Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tender Mercies and Fond Farewells‏

I have been through quite the roller coaster of emotions this week, yeesh! Don't worry, mostly good emotions with just a few moments of the bad kind. :P Each positive thing was paired with something negative, so I will explain them all in that way. I need to remember there is opposition in all things, I guess. The first thing that happened is that we had a Zone Conference on Tuesday for Tiwi's... Tiwi's kinda stink, but they will help us in the end. I don't know if I explained it already, but a Tiwi is a device that is installed to a vehicle that helps you drive.... It has a GPS system in it so it knows where we are all the time, which means it also knows the speed limits everywhere. So if we are driving too fast it'll say in a Steven Hawking voice, "Check your speed." Then if we don't, it sends in a little report to the mission office and he Mission President can see how we are driving. Haha! It checks our speed, if we are wearing our seat belts, if we go over bumps too fast or turn too hard, or if we are out too late or too early. It's pretty intense. So that kinda counts as both a good thing and a bad thing, as does the other aspect of what happened at this conference: They had me give my departing testimony! :0 I was so confused... I still have a whole transfer! But I guess there won't be another Zone Conference until after I go home. I was surprised they had me do it now, but at the same time, I'm grateful I wasn't expecting it because that way it was more raw rather than like, a prepared 5 minute talk. I'm still so confused... I have 6 weeks left... And today marks my 17 months. Oh! The other good part about the conference is that we got an almost selfie with a President Taylor! 
"I guess we're not the only ones who make mistakes . . ."
The next good and bad thing that happened is that we have made really good friends with a woman named Marittza, who is a Recent Convert in the Spanish Branch. She has fed us with the Hermana's a few times now, and we've watched movies with her on Pday before, so we've gotten pretty close. Well this week, the roommates she has living in her house went a little crazy... They have what we call "cholitos," or 15-year old wanna be gangsters that come hang out with them all the time, plus some REAL Cholos and one Chola, plus a boyfriend who does drugs and was most likely using the garage to cook meth (just a suspicion), they aren't paying rent, etc. Marittza has told them multiple times to clean up their act, clean up their friends, and what not or get out, but they don't listen. This week, they threatened her, so all four of us sister missionaries went over to be with her, and every time they spoke to her I just wanted to freak out at them! I've never been so heightened with anger towards somebody in my life! I knew that if they touched her, it would turn into a physical fight. Hermana Stidham and I were both boiling, and ready to blow if they made a single move. They ended up calling the police to try and be the first ones to "snitch" or just to get Marittza in trouble before she got them in trouble, but the cop that came over told her that he didn't need to talk to them for more then 3 seconds to know they were bad news. It made me pretty sad to see people who live this way... Just mooching off of other people, turning to drugs and alcohol and nasty men to try and feel emotion or hide emotion. It was so sad. The good news is, all is well now, and they have to be out by the first of the month. So that's happy. :) I hope they find happier things awaiting them and that they turn to more reliable sources, like their Father in Heaven, who loves them despite the way they treat others and despite who they are choosing to be and who to follow. That's one of the great things about God - He will love us no matter what. 

Remember how Toby was gonna be baptized this past Saturday? Well, he's only 11 years old, and he had a mini panic attack because he felt like it was so much information all at one time that he had to know, so we bumped his baptism back a week. He will be getting baptized THIS Saturday instead. :) One of the happiest moments on my mission happened this week while we were teaching Toby - each day when we went over, he had a different friend over who we were able to teach while we taught Toby, and one of the days in particular, he had four friends over all at one time. Their names were Evan, Brody, Cameron, and Dylan, and boy was it a treat to be able to teach all five of them at the same time. They reminded me of the Little Rascals the way they all were with each other. :) Anyway, they LOVED listening to the lesson we taught them, and afterwards, they all wanted a book and something with pictures to look at, so they followed us out to our car and surrounded us while we got them each a Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet. They were so sweet! They ranged from age 5-12, and it was seriously one of the most tender moments ever. It made me understand just a little better why the Savior said to "suffer the children to come unto me." They are so close to God, unlike many of the adults we teach who are stubborn and set in their ways. The children are so willing to change and so willing to communicate with their Heavenly Father. It was so cool to be a part of that! I hope we can go back and teach them some more eventually. 

Another super cool experience we had this week was involving an investigator that has been almost impossible to meet with. Her name is Anna, and every time we set up an appointment with her, she either isn't there or isn't feeling well, so we end up wasting a lot of time driving out to her house for nothing. Well this week when we had a scheduled appointment with her, we discussed in the car before we went inside that if she isn't home or is "sick" that we were gonna drop her because she clearly isn't ready. We said a prayer asking Heavenly Father to help us to discern what it is He would have us do with her, and went inside. She was home, and the lesson went great! We taught her and her daughter, and she asked us to come back again another time too. The best part is, she told us that she is ready for a change, and wants to be baptized. :) We put her on date for the last Saturday in July. :) God answered our prayer, and made it pretty clear that we needed to keep teaching her. He provided a nice solid miracle as an answer. I love it when He does that. 

One of the BEST parts of the week was that we got to go to the temple on Saturday night with a woman who both Sister Lammi and I taught in the Evergreen Ward when we first were companions. Her name is Nikki, and it was quite the way to finish the week. She was a bit overwhelmed, but it was in a good way. One of the greatest feelings in the world is to be overwhelmed by the Spirit, and that's how she was feeling. As were we all! It is so cool to be able to be with people you love as they make sacred covenants with their Father. We get to do it somewhat often with baptism, but only a few times have I been able to be with people as they go through the temple, and boy is it wonderful. 
The only possible down side to going to the temple on Saturday was that it was Lammi's last time in the Portland Temple... Which brings me to my last highlight of the week. Tonight, I had to go with a member of the ward to drop Sister Lammi off at the mission home. She flies home to Sacramento tomorrow morning, and I will be receiving a new companion, Sister Hayes, on Wednesday. Saying goodbye was... Not what I expected. I've never killed off a companion before, so I guess I didn't really know what to expect, but the only companion I'll ever have to kill off just HAD to be my best friend. I know it's only 6 weeks, but it feels like forever. She is sure gonna rock everyone's socks when she gets home tomorrow! She has grown so much just since I was her companion in September, so I can't imagine how much of a difference it will be for her family who haven't seen her in 18 months! She is wonderful, and truly has a heart of gold. I am so lucky I got to serve with her twice and that I was able to find my soul sister! It was strange dropping her off at the mission home, because I got sort of a glimpse of what it will be like for me in 6 weeks... Let's not think about that. 
"On our way to the mission home . . ."
Though saying goodbye was difficult, I am reminded that when I prayed about whether I should go home in June or August, the answer was clear as a bell. I KNOW that I am supposed to be here for the next 6 weeks, and I know that it is for a very specific reason. I can't wait to discover the purpose of my being here for this last transfer. I know it's gonna be great, and I am so excited to see it. :) I love you and will talk to you next week. 

Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott

P.S. Hahahahahahaha....
"Dad, I promise it's just while I'm a missionary . . . I'll always be a Saints fan."
"Call me Guilott son of Glorin :P"
"Our apartment IS this crew: Lammi is SpongeBob, I am Patrick, Stidham is Squidward, and Butler is Plankton.
 It's just too perfect."

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