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! :)
Love,
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!
Love
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!
Love
Sister Nicoll

Inspired!

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!
Love
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!
Love
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

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Happy are we" !!!!

Hi-ya Family and Friends,
 Well this week has been adventures I would say. But nothing too crazy! They have been trying to get us a new flat for awhile now. Mostly because Elders have been in it since 1999 and our neighbour smokes lots of fags and the smell seeps in through the sink and tub and the mattresses feel like we are sleeping on a huge pile of laundry because it is so lumpy. But it does have a nice sound system. Anyways they were able to get us a nice new posh flat! And I am in love with it. We have a couple attractive neighbours but I dont pay attention to that because I am a missionary. But this week we did a lot of cleaning a moving and are finishing it up today. There are Elders that are moving into Kilmarnock as well. So that will be fun and helpful. If you haven't figured out yet... Sister Pugh and I will be staying here another transfer. I am excited. There are loads of poeple that I love here and it will be good to finish off here.
Other good news... Billy is with a baptismal date. He is working toward the 16th of Nov. He has somethings to work out but he LOVES the gospel and church now. He has been fighting it for awhile but has had some humbling experiences. He was able to go to Irvine with us and a member on Saturday because the sisters there were having a baptism. He said it was the first time he felt the spirit while meeting with us. What better place to feel the spirit than at a baptism?!? So he is working toward this month and he knows it is very important to do. Now what has made the difference with him? A member! He has a really good relationship with a member and she has helped him a lot. Members make the difference!
Guess who I got to see this week? SISTER RICKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!! I MISS AND LOVE HER SO MUCH!!!! She is with the sisters in Irvine and we got to even serve together for a whole day and have 2 sleep overs! Oh how it made my week so good :)
Well looks like this will be a short email! I hope you all have a fun Halloween! Kilmarnock celebrated it last Friday but is also going to this Thursay. The more sweeties the better!
Here is a funny story for you all... We went by a former investigator and she let us in and she has a very chatty 6 year old girl. Loved her right away. Well she was asking us if we had kids. Told her no. She asked us if we have husbands. Told her no. Then in all seriousness and concern for us she told us " You need to lose this job and get some husbands" hahahah oh how i love how honest kids are :)
Lots of Love
Sister Nicoll
Pic 1) Great picture of sis ricks and I
Pic 2) sister ricks and I doing a great job cutting sis ryans hair!

Pic 3) Our district thanksgiving feast!


Monday, October 21, 2013

It can only go up from here :)

Dear Family and Friends,
Well from the title you can tell that this was a bit of a hard week as pertaining to the work. Out of the 6 people we are trying to work with right now, only one could meet with us this week. A bit rubbish but this week should be much better! This left us a lot more time to find. Which was pretty fun. There are about 5 or 6 streets that the ward prayed about for us to chap. We did it in the rain and got soaked but honestly we had a blast! I loved it. It was kind of warm rain. But it was a shame because no one really took pitty on us and let us in but one day they will. As for a funny story... I got bit by a dog. Yep I for reals did. I was slipping a mormon.org card through someones letter box and the dog bit my finger. It is still sore hahaha but pretty funny. Also yesterday Dee and Kirsty from Falkirk came and visit and brought a picnic for us to have after church! It was way good seeing them. They are so nice!
It has happened.... everyone said it would but i never believed them. My last moves call is this coming sunday. WHAT!?!?! I hardly know a thing. At times I feel I have been doing this for 6 months and other days is feels like 6 years. But I am surprised how quick this last stretch is going. Now I am sure some are wondering how I feel about it, actually I know some are wondering because you have asked :) Well let me tell you... I am excited to see my family and friends. My love for you all has grown so much over the last year and a bit. And I can feel that my service as a missionary is soon up. Also a bit nervous for how life will be. I know that is normal and will get over it. BUT more than anything I am so sad. My heart has grown very fond of Ireland and Scotland and the people here. I  have seriously met some of the most amazing people. I know that, that is because God has allowed me to see many of them the way He sees them. Being a missionary I am able to tak about the Saviour and things pertaining to eternal happiness ALL THE TIME and thought it is still weird to some, it is expected as a missionary and I LOVE THAT! Yes there are still hard days but that will still be apart of this whole mortal experience but being a missionary I can forget about it and have multiple opportunities to serve others to help forget. So what I am saying is I am going to try MY BEST to make the best of the my time left as full-time missionary and not think of anything else but to bring others to Christ! I love you all and hope your week is great! I am off to go go-carting!
Love
sister Nicoll

IT’S ALL ABOUT YOUR ATTITUDE!



