Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bye-Bye Belle Terre

Here's Nicole's latest email home! While she did get
transferred this week, she's really excited about exchanges in Canada!
Read her email below:

"Hey Everyone! 

      This past week was pretty good! Like every week, we have our ups and downs, but it was still full of miracles! 

      Now, before I describe my week more, we got our transfer calls....Sister Peeler is staying in Belle Terre and I am going to Deer Park...I hear it's booney, but.....I'LL GET TO GO TO CANADA ON EXCHANGES!!! I am sooooo excited to go to Canada! Haha (: 

      Tuesday, we stayed in all day because Sister Peeler wasn't feeling too well. 

       Wednesday, was so awesome! We met all of our goals and accomplished so much! 

       Thursday, we had BEAUTIFUL weather....we've had 70s since Friday and it's suppose to last a while. We got to ride our bikes on Fridayand do some service for a family in our ward, the Fryers. The husband is less active and his mother just died. It's been so hard on them all. I am just so grateful for my family and for my Heavenly Father's love....He loves us so much, He sent His Son so that we would all be able to live forever with our families....how great is our God!!  

       Saturday, we had Elder Nelson, one of the 12 apostles on the earth today, come and speak to us. We also had a member of the 70, Elder Clark, come speak to us. He's brand new to the 70, and this was his first assignment as a member! It was so exciting! Elder Clark talked about the importance of building our foundation on Jesus Christ as described in John 6:46-49 (I think that was the right reference). It was so great and inspiring! Then Elder Nelson talked on the tribes of Israel and our lineage, which was very interesting!! I am just so grateful for modern day leaders!! They are so amazing, inspired, loving, and AWESOME!! The best part??? I GOT TO SHAKE THEIR HANDS AND TAKE A PICTURE WITH THEM!!!! Our whole mission (200 missionaries) gathered together for it...it was so cool (: 

      Sunday was great! We had a guy who just returned home from his mission give his homecoming talk. It was great! His sister just got called to his exact same mission...crazy right? All the people in the mission were praying that his sister would be called there ever since they heard she was starting her papers...miracles!!! We also had dinner at a member's home last night and they lived up on the mountain (Sister Peeler calls it a hill, but I'm from Texas so it's a mountain (: ). I was looking out at their view in amazement, and asked if they get a lot of deer in their yard...their response: "Haha...we call them food storage" Hahaha I thought it was really funny! 

        I have absolutely loved serving in Belle Terre! The members and people in this area have been such a blessing and I feel honored that God let me serve there for 4 1/2 months...how blessed I have been!! Ooh...speaking of which....Wednesday is my 6 month mark....WHAT THE HECK?! Ahhh....time is FLYING by!! It's so crazy!!! I am determined to make every second count, even though that's insanely hard sometimes! I just have a year left to serve the Lord with all my heart, might, mind, and strength and I want to do just that! I'm excited to see what He has in store for me and all the amazing people He's going to put in my life in Deer Park!

        The older lady I'm with in the picture is Sister Francis! She is SOOO awesome!! She's going to miss me a lot. She wanted to take me out for manicures as a going away gift haha. I have absolutely loved staying with her! She is the sweetest lady ever...I hope to be like her when I get old :) She's the funnest lady ever. I love her so stinking much!! Anyways, that's my photo...thought it was important to share how much I love this lady...she is so amazing! 
      I hope all is going well for everyone! I love and pray for you daily!! Have a wonderful week full of miracles and enjoy every day! Like President Monson says "you can find joy in every day"! Love you!!! 

Sister Wilson"

Monday, April 13, 2015

Trials Bring Us Closer to Our Savior, Jesus Christ

It's that time again! We sure love getting
Nicole's weekly emails. Here's her latest:


      This past week was pretty tough. It wasn't the most fun week of my mission, but I'm grateful for it! I'm so grateful for General Conference and modern day prophets and apostles that are so inspired! I have gained so much strength from them this past week! The phrase "Hold on to what you know" was my theme all week. Ahhhhhh I'm so grateful for modern-day revelation! We are so blessed to have a Prophet that speaks for God to lead and guide us today!! If there's one thing I've learned while serving a mission, it's this: our trials bring us closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ! 

     This week is the last week before transfers...I'm not sure how I feel about it. I'm excited to hear what happens though! I have been VERY blessed every transfer and I look forward to seeing what my Heavenly Father has in store this next transfer! 

