There are days that I completely understand that Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of us and find great peace in knowing that He is completely aware of me. Then there are days that I just miss Kirtland and can't catch the vision. Today is one of those days.
I'm still obsessed with Kirtland and therefore read all the blogs of missionaries serving there. Today's posts from these blogs brought such sweet experiences that, I hate to say it, made me so jealous. While I'm laying in bed all day, the Kirtland sisters are singing in the Kirtland Temple! This is where the "WHY ME???" comes in. I'm serious.
Glimpse of Historic Kirtland Sites.
I'm being selfish, I know. But sometimes coming home early from your mission because you're sick is hard. Harder than I previously thought. So cut me some slack.
But in other news, I got to be here when this cute little guy came into the world! I wasn't going to meet him until he was a whole year old!
Hayden James Hill.
I'm in love.
So there are some benefits to being home...more than I previously thought.
(Side Note - When looking at my pictures, please keep in mind how sick I was.)
It was in the upstairs of the Newel K. Whitney Store that the Prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation known as the Word of Wisdom. We know this to be a health code that instructs us on those things that are good for our bodies and those things that are harmful, tobacco being one of the no-no's. Well, in case you didn't know, in the School of the Prophets 20-25 men would meet together and all but two of the men would smoke and chew tobacco. So the Prophet walked into that room to read this revelation to these men, his friends. And what did they do? They broke their clay pipes and threw them into the fireplace! They didn't hesitate, didn't think for a second, they acted immediately. But why? They didn't know the health risks in the 1830's, so why were they so willing to give it all up? Because they had complete faith that what Joseph told them wasn't coming from him, but from the Lord. Which makes sense because a Prophet is a man called of God, chosen to declare God's word among His people (just like in ancient times!).
As I watch General Conference, I think of the example of these faithful early Saints. Do I listen to what is being said by these servants of God?Not just listen, but take it into my heart with the intent to act? Am I quick to heed the Prophet's advice? I should be and here's why. ->D&C 50:36 teaches us (this is the Lord speaking), "...blessed are you who are hearing these words of mine from the mouth of my servant...". We have a living Prophet on the earth today (because Heavenly Father loves His children), Thomas S. Monson who teaches us how to find joy and peace in this life and for forever! Let's not take it for granted. And if you have NO idea what I'm talking about, click on "General Conference" at the beginning of this paragraph, you won't regret it.
Saturday, August 14, 2010 - I'm in the Cleveland Hopkins Airport. Last night was tough; this morning was even tougher. Had to say goodbye to all the sister's living in the Boynton Home with me. President and Sister Sorensen came to pick me up at 8:45 a.m. We had a nice ride to the airport. President Soresen reminded me that if it's the Lord's will, he wants me back out here. He said that if I was well enough to come back out, I would come back to this mission. And truly, there's no better mission in the world. Missions are the best. I am so grateful for the time I have had here. Such a sacred place. I got a call from Elder and Sister Butterfield [Kirtland Site Director and his wife]. Sister Butterfield started to cry because we wouldn't be able to say goodbye. Elder Butterfield got on the phone to tell me that he was proud of how hard I had been working the past week. He said a lot of things that I really needed to hear, to leave Kirtland feeling that I had done my very best. I'm now on the plane leaving the Dallas airport, headed home! Had a really neat experience with a girl waiting for the same flight. We talked for awhile about Jesus Christ and our faith in Him. She told me I had a heart that needed to be shared with the world. She even accepted to have a visit from the missionaries! Heavenly Father definitely gave me a tender mercy in meeting her.
Maybe I did run down the stairs yelling, "I'M BACK!"
