Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hi Family!!

Mom, thank you so much for your package and letter! The popcorn and orange slices are delicious. :) Sister Farthing started getting sick two days ago so we have been doing half days of being outside. I've been updating and Area Book and calling people. 

For two days this week we had Zone Conference. It was a great experience and they taught about the 8 Fundamentals. It was a great two days to be taught by President, his wife, and the Assistants to the President. I learned so much about how to be a more effective teacher. It renewed my sense of why I am here and how I can continually improve to make myself better. I came away with inspiration for our current investigators and how to improve. 

This week we taught Mathi. He opened up by telling us that while he had been sick for three days he had been praying to God about if the church is true. He said that he had the thought to just look to Christ and nothing else matters. Our hearts dropped. We applied everything that we had just learned in the past two days. Unfortunately our members that were there were not assets. More like liabilities which was unfortunate. I tried to listen to the spirit and to ask inspired questions. Despite everything, we helped Mathi come to realize what he still needed to do in order to receive an answer from Heavenly Father. He hasn't come to church in all of the time that we've been teaching him. I felt very strongly that this was the reason that he has not yet received an answer to his prayers even though he has read the Book of Mormon twice and is reading it for a third time. He did not come to church yesterday because of an Indian Festival that was happening all day. We are hoping and praying that he will come to church week. It seems to be that his son that he is visiting does not want him to come to church, so they always plan family outings on Sunday. Mathi said that if he receives an answer that the church is true then he would be baptized. At least we know that the intent is there. 

We've been going to member's houses and giving a missionary message. We share 2 Nephi 31:19-21 and talk about what people they know that are missing the qualifications of receiving Eternal Life. We're trying to instill the desire to do missionary work in this area. 

Since I've been in this area, we have been finding many people who are interested, but they do not live in our area. So we have to give a referral for the other missionaries. This happens at least twice a week. I started praying on Thursday night that we would find people that were interested that lived in our area. On Friday we were at the park talking to people and we talked to this women and her family. it was the first day that they had been out of the house in a week since they have all been sick. When we shared how the gospel has blessed our lives, she said that they're Catholic, but they have an open mind. Coincidence? We think not. I know that my prayers were answered. Specific prayers receive specific answers. We're excited to teach them this coming week. We also met a young man on the street named Moses and we have an appointment set up this Tuesday. 

I love being a missionary and everything that goes with it. I know that I go through trials to make me stronger. I know that this is where I need to be. I know that Christ is my Savior and knows me personally as He knows you. 


Sister Collins 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013 Happy MLK Day!!

Happy MLK Day!!

