Monday, February 23, 2015

Kaylea's a POET!

Hello! One thing I love about mission life is that you ALWAYS need to expect the unexpected! So this week was a Roller Coaster! Incredible highs, and incredible LOWS... Lots of praying and lots of frozen yogurt! One thing I know is that Christ is my Savior, and I reflected on that over and over this whole week through incredible personal experiences, and also powerful lessons with my investigators.  So I wrote a poem this week! I have written poems throughout my whole mission!

This is poem #20

How can we know that the living Christ lives?
That we may live again, through his mercy gives.
I was not in Bethlehem or on Calvary
But somehow in someway it's He who sets me free.
I know He lives! I can feel it in my heart,
His love lifts me up when I fall apart.
I know He lives! I can feel it on my knees
When forgiveness is asked, I'm healed through my pleas.
I know He lives! When my fuel is on low
He aids me with motivation for my harvest to sow.
I know He lives! Because when I'm rejected it's Him who carries me,
Helps me to feel the gospel's worth that others cannot see.
I know He lives! Because he took a girl like me
And changed me  into something more than I ever thought I'd be.
I know He lives! Because when I testify
I get all choked up, and my tears begin to fly.
I know He lives! He doesn't just change me,
But offers himself to anyone  who will just believe.
We can all know that the living Christ lives.
We will all live again, His mercy He freely gives!

I am doing great! I am recognizing the Lord's hand in this work more and more! I was able to take a Sister on exchanges this week and we walked ALL day long! In our mission, we try to get 5 new investigators a week! As we hit the pavement and went to work, we were able to teach 10 other lessons and get 5 new investigators! We saw miracles the whole day! From praying with an Atheist, to  getting into less actives homes that were supposed to be"impossible". We walked under highways, up driveways and out in the sun all day! In this area we have 14 people in our teaching pool! And they are all doing great! We are dealing with alcohol problems, and it seems like Satan's getting in the way,  but!! we keep working and praying! We were able to go to a devotional that was SWEET! A man from Texas has Hyrum, Joesph, and Samuel Smith's original copies of the Book of Mormon!! He does devotionals all over the place, but he read us different things they had written in their scriptures it was sweet!!

Mom here, Kaylea asked me to send her some questions to answer, so here goes...

You are a sister training leader, how many days a week do you usually spend visiting the other sisters? We call them everyday! To uplift them and inspire them! Then we normally go on 1-2 exchanges a week where we switch companions for a day and work with them :)

How often do you have leadership meetings you have to attend? We have 2 a month! One for all the leadership in the mission, and then one with all the sister training leaders, where we plan what inspired message we will share with the sisters we go on exchanges with that month to help them to enjoy the work and to work hard!

What is your latest apartment like?  We use to have another set of hermanas living with us, but they got transferred! It's 2 bedroom 2 bathroom!! Which is awesome because we can get ready at the SAME time!! And not take turns to shower... We are teaching someone in our same apartment complex! So it's funny, we run into her a lot! But we leave lots of sticky notes on her door :)

Is it just you and your companion at your apartment? Yes :)

Do you cook, or are you mostly fed? We have dinner with a member every single night! And before we leave we share a message with the family to encourage them to do missionary work! In fact, we try and visit 3 ward members a day to get them to give us referrals, and also to support them and share messages to have them share the gospel!

What is your favorite thing about California? Its so green and BEAUTIFUL! Especially with all the rain we have been getting! And the sunsets and sun rises... are incredible!!! The sky here is 5x's bigger than in Utah!

Any new foods you've had on your mission? Favorite food, and least favorite food. We had a lady make homemade goat cheese cake and cow tongue tacos... And in most areas, everyone is pretty professional at cooking. Every meal is a 6 course dinner! So I like them all!! But we get dessert EVERY night... So that's where I can blame my weight gain ;)

How is your "Mermaid" hair? Well..... I let a member cut it :( And...its about the length it was when I left but no split ends!! Which is good ;) But I only cry in the morning while doing it! Other than that, I love it!

Do you run? Every morning!! :) In fact, I',m down to 130 pounds again!! Which is nice!!! :) We even have a pull up bar on the running trail we go on and we do pull ups... So I'm getting ripped! I even put Conman to shame with my muscles :)

What has been your favorite day on your mission? Probably... Every morning when I wake up and I realize I'm still a missionary! Its a HUGE relief.  Every day's my favorite! You will hear all my stories soon enough  :)

What is something that has surprised you the most about being away for 18 months? Hmm... first thing I thought of was.. I am shocked how many atheists there are! It blows my mind! And I never realized how modest Mormons are until I got to see California's nudity haha!

Do you know I love you!!!? yes :)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Short and Sweet

Hello! This week was such a blessing! We were able to feel the spirit so much this week! I went on 2 exchanges one with Sister B, and then with Sister H!!!

With Sister B it was incredible because at the end of the exchange she told me that she has been praying for weeks about different questions and concerns she had, and she said that during our day together, I helped address ALL of her concerns, through my example and the things the spirit told me to say! It was SO cool to be able to follow the spirit to help her!

