Monday, April 28, 2014

That little stinker!

The Elders gave me cowboy boots... haha AND a protein shake!! :)

Holy smokes my family is going to be growing!!!! I'm so happy that Sarah will be a part of our family!! :) She is so cute!! Ya she totally fits into our family! :)

Conman!!! he looks way too big.... BUT... I love his glasses!! :) My baby brother is growing up WAY TOO FAST!!!!! it's crazy!!! :)

This week has been pretty incredible! I have never been so blessed!!! When we had a meeting with Elder Nelson, he said that the curse of our mission was our cars!! So me and Sister B took that to heart and we walked from appointment to appointment, and we promised God that we would talk to ANYONE and EVERYONE he decided to place in our paths.... THAT was pretty hilarious!!! SO anyone we saw... we talked to them!! HAHA! There was this lady standing in this field..... SO we B-lined and like ran across the field to talk to her... she looked scared... but we were able to have a nice chat with her... she wasn't interested... yet :) We saw a young man, about 20 years old, walking in a hurry, and looking super stressed! We stopped him and he told us that his ex- girlfriend was about to overdose on drugs... and he had to stop her! Well... We were able to bare a powerful testimony!! We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon, and taught about how much that had blessed our lives, and gave us peace and happiness. THAT was an amazing experience. We even talked to a VAN FULL of Mexicans... who were literally visiting from Mexico... I was able to kinda say a few things in Spanish!! BUT!! It changed my attitude, and really made me feel like whoever I saw this week HAD to hear what I have to say! So that was powerful!!

THAT was all the beginning of the week... and then it all flipped around!

Our two solid investigators had read anti Mormon material... it was really stressful... and then Sister B was sick for 2 days... and we had to stay in... I just studied my scriptures, which was fun.... but then... I started getting really down on myself... You see Satan is REALLY TRICKY! He wanted me to feel like a terrible missionary! And guess what, I did! I had forgotten about all the miracles we had seen, and I felt homesick, and just really down. It's hard to explain. I just cried. And kept thinking, " What am I doing wrong!?" Satan is MEAN. WELL!!! SUNDAY was amazing! Sister B started feeling better!! And... our good bishop asked us if we would come into his office. He told us how much he appreciated us, and he told us that he felt impressed to tell us we weren't doing anything wrong. That maybe God just wants us to learn how to be diligent NO MATTER WHAT!! And that maybe our ward just needed strengthening!! :)  That changed my whole attitude again! But holy smokes that bishop is inspired!! :)  And then we added up all our numbers, and we were able to get double the number we normally get! Even though we had 2 sick days!!! Isn't Satan a little stinker?! He wanted me to feel bad because we were doing so good!!! And I really am learning how to be diligent... :) 

Someone bore their testimony in relief society and they said something powerful. BAM (But A Moment) A man with MS had borne his testimony, and that is what he said... He was going through so much, but he knew it was all "But a Moment".  And I agree...Isn't that powerful?!!!  My mission is flying by! I'm nearly half way done!! It really is but a moment... these trials I go through, they are making me stronger :)

Anyway... my week was so good! And I feel so blessed to be a missionary! IF ANYTHING, I know for a fact that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, that God loves me and is aware of me, and that I have a Savior and Redeemer :) I am soo blessed everyday! :)

OH!! And can I tell you how much I love taking the sacrament! It feels so nice to renew my covenants and start fresh each week :)

Love Sister Collings :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Russell M Nelson

Holy smokes I cannot believe how much Avery is growing!! It blows my mind! She's way too cute :) Sigh. This week was one filled  with so many defining moments!! You know when your running... and you're doing pretty good... the pace is good, nothing too crazy is happening.... And then you get 2 different thoughts... keep going, keep pushing as hard as you can, or the very opposite! This hurts, stop, slow down... all those negative things... and in running I have seen me do both. I have seen where I decided to push through the pain and keep running and do really well! And I have also seen the opposite and I just decide to give up and quit. Well I was at that point on my mission! I really felt like I either need to push forward and be better or just stop. haha And well I'm sure you are anticipating what I decided to do...

