Monday, December 9, 2013

The End is Nigh!‏

Hi-ya Family and Friends,
I can not believe that this is my final email as a full-time missionary. I can't think of anything to say really. To be honest this week was dead hard! Many of you emailed me and said that this week will probably be an emotional roller coaster. Guess what? You all were right :) It certainly has been and I feel Satan likes to play off of that. Which is extra annoying but no worries, I made it through!  The hardest part of course is thinking of leaving all those I have met on my mission. I am going to really miss SO MANY people! Kirsty and her two nieces, Dee and Alisha all came from Falkirk yesterday and visited me at church yesterday. Definitely bitter sweet. I am going to miss them so much! But it is okay because Alisha and I have a Skype date set up for Saturday! But there have been so many others throughout the last 18 months that I am going to miss. But coming home is something that I can't avoid and something I am feeling more settled with. I don't want you all to feel like I love you less or don't want to see you because I most certainly do but I have come to love being a missionary! 
I am just going to leave you all with some of my over all thoughts and testimony. I am sure you know that I struggled at the beginning of my mission. The rules, culture, and many other things were new to me and became really hard. But God sent me companions that I need at the time and members as well. I firmly believe that God sends people into our lives to help us with different things. So many of my companions have taught me a lot. But through much trial and error on my mission I began to see how to regonize the spirit and use it to do the Lord's work. Doesn't mean I always followed it but that taught me how crucial it is to follow the promptings we get! Once I came to understand things and acted on them, that is when I started to enjoy my mission. Still had hard days and weeks but it started to be worth it. Loving the people made things so much easier. I am grateful for the opportunity to see changes in myself. Mostly in my testimony. I have come to really love The Book of Mormon and the words of the prophets. There is so much wisdom in them all. I also realized that God just doesn't hand us things. We need to work for blessings most of the time. I realize it is because it is through the work that we learn and we appreciate God more. I love my Savior and Heavenly Father and for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. The things taught in Christ's church are to bring us happiness. Lasting happiness! How grateful I am to learn these things. I am humbled and so very grateful that a mission was part of God's plan for me. Specifically a mission in Scotland and Ireland. I will forever love the Irish and Scottish people! See or talk to many of you soon!
Love you all to bits,
Sister Nicoll   

Monday, December 2, 2013

Testimonies!!!! My fav!!!

Dearest Family and Friends,
Another fast week has past! It keeps getting sadder and sadder. I am excited to see family and friends ESPECIALLY for the holidays. But as we all know what I am experiencing is a once in a lifetime chance. I haven't cried too much because I think God has truly blessed me with not really feeling that I am leaving soon. That is a true blessing. But I do realise my time is short. I am trying to embrace all the wee(little) things around me. SCOTLAND IS ABSOLUTELY STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!! The bus rides from town to town are gorgeous! I love the accents still and the humour here. I have been focusing more on the people around me and the lifestyle here. I have grown so fond of the whole mission experiences. I still definitely lack in many areas but lets all remember Ether 12:27!
The most tender and one of the most hardest moments this week was with a friend of ours, Karen. Mentioned her last week and she met with us twice this week. Unfortunately she didn't make it to church but we hope to see her Wed. Anyways, we were hoping to show her the Book of Mormon DVD but when we tried it, it didn't work. Sister Pugh had the Restoration DVD(she is so great) and so we watched that with her. Pretty sure God had a few plans with that. One is she looked so happy while watching that and at the end she said that it was such a nice story and she loved it. The other was we were able to testify to her more about it and the truth that is again on the earth. It was bittersweet because I love the happiness that comes from testifying of the Restoration but I realized that, that was one of the last times I will be doing that as a full-time missionary. I didn't think it would be that sad but it was.
I have grown to love testifying to people! There is so much power that comes from testifying! I have a long ways to go til I have a perfect knowledge of just about anything but sharing my experiences and such open a way for the Holy Ghost to testify to people. It really isn't much about what we say if it is truth, it is more about the way we say it so the spirit can testify. We just need to be obedient and sincere so the spirit can testify through us and so others can feel our love for them and Christ. Many of us have what so many people need. We can feel the love of God daily if that is our focus and so many people need that love. They need that security. Well next week will probably just be a summary of my testimony and such. I love you all and I am going to go out this week and make the most of it and help the work of the Lord move forward. You all go do the same! :)
Sister Nicoll 

Monday, November 25, 2013

What a CRAZY week!

