Monday, December 1, 2014

One and Only

Thanksgiving was absolutely perfect. This is the only Thanksgiving that I will have on my entire mission, and it was very well spent. The whole week was pretty much Thanksgiving actually, because we had so many turkey dinners and so much to do! I felt so much love and gratitude for my Savior and my Heavenly Father and for all the blessing and privileges I have. Simply being here on a mission has been a huge privilege in and of itself, along with the chance I have to meet all these wonderful people here in Washington and having a forever family waiting for me back home. I am just so so grateful!!!
"That's right, I actually CONTRIBUTED to Thanksgiving!"
All the good stuff started in Wednesday. We volunteered to help put together a Thanksgiving dinner for the people who live at the Central Park Place where we teach our Bible Study class. So we showed up at 11, cooked for 3 hours, then stayed there and served 50+ plus people until about 3:30 or 4. I don't know how to describe the immense feelings of happiness, joy, and true thanksgiving I felt that day. Spending one of my favorite holidays simply serving people is the best thing I have ever done! For a lot of those people, their only Thanksgiving was the one we provided. Most of them don't have family or friends near by, at least not sober ones that they can trust and stay clean around, so it felt super cool to be providing the central part of a main holiday for these people. They were so sweet and grateful and they wanted to know everything about us! It was very very sweet. 
"The lingering residents eating the food we prepared for them."
"I cut the ham all by myself!"
"Sister B with her Pink Fluff.  It was more like Pink Goop the first time though . . ."
Those are all pictures from the event at Central Park Place. It was perfect and wonderful and spiritual and amazing! I loved every minute of it. :) The next day was the ACTUAL Thanksgiving day. We made our yummy treats again (Pink Goop was actually Pink Fluff this time, and my yams were done the right way), which everyone enjoyed, and we ate at Erica's house. :) I just love those people! She had 4 friends over, herself and her two girls, her friend's two children, and the Sister Missionaries from the Young Single Adult Ward. It was AWESOME! We had a wonderful time in each others company, and we were stuffed by the end! 

"Bishop Swanger knew that I love pecan pie, so he made me one! And he and his wife made us mini pies too! Isn't that sweet?"
It was simply wonderful. Thanksgiving night, President had invited our zone to come over to his house for his famous pies. :) That was a blast! We mingled, ate pie, and then Sister Taylor asked me if I would be willing to perform some sort of a musical number. I was nervous, but I can't say no to the Mission President's wife! So I picked a Thanksgiving hymn, and after I played it and sang it, everyone wanted to sing Christmas hymns together! So I stayed at the piano and accompanied my zone and the office missionaries and we all sang Christmas hymns together. It was wonderful. The spirit was super strong, and we were all smiling and just having a jolly old time together. :)
"Selfies with President!"
"I told him to make a funny face. :P"
It was a perfect day! The day AFTER Thanksgiving, we taught a wonderful lesson to our sweet Annalee in the morning, then headed to the church for our 3rd feast. It was with a member family in the ward who had a bunch family in from all over the country, and they held their Thanksgiving feast at the church. So that was a cool opportunity for us to explain the church building and teach a little bit over some turkey. Needless to say, the tryptophan has yet to wear off... So much turkey!!!
All in all, my Thanksgiving week was perfect. I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend the only Thanksgiving that I will have on my mission. It was all happiness and joy and service and full tummies. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to serve, and I am so excited about this next holiday coming up... Christmas!!! I love you all, and I will talk to you next week!
Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott
"My favorite Rodriguez family came to visit us for lunch on the weekend!"
"We found a bat in the caves last week.  Forgot to show you."
"This little guy sat next to me at his sister's baptism last Sunday and drew me the
cutest picture of the temple.  He is so sweet!"
"This is where the great chicken massacre took place . . ."

"President has a beautiful painting of Joseph Smith in his house, and we had to take a picture with it.
The First Vision is so powerful!"

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