Nicole had her first rough week in the mission field this week being away
during Thanksgiving. But she bounced back quickly! Here's her
latest email home, complete with pictures.
Yesterday we had a Zone Training so that's why our P-day has been a little off. BUT, I hope ya'll had an AWESOME Thanksgiving!!
This week was VERY hard for me. Normally, missionaries don't tell home that they're struggling or that they're homesick, etc. But, because it's through trials that you grow the most, I feel it's okay to share them! I struggled emotionally this week for many reasons, and being away from home on Thanksgiving was much harder than I thought! I really missed home. It was a very emotional time, but I'm so grateful and blessed to have that struggle. I don't think I've ever relied so heavily on the Atonement of Jesus Christ before. I spent much time on my knees and in the scriptures and ensigns. I received much peace as needed and I felt my Heavenly Father's love! This insanely tough week was NOT fun, but a huge blessing that I am thankful for! God gives us trials that we CAN and WILL overcome as we turn to Him and trust in Him!
On the bright side, we had many blessings and miracles! We received 5 new investigators, met sooooo many awesome people and had a very yummy Thanksgiving! There was so much food!!!!! I'm trying to eat healthier, and they kept sending us home with candy and pie...I'm going to get so fat! We had Thanksgiving at the Clark's home, some members from our ward. Sister Clark just got reactivated and Brother Clark is less active. He calls himself a Jack-Mormon. He has a strong testimony on prayer and he always opens his home to missionaries. He believes the religion and He has strong faith. The only issue is he struggles with the Word of Wisdom and isn't ready to give up coffee and cigarettes. He is the nicest man, though and we had a great time at their home for the holiday!
This week, I GOT TO SEE MY MTC DISTRICT!!!! We had a new missionaries and trainers meeting so all my friends from the MTC were there! It was so much fun to see these wonderful people and to get to hear all their stories and miracles! The really tall girl in the picture is from the MTC...her name is Sister Mills and she's awesome! We hope to be future companions:)
Next awesome thing that happened: Holly, our investigator Mario's wife, was reactivated not too long ago. She grew up in the church and went inactive and just started going back before I arrived. She got to go to the Temple for THE FIRST TIME EVER the other day! She's 39! She was so excited! We helped her get a name to do Baptisms for the Dead. She got to baptize her mom...she was so happy which made me so happy! I love the work we get to do in the Temple! The Spirit that is there is so awesome and I'm so grateful for Heavenly Father's plan for families to be together for eternity! It brought much joy to see her so excited to be worthy to enter into the House of God! There's a picture of her holding her mom's name! Soooo fun!!!
This week we met a really awesome guy! His name is Chris and he has made me so humble! He has seriously been through every hard thing I can imagine. He's been divorced, literally got run over by a car and has scars all up his legs from multiple surgeries. He has brain injuries from that and has lots of metal plates in his legs. He will never be able to walk again and he doesn't get to see his daughter very often. He's broken most of the bones in his body and he is in so much pain all the time. Nonetheless, he knows the church is true. He's a less active, but since he's been hit by a car, he has turned to God. Most people would turn away from God, but he knew that God has so much in store for him. How inspiring his story is to me! The whole lesson I bawled. I'm so humbled and thankful for the gospel and for the people I'm meeting on my mission. They teach me so much every day and I have such a strong testimony of God's love for His children!
GUESS WHAT??? I found out we get to watch A REAL MOVIE on New Year's Eve!!!! :):):):):) I am so excited!!! We are going to watch Frozen! I miss watching movies. It's so bad, when we walk into a house and they're playing a movie, I find myself slowly being absorbed and starring at the tv. Sister Rogers laughs at me and asks to turn the tv off....it's pretty sad. So, needless to say, I can't wait to watch a normal Disney movie(:
Tonight I start my first Exchange.....that's when we get a different companion for 24 hours! We switch companions tonight and we don't switch back untilnight. I'm really anxious because I'm staying in my area and have to take charge. I don't feel ready to go out without my companion!!! But, I know that God will be with me and that it will be a good learning experience. We have 2 new investigators to teach for the first time so it's a little scary, but I'm excited still! My new companion will be Sister Huang. We've done splits together before and she's so funny! She's from China and is so cute! She was on the phone the other day and I hear her ask "what does goofy mean?!" Haha, she's so naturally funny! I'm excited to do exchanges with her!
So, here are a few pictures from this week. I can't send them all in one email, so excuse the few different ones you'll receive. The one with the 2 kiddos are from our ward. They ask to see our name tags so they can wear them all the time. We just had to snap a photo! The lady in the blue dress is Holly before the Temple! Just look at how she's glowing!!! The one with me in the cowboy hat is the Clark family that had us for Thanksgiving! Brother Clark used to be in rodeos and this was his special hat...so much fun! I felt like a true Texan:) Lastly, our Zone ordered zone t-shirts!!! They are so cool! We're called the mega zone because this transfer, they combined 2 zones into 1. I guess it's pretty big compared to a normal zone, but I wouldn't really know. Our zone is so awesome and have blessed me in so many ways.
I'm so grateful for all the people God has put in my life; my zone, my investigators, the awesome members, my family and friends back at home, and all the people I'm going to meet! God's hand is in this work! He knows us personally and better than ANYONE! He loves us perfectly despite all our imperfections! As we turn to Him, He will bless us! I love ya'll and hope all is well! Thanks for your prayers and thoughts!
p.s. everyone should check out the He is the Gift video the church has done! It's so powerful and brings in the Spirit and true meaning of Christmas! May we always remember our Savior Jesus Christ and all that He has willingly and lovingly done for us!"