Thursday evening I got a page that I had a visitor downstairs. So I ran down the stairs and who did I see?? Sister Twogood!!! How crazy is that? It was really good to see someone from back home. She updated me on the family. Sister Carter and I got to take her and three of her friends on a fun tour. I stumbled a lot, but hopefully they still had a good experience.
This fabulous picture was taken by my dear friend Janice Twogood who had the opportunity to be given a tour by Sister Hill and her companion Sister Carter - aren't they adorable young ladies? Janice said Nicole did a great job and they all had a special experience in the School of the Prophets.
This picture is a little blurry (taken from a phone camera) but a cute one of Sister Hill conducting the tour. Thank you Janice!!On Friday, 1600 people came through Historic Kirtland!!!! Sister Carter and I weren't supposed to go in that day, we were assigned to go out in our area, but we decided that our service for the week would be to go in and help out. And thank goodness we did. We took three really wonderful tours. The last two were youth groups, which was really neat. You could feel that some were really struggling and the Spirit really put the words in our mouths that they needed to hear. Maybe they were laughing hysterically while I was talking, making me really self-concious, but I survived. And then afterwards one of the young men told me that I have really funny facial expressions. I never knew... Buuuut anyways. So after the fun and games at Historic Kirtland, we went out into our area. We had dinner with a less active couple whose son gets home from his mission in December. We talked about how important it is for them to start preparing to go to the temple with their son in December. I thought about how incredible that would be for me to get home from my mission and have my whole family in the temple with me. I cried a lot during that dinner. I'm excited to see their progression because it's something they really do want. And I'm excited for their son. What a blessing that will be for him! We finished dinner and stopped by an investigator who was drunk and promised us he would be at church on Sunday. Well, he wasn't. Never expect a drunk to keep his promise. After that we met a man who stopped going to church seven years ago. The missionaries before us said that when they met him, he said, "I'm not a member of that Church." But when we knocked on his door, he graciously let us in. His best friend is a woman in our branch so that's a plus. So we talk boldly asked him why he stopped going to church. You want to know why he stopped? Because he likes his Diet Coke. My response to him? "Well, sir, my father is a wonderful man and he drinks Diet Coke." So, dad, thanks for letting me use you as an example. Haha. This man had really silly concerns and we told him they could be easily resolved. Hopefully he'll call us oooor we'll have to go a knockin' on his door once again. We know where you live.
Saturday, we took two life changing tours. The first one completely changed my view of my mission. It was a father, mother, and their 17 year old son, Andrew. Andrew has a severe disability that keeps him from talking, making eye contact, and really any form of communication. We were in the School of the Prophets and the Spirit was definitely there, as always. Sister Carter had just given a memorized account of John Murdock seeing Jesus Christ in the School of the Prophets. And then Andrew makes eye contact with her and starts bearing his testimony. He talked about feeling the Holy Ghost and how much Heavenly Father loves us. I looked over at his parents and they were weeping. They couldn't take their eyes off of him. I could not control the tears. A truly powerful experience that I am so grateful Heavenly Father allowed me to witness. It was really miraculous. After that we took a tour of three siblings, their spouses, and children. We've never had a tour with so many kids under the age of 7, but it was so fun. We sang "I am a Child of God" in the School of the Prophets. There's a lot of love here in Kirtland.
On Sunday, I realized what true anxiety felt like. As I talked to other missionaries about this, they expressed to me that this feeling only gets worse as you go through out your mission. Would you like to know what causes it? People at church. Seriously. You get SO nervous about people preaching false doctrine. The particular event that caused my anxiety was in Gospel Principles, with one nonmember and quite a few less actives. The teacher started talking about beer in the temple. The lesson was on scriptures. I couldn't breathe. My companion was pale. The other two sisters looked they were going to explode. It's truly a fascinating experience. One of the perks of being a missionary. You should hear other missionaries stories about things that members have told investigators. The Church MUST be true because the people would have destroyed it long ago if it wasn't. Anyways, Millie hasn't been coming to church even though we find her a ride every Sunday, but she's been coming up with great excuses the past two weeks. So yesterday we went to visit her and see what's up. We had a great lesson with her and talked about the importance of baptism. She confessed that she really HAS been smoking. That little turd. So Sister Carter asked if she really did want to be baptized and she was just silent. So we told her to think and pray about it and we would meet with her again Wednesday. It breaks my heart because I really love her, but I know Heavenly Father will bless her. After we visited Millie we did a few stopped by a few other people in the trailer park. We walked up to one of the trailers, saw people sitting in the front room, rang the doorbell, blinds suddenly closed and then there was silence. We rang the doorbell again. Silence. We know they're home. Knocked on the door. No answer. WHO KNEW SO MANY PEOPLE WOULD WANT TO AVOID ME? It's the nametag and long skirt. So then we were off to go tracting. But as we got in the car, I felt that we need to do a stop by. So I told Sister Carter and she said, "Okay, let's stop by Tina. No, we'll stop by Jay. Nope, we need to stop by Tina." Neither of us had met her, but the missionaries found her tracting about three years ago and said she believed everything, just has a few issues she needs to iron out. She's in her late 20's and lives with her fiance and 5 year old daughter, Angelyna. Tina has, like, 6 degrees and is obviously intelligent. So I let Sister Carter talk to her while I played with Angelyna. I want to cry talking about these two. Angelyna reminds me SO much of Madison. I even told her that she would be good friends with my niece Madison. I don't know if Angelyna has even been to church but she brought me her Book of Mormon and said to me, "Want to learn more about God's love?" SERIOUSLY??? COME TRACTING WITH US. PEOPLE WON'T HIDE FROM US! Oh my goodness, I cannot explain the joy in my heart. She is so precious. She even looks like Madison. I want her to go to Primary. I know she would love it. I love her and her mom so much already. And we only met for a short time. It's crazy what being a missionary can do to you. Immediate love.
The computer here at the library is going to kick me off in three minutes so I must be off. But I love you so much!!! The downeast shirts were perfect. I'm wearing one right now! I'm glad you got your package, dad! The pictures made me sooo happy. And the part about Brother Owens talk on not judging. Haha. Best parents in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sister Nicole Hill