Today is a holiday and I didn't even know it until yesterday when our zone leaders texted us saying that the library was closed. This past week I was hit with the flu pretty hard, so we had to stay inside for most of the week. Which was hard since I knew we had so much to do, but I had to get over the sickness so we can work twice as hard this week. They say it's the worst flu epidemic this year. I hope that all of you are staying healthy! On Wednesday we were able to go to the Temple and that was a blessing to be able to go. Part of the Mesa Mission was also in our session and I met a sister who knew Sister Hamstead. Too bad that she wasn't there also! Yesterday we taught Relief Society in one of our wards since they asked us to. It was the first lesson in the Lorenzo Snow Teachings on "Learning by Faith". When they first asked us they said it was on Faith, so we were like this should be easy since we teach about faith almost everyday. Nope, we were wrong. The lesson was totally not what we thought it was on and if I hadn't been sick, I don't know how we could have planned for the lesson. It was a lot different from teaching faith in PMG. It went well though and we learned a lot from studying the lesson. Lorenzo Snow is a great example to me in learning by faith- having the spirit and preparing to listen to speakers. He said he had never been to a boring church meeting because he was always prepared to learn. We had excellent sacrament meetings on being anxiously engaged. We applied this in our member visits with doing missionary work. We have a lot of member visits set up this week to talk about missionary work and hopefully receive referrals. We met with two families yesterday and committed them to get to know their neighbors and to talk about religion in some way. It was great to see them excited to do missionary work! Yesterday we were OYMing at the Kohl's parking lot and it was hilarious! Now OYMing is just funny to me because of the different reactions that we get. Last night we had a funny one. We saw these two men walking out of the store and we started talking to them right when they were going to get into their car. One guy just looked stunned the whole time and slightly terrified and couldn't quite believe that we were talking to them. They of course declined our message and quickly jumped in the car. It was hilarious. Oh the joys that are found in being a missionary. We get that reaction a lot along with "don't come near me" look. It's quite entertaining and sad to think that people's hearts are that hard. I love being a missionary and finding those that are ready. We have a church tour set up on Saturday with a potential investigator and I'm excited about that. It will be my first church tour of my entire mission so far. :) We're still currently teaching people and trying to find those that are the elect and ready to hear the gospel. How cold is it there? It was really cold last week- 28 degrees- but now it's in the 70's which has been great! I'm not looking forward to the summer weather here...  Love you all! Sister Collins 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hiya Family!
On Saturday, January 12th, Katie was baptized and then confirmed on Sunday. She's 10 years old and her mom just started coming back to church. So they're doing well. I participated by giving the closing prayer. It was a great baptism and I'm so happy the ward came out and supported her. Having a baptism every week so far this January has been a wonderful start for the New Year.
We now have three investigators. I'm thinking that we will have more by the end of this coming week since many people couldn't meet last week, but set up appointments for this week. We called all of our former investigators that hadn't been contacted in the past three months and our potentials and tried to set up appointments. We also went and knocked on their doors. It's been quite a week. Mathi is still progressing and we taught him part of the Plan of Salvation and hope to take him to the visitor's center this week. Actually that day when we had his lesson was a little crazy. We had 3 lessons at the same time, so we had to organize splits. Sister Farthing went to Mathi's lesson. I went to Katie's last lesson before her baptism and then to Michael's lesson. This was all in a 30 minute period. Each lesson that I taught was 15 minutes and I literally had to run from the next appointment to the next. I also had different fellowships at each of the lessons, so it was like a hand off. lol. After both of my lessons were complete, I went to Mathi's house where we finished up the lesson there. Michael was a new investigator that we have finally been able to meet with. He had cancelled his lesson that we had set up for that day like 2 hours before, so we tried to find a time that we could quickly come by and it happened to be when the other lessons were. At least we're teaching him now! Rowena is also one of our new investigators who she was a potential that we've been trying to get a hold of for a while. We also received a referral during church and we're going to see the family today and hopefully be able to teach them. Also a family of four, William, a really nice lady named Rashada, and the others that we will find this week.
I know that the 7 elect investigators are out there and that we're starting to see the fruits of our labors. Apparently the entire stake is at a standstill as well. It isn't just our area. It seems like this past week was just preparing the "soil" for the next coming weeks. I'm beginning to learn how difficult our area is compared to other areas in our mission. I guess that the Tempe mission is the highest baptizing mission in Northern America apart from Utah. The richer areas are more closed than the poorer and the Spanish areas. I take the challenge. I know that this area has so much potential and I'm excited to be apart of it. :) We had a man in his talk yesterday encourage the members to talk to people and then give them over to us to teach. That was pretty neat- a shout out to us from the pulpit! Yeah! I'm looking forward with faith for this coming week and what it will bring.
I pray for you guys everyday and love each and everyone of you!
Sister Collins

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday, December 24, 2012


Also, I can't wait to talk to you tomorrow either through skype or phone. I received your packages and everyone else's packages-- I have the most packages received so far in my zone...oops! lol. I can't wait to open them! Being a missionary during the holiday season has been difficult since everyone is busy and keeps on canceling the appointments that they had with us. I thought that more people would be coming to church since it's Christmas. Nope! We had none of our investigators show up to church. I'm looking forward to January when things will have slowed down and people won't be so busy. Then we will teach so many people!This past Monday we had a neat experience. We were OYMing at 8pm at a shopping center's parking lot, Fry's (like Jewel), and we started talking to everyone that we saw. We started talking to this worker named Michael and asked if he would be interested in learning more. He said yes and said that we could teach him in 15 minutes when he had a break. Crazy! Never had that happen to us. So, we taught him the first lesson out in the parking lot and commited him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. We set up another lesson. He wanted to have the lesson that night after he got off work at 9pm, but since we have to be back at our apartment we couldn't. He then wanted us to come Tuesday at 1pm, but we were going to be at our mission Christmas party. It was so amazing to see how interested he was in meeting with us! We set up an appointment for Wednesday after we went to the Temple. I'll tell you more about him tomorrow.
Going to the Temple with my mission was such a neat experience. Wow. That many missionaries in one session. The spirit was so strong- especially since we're all prepared because we're serving the Lord 24/7. The Christmas party was so much fun! We first started with a spiritual program in the chapel. I'll tell you more tomorrow! Love, Sister Collins

