Monday, January 27, 2014

Met Coachie's Mexican twin

 It's been an amazing week! We got 4 new investigators! Isn't that great?! One of them is named Ardivan! And he is a kid in college that's just had such a hard life and is REALLY looking for change in his life. It was powerful teaching him about the restored gospel, especially about the atonement! Because he wants all the guilt of his past to be taken away! Which strengthened my testimony about the atonement!

Then we had an incredible lesson with a family that we found on accident! She is a less active lady, and she adopted a girl and has a husband who is interested in taking the lessons! She doesn't remember much about the church, so she wanted to be reminded! They were talking about how they really want o go back to church! So then they asked if they could have a blessing and have their new home dedicated! Cool huh?! So we had a member of the ward come over and do that! They are so receptive to the gospel! AND! The man is AMAZING! HIS name is Pete! And he runs like crazy!! He looks like a Mexican version of coach Allen, well his calves and goatee do! HAHA! and he runs 100k's!!!!!! CRAZY! He's training for a 50 miler!! Anyway he's legit!  THEN we got the other 2 investigators from the boys who were washing their car! :) They are SUPER interested!! I feel so blessed because we are finding the elect! :) And It's so amazing to be a part of this work. The miracles I see every day are so great!

WE did so much this week! maybe I'll list them!

-Dyed a less active girl's hair BRIGHT PINK..... hahahaha Taught her non-member husband! Said he would read the Book of Mormon! :)
-Found a bunch of scriptures of comfort to share with a family! Which in turn comforted me!
-Taught Syble the Jewish lady with Sister Curruth from the ward,  who is going through chemo! Her and her husband are SUCH and inspiration to me! She has cancer and is still devoted to missionary work!
-Walked a  Dog for a less active lady! Which gave us a really good excuse to talk to people at the dog parks! :D SCORE!
-helped a family set up a family mission plan! It was so cute, she is from Germany, and she has a daughter who is 4 and is fluent in German and English! hahah! Cutest lesson I have ever had!
-Taught Bev (the pine cone lady) about the restoration, because she has a short term memory, we decided to start from scratch! AND! She was like " oh yeah I'm getting baptized in 2 weeks". MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahah she's so hilarious, so we have to think of creative ways to remind her so she doesn't forget. Like using pictures and notes :)

Scripture that REALLY touched me! Mosiah 5:2: " Wrought a mighty change in us." I AM CHANGING! And it's so incredible! To feel the spirit in my life, and to learn and grow! BUT! I also had a HUGE perspective change! We had terrible numbers Monday and Tuesday, and then after Wednesday I changed my perspective and we got 4 new investigators!!!! I have this song on one of my CD's I listen to it EVERY morning to pump me up!! haha its pretty cheesy! I asked my companion, Sister C,  what we could do to pump her up in the morning and she said that she wanted to dance!! haha awkward. But it's motivated her, so when we exercise in the morning, we dance! I dance really funny to make her laugh and lighten the mood :D BUT! So far we are on fire and working really well together! :D:D SISTER C makes ANY ANALOGY about math!!! No matter the lesson or daily discussion! HAHAHA and she always ends with "you know" And I'm always like... No... I have NO idea! But she's cute. haha I envy her math skills, it's true! :)
CHALLENGE! MAKE a family mission plan!!! I have seen how it has blessed so many families out here! You should read the book everyday missionaries! It's really motivated our wards!!! :D LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!
Thanks for all your love and support!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January News

This week has been on of the best weeks in my mission so far! I had the flu for a few days! But during that time I watched all the 'Preach my Gospel' DVD's and figured out what goals I wanted to have this Transfer! I decided to work on being diligent! On really trying to enjoy my mission and be more spiritually minded! And holy smokes! THAT has made the mission more than just bearable. I used to feel like I was just trying to get through the day! Now I realize that I really am loving every second of the day!  And it has made such a change already! And I have only been working on it for two days! The key is making it last for the whole transfer! And then my other goal was to really dive into the scriptures. I am not too familiar with them! I set aside 20 mins of my studying just picking through every sentence! And HOLY smokes! Scripture power is truly powerful! I am finally understanding what it's teaching me, and I can actually feel the spirit while I'm reading! :) Aside from my own personal growth this week, my investigators are doing so well!