Monday, October 14, 2013
Hi-ya Fam and friends,

Once again this email may be a bit short. Not to say we didn't do anything
but nothing that is really oober exciting to report. But that doesn't mean
it wasn't a good week. It was a uplifting week. We had a zone meeting and
had interviews with President Brown. I am not sure if I have ever said how
much I love that man. He is a spirtiual giant and has such a great sense of
humour. I am truly blessed to be serving here at the time that he is my
mission president.
Just in short I learned a lot about attitude this week and the past month
or so. Lately I haven't had the best attitude, to be honest. I still love
doing the work but I let little things get in the way of really seeing the
joy that comes from it. I focused on things that I am lacking more than the
things that I am doing well in. As we all know that makes it hard for the
Spirit to be with me. The spirit likes to be in a positive atmosphere. So
in a couple of the last district meeting that topic was mentioned and I
brushed it off. But God knows me and keep having little things be mentioned
about attitude, til of course it got throught my head that I need to
change. Wow reading back I am making myself sound horrible. I want you all
to know that I am not a complete debby downy all the time, just every once
in a while. Anyways, I went on exchanges with Sister Passey (Sister
Training Leader) and we got on really well and started talking about
it. And she committed me to just pray for a better attitude in
specific things. HOW SIMPLE BUT POWERFUL PRAYERS ARE!!!! Now not to
say that I am positive polly now but my attitude is a lot better. So
here is where I encourage you all to look at something in your life
that you are not enjoying but you know God wants you to do. Pray for a
better attitude about it. I can promise you it works because I have
seen thise week be so much better for myself. Well I hope you all have
a fabulous week. I am off to Glasgow SCOTLAND to enjoy the day with
about 12 other sister missionaries. But I am more excited to see what
work Sister Pugh and I can accomplish this week for the Lord.
Love you all!
Love
Sister Nicoll

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"Let's get together, yeah ,yeah yeah"‏

Dearest Family and Friends,
 
Was Conference not the greatest thing that has happened in a while?!?!? There were 2 constant themes that I pulled out of it. Covenants and missionary work. Which go hand in hand. I love the spiritual high that comes from it! The song that comes to mind is from parent trap "Let's get together" Members and missionaries need to get together to help others feel the joy of the gospel. Pres Uchtdorf's talk was great for the reason of why we should do it. There are so many opportunities to do good while being in Christ's church. People in our lives are searching for what we have. I believe that! Let's take the challenge seriously about finding someone between now and Christmas who we can hlep feel God's love.
This week we found success chapping! SCORE! It is a mother, son and daughter. The son is 10 and is learning about Jesus in school and is loving it! The mum doesn't have much of a belief but is willing to learn. The girl is three and just likes new people coming to show her toys to :) Also two of our friends came to conference yesterday and love it! It was brilliant. One of them took our counsel and came with a question in mind. He said it is personal that no one really knows about and could answer. And who answered it for him, you may ask...? THE PROPHET OF GOD!!!! Just strengthened my testimony of a living day prophet and how they are to lead us and we can find answers through them because they are speaking from the Lord! Needless to say it was a much better week this week! I love you all and were able to enjoy conference as much as I did. Said it is my last one on the mission but serisouly was the greatest one and I am happy to have been here for it! Have a fabulous week, remembering your covenants and serving others!
Love
Sister Nicoll

Monday, September 30, 2013

Let's be Honest!!!‏

Dear Family and Friends!
 
Let's be honest..... this week has been a hard one. A really hard one. Not too hard to just want to give up but enough to get me down a bit. I just feel nothing is going as I wish. Many of the people that were learning and less actives they were working with before I came we have not been able to get in contact with. Many of them I have never spoken to or met. (We all know if they met me they would love me and this wouln't be a problem, Just kidding ). HOnestly it is stressful and I think it is pretty hard for Sister Pugh. It is a trial of faith and I know that and I know I will learn from it and it will be good in the end if I just stay faithful and obedient. I know that but in the moment it is HARD! The beginning of the week was really hard but it did help me appreciate more at the end of the week. An investigator that was learning before showed up at church and wanted us to teach him and said he now has most sundays off! BRILLIANT! We were able to get two dinner appointments and one of them said we could invite anyone over with us. BRILLIANT! 3 members came up and said that they have certain times during this week they are completely free and want to go out with us. BRILLIANT! These type of things give me great hope. But the love of God and things that happen that I know He is aware and cares about me is the things that give me the greatest hope and encouragement.
I still love being a missionary. I wouldn't change it for anything. I know it is helping me prepare for life. LIfe will always have opposition. And there will be good and bad days, weeks, months... But it is all a test. It has taught me to be humble and trust God. To continuely turn to Him for approval and correction. He knows us the best.
That about sums it up. Sorry it was not the happiest of emails but it is one of the most honest! Things can only go up from here! :) I love you all and if you want to join us in prayer... our ward and us are praying that we can find a family that is prepared for the gospel. We continue to search and pray. We have faith we will find them!
Love you all!
Love Sister Nicoll

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

KILMARNOCK!

