Monday, March 30, 2015


Oh boy oh boy, I love my mission. I can't say that enough. This week was AMAZING!!! There is so much I want to talk about, but I am just gonna have to pick and choose because my time is limited due to the only sad part about this week, which is that we got transfer news - Sister Eyerly is being transferred to Columbia River in the Portland East Stake (where I served last summer), and I am staying in the area. So she needs to pack and shop for some necessities, hence my limited time online today. I was sad about the news, but then I read my letter: I am staying in the Columbia ward, and I am getting Sister Depew! She was in the MTC with me, and we like each other so I know this will be a fun transfer. I am very excited to get to serve with her and to get as much work out as we can! Because she is going home the same time I am, she will probably have the same drive to do her best for these last couple months like I do, which will be super helpful in getting the work done.

The biggest news I have is that I finished my Quad this morning. I finished the New Testament, which was the last book of scripture that I had to read, and now I have officially read the whole Quad cover to cover, which is roughly 2,468 pages. I started with the Book of Mormon last year, then I read the Doctrine & Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, then I spent 3 transfers reading the Old Testament, and this transfer reading the New Testament, all the while reading a few pages of the Book of Mormon every day as well. It has been a phenomenal experience. I had never read the Bible cover to cover before, and it was quite an adventure! Of course I've read a ton from the Bible, but never just starting with Genesis and finishing with Revelation. It was amazing! I also got on my knees and prayed this morning when I had finished, asking God if those books were true, and He answered me before I could even say "Amen." Of course it is true. The Bible is true as far as it is translated correctly, and I got a reaffirmed testimony of the Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants. I am just so in awe of the fact that Heavenly Father loves us enough to give us such wonderful tools for us to achieve eternal happiness. I am so grateful for the scriptures, and I will continue to read them over and over again for the rest of my life so I might have the strength and the guidance that comes from those sacred words.

Last Monday, we were able to have Family Home Evening with the McDowell's in our ward and the Rowley's from Van 1st! It was wonderful. I love them so so much! And then this Friday, we got to have lunch with them at the Truffle Hunter. It was delicious. :) It's so nice that I have the opportunity to meet up with people from my past areas. I'm very grateful for that privilege. While we were at Truffle Hunter, the waitress (Carol) was having a pretty bad day, and kept slipping up with her words and telling us the wrong and thing, etc. She started to cry when she was showing us dessert, and we all felt super bad. So I pulled out my Mickey Mouse notepad and wrote her a little note telling her she is beautiful and we appreciated her service. She was so sweet when I gave it to her, she said she has never received anything like it, and that day was definitely not a day she deserved it. I had given her our phone number, and she started telling me and Erica about her religious life. Erica is a rock star and pretty much bore testimony of the church to her. It was super cool to watch. :) I love my Rowley's!

Did everybody watch the General Women's Broadcast on Saturday night?? I LOVED it! I thought that Sister Oscarson's talk was very bold, and it kind of shocked me because we never really hear "bold" talks from the women who speak at General Conference. I very much appreciated her talk and the things that she said about defending the family. She's right. And I need to do better at holding strong on my views about the importance of family. It is the key part of the entire plan that God has for us after all, so that makes it worth defending. :) I also loved President Eyring's talk. He was so sweet and definitely made me cry. OH! And the coolest thing happened: in one of the videos they showed, my TRC investigator from the MTC, Latoya, was one of the people who talked about her trials in her family and the faith it has helped her build! It was so cool to see her! It made me so happy to see her talk about her strength. She is super cool, and I am so grateful I got to teach her in the MTC. I am so incredibly excited for General Conference this weekend! 

A lot of people have been making negative comments about General Conference being on Easter this year, but I think it is wonderful! What better way to celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior than by listening to the counsel of our beloved Prophet and the Apostles? I simply cannot wait. I hope you are preparing for General Conference by coming up with a question or two that you would like to have answered. I can promise you that your questions will be answered as you prayerfully listen to Conference with an open heart. The Spirit will touch you. :) In preparation for Easter, watch this beautiful video about your Savior, Jesus Christ. I love it!

