Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013


Thanks for the video of Leo! He looks really cute!!! How did you guys decide on Leo as his name? Is he short haired like a lab and the personality of a golden? 

This week has been one of the most interesting weeks of my mission by far. In the beginning of the week we had our District Meeting, which was very inspirational. I don't know if I told you that when you're training you go an hour and a half earlier than when the District Meeting starts (District Meeting starts at 10:30). This is where the Zone Leaders train the trainees and basically check up on us trainers to see how we're doing on training them. When you're new to the mission you go to be trained for the first 12 weeks of your mission. The church really has a great program for training missionaries. I'm so glad that I have a training manual that guides me in the training process-- and while I was being trained also. Such a blessing. We train every day except Mondays and Fridays (P-Day and Weekly Planning Day). 

Earlier this week we tried contacting people and hardly anyone was home or didn't answer. Bummer. Then on Wednesday we went to the Temple! We are so blessed to be able to attend the Temple every 6 weeks. It gives me that rejuvenating boost that I need. :) We took Zone pictures afterwards and then we were able to go to Deseret Book. It's always nice to get a CD since I only have like 3 and I'm already getting sick of them. lol

So Thursday was when it got crazy. At about 1AM Sister Holcomb woke up with the most severe pain she had ever felt in her right side and back. We thought it might be her appendix or bad cramps, but we weren't really sure what to do since it was the middle of the night. I had her stand up and slam down on her heels and it seemed like it wasn't her appendix so I gave her some midol. Since I was so exhausted because by this point it was like 2:30AM, I fell right back asleep. By 6:30AM, the pain wasn't going away so we called the mission nurse. She had us go to the Doctor that very morning to see what was going on. She couldn't really tell if it was her appendix either. So off we went to the Doctor and there he ordered blood work and a Ct Scan. We had to go to another place to do the Ct Scan and then we went home and wait for the results. The result came back negative on the appendix, but she was still in a lot of pain so they didn't know the cause of it. That night we had to stay inside and Sister Holcomb just slept. 
Friday morning comes and she's still in a lot of pain, so again at 6:30AM we call the mission nurse and she tells us to go back to the Doctor. So off we go again to the Doctor and he still doesn't know what's going on, but he wanted an ultrasound done. The place where we were going to go didn't have an ultrasound, so the mission nurse told us to go to the ER because the family physician didn't know what was wrong. Yeah, fun times. 

Then this starts the longest day of my mission so far. We check into the ER at about noon the entire process lasts about 6 hours. Let's just say that people are very interesting in the ER. There was a lady there and when she saw we were missionaries starting talking with me and asking me questions. I ended up teaching the first lesson to her and got her information to have the missionaries come to her house to learn more. She kept on saying there was a reason why we had to meet that day. That was the highlight of my day- teaching The Gospel. I have a strong testimony of teach when you find and find when you teach. The doctors basically said they don't know what's the cause of her pain, but they diagnosed something and had her get medication for the pain. During this entire day, I've stayed in contact with the mission nurse and President's wife along with what it seemed like half of the wards we cover. The members are awesome here! They such great care of us and checking in on us to make sure we were ok. We go home and basically go right to sleep even though it's only 7:30 (Sister Howes gave us permission to go to sleep early :] )

I slept for 11 hours and Sister Holcomb basically slept like 20 hours. Saturday we just stayed inside the entire day. Sunday morning comes and Sister Holcomb's pain was intensified and had also moved. We call the mission nurse again to see what we should do and she tells us to go back to the ER. Off we go again and this time the Doctors are inspired and figured out what was causing the pain. This time the trip only took about 5 hours and we were blessed to have great members who brought us over dinner and took us to the doctor and hospital. Today she has no pain and feels a lot better! I'm so happy for her that everything worked out okay and that she's doing better. Poor Sister Holcomb to have to go through this in her first transfer. We are now able to get out of the house and be missionaries :)

I'm excited for this next week and hopefully we'll be able to teach a lot of people this week! I love teaching this Gospel and how much joy and happiness it brings to me. We're teaching at 14 year-old girl that I mentioned last week and she seems super prepared. I'm excited for her and what the next weeks will bring. I can't believe that almost 6 weeks have gone by-- transfers are next week. We have a Sisters Training this Wednesday for the new leadership position. Crazy, eh?

Sister Collins

You can now email her at lauren.collins@myldsmail.net

Sis. Holcomb and Sis. Collins Mesa Temple

Missionaries in the Zone

Sis. Holcomb in ER

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Monday, April 15th, 2013


This week has been a great week! So many miracles!

We have been working hard and we have seen blessings. We had zone conference this last Wednesday and it was an inspiring training. It was the last piece to the puzzle which we had been missing. President Howes and the Assistants to the President inspired and motivated us. We were pumped up to go and do everything we possibly could to help this area progress in this area. We did have to drive our car to the meeting and the assistants took it. So we no longer have a car. BUMMER. It's been so hot since we have to bike everywhere. The members have been really great with giving us rides, but we always feel bad since we have so many meetings where we can't bike to. So we're getting fit and tan! We work out at the gym in the morning and then bike all day. Anyways, at zone conference President gave an announcement about sisters. 

