Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013


I'm not being transferred. I will receive my new companion this Wednesday. This past week has been a week from crazy town. We have been going back and forth between our two areas. Yes, I got the call from the ATM Office and almost had a heart attack thinking it was President. Thank goodness it was just Sister Niesonwolt asking for my address. We've been staying at my place at night because 1. the beds are wayyy nicer and 10 times more comfortable 2. my place is actually clean. The other sister's apartment was disgusting. Ick. It drove me insane to be there. Yesterday during our dinner time, since our dinner had to cancel since they were sick, I helped her clean the apartment. It was much needed and now I can actually go there without having to watch where I step....

We actually got a lot done considering we were working both of our areas and we work very well together. I'm kinda nervous for my new companion since I don't know who it will be. At least I'm staying in this area. I'm excited for Alex's baptism on March 2nd and I'm praying Michael will see the importance of being baptized right now. We did have a lesson with him last Wednesday with at our ward mission leaders house. The lesson went really well. Michael's two daughters were there as well, so we went over the Restoration with the emphasis on blessings from following God's commandments. We related Nephi's story of getting the plates of brass and how faithful he was in trusting in the Lord everything would work out. We were being pretty bold without being overbearing. Brother Johnson's family was amazing at participating and helping with the lesson. We could see Michael thinking about being baptized,but we didn't feel like we should extend the baptismal invitation. We're praying we will be able to start teaching Michael's daughters and put Michael on date to be baptized. When Micheal realizes he wants to be baptized then he will make it happen. We can start to see the change in him since just our first 'real' lesson with him a week ago. We have a lesson set up with him this Friday. I'm so excited for Michael to have the blessings of eternal life and to be with his wife forever.

Yesterday was the Mission President's Devotional. This is geared towards new members and those who are learning. I had invited Alex and Michael. Also Sherry who got baptized on January 1st. Two hours before we found out Alex wasn't coming and then Michael texted us saying his daughter was feeling sick, so he might not be able to go. Sherry said she was definitely going and Sister Caldwell's investigator was also going. We can only go to this devotional if we are bringing someone with us. Michael texts us an hour before saying he can't go. Ok, so we still have Sherry and Sydney going. We get to the building in Tempe (we have to have a member drive us since we can't drive our car there) and are waiting for them to show up. Sydney texts Sister Caldwell saying something came up and the meeting has already started. It's 7:15 and Sherry still hasn't shown up, which is very unlike her. I call her and find out she had fallen asleep. So we can to go home. I felt so bad for the member who had to drive us. Satan does everything in his power to get people to not do the things which will help them grow closer to Christ. It's so sad. At least this month I had investigators were planning on going! There's always next month!
It's exciting to start another transfer and I know this next one will be great!  I love this gospel and I love being on a mission. It's crazy how much the time is flying by- I'm on my third transfer! 

It's great to hear from all of you and love you!!!

Sister Collins

Sis. Caldwell and Sis. Collins (temporary companions for one week)

They made mustaches for fun at a District Meeting

Monday, February 11, 2013

This past week has been interesting since it's Sister Farthing's last week- trunky companions really are interesting to work with.

This week we were randomly called by a less- active lady who announced to us that her son, Alex, wanted to be baptized on March 2nd! Alex had been meeting with missionaries on and off for the past year and a half. First the Sisters taught him and then the Elders. He hasn't been taught in the past 6 months and had had a baptismal date, but he fell off date. His parents didn't want him to be baptized, but now they are on board!
We went over there that very day to talk with Alex about the qualifications of baptism and how we are going to help him prepare. He has been coming to church on and off, but yesterday he came! We explained that he has to come to church all three Sunday's before his baptism in order to be qualified and to review the lessons. We're so excited to be teaching him and to help him progress. The only concern is that we're worried he's only being baptized for the social reasons, not necessarily because he has a testimony of the restored gospel. The young men's president in this ward already has the relationship with him and is being a great support to him. Alex hadn't ever read the Book of Mormon outside of when the missionaries would read it during the lessons, so we invited him to read every day and to pray about it's truthfulness. The young men's president made an arrangement with him to call him every night at 9 and discuss with Alex what he had read. It really makes a difference when you have great fellowship who are willing and ready to help.

We also finally were able to teach Michael a REAL lesson! We brought a girl with us who is preparing to go on a mission because Michael is a single father. We have had only door-step lessons because we can't go inside and when we do schedule a lesson, he always cancels because he's super busy with two daughters. Right after the opening prayer, Michael was like, "I want to be baptized, BUT (my heart sunk after this awful word) my family is really against me being baptized, so I'm going to wait for at least two years." WHAT?! Come to find out that is deceased wife was really against Mormons (Michael has wanted to be baptized for TWENTY years), his parents, and in-laws are against Mormons. He just kept on saying how the Lord is patient (yes He is) and will wait for him. TWENTY YEARS! That's crazy! Michael is so prepared it's insane. We taught him the Restoration and during the whole thing he was like "yes, I believe it" to everything we taught. He's a golden investigator- he already believes in everything, he just doesn't want to cause a rift in his family. I shared dad's experience and how his family didn't understand either and now they have softened. Brother Johnson, his neighbor, is also a convert and we're having the next lesson at his house with Michael and his two girls. We are praying that Michael will understand the "Come Follow Me" doesn't say "Come Follow Me later, or Come Follow Me in two years". It means "Come Follow Me" Now and I will bless you for it. I testified of how the gospel has blessed my life and how my trials seem bearable because I know Heavenly Father is there helping me. "Life is hard with or without the Gospel, which one will you choose?" I'm praying that our lesson this Wednesday will help Michael to see how having the gospel now will bless his life.