Well, now here I am. When I first arrived home, I was at complete peace in knowing that this was the Lord's will for me. It's interesting that in the MTC I had to learn a lot about faith and the scripture, "No witness until after the trial of your faith..." kept playing in my head, proving to me that my Heavenly Father was preparing me for this moment. So I had no worries. If the Lord wanted me back out on the mission, He would provide a way. And if not, there was other work for me to do! But those feelings didn't last forever. I felt that I had received my answer that I was not to go back out on the mission so I called President Sorensen and told him to which he replied, "I know, Sister Hill. Your heart wants to but your body won't allow it." So true, President. If only my heart and my body could get on the same page! Anyways, I was totally fine, right? Well, until last Saturday night during the General Relief Society Broadcast. The closing hymn was "The Spirit of God" (written for the Kirtland Temple dedication, sung at the Kirtland Temple dedication). Did I start weeping? Why yes, I did. For no reason other than I missed Kirtland so terribly. The next day at church things such as missionary work and Kirtland were discussed in Sunday School. Did I start crying uncontrollably? You betchya. I even got quizzed on events in the Kirtland Temple that I could not answer. Did I go home and lay bed, crying, wondering why I had to come home so early before I could actually make a difference, before I could learn more about the sacred events in Kirtland? Oh definitely. From the moment I stepped foot in Kirtland, OH my heart was filled with so much joy! Every morning and night I was on my knees thanking my Father in Heaven for blessing me with the opportunity to serve in such holy land. I even wondered some days what I did to receive such an enormous blessing. So why did it have to end? Will my body ever allow me to go back out? Am I supposed to go back out? Or was that it? I really don't know. But the Lord does! And that is why I have renewed strength to put all my faith in Him.
This is how much I love Kirtland.
[In front of N.K. Whitney's home.]
So thank you Roseville 6th Ward for welcoming me back with open arms. Thank you Dr. Gary for doing your best to get my body working again. Thank you friends (especially Miss Neptune) for being so understanding, supportive, & not hesitating to pick up where we left off. Thank you family for being the absolute greatest, letting me talking about the mission 24/7, & overall just dealing with Hurricane Nicole (oh wait, that's really happening right now?). And thanks be to my Heavenly Father for all these experiences! Because someday I will see how everything provided a way for something greater. I solemnly swear that I will post more often. I will share things about Kirtland that I love and continue to update anyone who cares on the progression of my health.
The "Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow"... Sister's Hill & Decker both struggling with illness.
Usually my post is the much anticipated email from Sister Nicole Hill but today, I am sorry to say, you have only this message from “Momma” Hill…
Can't you just hear the music..."I Did It My Way" (I may have a theme going)?
...and she even has a street named for her.
Nicole fought a difficult battle with an illness that been successfully treated before her mission. She found herself needing the kind of care that can only come from being at home with her family and her doctors. President Sorensen (the Ohio Cleveland Mission President) let her know last Friday that it was time to go home. He assured me that Sister Hill had served a full, honorable mission and had accomplished so much in her short time. Nicole’s desire, shared by President Sorensen, is that she can be healed and return to Kirtland. While it isn’t always easy to accept the answer to our prayers Nicole knows the Lord understands her heart and knows what’s best for her.
They just found out Sister Hill would be going home...sad day!
Sisters Hill and Carter with President and Sister Sorensen on Nicole's last day in Ohio. Thata girl Nicole - always leave 'em laughing!!
Nicole would say that Saturday was the hardest day of her life as she boarded the plane leaving Kirtland bound for Roseville, California. It wasn’t the airport experience I thought I’d be planning for her but our family was there to quietly welcome her home.
Nicole's cousin Ryan (he "borrowed a seat from the airport") and her favorite nieces Madison and Sadie eagerly waiting.
She's arrived smiling through the pain.
Now for the next phase of this journey…Nicole and I will keep this blog going as we document her “road to healing” and share how she prepares herself for the righteous desires of her heart. She'll also offer the occasional bonus Kirtland History lesson. Please feel free to write, email and leave comments on this blog. Nicole will need all the support and love we can offer to help her get through this challenging time.
One of Nicole's most prized possessions...she misses wearing it :(
Thank you for the prayers, the fasts, the letters, emails, comments and in general the outpouring of support from family, friends and friends we just haven’t met yet! We LOVE you!!
Y'all come back now...we'll keep this blog alive :)
Side Note: The titles of Sister Hill's post come from the titles she gives her emails to us...just so you know :)
I've been learning so much these past few weeks. I haven't been in Kirtland too long, but every day I count my blessings for being able to serve in such sacred land.
