Monday, December 30, 2013

Missionary Work Pays Off

This week was very interesting! I was humbled right away! We weren't able to see many of our investigators because they were gone for the holidays! But we were able to get 2 new investigators! One of them is a less active's husband, his name is David! They are interested in learning more so they will know how to raise their 2 year old son.  The other was a potential's son. He has had a very hard life! And is interested in learning more about the church! So I feel so blessed to be able to teach the 2 of them!

This Christmas season we were able to see a lot of less actives and share a special message about Jesus Christ with them! It was fun to see how they were remembering what it's like to feel the spirit! The less actives in our ward have been so nice! There is one who bought me and my companion a bunch of groceries as a Christmas gift!

We are still working with the D family and are now trying to teach their older brother :) We are excited to see where that goes! The D family is so amazing! Their testimonies are just so powerful! And its been so fun to see them grow in the gospel! The parents went through the temple again! And now Blake has the priesthood and is passing the sacrament! I feel so blessed to have been able to meet that family.

This week I learned a lot from my companion. I had my very first melt down. I think for girls you just have to cry at times. I have learned that I am very stubborn over small things! And This week I feel like I have overcome it a little. She mentioned something she thought we could do to be better and my stubbornness wanted to fight back and disagree with her. But I prayed. I prayed so hard in my heart that God would let that stubbornness pass! Even over the silliest thing! And It was incredible what happened; my heart was softened and I cared about what she had to say. And I started to value her opinion! And Now I feel like our companionship can work more in unity.

A quote really hit me this week," Work like it depends on you and pray like it depends on Heavenly Father." Since I have been doing that, its been amazing!  I'm learning to really work hard! And when I'm at someone's doorstep I've learned to not just be persistent to be annoying, but because I am fighting for their salvation! And that means everything to me.

We had kind of a funny experience, Beverly has been our investigator for awhile, she's the one that always gives us pine cones. Well we asked her why she didn't want to get baptized and what her real concerns were... and her reply was something I would have NEVER in a million years expected! She said, " It just makes me sad that I would waste all that water on myself. It just doesn't seem right to use that whole font to just baptize me. " She then talked about how she would like it if we did it on a  date where a lot of people will get baptized. We have researched when other people are getting baptized and she can't do it on those days. The Bishop mentioned that perhaps we could  do it in his pool so that we wouldn't be wasting water, and Beverly would feel more comfortable. I'm not sure what the rules are on that, but I'll figure it out!

Something else I learned this week is taking responsibility! And what that really means. It means that you have the ABILITY to choose your own response. And THAT has made all the difference for me this week! My stubbornness has been beating me up! But I'm learning to pray extra hard and how I can choose my response to all situations.

I LOVE this work, and I am so grateful for all the miracles I am seeing daily!! OH!!! on Christmas day we got a flat tire! THAT was pretty crazy... We had exchanges the next day so me and sister R were in Thousand Oaks all day getting the tire fixed, and we went out for pizza, and because we prayed before we ate, somebody grabbed the waiter and paid for our meal! WOW! isn't that crazy?! And I always feel awkward praying in public... but let's be honest, missionary work can be awkward, but it pays off! (literally) :)

Monday, December 23, 2013

I see them in white!

This week has been amazing :) We have had so many miracles happen! 

Mom, first I LOVE all those things I get to read each morning! They are an amazing way to start to my day! 

Well! We have had some cool experiences!! Shaylind and Elieke are some of our investigators, and they came to church!! OH my goodness I have never loved church so much! it was amazing for me to witness them LOVING the church. And the spirit that was there was so strong! I'm really excited to see what happens with them, because in my mind I see them getting sealed in the temple... it's kinda creepy, everyone I see, I picture in white bahahaha!!! Because, yeah, I want them to get baptized, but mostly I just want them to go through the temple! Because that would be amazing :)

I really love being a missionary! Since I am calling you on Wednesday, then we can't email very much today! But just know that I love you guys so much! And THANK you John and Molly for the Christmas package!! It made me tear up! haha! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESSICA!!!!! There was this girl in my mission from Japan, and she gave me a bunch of clothes.. well, so not my taste! They have puffy sleeves and lacy necks, so it's just screaming your name! I'll have it sent to you soon :) 

Pretty much I love being a missionary, sorry I can't say more, but I will write more next week! and can't wait to call you!!! :):)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Found a hidden city

This week has been interesting that's for sure! We invited a lot of less actives to all the programs we had! We had a ton of lessons with less actives! I used to be scared of less actives but now I think it's fun :) I always prepare "come back to church lessons!" haha and I'll be honest I'm pretty bold. Normally I say ," So why don't you come to church anymore? Our ward isn't the same without you" And it's pretty great! We have had cool experiences where these nice elderly people open up and tell us!