This next week is going to be from crazy town. Sister Farthing leaves on Wednesday. Today another sister who's going home on Wednesday and Sister Farthing are going into Tempe to have dinner with President and Sister Howes. Then they are having interviews. I am going to have another girl who's leaving for his mission in 2 weeks come be my companion from 3-8:30 when we have to go pick up Sister Farthing. On Wednesday Sister Farthing leaves for Tempe at 2:30 and Sister Caldwell (the companion of the other sister who's leaving on Wednesday) and I are going to be companions until the transfer is up- next Wednesday. So we are going to be covering two areas at once. We have already planned for this coming week and decided when we're going to be in what area and scheduling appointments and so on. I find out on Sunday whether or not I'm being transferred! There are 7 Sisters going home and only 2 coming in, so sisters areas will have to be closed. I'm worried that my area will be closed because it's had sisters for a long time- since 2009.

Anyways, I've been reading the Book of Mormon. I'm reading in 3 Nephi and also in 2 Nephi 25-31. Reading both at the same time has confirmed that the Book of Mormon is a chiasm. No man could write such an intricate story plot with out the help from God. I love the quote by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so." I love the Book of Mormon and I love testifying of it's truthfulness. I know that Joseph Smith restored the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love being a missionary and I can't believe that it's been just over 3 months since I went into the MTC.


Sister Collins

Sis. Farthing and Sis. Collins

 Her District

Monday, February 4, 2013

This week has been a week of continuing finding people. We have met with some of the families in our wards- teaching them the Doctrine of Christ and then having them apply it to the importance of missionary work. We have been preparing the "soil" here. The fire of missionary work is slowly being built. We both bore our testimonies in Fast and Testimony Meeting in all of our wards yesterday. Hopefully the people that we haven't had the chance of meeting will refer their friends after seeing how strong our testimonies are. We can only have faith and pray. We have had the impression that the reason why missionary work isn't really going forward is because the members have to do the finding and we teach. The people that we find end up not enduring to the end of taking the lessons. Member referrals are a lot more solid.  
We were OYMing at a park near by and we started talking to this man. It ended up that he was a member and was setting up for a Stake Youth Fireside that evening from another stake close by. He was invited us to come back and while we were talking to people in the park to invite them over to the Fireside. We came back after dinner and as we were walking up we heard this man talking. "Earlier today I was walking out of the bathroom and three woman started to talk to me. Trying to convert me. They were the missionaries with a girl that was going on her mission in two weeks! One was from Chicago and the other was from New Zealand..." Perfect timing! As were were walking up as he's saying this people start turning around and asking us if he was talking about us. The man talking asked if we were there and people started clapping and looked at us. We're Celebrities! lol. They started singing their opening song so we went to go OYM to some men playing volleyball. We walked all around the park talking to people and inviting them to go to the fireside and also the usual invitations that we give. After they had ended and we were just finishing our round of the park, the man came up to us and said "I had invited you both to bare your testimonies, but you were talking to the men at the volleyball net! That was a lot more important than talking to us."  We were disappointed that we weren't able to address the youth, but we did have several youth come up to us and give us referrals of their friends. It was a great night.
We had a lesson with Mathi last week where he dropped us. He is not ready to take the next steps. We think the reason is partially  living with his son who does not like us coming over and that he's not ready. We have his address in India, so we will refer the missionaries over there once Mathi gets back to India. If he does join the church, it will be at  his own house. Thank you for your letter, Dad. It was exactly what we needed to hear even though the letter came two days after we had dropped him. I am not discouraged- I look forward to finding those people who really are ready and interested in learning.
We now only have one semi investigator- Michael. He's a single father so it's really hard to meet with him because we can't go inside without another female and he keeps on canceling appointments. His neighbor is the Ward Mission Leader in the ward. We have both been working separately with Michael and now we are working together. We feel that the reason why Michael keeps on canceling the appointments is because he doesn't realize our purpose as missionaries and doesn't have us as a priority. He's thanked us for being persistent and asks us to continue. It's been a tough time for him because his wife had just passed away a year ago and he has two daughters. We are looking forward this week to start teaching him properly.
Sister Farthing is going home a week earlier than the transfer because she starts school the week that she goes back. It's a long flight back to New Zealand. I still don't know what I'm going to be doing or where I'm going to be during that time that she leaves early. There is another Sister who's going back to her mission at the Salt Lake City Vistor's Center at the same time, and her area boarders ours. So I might be companions with the other Sister and most likely we'll be covering two areas for a week- at least we're close by. I'll know by Monday- hopefully!!

I read Helaman 13-15 and 2 Nephi 22-24 today for part of my personal study. Samuel the Lamanite is preaching to the wicked Nephites about how righteous the Lamanites are at this time and the coming of Christ. In 2 Nephi, Isaiah is foretelling about the Second Coming. While reading these chapters, I was pondering the Second Coming of Christ and how I want to be prepared. We don't know when He's going to come, but we sure do not want to be destroyed before He does come. I want to be part of the group in 3 Nephi that meets Christ because they were more righteous. The Nephites knew that in 5 years He would be born and the majority of them did not believe Samuel that He would. These are wonderful chapters and I can not wait to read about Christ coming to the America's in 3 Nephi. Let us continue to Endure to the End so that we can be worthy to live with Heavenly Father again.
Sister Collins