Friday, December 28, 2012

WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON!!!

Dear Family and Friends,

I LOVED CHRISTMAS!!! Being able to talk to you all was definitely the greatest gift! I have got the greatest family and friends EVER! And Landon and Lexi are still the cutest and will be til I have my own kids . Can't believe Lexi is crawling! But it was just a wonderful blessing seeing and talking to you all. Just the boost I needed! 
As for this past week... it is a bit of a blur. So I will tell what I remember. Monday evening we went to a single sister's home, Dorrie Weldon, and her brother (who is not yet a member) was there. So we were able to do a lesson about Christ with them and bring it into the true holiday spirit. We invited him to church ans he said he will try to be there. That will be wonderful! Christmas eve is when we opened all our gifts also. We were SPOILED! Many members gave us gifts and our families were also generous. We were blessed. As for Christmas day... the buses don't run so we had to plan smart. Thankfully the Ottoson family in the ward is so kind. We walked to the church (50 min walk) and they picked us and the Elders up and took us to their home. We had a good lunch with them and watched Kung Fu Panda. I must admit I did miss my movies so that was a nice treat. We also played a bit of Phase 10. Brought back some good memories of up north. Then Bro. Ottoson took us to Babs where we had a good dinner, watched Brave, and enjoyed our skype calls with our fams. Not sure if anyone knows but Dec 26th here is also a holiday. It is called St. Stephens and it is another day off for everyone so we got the day off also. It was rainy most the day so we postponed our hike with Sean for this coming Monday and our other recent convert Gabrielle will be able to join us too. So that will be great! We had to be in our flat or at a members that evening and another single older sister, Sister Beldon, invited us over for dinner. Traditional irish meal: Potatoes, sprouts, turkey, carrots, and stuffing. SO YUMMY! So that is my holiday week! Next week is a bit weird as well. Sunday we will find out moves. Monday will still be our p-day, so I will be emailing monday, I know I told you Wednesday. Monday because of all the parties we have to be in our flat by 6. That will be a long night. :) Tuesday it is members only. Wednesday it depends on if one of us is moving then it is a moves day but if not it is a proselyting day. After that is normal. 
As for the work... going well. Victoria Aliphon is still good for the baptism tomorrow. We are so excited for it. Yesterday was her interview and when she came out she was just beaming and proudly said that she passed. We found a white dress that fits her well and that just made her day too. Her brother will not be able to make it so I am the back up speaker. I feel honored being apart of it and working with this family. They are so wonderful. Lately we have not been having real good success with investigators. We find that people will talk with us and maybe have a lesson on the street and set up another time to see them but they never show or it is a false number they give us. So this month we both fasted that each week we can find 2 new investigators. In the past we would not have that. But as we have put the faith and work into it, we have found success. The Lord is in this work and I am glad that I am able to be apart of it and reap the blessings of it also and see others enjoy the blessings and joy that I gain from it. 
I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful New Year's day!!!
Love, Sister Nicoll
Zone Dodgeball- Ready to Go! 
Nicoll & Garlock on Christmas Eve 
Ashlee scores on Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS IN 8 DAYS!!!!!!

Ashlee & Sister Garlock
All Sister Missionaries in Ireland

 Hello Family and Friends,

Christmas is in 8 days! That is crazy. I don't feel the complete "magic" of the usual Christmas season but it has been a different kind of "magic" for me this year. Serving a mission is... lets be honest... crazy! We constantly put ourselves out there to have the chance to be mocked, we have hardly any communication with the others in the world, we are with one person 24/7, we are  to love and serve everyone around us and be in charge of helping them to the celetrial kingdom, etc. So why do I do this? Because of what Christmas is truely about. Our elder brother Jesus Christ. Sure all those things I mentioned can get me frustrated and down many times a day but Christ and our fellow brothers and sisters are the reasons that keep me going ( and the promised blessings that will come to me ). I am so thankful for Christ and the day to day blessings I recieve from him. Most days I feel we don't even know all the blessings that come to us because of the sacrafices he made to make sure that we have the chance to be eternally happy. I think the greatest gift we can give people this year and every year is our time. Just a listening ear to someone lonely, cleaning someone's yard who is unable to do it themselves, just talking to someone who needs a friend. Those are gifts that will be remembered through the eternities. 
This week has felt a bit long but good things have happened. Zone conference was AWESOME!!! Elder Kearon, member of the 70? , came and talked with us. Nothing to report but I was definitely uplifted! There are riots going on in Belfast right now and we were to have exchanges with the sisters there but both of them ended up staying over with us. It was very interesting but fun. I was with Sister Morgan(she was in the mtc with me). She is a great missionary and we had a lot of fun together. Saturday morning we all split up and did some finding around town. Sister Morgan and I went across the street to Fairview park. I realized something interesting as we talked to many people. One man was athiest. He just couldn't believe that such a loving God would allow all these bad things happen to people (many people say that) but yet could turn water into wine. We testified of how it has helped us to believe but he just couldn't see it being real. We talked to a few like that. But we then met this man that had been through cancer, lost a son and a brother and a sister, and yet knows God is there for him and loves him. It was such a breath of fresh air to hear his testimony and faith in God. He was so kind and walks in the park every morning so we hope to take another walk with him thursday and talk more about the gospel. People that come out of such hard times with their faith stronger are such an example to me. Now for the best news of the week!!!! Every sunday we go to the Aliphon family for family home evening. The mother and 2 sons are members but the father and daughter are not. The dad tells us all the time that he will not be baptized (we still ask him every week he is funny) but we weren't exactly sure why the daughter wasn't (she is 10). We know she was going to before but the dad stopped it from happening. So we were blessed with the dad needing to go into town for something, so we were able to ask the mom and daughter about it. The girl wants to be baptized and the mom said we could ask the dad again if we want to. So when he came back we gave our lesson and ask the dad why she has not been able to be baptized. He said if she wants to that she can. He said on one condition.... if the bishop will bapize her. He has such great respect and love for the bishop. We told him to call and ask the bishop right then and there. He did and the bishop was DELIGHTED!!! WE ALL WERE DELIGHTED! Come December 29th there will be a baptism that we are so excited for!!!! A true miracle! Definitely the best Christmas gift! Well I am excited to be skyping home next tuesday! I love you all and wish you the best christmas ever!!! 
Love, Sister Nicoll