    I came to a realization this week....I LOVE OLD PEOPLE!!!! They are the greatest! Haha, Sister Francis, the 84 yr old lady I live with, is the best! We walked into the kitchen for lunch one day, and she's sitting at the table with a 12 yr old and 8 yr old playing cards. It was so funny and so cute! She's always having people over to play cards. We even played some with her today for a couple of hours! We also went to a retirement/assisted living home and visited one of our members with Alzheimer's. She was so funny, though I'm not sure she meant to be. She was so cute and so much fun to visit with!! We have so many great old people in my ward, it's the best! I can't wait to get old (: 

     My dream came true this week! We have this AWESOME guy in our ward named Ed. He is so great! He was baptized 2 years ago and does so much missionary work. He struggles with smoking, it was an addiction he overcame before baptism and has fallen back into it. He's working on quitting and is doing a great job! His motivation?....get the Melchizedek Priesthood (: It's sooo exciting and fun to see his progress! Well, the other day we went over to his house to see how he was doing. The last time we had talked to him, he had gone 4 days not smoking. We walked in (yes, another female was there) and I saw a cigarette on his table. I asked him "Ed, how's your smoking going?" He replied by pointing to the cigarette and explained he hadn't lit it...yet. I politely told him he wasn't going to light it and then we asked well, Sister Peeler asked, and I told him I was going to take care of it for him. He willingly agreed. So, I took it out and destroyed it...IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!! I've always wanted to destroy someone's cigarettes....it was quite fun (: Haha, but I'm so proud of him and can't wait for the day he gets to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood (the authority and power of God given to men to act in the name of Jesus Christ; the power to baptize)! I love these people so much and seeing their progress makes me so happy! I love the Atonement and how it makes change possible! 

     I'm excited for this new week and I hope ya'll have a wonderful week! Thanks for all your prayers and support! I love you all (:

Sister Wilson"

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Atonement Sets Us Free

Sorry for the late update! Here's Nicole's latest email home:

"Happy late Easter Everyone!!! 

     This week was really good! Not much happened....we had a lot of meetings. Nonetheless, it was good (: 

     The excitement of the week started on Friday. So.....as missionaries, we have to do some pretty awkward things. For example, when we're driving in a car and we see someone walking down the street, we're suppose to pull over and talk to them, whether it's getting out and talking to them or rolling down the window. Sister Peeler and I are not good at it, because it's awkward and out of our comfort zone. Nonetheless, the Lord has asked us to talk to EVERYONE. He loves all of His children so much that He wants them all to hear the gospel, no matter how awkward it may be for the ones delivering the message. This is something that I've been trying to work on. So on Friday I was DETERMINED to step out of my comfort zone and be more consecrated to the Lord. We were driving and I saw this guy outside smoking. We passed him at first and then decided to turn around. We pulled up next to him, rolled down my window, and I started talking to him. I gave him a card and told him who we were as disciples of Jesus Christ and that we had a message that will change his life. After a couple minutes of talking to him, he agreed to let us come back. We have yet to teach him again, but it was a huge testimony builder to me to see how we're blessed when we do what the Lord has asked us to, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Later that night, we went to a Less Active's house. They have a 5 year old son named River who is way cute! He's so funny!!! Well, at the end of our meeting, he did something that made me laugh and I exclaimed, "he's so cute!!" River than yelled, "THAT'S NOT APPROPRIATE!!!!" HAHAHAHAHA it was so funny!!!! I laughingly apologized to him and we left....it was pretty great! 

     The best thing ever, though, was we found this neighborhood library box (pictures below). It's just this box that people can give and take books from and we thought it was the coolest thing! Being the geniuses that we are, we decided to write in a Book of Mormon and put it in there!! We have no idea when it will happen, but someone is bound to take it and read it one day....we'll just restock it as necessary...it's fun (: 

     The biggest blessing of all this week was General Conference. I have no idea if I mentioned it in my last letter, and I deeply apologize for that. But, Conference is when our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and his 12 apostles speak to the world. It's such a great experience and it gives us greater light and knowledge of God's plan for us. I learned so much and thought I'd share some new knowledge I gained as well as some of my favorite quotes with ya'll: 

