Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

HOLY MOLY and Happy Easter!!!

Sooooooooo...transfers are this week, Wednesday. This transfer was shortened just a week because of the MTC schedule was changed from 3 weeks to 2 weeks. I'M WHITEWASH TRAINING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Holy Cow! I'm training AND whitewashing. I feel so inadequate. When President called me to extend the calling of training, I was in shock. I was like, "Me?" I thought for sure the call was for Sister Allred, who's the senior companion. Nope, it was for me. President just laughed and said, "Yes, this call was for you, Sister Collins." Usually when you train, you stay in your area because it's a lot harder to train and be in a new area. Then my District Leader called me to say that not only was a training, but I was whitewashing. So I'm not going to be staying in my area. I'm going to be going in a completely different area with a newbie straight from the MTC. I'm still in shock. I couldn't fall asleep last night because the words, "whitewash training" were reverberating through my head. I finally had to take Night Quill to fall asleep. I wish the transfer calls didn't come so late at night (transfer calls can go until midnight. President calls all of the leadership first from about 9-10pm; zone leaders, district leaders, and trainers. My District Leader called at 11 to tell us all of the other transfer details of the zone.) My address will not be the same. You can change my address on the ward bulletin to the Tempe, AZ Mission Office so you don't have the possibility of having to keep switching it every 6 weeks.
It's bittersweet to have to be leaving this area. I've grown to love the people here in this area. I'm going to miss Sherry and Katie and all of those we're teaching. We've been having some great miracles in just the past couple of weeks and especially just yesterday. We've been working with some part member families in one of our wards. Our ward mission leader just asked the husband of one of the families if he wanted to take the lessons from us. He said yes! He's been coming to church with his wife since they got married in November. I'm so happy for him!
We're going with Michael is going to the Easter Pageant on Friday! I'm so happy for Sister Allred and her new companion who get to go!
Also another family, the husband is not a member and we're going to ask him if he'd like to take the lessons this week. They also said we could go to the Easter Pageant with them on Thursday. His parents from MN have been here, who aren't members also, who are going to be going to the Easter Pageant as well. 
Another miracle was that the oldest daughter of the before mentioned family had married the neighbor across the street who's not a member. We were referred to this family and we asked them if they would like to learn more about the gospel. The mother said yes! We have a new investigator as of last night! So exciting! Things are starting to happen in the area and I couldn't be happier. It had it a long time coming. I just wish I could be here to see the fruits of my labors over the past 3.5 months, but the Lord knows better than I do. I have been telling this to myself since last night and I do believe it. I'm excited to see where my new area is and what it will bring. I'm sure there will be many MANY more adventures and I'm looking forward to them.
I am looking forward to my Easter package and letterS :] Happy Easter and may we remember the true meaning of Easter- Christ's Resurrection. Christ has been Resurrected and lives. I love the hymn "I Know My Redeemer Lives." One of my favorite scriptures of the Savior is Isaiah 1:18.
Love you all!! Thank you for your prayers and support.
Sister Collins

(I will find out her new address on Wednesday and will send an email out to everyone.)
P.S. Here's the Arizona poem:
The devil wanted a place on earth,
Sort of a summer home;
A place to spend his vacation
Whenever he wanted to roam.
So he picked out Arizona,
A place both wretched and rough.
Here the climate was to his living
And the cowboys were hardened and tough.
He dried up the streams in the canyons
And ordered no rain to fall;
He dried up the lakes and the valleys,
Then baked and scorched it all.
Then over his barren desert
He transplanted shrubs from Hell;
The cactus, thistle, and prickly pear-
The climate suited them well.
Now, the home was much to his liking,
But animal life, he had non,
So he created crawling creatures
That all mankind would shun
First, he made the Rattlesnake
With its forked poisonous tongue;
Taught it to strike and rattle
And how to swallow its young.
Then he made Scorpions and Lizards
And the ugly old Horned Toad
He placed Spiders of every description
Under the rocks by the side of the road.
Then he ordered the sun to shine hotter,
Hotter and hotter still
Until even the cactus wilted
And the old Horned Toad looked ill.
Then he gazed on his earthly kingdom
As any creator would
He chuckled a little up his sleeve
And admitted that it was good.
"Twas summer now and Satan lay
By a prickly pear to rest.
The sweat rolled off his swarthy brow,
So he took off his coat and vest.
"By golly," he finally panted,
"I did my job too well.
I'm going back where I came from
Arizona is hotter than Hell."

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Belated St. Patrick's Day!