Our recent convert, Christy (16 years old), has a boyfriend, Geno (also 16). Yesterday we were able to have a great lesson with the both of them. We talked about the Book of Mormon and the strength that comes from reading it with a sincere heart and then praying about it with real intent (meaning intent to act on whatever answer you may receive). I talked about how the Book of Mormon truly helps me to be aware of my divine nature, in knowing that I am truly a child of God. Christy talked about how that was what really drew her to this church, the Book of Mormon and the knowledge it gave her that she was a daughter of God. So we commited Geno to read the Book of Mormon, pray about it, and be willing to act on any answer that he received. He said he definitely would. And then we said, "Geno, as you come to know these things are true, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by the proper authority?" He said, "Yeah, I've been thinking about it." Christy's jaw dropped and then she couldn't stop smiling. We had only met with this boy once before and he was already thinking about baptism! I love Christy so much and am grateful for the example she is to everyone around her.
We had a lesson with our investigator Jan on Tuesday. Jan is in her 60s and cracks me up. I really felt that she wasn't going to show up to our appointment because she wasn't returning our phone calls. But we're sitting in the library waiting for her and she runs in to announce that she can't meet with us because she has lost her cell phone and has to go search for it. Well, we ended up teaching her for 30 minutes. Tender mercy that she lost her cell phone? She feels like she's been deceived many times before when it comes to religion so now she's scared. We explained to her that's what the Holy Ghost is for! Heavenly Father doesn't want His children to be deceived. Hopefully she won't take our work for it and take it up with the Lord.
As I've been struggling lately, I find such great comfort in walking into the Newel K. Whitney store, going to the first Bishop's storehouse and remembering Newel K. Whitney's story. Newel K. Whitney was a man that was being prepared his whole life for the Gospel. He went around town delivering Bible's to homes that didn't have a Bible. He had a part of his store (later the Bishop's storehouse) opened for people to bring in their goods to trade and barter. He was always giving to the community. And then Joseph Smith extended the call of Bishop to Newel and Newel replied, "But I don't see a Bishop in myself." Joseph explained to Brother Whitney that the call wasn't coming from him, but from the Lord, so take it up with him. He did just that and the answer he received was, "Thy strength is in me." It's SO vital for us to remember that. We cannot do anything on our own. We need the Lord. We can do all things through Him. I've been able to gather more strength than I ever thought possible by relying soley on the Lord.
Yesterday while singing "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" in Relief Society, I cried like a baby. We must do what the Lord wants us to do. We must. There is no other way. He will support us, strengthen us, stand by us.
Also, I found much strength yesterday in reading "Lessons from Liberty Jail" by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. The Church is true. Joseph Smith is a prophet. He endured. Jesus Christ loves us and the most perfect evidence of that is the great atoning sacrifice He made for each one of us. The Atonement is individual. Let it work in your life.
"Be ye strong from henceforth; fear not." (D&C 38:15)
Sister Nicole Hill
In a 2nd email:
Thank you so much for the package! I just got it a few minutes ago. I looove the journal. Those girls are the cutest. Also, thanks for all the prayers and fasting. I fasted yesterday as well and this is what came of it...
D&C 28:15 - "And it shall be given thee from the time thou shalt go, until the time thou shalt return, what thou shalt do."
D&C 38:9 - "...Gird up your loins and be prepared."
D&C 38:15 - "...Be ye strong from henceforth; fear not..."
D&C 35:3 - "...I have looked upon thee and thy works. I have heard thy prayers, and prepared thee for a greater work."
D&C 124:49 - "Verily, verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings."
I was just flipping through my scriptures during Sacrament meeting when I read all of these verses. Then in Relief Society we sang "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" and I felt the most overwhelming feeling of love I have probably ever felt. I'm relying soley on the Lord. It'll all work out for the best because the Lord is in control.
I love you so much!!!! Thanks for all your support. All the sisters here are in love with you. So thank you for being the greatest.