  • "No matter what we've done or who we are, we can be forgiven and cleansed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ....the Atonement sets us free"-President Boyd K. Packer 
  • "Don't fear the future, just trust God and exercise faith"- Elder Dallin H. Oaks
  • "There will always be hope because of the Savior"-Elder Clayton
  • "Look to Christ....our fears are subsided as we remember Him"-Elder David A. Bednar
  • "God cares more about who we are and who we're becoming than who we once were"- Elder Renbend
  • "His peace can touch and help any heart in any circumstance"-President Thomas S. Monson
  • "He died so that when we're falling, He can grab us and lift us up"-Elder Jeffery R. Holland
  This is just a glimpse of what I've learned....how blessed we are to have prophet in these days!! If you haven't watched conference yet, I would encourage you to do so. You can hear these beloved and inspired men's talks on lds.org. Go watch it...now...you'll be glad you did :) 

    I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter(: I hope we can all remember Jesus Christ and all He has done for us. We are so blessed to have a Heavenly Father who loves us so much that He has given us a prophet! I'm so grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! Have a wonderful week! I love you all so much and pray for you daily:)

Sister Wilson"

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Missionary Work is Hard When You're on Bed Rest

Nicole had a slow and emotional week this week,
but with it came a realization and gratitude. Here's what
she had to say:

"Hey everyone!

   So, this week was pretty slow....on Wednesday, we walked around all day in the rain. Our full time car has a certain amount of miles on it each month, and we don't have very much left so we walked. I love walking because we see more people that way. Unfortunately, not many people were out. It was still a lot of fun though!! One of the pictures is of that day...haha, you can tell how much fun we were having by the look of Sister Peeler's face(:

    The second picture is my new fashion statement. I hurt my foot pretty badly (I have no idea how, I just noticed it hurting on Thursday) and thought I stress fractured it again. Fortunately, I didn't....at least the x-ray I got yesterday says I didn't. I guess I just badly sprained it somehow so they put it in a bandage and said I need to stay off it as much as possible (which is almost impossible as a missionary) and that I need to ice it 4 times a day for 20 minutes every day and see how it's doing after 2 weeks. It can take 3-6 weeks to heal...so fun! BUT....I did receive a HUGE blessing from this. I never knew just how much I love my calling until I hurt my foot. Thursday evening we were trying to decide if we were going to go out or stay inside for me to ice my foot. I really wanted to go out, but I didn't want to make my condition any worse than it already was. Finally, I decided to pray about it. I walked into a room and began to pray. As I was praying I felt that I needed to stay inside for the night and I started BAWLING, which actually really surprised me. A lot of times on my mission I've faced feelings of wanting to go home, or not motivated to do missionary work, or not wanting to be a missionary anymore for one reason or another. But, this night, I bawled because I wanted more than anything to go out and share the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those who lack it. It was a huge moment for me and I'm grateful for that! I stayed in all night Thursday, and most of the day Friday and Saturday. Another realization I had was that missionary work is hard when you're on bed rest, haha. But it's okay....we'll just work really hard for the little bit of time I'll be able to go out and work! 

       We saw 2 awesome miracles this week!! We ran into Richard (the 74 yr old man who dropped us) and he said he still reads the Book of Mormon every day and prays!! It was so awesome! He said it helps him. I love that!!!!!! Even though he's not taking discussions, he's still growing closer to God and Jesus Christ because he's reading from the Book of Mormon...I love that (: 

    The second miracle involves our new investigator Tonia....she came to the General Women's Conference and when President Eyring started talking, I whispered to her that he was a modern day apostle...she replied, "I know...you can tell and feel it" It was so awesome!!!! She said she needed to hear his message and was so grateful for it. We told her about General Conference coming up, which everyone needs to watch, and how she could hear the modern day prophet speak...her automatic reply was, "I want to hear that!!" AHHHHHHH she is so awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited for her and to see how she progresses!!!! The gospel is true and it is so amazing!!!!!!!!! 

      With Easter coming up, I pray that everyone will really focus on our Savior Jesus Christ and all that He did for each of you individually! You should all go watch the Because He Lives Easter video on helives.mormon.org...it is so powerful and awesome and it's great for all denominations! If you have the chance, I would also invite you all to watch General Conference and listen to our prophet today, Thomas S. Monson as he speaks for God and leads and directs us! How blessed we are to have him today! I'm so grateful for the priesthood and for all that my Father in Heaven has blessed me with! I hope you all have a wonderful week and a very Happy Easter!! 

Sister Wilson"

"My new fashion statement"

"These photos were taken after our last zone conference from last transfer....
so much fun!! I love the missionaries I get to serve with...
they have changed my life forever (:"