Monday, December 10, 2012

HELLO AGAIN FROM IRELAND!!!!!!!!!‏

Hi-ya Family and Friends,

Can't believe that Christmas is in 2 weeks! Time here on the mission is going a tiny bit faster. Hard to believe I am almost 1/3 of the way through my mission. Craziness!!!!!!! Then thinking I still got a year left sounds long but it is good because each day I am able to see God's blessings for me and others more fully. Everyday I am able to see God's hand in our lives. Some days are easier to recognize but each day nonetheless. The beginning of this week was great but all the fun that I can think of happened at the end of the week. Thursday through saturday I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Sister MIllward again but this time I got to go to Limerick. My first area!!! It was such a BLAST!!! I didn't see too many members but I got to see the ones I missed the most. I saw the Condies (the senior couple there) and Roisin, one of the young adults in the ward that I got along with real well. I saw a few more people but those were the highlights. Since Sister Millward and I get along so well, we had fun all weekend long. We were just saying hi to everyone and their dog on the streets and had some funny conversations with  some people on the street and found a couple more people that she can teach. I realized that unity in the companionship does have a HUGE impact on the work. Luckily Sister Garlock and I have lots of fun together too and are unified in the work as well :) One cool story happened saturday night. After I arrived back we had to go straight to the ward Christmas party (which was awesome). So once we had the opportunity to take all my stuff back to the flat it was almost 8:30pm. We were soooo tired and we struggled getting out of the flat since we knew we had to be out til nine. We finally convinced each other to go out finding around our block. Most people ignored us and walked on or just accepted our pass along cards but then..... we met Liam. He is in his 60's. We told him about how we were here to help people strengthen their faith in Christ and how we know Christ can help us. He wasn't sure how much he really believed in Christ. We then shared a Alma 7:12 with him and gave him the Book of Mormon and told him to read that chapter and pray to God to know of his love for him. We then asked if we could pray with him and he said sure. So Sister Garlock said a wonderful prayer specifically for Liam and after the prayer we were all quiet and Liam had tears in his eyes. We told him we knew it was God letting him know that He loves him and is aware of him and his difficulties. Liam didn't talk much about it but said he would read. I hope he will be baptized but if that was the last time I see him I will be okay because I know that, that is what we were suppose to do and satan did also, that is why we were so tempted to just say in for 30 minutes instead of go out. God and Christ are in this work and I am blessed to be apart of it. I love you all and hope you are doing well. Hope to have pictures next week. 
Love,
Sister Nicoll

Monday, December 3, 2012

Good week... once again!!!‏

Hello Family and friends,

Alot of this week has blurred together but looking back I can see that a lot of good things have happened. We are still making our way around Dublin just dandy! Luckily the new investigators feel more comfortable meeting at a nearby park or at the church. That is a blessing rather then taking the chance of getting lost. We did get lost twice this week but found our way back rather quickly. Thankfully Sister Garlock doesn't get upset and we can laugh it off (in frustration) while it is happening. I will just tell you two miracle stories:
Miracle one: Romania man. One night we were on our way home and we realized that we had about 30 mins before we had to be back in our flat. So we focused on getting a lesson on the street. So we turned around and stopped the first man on the street. We did our little one liner about Christ and he said he just came back from church and started walking away. We don't let them off that easy. So we asked him how church was and sucked him in. We talked about prophets and he said it makes sense for us to have one now since God did have one throughout time. He didn't seem totally convinced but we had a really good conversation. He is leaving back to Romania this week but we hope to get him a Romanian Book of Mormon before he leaves and we are committing him to meet with missionaries there :) Okay funny story with this man. His accent was thick but we could for the most part understand him. At one point we were talking about how thankful we were for the sacrifice the Savior made for us and we are now able to repent of our sins. Then the conversation went something like this:
Romanian: "We all have sins"
Sis. G: " Yeah we all do have sayings, What is yours?"
Romanian:laughing a bit" I don't think I can really say"
Sis. G: "Is it because it is in romanian?"
At this point I knew they didn't understand each other but it was a bit funny to listen too and wanted to see how it would end but I decided to spare my companion and told her that he had said sin and not saying. We all started laughing and it broke the ice really well. If you are not laughing at this story it is because you had to be there. It was definitely a highlight of my week.
Miracle two: Yesterday we met two young men that requested to learn from missionaries more about the church because one is going to be an english teacher and the other is just interested in others beliefs. Well we told them to meet us at the church around 3:30 because we would be there for church. Well we reallized that we can't be alone with them and no woman was around. We called a few people and they couldn't come (biggest bummer of not so many members and boundries being huge). We called Babs and she was was not around at the moment. So we prayed to God asking for help and let Him know that we are trying our hardest and we strongly desired to make it work. Right when we said amen Babs called and said she can catch a bus and be over in 30 mins. She arrived 5 mins before they arrived. No coincidence. Pure miracle and the lesson went great and will be meeting them again this week. Love lessons and days like that. 
Well that is about it! Over all good week. I love you all and hope that your holiday season is fully of fun and that each day you will be able to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, our Savior Jesus Christ!
Love Sister Nicoll

I dyed sister Garlocks hair today.
 Sister Garlock loves cleaning and I love taking pictures of myself so it really works out :)
p
s. I did help clean
Final product. Looks soooooooo good on her! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

WHAT A WEEK!!!!


