Monday, July 27, 2015

"For My Name"

I can't believe that I am now down to only 6 proselyting days left... I still don't really understand what is happening, but instead of trying to figure it out, I am doing all I can to focus completely on the work just like any other week in the mission. The past couple weeks have been hard, but the Lord is still taking care of us. We haven't seen a whole lot of success, or a whole lot of work for that matter, in the past two or three weeks, and we have gotten pretty bummed because of it. So last week I prayed very very hard for a miracle. It's been SUPER difficult trying to balance both the Mint Valley work and the work in the Spanish Branch, partly because my Hermanas aren't a huge fan of "white people work" and partly because it is so exciting for me to be doing Spanish work. Mint Valley has kind of become a bit difficult to remember to keep as a focus. So I prayed for a Mint Valley Miracle, and sure enough, I got one. :) 

Two weeks ago (or maybe it was last week, I don't get time anymore), while we were helping Mary and Charlie and co. move out, Sam (the 17 year old daughter) had a friend over named Cameron who is also 17. He was there to help us pack and help get them moved and stuff. I talked to him briefly and mentioned the gospel a few times, and by the time he left he committed to come to church. But he is a 17 year old kid, so I figured I'd probably never see him again since I didn't have any of his contact info. Well yesterday, HE CAME TO CHURCH! It doesn't stop there. He stayed all 3 hours and he LOVED it. He asked me after church when is the soonest time he could be baptized. !!!!!!! I didn't get too excited though because he hasn't even had a single lesson yet, so he technically doesn't know hardly anything, but he sure felt the Spirit. He wants to be taught as often as possible this week, so we are starting tonight and hopefully teaching him every day. He is such a good kid, and he knows that he wants what is right, and he could tell that the Spirit was talking to him and testifying of the truth. It was so exciting. I can't wait to teach him and see where things go. God sure provides for his missionaries!
We are starting to do a lot of things that are making me realize my mission is coming to a close... This Friday I had my departing temple trip with all the missionaries who will be going home with me next week. President and Sister Taylor were there, as well as President Lowder (the 2nd Counselor in the Mission Presidency). It was a beautiful session. :) When we got to the Celestial Room, I went by myself and prayed. We didn't have a lot of time to be there, but I was sentimental because I knew it would be my last time in the Portland Temple while on my mission, so I took time to reflect and to ask Heavenly Father for guidance. I didn't really know what I should say though, I had so much to ask, but I didn't want to be confused so I just said, "You know what I'm feeling - please help me." I opened the scriptures and searched the page for an answer. I ended up in Doctrine and Covenants Section 126 which is only 3 verses long and says,

"1 Dear and well-beloved [sister], [Nicole Guilott], verily thus saith the Lord unto you: My servant [Sister Guilott], it is no more required at your hand to leave your family as in times past, for your offering is acceptable to me.

 2 I have seen your labor and toil in journeyings for my name.

 3 I therefore command you to send my word abroad, and take especial care of your family from this time, henceforth and forever. Amen."

I clearly edited it a little bit, but the message is the same. My mind was blown, in a not surprised at all way. I knew He would answer me, but I didn't know it would be that clear. My entire 18 months on the mission I have been working and serving for Christ's name. My purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. Though my purpose will change when I come home, I will always be striving to do things in the name of Jesus Christ. God commanded me to send His word abroad, and that I will do, at the same time that I am taking special care of my family. I am so grateful for that answer. I am so grateful for this work, and I am looking so forward to my last 6 or 7 days. I will make Him proud. I love you and will talk to you next week!

Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott

P.S. The rest
"Picking some blueberries!"

"Theresa.  What a hoot.  I'll sure miss her!"
"My companions.  Aren't they adorable?"
"Typical hispanic door.  Hahaha"

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

At Peace

I don't really know how to explain everything that has happened this week in just one short email...My heart is broken for so many people that have had to deal with what has been happening in their lives lately, but a the same time, I am still seeing miracles and the work is still progressing so I feel good.  It's very confusing. Haha. There were quite a few very drastic things that happened over the past 7 days that have left myself and my companions very exhausted... To sum up - there was a murder, suicide, adultery, evictions, CPS, a recent single convert pregnancy, a gold investigator dropped us in every way (the friendship we had formed he dropped as well(, people staying in their house with their children and changing their minds about who God is, etc.  All very big things.  But the interesting part about it is that although it has been terrible and devastating, I feel calm.  I feel at peace with it all.  It has made me think a lot about the roles of the Holy Ghost.  They are to be the comforter, warn us of danger (or potential commandment breaking), and to testify to us of truth.  I have seen all three of these incredibly prevalent this past week, and I am so grateful that I have been able to grow over the course of my mission enough to be able to RECOGNIZE those gifts of the Spirit.  I hope that you are doing your best to learn how the Spirit talks to you personally, because once you've figured that out, you will never doubt that God is there for you and taking care of you.

I'm super sorry this email is so short, but I have been at a Zone BBQ all day, so I didn't have any time to email. I'll still include pictures though! I love you all and am excited to see you in 2 weeks. :) 

Love Always,

Sister Guilott

P.S. Here they are. :) I got to see my Rodriguez's from Vancouver, we went to an Amish store called "Black Buggy," which is owned by Hermana Stidham's great great cousin. We had a Pioneer Picnic thing as a Stake and the Primary kids marched around the park (it was adorable), I had a paleta for the first time (a Mexican popsicle), and we just had a blast. I love my companions, and I am so grateful that we have each other during all of this craziness to keep each other sane!

