Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New area and new companion

Hello Family!!!!

So I am LOVING VENTURA!!!! It's incredible here!!! I am serving in the 4th ward and there are 2 sets of sister missionaries!! So we had to split our ward! And our ward was already tiny, so my whole area is pretty much the size of Lakepoint! Which is good.... Because I won't get lost at all!! haha! BUT the COOLEST part about Ventura is that every night the ocean fog rolls in! IT LOOKS SO COOL!! It's like a black wall that ONLY rolls over Ventura! And the clouds come SO FAST! It just comes ROLLING in!! I LOVE it!! :) I guess it always happens in June and everyone calls it the June gloom... But I really just think it's awesome. :) AND I CAN SEE THE OCEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kinda... I can see it when I email on Mondays! At the stake center! OH!! AND the Stake Center has like an old chandelier in the chapel! It's gorgeous! :)

So we have 4 more weeks until we get a new mission president!! I'm SO sad to see President Castro go! BUT! I am also excited for the changes that will happen :)

I am so overwhelmed with how blessed I am! This area where I am serving is seriously so prepared! And I have the most energetic companion, Sister C, who is actually willing to work so hard! She is doing amazing! She really takes her 12 week program seriously and applies it in every aspect of the work. This week we focused on the Book of Mormon, and our investigators were moved as she powerfully testified of the Book of Mormon and invited them to read it. I am learning so much from her! She puts all her trust in the Lord and even though she gets nervous in the teaching environment, she keeps her cool, and sometimes takes a few moments to gather her thoughts. I love that about her, she isn't afraid of silence :) I have NEVER worked this hard on my mission, and her willingness to just work fuels me each day to not only enjoy this work but to give it all I have! And since we are working so hard, I believe that is why we are being so blessed. He is seeing the efforts we are both making.

We had some really neat experiences together this week ! We were going to knock a street and as we rounded the corner for that street, we saw man in his 20's just sitting on the curb by a fence. We had the impression that we should park the car and talk to him! So that's where we started our tracting! We walked over by him and he explained how he was an atheist! Well that's when I asked him if we could sit down by him because we had something important to share! We powerfully taught the Restoration as a companionship, and this young man had so many questions! It was amazing! At the end of the lesson on the curb, we asked him if he would pray to our Heavenly Father right now with us! THIS was the best part! This grumpy boy who claimed he didn't believe in God, gave a powerful prayer! He prayed for super cute things, about how happy he was to God that his girlfriend said yes to him when he proposed! And he talked about how happy we made him! And how he was sitting on the curb because he had just gotten into a huge fight with his fiance, and how something about the message we shared brought him peace and made him smile! It was a simple yet powerful prayer. That experience is one that I will never forget. I know that if we are doing everything in our power to be obedient, then the Spirit can speak to us and literally lead us to people. Turns out he lives out of our area! BUT we gave some missionaries a SOLID referral! :) And he was so grateful and so excited for the next lesson! It was powerful to see how much change came into his eyes and how learning about God and his restored church actually got him to pray sincerely to God.

Last night I was VERY impressed with my companion. SHE DOESN'T need a trainer!! haha She is so impressive. But we knocked on a door at about 8:30, and a young man answered the door and I wasn't feeling like teaching the whole restoration. He was watching hockey... and I was tired. So I was about to pull out a card when my  AMAZING companion jumped RIGHT into the restoration! I was so impressed! A man who I thought wasn't interested was SOOOO interested! He even turned down his hockey game! And we taught him :) We taught THIS boy how to pray. That was so special to me. There are so many people in this world who have NEVER even prayed to God... Which is something I could never imagine! Because that is the only thing that got me through the night! When I had so many night terrors and I would be so scared, I just prayed!! It was a lifeline in my childhood. BUT Sister C and I were able to teach so many people how to pray! And I found my prayers becoming more sincere :) we have a goal as a zone to pray with "all energy of our hearts" and I think that has been so successful! I have prayed more than before and I know God is listening to me!

Another success we had this week was 8 investigators came to church!  Isn't that something!! I was so shocked.. But again, I KNOW it happened because we were exactly obedient! And at church 2 of our investigators kept turning to us and saying things like " this is so organized!! WOAH!! Everyone can take of the sacrament... THIS is so perfect! I LOVE this!"

-LOVE Sister Kaylea Collings
Kaylea and Sister C

Monday, May 19, 2014

Transferred to Ventura

HELLLLOOOO FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BEST DAD EVER!!!! :) I feel sso blessed that God hand picked you to be my father! Someone who is so hardworking and so caring. And someone who is so selfless. I have never heard you complain about work. And you are always working! AND! somehow even though you were so busy and flying around the country! I always knew that our family was your priority!! I cherish all the memories I have with you, riding horses, laughing until we cry... usually about something ridiculous! like.... Wendy or anatomy! haha :) But above all, I know how much you love me because at times when I wasn't going down the right path, you confronted me with boldness and love, and that has made all the difference in my life :) Because of you, I KNOW how to be more responsible :) And I KNOW how to serve with love :) I LOVE you so much dad!!! I still remember my junior year.. after we moved into the new home I had moved my bed into the weird part of my room which I admit was a bad idea.... now hahah!  But I was fast asleep, or so you thought and you came in and told me that you loved me :) and I remember that night feeling really sad and I prayed that I could be comforted somehow... and then that happened, YOU have been an answer to my prayers so many times :) And I LOVE YOU!!!! SO SO SO SO SO MUCH!!!! And don't even get me started with how impressed I am with you.... converting... your whole employment :) haha I love you dad :) AND! I wish I could go to Ruth Chris with you!  to celebrate.... not just because that food... is AMAZING!!!!!!! But... because I love you so so much :)

 EWWWWW Conman! your muscles are so BIG!!!! After my mission... You will have to be my personal trainer.. because... remember when we were.... laughing in Germany at my tummy.... :) You would laugh really hard at it now!!! hahahah!