SISTERS CAN NOW BE SISTER TRAINING LEADERS (STLs). It's like being a zone leader- there won't be any sister only zones, but it's like zone leaders where both in the companionship are called and are leaders over other sisters in the area. As of now, sisters haven't been able to go on exchanges really with other sisters. This will be effective this next transfer since we're getting so many sisters. This is mission standard (all of the missions)-- I think it's like when you were a traveling sister, mom. Crazy, right?  This opens up a whole new responsibility for sisters that I never thought we'd have. 

So about our miracles. We have a day set apart for each of our wards so we can put a fair amount of time in each to really work each area fairly. We were working the whole day in one of our wards. This area hadn't really been progressing for awhile (there's hardly any former investigators and potential investigators), so we have been determined to have a new investigator that day. We have been trying to contact one of our investigators since we got here, but we don't have his exact address and we've tried calling him several times. We had just 2 doors down from a less active. So we biked over there in the morning and no one was home. We were in the area later that day and we saw a car there. We knocked and this teenage girl answered. We asked if he lived there and she said Jose did not live at this house. We then asked if she would be interested in learning more. She said yes! She stepped outside and we started teaching her right there on their porch. Her parents drive up after about 10 minutes. They came up and they didn't speak english very well, so she had to translate to ask if they wanted to learn. We have a lesson set up for Saturday! We're going to give them over to the Spanish Elders if the parents are really interested. 

Then we were again biking around and talked to a teenage girl outside. At first she was like, no I'm not interested, but then her heart was softened. We again started teaching her part of the Restoration right on the street. She said she'd have to ask her parents if they'd also like to learn. 

We were again heading to an appointment for a member visit and we saw a girl and woman in a pavilion. We started talking to them and it turns out the girl's sisters have been going to church. She had been thinking about going, but hadn't yet. We again taught her the Restoration and set up an appointment for Tuesday. 

By the end of the day we had two new investigators.We hardly followed our written plans that day because it wasn't the people written down we needed to see. The Holy Ghost guides us and the Lord put those people in our path. The miracles have just continued since that day. We bore our testimonies on Sunday to introduce ourselves. We had to run from meetings to meetings the entire day, so in the ward were we had had an amazing Thursday, we had to bear our testimonies and run to a meeting. The Bishop who was conducting said more about missionary work and some of our miracles this week. Apparently after we had left, our ward mission leader and his wife bore their testimonies about missionary work and how much they love us being in the ward. We feel very blessed to be in this area and just doing the work. 

It's kind of sad because the sisters before us for the past couple of transfers haven't really been working that hard. So we have a lot of work ahead of us. It's been fun though!!!

We had a funny experience just the other day. We were biking down the road and we stop to talk to some people at a bus stop. As I'm testifying and asking if they'd be interested in learning more, this guy says, "That was beautiful and you're beautiful" I didn't know what to say so I kept on going and testifying. Then he says, "Do you like me, because I like you."  I just said "I'm a missionary." Then we finished and biked away! lol

Such funny experiences. A mission is so worth it! I love basically every minute of it. It's so rewarding. I love this Gospel and especially when I get to recite the First Vision. Every time, the Holy Ghost manifests to me that Joseph Smith really did God the Father and Jesus Christ. I know he did. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I love starting out my day with reading the scriptures. 

Sister Collins

P.S. How much is like a 6GB ipod or MP3? Ebay? I'm really suffering with hardly any music! Thanks!

Monday, April 8th, 2013

SO, now everyone can email me! The church changed the emailing policies! Could you (or Anne-Marie) post my email on facebook? Thank you! :)  lauren.collins@myldsmail.net. 

I LOVED CONFERENCE! Watching conference as a missionary is a totally different experience. We watched it at the stake center (there was like all of us missionaries and then a few families). The spirit was just so strong and I was able to stay awake for every talk! lol The men are so inspired and they really are called of God. My favorite was Elder Holland's. He's a powerful, bold speaker. I can't wait for the Conference issue of the ensign to read the talks and receive more inspiration from them. We were inviting people to watch General Conference the whole week leading up to it. Hopefully those people we talked with were at least curious and tuned in. At least we hope so.

I haven't received your letters yet. I did receive the absentee ballot Dad sent me... AW! The puppies are so cute!!!!!!!!! I'm super jealous I don't get to be there as the puppy is growing up. It's good that it's 1/2 golden 1/2 lab so hopefully it won't have the problems of a pure-bred like Athena. We really don't want to have to go through that again. I can't wait to hear which puppy you chose! How far away is it to go get the puppy? Hopefully the person picks out a good one. What happens if you don't like the puppy? And training should be fun-- and hard-- hopefully it's not hyper.

So this week has been a lot of planning, calling, visiting the Auxiliaries, and knocking doors. We haven't had much success yet, but I'm sure we will soon. Hopefully. I heard in the Priesthood session they called out the Bishops and Ward Mission Leaders. We're looking forward to seeing the changes from those talks. :) We did call a number that was in our phone which wasn't in the area book, and the girl said yes, she wants to learn more! She just needed to ask her mom, so we're hoping we can start teaching her soon! Whitewashing has been hard, but I'm excited to see the fruits of our labors soon. It's definitely a new adventure and challenge. 

