Hi everyone, Nicola here. I thought I'd better write a post in my own blog before I take off for the U.S.A for the next 18 months. Below is the photo that I submitted with my mission papers and helped me get called to Temple Square lol and I am so so excited to embark on this new journey.
It's been a long time since I received my call about 5 months but it has just gone so quickly that I'm grateful for the time I've had to prepare. I had to have one wisdom tooth out. Thank goodness it was just one and although I did not feel any pain my face did swell up pretty good because I failed to apply an ice-pak when I should have. Note to self: apply ice-pak to face straight away. Or else you might look like this:
Yes it's quite a contrast I agree. And not as tragic as you thought I know, I tend to be a little bit dramatic but who doesn't like a lil drama haha.
I got my call 4 weeks after my papers were submitted and boy was I a nervous wreck.
Waiting for my parents to skype and friends to arrive:
Trust me it was a secret I had to keep from my boss at work and having someone else determine my next 18 months was a scary factor for me. I was also missing the family support network around me from my immediate family but I am so lucky to have been blessed with get friends and a loving ward that looked after me. Woohoo for Kellyville 1st Ward and Bishop Leota. Couldn't have done it without all of my friends and the Collings (my adoptive family.)
After opening the call, relaxed, excited and we celebrated by going to Outback Steakhouse:
In April I went home to NZ to take out my endowments. I was a little bit nervous and excited to say the least. The nice photos were taken after I came out of the temple.
I loved going through the temple and am so grateful for the family members who attended.
The grands, parentals, Savaiinaeas, Aunty Just, Uncle Rangi, Aunty Tiff, Aunty Kathy, Uncle Steve, Steven-John. Big mahalo.
I also wanted to give a big shout out to Jasmyn and Luke Johnston who lent me their "Silver Bullet" to use for the last few months before I came home. It was the biggest blessing and the car was my own BMW. Thank you thank you thank you.
Thursday 14th of June 2012 my last day of work at Beaumont Hills Long Day Pre-School. When I was 17 I started my traineeship with the 0-2 yr olds and worked there for 1yr 1/2 and got my Certificate III in Children's services. I returned June of last year to work with the 3-5yr olds and loved it. The team I worked with was amazing and we just had so much fun. The kids were so awesome and I loved every minute of it. It was very hard to say goodbye to 50 children who I grew to love and especially the Beaumont Hills staff Miss Rebecca, Bethany, Sammi-Sam, Melissa and Miss Albina.
17th of June was my farewell talk at the Kellyville 1st ward and when I got to YSA class Sister Kuhn had made this awesome cake and her children had written some words of encouragement on the board. The Kuhns are the best and I was so lucky to have met them before moving back to NZ. Oh and little Indianna Wineera is just so cute in this pic I was trying to wake her up the whole lesson but she just kept on sleeping.
Now I've been home for just over a month and I'm about 3 more sleeps away from departing. I have my setting apart this Sunday where I will be literally "Set - Apart" from the world and be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I fly out on Monday evening and am blessed to be going on the journey with a friend of mine Sister Wendy Vaivai who coincidentally attended BYU-Hawaii the same time I did and we will both be serving in the Temple Square Mission.
This is the Salt Lake City Temple in Utah if you come here you will most likely find me. Bit of background info on the architecture and construction it took 40 yrs to build and a lot of sacrifice for the poor members of the church back them. I feel very blessed to all those people who donated their time, energy and money to help build this beautiful temple so I can go there and serve the Lord.
It has been a long wait for me and I have had many of my close friends and two siblings leave for a mission. I am glad to have seen them grow and learn in such a short amount of time. My brother and sister are such great examples to me and I can't wait til our family is re-united.
I know God lives and that Jesus Christ is his Son. I know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God and that God did appear to him in this latter-days. I am humbled to know that the Saviour loves me so much that he died for me. I know that the Book of Mormon is the true word of God and is the keystone of our religion. I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ I can live with my family throughout all eternity and I am so grateful for that. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the true living prophet, seer and revelator that speaks to God and leads our Church today. I know that if I am worthy and keep his commandments that I can live with him again. He hears and answers prayers, we just have to open our mouths and talk to him.
This is my testimony which I leave with you all.
Please feel free to write to me while I am away and I apologize in advance if it takes me a little while to reply to your letters. Be an example in all you do and say.
God be with you til we meet again,