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hi Family! This past week has definitely been an interesting week. Full of ups and downs. The high of the week was Sherry's baptism that was New Year's Day. It was so neat to participate and feel the spirit. What a way to ring in the new year, I'd say. I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost and the bishop in that ward said that I did very well. He also said that he turned to his councilor and said these are the type of missionaries that we have. :] I'm glad that it went well. Sherry, Sister Farthing, and I were all really nervous in the beginning so we had to step out and say a prayer. Sherry was just confirmed yesterday before the sacrament, so she's officially a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! Happy Day! I feel like Alma when he said that his joy is full because of bring some soul unto Christ.

The rest of the week so the interesting part. We went from 8 investigators to 1 with Sherry being baptized and now Katie being baptized this Saturday. Mathi, the Indian man, is progressing and it's amazing the changes that we're already seeing in him! He's read the Book of Mormon already twice in English and once in Tamil. He said that he doesn't think that it's the word of God- the same as the Bible. He's reading it again because in our lesson I asked him how he was reading the Book of Mormon. Was he just reading for the facts or listening with his heart? He admitted sheepishly that he had been reading just for the facts and we invited him to read with his heart and mind- to really focus on how he feels when he reads the Book of Mormon and we know that the Holy Ghost will manifest if he's sincere and prays with real intent. It was a powerful lesson. We are so glad for him and we hope that his family will join us. His wife and him are going back to India in April, so we're hoping to continue teaching him until then. His wife, Elfonz, is a very strong Catholic and they don't really speak English that well, but we get by.

It's sad that we had to drop a couple of investigators and got dropped by some investigators. It's been a faith promoting week for sure. I've been reading in Alma all of this week and the missionaries examples are faith building. I've gotten so many inspirations on how to teach people from applying how the missionaries teach. Reading the Book of Mormon has never applied so literally in my life. The Book of Mormon is filled with missionaries and how we bring people unto Christ. It's our own little handbook along with Preach My Gospel. I love it. The 30 minutes that I spend reading in the morning is my precious time that I have between myself and the Lord. My testimony of the Book of Mormon has never been stronger. I absolutely love the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the keystone to our religion and without reading it, we will never be converted. The less active people that we teach have a testimony, but they haven't been converted partly because they haven't read the Book of Mormon all of the way and took Mormoni's challenge in 10:3-5. It's really sad. I am so thankful that reading from the Book of Mormon was such a part of our family. I forgot to say congrats on finishing the Book of Mormon again!

We fasted and prayed yesterday for 9 new investigators this week that are prepared- that are the elect. Our past investigators were not the elect at this time. Which is really sad and we do still think about them, but they're not going to be our focus. I have the faith that we can accomplish this. We asked our Bishops and Ward Mission leaders to add this to their fast as well. I know that once we have the strength of the ward and they are putting in effort then we can accomplish this. We are going to work this week as we have never before. We've gone through our Area Book and prayerfully considered which formers we're going to go by and which past potentials are now ready. Craziness. The reason why 9 new investigators is because the Mission Standard is 10 investigators at all times. I know that their are people that are ready and we just need to find them. "The field is white and ready to harvest." I'm excited for this week and what it will bring.

For Christmas, I gave myself some green pants that I can wear on P-Day and a leopard prink cardigan :)


Sister Collins

Sis. Collins and Sis. Farthing

Their new pants

The missionaries in their District

Monday, December 31, 2012


I'm so glad that I got to talk and see you all last week on Christmas Day. I can't believe that Anne-Marie has braces and how tall Grant has gotten in just the few months that I've been away. Everyone is looking fabulous. :) Also, little Nathan has gotten so big- it was fun to see and talk to all of the extended family as well who were in Wisconsin.

This past week has been a little crazy with Christmas time and all. We caroled to our investigators that each companionship decided to go to that night because it was p-day. One of the Elders, Elder Poffenburger, can play the guitar so it added some pizazz to our singing. We caroled to one of our investigators, Sherry, and her husband. It was quite a fun night. Sherry then asked us to come back and sing to her mother-in-law on the 26th. So we went back as a district and sang. Sherry had asked for a blessing, so the Elders gave her a blessing and afterwards we were talking to Sherry about baptism. We put her on date for January 1st! We even had her baptism interview that night since our District Leader, Elder Heathcote, was there. It was a pretty amazing night. We sang, the Elders gave a blessing, and put Sherry on date! I'm so excited for her baptism that's tomorrow!! My first baptism on my mission! Sherry asked Sister Farthing and I to talk at her baptism. SO EXCITING!! Sherry asked Elder Heathcote to baptize her (he's going home on January 4th). It's going to be a great program! We also have Katie on date for January 12th and we're hoping to have Hailey on date soon.