HELLO!
Pretty sure this will be a short email but I will try to pack a lot of
things in! Well first off I made it to Kilmarnock safely. I still do
miss Falkirk and all the people there but Kilmarnock is nice. The ward
here is brilliant. They are so welcoming and really willing to help us
out. I have meet quite a few of the people and I love them already. I
have met two investigators that we are working with. One was not happy
about having a new sister and missed the other one but I think him and
I are on good terms now and have had some good chats. The other man is
very nice and is loving the gospel. He has been learning about the
gospel for about 4 weeks and loves the Book of Mormon and should be
able to make it to general conference.
Sister Pugh is my new companion and she is lovely. Sadly she has been
sick this past week and trying to take me around and such must be hard
for her but this next week we will rock it!
There are quite a few less actives we are trying to work with as well.
So sounds like there is a lot of work that will keep us busy.
That about sums it all up. Sorry if I didn't answer all of your
questions but I do have photos I will send!
Have a fabulous week!
Love sister Nicoll

Trying on armor at Dean Castle

Dean Castle, Kilmarnock

Feeding a horse

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

GUTTED! ABSOLUTELY GUTTED!!!! (9/16/13)

Dear Family and Friends,
 
     Let's cut to the chase. I am gutted! We got moves call yesterday and I will be leaving Falkirk. I can not believe how much I love it here! I am seriously completely heartbroken. There are so many people I have come to love and it hurts to think of leaving them and having to start all over in a new area. I am sure there will be good people there but I can't imagine there being any other Alisha, Nicky, Dave, Dee, Kirsty, Sister Kew, Irvine Family, Gillian, Flora, Iris and the list goes on and on and on. And it is harder thinking that they live all the way in Scotland and thinking I will be living in the western American states and very unlikely that I will see them again anytime soon. I am very grateful for technology though! I can at least stay in touch that way!
     Well some great things have happened this week. I am sad to say that I am having problems with the computer so I can send some pictures of events that I took. Tuesday we got to go to mutual again with Alisha and learned how to cha cha dance. That was interesting and super fun. Wednesday Dee let me cut her hair. I love when people let me do stuff like that. I think it look fab. Also that night during our lesson she let us know with tear filled eyes that she knows this what we are teaching her is true and she loves reading the scriptures and praying! Powerful lesson and the Spirit was so strong. Saturday we spent a lot of time with Alisha. It was so much fun! She came to sports day. And then we went to her house after and then she came with us to get Kebabs. Donner (practically unknown meat) Kebabs are gross!!!! But it is tradition to get one as a missionary. Fun experience!
     Yesterday was Stake conference and Alisha came with us. She seemed to enjoy and I loved it! The stake president here is amazing! So very much in tune with the spirit. Gillian came for the last hour and she said his talk seemed to hit so many points in her life. Inspired man. Alisha said she will be going to church next week as well. She also came up with us and the other youth and missionaries in the stake and sang a special musical number. It was neat.
     Then we got the call last night that I will be going to serve in Kilmarnock. I believe that God has a plan for me there or else the new sister that is coming here. But since I don't know that plan at the moment it is really hard to be excited. Going to be saying a lot of hard goodbyes the next couple days. But a leg of my bed broke this morning so that helped me feel a little bit more excited to go. The beds in our flat are horrible hahah. Okay that is enough for this week! I love you all and hope your week is fab!
Love
Sister Nicoll

Christmas Songs!!! (9/10/13)

Hello Family and Friends,
     I have realized that Christmas Songs/Hymns are one of my stress relaxers. We sing a hymn together every morning and every morning I ask if we can sing a Christmas songs. Most mornings Sister Powell is happy to do it. Then today at District Meeting one of the other leaders there suggested we sing a Christmas song. It made me and another sister there so happy. I think part of the reason I really like it right now is because the weather we have here right now is similar to the winter weather in Arizona. hahah kind of pathetic but I love it! Today I got to asking myself why does Christmas music make me so happy. I feel it is because so many emotions and memories are attached to the songs. I love the spirit of Christmas. It really is a time for love and giving. I am grateful to grow up with Christ being the centre of the holiday and will continue that. But it is only September so I wont talk about that too much right now :)
      I got to admit that this week was a bit of a rough one for me. Thoughts of home and stress of moves call this next Sunday and just realizing how soon my mission here will be over, has been on my mind a lot. There were a couple really hard days but Sister Powell was great and helped me and I just pushed through it. But even though there were low times, there were also high times. Which of course God always does for me and I love it! We met some really nice new people and saw some of those we have been meeting with. Last night was so much fun. Nicky, Dave, and Alisha were all able to go to FHE with us at the Irvine's home. We played some games and talked about the For Strength of Youth. Alisha told us how much she has been enjoying mutual and really wants to come to church. She is such a fun girl and we love seeing her. I remember when I didn't enjoy the youth programs but by the end I really saw how much they made me the great person I am today  But really the classes and everything that is offered through the church is genius and really is there to help us become better people. 
     I hope all of you are doing well and enjoying your weeks and are still finding time to serve others and spread the good word of God. I am so excited for General Conference in less than a month! Got to start preparing now! Love you all and hope you have a fab week!
Love, 