Momma Note: I've run out of pictures from Nicole (she says "they're in the mail") so here's a quick look back at the MTC (Missionary Training Center)...I love the look of joy and anticipation on the missionaries faces!!...no captions needed...
I wanted to share this beautiful email and the attached photo that was sent this evening. After a day of fasting and prayer with a healthy dose of tears for my sweet daughter this was just what my "mommy heart" needed. Thank you Brother and Sister Haws for taking the time to share such a sweet experience...a much needed comfort.
Hello Sister Hill,
Our family just returned from a trip to the church history sites. We toured Kirtland on our way to New York, but felt hurried because it was so busy there that day. (700 Boy Scouts besides regular visitors!) We decided to stop again a few days later on our way to Nauvoo. We explained to the Senior Missionary that we had just a little time, and requested a short tour. We especially wanted to see the Newell K. Whitney store where Joseph Smith received several revelations, including the Word of Wisdom. The Senior Missionary called a couple of sister missionaries to come do that for us.
The first thing the missionaries do at every site we visited is ask us where we're from. Your daughter and her companion, Sister Carter, did so. We are from Bountiful, Utah, and Sister Carter said she is from Bountiful too! Something in my memory jumped out. Sister Hill said she'd had a bad day the day before, and she wished she had something in common with us like Sister Carter did. She said she is from the Sacramento area, and as we visited, we found out that she is actually from Roseville. Our daughter-in-law is from Roseville and her parents still live there. Also, our oldest daughter and her family live in Gridley, and Sister Hill said she knows where that is. She joked that she felt a lot better now because we all had something in common! Although she'd had a bad day, on this day she was doing well and she is an enthusiastic, happy missionary.
These two sisters are wonderful! They are full of the spirit and bear strong testimonies of the prophet Joseph Smith. They are beautiful women who represent our Savior so well! They asked us how they could help us, and instead of a half-hour tour, we ended up spending 2 hours with them because they were so knowledgable and gave us such a wonderful tour, that we wanted to stay. They gave us a lot of new information from what we had received the week before, and taught us so much about Kirtland and the early saints who had lived there. We loved visiting with them.
I asked them if I could take their picture to send to their families, and said that if I were their mom, I'd want every tidbit I could get! I thought you might enjoy having a picture of them working in Kirtland. This picture is in the room where the School of the Prophets met. They asked us if we would like to kneel there and have a family prayer. It was unique that there was no tour behind us, and they both waited for us out in the hall. It was a very special experience for our family.
We're grateful for your diligence in raising a daughter of God, who touched our lives in Kirtland.
Sister Nicole's health has taken a wrong turn and she is now struggling harder than ever to get back to her "old self". She is faced with the awful decision of whether to continue her mission or return home to heal. I know my little girls heart must be aching as serving a full mission was her dream and her source of great happiness. All we can do from so far away is offer prayers on her behalf, which brings me to this post... personal experience has proven to me that there is power in prayer and especially when being offered by many others in whatever form their beliefs dictate. This missionary mom is asking if you could include Sister Nicole Hill in your prayers...Nicole and the Hill family would be forever grateful!!
Thank you for your support, letters, comments and love...Nicole draws such strength from friends and family and with you by her side she'll get through this difficult time.
Leaving you with this - Nicole's missionary plaque has this scripture from Esther 4:14 engraved:
"...and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
Catching Fireflies in Ohio -flashlight substitute?
Howdy from Mentor, OH. If anyone ever needs to use a computer while in the Kirtland, OH area, I would NOT recommend going to the Mentor library. I had to wait 70 minutes for a computer. Obviously Heavenly Father is still trying to get me to learn patience. I better just give in someday.
Christy at her baptism
Anyways, had some solid lessons this week. Taught our 16 year old recent convert, Christy, this week. We asked her how she gets the most out of her scripture study and she said, "It just really helps to apply the scriptures back to my life, what's going on in my life right now." Good grief, I've been out on my mission longer than she's been a member and I still struggle with doing that. She's so wonderful. Great miracle in following promptings from the spirit. Last week, Sister Carter and I felt impressed to teach her about keeping the Sabbath day holy. This week, her work scheduled her to work on Sunday. She had the courage and faith to talk to her boss about why she can't work on Sunday's. Seriously, I love that girl. I was sick a few days later when we had an appointment with our investigator, Laura, who we met tracting last week. So Sister Carter had a lesson with her over the phone. She really wants to read the Book of Mormon so we dropped off a copy on Sunday. She wants to read it and pray about it. I told her that's exactly what we would ask her to do. She shouldn't take our word for it, she needs to take Heavenly Father's word that this book is true. We meet again with her on Friday so I'm excited.