 BUT! IT WAS INCREDIBLE! Tyler is serving in Africa... and I don't even know how he goes through all that he does. It really blows my mind, and all he does is turns to the scriptures for help or prays a little harder. So I decided, whelp I ought to do the same! I ought to turn to the scriptures and pray a little harder. Tyler doesn't give up, Heck! The Savior didn't give up on me, so why should I!? So.. I did just that! I studied harder, and prayed more intently! And while I did that, I was exactly obedient, and I started feeling happier, and my desire to serve increased. I was being more truly converted! Being converted is measured by your desire to share the gospel and what we have with others. That is what Jesus Christ did perfectly. And that happened this week!!! AND so I kept being exactly obedient, and I kept praying and reading the scriptures..... as much as I could! And holy smokes... I was able to receive a more powerful witness than I have ever had before! I won't go into detail, but as I was praying... I just knew. I KNEW God loved me, I KNEW that I have a Savior and Redeemer! And I KNEW that I was doing what God wanted me to do! 

SO this is the really awesome part!!! We had Elder Russel M Nelson come and speak to our mission! And then he had a special stake conference with the Santa Maria stake, so I saw him and Elder Bowen and Elder Garn and their wives. And Wow. I felt more motivated than ever before! Well before the meeting I had questions on how I could become a more dedicated servant of the Lord. Sister Nelson talked about how we should " Look unto Him in every thought, doubt not, fear not" Was I doing that? Was I really remembering my Savior at all times? No. SO THIS IS THE AMAZING PART! I was able to receive revelation of what I could do personally and with Sister B to be who God wants me to be :) It sounds so simple, but it was incredible! :) Our numbers have changed dramatically! It's powerful! :) We are actually enjoying the work! We are tired... but it just reminds us that we are mortal!  aint no thang :) haha

The drive to the conference was 2 hours there and back! And I didn't have to drive. The hermanas drove us! And the whole drive was along the coast, so I just got to stare at the beautiful ocean. It's spring break, so people were surfing! So that was fun! But it helped me to really reflect on my mission so far :) At one point I saw hundreds of dolphins jumping; is was so cool! :)

Russel M. Nelson is hilarious! At one point in the meeting he was like, " It was colder than a kiss from my mother in law!" hahahahaha he's too much! My perspective has changed so much! And I feel a lot more enthusiastic about the work. I have more numbers to show, and more miles on my feet :)
I feel so blessed this week! I wish I could describe everything the mission is doing for me personally, and the relationship that I am developing with my Savior and my Heavenly Father. But one thing I do know is that it IS possible to look unto him in every thought :) I have tried it! I always have to refocus, but I know that it's possible! I got to give Sister Nelson a hug :) she's so great! And I shook Elder Nelson's hand 2 times :) That made me pretty happy!! Time is going by way too fast! And it kills me! I want my mission to slow down. The more I love it, the faster it goes... not cool.

And hey! in a few weeks I get to talk to you on the phone! isn't that something? :)
Anyway I hope your week is GREAT!   Thank you for the Easter package! it made me smile so big!! :) 
-Sister Kaylea Collings

Monday, April 14, 2014

Actions show God we love him

Hmmmmm what can I say this week?..... Let's be honest, I do the same thing everyday... haha and just talk to all sorts of interesting people'! BUT! it's all good!!! I had a HUGE perspective change, I feel like that's the craziest part about missions,  the perspective changes you get all the time. According to our numbers.. we haven't had much success out here... and it's been very humbling for me. I was feeling kinda down because we dropped nearly all our investigators. And, well I just turned to the scriptures for comfort! AND! GUESS WHAT! I was definitely comforted! I was reading about Helaman and the 2,000 stripling warriors! And not only their courage for battle, but also their trust in God. I have not had much success out here... But Ii know that I must continue to work hard and have the faith that God will bless the people of Santa Maria! :) I know he will! Without a doubt!! 

Another thing that really stuck out was our ward mission leader, Brother Terrazes, said something pretty great at church which hit me so hard! We were talking about families and why we had them and so on... and he said something so great! He said, "You know life is work, its hard! having a spouse is work, having children is work too! And if we can't learn to enjoy where we are now we will always just feel like it's work" Wow. I need to love my mission even more... I have noticed that pattern throughout my life....
I'll be happy when...
I'm in high school...
When i GRADUATE... 
When I move out of my house... 
I'll be happier when I'm just home from my mission...
When I'm just married... 
Nope. NOT true! If you can't learn to be happy now, you won't ever learn. You will just keep looking ahead to this imaginary happy limit. But the goal is to try and find it now. No matter what situation we are in, we have to have happiness and give our gratitude to God. If we can realize God's hand in our lives each and every day we WILL be happy! And as I have given  more of myself to this work, I have seen that to be true. 