Shaylind and Alieke! They are progressing very well! In fact, we had an incredible experience with them!  We had our last lesson with our Bishop in his home and Shaylind said something that HIT me so hard! He said he used to be Catholic and then he was an atheist for 10 years! And when we went up to talk to him at his garage sale, he said he KNEW there was a god. Because he could see the Holy spirit in  us! Wow! That motivated me so much to continue and be exactly obedient and to do all the things that I can to have the spirit with me in full blast! I was studying in Preach my Gospel, and it talks about if you want the holy ghost with you, then you should pray in faith. So with that experience, I decided to try having more sincere prayers! I have started saying my prayers out loud and I feel like I enter into another world! I can feel the spirit when I pray, and I'll tell you what, I KNOW that he is listening to me :) Which is really cool. You all should try it! Just saying a prayer out loud! It seriously has given me so much strength!

MIRACLE!  It was getting really late so we figured we would stop by a non-member's home, well we knocked and a girl opened the door! And she was like, "Oh come in! My mom's been trying to get a hold of you guys!" She went on to tell us that her mom used to take her to our church when she was younger but that they became inactive and that her step-dad had been talking to missionaries online! Wow. So! They gave us her mom's number and said to call her. So later that day we called and she said to get a hold of them in the middle of January, because of the holidays they would be busy and because she was having surgery! SO we called her this week! And she said something a long the lines of, "Sweet! Can you come over for dinner next Sunday?! And just so you know I am inactive and my husband isn't a member, so try and teach really simply so we can understand!" WOW!! So that will be next Sunday! So I am SO excited to teach them! The work really is hastening! And I know that people are able to hear this sweet message we have for them!  I am doing really well! And  am so excited for this transfer it's one that will be FULL of miracles :)
(Beautiful Camarillo)

So for some funnies! You know how I am oddly allergic to random stuff? Well I woke up one morning and MY EYE was completely swollen shut! And it stayed like this for a few days! hahaha! I will send you one picture of my eye! 

We were tracting and we found a group of old ladies! And I guess they sit on the street bench everyday at 3:30 and talk about how they can fix the world. HAHA! So they invited us to start!

Everyone is talking about a huge earthquake that we will be having, so Sister C and I  rearranged our beds and made a little bed in the middle where we could get protection in case of an earthquake! And the bed includes: Water, granola bars, pocket knives, and scriptures! :D So IF an earthquake happens I'll be prepared!!!

Oh PS, I got that package you sent me, and my life has changed!! I LOVE THOSE CD'S!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Gaining a Strong Testimony

This week has been amazing! I am doing really well! I have had so many spiritual experiences! :) :)!! So I guess I'll just jump right into it! 

We did a lot of tracting, trying to increase our teaching pool, and we knocked on this door... This lady invited us into her home and there was an elderly couple sitting on the couch! Well all of the sudden they just start going off. IT WAS CREEPY. They were talking about how Joseph Smith isn't a prophet, and saying so many things about our church that were not true! And I guess they have a bunch of X Mormons in their families. They starting talking about really sacred things... that we SHOULDN'T discuss, and making fun of it!! It was so SAD! I just felt absolutely sick inside.... Until something amazing happened. This old man and his wife said something that I will never forget. He said " You have been so deceived girls, you see I know all of this about Joseph Smith because my grandpa was the judge that put Joseph Smith in jail!" WHAT!?!! isn't that crazy!! And all of the sudden, I felt the spirit SO strong! They were saying a million things that were not true, and were being so vulgar, I wanted to pull out my bible and correct everything! But I felt the spirit so strong and I felt like I should just testify. So that's what I did. I testified that Joseph Smith REALLY was a prophet and that the BOOK OF MORMON really is the word of God. It was a simple testimony... but it changed me! Everything about my mission got so real! Being in the presence of a descendant of someone who threw our loving prophet in jail, and having the opportunity to testify to them that Joseph Smith really is a prophet... Wow! I LOVE being a missionary. I love my Savior, and I love my Heavenly Father, and I feel so blessed to have the knowledge that I do about his beautiful plan for all of his children. I am changing on my mission, but it's so exciting! :) I walked out of that home  KNOWING with all my heart the truthfulness of this restored Gospel. 