Hello Family and Friends,

What a week it has been! It has felt much longer than a week since I last emailed. The week has gone by very very slow. Not in a totally bad way but let's just say I am pretty happy it is p-day and that we have a fun evening planned with the Eneh Family ( African family that is super fun and cooks really well)
 . 
Let's start from the beginning. Monday the highlight was meeting with the Flanagan family who is investigating the church. It is a father, son(21) and daughter(19). We haven't been able to see them since last Monday but hope to get in touch with them real soon. Tuesday we spent seeing people that Sister Peterson wanted to see and one potential that was not home. It was a good day. That night I spent the night at the senior couple's home because my comp. didn't come in til 6 pm Wednesday. I stayed the night with Sister Millward there because she is a trainer and so she stayed with them that night so they could take her to the airport early the next morning to fly out to Edinburgh. We had a blast together! We had to take her to the airport at 4:50 am on Wednesday. I never was that fond of that time of morning. But thankfully I was able to go back and sleep for a bit. The rest of the day was spent getting to know Elder and Sister Hicks. They are a very sweet couple and she is an amazing cook. I am excited for the YSA meals she will make. But that was a pretty slow day but nice little break. We then went into town and picked up Sister Garlock! She is a great missionary. We have only been together for 4 days and I have already learned a lot from her. She goes home in February and most likely we will stay together til then but that is what I thought about Sister Peterson and look how that turned out :) But I like her a lot and I feel she will help me enjoy my mission even more. She is very positive and motivated. I like it and I can tell the ward is taking to her really well. As for getting around town.... we are doing quite well. I am pleased with how much the Lord helps us out here. I know He is helping me remember more then I thought I ever would. We only got lost twice and it was for a maximum of 5 minutes. Of course much of our nightly and companionship study is focused on bus times and routes but yep I feel alot better about it all! :) Thursday we had thanksgiving with the Zortmans (American family). They are a lot of fun and treated us well. They confessed that they never make their own thanksgiving dinner. They usually order out. They decided to try making it this year. hahah it did not turn out as planned and it solidified their decision to order in from now on haha :) but it was good. We told them we would make something and Bro. Zortman said deviled eggs. Well we waited til last minute and we could not go shopping and neither of us knew the recipe. So we called a member to help us out. Come to find out we had no mayo or a couple other ingredients. We still attempted and improvised somethings.... haha it turn out crumbily and ugly. But we still took them and acted proud. They still made fun of us. The wife even told us, "don't worry about it, you don't have to cook to get married" That was comforting. It was a great thanksgiving though :) The rest of the week is a bit of a blur but it has gone well. Last night was the first time that it rained a lot and was super windy. Looks like winter is starting. Not too bad yet! Well I love you all and am sorry if I forgot anything. Hope all is well! Christmas in one month! Love this season. It is the best when we focus on Christ and all those around us. 
Lots of love,
Sister Ashlee Nicoll  
P.s. CONGRATS CALLI ON YOUR ENGAGEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sister Garlock and I last night after walking home in the rain

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dublin or ?????‏


Hi-ya Family and Friends,
            Thanksgiving is this week!!! So I would like to start out by saying how thankful I am for ALL of you!!!! Anyone that reads this email in one way or another has helped me. I know that because you are taking the time to read this. So thank you for supporting me and the work of the Lord. I love you all! I am so thankful for such wonderful parents that have raised me in the gospel but not just doing the things like going to church on Sunday but being an example to me everyday of faithful living. I know I would not have the testimony and faith that I do with out my parents and shining example. Same with all my family and friends. I have a strong testimony that we are here to help each other and learning from each other. I am so thankful for the perfect church and gospel and example Christ has set for us. It is not easy but it is through living the gospel that will bring us the most joy. Not immediate joy but eternal, long lasting joy. 
We met with Patrick and Emrick Flanigan (father and son) this week. This is the man who met with the missionaries in the 70's. He said him and his buddies would give the missionaries a hard time but they would take it and have fun with them. He said that had a big impact on him and it gave a good impression of the church to him. They are both every kind and genuinely interested in the church. They seem pretty solid in learning about the gospel. We will be seeing them tonight and will be inviting them to be baptized. Pray all goes well. We also met a brazilian named Augusto on the street this week and he is also interested in learning. So we have a few we are working with and hope and pray we will know what they need to here so that the spirit can testify to them that the gospel can help them in their lives. None of our investigators are showing up to church so that is our next step is working with that. But nothing else to exciting has happened. Weather is getting colder and so I will soon have to learn how to dress for rainy cold occasions. It should be interesting. I sometimes miss the predictable lovely weather of good ol' AZ. But basically a once in a lifetime opportunity to live in Ireland and Scotland.
Alright it is now time for the update on moves. Drumroll please................. I am staying here in Dublin. And Sister Peterson...................... is moving. Yep exactly the opposite of what I would prefer. But somehow that is how everything goes out here for me. But without fail I see that the Lord knows best. It is the waiting period of finding out how it is best for me that is SO HARD! haha but to say the least I am quite stressed about this next transfers. There are literally 10-12 buses we take to like 100 different homes and places. We may be just doing a whole lot of studying the map and visiting people around our area for the first week or so. I forgot to mention the sisters name that I will be serving with. Her name is Sister Garlock. She has been out for over a year and I have only heard positive things about her. She trained Sister Hopkin who I love! She was in my MTC group. And she talked highly of her. So that is a plus. One other downer is that both the elders that served in the same ward as us are also leaving. So I will be the only missionary the ward knows come Wednesday. Guess I got a lot to learn here. Lots and lots of prayers will be said :) I know I will be fine but sometimes growing experiences are not fun. But this is the Lord's work and He will help us as long as we do are absolute best. I am ready for it. I love you all and hope this coming week is filled with food and fun!
Love, Sister Nicoll 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hello again from Ireland!‏


