Monday, December 29, 2014


First of all, Christmas was amazing! Second of all, we didn't even have a white Christmas and I'm in stinkin' Canada! But I'm not bitter.. Just kidding, yes I am. 
But it is all okay because we had an amazing Christmas anyways! :) 

So the branch here has done a live nativity for 36 years! Crazy eh?! It is so sweet! They have a live donkey and sheep! :) So we got to help out with that! Most nights we just handed out hot chocolate and talked to the people who come, but on Christmas Eve we were a part of the show! We were cute shepherds! Actually, my hood was stuck under the robe... so I look like a hunch back! But it was still fun to help the members out :) 

Later that Christmas Eve we went to the Prices home. They are from Utah!! (Yay Utah!) So we had Cafe Rio style burritos! Boy have I missed those! They have 2 sons on a mission and 2 at home the same age as my Kyle and Isaac. So it felt like I was right back at home. It was great to be with a family on Christmas Eve. 

Christmas morning!! :D Sister Bottcher and I woke up early to open our presents!! :) My oh my am I spoiled by all of you!! I am almost rotten I tell ya! 
So here is my thank you list!! (Sorry if I miss anyone) 
Thank you Kim for the yummy fudge and cute shirt!! 
My favorite Auntie M and Steve for all the yummy food and the best chap stick in the world! I am obsessed! (It has a mini 2015 calendar on it!) 
Grandma and Grandpa Ruesch for the warm clothing that is very much needed and the sweets! 
Grandma and Grandpa Glover for the fun ball, hi-chews, and special Missionary experience journal. And Testimony letter.... Treasures to keep. 
And Canadian friends who sent “Canadian” warm gear done right! Go Canada! And go Beef Jerky!
And my family who fit everything in the world in a box!! My favorite was probably the Captain America doll and my squirrely slippers! :) 
I got some awesome pictures of Christ and candy from a Veteran Toronto Sister Missionary!  
And of course Money from many of you….Missionaries love extra money for the end of transfer when all that is left in the cupboards is ramen noodles and cereal.. It was so appreciated. I love all of you!!!  I will use that Money wisely and YUMMILY and to serve some others also!
Thank you for all those who sent me letters! I LOVE snail mail! So those meant the world to me!! 

On Christmas night we went over to the Haynes for a turkey dinner! :) They have the cutest family! So many kids! It was like our Christmas's back at home! And I was able to talk to my family! :) I love them. They remind me that I am not the only crazy one in the worldJ  I was born into a crazy family ;) They are getting so big and growing up to be wonderful people! I was so happy to hear about all of them preparing for missions and about Kyle getting ready to do his papers soon! :) Missionary work is amazing and I am so excited to start to see my family see the blessings that come from it as well!! 

So with transfer news! I am staying in the wonderful place of Kingston and I will be training a new missionary!! :) I am so excited to train again! I can’t wait to meet her! :) Sister Bottcher is going to Kitchener-Waterloo where I once served! She is going to love it! 
I am excited to stay here though! There are so many people to talk to! They need to hear the gospel! I am so excited for the new missionary too, this is a great place to be trained! :) Everyone here is fun to talk to! Most of them are pretty nice…even when they deny learning about the most important thing in the world! So we will have so much fun together! :) 

I love you all and will have more to report next week!!      
  -Sister Gillins







Monday, December 22, 2014

The Work of Salvation

What an amazing week!! :) We had the most wonderful Christmas Zone Conference! There was lots of singing and it was so spiritual! We were able to learn so much! and I hate to say it.. but it got me excited for tracting!! So that tells you how good it was!! But it was so far away!! On Monday I drove more than 4 hours!! Then Tuesday I had to drive 2 1/2... I am a pro driver by now!! I want you all to know! :) 

So we have been focusing on the entire Work of Salvation in our mission. And it has been really cool to see here! :) We are working with members and teaching them the Restoration and asking them who they think would need this. A lot of the time they give us less-actives to work with, which is great! Then those less-actives let us in and then we get even more referrals from them! The most important part to all of this though.. is RETURN AND REPORT! That is one way we can gain the trust of the members and those we visit with. Go visit the referrals right away and then as soon as you can,.. report back! We are seeing the trust grow here. :) 

I have felt the Spirit a ton this week. I have been focusing on acting upon each prompting I get and I have seen miracles come from that. I keep receiving additional promptings and they lead me to cool things. 
After contacting for about 45 min - to an hour and nothing happening we walked past these two teenage boys,…well,.. that looked like druggies.. but, I felt prompted to give them a card. Well, that night one texted us and wants to learn more!! SO COOL :) 

We visited one less active this week. She let us in. At first she was pretty negative about everything.. but then we got her talking about happy things, and one thing led to another and I invited her back to church and she said yes!! :) She hasn’t been in 20 years, but she is willing to come back now!! We are so excited! :) 