The other reason I titled this blog post "Quad" is because I have only 4 months left... This realization is finally sinking in because of having to register for classes today and work out all of my information with the Mission Office about my going home date. It'll be really great to have Sister Depew as a companion, because she is going home the same time as I am, so I know that we will both have a new kind of motivation to do the work. I am going to work harder than I ever have for these last 4 months, and I am going to put in quadruple the effort for the time that I have left. I will NOT have any regrets when I go home, and I will be able to leave my mission hearing Heavenly Father say, "This is my daughter, in whom I am well pleased." I look forward to that moment, but for now, time to work! I love you and will talk to you next week!

Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott

P.S. More pictures!

"Bulgarian food!  SOOO good!"
"I guess I'm a dog whisper."
"She didn't like her sweater, but she always comes to me to pout."

Monday, March 23, 2015

Lord, What Would Ye Have Me Do?‏

I began this week sorrowful. Monday was hard... But I got through it. I was worn out physically and emotionally from being sick over the weekend, we didn't get many of the things done that we needed to, and I received devastating news. My sweet Cynthia from the Vancouver 1st Ward, who was on date to be baptized on March 28th, passed away a few weeks ago. My heart broke, and it just added to the vast horizon of dark clouds that I felt were looming over my head. It was a very difficult day, but I had a wonderful study on Tuesday morning that helped me to get back into the swing of things.

I read the talk, "Are We Not All Beggars?" by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland to start out, and I learned SO much about myself and about my Savior! There is one story in particular that he shares that stood out to me. In both Matthew and Mark, the story is told of the woman (Mary) who comes and anoints Christ with a very expensive oil, and Judas leads murmuring against her for not selling the oil and giving it to the poor. Christ's response is this: 

"Let her alone; why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on me. 
....She hath done what she could."

This is such a simple response, but it comes with such power and grace. Our loving Savior, who suffered EVERYTHING for us, recognizes our efforts as enough because He perfectly understands what we are capable of in every moment. Some times we may be able to bear more than other times, and Christ knows this! All He asks is that we give our best. I know I've talked about this A LOT over the course of my mission, but that's because it is so true, and so easy for us to forget! If God is the only one who knows what we are currently capable of, then it is so important that we ask the question often, 
"Lord, what would ye have me do?"

If we humble ourselves enough to recognize that we are weak and can accomplish nothing on our own, and go to the Lord in faith asking Him this question, He will always answer us and give us opportunities to follow the Spirit. I am so grateful I made this discovery early on in the week, because our week was so full of blessings as soon as I asked what it is He wants me to be doing specifically in this moment. 

The first answer to that prayer came on Wednesday when we had our interviews with President Taylor. Without prompt, he told me EXACTLY what he wants and needs me to be doing for my last 3 transfers. He told me he is very grateful for the work I have done so far, and he is going to be trusting me with some special responsibilities for the last 4 months of my mission. That probably doesn't mean a leadership position, but ya never know with President. I think it means with the companions I have and the areas I serve in. There are things in each place with each person that he wants me to help him with, and he knows I can do it. God knows I can do it, and that is why President told me what he wants me to do. It was awesome! And the answer came so quickly! I prayed about it on Tuesday night, and got the first part of my answer on Wednesday morning. :) God is good. Plus, the day was full of happiness and sunshine! We were excited about it. 
I had heard a quote while we were sitting at interviews that somebody said, "Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds." It wasn't until this morning when I received an email from Mom sharing that same quote that I found out it was President Gordon B. Hinckley that said it. :) God doesn't do random! Anyway, I have been thinking about that quote all week just thinking, "Missions are for growth. Spiritual growth. I am supposed to grow, and I am supposed to help others grow. So we need to work harder!" That day, we WORKED. I mean, we were running around so fast and trying so many people without dilly dally or delay, and a huge miracle happened. We had dinner with a recent convert, and her nonmember son was there. He asked questions over dinner, and long story short, he is getting baptized. He picked his own date too! He wants to be baptized on August 4th because that's his mom's birthday and his daughter's birthday, so he wants it to be his rebirthday. :) It was amazing! We are now teaching him at least once a week. It was quite the miracle.