Arizona is hot!! It's been in the 90's all this past week. "Luckily", it's going to "cool down" and get into the 80's this next week. It's never been this hot so early before in Arizona. Lucky me. lol. I'm not looking forward to the summer at all. They call the 80's and 90's the spring time weather. Not a good sign. My companion gave me a poem about the Arizona heat which I will type up next week. It's pretty funny.
We had Diahann and Nate drop us because "they were comfortable with their church right now". It was a sad day because they canceled 15 minutes before and they hadn't given it a chance. They hadn't read the Book of Mormon or come to church. It's sad when people dismiss it before they're really read the fruits of the gospel and did everything possible to look into the church.
But! After they canceled, when had a lesson with Michael and his daughters were there, so we now have them as investigators! We lost two and then picked up two. The only thing is now we have all of our eggs in one basket- they're our only investigators right now. They haven't come to church yet because of various excuses. Michael's daughter is really sick right now and had been in the hospital. One thing after another keep on happening to Michael. If he'd only realize that the gospel can lessen the pain and help protect him from the storm than waiting until after these trials to make more of an effort. There's only so much we can do. Agency has a major part in the work. Which sometimes frustrates me.
The Easter Pageant is coming up this week and we can only go with an investigator. Since Michael doesn't seem like he'll be going to the Easter Pageant, I had been praying that we would have new investigators so partly we could go to the Easter Pageant since this is my only chance to go. We had a zone fast on Friday for our baptismal goal for this month. On the same day, we had our interviews with President and training from the zone leaders, the fleet coordinator, the housing coordinators, and Sister Howes. Sister Howes said someone in our Area Book who had been taught the gospel (former investigators) is ready to be baptized. She asked us to prayerfully go through those names and then go by them.
We went to a part member family we've been trying to contact since I got here with no success. They finally opened the door on Friday night and we set up an appointment to teach them. They had been taught and even had baptismal dates, but had backed out. We have an appointment with them tonight. Happy Day! That same day we stopped by a less-active family and they let us in also! We celebrated with them there son's birthday and shared a message. They came to church yesterday.
So Saturday night we prayerfully went through the names and then planned them in for yesterday, Sunday. Yesterday we went by them after church. Most of the people weren't home and those we did talk to said they were not interested. So we moved on. The last door we knocked on was a lady's name of Pauline. She opened the door and said "Sisters! I'm so glad you came by! We need to set up an appointment for this next week to meet!" We were just astonded. We set up an appointment and then invited her to the Easter Pageant and set up a day to go with them to the Easter Pageant! It was a miracle- direct answer to my prayer and fast!
My testimony has been strenthened this week of the power of fasting and prayer. Faith is a major element when fasting. I have been studying a lot about faith this past couple of weeks. The Brother of Jared is a great example of faith- he saw Christ because his faith was so great. God is a God of miracles and He cares about each one of us. He is aware of each of us and knows us personally. We watched Elder Holland's "Missionary Work and the Atonement', which really struck me. Christ has been through what I'm going through right now. As missionaries we need to be shoulder to shoulder with Christ. He knows and He cares what we care about. My testimony has been strengthened- I love this gospel and I love being a missionary.
Sister Lauren Collins

Monday, March 11, 2013


This week we taught Diahann and Nate two lessons! We finished up the Restoration and they did invite us back to hear more. We were worried they wouldn't want us to come back because Nate is really not interested at all. Diahann though is curious and wants to learn more. We're hoping Nate will come around. :)
We also asked Michael finally if he wanted to be baptized and he said yes! His daughter has been in the hospital, so we haven't been able to meet with him in person. We have had phone lessons though. On Friday we went over to his house specifically to ask him "To follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the proper priesthood authority of God." He needs to come to church at least two times before he can be baptized. He hasn't been to church yet.
Yesterday we were expecting (hoping) for Michael, Diahann, and Nate to come to church. They all didn't come. It was sad, but there's always next week. We need to discern why they aren't coming.
I have been reading in Ether and I have loved reading those chapters this week. I just read Ether 12 today, which is all about faith. I highlighted every time the word faith appeared and it was in the chapter about 30 times. I love how Moroni gives examples of how people throughout the Book of Mormon have used their faith and what great examples they were. Also throughout the verses it's stated that God works according to our faith. It's interesting to ponder about and ask ourselves, how great is my faith? Faith brings miracles. Right now, we're searching for a miracle. A miracle of finding people who want to learn about the gospel. We haven't been teaching very much, just a lot of knocking doors and going through the area book of people who have talked to missionaries before. I know we can find someone and help those who we are now teaching, the importance of this gospel and how it will change their lives.
The Easter Pageant is coming up in the next two weeks. It's the World's largest outdoor Easter Pageant. I'm excited to go- hopefully our investigators will be able to go! We can go twice. The Tempe sisters weren't asked to come help out at the Pageant this year, which is sad because I thought it would have been a lot of fun. I guess they have enough Mesa sisters to help out. At least we're able to go to the pageant! We're very blessed to have the temple so close and be able to go to it even though it's not in our mission.
Here is a picture of Alex's baptism and my new companion.
Sister Collins

Alex's Baptism

Sis. Allred and Sis. Collins with their Camelpacks!

