I never expected that wedding planning would be a part of the job description as a missionary... But I LOVE it! We have an investigator named Charlie, who has been ready to be baptized for at least a year now, but he hasn't been able to because he and his girlfriend/fiancé are living together, but aren't married yet. They have planned to be married and then get baptized maybe 5 times in the last year, but it always ends up stressing Mary (the fiancé who is a member) out too much, and they postpone. Well, you know me, I like to get things done and I am stubborn. Especially if it means someone is going to get baptized! So... I volunteered us to plan and pull off their wedding. :P I'm kind of surprised by how well it is coming together! Mary and Charlie were high school sweethearts, and they were married once before, but unfortunately, they got divorced and were separated for a number of years, but now they are back together and happy as ever! This wedding will actually be their second wedding, so it isn't AS big of a deal (which makes things a little easier for me and Lammi), but it is still special and exciting. They are getting married on Tuesday then Charlie is getting baptized on Saturday. The reception will be after his baptism as well, so we might have a bit of a full house at his baptism! It'll be wonderful!
Although we have been busy wedding planning and doing all we can to make sure it happens smoothly, we have definitely not forgotten the work of the Lord! And He has not forgotten us either. :) We currently have 5 people on date for baptism, and 4 out of the 5 of them are on date for this month - it is a huge miracle! The 100 baptisms in a month that our mission is striving for is really going to happen! We were able to put a new person on date this week, and it was one of those miracles that are just jaw dropping and unbelievable. I need to stop being so surprised when God provides these kinds of miracles, because it is His work and He has prepared so many people! We had received a referral a few weeks ago, but hadn't been able to meet with her until this past week. She has been looking for a place to belong to, and she wants so badly to have a relationship with God. She hasn't been religious since he 8th grade, she didn't even know how to pray. It was such a tender lesson as we taught her who God is, who Christ is and how He relates to her personally, who the Holy Ghost is and His role in her life, and how to pray. As we taught Joseph Smith's 1st Vision, all she could say afterwards was, "Wow..." The Spirit was so present during the entire lesson, and at the end, we invited her to be baptized and she committed to June 27th. :) Her name is Briena, and she is so ready.
It is just so amazing to me the many ways that God prepares His children for His Gospel. Often it is that He has to allow them to reach an all time low in order to build them back up in faith. After all, it is when we are our weakest that we think to call on God for help. It's no fun to be in that position, but the reward for striving to be faithful and relying on our Heavenly Father to get us back to happiness and safety is so worth it! This week, Sister Lammi and I took a minute to appreciate the beauty of this area, and took some pictures high up on the mountain so we could look over Longview from more of an aerial view, but trees are so tall we could hardly see anything! But it was beautiful anyway. :)
We were also able to have interviews with President Taylor on Tuesday. He is such a wonderful man. I am so blessed to have him as my Mission President, I don't know if I can say that enough. I truly believe that part of the reason I was called to this Mission is because of my amazing Mission President. He always knows exactly what to say to me, and he is always so ready to address the questions I have about the Gospel and about how the Lord wants me to work in this part of His vineyard. He is an inspired man, and I am so grateful for the privilege of serving under his guidance and direction. I could never thank him enough.
|"President Taylor's dear sweet wife. :)"|
|"Me, Lammi-Lou, and Hermana Stidham waiting for our turn at interviews."|
I am so excited for this week. For the wedding, for Charlie's baptism on Saturday, and for the many chances I am going to have to find the elect! There is nothing better that I could be doing right now than serving the Lord. There are low times, but the high times far out way the low, and I am so glad I get the chance to be here. Let me be the first to say that if you have EVER had a desire to serve a mission, you are called to the work! Do everything you can to serve others and serve God, and I promise that the joy you feel will be incomparable to anything else you've ever felt. I love you! Keep serving!
Sister Nicole Guilott
P.S. A few more. :)
|"Isn't this a cute idea? They have a plaque for the missionaries serving in their ward! Great idea. The ward used to be the 2nd Ward, but now it's Mint Valley."|
|"Bubble in the car. We have too much fun. :P"|
|"Two of the Rodriguez's came to visit! I sure love them."|