Oh my goodness, what is my life?? How in the world did I get here? I ask myself these questions every single day. It's so interesting to look back at the person I was a little over a year ago and barely be able to recognize her. I think of some of the things I said, did, and thought, and it feels so foreign to me. That person doesn't exist anymore. I mean, I'm still me of course, but my focus is much happier and is constantly bringing me so much closer to God. I've been especially looking back at my growth over the past 13 months because on Friday I got what we missionaries call "the Trunky Call." The mission office called me and wanted to know which date I was going to choose go go home. Because my 18 month mark falls in the middle of a transfer, I have the option of going home on June 23rd or August 4th, and the trunky call is when they let us know that we have a few days to pray about it and decide (I've picked August 4th just FYI). Ever since that call I've been pondering my mission and how I've gotten to this point. It's so funny to think things like, "Oh my goodness, I've lived in the Northwest for 13 months now... Washington and Oregon really have become my home for now!" I never really thought too much about myself living on my own in a different state than my family, so being here for so long and feeling at home is very different. But I know why it feels so familiar - it's because I am here with God. The people within the boundaries of my mission are people I knew and loved before I came to Earth, and I'm sure I promised some of them that I would find them and help them come back to their Savior and back to their Father in Heaven. Knowing that is such a comfort! And that is why I feel at home here; because these people are my family and we have loved each other since before the world was even created. I love that!
That being said, my heart broke when I had to leave my brothers and sisters in the Vancouver 1st Ward. I feel such an eternal bond with each of the people I met there. I have felt that for people in each of the areas I have served in, but especially in the Van 1st Ward. I miss them all so much already, but I know that it wasn't goodbye. I'll see them again another day. :) My new Ward, the Columbia Ward in the Gresham Stake, feels great already too. There are people here that I promised I'd find, and I can't wait to find them! The people I've met so far are wonderful and all so talented! There is much work to be done here, and there is much help provided by the members, which I am ecstatic about! I love my sweet new companion, Sister Eyerly, and we are going to do so much work here! It's fun being in a new area because I love having no expectations of people when we first go and teach. That way I don't feel the need to be reserved in extending commitments or asking bold questions. (Not like I've ever been afraid to say or ask anything, haha!) It's exciting!
All in all, I am very anxious to see where this next transfer and the experiences in this area take me. I am sad to not be in Vancouver, but I know that as I focus on Christ and His work, my burdens will be made light and I will be able to feel the kind of happiness that only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bring - eternal happiness. I feel the love for these people already, but I look forward to having a small taste of the kind of love that God has for His children here. I am in Oregon, and the people here are pretty strange, so expect some fun stories coming up as well as stories of miracles and tender mercies that are given to us missionaries serving here in the Columbia Ward in Troutdale, Oregon (yes Dad, Troutdale is a real place). I love you! I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for me in this part of the Washington Vancouver Mission. I'll talk to you next week!
Sister Nicole Guilott
|My new companion Sister Eyerly!|
|Houseboats. They have garages for their boats.|