On Tuesday, we met with the former investigator, Jan, that we met last week. She doesn't see the need for the Book of Mormon because she loves the Bible so much. We had her read 2 Nephi 29. She started laughing and said, "That's what I say!" So we explained to her that the Book of Mormon and Bible go beautifully together. The Book of Mormon clarifies things in the Bible. Who wouldn't want to learn more about Jesus Christ?
How did she do that? According to Sister Hill this is the result of tracting. Is she scooting along the ground?
We have a less-active from the Philippines whose husband and 11 year old daughter aren't members. Sister Carter and I stop by her house almost every week, she never answers the door, so we leave a note. She has REALLY bad social anxiety and hasn't been to church in 2+ years. We walk into Sacrament Meeting yesterday and who do we see? This woman WITH her husband and daughter!! She gave us a souvenir from the Philippines. Precious family. I gave my souvenir to another sister who was serving her mission in the Philippines, got really sick, went home, and got reassigned to Kirtland (the complete opposite mission). Anyways, don't ever give up on people! That's the moral of that story.
Chocolate - the perfect cure when tracting doesn't go so well!
I talked to a woman on the phone yesterday when I was making referral calls, and I fell in love with her! She was in her 70's, had four strokes, was just diagnosed with breast cancer, and skin cancer on her scalp. She has her husband drive her down to the local elementary school every day where she volunteers with special needs children in science. She wouldn't accept missionaries though because her husband is a staunch Catholic and wants nothing to do with the Mormons unless they will "play cards with him". C'mooooon. She deserves the Gospel so greatly. Everyone deserves the Gospel. Everyone deserves all the peace, joy, and happiness it brings. We have an investigator, Tina, who I love dearly, who doesn't understand why people fall away from the church. She's so funny. She can't comprehend why you wouldn't want this in your life.
Phone Training with the Butterfields :)
Well, keep the good news coming. Life is so much happier when there are letters in the mailbox. Ha. Just kidding? Missions aren't about getting letters. They just help a lot. The Church is STILL true. It was true last week and it'll be true next week. But seriously, I love seeing the joy that comes into people's lives as they come closer to their Savior.
Sister Nicole Hill
Are we there yet? Sister Schumann & Sister Hill enjoying P-Day
Little Extra’s: Email to her dad:
Seriously, tell David Dransfield that this is the most blessed mission on earth. Tell him to read D&C 38:32, "GO TO THE OHIO." Anyways, seriously. This is sacred land. And he gets to start out his mission in the most special way that no other missionary in the world can. Getting your call to Cleveland is a big bummer. Until you get here and realize how lucky you are. And then you start to question how you, of all people, were so blessed to receive your call here. So thanks for talking to him! I'm so excited for him.
Also, thanks for sharing what Brother Barnett said. That means a lot.
Good luck on your talk on Sunday! The Kirtland saints were definitely blessed for keeping the commandments sooo you can talk about that. Haha. But seriously. Such wonderful people that lived here.
I love you, dad! I wish so badly sometimes that you could be here to talk to people about your conversion. I know KNOW KNOW KNOW that you and mom need to serve a mission. You both have such amazing personalities that could bless lives so immensely. I share your conversion story with just about every investigator we meet with. It would be better if you were here to do it yourself. But it's okay. Maybe you and mom will serve in Kirtland. HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE! Really cool.
I love you!!!
Sister Carter and Sister Hill ready to start their day
A side note to Mom:
Those shoes are SO cute, mom!! I love them. And I do need black shoes, my MeToo's are holy, like I said. Thank you so much. I'm glad I have a mother with such incredible taste.