Hello Fam and Friends,
     Once again it has been an overall good week. I can't believe how fast this transfer has gone. Next week I will be telling you the low down on moves. CRAZY! I hope I stay here with Sis. Peterson or else move. I don't feel prepared AT ALL to direct my way around Dublin. But I got do what the Lord asks because that is what I have committed to. 
     Yeah? Anyways I would like to start off with what I think is a hilarious story. There is this little old lady named Phyllis in our ward and she is a TALKER! We visit her once a week and we let her just ramble on sometimes just to see what weird things she will say. This week she was telling us that each time we sleep our spirits leave us and go and get taught by angels. She went on for a couple minutes about it and I told her I don't think that is quite true. She was very adamant about it. I told her God has told us that when our spirits leave our bodies we are DEAD. She chuckled and said "oh dear it doesn't fully leave us, I like to think of it as a spiritual umbilical cord." Yep we have spiritual umbilical cords according to Phyllis Morgan. :) She then told us the times when we jolt awake is because our spirits are not yet good at leaving or entering our bodies very well. I laugh a whole lot when we go and visit her. 
     Another highlight of the week was zone conference this past Friday  Thursday night the Limerick Sisters (Sister Millward and Sister Jedlickova) got to sleep over for it. It was so fun seeing them again. It had only been a week but I missed Sister Millward and it was fun hanging out with her. 
     Zone conference was excellent. They asked us to think about what we wanted to give Christ for Christmas. They then said something I have heard before but stuck with me more. The only thing we can give Christ and God is our will. Everything else we have is given to us by God. Using our agency to do the things the Lord has asked us to do, is all that He really wants from us because he knows it will make us happy and He can then bless us. We have such an loving Father and Brother. So yes it was a good uplifting conference.
     The Saturday we did some tracting. We met a super sweet 17 yr old girl that seems interested but we can't do anything unless she calls us because there has to be parents permission tho teach her. Praying she calls or shows up to ysa that we invited her too. Also found a man who met with the missionaries back in the 70's and is going to meet with us again. We shall see what will happen. That about covers my week! It was good. 
     I also would love to give a big shout out to Jennifer Ann (can't spell maiden name) Bergeson! Her birthday was on the 7th of November and I would just love everyone to know how blessed everyone that knows her is. This world is blessed that she was born 34 or 43 years ago. I love you Jennifer and Happy Birthday! :)


Love, Sister Nicoll

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fantastic Week (November 5th 2012)

Hello Fam and Friends,
This week sure flew by quickly! There are definitely some highlights I would like to hit on. I am not sure if I have mentioned this but we are the missionaries over the YSA here in Dublin. It is such a blast and a huge help for the younger investigators that we have had, like Corinna and Sean. On tuesday we had a YSA halloween party that was so much fun and the Phillipeano girls that are in YSA cooked an amazing meal. Before the party we met with Corinna's friend, Chris and she is skeptical about the church but she is open to learn and she loves ysa so we will see how that goes. But she is a very sweet girl and I am excited to continue to met with her. For Halloween night we had to be in an appointment with a member or be in our flat by 6. We spent our evening having a pizza party at Dorrie's, a sweet little old lady in the ward. Then later that night we went and visited a less active, who was very sweet and fun to chat with. Not as exciting as most of your halloween nights but it was good. Which by the way Landon and Lexi were absolutely the cutest things ever!!! Loved all the pictures! Then thursday thru Saturday evening was the exchange here in Dublin! WHAT A BLAST!!! I love Sister Millward! I knew here from the MTC and we got along great! So Sister Peterson and I planned very carefully of who we would visit so that we would not get lost. It is so funny how we do that when clearly God always has His own plans that are always far better. Thursday night plans worked out. Sean picked Sis. Millward and I up from the train station and took us to a nice Irish restaurant and paid. He is a true gent. Then he took us around to see Dublin a bit. Then thursday night we got a call from the Elders saying that the appiontment to paint someones house together friday morning had to be changed to friday night. All the people we had planned for Friday night could not move up to friday morning. So we were at a loss for appiontments. But we decided we would just go contacting on the street. We both don't like it too much but we had to do the work and we felt comfortable about doing that. So friday morning we went into city centre and started handing out cards with mormon.org on it. We had so much fun doing it. She was loving the fact that she was in Dublin :) It is a pretty good feeling. We ended up having 2 lessons with random people. They didn't want to give us their info but they looked pleased in learning. Many people took our cards and many others acted like we didn't exist haha. But then we met 2 brazilians that were ysa age and they both took a book of mormon and gave us their number. Calling them today. But miracle about that story. I was grabbing book of mormons (or books of mormon, whatever you fancy) and I found a portuguese one and had the thought of putting in my bag along with a portuguese pamphlet. God sure knew why I needed to do that. One of the brazilians wanted an english one and the other a portuguese. Yep God really looks out for us and will use us to help others if we will listen. I am so glad I listened because it sure strengthened my testimony of following what we may think our just our own thoughts when really they are promptings. All good thoughts are from God. We need to act on them Okay sorry about the testimony... :) back to the exchange. That night we went and painted. We matched. During the mtc we bought the same shorts so I told her to bring them and we wore them to the service project. We felt really mature and cool. Saturday we had 3 appointments before we had to the train station. One was at the church and while we were on the bus leaving the church I noticed I forgot my bag and we had to do a 15 min walk back. hahah it was funny but that was the only really set back because we missed our second appointment. But i am not too worried about it because we tried to get ahold of the man and he never answered. But i loved the exchange as you can probably tell! Then to add to the greatness many members came up to us inviting us over for dinner and many others we are visiting. I feel truly blessed to be out here. It is not always easy but weeks like this make it worth it and help me through the harder times. That about covers it. I will send pictures next week. The computer I am on is not working real good. I love you all!
Love, Sister Nicoll