TRANSFERS HAPPENED! I will be moving into the Ventura 4th ward! With a sister named Sister C and I will be her follow up trainer!! So she's only been out 6 weeks!!!! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!! That's the area where my trainer started out!! So that  makes me happy :)

This week was really incredible! You all must have been praying hard for me... but it was incredible :) So let me be super honest with all of you!! Last week we had only 14 lessons, and this week we were told to get 40 lessons... which... I have NEVER done. That was just crazy! On a really good week we would get 20 lessons, and now our mission president wanted us to double it!!! Well... Turns out sincere prayers of faith truly work!! We planned to have 40 lessons and we did! I am still blown away, I didn't think that it was possible, but I suppose with God all things are possible! I have learned to more fully rely on faith! And DO MY best, trust GOD, and leave the rest to him :) And when we do that, miracles happen!! We finally had investigators coming to church, we had member present lessons! We saw so many less actives that had been in hiding for so long!  It was truly a miraculous week. And I feel so blessed to have been able to be a part of that!! And I feel like Satan HAS been working hard on me... trying his hardest to discourage me, but the cool part about it is that God can overcome any feelings we have personally of inadequacy! I just have to constantly  REALIZE that those feelings and emotions AREN'T from God :)  So I pray... and then...  I'm MUCH happier! I really LOVE MY mission! :)

LOVE Sister Collings :P

Monday, May 5, 2014

Surprise!! A Baptism!


Sister B has been sick, so the nurse had us staying indoors... which stunk because we had to cancel a bunch of our lessons with our solid investigators!! And I felt like I was going insane... because she would just sleep all day so I would be going crazy in my own thoughts... you know it's easy to not go crazy when you are busy all the time, and you don't have time to think... but I had a LOT of time to think... it... wasn't fun!! :( 

BUT!!!! It got even crazier! 

We finally got Sister B out of bed and we did a service project for a less active... well we were outside for about an hour and Sister B got heat stroke!! Can you believe it!? I didn't even know that could happen! BUT!! It did!! :( So the nurse told us to stay inside for 3 days!!!!! AAHH!! And poor Sister B was just puking... like crazy :(

Anyway, here I am going nuts, when I get a call from the zone leaders! "Sister Collings!! You must have been praying REALLY hard for a baptism, because you have one scheduled for tomorrow!!" uhhh what? haha turns out... that a couple that met in a homeless shelter, and fell in love... because they had both just gotten rid of brain tumors!! They took the lessons in Santa Barbara, and.. they went on their honeymoon to Santa Maria... and they were staying in a motel... so we had to teach them lessons in a motel. (Ask me after the mission all the details.. because it's so hard to explain everything we went through)  BUT! we were able to get Daniel baptized the next day.... IT WAS INSANE!!! Daniel is so amazing! He was in a homeless shelter and the girl that was taking care of him was a member of the church, and they started dating!!  Daniel has a broken back, and a broken neck, and he got all of his teeth pulled. He got married and he stopped smoking and doing drugs, so that he could get baptized!! Isn't that inspiring!? My favorite part of the whole baptism was when he came out of the water... he finally looked like he wasn't in pain anymore. 

I had been praying so hard that we could have a baptism this transfer because I wanted Sister B to feel the drive that comes from seeing someone we have taught enter the waters of baptism!!!  Holy smokes... It brings me to tears to think about this experience....  That God saw the work we were doing, and even though we were staying in, our hearts were in the right place. And because we had been praying for a baptism, He gave us one!! I have seen such a difference in Sister B... it's incredible. She has that drive to keep working.  AND SHE GOT A PRIESTHOOD BLESSING!  And now she feels so much better! Isn't that just special! I cannot describe in words how blessed I feel that God did that for us... 

I feel so blessed to be a missionary! I feel my love for my Savior growing more and more each and every day!! And I'll be honest, I HATE emailing, because I cannot put into words everything that I am going through out here.
I have learned so much about myself, and about the gospel, it blows my mind. Just like dad was saying, most of the time when you have been through trials, it's because Satan is trying to beat you down because he knows something really special is about to happen!! Something special did happen and I thank my Heavenly Father so much for letting me and Sister B be a part of that miracle! Especially because of how low our teaching pool had been, and how rough a go we have had with our investigators that question EVERYTHING!! And bible bash... huff.

Isn't Heavenly Father amazing!? The most incredible part of it is that I KNOW, without a doubt, that Heavenly Father is aware of me... The craziest part of the whole story is that the Elders in the 3rd ward were teaching them... and then they switched motels into OUR ward... So we got to finish it all up. Blows my mind.

Conman I love you... ya punk :)

DAD!! I told all the missionaries here that you are a converting machine!! They are all impressed!! Which reminds me, I met a missionary that knows you, and you set him apart! He's in my district, Elder Potter :)

AND!!! I met a missionary that knows Joe Kelsey!! :) their dads played football together! The elders name is Elder Martin. He was like "I'm from Beaver!!!!" hahah! I know Beaver!! :)