Sister Nicoll 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Randomness!

Howdy Family and Friends,
 
The reason this week is titled randomness is simply because there is nay (love how they use nay sometimes for no here) consistency for anything that went on this week! Lets start with the crazy story of monday night! As we rushed out the door to go to an appointment we realized that we forgot the keys in the flat and that the door automatically locks. Thankfully a member has a spare key. So we decided we come home a bit early and go by the members to get the key and be home on time. Well.... we completely forgot about it all so we got back a bit before 9 and we called the member, no answer. So we ran to their home, no answer. We called our District leader, who called the Zone leaders, who called the Assistant to the President. We were so embarrassed. We started getting scared because it was nearly 9:30 and being the obedient missionaries thought something horrible was going to happen like getting murdered because we are not going to be in on time. But anyways we called Kirsty and Dee to see if they can pick us up and stay with them till we get it sorted. They are so kind and did so. We tried calling our landlady but she couldn't do anything at the moment. Thankfully around 9:45pm the member with the key called us and we got in. I am not sure how long it will take me to feel comfortable staying out past 9:30 when I get home hahah. But it was a fun change in the work :)
We had exchanges and that was nice. I went to Edinburgh and realized how much I truly love Falkirk and the people here. I will be so sad to ever leave! Saturday was fun! We are starting up with the branch and investigators a sports day. We played volleyball and chair football. Then two young woman from the stake came on splits with us and we had a lot of fun and will be coming again!
Highlight of the week: Yesterday a less active named Gillian came to church! We have been meeting with her for 5 months and she is absolutely one of my favorite people! She and we have been praying for her to have the opportunity to come and it happened! She and we were so happy! I just love her!
Well that about sums it all up! Hope you all have a fab week!
Love,
Sister Nicoll

Monday, August 26, 2013

After the trial.....‏

Hi-Ya Family and Friends,
 
Back to Ether 12:6!!! So the trial was the beginning of the week. We had monday and tuesday planned out beautifully and we were so excited about it. Then as P-day was ending we got calls and texts from the people that they would not be able to meet at those times. What was are back-up plans you may ask? Chapping. Chapping. Chapping. After recieving the news, I may or may not have sprawled on the floor and told Sister Powell that we will no longer be doing missionary work or at least for a couple days. But I got myself together and we went out. Well the first 10 door, no one was interested. Next 30 doors, same story. So we went to the bus stop to go home and the bus didn't come for another 20 minutes. So after a little bit of rest and complaining, Sister Powell crossed the street to talk to someone who was not interested and I followed and then we decided to just chap the doors right in front of us. Lo and Behold the first door we chapped the girl living there knew members and said we could come back and teach her a little more next week. And guess what.... the moment would not have been so great, if the other 50 people didn't reject us. God really knows what He is doing when He gives us things that stretch us. The next day was going to be a lot of finding as well but as we were walking Dee pulled up and offered us a lift and told us that we could come by and help her and Kirsty with some service. We were delighted! The rest of the week was fab! Nicky and Alisha were able to go to the Sherman's(a family in the branch) las night and it was so much fun! Nicky and Alisha are my absolute favourites (mostly said that because sometimes they read my blog :) But seriously we love them to bits. So does everyone else that meets them.
This morning I decided to read my call letter during study. Two lines stuck out to me and it is a shame that I forgot to write it down to email them. But they said something along the lines of if I put my whole self into the work and strive to serve God as best as I can He will bring people that I can help and are prepared to receive and follow the gospel! It also said I would be blessed to have greater knowlege and testimony of the Restored gospel. 14 months later I have seen these promises come true and I am so very very grateful for that! I love Christ and His gospel! A true blessing for all! HOpe you all have a wonderful week!
Love,
Sister Nicoll
A beautiful walk while chapping in Westquarter!