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Busy busy week!


30 October 2012
 Hi-ya Family and Friends,

Yep it was a busy and very eventful week. But it all went well and I loved it! First off:
                Corinna's Baptism: Definitely top 5 highlights of my mission. Since it was only my second baptism I wasn't super sure what all had to go down but Sister Peterson took charge and it all came out perfect. Sean was able to baptize her and he was looking so slick. You can probably see in the pictures. He made it special for her and made her feel comfortable. So perfect. Best part was the support from all her friends and family. Both her dad and mom came and about 10 non-member friends. Some even brought her flowers. A couple are going to start coming to YSA and want to learn more. We have a lesson tonight with one of her friends. Corinna is just awesome. Her mom was able to be right by font steps off to the side and see her be baptized and she really appreciated it. She also got teary eyed. I think she has had a change of heart. Not that she will join but she is more accepting of Corinna being baptized. I did end up talking and playing the piano. I decided to do what the scriptures say and treasure up the words in my mind and heart continually and at the hour it is need the spirit will help me speak. Now you know how hard this is for me because each talk in the past was written word for word and I would just read it. It was a huge act of faith but I felt it would be more sincere to Corinna. And God did not fail me. I was still super nervous and shaking but the spirit was with me and I spoke what came to mind and it turned out to be well. I felt the spirit so strong at the baptism, especially when corinna gave her testimony at the end. This church is definitely true. The joy it brings to people's lives is not fake. It is truly from God and it is Him fulfilling His promises when we do what He asks us to do. That is why baptisms are so spiritual. God is so pleased when His children take that step in returning to Him and trusting Him. I encourage you to all go when there is one in your ward or stake. It helps the convert and it blesses you to recieve that blessing of feeling the spirit.
               Belfast Exchange: I am just briefly going to say what went on. BUt all in all it was so good. I served in belfast with Sister Olsen. She is super great! I went up thursday night and we visited a less active. Then friday morning ALL of our appointments fell through. Bit of a bummer but we went by some less actives. And our night appointments were good. Saturday all of our appointments were good also. And I left saturday afternoon. I took the train both ways. She met me in Dublin. Then sis. peterson met me in belfast. But i really learned from Sister Olsen the importance of loving the people and how to do that. She is truly a wonderful missionary. She helped me a lot and we had some really good talks that helped. I am pretty sure I need this exchange. I have another this week and I am suppose to get us around DUblin. I am sure we will get lost at least 3 times. 
Well sorry it is so short but I am needing to go because we are meeting the elders soon to go to the zoo! So excited. I will put a picture of last week's crab fishing in the Irish Sea. All of you should be jealous. It was a blast! Love you all and pray all goes well back home! Cheers!
Love,
 Sister Nicoll



Monday, October 22, 2012

Another Good Week

Hello Family and Friends,

So as mentioned in the subject line... it has been another good week. A couple of exciting things have happened. Last p-day we went with about 6 other elders to the wax museum here. It was alot of fun and I will hopefully attach some photos of it. Today we are going with Sean to Howth to do some shore crab fishing. I am pretty stoked. So that is the worldly fun side of the week, now lets get to the spiritual fun things ( a little sarcasm there). But on Tuesday we met with our investigator Raj. He is from India I believe and he doesn't know too much English  Well we decided we should let him know that baptism is important and that we are meeting with him to make that step in life. So that was our whole lesson. Baptism into Christ's church. He told us that he has already been baptized. So we tried to explain authority and that THIS church is Christ's church. He understood pretty well but still thought he was saved because of already being baptized. Which is understandable. But we asked how he felt when he went to the church. He said happy and good. And we told him he can have that feel always and show that he can show God he wants that always by being baptized into this church. He liked that idea and agreed to be baptized on Nov  23rd, his birthday :) We still need to teach him about Joseph Smith and such but definitely a good step with him :) This coming week we are doing for the first time in this mission a sister exchange. I will be going to Belfast Thursday afternoon til Saturday afternoon. Super excited. I have met the sister I will be with a couple times and she is so funny and sweet. So yep... I am excited. Okay I about covered everything besides the best news of this week. Last email I told about Corinna and her getting baptized. Which is still happening tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!! And Sean got the priesthood yesterday and will be baptizing her. Oh my goodness..... it will be so wonderful. She has asked me to talk about baptism and I will also be playing the piano (pray for me) But the biggest news was the text she sent us a couple days ago. Her mom has been totally against her being baptized and she is out of town right now and Corinna was just going to do it without her mom knowing. But she decided to tell her over skype. Her mom told her that she can be baptized if she knows it will make her happy. And then her mom is coming home tonight from vacation so she can be here for Corinna. I am sure the spirit told her mom that it will be alright and Corinna needs her support. I am so so so thankful that her mom listened to the spirit and will be there for her. That is why this was another good week. I love you all and am so thankful for all your thoughts and prayers. Keep up the missionary work in your own life. This work needs the help of us all! 
Love, 
Sister Nicoll 
 
ps last picture is a graveyard/church that we pass by as we go to a members. Neat places! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Miracle Week!!!‏