This propelled us forward for the rest of the week! We were just so pumped for EVERYTHING this week! We wanted to go at the work with full force, giving it ALL our energy! After all, the work is hastening, so we better hasten our pace too! We had a super fun service project for the zone where we all picked up litter on the roadsides in Troutdale, and we kept our same speed and zeal for that work too! 
Lastly, and possibly one of the greatest experiences on my mission thus far, Panda Express. Haha! On Friday when we were doing our weekly planning, we got a call from one of our investigators saying she just got home from shopping and had a sudden migraine, keeping her from being able to put away her groceries. We ran over and I put away her groceries while Sister Eyerly talked to her and kept an eye on her kids so she could rest. I did her dishes while she sort of napped, and when we left we offered to help with dinner. She didn't want us to have to cook anything, so she asked if we could just go pick up Panda Express for her and she would pay us back. We were happy to do so! When we got to Panda it was PACKED! And super small, so it was rather noisy and crazy in there. Everyone was clearly anxious to get out. I ordered her food, and as I was standing at the cash register getting ready to pay, a big black man on my left tapped me on the shoulder and yelled, "What church do you go to?" I replied, pointing to my tag, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day..." "No no no no, WHERE is it?" he interrupted. I started to tell him where it was and he asked me to write it down. I frantically searched for a card, but I was out, and Sister Eyerly was ordering her own food, plus the man was on the phone and seemed in a rush to get out of there. I was slightly panicked so I said, while desperately searching for a pen and paper, "Are you a member?" He said, "No, but I want to be! I'd like to be baptized!" ...I did my best to keep my composure. Instead of getting him a card, I just handed him our phone and he entered his number and said his name was Carlos. And just as quickly as he had appeared, he was gone. It was amazing. Definitely a HUGE and obvious blessing of service. 

Heavenly Father does not break His promises. He rewards us for our service of others, no matter what capacity we are able to work. He simply asks us to try. In His compassion and mercy, He answers our prayers... And we must go forward with that same compassion, willing to give whatever we possibly can to help be His hands, answering the prayer of another one of His children. Elder Holland closes his talk with these words: "I promise that God will be generous to you, and those who find relief at your hand will call your name blessed forever." That is a promise from an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. I testify that these things are true. I know that God loves you and desires your happiness. I know that as we put our best foot forward and just TRY to do what He asks of us, we will be blessed. The more we pause to ask, "Lord, what would ye have me do?" and follow through with what we feel prompted to do, the easier it will be to feel of His love and recognize the blessings that He is so anxious for us to receive. I love Him. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott

P.S. Thank you so much for the flowers!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tremendous Truth and Tribulation

I have felt such overwhelming joy this week.  The spirit has been so strong in all aspects - I have felt Him testify of truth, I have felt Him aid me in what direction I need to take and what decisions I need to make, and I have felt Him bring peace and comfort to my soul.  He has been VERY present!  I have seen many miracle in the past 7 days, and each day has brought new knowledge and lasting happiness as I have seen people be changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, including myself! God is continuing to humble me, and I am grateful for it, because with each trial comes a blessing that brings an equal or greater among of happiness and peace.  I have felt both ends of the spectrum this week.

We taught some good lessons! We contacted one referral that is a new couple in the ward with a 15 month old daughter. They aren't married, but are apparently both active members of the church. We went over to visit them, and they live with 9 very nice nonmembers. :) We only met 2 and a half of them (the half being the 2 week old baby), but they are just gems! We chatted with all of them for about 45 minutes, and were able to share the Because of Him video from last Easter. There's a new video coming out this year called "Because He Lives" that I am super excited about. We got to watch a preview of it a few weeks ago at the mission conference, and it is just as good as the Because of Him video. I'm stoked to be able to share it with the people we teach! Anyway, we got a return appointment with the new family and with all the people in the house! We are going over tonight to do a Family Home Evening of sorts with them all and get to know them a bit. I'm super excited about it. Missionaries LOVE referrals! And all of the ones we contacted this week are gold. Please give the missionaries names of people to visit! Heavenly Father always softens the hearts of those people who are given to the missionaries to teach by other people. It's amazing to watch.