Our friend Nicky likes to make dreams come true! She is a superstar!

Monday, August 19, 2013

"Humility is not thinking less of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less"‏

Dearest Familia and Amigos,
 
So I don't have much to say on the title of this email. I just heard that in church yesterday and thought it was great and can apply to everyone. But I feel I still have a lot to learn and appy about humility but I also feel I have already learned alot about it being on my mission. I have such a great love for all the people I meet with and see here in Falkirk. Our weeks are always filled with people we look forward to seeing. And yes there are also some crazies. Like this week. Last week when we were emailing, a man started talking to Sister Powell and said he would like to learn more and for us to come by and visit. He seemed a bit creepy, so of course we gave his info to the elders to go by and see. But we have a less active we see that lives on his same street and when we passed his house we hear a man yell "SISTER POWELL!!!!!!" She looked over and saw a him waving with no shirt on. She just took off running yelling "GROSS!"(not loud enough for him to hear). It was so funny. We started to slow down and I pretend I saw him behind us and told her that he was chasing us and I started to run. She looked so scared and started running as fast as she could. Oh my goodness!!! I was laughing pretty hard. I was sad because we were not able to see Alisha. She is 15 and she is Nicky's partner's daughter. She was gone when we visited Nicky this week. We hope to see her this week because she is really cool and makes us laugh.
Some of our friends have been gone this past week but we get to see them in the next couple of days. I am very excited! Especially Dee and Lesley. We have good lessons and chats with them. They are really searching for truth. I love hearing their experiences with praying and reading.
Well that about sums this week up. HOpe you all have a smashing week!
Love
Sister Nicoll
 
Sister Powell and i on our lovely bike ride last week

The beautiful scenery of our bike ride! Be jealous!

Monday, August 12, 2013

I DON'T LIKE HOLIDAYS!

Hi-ya Family and Friends,
 
          Probably going to be a shorter email this week. But it has been great nonetheless. As for the title of this email.... many of our investigators and others are going or are already on holiday. It is hard because keeping contact with them is important but hey God will take care of it. There are so many great people in Falkirk. I really am enjoying this area. We haven't seen many immediate success but that is okay because I feel at the end of the day we have done our best. We had such wonderful experiences this week. Many great dinner appointments with our friends and branch members. I love the gospel and teachings of Christ. I am glad that there are people that enjoy listening and talking about it as well and it is my calling to do so. I have learned so much goodness from it.
          I realized why I get frustrated sometimes. It is because I can't understand why people dont want the happiness that many of us have! WHY? I know it can bring happiness to their lives. And sometimes I feel they know it too but they just reject it. It is a hard change. I do remind myself that I was born learning and living these things. Most people have not and it is a drastic change. A change worth doing but I am sure it is hard. So bottom line is that I am grateful for being born into the church and learning young the truth of the gospel brings everlasting happiness.
          Well that is about all folks. Sister Powell and I will be going to borrow some members bikes and will be enjoying the scenery of Scotland.

Cheerio,
Sister Nicoll

Beautiful Scotland

Monday, August 5, 2013

A week of pure blessings!!!!!

Hello again Family and Friends,
 
I sure did love this past week and I pray hard it will just keep getting better and better!!!! We were able to be blessed with 3 new investigators that are so solid! Well in the fact that they are willing to learn  And with those that we are teaching we were able to have more members come out with us to teach them! Seriously members make the difference at lessons. Yes I would like to briefly encourage you all to do something.... Call the missionaries in your area and see if there is anyone and anytime that you could have an investigator come to your home and feel the spirit of a Christ Centred home. If you do not have a Christ centered home than make it one and just go out with the missionaries for now  ANYWAYS! A member in the branch has a good friend that we are able to teach right now. Her name is Elaine and she is wonderful! We gave her Moroni 10 to read on tuesday and when we saw her yesterday she said she read the chapter every night. We forgot to tell her she could move on to the beginning hahaha. She is so neat and very spiritual. I have never had such spiritually filled lessons as often as we do with them. I seriously love having the Spirit. It can be addictive and I love it! Keeps me doing the right things! Then this week we got in touch with a friend of ours that we hadn't seen in awhile and she invited her son in to listen as well. He likes the Book of Mormon musical and was interested to learn. Sister Powell bore a very powerful testimony of the first vision and got them thinking and wanting to learn more. They invited us over for dinner tomorrow. I love when friends invite us for dinner. Doesn't make me feel like a crazy sister missionary as much. We are also seeing and having dinner with Nicky tonight! And this week Nicky is going to come to a member's house with us on friday. Because remember having members involved is so important ;) Okay so the rest of the week was great too. The elders in the branch had a baptism this weekend. His name is Alan and he has been investigating for the past 5 YEARS and recently had a change of heart and found the truth. He is a ball of fun hahah. Yesterday he played the piano and sang a song for his testimony. It seems odd but if you knew Alan it was great! Well that covers my blessed week! I hope you all have had a great one as well!!!
Love,
Sister Nicoll

ps. Sister Powell and I will be staying together another transfer. We are excited and feel it will be a really good transfer if we keep playing hard and working harder!