Hello!
I think I am going to start my letters with hello every time because I am not sure how to be very creative about it. Alright I am just going to start out with all the miracles Sister Peterson and I have experienced this week. I personally believe we have been blessed with them because we both were worried how it would be going from 3 to 2 companions and the Lord of course knew our worries so he blessed us with a great start. First the definition of Miracle: An extraordinary event caused by the power of God. Miracles are an important element in the work of Jesus Christ.   So here are the blessing we experienced. On thursday we were headed out to a lady's home to visit. And before we went there we were going to stop at a store and by 30 day bus passes. Sister Peterson had the thought (from the Holy Ghost) to take some old passes that only had a day or two left on them. Lo and behold the store didn't have 30 day passes and we were able to use the other ones and didn't have to waste time and be late to our appointment by going back to the flat. As we were leaving the store another miracle occurred. A man stopped us and told us that he had met with missionaries before and that him and his girlfriend just found out they are expecting a baby and have been thinking about the church and would like to know more. AWESOME! So we set up an appointment with him, which was great, but as we were, we saw our bus that we always missed drive by without us. We knew we had to wait 20 minutes for the next bus and that we would yet again be late for this appointment. But guess what? Another miracle! We went to our stop in the pouring rain thinking it would be a 20 minute wait. But here's the amazing part! A 29a (that was our bus) popped up on the arrival board and said it would be there in 4 minutes! We were amazed. That never happens, especially on Dublin Bus. We got on the bus and found that we were the only ones on it. It's usually a very popular bus and stops at nearly every stop, but we noticed that we weren't stopping anywhere. We were flying and saw that we would be on time to this appointment. We kept looking at each other thinking, really?! We got to our stop at 10:28. When we got off the bus, the bus driver said, "Here you go ladies," as if he knew all along that that was where we'd be getting off. When we got off the bus, we saw that the route number had been zeroed out. We were basically riding a bus that was out of service, except for us. Instead of saying 29a, the bus was "0", where normally it would be "***" for out of service. We decided that the "0" was symbolic of eternity or Omega because that was definitely a bus sent from heaven. We're convinced one of the three Nephites was driving it. As I type this I can really feel that God was blessing us all day long. I am truly thankful for moments like these that you can see it is the work of the Lord. The rest of the week was great as week. Another man (slightly drunk) stopped us on the streets as we were going to city centre. He had us go to the park and talk with him and his wife. His wife had lost all faith in God and questioned His existance. We talked about how we know that He loves us and her. We told her that life may not seem fair now but we will all live again after this life and God will make sure all becomes fair. She listened but didn't talk much but I know she felt something by the way she listened. Even if we don't see her again I felt we fulfilled our call by inviting someone to come closer to Christ. It has been a great week! One last neat thing is that yesterday I was talking to our investigator Corinna at church and she committed to baptism on the 27th of Oct. and by then Sean our recent convert with have the priesthood and she wants him to baptize her. I can already feel that will be an emotional day. I am so excited. I love you all!!!
Love,
Sister Nicoll

Monday, October 8, 2012

Conference was bomb!‏


Hello everyone,

 So conference was FANTASTIC!!! Before I go on about it I will let you know how it works over here:
Saturday
  1-3pm  We watched the Relief Society session
  5-7pm  We watched Saturday morning Session Live
Sunday
   1-3pm  We watched Saturday evenings session not live
   5-7pm  We watched Sunday mornings session Live
We were not able to watch sunday evenings and we wont get the sunday evenings session talks til we get our ensign in January. A bit of a wait but all that i watched was fabulous. Then mission age was such a shock! That is super exciting and means more sisters will be coming out here in the up coming months. So great!!!! My favorite talk I think was about the 'first observe, then serve'. It seems that we seem to wait til  someone has a baby or a death in the family to serve. Don't get me wrong people need service at that time but everyday there is definitely someone around us that needs maybe just a small act of service. Maybe just a call or help with cleaning. If we just look around us, God will open our eyes to see what is need to help one of His children's burdens be lighten through us. Which brings me to what seems to be the theme of conference. The Lord CAN use us but we have to open ourselves up to it. We need to pray for opportunities to bring the blessings of the Lord to people. But when we pray for that we need to be willing to act on the promptings. I feel like it was mentioned at least in 4 talks. I just loved conference!! We watched it at the Church building and quite a bit of members showed up. Also 2 investigators came and sean was able to make it too priesthood. 
Alright one cool story about one of the investigators that came. Last week we went to city centre with the Elders and did some general conference finding. We had a table set up and told people about general conference and prophets. One lady that one of the elders talked to and invited that I met also in City Centre came to conference. That is neat but the super neat thing that happened was.... Before the morning session on saturday, Sister Harris and I were sitting by her and she was expressing the concerns of the immorality that is going on in the world and asked our stance on it. We briefly went over it and we put our trust in the Lord and told her that she will most likely hear a talk today about it. Lo and behold Elder Cooks talk! AND Sister Dibbs. She was very pleased and so was I. God truly knows what ALL His children need. It was a sweet experience to see how it all tied together. She said it went a bit long and didn't come sunday but said she will come to institute on thursday and church next sunday! AWESOME!!! 
Well my last bit of info to share with you all is about moves.... Which I will not be doing. I will be staying here with Sister Peterson. I sure will miss Sister Harris alot! She was a huge blessing to serve with! I love her lots but she will do well in Scotland. 
Well I love you all and hope your week is grand!
Love, Sister Nicoll