This week was pretty rough for me! It was filled with so many ups and downs!  Investigators were dropping us like flies.. Or they would cancel right before we would come over because the holiday season is "too busy".  I literally had to get on my knees and pray to be motivated to finish out this week! But, because we were super obedient and kept working as hard as we could, despite all the insulting remarks I got about looking homely... (Sorry i have to go on a tangent... I remember watching pride and prejudice were they are talking about how Elizabeth was more homely than Jane... which in my mind is not a compliment... :( hah! So I'm working hard to not be homely like Elizabeth.. so that the people of California can see me more of a Jane haha!)  ANYWAY! We found some great new investigators! 

One man who we testified of the Book of Mormon to, and he was determined to read it! SO.. we will see this week how that went!  THEN! After a long hard day we had 5 minutes left I'll be honest, I wanted to just go inside, but my companion insisted we stay outside our apartment, because we had to talk to  more people, and yup she was right, we found a lady walking her dog! And now we are teaching her family! So that's exciting!!  

I have found that the people here are pretty strange especially at Christmas time... everyone puts garland on their statues in their front yards haha! Or they put Christmas trees on their roof! Its pretty weird.  And, when investigators don't want you to come back they don't call you or text you or talk to you in person, they tape a paper to their door and explain why they aren't interested and tell us to go away.  NO worries, I always leave a Book of Mormon and a witty response.

ME and my companion nearly DIED!!! We were on this  2 lane highway and we were in the turning lane. Well the oncoming lane was completely clear so we were about to turn, well my companion wouldn't turn forever! It was actually pretty weird! When all of the sudden, a car from our lane going umm really fast went to pass some cars, and didn't see us in the turning lane. So he had to go clear into the oncoming lane of traffic to pass us! If we would have turned, he would have NAILED us! And then he almost hit people in the oncoming lane!  I know we were being watched over.. and my companion didn't turn for a reason.  :)

So we were lost n the hills of California, trying to find a potential investigator, when we ran into this cute town called Kingsgrove! Which wasn't on our map!  So we found... a hidden city! We are excited to knock it :) 

This week was pretty crazy but we saw so many miracles :) I'm excited for this next week and see what we have in store for us! OH! Blake's older brother asked me what I wanted him to get me for Christmas, and I told him to get baptized! So I'll keep you updated on if he fulfills my Christmas wish :) OH and the Zone Leader's want me to sing in the Christmas devotional... HAHAHAHAH!!!!!! Yeah that will be interesting...

 I got your package mom :) I LOVE IT! its such a great way to start off my studies in the morning!! 

Love you all! -Sister Collings

Monday, December 9, 2013

Tough Week...Great Week

Today we did a service project with a Methodist church, helping them clean up after a huge charity thing :) It was so fun! :) A lot of people complemented my muscles.. so hey maybe I'm not as hefty as I thought ;) Haha! This week has been a tough one! My new trainer, let's just say I feel like we have the same experience so I feel like I'm training her! Which is hard because sometimes i don't know things! But it's been great because it's helping me grow. I have learned how stubborn I am... and I seriously have to pray forever to help me understand people, and not be selfish or stubborn!

This week has been very great! With the new companion I am working super hard. It's been hard for me because Sister C is very different from me! She is kind of weird... but I love her! I'm pretty weird too, but we have opposite weirdness I guess haha! But it's good because it gets me out of my comfort zone! This week I have actually done pretty good at taking control at door approaches and finding new ways to be persistent and make sure these people won't slam the door in my face! But the funny thing is, before they slam the door, they thank me for my smile?  I must be doing something right!

We had a great week working with less actives. We invited them to the ward Christmas party, which has been amazing! There is something about the holiday spirit that is just so amazing! Its been pretty chilly these last few days, so i think people feel bad that we are standing in the cold, so they listen so us a little better!

We are working on a lot of investigators which has been so fun! Some that I am very excited about are Shaylind and Aleaka, they are a cute couple who are excited to learn more! AND I am excited to teach them! He has a baptismal date for this month, so we will see what happens! Keep him in your prayers, will ya!?!

I think we have had a lot of success with the people this week, but I think overall, the success has come within my own heart! I find my self praying harder, studying deeper, and working on my weaknesses that have been made known to me! I love missionary work and I'm excited to see what this special season has in store for us!
PRAY SUPER hard... we have a ton of investigators who have had all the lessons and are just deciding if they want to get baptized.... We all know they should, so just pray that they will know :)
It's been FREEZING COLD!  But I'll be honest with you, I have NEVER felt the Spirit so strongly!! :) Out here in Cali I'll keep on truckin'...  :) pray that I'll develop more charity so my companion and I become friends.... haha!

Do you have any advice on making your weaknesses become strengths? Because that is really what I'm working on personally!!! :)

OH! And WE cannot Skype :( my mission president isn't a fan of that... so we get a phone call :)

-LOVE Sister Collings

Another baptism

I wish I had time to say more but,  
transfers!!! I am staying in Camarillo 6th ward but will be getting a new companion sister C! :) YAY! :)
Blake got baptized :)
This week we saw so many miracles it was amazing!!!
I've never had Satan work so hard on me too!!! 
Dang. :) 

Thanksgiving, I had 3 thanksgiving dinners haha!
I'm sorry this one was so short but I love you, and because of transfers I have zero time to email! but I will do better next week :) LOVE YOU!