Friday, August 2, 2013

INSPIRING! WOWZERS!!!!‏

HI-YA Family and Friends,
 
I would just like to say that I can not believe that another week has already gone by! Sometimes I really don't like how time is flying by. I mean August starts this week. But the weather here doesn't feel anything like summer. Looks like a pretty strong chance of rain. But the rain really doesn't bother us yet. It has been too cold yet. Praying for a mild winter, at least til mid-december :) Speaking of weather... there was a couple thunder storms. I have not seen or heard one for a good year. Oh how I loved it!
As for the rest of the week! It has been wonderful! We were able to see some people but some where on holiday or else had to cancel but there was a big boost to our week. That is the All Scotland Conference this past Thursday! Of course it was good seeing Sister Ricks and Sister Harris but the big boost was the talks from Elder and Sister Teixeira (area 70) and President and Sister Brown. They talked about how the mission needs to change and be more diligent. It was much of tough love, which was very motivating and wonderful. They touched on finishing missions strong. Hit me pretty hard. I really only have 3 transfers left. I have had the last year to learn and work and learn some more. Now I need to put it into full practice. Not saying I haven't been working, just I need to stretch a little more and do my absolute best! I am excited for it! We have already seen the blessings and we hope to see more.
I could share details of all that I am doing but I would rather share my testimony. I love all the people I am serving here. Being a servant of the Lord is no doubt the greatest decision of my life. I have grown to love my family with an eternal love. Especially my immediate family. But it goes beyond that. There are so many people on this earth and many that have pasted on, that I love so very dearly and am so grateful to know that we are brothers and sisters, with the most perfect Father and Elder brother. This life is not be endured alone. It is to be enjoyed with the help of family and friends but most importantly by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They are watching and encouraging us at every moment. I have realized there will always be something that is challenging us to grow and learn. But when we constantly pray to Heavenly Father it is less likely to break us. I honestly just love the blessings of the Lord and hope to help others obtain those blessings. I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week.
Love,
Sister Nicoll 

Monday, July 22, 2013

MIRACLES!

Dear Family and Friends,
 
This past week or so the Zone leaders extended us a commitment. Each day we are to write down a miracle we see. I love these kind of commitments. I am able to see more and more that there are so many small miracles all around us. But just like Alma says ".. by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise."(Alma 37:6-7). Now this week I have not seen anything that really confounded the wise but I did see many small miracles. One is the right member for our friends. We had two joint teaches this week and they really do make the difference. Many of our friends can only meet during the day and many members work or are on holiday. We were also able to get to a concern of one of our friends and realize that we will need to do small step by small step to help her. We will be starting the non-smoking program with one. Another miracle was yesterday evening. We had no set appointments but went to Camelon to try by referrals and potentials. Well the referral was great. It was an older couple the elders met. We were going to discuss family history and they asked us why we are promoting it. Well we got on some good gospel subject. And we gave them a Book of Mormon instead of the Family HIstory website. Better trade I would say :) The weather has been excellent this week as well. We were able to have a bbq with a family and do service for them. SO WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!
Three things that I see that really go hand in hand are... Patience, humility, and miracles. We wont recognize miracles unless we are humble and really know that it is God who is making things happen and we need patience to really see things through. I am so greatful for the countless miracles God has allowed in my life. It is funny that God needed to send me to Scotland and Ireland to teach me so many of the eternal truths I have learned. But really there is no other place or situation that I needed in order to learn it all. God really is so good to all of us. We just need to recognize it and appreciate it.
I love you all and hope that this week is an excellent week for you all!
Love,
Sister Nicoll
 

pic 1) Town centre on a beautiful evening. Can you believe this is about 8:45 pm. Stays light til about 10
pic 2) best meal ever! Fish and chips and irn bru from Benny t's
pic 3) Sister Powell enjoying her best meal ever!

Monday, July 15, 2013

WHAT A WEEK!