Monday, October 1, 2012

First Baptism


Mon 1 October 2012
Hello,
So basically only 2 stories for this week. One that is not so exciting and one that is very exciting. Not so exciting: is our visit with this man named Samuel. Not sure if I have mentioned him before but if so just bare with me. He is a born again Christian and the two times we have met with him, it ends up him talking about his religion more so then us talking about ours. He knows is bible verses pretty darn well and interprets them to his own liking pretty well too. So this last time he was going on and on about the trinity. Which he explained it more clearly then I have heard before, so that was a plus. But finally at the end we asked him a question about the spirit and it totally stumped him. To long to explain the question and all but it just testified to me that we really do have the fullness of the gospel. We may not know all the answers but we can search them out and find them out. I love that about the scriptures. God wants us to know the truth and return to him and it is through the restored gospel that we do that. 
Next story: SEAN GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! Such a beautiful experience. He was nervous but after his baptism he bore his testimony and it was wonderful. He was nervous to tell his mom and brother about. He told his brother 2 days before and mom a few weeks earlier. They both came and his mom even came to his confirmation on sunday. We could all tell she felt really good coming. Sean even said she was fighting the spirit of church. :) He really is a fantastic guy and loves the gospel. Believe it or not I helped sing in the musical number at the baptism. Against my will but it was fun to be apart of it. It was us 3 sisters and 2 guys from ysa he knows. Then sean did his own musical number with a flute type thing and it was beautiful. So glad i was here in Dublin to be apart of it. 
I will explain next week what we do for conference. Because I still not for sure how it will all go down because of the time difference.
Well that about covers this week. Sorry it was so short and not too much excitement but just know I enjoyed my week. I love you all and hope your week is grand.
Love, Sister Nicoll

We like to take pictures of ourselves while we wait
                  for Samuel to show up for the appointment.                     
 
Cheesy gag gift we gave sean for his baptism 
Sean and the Trio (Sisters Peterson, Harris & Nicoll)

Sean, his brother and mother


Sean and I after his baptism

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pictures while in Dublin


1) couple from the wedding this weekend
 
 
2)slugs from the service project at a members home
 

 
 
3) Me under the irish rainbow
 
 
4) View from our trip a couple weeks ago. So pretty. By the Irish Sea

 
5) The group that went, Clayton (ysa member) me, Sister Harris, Krista(ysa member), sister Peterson, Tina(ysa member), Sean (our investigator)

Interesting week!

So this week has been interesting but good nonetheless. For the most part all three of us were sick at one point. Sister Harris and Sister Peterson have been fighting a cold all week. Sister Harris had a bad fever the other night but slowly she is coming back alright. It is so frustrating being sick on the mission because you want to get out and do the work but you just cant. But we were able to work around it and teach some people. I have been waking up with stomach pains and through out the day they come on strong. But it is now getting much better. :) So there are a few highlights I will give you from this week. Sean is amazing!!! He got back from his biking trip around Ireland on thursday and he asked us when we can meet again. He is very prepared for his baptism this saturday. This weekend was stake conference and we were going to meet him yesterday morning but sister harris was not well so we called to cancel and he whispered he was in priesthood meeting that started at 7:30 am. We forgot to tell him about it but he found out and went on his own. That is how amazing Sean is!! We are also working with Corinna and her mom is still against her being baptized but she is over 18 and she knows it is right to be baptized. We keep praying to know how best to help her and keep encouraging her. I just love that girl! We have met with this new man named Raj. He is from India and knows very little English. But he did tell us that he did a 40 day fast and during that time he met with Jesus. Which could be very true. Not judging him at all. But that is about as far as we got with him. May meet with him again. This week I attended my first mission wedding. It was very different then I expected. This couple will be baptized this saturday also. Super sweet people. But the cerimony was in the chapel and they started and ended with a prayer and hymn and the special number was a song from a cd. Sister Harris and I couldn't stop laughing during the musical number because it was so odd. But other then that the cake was delicious and there was good support from the ward. Those are the most interesting events from this week. The people here are great. Keep supporting the missionaries in your areas. Support from members helps the work so much. Couldn't get nearly as much great work done without the people in Finglas Ward. I love the Lord and I am grateful to have this opportunity to serve him in the Scotland/Ireland mission. Love you all and hope your week rocks!
Love,
Sister Ashlee Nicoll

Monday, September 17, 2012

What's the craic?

