05 July 2010

Rollercoaster Week and A Real Conversation

This week I not only have Nicole's email to post but thought I'd share some of the short "messaging conversation" she and I were able to have (my part will be the orange italicized text):

Hello from Kirtland, OH! It's been a crazy week. I've been feeling super sick again. Last night was ROUGH. One of the Sisters that we serve with found out six months into her mission that she had Celiac's. I was talking to her yesterday about what I was feeling and she started laughing because it was exactly what she experienced during her first transfer out in the mission field. She made me some meal plans so I'm going to try a gluten-free diet the next little while and see if that doesn't help. Something needs to happen or Sister Carter's going to punch me.

Not only have I been feeling like death this past week, but we had to stop teaching Millie yesterday. She's progressed as far as she possibly can right now. Cigarettes are just more important than eternal salvation. We left on a good note, though. She said the closing prayer after our lesson and just cried and cried. She said, "Dear Lord, thank you for bringing the Sisters into my life. Please keep them safe on their missions. In your name, Amen." It was so sweet and so heartbreaking. Then we took pictures in front of the trailer with her and her son, Billie. I'll make sure to send those. I love Millie with all my heart. Heavenly Father is definitely aware of her circumstances.

We went to meet with a less active woman in the Branch, Isabelle, who is 92 years-old and in a hospital. Sister Carter missed the turn so we pulled into a little apartment complex. Church insurance requires that the passenger must back the driver out always. So I got out of the car to back the car out and I noticed this older African American gentleman sitting out on the patio. I got a pass along card, walked up to him and began talking about how our families could be together forever. His seven year-old granddaughter came out and talked as well. Turns out, this man's wife passed away exactly one month ago while driving with this seven year-old granddaughter. He has friends that are LDS. He was really wonderful. Unfortunately, he doesn't live in our area, so we can't teach him, but we got a referral for the other sisters! Then we met with 92 year-old Isabelle Neill. She talked for two hours straight about her favorite son, Bobby. She also doesn't think she's a member of the Church.

On Thursday, we had a really great Zone Conference. It helped me get re-excited about being a missionary. We talked a ton about member involvement. It's the member’s responsibility to find and the missionary’s responsibility to teach. SO GET TO WORK. But seriously, people are much more likely to stay in the Church if they have a friend. We also really need members at our lessons. The Chardon Branch is pretty good about being willing to come teaching with us. Just offer to the missionaries in the ward that if they ever need someone to go teaching with them, you're more than willing. It's such a blessing. And sharing the Gospel just deepens our love for Heavenly Father so everyone wins. After Zone Conference, we met with a less active 14 year old who I just really love. She even came to Church on Sunday which, without going into a ton of detail, took a TON of courage. I was so proud of her. Sister Carter and I have big plans to help the Young Women's program in the Chardon Branch. Later Thursday evening, we met with a part-member, less-active family. The husband wanted nothing to do with any religion. The wife and two boys are members but the wife experienced some really tough things in her ward and stopped going. But we had a lesson on prayer with the whole family, INCLUDING the husband. Everyone got out their Book of Mormons. EVEN the husband. The lesson was powerful, the Spirit was strong and I received a prompting that Brother Siebold needed to be committed to baptism. Then, Sister Carter asked him to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized on September 25th. WHAT! WE WEREN'T EVEN PLANNING ON ASKING HIM TO BE BAPTIZED. He said it's been something that he's been thinking he needs to do. The family asked about being sealed together and doing the work for their deceased family members. It was awwwwesome. We told all the sister missionaries that know this man and none of them believed us. It's such a miracle and tender mercy from the Lord.

4th of July really was like any other Sabbath Day here. Except we had dinner with two families from the Branch and it was the perfect 4th of July dinner! They bbq'ed steak, chicken, and pork. Delicious potato salad, jell-o, chips, watermelon, cherries, beans, and rootbeer. We had a lot of fun and then taught the families on the importance of member missionary work. We made the kids practice answering tough questions that their friends might ask them about the Church. We heard fireworks while laying in bed last night. That's cool, right? Proud to be an American. Also, I love Ohio.

So, that's what's been happening in the 440. Pretty sure Sister Carter and I will continue to be companions next transfer. Which is funny, because I think she might go crazy. We're COMPLETE opposites. COMPLETE. The Lord works in mysterious ways. It's good, though. We're learning a lot from each other. We just have to meet in the middle. One is very serious and the other doesn't know how to be serious. We just need balance.

