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!
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!