In Kingston they put on a live nativity! :) With real animals and stuff!! It is so cute and fun!! :) We got to help and give out hot chocolate. A ton of people come to it! They put it on every night until Christmas! We may even have the opportunity to be in it!! If we do, we will take lots of pictures and send them!! :) 

So, now for a funny moment…we were talking to someone on the street and he said that he believed in Joseph Smith, so I’m like, “oh, are you Mormon?!” and his wife was like, “no.. not Mormon..” and then he got really close to my face and said, “I’m Jimmy Jay, have you heard me on the radio?” and then he winked and they walked away.. I was so confused!! Sister Bottcher just kept laughing. It was pretty interesting. Do ya’ll know who Jimmy Jay is? If you do, let me know (:

One of the members we have been visiting with has rabbits! and one had babies!!! They are so ity bity! I love them!!! :) Once they get a little bigger I will take a picture! :) 

I will get each of your packages for those who sent them!! I am going back to Belleville on Wednesday to pick all of them up!! Thank you for all you do for me!! I love you!! Your support means everything. I GET TO SKYPE MY FAMILY IN A FEW DAYS...YEAH!

Merry Christmas,

Sister Gillins 

I also got my first Kinder Surprise
 from a member!!
 It is chocolate with a prize in it!!
I love it!!

  And man oh man,
 I am getting lot’s of jerky from ya’ll!!
Thank you! :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

E.T. phone home!

This week has been... CRAZY! 
WE got E.T.ed (emergency transferred) we got a call on Friday afternoon and left early Saturday morning! Good thing as missionaries we don’t have too many things to pack. It was just head home, pack, say good bye to a few people, and you’re gone!! But we didn’t go too far! We just went an hour east to Kingston! This place is so cool and so richly packed with church history! I would invite all of you to Google it and see how wonderful this place is! :)  Sister Bottcher and I got to stay together for the new transfer. I am so happy about that. We truly love each other and enjoy each others company. We work hard and laugh hard.
            (Haha, so we were driving and there was a little fly making me crazy in the car. We stopped at a red light and it landed on the window. So, I hit the window and smashed the stinker.(sorry fly) Then, I rolled down the window to get it out. Sister Bottcher was laughing really hard and I was like …what? She was like…..” the guy next to us at the red light thought you were trying to talk to him, and rolled down his window, but you drove off”… (:  oh, my life!)
            The first thing we did was go and drop by a few members since we know no one!! NO ONE! We got to meet one of the wonderful YSA in the ward, Winnie. :) She is so funny and great! We connected really well the second we met! I have missed my YSA! :) But now she is going home for the Christmas break :( Then we dropped by our wonderful R.S. president and talked to her about the branch and all the single ladies they would like us to visit. (The branch hasn’t had sisters since the summer so they are SUPER excited to have sisters again) Then we dropped by this wonderful young family, the Nobles. Oh my goodness they are wonderful! They invited us in and had us sit down. We talked for a little bit. By the end we had a dinner appointment scheduled for the 23rd, a Christmas tree in hand, and Sister noble was running to get us groceries since our apartment was looking dry of any food... :) They made us feel so welcomed. Something we both needed. It is hard being transferred right before Christmas.
            We were able to meet some great branch members at church yesterday!
            This week Sister Bottcher and I tried to make the Ritz crackers with mint on them for members.. but that was a complete fail!! So we just made cookies instead which worked out nicely. People love food!! :) They will let you in if they see you have food. So to all you missionaries! Bring food with you at drop bys! :) 
            Not too much happened other than that.. It was just pretty crazy and now we are starting over!! So hopefully I can tell you more about investigators next week!! 

-loves from the great white north! 

 Sister Gillins 

From:MAMA GILLINS – (Sister Gillins wrote a great “Hand Written Letter” home to her Brothers. I feel like some of it should be recorded on her blog…)

            You all are my very best friends. I like it when you all send me short emails and tell me what’s going on in your life. I am in a family Branch and get to talk to the young men and they make me miss you three so much.
            This morning Sister Bottcher and I were laying in our beds talking about our missions and I started to cry because I never want to leave. Missions are really miracles and they change you so much for the better. You get the chance to help people have a better life. You completely feel God’s love. Boys….DO ALL THAT YOU CAN TO BE ON A MISSION! I can’t even describe to you how much I love it here. It’s hard and people slam doors in your face, push you out of the way and yell at you, but yet you are so happy. It’s crazy…and this must all be true! Because there is no way I would go through all of that. I would be home in a heart beat. But, the Gospel is True! So, it is worth it and God makes it easier for us.
            REMEMBER…God loves us and will help us. Don’t forget about the power of the Priesthood! It is literally the Power of God. And, you hold it. How amazing.
            Thank you for the Prayers. They help me. I pray for you all too.

I love you,
Your Sister Gillins

It's a bag of bagels!!
 (now say it with a Canadian accent:)
It's fun! 

Our attempt at making yummy things...
 it always turns into icky.. 