We haven't been able to meet with Hailey for two weeks. No one seems to be available during the Holidays and a lot of people are out of town. I'm really looking forward to this week once everyone gets off of break and returns to normal life. We do have a new investigator, Royce. He's the father of one of the ward's recent converts, but he leaves this week to go back home. We're hoping that he continues with the missionaries there.

Dad, I ate dinner yesterday with a family and the father had been on his mission to Dallas, Texas when...... you were there with President Barton! He remembers you and even has some pictures of you. You were even in the mission newsletter, so he has that as well. Isn't that so trippy? He knows the Elders that taught you and remembers how you used to fix their bikes and you talking about your conversion story after you were converted. So crazy how you find those connections in the church. He's going to show me the things next Sunday since we didn't have time last night. I was thinking how awesome it would be to have one of the children of someone I baptize come to the mission where I'm living. It shows how many people you effect when you help them come unto Christ.

Today is p-day all day and at 6-9pm we get to watch How to Train Your Dragon as a zone. I'm looking forward to that and saying goodbye to the Elders that are going home this week and just being together as missionaries. It's amazing how fast friendships form when you have the same purpose and are focued. I'm so looking forward to seeing all of them after my mission.
I'm loving it here in Arizona and it seems so weird to think that I was doing so many other things before my mission. It's just so natural to be doing missionary work. My zone leader, Elder Miller, (he's going home this transfer as well) just informed me that he recommended me to train after this next transfer.... well I guess we'll see.

I'm learning how important members are in helping people be converted to the gospel. We need  the members help as missionaries. I would challenge you to pray to ask Heavenly Father who you know this week that the missionaries can teach in your home. One of the bishops in our wards is having us going around to meet with the youth and ask them this same thing. We haven't seen the fruits of our labors yet, but I'm sure that we'll see them soon. We've met with 5 youth so far and almost all of them have had someone already in their mind. Also we've been sharing 2 Nephi 31:19-21 as our message- The Doctrine of Christ. We've seen how this scripture has strengthened families. True doctrine strengthen's people.

On the 26th, one of our former investigators, Dax, called us out of the blue right when we had gotten home for the day. His son's mother had just passed away a few days before. We had dropped him a couple weeks ago because he hadn't been keeping appointments for weeks and didn't seem that interested. He had thought of us because he knew that we had answers that no one could give him about the afterlife. We gave him some scriptures to read and said that we would be praying for him. We went over the next day and talked to him about the Plan of Salvation. He said that the night before about 30 minutes after he had hung up with us that he felt a calmness and was able to stay calm when his son was crying. I know that Dax needs the gospel right now in his life and it's amazing to me how the Lord works. Heavenly Father knows everyone individually and He works in mysterious ways. His son is 6 and we had invited Dax again to come to church that coming Sunday (yesterday) and he said yes he would love to go. We were so excited because he finally sounded sincere that he was going to come. We had Sherry come to church in one of our wards and then Hailey from another ward. Dax is in Hailey's ward, so we left her with her fellowship and went to go wait for Dax. We waited and waited. It was 10:10 and he still wasn't at church. We called him and we had sent him a reminder text earlier. We decided to go to his house and see what was up. He had just woken up when we got there and we were like Dax! We're saving you seats at church and we wanted to see if everything was alright. I guess he hadn't slept that night and had his excuses. We still told him that he could come and he said that he would try since he had to fix something before. He didn't come to church yesterday, but we have other lessons set up with him this week and I'm sure that he'll come next week. I'm excited for him and his son to see how the gospel can bless their lives.

The work is progressing and I'm hoping that it will start to really take off these next couple weeks.

Till next week. Love you all!

Sister Collins

An Arizona Sunset

Elder Collins (her Zone Leader) and Sis. Collins

 A Christmas Cactus!

 A scorpian (light brown in the middle of the picture)

 Sis. Collins and Sis. Farthing outside the Mesa Arizona Temple

 An Arizona snowman

 On her bike

Lauren with the missionaries from her district