We have one solid investigator who really does want to know if the church is true... her love for the Bible overpowers her being able to accept another book of scripture! This week she has decided to read the Book of Mormon! FINALLY! So we have been praying our little hearts out that she will get a spiritual witness of its truthfulness!! Your prayers could help too! :):)

What can I say more than I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON! :) I love seeing how God is the leader of his people. How he will never fail us even when times get hard! I love that any question I have may be answered through the Book of Mormon! I LOVE that it brings peace to my soul when I am missing the ones I love, or thinking about what it would be like to NOT have a bedtime, and a time I HAVE to wake up! hahah!  It really comforts me when I feel inadequate to represent Jesus Christ! I know that i am being watched over. I know that God is aware of me and everyone! Our actions show God how much we love him. I have felt that a lot this week!

There were these two guys working in their yard.... and their muscles were... big! (not as big as conman's... but pretty intimidating... for two tiny sister missionaries) Sister B and I looked at each other... and were trying to decided whether  to  talk to these huge men... or just go on to the next place. We both decided to just trust in God, AND show him how much we love Him by trying our best to share the gospel! Turns out that experience was powerful, and they are both very interested! We have another appointment with them! BUT, I know that our actions show God how much we love him. Mom, I'm so proud of you for studying Preach my Gospel! It will help you feel the desire to share the gospel and show God how much you love him :) AND strengthen your trust in him. Because I have done that!! AND!!!! We are promised if we do that, we will be super happy :) the HAPPIEST actually... I challenge you to find where it says that in Preach my Gospel... it says it in a few areas :)

OH! Sister B is so great!!! She sacrificed her hair to get in the door to talk to a less active member! We said we needed hair cuts... turns out the lady was super NOT nice... gave her an awful cut, and red hair.... so we had to go get it fixed and now it's way short and red!!! She's such a good sport!! I'm so thankful to have her as a companion!! :) OH!!! and one day i went tracting in high heels.... I think grandma Collings would have been proud of me!! BUT! it was our most successful day! So I think I got a lot of respect... people respect tallness...(I guess)  :D
Well I love you ALL!!!!!! And hope this week is great! Lemme know how Conman does in track! He's... kinda turning into the hulk!!! I'm impressed... I showed all the elders a picture of Conman flexing, and it made them all start dieting HAHAHAHAH!!!

-Sister Collings!

Monday, April 7, 2014

General Conference

Wasn't conference amazing!!! I kept thinking about all of ya!! First we woke up, and the Terrazes made the yummiest meal ever!!!!!!!! They are so nice to us!! (they are the members we live with!   :) 

I thought mom.... you could sing in the mo-tab if you wanted!! because your voice is so pretty!! And the talk where he was talking about being obedient and talked about the horses bit  and how we should let God guide us... I thought of daddy!!! And.... This one is kinda funny... the guy who is in charge of the mo-tab... he like dances... and leads the music, reminded me of Steve!!! HAHAHAHAHA I could picture Steve doing that because they have similar facial expressions hahaha isn't that funny :) I sure missed you all though during conference! 

All of the missionaries in my zone had to watch it at the stake center!! and I don't think I have ever been so sad before in my life when it was all over!!! It went by WAY TOO fast!!! but it motivated me to study more deeply the scriptures, and to pray with more intent and sincerely!!! AND! I felt kinda bad because I've been a lame letter writer to you all this week! :) BUT! I have some good news, this next transfer I am STAYING in Santa Maria with Sister B! I'm really excited!! This week was a great week! Mostly because me and Sister B are together again..... and because we were able to be uplifted by the words of apostles and prophets!!!

We have had a tough few weeks because we are dropping so many new investigators and so many of the ward members have us do service... mostly yard work or helping them move!! BUT!! I'm excited for this next transfer because I can tell miracles are right around the corner.. :) I'm gonna send you some pictures now!! :0) And!!! mother's day is coming up!!!! I'm excited for that!!!  

SO!!! FAMILY!!!! You better all buy a'Preach my Gospel' and start studying!! I wanna know what you are learning about!!! :) I know Preach my Gospel will help you be in the spirit of missionary work! :) Because days when I dedicate myself to those words... I am a more powerful disciple of Jesus Christ and I KNOW that it can give you the same outcome :) 

We went hiking as a district last p-day and found this creepy place!

Out knocking... in Orcutt and today was just WAY TOO BEAUTIFUL!!!

We went all out and treated ourselves to McDonalds!!! Wooo!!! On this day, my Junior year, I first sat on the bus with Tyler... and we became inseparable ;) I HAD to celebrate!!