We also had some amazing meetings this week. We had a great Stake Conference this weekend, and a wonderful zone meeting that the Assistants to the President came and talked to us at, and their testimonies were SOOOO powerful. Elder Tauteoli (who was my Zone Leader for 2 transfers in the Vancouver West Stake) and Elder Thangaraj are the AP's, and as they bore their testimonies, I felt the spirit testify to me of the importance of this work. They told us their personal conversion stories and explained why they are so serious about his work, and it made perfect sense. It breaks my heart to know that there are missionaries in the world who are serving missions because of peer pressure or because it's an obligation or because it gets them away from real life for 2 years. This is NOT a joke, and I have had a reaffirmed witness of just how important it really is. I hope and pray that every missionary who has been trusted to go out and preach the word of God has found a sincere desire and the motivation to be there and to be working hard. I know I find that over and over again each day, and I am so grateful to know that Heavenly Father trusts me enough to allow me to be out here teaching His children. 

Another great meeting we had this week was the Addiction Recovery Program Meeting that we attend weekly. It's so interesting to attend those meetings, and I learn so much from the people that go every week. There's a "Mission Statement" of sorts for the group which most of you have probably heard of, but it is the "Serenity Prayer," and it goes like this:
 I love that! It has been so applicable this transfer... Haha we have been sick for the majority of the time I have been here, and this week was no different. Originally, Sister Eyerly was sick, but as the week went on, it switched over AGAIN and I ended up being the one super ill over the weekend. I have often found myself asking, "Heavenly Father, why is this happening? I am doing what you called me here to do." But I shoo those thoughts away immediately. I know that God doesn't do random. I know that every circumstance serves a purpose, so instead I pray for God to "grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." That's sort of become my motto over the past 4 weeks. Each time I ask myself something like, "Why is this happening?" He always provides an answer. For example, I had a blessing this week to help with my sickness, and in the blessing, God gave me revelation that has NOTHING to do with being sick. But if I hadn't been sick, I never would have had a blessing, and I wouldn't have been able to receive the revelation He gave me so clearly. 

On top of all of this goodness, yesterday (March 15) was the one year anniversary of the first baptism I was able to be a part of on my mission! Happy 1 Year Membership in the Church, Liz! That brought me joy too. :)

Despite the difficulties and the trials that we have been facing as the "sicky missionaries" this transfer, I am reminded that there is opposition in all things. We must feel sorrow in order to understand joy. We must feel pain in order to comprehend peace. God answered Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail with these words of comfort: 

"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes."
-Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-8

Yes, there will be trials. Yes, they will be hard. But as long as we endure them well, and continue with faith, we will be exalted on high, and rewarded with eternal life in the kingdom of God. For those who are struggling in any way, please remember this. And remember that your Heavenly Father is mindful of you, and wants you to feel happiness. Which is often why you are feeling sorrow first - just so that you can understand how great peace and comfort feel! You can have that peace and comfort through the Holy Ghost, and I would encourage you all to seek for that. I love you, and will talk to you next week!

Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott

Monday, March 9, 2015

Spring Forward

Dear Daylight Savings Time,

I am not a fan of you. I already get limited sleep as it is, seeing as I am a missionary and have a very strict schedule. I found it very inconsiderate of you to take another whole hour away from my precious slumber time. Please give it back. Thank you kindly.

Seriously, losing an hour of sleep was the WORST. And especially when church was at 9 o'clock the next morning! Can I get an "Amen?" Along with a lack of sleep comes a lack of substance for this email. I'm sorry! Sister Eyerly and I have been passing a vicious cold back and forth between the two of us for the past 3 weeks, and this week it was BAD. We were pretty much bedridden. We tried to get some splits going, but it was only successful once, so not much work happened this week. I have gotten cabin fever pretty intensely now too. I'm very grateful that we are both almost better, because that means we can get out and get working this week! Thank goodness.

The only thing we were really able to do that is worth talking about is attending our ward activity, the Chili Cook-Off! I know that that was always one of my favorite ward activities back home, so I was pumped! I had been asked to provide some entertainment toward the end, and it was requested that I do something fun, and then something "impressive." Well I didn't know what that meant so I asked one of the ward missionaries for suggestions and she said, "Why don't you play that silly song your mom wrote that you showed us the other day, and then end with Clair De Lune?" So that's what I did. :) I played and sang mom's song she wrote when she was a kid called, "My Horse Died Last Night," and then after everyone was done laughing, I played "Clair De Lune" to end the activity. It was nice. And the chili was amazing! Lots of nonmembers showed up, so we had quite the opportunity to get to know people and teach people a bit here and there. Everyone that came was SUPER nice, so hopefully we will get to meet with them soon.