Hi-ya Family and Friends,
Pretty sure all the instructions from leaders and such that I mentioned last week was to prepare me for this week. We have been working with a girl named Bronwyn. She is 13 years old and her dad is an active member here in Kilmarnock but she live with her mum most of the time and she lives near glasgow. So Bronwyn came to us and told us that she wanted to be baptised this week. Which was possible, she just need to be interviewed and get her mum's permission. Which was a lot more work than I thought. We couldn't tell the ward or anyone til we had the permission of the mum. And her mum didn't give her permission til Friday. So we were rushing everything that day and we prepared bits and bobs throughout the week to be prepared. We had it set to have her interview at 5 on friday and all was well but at 5 we got a call from her dad that her mum called it off. GUTTED!!!! But the words of our leaders about not judging and about not being able to control people's agency kept me sane. So we may have it this weekend but ya never know.....
That's the main news of the week. We talked to a drunk man and he seemed interested but when we had the elders call him when he was sober... he had no clue what they were talking about hahahah. Some people make me laugh. Missionary life makes me laugh sometimes :) We did have another cool experience of meeting a lady named Karen earlier on this week. She seemed disinterested when we first stopped her but as we kept talking with her and basically walking with her as she was walking away we ended up having a lovely conversation with her and giving her a Book of Mormon. We hope to see her again soon but if not the seed is planted and she for sure felt the spirit!
Well I am off to do some last minute souvinour(sp?) shopping and eating some DELICIOUS fish and chips! So excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you all and hope that your weeks are brilliant!
Sister Nicoll
ps I would like to do a little shout out the one of the best 15 year olds I know.... ALISHA BRAWLEY!!!!! I got a letter from her this week and it totally made my day. It was Friday that all the craziness of the baptism was happening and it gave me the greatest boost! I love the girl so much :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Flight Plans!

Well here are the plans! I am emailing anyone that has asked about it that I can remember! I would love to see everyone and anyone there! It will be an exciting day! It will be a short email but here are the plans that were sent to me this week (sad day when I got them hahah)
9:30am I leave Edinburgh and arrive in London at 11 am
I will be leaving London at 3pm and because of time change I will arrive in Phoenix at 6:45pm.
Any questions let me know! I love you all!
Sister Nicoll


Dear Family and Friends,
I just love being surrounded by so many people who are inspired all the time! This week we had zone conference and the assistance and President and Sister Brown and the Sister Leadership trainers all instruct us there. I love these meetings! This week the instructions were on being obedient, praying for strength, knowing what we can control and cant,  and inviting people to be baptised! We specifically talked about doing a lesson based on baptism and Jesus Christ. Well we applied it this week. You know what I learned most? That we can not control people's choices but we can control how good of servant we are. Now I did realize this before this week but it became more real to me. Obviously through the Spirit. But we invited two people we have been meeting with this week to be baptised. They both accepted. One said not til January and the other said that she will come to church first and then we will set a date. I strongly believe that they accepted because the spirit was strong at these meetings. And the Spirit testifies of truth and encourages us to do the things that Christ has asked us. The one that said they would come to church, didn't show and doesn't answer her door anymore. I am also convinced that satan does his best to discourage and frighten people as soon as we leave. To be honest it is very frustrating. But this week it wasn't so much. I still care about the woman and hope that we can see her again but I feel that we honestly have done all that we can to help her and I can not control anymore of the situation. I have felt a great peace this week and happiness! That has been a big answer to prayer as I come to the end of my mission. I love the ward here. I have made some great friendships and we are working more closely with the ward and trying to have them do their own missionary work and it has been great seeing their excitement.
I loved personal study today! I did some reflecting and I realized what a great responsibility I have been given. God and Christ trust a 22 year old and 20 year old to help His other children to make the greatest decisions they ever could make. Quite the responsibility. But just like the missionary handbook says... How great is my calling! It certainly is great and has taught me loads! I am humbled and grateful that the Lord would put such trust in me. I also read Mosiah 2:21-22 and that just reminds me of God's love and how little He really requires of me when I think about all that He has done for me!
Well I love you all! Keep up the good work you are doing and I will do the same here. Make this week a good week for yourselves but also search out someone that you can help have a better week for themselves! Charity is the pure love of Christ!
Sister Nicoll 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Drawing a blank....‏