Dear Family and Friends,
 
First of all, I am not sure how the Arizona missionaries make it through the summers? It has been a bit warm and sunny and really lovely! But any hotter I feel like I would die. Lots more respect for the missionaries serving in Arizona. We have not seen a rainy day in 10 days and I am loving it. But I do miss the rain just a bit. I do like the little tan I do have though.
I forgot my planner today (which has my whole life down to the hour), so I can't remember all that we did this week. So I will just briefly go over what I do remember. Tuesday to Thursday we had exchanges. I was able to serve with Sister Clegg here in Falkirk. She has been out for about 5 months. She is a great missionary and really funny, so we had a good time together. We had to use the toilet really bad while we were trying by some people. Well we went by every less active and member in the area and NOBODY  was home. It was to the point where we had to take breathing breaks we had to go so bad. Well we finally made it to a dogdy shop in the middle of town. They let us use their toilet that had spider webs all around and not sure that the door locked. But finally felt so much better. It was a dramatic 30 minutes looking for a toilet.
Some exciting news. We finally got to do a church tour with Kirsty. We had a picnic at the church with her and her children and a couple members came as well. It was a lot of fun! Then yesterday both Kirsty and Nicky came to church. It was so wonderful! I love them both so much and feel like we are good friends with both. They both seemed to enjoy it! Made my whole week better! Well sadly that is all I can think of to write.
HOpe you all are having a great week and summer!
Love,
Sister Nicoll

Monday, July 8, 2013

Overview

Hi-ya Family and Friends,

This week has been exhausting! But looking back I can't really see what made me so tired but makes me feel we are doing something right. I decided this week to be boring for you to read but exciting for me to write about. I will give you a brief overview of who we are working with:

***May Jarvie- Met her this week. She is 93!!! She is as active as a 60 year old! She grew up on a farm and she said that is what kept her so fit. I believe it. She is lovely. She said that at her age she won't change her religion (common response here) but will listen to what we say. So we will do the ground work here and missionaries on the other side will pick it up from where we lift off 

***Andrina- Also met her this week. She is a former investigator. Her husband was an active member but passed away a few years ago. She has a big fear of going under water. But she admitted that she is not sure if that is the real reason. So we will try to help her because she said she knows it is true and wants to be with her husband forever!

***Robert- He is a friend of a member. We met him for the first time the other day. He is 81 and wants to know about seeing his wife again and understand what we believe. Very talkative and nice man. He is going on holiday for 2 weeks but hope to see him before he leaves. 

*** Kirsty- We have been seeing her for about 2 months. She hasn't been to church yet but she has a sincere desire to learn but not so much on acting. Her daughters love "Once there was a snowman" and " Popcorn popping" :)

***NIcky- She is the miracle lad who pulled over and wanted to feed us because she knew missionaries after living in Utah for a year. She is so cool and feeds us almost weekly. Her partners daughter is 15 and is usually there and she is such a great girl!

I love all these people so much! Feel so blessed to be teaching them. We have decided we need to help with strengthening the branch here. So much of our time and effort will be visiting with members and helping them help the others. 

One last thought. I have learned that almost always we will not be placed in an "ideal" situation. Each companionship, area, and everything has it's difficulties. We learn to make the "ideal" situation by being selfless and seeking for the best. I love this gospel of Jesus Christ and how it is truly the way to greatest happiness for now and for the eternities. So make this a great week for yourselves. "Come what may and love it"

Love
Sister Nicoll 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Adjustments!

