Wow this week has been so great! I am really loving Ventura! I think I say that every week but it's so true!! The work is REALLY moving forward!!! We have two RM's that came home from their missions last week and BOY! They are keeping us so so so busy!! With referrals and coming with us to lessons, it's pretty great!
So this may sound so cheesy BUT this is one of my FAVORITE things about my area... every night and morning, I just leave the windows open and the cool ocean breeze just fills my apartment! It's not too cold, but just so nice!! And California smells so so so sweet! Unless people ARE SMOKING... :) BUT! Seriously, I LOVE it! In California, nobody needs ac because of that cool breeze :) Sighh :)
This week was also full of funny and POWERFUL experiences!! First I'll share a few of my laughs with you :) We were able to do a service project in the old folks home! HAHA Me and Sister C played hang man! They loved it! It was hilarious hearing the elderly just laugh so hard because they guessed the right letter :) It reminded me this week to just look for the small things everyday! I love the elderly and how a lot of them are similar to children, how they find so much joy in the little things! So this week I was able to pick out the little things that give me joy! One elderly man named Walker was just too hilarious! He turned to an elderly lady and said..." I'm going to spit out my gum just in case you wanna kiss me later.." hahahahah! And she was so happy! I think the younger generation needs to consider taking flirting lessons! Because it worked! :)
We also met with a less active lady who hasn't been to church because she was offended... We saw her... with BIG ol' grins on our faces we said "HOW ARE YOU!!! IT'S SO GOOD TO SEE YOU!!! :)"
With a grouchy scowl she roared "SICK!"
With deep concern in our hearts we then asked her " Is there anything we can do?"
Haha this is where it gets good "YES. You can walk my dog. Now go away."
Haha Wow. We did walk her dog and it helped us talk to people because they wanted to pet this cute dog, but it was crazy how grouchy this lady was. I made it another goal to only get smile wrinkles when I'm older!!! :)
OHHH!! and Dad, I met a guy who spoke in tongues..... it was so strange! Hahaha He said he wanted to be a missionary for us and he just started off speaking a bunch of gibberish! haha And doing a really weird dance...sighhh I LOOVE the hilarious things I see each day! NEVER think you have seen it all... because I can promise you... You haven't haha! :)
We have a little boy who has a really hard family life. His name is Giani, and he will get baptized next week! And it was hard because it almost seemed like his grandma was forcing him... so I wasn't sure if he really wanted to, or if he was ready! So I started asking about his baptism, like why he wants to get baptized and so on.. And he was SO sweet!! This kid, who has gone through more than anyone I know... said " Sister Collings I NEED the Holy Ghost to help me." And then after the lesson he ran up to me and he was like " SISTER COLLINGS!! I was thinking after I'm baptized I want to keep taking these lessons! Is that ok?" I was so happy that my prayers were answered, and that I really could see the intent in this lost rambunctious little boy! I feel so blessed to be working with Giani! And I know that the Holy ghost really can help him after his baptism! It will give him a light to hold onto inside his dark home.
THEN! We saw another miralce this week. We have an investigator who's name is Leslie and she is so independent, she won't take help from anyone! She's 80 years old, needs a hip replacement.. and hasn't showered in months because she can't... she really does need to be in a home getting help, but she has full custody of her 3 grand kids... and 2 of them have cystic fibrosis. So she has so much going on! Well we were determined to help them!! And so we showed up in our service clothes and she was so embarrassed because she had tried to cut her hair, but she shakes so much it looked really bad!!!! Well I told her that I could cut her hair! And she was almost in tears... now I am so thankful that I am kind of confident behind scissors! Because I have cut Erin's hair so much! And my own.... hahah. Well I just prayed in my heart that I could help her, and so I'm pretty sure God did the hair cutting because I didn't know what I was doing! But Leslie looked SO GOOD afterwards :) So then we offered to clean her bathroom! And she was hesitant! But we talked her into it :) I told her we could just clean the mirror because that was easy... Well we were so sneaky and fast because we cleaned the WHOLE BATHROOM! And the grand kids told us they want to come to church! And her oldest grand kid said he would be interested in coming to scouts!!!! MIRACLE!! Her heart is being softened! She wouldn't let us talk to her grand kids and now she is letting us serve her and take them to church! :)
Gonzalo G is probably my favorite person to teach... because he just LOVES EVERYTHING!! His first lesson he came to church and it was the law of chastity! We were scared... but he even commented in the lesson! Well those RM's completely fellowshipped him! And they talk all the time. He is so excited for this change in his life!! But those RM's... Remember how great I said they were? Well just imagine how comical it is... me and my companion with 2 RM's teaching Gonzalo! hahaha They just get so excited to share their testimony and knowledge! It made me think that you know... this mission doesn't last forever! And I could see in their eyes how much they missed it!! I don't want that day to come!!! I don't want this to end!! :)
One more miracle I had... I was praying for a confirmation that God was proud of me! Because if he is proud of what I am doing... then all the negative thoughts that I get at times about myself, don't matter! Well President Castro is about to go home, so we had our goodbye interviews with him! AND HE ANSWERED MY PRAYERS! He was able to tell me how proud he was of me and what he saw in me! Potential in this mission, and after this mission! I sure love my mission president I will be sad to see him go! BUT I feel blessed that I get to have another one!! :) Who is from UTAH! :):)
In my studies, I was reading in Mormon! Where Moroni is struggling... mostly because his heart is sad because he is the ONLY one that believes the truth, and he has to lead and army of wicked people. BUT I LOVE some of his counsel! He said " And may the lord Jesus Christ grant that their prayers may be answered according to their faith."
I know that is why Giani is excited about his baptism.
I know that is why Leslie's heart is being softened.
I KNOW that is why we were able to find amazing fellowship for Gonzalo!
Prayers of faith work! They grow our faith! And faith is Power! We can do ALL things with faith :) I know that to be true :)
ONE more thought: I KNOW now why missions are so hard! It's because he need to go through everything our investigators are going through so that we rely on the atonement daily, so we can help THEM rely on the atonement daily.
I feel alone at times. They feel alone, they are waiting for an answer and at times have to get rid of their old friends.
I have to adjust to a CRAZY mission schedule. They have to adjust to a NEW "crazy awesome" life.
I cannot see the ones I love the most. They can't do the things they used to love the most.
Sighh... I could go on and on! BUt I am so thankful for this week :) I LOVE you all!!!! And I hope DAD, you have a SUPER HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!! :):):)
Yay!! I do know Karley and Tawney! I am so happy for them :)
Have a great week!
-Sister Kaylea Collings