That's funny about Sister Pickett's niece and friend. It was a whole YSA tour from Washington D.C. that she was with. And I was basically on a roll that day. Somedays I'm able to give spiritual tours. Somedays I have to crack jokes the whole time. It's bad, I know. But you get bored doing the same thing every day. Whenever I would take tours with this sister who has gone home now, everyone would be dying with laughter. We couldn't breathe half the time. She was my personality soulmate.
I'm seeing an OB today! In two hours, actually. There's a bishop here is an OBGYN and he recommended to Sis. Sorensen that I see this one closer to me. You probably talked to her about it, though. Poor Sis. Sorensen is going to be so tired of me. But hopefully all goes well today and we figure out what the heck is going on.
Also, Elder Smith is my District Leader. That's so funny that you found his blog. He had the district fast for me yesterday.
Does dad know a Doug Wilks from Los Altos? And can you send your chocolate chip cookie recipe to Sister Carter?
Oh! The hippie party was so brilliant!! I loved all the pictures! And thanks for making everyone write me! haha. I loved getting all those letters. Really brightened my day. And thanks for the skirts!!! Woooo. You're the best momma ever.
I have to go now, but I love you so much. I'll write you tonight and let you know how the OB goes. Thank you for your prayers, momma. It means the world. I'm so grateful for you. Really, I can't explain it. I just don't know what I did to receive so many blessings. Especially have you and pops for parents. I sent you two a temple anniversary present today. Look for it on Wednesday, I believe. You're so special to me.
I love you!!
Sister Daughter Nicole
Seems like only yesterday Sisters Anderson, Houston and Hill were together in the MTC - look at them now!!
Another tough week, but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world. Despite being on my death bed, not being able to keep morning schedule EVER, Sister Carter and I were able to do some tracting this week and find two new investigators!! Heavenly Father really blesses His children. Especially when we're putting forth our best effort. Sister Carter and I may have the worst numbers in the mission, but we feel really blessed. I know this is where I'm supposed to be. Even if I'm in bed and/or on the toilet most of the day. So many of the sisters here have struggled, like Sister Talbot said, and they have been an enormous strength to me. I really have been so blessed.
Sister Nicole and Sister Talbot - one of Nicole's angels and a great source of strength. Her mom Stephanie is one of my angels :)
One of the investigators we found this week was a former [member]. When we knocked on her door she was so excited. She said that the sisters just stopped showing up one day. And then Sister Carter invited her to church and she almost cried! She said that the missionaries had never invited her to church so she thought she wasn't good enough. Holy cow. ALWAYS INVITE.
Nicole with Millie and her son Billie - Millie was one of Nicole's much loved investigator's
So I feel like every day I tell SOMEONE that Heavenly Father is very aware of His children. But listen to this story. I was having a ROUGH, ROUGH week last week. I thought my companion hated me, I thought I was ruining everyone's lives. Then I get talked to about hindering my companion and our area. It was totally out of control. Anyways, I just wanted my momma. Well, I was sitting in the phone room when they asked for two sisters to take a tour. My companion was gone on a tour and all the sisters were on the phone except for me and another sister, Sister Wirig (probably one of the best friends I've ever had). So Sister Wirig and I take the tour together. We're in the Revelation Room in the Whitney Store with this tour when a woman, her daughter, son, and daughter-in-law walk in. They join us on the tour and turns out they had just finished being in the Hill Cumorah pageant and were headed home to WA. The woman asked where I was from, I told her, she said she grew up in the bay area, I asked where, she said Sunnyvale, I told her that my mom grew up in Sunnyvale. "What's your mom's name?" "Well, it was Debbie Mendenhall." "You're kidding me." Turns out this woman grew up just around the corner from you, mom! Michelle Thompson? I think that’s her first name. But she said that her mom Betty and Nana still write each other! So she can tell I'm a mess and asks me what's wrong. So I spill my heart and soul to her about the events that unfolded that day. She just hugs me and says all the things that my very own momma would have said. Heavenly Father knew how much I need my mum that day. Tender mercy from the Lord, I'd say. Anyways, Michelle wanted me to know she remembered my mom being so beautiful and Nana, too. She said Nana was always so put together. Yep, that's my mom and my Nana!