I am truly so sorry for the lameness of this email... But we have been stuck in the house all week long so there really isn't anything interesting to tell you. :/ All I know, is that if you ask God for something, He gives it to you. I asked Him to help me improve the Christlike attribute of "patience," and boy did I get the chance to learn. I think I've learned what I need to for now though, so I am ready to move onto a different attribute! Maybe diligence. That's a good one. Now is the time to take the Daylight Savings Time phrase of "spring forward" literally, and jump into the work with gusto and determination! I love this work, and even on the down days I am grateful for the opportunity to be here learning and growing and bringing souls closer to Christ. I love you! Talk to you next week!

Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott

Since I didn't take any pictures this week, here are some silly selfies from today! Hahaha

Monday, March 2, 2015

Listen and Act

 I kind of felt like I was back in the MTC for a second this week because we had to turn our brains into sponges like we did when we were first being introduced to missionary life. It has been wonderful and amazing to have all of this new knowledge and these different ways to do missionary work, but it's almost been a bit of an overload!

It started on Tuesday when we went to the temple. I love the temple so so much, and I learn something new every single time I go (which I say all the time in my emails about the temple, but I keep saying it because it's true!). This time, I learned about myself. There was a point in the temple where I sat by myself in this big beautiful room and I couldn't see any of the other people in the room because of where I was sitting. It felt like I was completely alone in the room because everyone was being reverent and not making a sound, so it felt like it was just me and God... It was amazing. I felt so close to Him, and I knew that He was there with me, helping me to feel the Spirit and teaching me as I prayed and read the scriptures. I had been praying about how I could best improve my teaching and my overall self over the next 5 months, and I got my answer in the temple. He told me simply, "Listen. Then Act." It was a very interesting answer that I was half expecting, but for the most part it was a surprise. I've been trying to decipher what that means, but I've realized it could mean a lot of different things. It could mean to listen to the promptings of the Spirit and then act on the promptings I receive, or it could mean to listen to what the people we are teaching have to say and then act according to their needs, or something else completely! It was so interesting, because the next day at the Mission Conference for Online Training, "Acting" was a huge theme. 
The Conference was on Wednesday, and the emphasis was online teaching. We got new iPads that are filtered a bit differently so that we can have more ways to teach and help the work to go forth, but they don't have Facebook yet. We were trained on how to better teach online and utilize the tools that we have been given to help people progress, and we learned a LOT! That is where the whole "sponge brain" thing comes into affect. I don't have enough time to explain everything we learned, but Elder Brent H. Nielsen of the First Quorum of the Seventy spoke to us quite a bit about ACTION. He shared this scripture in 1 Nephi 2, verse 14, which says,  

"And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon."
He explained that almost all of God's creations were made to be acted upon. Except you. An agent acts, and an object is acted upon, hence the word "agency." As children of God, we have the ability to choose, or the ability to ACT, and Satan hates that. He wants us to become objects to be acted upon because we each made the choice before we came to this earth to act and choose for ourselves, which is not what he wanted. Sitting and doing nothing is the world's greatest temptation, because it takes away our responsibility to act, and makes us idle, stopping us from acting! Our responsibility is to act forever. President Taylor followed up with this statement,

"We don't have the right to stop doing what we promised to do."

We all made a promise when we chose God's plan and decided to come to Earth. We promised that we would follow the commandments and do our best to be close to Him. That is a promise we made with GOD. Of course we don't have the right to stop doing what we promised to do, He put us here so we could fulfill that promise! All of this training and revelation and powerful statements by authority was no coincidence. God doesn't do random, so of course acting was a main part of the training after I had received revelation to "Listen then Act" in the temple just the day before!!!!

God is real. And He is your Father in Heaven who LOVES you. Please listen to Him. Hearken to the words of the Spirit, for that is how God communicates with us. I am so grateful for all that I am learning out here, and I am happy to know that I have 5 more whole months to learn everything God needs me to learn while I am out here serving Him as a missionary. I love you, and I will talk to you next week!

Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott