Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Longview Baptism!

Another wonderful week in good ol' Longview. :) I don't have a whole lot of time today, but I want to share some of the highlights. We had another baptism! His name is Aitaro (I-tar-o) and he is amazing. He's 10 years old and he is the coolest cat in town. He remembers EVERYTHING we tach him, and we only have to say it once. It's amazing. Here, check out his baptism! 
He really is so great. That was a good day too, because the Rowley's came up to visit and brought us donuts while we filled the font for his baptism with water. It was wonderful to see them. They are the best humans, I seriously adore them. This area is so great you guys, we have scheduled appointments every hour of every day, which makes us so incredibly busy there is no time to be trunky or worry about things too much. It's great. Have you seen my beautiful companion lately? Sister Lammi is a BABE! 
One of the main reasons I have no time today is because of Sister Nuffer from Evergreen. We got to hang out with her today and go to Target! It was a blast. Okay, before I go, I'll tell you one of our miracles. We were meeting with a member this week named Jeni, and her husband was in town for a week to visit his family. He lives in Ohio right now for work, but he came to town to spend time with his family for a bit and we had the chance to teach him. :) We taught him for three days in a row, and he is now on date to be baptized on August 15th! That's when he'll be back in town. Till then, we are Skype teaching him twice a week and keeping daily contact with him over text. It was a huge miracle! 

That was the excitement for the week! This upcoming week is gonna be even better because we get to go to the temple, have a Mission Conference, exchanges, and we are giving talks in Church on Sunday! It will be wonderful. So don't worry, next week's email will be much better. I love you and I hope you are doing all you can to help the work to go forth. Keep it up! 

Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Work is Progressing!‏

It's amazing how much love a person can feel for somebody else. Especially someone they've only known for 12 weeks! This week was full of such immense amounts of joy produced by miracles and sacred moments, I don't even know where to start! Yes I do. We'll start with the absolute best part of the week: Ivan's baptism. It was so special. Ivan has quite a colorful past, so to see the transition he has made in order to go through with the decision to be baptized is a miracle in and of itself. The program was perfect, and it turned out to be a very sacred hour and a half. We had an opening hymn, like normal, a prayer, then a talk by the old Ward Mission Leader about baptism. After that, Ivan's nonmember brother performed a musical number on his guitar and sang, "Amazing Grace." THAT was awesome. Following the musical number, Ivan was baptized. It took a minute though because the man that baptized him is in a wheelchair, so they had to help him into the font, get them both situated, and then open the doors so everyone could witness it. It was incredibly powerful. I felt the Spirit so strongly, as did everybody else in the room! While they were changing back into their dry clothes, Sister Depew and I taught the Restoration. There were more nonmembers at the baptism than members, so I wasn't as nervous as I usually am (except that President and Sister Taylor were there, so that was kinda nerve-racking). We taught it the best I ever have before, and the Spirit flooded the room even more! When Ivan and JC got back, the old Bishop gave a great talk on the Holy Ghost, then they did something that wasn't in the program: Ivan's mom, Lydia, who was baptized last year, got up and bore her testimony, followed by Ivan himself! You have to understand, this was a HUGE shock to us because he had originally said he didn't want very many people to know about his baptism or come to it, but he testimony he bore was a good 10 minute sermon! He had written it all down and told everybody about his experience. It was beautiful and totally made me cry. For the closing song, Sister Petersen and I played a piano/violin duet of "O My Father," and then we had a closing prayer. It was the perfect program. Ivan is such a wonderful man, and I am so blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a part of his journey. 
I will remember that baptism for the rest of my life in full detail. The Spirit was so present, I could almost see it. Later in the week, I was talking to Sister Taylor on the phone, and she told me that a man had come up to her and President after her baptism and said, "I have been thinking about this for a long time now. I've been coming to this Ward on and off [even though he lives in Yacolt] for a couple years, and I can't deny the good feelings I have when I come. I've been holding back, maybe waiting for something, but after tonight... I'm ready." He gave them his address and phone number, and now the missionaries up in his area are teaching him. :') It is the same man who came to chili cook off when I first got here and he won! Haha he is a wonderful man, and I am so excited to see what happens with him and his conversion. The other big blessing that I won't ever forget that came after the baptism was Ivan's expression of gratitude toward me. He knew I was being transferred, and he is an artist, so after his baptism he gave me this:
Isn't that amazing??? He told me not to tell people he drew it for me, but how could I not? The devil/angel on the top corner is supposed to be him, and he told me that I am represented as an angel who thought of him and decided it was time for him, a fallen angel, to be saved (or something like that, I can't really remember his exact words, I was too entranced with the picture). I have never had someone give me such a tangible offer of their gratitude for me like that before. It felt amazing. :) I wish I could give back somehow, but for now, I think this (baptism) is enough to last for a while. The next step will be going through the temple, and I will definitely be coming back up here to see him accomplish that. 

Unfortunately, I had to say goodbye to the Columbia Ward the day before the baptism, so my heart was extra tender anyway. That Ward has all been so good to me, and I care about those people so much! The good news is, I should be going back there on May 30th for another baptism. :) Woo Hoo! It was difficult to say goodbye, but what was worse is that we didn't have the time to say goodbye to everyone... But I'm grateful that I was able to say goodbye to the few that I did get to say goodbye to. Saying goodbye to my companion was hard too. I love her dearly! 
"Heidi and her kids, Maisie, Millie and Magnus (the sleeping one on her back)!"
"My Nordstrom's!  They run the ARP meeting in Troutdale every Wednesday night."
"Gary and Shelby, and their cute daughter Wednesday!  Yep.  She's named after the Adam's Family."
"We were in a trio for a day or two because Sister Petersen's companion, Sister Jarvis, finished her mission and went home.  It was fun to be with the both of them!"
What a wonderful Ward. I will miss it for sure. The good news is, my new Ward is wonderful too! I am now in the Mint Valley Ward with my dearest Sister Lammi, and I am very happy here so far. :) Going to transfers was hard for a minute, but it was fun seeing people at the transfer meeting that I hadn't seen in a while! And now I am here living in an apartment for the first time on my mission with the Spanish Hermanas, smelling the lovely smell of the Longview paper mill, becoming a part of this great Ward that is progressing so well! There is so much work to be done here, we have scheduled appointments for every hour of almost every day this week! I've said it before, and I'll say it again: there is nothing better than being busy teaching the gospel. Busy is best! And busy we are! 
"My homegirl De Leon!!!"
"Elder King and I at transfers.  How fun that we are mission family now! :) PG Viking Might!"
"Reunited at last!"
"We didn't realize that we got dressed like SpongeBob and Patrick until we were already at  church ... Haha! But it fits because Lammi LOVES that show!  :P"
I couldn't be happier or more excited to be here. This area is on fire, and I get to feed the flames with one of my best friends. :) This is her last transfer, and it is my second to last transfer, so we both have the motivation to work hard and find those of God's children who are ready for and seeking the Gospel! Sister Lammi is wonderful, and we are good at teaching with each other, so the excitement and desire to teach just grows and grows! I love this Ward so far and I love the work that is happening here. I can't wait to see what Longview has in store for me, and what God has in store for His children here. And I can't wait to tell you about it too! I love you and will talk to you next week! 

Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mom Day and Transfer News

 I like being busy, I really do.  I have always loved having things to do every hour of every day, and there is nothing better on the mission than being busy, but this week we were busy with things that weren't missionary work.  Not because we were disobedient, but simply because of the circumstances.  We had lots to do, but I want to tell you about the best part of the week first!
I got to talk to my wonderful family over skype!!! Happy Mother's Day!!! Oh my word, I love my family so so much, and there was no better reward for our business and our exhaustion than being able to talk to my sweet Mommy, Daddy, and sisters. :) It was so wonderful, I can't even describe to you just how happy it made me. My father is adorable as usual, my Mother GETS ME, Emily is beautiful as ever and Caroline is so full of sass it's amazing. I feel so lucky to be a part of the family I have - I'm pretty sure nobody's got it better than I do. It was great too because a lot of people get super trunky when they Skype home, especially when it's the last time they're gonna talk to them digitally before they go home, but I have found a happy medium between never wanting to leave my mission and wanting to go home and be with my family NOW. I feel like I'm really getting it now. I'm really understanding what missionary work is, and it won't devastate me to go home, but I'd be okay serving an extended mission too. I am super grateful I've made this discovery for myself; I think it will really help my performance as a missionary for the next 3 months. 

So the busy part of this week was only busy because we had to move out of our apartment, but it was like, a FULL move out. We had to transport dishes, furniture, extra stuff, missionary supplies, etc. out of sweet Sister Richardson's house and into the apartment with the STL's in the zone. After we packed everything and got it moved out, we had to go back and deep clean the empty apartment, which took longer than expected. PLUS, Sister Depew was sick all week, so she couldn't really participate in any of this which means... I did it pretty much by myself which is why it took so long. But the good news is, it's done now! We are officially moved in, but only for a little while (for me) because we got our transfer letters on Friday and you are never going to guess what they said... I am going to serve in the Mint Valley Ward in Longview, WA and my companion is going to be... SISTER LAMMI!!!!!!! Can you believe it? She is the Sister I was with when we made the "All About That Book" video! I thought it was a joke at first - President NEVER puts two companions back with each other. EVER. She only has one more transfer left, so I'm guessing it was probably her dying wish. Whatever it was, I'm not complaining. I'm super excited! But I'm also sad to leave this area, like always. There are some great people here!
"This is Sister Richardson, who I lived with for 12 weeks.  I sure love her!"
"The Pulsipher's!"
"My dearest Lori.  We spent a lot of our time at her house teaching her.  She is amazing."
"The Gresham Zone."
"My District!"
All of these people are amazing and have influenced my life in ways they probably won't ever know. I am super grateful for the time I have had to spend with them and to learn from them. I love missionaries, and I love God's children! Oh wait, that's everyone!!!! ;) I'm sorry this is short (again), but today we got in a minor car accident (we were rear ended at a stop light, but don't worry, everyone's fine) as well as having a zone meeting in the morning, cleaning Sister Richardson's house and attending various pday activities with the zone, so I am out of time. Know that I love you! It's so weird that the next time I see you will be in person rather than over Skype... Woo Hoo! Talk to you later!

Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott

P.S. A few more gems.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Star Wars (Among Some Other Wars...)‏

May the fourth be with you!  Haha how many times have you heard that today? Today is Star Wars day!  How fun. It kinda fits the way this week has gone, because of how hard Sister Depew and I have been fighting to keep going on with the work of salvation!  This week was easily the slowest week of my mission. With several of our investigators out of town, we only taught 4 lessons, and 2 of them were while we were on exchanges with the STL's. I went to their ward, and Sister Depew stayed here.  4 lessons! That's it! It was pretty discouraging, but hey.  We are still fighting the good fight!

We had a super fun Pday today! Sister Depew and I went shopping at some of the outlets here in Troutdale and found some AWESOME deals (so that always feels good - smart shopping), and then we had a zone barbecue at a park! That was super fun. We ate yummy food, played kickball, ultimate frisbee, football, and just chatted. It was a great time. :) I love fun activities like that! Here's a bunch of pictures!
"We are so similar that we even got the same-ish clothes to try on without the other one knowing.  We found it humorous!"
So that was our Pday! Isn't that fun? We sure thought so. :P Though the work was slow this week, we did have a good time. Also, I saw a framed quote by President Monson that said, "Our most significant opportunities will be found in times of greatest difficulty." What a wise man. I really took that to heart. Since we are struggling with the work lately, we are preparing ourselves for any opportunity the Lord gives us teach. Our eyes are wide open, and we are doing our best to prepare ourselves for miracles. :) They are happening every day! Even if the numbers don't always show it. Great things are happening! Small things sometimes, but great nonetheless! 

I love you all and I hope life is just the best. If it's not, get on your knees and pray for your eyes to be opened to the miracles and blessings you are receiving! Again, I love you, and I can not WAIT for Mom Day this Sunday! Talk to you then! :) :) :)

Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott 

P.S. You know.
"It is who I am."
"PG should go on Choir Tour in these buses."
"Check out Chipotle and their inspiration messages on the take out bags!"
"My beautiful Columbia River. :) I love my mission."