Monday, March 4, 2013


Thank you for those that have emailed me.
This past Saturday, Alex was baptized. I forgot my camera cord, so I'll email pictures next week. The place was packed from everyone in the ward and his family coming to support him. It was pretty incredible. The spirit was really strong throughout the entire baptismal service. The ward was key in helping Alex be ready for baptism and they will continue to support him as he prepares to go on a mission. He will also be the key in helping his younger siblings be baptized and for his parents to be active in the church again.
This past week we also started teaching Diahann and Nate who Sister Farthing and I met at Discovery Park a month ago. They are officially our investigators. We taught God is our Loving Heavenly Father and the Gospel Blesses Families in our first lesson. Diahann is very concerned about her 16 year-old son and really responded to the Church's view on families. We then took over the Family Proclamation to the World and they are going to implement working together as a family and having "family time!" Their neighbors who we brought with us to the lesson have been great and they really got along. They canceled their lesson with us on Friday because Diahann was sick. We're hoping she gets well soon! They're such really nice people and we know we were supposed to be at the park a month ago so we could meet them.
At the same park yesterday we met a couple who had just moved here from New York City and wants to meet with us as well. The Mission and Stake focus is on families and I have been praying to find more families to teach! We hope to start teaching them as well.
When we were in one of our apartment complexes we ran into a young man named Brandon who we have started teaching. The first lesson with him was interesting because we can't figure out if he's Anti or really wants to know about the Gospel. He listens and asks questions like he wants to know, but then during part of the lesson he did say we were going to hell. So it was interesting. He does want to keep meeting with us... we found out he's 21, so we are going to turn him over to the Elders who cover the singles ward.
Also I'm excited for the Easter Pageant that's coming up, March 20-30. I'm also hoping we are asked to work at the pageant! The Mesa mission only asks us by invitation to help out. It would be fun to see Kelsey! It's the world's largest outdoor Easter Pageant. I've heard it's pretty incredible and I can't wait to take Michael and Diahann and her family to it. We can only go twice with progressing investigators. Let's hope they can go!
Two of our ward mission leaders have just been recently released out of our three wards. It's great to see the fire they have for the work!
I've almost finished the Book of Mormon again and what an experience it's been reading it as a missionary. I love the Book of Mormon and what it teaches- it's just like the Bible. That's why it's the RESTORED gospel of Jesus Christ. It compliments the Bible.  
Thank you Dad for your article you wrote about missionary work and answering questions. It's so true and I have been trying to develop asking inspired questions.
I hope all is well at home and I miss you! Thank you for your letters.
Sister Collins

Friday, March 1, 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013

Good news! I'm still in my area. My new companion is Sister Allred, from Colorado. She's been out for 13 months. It's been an interesting week. I do miss Sister Farthing. It's weird not having her around.

Also, I don't know if you'd read the church news, but there are 58 new missions! There's now a Chicago West? The Tempe and Mesa missions are being split. There's now a Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, and Gilbert Missions. On July 1st is when there are going to be all new mission presidents and when the new missions will be into effect. We could be reassigned into any of these new missions. We won't find out until the transfer right before July 1st. It's going to be interesting to see which mission I'll be in and it will be weird to have another Mission President. The work is definitely hastening. We just receieved the frist 18 year-olds this past transfer and our first under 21 year-olds (they're 20). There are now going to be a lot more sisters coming in next transfer. I think there are 5 english sisters and 2 spanish coming in. Exciting!
Also this week we received some bad news. One of the Elders in our mission has been sick for 5 months and just found out last Monday he had cancer. He went home on Tuesday and yesterday we had a mission fast for him. Apparently there is a 95% chance of him living, which is a blessing! We didn't know this when we found out on Wednesday (at transfers- President had us all come to the meeting regardless if we were being transfered) the chances were really high for him living. He might be coming back out after he goes through kemo. It was really bad news and now it's a little better.

Having transfers made missionary work kind of slow this week. I was teaching Sister Allred the area and planning each night for the next day and weekly planning takes forever when we both don't know what's going on. I guess since I stayed, I "took over the area." It's a big responsibility to do this! I'm learning of how much I really don't know! It's quite humbling and has been challenging, but it's bene a great learning and growing experience. We have been going through the Area Book and going through all of our potentials trying to teach more people.
We finally were able to teach Diahann (who we met at the park 2 weeks ago). It was a great lesson and we brought a neighbor of hers and they instantly connected, so it was neat to see the Lord's hands in things. We chose the neighbor because she lived close and hoped they would get along and connect. They ended up having simular experiences and living situations and the fellowship was able to connect in a way we as missionaries can't. That's why I love having the right fellowships at lessons who help the work go forward rather than detract the work. I'm really understanding how much members and missionaries need to work together and what an impact it is to have both. As missionaries we can't do it alone. We're going to teach her later this week.

Also we couldn't meet with Michael this past week because he was sick. We did have a phone lesson with him (read him a scripture, discussed it, then prayed). He is slowly progressing and this week will tell how much he is really interested. Alex is going to be baptized this Saturday! We're excited for him and how much he really wants to join the church when he doesn't have the strongest support system at home. We know he will help bring his family back to church.
Exciting things are happening here in the mission! I heard Chicago just got dumped on with snow. People here love to tell me the weather back east. Thank you Dad for your words of wisdom regarding member missionary work. I really loved the question you posed because one of the struggles I've been having is to have inspired quesitons. I had never really focused on having inspired questions before my mission and now it makes all of the difference. Questions are so important during lessons.

Love you all! Can't wait to hear how things are going. 


Sister Collins