Monday, July 13, 2015

El Trio Loco‏

Being an English and Spanish-speaking missionary at the same time has been SO MUCH FUN. :) There is so much more that I get to do now that we are working in both areas and teaching so many people, we are busy every minute of every day! It's wonderful! We had some pretty fun experiences this week, as well as many mind boggling miracles.  In case you didn't know, the title of this posts means "The Crazy Three." That is what we are! This week we went to Seaside  to teach some of the Spanish investigators we have up there. It was the first time I've been to the beach on my mission! I wanted to play in the water SO BAD!!! Don't worry though; I'm an obedient missionary.
It was beautiful! Next week we are going to stop by the Goonies house in Astoria! How fun. There is a TON of work in Seaside and Astoria, but there aren't any Spanish missionaries over there, so we cover it. Crazy town. But I'm not complaining! Also, my Spanish is coming along SUPER fast. I am loving it! In one lesson this week, I was able to teach a principle, testify, AND say the closing prayer all by myself, and all in Spanish! It was wonderful! I felt pretty cool. 

As for the English teaching, it was a pretty good week too. :) We put someone on date for baptism this morning for August 1st, and I think she will really follow through! She is a wonderful woman, and it was kind of a fluke that she became an investigator, but then again not, because God doesn't do random. :) We had another experience that seemed "flukish" too. We were going to try a potential investigator at these apartments, but before we got to her door, we stopped and talked to these two women who were sitting on the roof drinking and smoking, and one of them asked if we would come upstairs and teach her 5 year old son. We were slightly shocked, but hey, OF COURSE we went and taught her son. He had been through a lot of abuse by his father and his step brother, and he told us that God didn't exist because He didn't help him. We taught him about prayer, and he prayed with us and said he already felt better. It was so sweet. The good news is, we are going back to teach him and his mom at least once a week. They were so sweet, and so ready to hear the gospel! It will help that little boy and his mother more than anything else can. :)

I'm terribly sorry that this email is short... But I am fresh out of time. I love you very much, and I can't wait to tell you more next week! Les quiero! Asta la proxima! 

Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott

P.S. The good stuff. I don't know what was up with cats this week...
"This describes our relationship quite well. :)"

Monday, July 6, 2015

Land of the Free

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays (not just because the fireworks remind me of Disneyland), and this was an exceptionally good one! The week was mostly very sad, but Heavenly Father loves me and He sure knows how to cheer me up. The reason it was sad at first was because my dear companion, Sister Hayes, had to go home early. Missions are difficult things, and sometimes it is just too much to handle. We talked about it with President Taylor, and he came to the conclusion that the best thing for her would be to figure things out at home. We were both sad, but it is what needed to happen. She flew home at 5:30 in the morning on the Fourth of July, and I was left to be in a trio with the Hermanas that we live with. I was worried that I would be ET'd (Emergency Transferred) out of Longview and sent to be in a trio with some missionaries somewhere else in the mission, but President decided that there was too much happening in Mint Valley to have no missionaries here. So instead, he is having me stay with the Hermanas for my last four weeks, and we will just be "Zebra Missionaries," which means we cover both MY ward and their Spanish Branch. We are just combining the work, which makes us twice as busy as we were before. :) I get to learn a little bit of Spanish before I come home, and we get to be busier than we've ever been before. What a way to finish my mission! There will literally not be a single free minute. We will have appointments every hour of every day and the time we aren't teaching, we will be driving from one place to another. I'll miss Sister Hayes, but I'm sure not gonna let anything hold me back from working my hardest! We made sure that her departure wasn't too sad by eating at Red Lobster with the Rowley's. :) 
On Friday night, all four of us went to the Mission Home to spend the night so Sister Hayes and the Taylor's could leave by 3:30 in the morning and we wouldn't have to get up 2 hours earlier than that. When we woke up at 6:30, the Taylor's were back and they fed us breakfast. We had a good time with just President and Sister Taylor for a 4th of July breakfast. :) It was fun. That day, we did some work, taught a few people, combined our schedules for the next couple of weeks, made some plans, then partied! Well, the missionary definition of party. Haha! We went to Lake Sacajawea in Longview where they had a firework show and a bunch of booths set up for a big festival! It was super fun. All 5 of us Hermanas (hehe, that means me too!) set up blankets together and watched the fireworks, and we got to stay out till 11:30!!!! Woah. That's super late. ;) It sure was fun though!
"Our last night together."

"Can't forget cherries on the 4th of July!"
We had so much fun! It was the best possible way to get my mind off of my companion having to go home. This year's 4th of July was great too because I had an extra appreciation for the freedom of our country. Why did they come seeking freedom in the first place? For freedom of RELIGION. God SOOOOO doesn't do random! We needed to have freedom of religion in order for there to be a Restoration of the Gospel, and the timing was all perfect. God' plan is so incredibly perfect! I am so grateful for this free land where we have been able to follow God's full Gospel and worship the way He wants us to. I love Him so much, He has been so merciful to me, and I couldn't be more grateful for all He has done for me. Don't forget to thank Him for His perfect plan of happiness and for blessing you with a free country. I'm proud to be an American! And I'm proud to be a Missionary and servant of the Lord! I love you! I'll talk to you next week!

Love Always,

Sister Nicole Guilott

P.S. Check out these scriptures in the Book of Mormon and figure out who (in relation to freedom and a Restoration) they are talking about: 1 Nephi 13:12 and 2 Nephi 3:14-15

P.P.S. More Pictures!!!!!! I love these girls so much!