Sent:
Mon 9/17/12   4:45 AM

Hey there,

 What's the craic? That is a very common phrase here. I am sure you have figured out what it means but for those who are slower... It means what's going on. Well another week has gone by. And it was a good one at that. I think there are 3 stories worth sharing with you. First is about and investigator named Corinna. She is a sweet 17 year old Philippino  girl. Her dad is a less active but her aunt in Hawaii is very active and when she went over there to visit her, she liked how being members made them happy. So she is meeting with us. We had to do splits and it was just me and Sister Harris teaching her and it went so well. She really opened up to us and how she really feels the gospel can help her become closer to God and how she has a strong desire to follow God. We talked alot about the comfort she can feel from the Book of Mormon and praying. She is reading and praying and she is working toward a baptism in October. Awesome!!! Next story is about food. Every week we go to the troy family and they feed us sooooooo much yummy food that I can not even finish it all. But this week right after them we had a dinner appointment. I was so full going to the next home, the Pescidaro's. But they made so much food also and I just had to drink alot of water and juice to make it go down. It was so hard to do. At both appointments the Elders were with us and one Elder, Elder Holms was willing to take some of my food. He is a skinny guy but can sure force down the food. I was so thankful for that. Last story is about a girl we met with on Saturday. Her name is Dami and she heard about the church through her friend who just joined. She saw it made her friend really happy and her friend told her to meet with the missionaries. It was a powerful lesson talking with her. My comps and I really flowed with talking and were able to be inspired in how to help her with her concerns. She has been through alot in her short 17 years but she keeps trying to turn to God. She agreed to read the Book of Mormon. We hope to meet again soon but she has college and work. She is a wonderful girl and I could really see how the gospel could help her life. Missionary life is hard, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally. Relying on the Spirit and constantly checking myself to make sure I am doing all that I can to be worthy of it is huge. Teaching people that don't want to change and trying to teach those that bail on you all the time is stressful. And being with two people 24/7 is a struggle but blessing as well. But there are two things that keep me here and keep me positive about the work. It is the peaceful feeling I feel as I pray at night letting me know that God is pleased with my efforts and lets me know that I am where I am suppose to be. The other thing is people like Sean, Corinna and Dami. Seeing the change the gospel brings to people. It feels like the ratio of struggle to success is 85 to 15. But that 15 is the greatest and the struggle only builds character if we let it. :) Love you all and hope you have another good week. 
Love,
Sister Ashlee Nicoll
p.s. I met a friend of Josh Drew's. I forgot her name, something like Mackenzie? But she was here in Ireland for a nanny job and she came to YSA on thursday and I found out she was from Queen Creek and that she was in Beauty and the Beast with Josh. Crazy!! Also on Sunday there was a couple here on their honeymoon from AZ and then another couple from phoenix here on vacation. Love running into good ol' Az people!   

Daddy,
As for money each month they put in I think 160 euros. That is for groceries and anything that will help toward fulfilling my mission. In our flat there are 2 rooms and one bathroom. We all sleep in one room. I am on a mattress on the floor. Not too shabby sleeping though. All our stuff is in the other room. It is not super tidy like you would like it but it stays fairly clean and we clean it up each monday :) I have been doing the dishes often just so you know. It is getting a bit colder but I still don't know what cold really is so I will have to see when the time comes, whether my clothes will hold out or not.
Love,
Sister Nicoll

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hello From Ireland! September 10, 2012



Dear Fam and Friends,
hello everyone who knows sister Nicoll. I would just have you know that she is a really really great missionary and is doing great things out here and is quite possibly the funniest person that i have ever met. So thanks for letting me have her for a while :) well can't wait to meet you ;) love always sister harris 

Sisters Nicoll, Harris & Peterson
Sister Harris is one of the funniest people! She really wanted to write something! So as you can tell I am having a good time with my companions! These past two weeks have gone a bit faster then before. I will just briefly tell you what has been happening here in my life in Dublin. I am getting to know more people and loving them. A woman named Babs in the ward, not sure if I have mentioned her before but she is great. Last night I was talking to her and tell her that we badly need to go shopping because I will be eating rice cakes for breakfast. This morning she texted us and said "man can not live on rice cakes alone, so I will be bringing you all breakfast". She brought us a feast. She brought a loaf of bread, eggs, sausage, bacon, and loads of candy (she works at Candbury). She took us out to eat last week to a very nice restraunt. She really takes good care of the missionaries here. Another cool thing about her is that she knows Irish Sign Language. Alot of signs are different then ASL but some are similar so I am having her teach me and compare what we know. There are a few deaf  people in the ward and she told them I know a little sign, so I sign very little with them but it is fun. They understand that I don't do well. 

So I have three things I want to tell about. First, last p-day we went on a hike along the irish sea. It was beautiful. It is somewhere near Bray I think? But our cool investigator Sean took us. I have lots of pictures. It was a nice sunny day and perfect weather. Today is more of a shopping and relaxing p-day. We may go to the church and play sports with the elders. Then this past week we went finding in city centre. We had a station set up about family history and were encouraging people to come to our church to use the computers there for family history. Sister Harris and I had a contest of passing out 5 pamphlets first. It made it alot better. Last thing to say is yesterday I gave a talk in the ward. It went well. I talked on covenants and them blessings that come from keeping them. But the best part is, that after sacrament an older couple came up to me and said that they are from Mesa, Arizona also. Had I nice chat with them. It was a sweet blessing to just meet people from your home town. They are here for a couple days and then going on a nice cruise. But over all this week has been a great one. The work is moving slowly but moving nonetheless. You all are the best!!!! I love you all and thank you for everything. This week I got a package from patti, grandma and grandpa Nicoll and then from Cody also. All full of sweet surprises. Being on a mission you begin to appreciate the same things and absolutely love the big things. I love Heavenly Father and Jesus and I know that they are mindful of us and want the best for us all! Hope all is well this coming week.

Love,
Sister Nicoll