 We also had an incredible lesson with Alieke. She was able to really open up to us! It was incredible to feel God's love for her, and to feel like his Gospel could solve all of her problems. How this Gospel could literally SAVE their marriage. Needless to say Alieke and Shaylind came to church, and WOW! EVERYTHING that was taught at church was directed for them! It made me nervous, but I know it was supposed to happen! We scheduled a baptism for the end of January! I feel so blessed to be working with this couple! And that God has trusted me to invite them to come unto Christ. 

I have learned so much this transfer. So much about this life, and what really matters. And who I am becoming, not just as a missionary, but for when I return home.  I hope this new year we can all strive to come closer to Christ, and truly hasten his work. I know that this journey I have been on is one I will NEVER forget. 

TRANSFER NEWS: I am STAYING in the Camarillo 6th ward with Sister C! And we just found out that in July we will be getting a new mission president.

I wish I could say more about this work! I work hard everyday and I am EXHAUSTED. But it just reminds me of cross country, when I felt like giving up (because i did ALL the time) I just kept focused and I kept pumping my arms and lengthening my stride, and when I did that, miracles happened. So this transfer, even though I feel absolutely shot down physically, I am going to lengthen my stride, because I need miracles to happen for my investigators.

I know that my mission is shaping me to become something really great! And I feel so blessed that I get to be on this 18 month journey of coming unto Christ, and inviting others to do it with me!!

NOW, on a silly note... I had the weirdest dream: I was in a plane with Jessica and Steve and Chris and we were being taken to an island where I would be force fed Doritos for the rest of my life, and I kept trying to jump off the plane... but then I realized that God wanted me to stay with my family! So I didn't jump out. But then we arrived in Israel and I looked out the window and fell out anyway. WEIRD!!! haha!

OH! And there is somebody that has been giving us a bunch of fruit! We have a mysterious bag of fresh fruit on our door step every DAY! HAHA! We have had pomegranates and oranges and avocados.... so I'm pretty much in heaven!! :) Whelp! the work is moving right a long! And I am SO HAPPY!!!!!! Keep up with the missionary work, family :) The first one to tell me an awesome missionary experience you have had, WINS!!!! :) ready, set, go! :) I Love you all!! And keep being amazing :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


So I had some funny things happen to me this week! I was at this old lady's home that LOVES playing pool and folding origami... so she folded me and sister C a ton of origami.... out of one dollar bills :) Bahaha! I know we shouldn't take money from people.. especially elderly... but! It was too hilarious! She made me a Christmas tree and put a sticker of a heart on top of the tree!! haha! TOOO funny!

 And we have been working with this old lady trying to get her baptized and we FINALLY found out what her concern is! She was like," I just feel so bad that we would waste all that water one me..."  Wow. So we are arranging to get her baptized in bishop's swimming pool... the problem is she doesn't ever remember anything... so we pray she will remember her baptismal date... sigh... :)

We were able to get 8 new investigators! 4 of them are siblings! They are so cute! They have little British accents and they are so cute because they are home schooled and say things like, "shall" haha! But it's been fun! :) this week has been so great!

AND! there was a famous man that spoke in church! his name was Tito Momen! He is from Nigeria and he was a Muslim and was chosen as a child to be a Muslim leader, he became a MORMON!!!!! And so they threw him in jail for 15 years! CRAZY huh! So he spoke and then Mo spoke, who is also from Africa :)

I  got the letters from the family! I LOVED it! That was so fun to read!! I hope you had fun at the cabin :)

Sorry I'm all out of time but i will leave you with a quote I love,"Try to love Him our Redeemer, above anything else" Joseph Fielding Smith! I LOVE THIS! I am trying to have His love be my absolute priority!!! And it's making miracles happen! I LOVE YOU! ALL!!!!!! Pray transfers next week will be GOOD! :D
-Sister Collings
 So sweet, those are her parents!!