some of the best and most enlightening experiences ever. I grew
to have a better understanding of God's plan for me and that His plan
for each of His children is well thought out and divine. I found
pieces of me in the temple that I knew were there, but hadn't allowed
them to surface just yet. And now I have them! I know that as I
continue to attend the temple regularly, I will be able to discover
even more of those missing pieces and apply them into my life for the
better. God really knows me. I'm so grateful He does.
It was Tuesday morning at about 8:45 am that I left Utah and came home to Washington. Saying goodbye a second time was strange... It was difficult, but I also knew that this time it would feel shorter
because 7 months were already done. And I was just so excited to get
back to doing The Lord's work in the area I was called to serve in!
The fun part about my flight was that I got to fly out with all the
new missionaries from the MTC! There were 2 Sisters and a bunch of
Elders heading to the WVM that day, and it was super fun answering all
their questions and telling them about how wonderful our mission is.
It was fun. When we got to the mission, President and Sister Taylor
were there to greet us, along with the 4 AP's. We piled our luggage
into a U-Haul, then all the newbies rode in a van and I rode with
President and Sister Taylor in their car. We got to the mission
office, and they had the whole "new missionary meeting" that I got to
stay for until our ride came to pick us up and take us to our area. Us
being me and my new companion Sister Lammi! She is amazing. We are best friends already! We didn't take many pictures this week... So
here is a screenshot from a video we made.
going to BYUI before the mish. I adore her. :) So we waited at the
mission office and participated in the new missionary meeting until
our ride got there. Our ride was the Haskett's! The wonderful couple
we are living with. They took us to our new home in the Vancouver
Central Stake in the Evergreen ward. Get this. Right across the street
from us is the Van East Stake and Lacamas Creek ward!!!! I am RIGHT
next to my first area! It is so fun to be so close. I have already had
the chance to see a few of my amazing friends from Lacamas Creek since being here and that has been awesome! Woot woot! The members we live with (the Haskett's) are absolute gems, and they are so hospitable. We have a bedroom, bathroom, and living room all to ourselves upstairs, and we share their kitchen. I love them so much! Here's the extra crazy thing about the new area I'm in: we are white washed! That means that both Sister Lammi and I are new to this area, neither one of us has been here before. So we are starting out new and completely ignorant as to what is going on in this ward. Oh, and we don't have bikes or a car so we are walking. :) No worries though, the members here are AMAZING!!! They have informed us as to what work was going on before they lost the Sisters (it was Sister Kearl who was here last and she went to Columbia River with me the week before I went home), and they all offer us rides everywhere. They're great. This ward is DEFINITELY missionary minded, and super excited to have Sisters again. We share the ward with Elders so they take the far away parts of the ward since they have bikes, and we cover the part of the ward closest to us. I love it here!
Thursday was Sister Lammi's 9 month mark, better known as her HUMP DAAAY! So naturally, we had to celebrate! It was about 8 o'clock at night and we were going to get Burgerville milkshakes, which I remember being not too far away from where we were at. So we began our journey. As we trekked toward Burgerville, the sun got lower and lower and eventually it was dark. I was certain is was only a few blocks further. We walked past this giant open field in the dark which is right next to a highway, and as we walked and Lammi talked, I noticed a bunch of eyes staring at us from the field behind Sister Lammi... Then I remembered that there are coyotes all over up here. I freaked out a little bit but I didn't tell Sister Lammi until we had passed the field safely. It was a close one! Never fear, we called and got a ride back from Burgerville rather than walking past the field to return home. It was quite the adventure!
The next day was lovely, and we had dinner with the Nuffer's
(noo-fer). We had quite the experience at their house! We ate a
delicious dinner consisting of my favorite vegetables (brussel
sprouts, asparagus, red bell peppers, zucchini, and more) and chicken,
then we fed fish up close and personal, and ate flowers from their
yard. It was great! Again, didn't take many pictures, but here are
HUGE! I went from the smallest zone in the mission consisting of 12
missionaries, to the biggest zone in the mission! We have 3 districts
rather than just two. It's crazy. It was fun to get to know the
missionaries in the zone. Sister Maughan is part of it! And Elder
Archibald, who was district leader in the MTC while I was there is now
my district leader and training a new missionary. He's obviously good
at this. Anyway, it's been fun to meet new people and see old faces.
I'm to the point now that I know just about every missionary in the
mission, so whenever transfers happen I usually know the majority of
the people in my zone right off the bat. It's super fun to be that
That night, Sister Nuffer so generously took us to St. Helens, Sister
Lammi's previous area, so that we could attend two of her baptisms! It
was wonderful. And guess who I saw there???
there, we took a picture with President Thomas (a member of the
Mission Presidency) in his jumpsuit because he was going to baptize
one of the baptizee's and we thought he looked adorable. :)
our way home that I haven't the slightest idea what the name of it
was. Some park under a bridge. It was cool though!
ward truly is amazing, and I am so excited for this week! Last week was extremely slow because we didn't know anything, and all the information was outdated, so not much teaching happened. But this week will be great because we now have a relationship with the ward members, updated info on people we are teaching, and a reestablished excitement for the work in this area.
My intermission is now over, the brilliant second act to my 18 month
adventure has begun, and though I enjoyed my 3 weeks at home with my family, it so so nice to be back. I anxiously await the finale to this
grand adventure, and the many wonderful things that will happen
between now and then. What a blessing it is to be serving. I wouldn't
have it any other way. I love you all and I hope you are continuing to
come unto Christ. Never stop. He loves you, and He wants you to be
close to Him so that He might be closer to you. Have a great week, and
I will talk to you again soon!
|"Sister Missionary Ninja Turtle"|
|"Sister Lammi Ninja Turtle"|