Michelle was in a hurry to get out because our tour went WAY late. But I know she lives in Tacoma, WA. At least I think it's Tacoma. She lives in the same city as her mom, Betty. And she said that Nana and Betty still write so I'm sure Nana would have a way of getting Michelle's address. She's such a dream. She has two kids on missions right now and one is really, really sick. Her husband's a cancer doctor. Her oldest son is married to a girl from England and they just returned from living in Rwanda where Michelle's daughter-in-law was the first ever YW's president. Dreamy family. You should write her.
Nicole's 1st Baptism - 16 year old Christy, her friend Val (who introduced her to the church) along with Sister Carter and Sister Hill [Nicole talks about Christy in an earlier post]
Well, friends, the church is still true. Even when you struggle. Learn to rely on the Lord. He has so many blessings waiting to pour down upon us. All we have to do is ask. And be a good girl or a good boy. Elder Bednar said that. Not me.
Sister Golightly (I want that name!!) and Sister Hill. Can't you just feel the love?
Carry on. Talk to you next week!!! Remember to get to the temple!! Love you forever and ever and ever and ever.
Glad you made it home safely! Looks like everyone had a grand ol' time. Hippie night?? THAT'S BRILLIANT!!!! I'm jealous. Thanks for the pics, daddio!!!!! I'm glad everyone could be there. Looks like a blast. The pictures made me laugh.
"Hippie Night" at our small family reunion - Nicole was really missed!
I'm wearing the white skirt with black stripes right now. So cute. Thanks for having such great taste. And honestly, I wear my MeToo shoes with the bow everyday and they now have holes in them. But I could probably last a little while unless you REALLY want to buy me new shoes. Size 5-5 1/2.
That's SO crazy that David Dransfield (the son of some dear friends of ours) got his call here!!! Tell him how incredible it is. Even the full proselyting missionaries get to go to the Kirtland Temple there first day here/kneel in prayer in the School of the Prophets and covenant with Heavenly Father. Best thing ever. There are quite a few elders out here from the Sacramento area.
Kirtland must put something special in the water!!
I love that the man I took on tour called you!! Haha. He was taking his daughter on a church history tour because she's going to be a seminary teacher next year.
So went to the doc last week. Wants me to try a lactose free diet for three weeks. Really hard at member dinners. But hopefully it will help and I'll be healed!!!! Thanks for the prayers!! They provide me with strength.
I'm glad you told me that Ryan moved in because I'm writing him a letter and now I know where to send it! Perfect-o. Also, thanks for making that CD for Sister Carter. Means a lot! We got ten new sisters last Wednesday! They're all so amazing. I can't even believe it. Such hard workers. We lost eight of the greatest sisters ever, though. One's that really kept me going. But this is good.
I must be off to Target now. I'm sending you and dad a special present for your anniversary in the mail. I hope you love it.
Thanks for everything you do for me!!!!!!!!!! Gives me hope and pushes me to keep trying. I love you!
Mommy lesson: When we arrived home from our reunion there was a message on my answering machine from a Brother Bruce Woolsly. He and his daughter had taken a history tour of Kirtland to help prepare her for her new calling as a seminary teacher. Nicole and Sister Wirig were their tour guides. He called to tell me how much he and his daughter enjoyed the tour with Nicole and spoke of her "sparkle", her "enthusiasm" and how well she had communicated her testimony and her love for Kirtland. He let me know that she looked good (he didn't even know she had been struggling with illness) and that her spirits were high. He also told of the good relationship he experienced between Sister Hill and Sister Wirig (another of Nicole's angels). What a beautiful message to come home to! I returned his call today and the beautiful words a mother loves to hear were spoken once more from both he and his daughter. People will wonder where I got that spring-in-my-step as I go through my week. My "take-away" from this is that from this day forward when I have a special experience with one of our area missionaries I will call and share with their parents. Brother Woolsly has no idea how much I clung to every wonderful thing he shared - THANK YOU Bruce Woolsly for taking time out of your busy day to bring a missionary mom such a beautiful gift!!