Monday, December 8, 2014


Who would have thought Sister Bottcher and I would get sick?! Not me!! :( On Monday night after having a wonderful deer stew at the Harringtons, Sister Bottcher and I started to get a sore throat. Then Tuesday a runny nose! and it all went downhill from there! But never the less, we did awesome this week! We have had more appointments this week than we have had throughout this whole transfer! :) We were able to find a new investigator through tracting and were able to meet with a lot of less-actives. Good things are starting to happen, and Satan isn’t happy. But NOTHING can get Sister Bottcher and I down! :) 

So I have been dieing to go contact people on the streets! Tracting has been hard for me.. So Sister Bottcher and I went downtown and started to talk to people. As we were walking, we passed a few people with a display. Right away I recognized it as the Jehovah Witnesses. So I just decided to continue on. Sister Bottcher didn’t see the displays though, and as a good missionary, decided to talk to everyone and started to talk to one of them. I decided to stand back and watch. And Sister Bottcher was so confident in everything she did! She just smiled and the spirit was just beaming from her! I am so grateful for her example!! As I stood and watched, a young English man walked up to me and asked me where a good place to eat was... I was like.. "I’ve only lived here for 2 weeks.." But then we had a good conversation about how I am a missionary and not a nun and what I teach about. He didn’t seem too interested after that, but I sure hope he checked out the "He is the Gift" video. 

This weekend we also had our branch Christmas party! It was so fun! We had a Hawaiian Christmas party and had a roasted pig! Yummy! We sang the 12 days of Christmas as tables. There was a table with only three people so I ran over to help them, but then my table stank at singing! So I was running between the two tables to help both of them out. It was a good work out :) 

We almost died this week too!! A semi made too tight of a turn and almost smooshed us!!! We were just screaming and I put the car in reverse hoping that I wouldn’t hit the car behind me and backed up! It was like the scariest thing ever!! Then I thought about the Christmas Vacation and I wish our car would have been small enough to fit underneath it.. but it wasn’t. 
But all is well!! We are alive and unsmooshed!! 

I love you all!! 
Have a Merry Christmas season!! Eat lots of Chocolate! 

-Sister Gillins 

Monday, December 1, 2014

American Thanksgiving!

This week was sleepover week!! :) We had lots of sleepovers! But that is only because of the special zone conference! 
Our first sleep over was at the Sister Training leaders apartment. I had 3 of my 5 companions there! Sister Wanlass, Sister Christenson, and Sister Bottcher. Oh it was a blast!! Sister Bottcher and I made our bed out of foam puzzle pieces kids play with, a rug and sleeping bags. It was not bad actually if I do say so myself :) Then because of traffic Sister Christenson and Sister Hadley had to stay the night at our place. Sleep over’s are not the same when your a missionary though... cause your just so tired, you go straight to bed, there is no time for silly stories or giggles. It is wonderful actually. 
So the special zone training was amazing!! We learned so much! We got to watch "He is the Gift" video. I challenge each of you to go onto and watch it! Then share it!! It is so spiritual and uplifting! :) Then I got to go get a flu shot so I won’t get sick!! yay me!! I miss being in a doctor’s office... :(  But I love being a missionary! Then we got to watch "Meet the Mormons" How neat is that? I have been hearing you all rave about it for forever and then I actually got to see it! :) It is such an uplifting movie! Each of those people’s stories are so wonderful and inspiring. I want to be like every single one of them when I grow older! I’m still not sure when "Meet the Mormons" comes to Canada, but I’m excited for people here to watch it too! :)

So I had American Thanksgiving in Canada! But a day late.. we had a dinner appointment on Thursday. It was so fun! I took the money grandma and grandpa gave me and took my companion and Sister White out. I took two Canadians out for an American Thanksgiving... weird eh? But it was fun! We went to Denny’s and got their turkey dinner which was so yummy! We had such a good time. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa! 

On Saturday we had a district RS activity! It was so amazing! The ladies put a lot of work into it. They made the gym look like Bethlehem! And everyone dress up in Biblical clothing (but us.. we have none) But it was so fun to see everyone dressed up and having a good time. We got to help put everything away! In our skirts and all!! Don’t ask me where the Elders were... I don’t know. But hopefully teaching people instead of helping ;) 
I got to show off my muscles and carry lots of stuff.. but I ran into walls a lot and Sister Bottcher would just laugh at me! I also got to learn self-defense from a member! So don’t worry mommy, I now know how to break someone’s wrist and flip them! 

The branch is great. I love the members. And, I am getting to know the youth a lot, which is awesome...because they can be our biggest help.  I am serving in the country lands…way different than the city…everything is spread out.

All in all it was a great week! I love being with Sister Bottcher. She and I  have awkward moments.. so put us together and it’s a ball! :)  We are good for each other. I can tell we will be friends for a very long time.

Love ya!

-Sister Gillins 

Me, Sister White, Sister Bottcher
Thanksgiving Feast Day

Sister White
Bethlehem Night

My American Thanksgiving Feast
at Denny's