Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I am in Awe

I feel like my introduction to all of these emails is always the same. "This week was amazing!" But that is because it's true! So many wonderful things keep happening, and I am simply awe-struck at how merciful the Lord is when it comes to His missionaries and His work. We aren't always the best at doing His work with all our heart, might, mind and strength, but He knows what our best is, and He rewards us for doing our best. This week was a definite testimony to that! 

First of all, IT SNOWED!!!! 

I am so so happy that it snowed! It was only a couple flakes, but it was enough to get all us Utah missionaries excited, and also enough to make Vancouver FREAK OUT. They made sure school started 2 hours late so that they could safely drive or walk to school. It was funny. I found this cartoon on Facebook about it, and it's perfect. :)

I laughed pretty hard at that one. But really! The snow made me so so happy. Every morning now when we get in our car, I have to scrape the ice off the windows. It hasn't snow snowed really, but we definitely get visited by Jack Frost every night while we are sleeping. 

The week started wonderfully, because we played indoor soccer as a zone! It was the first time I had played indoor soccer since I was 15 or 16, and it felt OH so good! It made me miss my favorite sports: Soccer, Swim, and Softball. I will definitely be playing more of those sports when I get back. Sister Borchardt and I both played really hard on Monday, and though it felt good in the moment, we suffered for the rest of the week... I had blisters all over my feet, and we were SO sore!!! 
"Clearly, the other missionaries were tired after a while too!"
"We were very tired by the end of it all."
So yeah, sports are still wonderful, and they still tucker me out. :) On Tuesday or Wednesday, a family took us to a Greek restaurant in downtown Vancouver called "A Touch of Athens." They bought us each a lamb shank! It was yummy. Sister Borchardt and I kept quoting My Big Fat Greek Wedding the whole time. The music was Greek, the food was Greek, the waiter was Greek, and it was all just beautiful. Then on Wednesday we were able to meet up with an investigator of mine from Lacamas Creek for lunch! She is so sweet. :)

Now for the good stuff. Saturday was AMAZING. It started at 9 in the morning with what we all called the "Snow Conference." It wasn't really a zone conference because half the mission was there, but it wasn't a mission conference because only half the mission was there. :P So we called it the Snow Conference because Elder Steven E. Snow from the 1st Quorum of the 70 came and spoke to us. It was marvelous! Before the conference really got going, he wanted to meet each of us individually, so he had us all go up to him and shake his hand and introduce ourselves. It was cool. The conference was mostly about teaching us how to be better public speakers... He had each of us write a five minute talk on faith this week, and then he called up 4 missionaries randomly and had them give their talk on faith. After each one spoke, we critiqued them. It was a very unique conference to say the least, but we all learned a lot! 

After lunch, the second half of the conference we heard from his wife a little bit, and then more from him. We talked about the Holy Ghost and the role that He plays in our missionary work. We also talked a lot about our personal testimonies. He said that NOW is the time to learn about the Holy Ghost and gain a testimony of him. So that is what I have been studying during my personal study since Saturday: learning more about the Holy Ghost. There was one other profound thing he said that I thought I'd share, he was talking about Jesus Christ and the work He performed in this earth, including the Atonement. He said, "Christ's ministry could be performed by any good prophet, but only He could accomplish His mission." Each of us took those words personally as we realized that anyone who has the desire can go on a mission and serve God, but only I can accomplish MY mission. My burden is not nearly as heavy as Christ's was, and to even make such a comparison would be blasphemous. But I was called to the Washington Vancouver Mission and put in these areas with these companions at this EXACT moment in time because only I can accomplish MY mission. 

All in all, the conference was wonderful. I learned a lot about missionary work and what is expected and required, and I also learned a lot about myself as a missionary. After the conference, which ended at two, we headed to central Vancouver, the Evergreen Ward for the baptism of Alexis Wilt!!! Oh my goodness, it was phenomenal. So many people showed up, people had to stand because there wasn't enough room for everybody. Bishop Sears baptized her, and it was just precious. The spirit was so so strong in that room! And it was great to see everybody from Evergreen!
"We wrapped a little something for her birthday and baptism gift."

Baptisms are definitely the best part of a mission, especially when you get to be the missionary who teaches them from the very beginning, and then gets to see them baptized. I can't even imagine what it will be like to see these wonderful people who have been baptized make it to the temple. That will be amazing... I can't even think of words enough to describe how that will feel! I am so happy for Alexis. She is definitely ready to make and keep covenants with God. 

After her baptism, we drove down to Gresham, Oregon to the baptism of Terri, an investigator of Sister Borchardt's. We ate dinner with Erica, Guddi and Riya in Gresham, and then went to the baptism with them. I think they really liked it! It was so cool that they wanted to drive all the way to Gresham to see a baptism. :) I love them. Erica told me and Sister Borchardt that she wants the two of us to speak at her baptism. :):):) That made us both very very happy. I am so happy to see the progression of the people we are teaching, not just Erica. A recent convert just received the Aaronic Priesthood on Tuesday night, and this week we get to go to the Temple with Gary who just got the Melchezeoik Priesthood last Sunday. So many wonderful things are happening! And to top it off, we sang "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" together in church on Sunday. Erica and Riya came, and there were 7 less active members there that day! So I think it was a great day to sing in church. I am still so so happy, and I can't wait to tell you all about this upcoming week! I love you!

Love Always, 

Sister Nicole Guilott

This is for you Mommy: An attendee of our Bible Study class talked about Delilah this week. She said, "she's this radio woman who has a night show from like 7 to midnight, and she just has this really soothing, calm and peaceful voice." I died.

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