Working hard in the call center and loving the work!
It was a rough week for Sister Hill. I promised Heavenly Father and Sister Carter that I would make big changes, though and I have a doctor's appointment today at 4 p.m. so I'm excited to see what the future brings. My first transfer ends on Wednesday and I must say, it hasn't been my finest transfer. But I'm learning lots and meeting the most amazing people. Sister Carter and I have spent much time in our house due to me being sickly, so I've been decorating everything I own with scrapbook paper.
Most of our appointments cancelled on us this week (which makes me grateful that I grew up in a home where nothing goes as planned, knowing how to be flexible.), but we did get to meet with our investigator with the 5 year old daughter that I so greatly adore. Angellyna and I usually just play Barbie while Sister Carter and the mom resolve concerns. I get frustrated when people know with all their heart that this Gospel is true, but won't make the necessary changes to be baptized. C'moooon. Great blessings await you! Seriously, people want to know how to be happy, but they don't want to do what it takes to have that happiness. Salvation isn't easy.
We do service every other week at the American Cancer Society Thrift Store and I met this 19 year old girl who was searching for friendship. We talked about her growing up years and I shared with her how the Gospel of Jesus Christ has really provided me with a sense of belonging and peace. She agreed to let us meet with her so hopefully we'll be in contact with her shortly. Summers at Kirtland are just so busy that we have no time in our area and then I have to go and get sick. Blegh.
Speaking of Kirtland, I took a tour by myself the other day. I was scared out of my wits. ? It was a YSA tour, too. Later that day, Sister Carter and I took another YSA tour from Washington D.C. We had a grand ol' time. One of the girls, Melissa Pickett, heard I was from Roseville, CA and asked if I knew any Pickett's. I became very excited and explained to her how Melinda Pickett was such a lifesaver to my family after dad's accident and how they would come caroling, bringing joy to our family. Turns out, Scott Pickett is Melissa Pickett's dad's brother!! In other words, Scott and Melinda Pickett are the Uncle and Aunt to this girl I met on tour. We took pictures together to document the occasion so you can check those out.
Waiting to get everyone in the picture after the Emma Festival
There are three sisters in our district. One of them goes home in two days. Anyways, the missionaries have been working with this man, Brother Andrus, for years now. His wife and daughters are all members. Brother Andrus got roped in to being "This is Kirtland" and played one of the original twelve apostles. The missionaries have been committing this man to baptism for YEARS, right? But he just never feels like he's ready. He goes to church every Sunday, helps out in the Primary, people think he's a member of the church, but he's not (sound familiar?). So this sister that's going home on Wed., Sister Wirig, she served in the Andrus' ward a few transfers ago, got transferred out, and now for her very last transfer, was put back into their ward. The three sisters had a powerful lesson with Brother Andrus, Sister Wirig asked him to be baptized on Saturday, and he stared at her. He finally said no, but that his testimony WAS growing. Well, something got to him, and he couldn't sleep at night. He knew what he needed to do. So his wife called the sisters a few days later to tell them that Brother Andrus would be baptized on Saturday. Why Saturday, you may ask? Saturday was the last night of the play "This is Kirtland". The cast pulled together money to fly all of Brother Andrus' daughters, son-in-laws, and grandkids out for the baptism. And that night, at the play, Joseph Smith says, "Congratulations to the Snow family on the baptism of Brother Lorenzo!" And then he adds, "And congratulations to the Andrus family on the baptism of Brother Laurence!" The crowd went crazy and everyone was standing, clapping, just being all around joyful. It was a powerful experience. Had to be there. Seriously, the church is true.
Other incredible things are taking place around these parts, giving us all that boost of testimony that we sometimes desperately need.
Keep up the good work! Don't get discouraged. Sister Carter always says, "Discouragement is the death sentence."
The Sisters that live in the Boynton home - Gorgeous Girls!
I was called to serve in the Ohio Cleveland Mission (Historic Kirtland Visitor's Center) for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After a few months of being very ill, I had to return home. & now here I am!