That's fun our ward has gotten a 19 year-old. The wards here are excited to see the first 19 year-old. I wonder if our ward is going to be getting it's own set of missionaries again or maybe two? 

Sister Collins

Monday, April 1, 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013


It's been a crazy past few days. My new companion/trainee is Sister Holcomb. She's from WA and is the first 19 year-old in the mission. This past transfer there were 9 sisters and 12 elders!! 3 English and 6 Spanish sisters. She's great and we get along very well. We're like exactly alike- both the oldest, same mannerisms (kinda weird! lol), and both are the first to go on a mission in our generation- setting the trend! She's doing awesome! I literally feel like I'm being held up and given the capacity to train. The first day was a whirlwind and I was so nervous and everything. The next day during companion study and training, it felt like I was being lifted up and wasn't nervous any more. I felt the most calming sensation that everything was going to be alright. The Lord helps qualify those He calls. It's been the most humbling experience so far. It's also been incredible to see how far I've come since I came on my mission. I hadn't noticed until I had to be the senior companion and take the lead on everything. I really do know what I'm doing and the Lord is DEFINITELY helping me. I know I wouldn't be able to do this if I didn't rely 100% on His council and guidance. I realized this transfer is A LOT of firsts: 1st transfer, 1st training, 1st being senior companion, 1st whitewash, and 1st 19 year-old companion. This transfer will be a blast! 

So this area hasn't had missionaries for THREE weeks. One of the sisters in this area got really sick and had to go home. The other sister just went in another area, so this area hasn't had missionaries working in it for a long time. This area is like 10 mins away from my last area. My zone boarders the Mesa mission and our zone seems pretty nice. We're the only sisters in our zone and we live in an apartment complex, which is a lot different from living with members as I was in my other area. Our zone leaders and another set of missionaries live the apartment complex as well. We don't even live in our area and we didn't know it until Friday. We had met a man outside our first day when we were going to our car and set up an appointment with him. We had to give him to the Elders who cover the complex. Good times, good times. Our area in only a square mile and we have a car. Pretty crazy. We're thinking our car will get taken away because we really don't need it- just the last sisters since she was sick. We'll see. I actually wouldn't mind biking. 

Since we're whitewashing, it's made things difficult especially since the sister's before really didn't keep the area book updated AT ALL. It hadn't been updated since Nov 2012. So we had to spend the first day cleaning the apartment (it was gross) and then we had to spend the next couple of days figuring out where we were, cleaning up the area book, and finding who were the Bishops and Ward Mission Leaders. We didn't even have updated ward lists- they were a year old... So that's been interesting. We finally got the area book organized and functioning. We haven't really been able to do missionary work, like go start contacting people since we just got a map on Saturday. We do have plans tonight and I can't wait to finally start getting back into the routine of things of contacting people to finally be able to have the area start progressing.

We were able to go to the Easter Pageant on Friday night with a ward member and her friend who wants to learn more about the church. Her friend lives in the Mesa Mission...but we'll see if we can poach her. :D THE EASTER PAGEANT WAS AMAZING! It reminded me of the Nauvoo Pageant and Hill Cumorah Pageant. The spirit was so strong- it was great to be spiritually fed through music. It's a must-see for sure.  

We had a miracle happen yesterday in one of our wards. It was the first ward we attended and we were introducing ourselves to people and this member came up to us and asked if we had seen the non-member who had attended sacrament meeting? (I wanted to be like, we don't even know who's a member let alone a non-member! lol) We finally found him and he attended gospel principles. After the class, we introduced ourselves and asked if he would like to learn more. His name is Dearien and we don't know how old he is. He might be singles ward age ( I hope not! Or else we'd have to turn him over to the Elders). He said yes he'd like to learn more! Come to find out a member had invited him to church and he came! We don't know who invited him, but we set up an appointment for this Tuesday! I'm so excited and the Lord blesses us. Greenie blessings I'd say. It's great that we're both Greenie's so hopefully that means all the more blessings! We have three investigators, but we haven't been able to get a hold of them yet, so we'll see what happens with them. 

This transfer will be an adventure and it already has been. It's amazing how quickly the Lord is helping me learn the area (it is only a square mile,but still with me being directionally challenged. lol) Sister Holcomb,poor thing, doesn't know how to read a map, so it's up to me. :]
I'm happy to be here and see how this area will grow and progress. The Lord knows. He knows everything and He will help us. I love the talk "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Willcox. It's changed my life. His grace is sufficient to carry us through life. He's always willing to help us if we chose to let Him. 

Also, would you be able to do me a favor and burn some CD's for me off of lds.org. Like all of the EFY CD's and such. My music is getting really boring way fast. We can only have burned CD's from lds.org. Thank you for the Easter Package- this was the best Easter I've ever had. 7 hours of church was amazing. I truly was able to feast upon the words of Christ all day long. I love being a missionary!


Sister Collins

Mesa Temple Easter Pageant

Mesa Temple Easter Pageant

Sis. Holcomb and Sis. Collins