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 Mormon.org 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