And Sister H is a power house. She is doing incredible! Seriously from when I trained her, she is a new person! We were able to have a BUSY day! And taught lots of lessons!

We had our investigator, Sarah, try to drop us this week and we felt impressed to stop by and see what's been happening! We taught her, and she felt the spirit and said she wants to keep meeting with us... and SHE CAME TO CHURCH THIS WEEK!

I am just so grateful for this mission.


love, Sister Kaylea Collings!

Monday, February 9, 2015

List of things I've learned on my Mission

What a week it has been!! We taught our investigator Sarah the plan of salvation and she was in tears!! She just had her mom's boyfriend die, so we were able to bring her a lot of peace! We also taught Danny and now he wants to stop drinking alcohol! :) At the missionary leadership council this week, I have a few favorite quotes! :D

"Magnify your calling don't just tend it"
"Work smarter not harder"

I was able to go on exchanges with Sister B which was SUPER fun :) We worked SO hard! Had a productive day! We were able to receive 4 awesome referrals and teach 7 other lessons, AND sing love songs at a retirement home with the Activity Day Girls for Valentine's Day! I felt REALLY awkward, but it was nice when we sang "Love one another".

I am thankful for this mission and the things I have been able to learn. The list goes on and on, but here is a small preview:

1. I trust Father in heaven!
2. I know how to rely on the Savior and use the atonement daily.
3. I am not an exception
4. I know my worth
5. I am able to be guided by the Holy Ghost
6. I know how to receive personal revelation
7. I know what's expected of me to obtain eternal life in the Celestial Kingdom
8. I know that GOD speaks to me personally through the Book of Mormon and the Bible
9. I know how to progress
10. I know how to be happy
11. I know how to repent and change
12. I know how to receive light
13. I know how to let go of pride
14. I know how to help others
15. I know how to show Heavenly Father I love him

I am being stretched a lot this transfer! And I feel overwhelmed with the timing of everything! I was on the verge of tears all week, not because things were bad, I just never want to leave this mission! It's been a huge refiners fire, and I will never be able to repay Father in Heaven for everything he has done for me! I Love this mission :)

Love, Sister Collings 

 Kitty photo bomb!

 Teaching Ronald Reagan
 Ronald Reagan Library
 How I teach people in California! It was broadcast!
 Walking with President Reagan!
 Fun at the apartment
 My companion did my makeup... haha! Show stoppin'
 How i really felt with all that makeup! hahah I'm so homely now.... 
Exchanges in Thousand Oaks!

Wearing an investigator's wig!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

I should be a plumber!

The work is overwhelming in this area, we have so many investigators and so many less actives we are teaching!! It's incredible! A lot of them have crazy stories! And I found myself feeling.... overwhelmed... just so much compassion fatigue! We have 3 new investigators! Danny, Reuben and Sarah! All of them we taught and testified our little hearts out, and it was just incredible the spirit we felt as we taught them! Sarah kept saying how amazing the timing has been! 2 sister missionaries gave her a card, and then she went on and requested us to come visit her! And we did, and she was SO excited! She said she just had a friend that told her to go on a spiritual journey! She wasn't expecting that the journey would just come knocking on her door!! :)

 We had members ask us if we would teach them about forgiveness! I felt prompted to tell them about my God box that I made while I was in Goleta! I have a box that when I need extra help from God, I write him a note, and after all I can do, I put it in the box and believe it or not, He takes care of it for me :) So really it's a box full of miracles! We asked them to make one together, and the other night they came running to us saying they made one out of a shoe box, and how it's been helping them :) It's a simple thing, but I could see their burdens already getting lighter!

We have one progressing investigator who has a problem with men. So she doesn't like that the church is run by men! Well it was incredible because we testified that the whole purpose of apostles is to testify of Christ, and to invite us to come closer to him. And we watched " hope you know we had a hard time" Mormon message, and read the Living Christ together! The spirit was powerful and I could see her opinion change about the apostles.

We did some service for our investigators, we used a snake to unclog the rain gutters! And it was so satisfying to clean it out! And to see flowing water with out junk pouring out of the gutter! I think I am considering being a plumber! :)

On a cool note, we are teaching Brother W who is the bass player for a band! They are so great! We are trying to get them to the temple! :)

This quote screamed out my name this week "If you want to talk to God, pray. If you want God to talk to you, read your scriptures."

I'm obsessed! That's how my week has been! I just constantly want to  pray all the time, all day and night for the welfare of anyone and everyone I see! Maybe I'm getting into crazy mode, but my favorite thing to do while we drive is to pray for the people that pass me in their cars. Sigh... I just LOVE prayer!! And I was feeling overwhelmed with all the CRAZY stories of everyone we teach. Then i read Moroni 9:25,  I don't need to be weighed down by what the people here are going through! But be grateful that they have Christ to lift them up, and that He can help them :) And the hope of his glory and eternal life is resting in my mind forever. So I am at peace once again! :) Such a good week!!!

Love you ALL!!!
Love, Sister Kaylea Collings!!