Hello Family and Friends,
 
Lots of changes this week, at least it feels like. It is funny how everytime on the mission when you start to getting comfortable, things tend to change on you. It is a good thing in the end.. I have learned that much :) By the end of 3 months, Sister Ricks and I were doing real well and were on the same page for just about everything. Now it is onto adjusting with a new companion and learning each others ways. Just like every other move. But my new companion, Sister Powell, is a great sister. She has really come out prepared. She really knows the doctrine and is ready to work. She loves talking to everyone. She does bus contacting which I am still hesitant on. She was given the challenge to invite someone to baptism by Sunday and she did it to a young couple on the bus. They kindly declined but she is ready to go. I love it :) She is from Rexburg Idaho and she actually lived near and knows an Elder that we serve with in the Branch. So funny to think that they met up again in SCOTLAND! Which did you know that I am currently in Scotland. Probably one of my most favorite places EVER! I really am so blessed to serve here. It is absolutely gorgeous and the people are very real with us. If they don't like things you are doing or sharing with them, they let us know. They are super funny as well and have great sense of humours. Just happy I am serving here. And also grateful to serve in Ireland as well. Much of my heart with always be there and with the people there.
I mostly rambled on about that because there is not much to report about this week. So I will do a brief overview :) Monday and Tuesday Sister Ricks and I went around and let her say her goodbyes. She had a great impact on the people here. She is a great missionary. We got to see Kirsty and Nicky again. I love them. Also had our last lunch at McDonald's. Kind of love that place. Then Wednesday woke up at 5am (still don't like mornings) and went to the mission home so Sister Ricks could leave to Glasgow. Lots of things made all the plans back up and 25 new missionaries came in this transfer so it was a bit busy. But we got to climb Pratt's hill again and got time up there looking over Edinburgh, to rededicate myself to the work. Love that peaceful time! We got home about 8:45 pm. Long day. The rest of the week has been finding and having Sister Powell meet the people we are working with. A few less actives we have been working with came to church. They looked so happy and enjoyed it. They want to return to the temple, so they are working their way there. I love them. We have a few people we met last week that we hope to see again this week. One kind of funny story. Sister Powell stopped a man while we were waiting for a bus. He started talking to us and I could tell he was pretty drunk but she didn't. He ended up getting on the same bus as us and sitting by us. He tried talking to me but I just gave short answers because he really didn't know what we were talking about but Sister Powell was talking up a storm with him. He ended up telling us about his whole life and it was getting awkward. When we got of the bus, he got off with us. We gave him a pamphlet andmormon.org card. He got teary eyed and kissed our hands and stumbled away. I asked Sister Powell if she knew he was drunk. She didn't have a clue. She felt embarrassed because she can tell now. hahahhahah It was funny. Probably had to be there. But who knows he could get in contact with missionaries and really be ready but for now not sure he knew what we were talking about. I got to talk in church yesterday and I don't get too nervous anymore. God really is blessing me. I love being a missionary. Hope your week is well!!!!!!!!
Love,
Sister Nicoll

Monday, June 24, 2013

365 Days

Hi-ya Family and Friends,
     Come this Thursday, I have been doing the Lord's work for 365 days straight! How neat is that? Feels like a great accomplishment. Not everyday is fantastic and easy going whatsoever but like I have said before and what Christ has promised is, It is worth it. Every rejection, every pouring down cold rainy day, every discouraging moment IS WORTH IT! It is worth doing for the eternal happiness for myself, my family, and especially those who have become closer to Christ because of the changing power of the Atonement. Christ's teachings are the perfect way to eternal joy!
     Alright.. so for the update this week. Probably one of the best weeks of my mission but most definitely the best week of my time here in Falkirk.
Miracles we saw:
     Monday: We met with a lady named Leslie. She is one we met a couple weeks ago and her cousin's are in our Branch. She currently goes to the Church of Scotland. We had a wonderful discussion with her and she brought up law of Chastity and Word of Wisdom. She agrees with both of them, besides coffee and tea (which is very common here). But she is interested in the Book of Mormon and other things. She is going on holiday for 3 weeks but we hope to see her after....
     Tuesday and Wednesday were more of days we tried by people. But both days we got in contact with less actives that we have been trying by for a couple weeks. So that is a great plus.
     Thursday: 2 great things. First a member was finally able to come to Kirsty's with us. Since Kirsty has two young girls it can be a bit crazy and this member helped the situation so much and was able to tell her conversion story which is always a big help. And Kirsty's girls sat by me and Sister Ricks and at the end they wanted to say the prayer. So I was able to whisper to them what to say. They thought it was great. They also love "Popcorn popping on the apricot tree" and "Once there was a snowman".  I love those moments and I can't wait to teach my children those things. Then that evening we were able to see Nikki (the girl who lived in SLC). She is so fun and sooo neat! She showed us the scriptures that those in Utah bought her and her school yearbook and everything she had from it. We can tell it had a great impact on her being there. She also dropped us off at the church and came in and gave her a tour of it. She said she hopes to come check it out in a couple weeks.
     Friday: We had a lunch appointment with some members and they had a less active over and we got to meet her and hope to go meet with her and help her with some things. Members totally make the difference in missionary work. They actually help the work move forward so much quicker. 
     Saturday: We were walking to an appointment and this man was walking through the park and we decided to go talk to him. We talked about the Book of Mormon and how it can answer many of life's questions. He said he feels something has been missing in religion before but he is not sure what it was. We were able to teach him much of the restoration on the park bench (some of the best lessons I have had are in parks because we don't plan for them and they are clearly by the Spirit). We hope to meet with him soon, we were suppose to today but he can't anymore. He said he would read the Book of Mormon and texted saying he is planning on it tonight. Pray for him. He seems very sincere and prepared. 
     Yesterday was moves call...... I will be staying in Falkirk and training again! Sister Ricks will be going to East Killbride in Glasgow to be with a sister from her group. I will miss her alot. We got along real well and had some good laughs together. Also she teaches so well and is willing to work. I pray my next companion will be the same. Alright, I wrote a lot this week. Hope everyone has a wonderful week, until next week....
Love
Sister Nicoll