HI-YA! Family and Friends,
Another week here and gone. Not enjoying how quickly time has been going lately. It is scary. I feel we can't get all that we want to get done because time is so limited. Last week we got Elders here in Kilmarnock. It is so fun having other missionaries to work with. It keeps us motivated too because we can talk with them about the people we are all working with. Sister Pugh and I have been wondering why so many things are falling through and such. Well we came to the conclusion with the Elders that we need to be working through members more. Especially here in Kilmarnock. The members are so supportive and helpful and we feel they will be excited to work more closely with us. We started the 21 day promise (Thank you Amanda) and are going to focus on us visiting with them this week. Us and the elders divided up the active members and who to visit. We feel it will be good to at least try because if you remember many talks in conference was about that very topic. So if any of you who are reading this have suggestions of how to work closely with members from past experiences send them our way. But we are excited to try focusing on them and their personal efforts of inviting their friends and family. We of course will still be street contacting and chapping but we feel many prepared people are already in contact with members. 
I got to do a sister exchange with a sister named Sister Ryan this week. She is amazing and we had loads of fun together! She is from mesa, Arizona and we are in the same group. So it will be so fun to have her on the 16 hour plane ride home. We already have plans of hanging out all the time and talking of Scotland and Ireland! I love all the friends I have made on my mission. 
I do want to say what a great experience being on a mission has been. I know I still have 4 weeks left but I am am well aware that it is coming to an end. I may not have been the most obedient or hard working missionary out here but I know there have been differences made. Like they all say the greatest convert has been myself. I love this gospel. I love my Saviour. I love the Holy Ghost. I love my Heavenly Father. My relationship with the Godhead is most important to me. I strongly believe what 3 Nephi 13:31-34 say. God is aware of all the things we need and the world tends to tell us that we need more than we really do and we can get distracted by that. But if we just seek for the Kingdom of God all these things will be added upon us. It is such a powerful promise from God. There are a lot of good things that we can be doing but I know for myself that I am doing the BEST thing that I could be doing. I love being a servant for my Saviour and hope to continue that forever! I love you all and hope you have a fabulous week!
Sister Nicoll
ps Dee and Kirsty from Falkirk came and visited again yesterday and it was such a blast. They are going to be good life long friends as well! :)
pss I quick shout out to Jennifer Bergeson who turned 44 this past Thursday! Wow she is getting old but she still is such a lovely lassy  Love her to bits!!!!   

Friday, November 8, 2013

"Not my will, by Thine be done"‏ (November 4, 2013)

Hello Family and Friends,
          First off... they are already decorating for Christmas here in Kilmarnock. And they celebrate Halloween on the last friday of october and on the 31st of Oct. They do things weird here for the holidays. But I love it. We hung out with some members on halloween and had lots of fun. There are some really good members here in Kilmarnock and I love working with them and visiting them.
          Well lets talk about the title. Sis Pugh and I have been striving to find investigators that are prepared. There are people that we are meeting with and like to learn but are not really keeping commitments. So we have been talking alot about doing more finding and have been praying about who is prepared. Well this week a few investigators dropped us. And many barriers have come up with others that we have been wanting to teach. Billy is having a hard time now and can't meet for a while. To be honest... yes it can be frustrating. Of course I want everyone to know what I feel and to see the life that they can have if they just follow Christ and strive to live like He did. But satan wants the complete opposite and sometimes leads others away. But I feel there still are prepared people and that we will find them. Though I can get frustrated and confused with things like this happening, when I pray I feel a sense of peace and knowing that God will take care of it. I feel he is preparing people and that we can find them. It may not be the case for me to be here to see it all through but I will still see forms of success and I am okay with that. I will do my best and Christ will do the rest! I love you all and hope you have another fabulous week!

Lots and Lots of love,
Sister Nicoll