I'll make sure to send pictures WITH descriptions soon. We're so busy right now. There's no time to breathe. The play "This Is Kirtland" is going on right now and I'm so excited to go see it! Love this place. Even if the humidity causes me to not be able to breathe. What doesn't kill me only makes me stronger, right?

I love you all. Read Mosiah 4:2 and keep up the good work.

Sister Nicole Hill

So glad you can email – we thought the library would be closed. As for you and Sister Carter being COMPLETE opposites - opposite can be a good thing but DON’T lose that wonderful sense of humor and playful personality! Uncle David believed that the Lord has a sense of humor!

The library is closed. I'm e-mailing at the sites. woohooo!

Those skirts are SO cute. I love them. I'm pretty sure they would be long enough for me. I'm in desperate need of skirts now. Ah, I'm so needy. I think a white skirt would be super cute with that black Anthropologie shirt you sent me. And I really like that necklace and the red scarf that you sent pictures of! You've got good taste, lady. We were going to go to Amish country today for P-day but I was really sick last night and this morning so we're just going to take it easy today. Also, thank you SO SO SO SO much for the cookies!!! I kid you not, they were gone in less than 20 hours. Everyone wants the recipe. SO good. And Sister Kingston devoured my Sweet, Salty, and Nutty Trek Mix. Haha. These sisters are like savages. It's really quite remarkable. Also, tell Stinka (her sister Christina was nicknamed "Auntie Stinka" by Madison, which in no way actually describes her) thanks for the Mrs. Fields box with cookies and brownies. The box is a sunshine and it's really cute. I love mi familia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How are you doing, Momma? How's the temple? How's the exercising coming? Are you going to have the missionaries over for dinner with Scott and Amy?

I love you forever!!! Tell Trev I'm proud of him for being a college student. I'll write him a letter today. Did the little girls get my package?

Sister Your Daughter

Sorry about the tummy problems – you can thank me later. The girls got package late last night but haven’t opened it yet. Anything else you need?

Just some treats from Trader Joe's would be AWESOME. I'm going on a gluten free diet these next few weeks so maybe some gluten free things? I don't knooow. Will you answer my questions? Nobody ever tells me what's going on at home. C'moooon. Oh, can you tell Jaime McMurry to write me? I really want to talk to her but I don't have her address!

Everything is good here at home. Dieting is hard but exercise is getting easier. Dad’s my trainer but I have to remember not to show him my angry eyes when he pushes for one more sit-up. Had to have my temple dress repaired so we couldn’t go for a little while but we’re going Friday when Dad get’s back from Seattle. Trevor is doing soo much better and Brother Mahkorn is still working on him. I’ll get on the calendar for missionary dinners next week and then off to Nana’s before the reunion. She wants me to go through boxes! Uncle Mark and his family and Auntie Kim will be there so it’ll be fun - Uncle Mark and dad can go for bike rides. All is well – MISS you though, but I have such a beautiful, peaceful feeling about where you are and what you’re doing.

That's so wonderful!! Brother Mahkorn is a gem.

Our training meeting for the Kirtland Sisters is in the Kirtland Temple tomorrow!

And we get to sing at the Emma Festival on July 12th. EMMA FESTIVAL!! I'm so excited. Emma Smith is my hero. I get to talk about her every single day. Love this place.

I used to portray her for seminary classes. It started with Bro. Kirkham and then went on to others. I love Emma too and feel she was one of the most misunderstood people in our Mormon history. That is sooo exciting. You’ll have to take pictures – AND then SEND them to me. Your blog needs pictures (or I’ll start using your “healthy” baby pictures!!) – Sister Talbot had a pic with you guys and bananas. It was cute, funny, silly – where are your pictures like that???
How’s the humidity – do you get used to it?

I know! I talked to Sister Twogood about that when she came out here and we were in Emma's kitchen in the Newel K. Whitney Store. Your love for Emma has carried on to me! I don't know how Sister Talbot got that picture! So just steal her pictures and we'll be okay. I'm sorrrryyyyy. There aren't enough hours in the day.

I h8 humidity.

I'm so jealous for your Idaho/Utah adventures!!! Write me lots of stories.

Just keep taking pictures and I’ll improvise on your blog until you can send me some :) Maybe I’ll use cave drawings or something :) No worries – I KNOW you are busy with the Lord’s work so I can wait for pics!
Love you bunches!!

And while we're waiting for pictures from Kirtland I'll skip the "healthy baby" pictures and share a couple of pictures that capture Nicole:
Nicole with Madison at their favorite restaurant "Spegie" Factory
Nicole as Titana in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer-Night's Dream"
Friends Having Fun in S.F.
Nicole and Madison After A Charity Run

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