Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Monday, June 17th - I'm Having a Baby and Going to be a Grandma All in One Day!

Transfers are on Wednesday! Crazy times. This will determine which mission I'll be in. Yes, I am being transferred this coming Wednesday. I'm also second half training. Sister Holcomb is also training and is staying. We have 10 English sisters coming in and 2 Spanish. Basically every sister will be training. We are going to get a generation picture at transfers. It's amazing how fast the mission has changed for sisters since I've been out. I was the only sister when I came out and now it's just a flood of them. I'm going to miss this area and the people here. It seems like you get more and more attached to people the longer you've been out. It will be another adventure. I don't know if I'll be whitewash training again since I could be going in the other sisters area. I was praying I wouldn't have to whitewash so soon after doing it! 

This week has been full of the tender mercies of the Lord- every week and every day. We were able to go to the Visitor's Center with Jennifer this past week! It was AMAZING! This was the first time I had ever took an investigator to the Visitor's Center. Jennifer loved it and she said she was going to take her family to it. We did the entire tour- the Christus, the Book of Mormons in all different languages, God's Plan of Us tour, the Joseph Smith: The First Vision video, watched some Mormon Messages, and walked around the Temple and went in the foyer. It was a great night! The spirit was super strong and she was very interested in The Temple and being together forever with her family. I also got to see Kelsey! Exciting day!! She's doing great and is training again. I felt like it's been forever since I've last seen her- 3 months!!! I need to get to the Visitor's Center more often :) 

Earlier that day before Jennifer's appointment we had a lesson fall through with a former investigator who we had set up an appointment the week previous with. She ended up not being home (or didn't answer the door) so we had to walk our member out to the front of the apartment complex. As we were looking to who we were going to visit next, a less-active member pulls up and asks if we'd like some water because it was so hot. Of course we weren't about to say no so we hop in her car. We had been trying to contact her since the second half of the first transfer. (she's the member we went with to the Easter Pageant the first week we were in this area). It turns out she was diagnosed with cancer 2 months ago and has been struggling. We talked and then we asked if we could read a scripture. I read Mosiah 24:8-15 and while I read she just starts crying. The spirit was super strong in the room. After I read the scripture she started to get real with us. She said she had been struggling to know if the church was true these past couple of months and her co-workers have really been anti-ing her these past months. She said she really wanted to find out if the church was true for herself and she wanted our help. She hadn't been coming to church or reading her scriptures or praying. We explained that God isn't a God of confusion and it's always God's will and not ours. We both testified a lot and I explained that answers always can be answered through the Book of Mormon. As we had been talking with her scriptures would come to mind that answered her questions. She kept on saying how much the Lord was working through us for her. She called it an awakening. 

Later that night we got a text from her that asked us which scriptures we had talked about. We texted them to her and I had the impression that she needed one more scripture, but I didn't know which one. I took my Book of Mormon and prayed to find the right scripture then I just opened it to a page. We found a good scripture on that page and sent it to her. We got a text back saying she received another awakening. The last scripture we had sent was the exact page where her patriarchal blessing was marking it. She said she hadn't read it in a year. When we read the text we both started tearing up. It's amazing to be an instrument in the Lord's hand. I could literally feel His hand guiding me. We went back to her house on Sunday after church (she didn't come to church since she was in the hospital on Saturday. Her levels were off). We had the impression to bring the Joseph Smith video for her to watch. She said after we had left on Friday, one of her co-workers who had left the church came by and started feeding her Anti-Mormon garbage. This really confused her again. As we started the video, the spirit came into the room. The spirit was amplified during the First Vision. She's visibly touched. After the movie she just said, "I know it's true. I can't deny it. I prayed to Heavenly Father to let me know if this church is true by having my dog stop barking as soon as Joseph kneels down in the grove. He stopped barking and soon as he knelt down and resumed barking as soon as he left the grove." The spirit was powerful! We testified that the Church is true and what she was feeling was the Holy Ghost. After about 5 minutes after the movie was finished she said she started to become confused again. She said the closing prayer asking Heavenly Father to tell her whether or not this church was true in a way she would recognize the answer. We had to run to dinner so we left her at that point. 

We get a call from her about 3 hours later with a voice mail that says, "I know this Gospel is true. I got my answer tonight. I've been at the Temple. Thank you for helping me this weekend feel the Holy Ghost in my life again and to not be confused." She had been at the Temple sitting there and a boy approached her asking her what the building was and was quite interested. She said as she was bearing her testimony to him, the spirit confirmed so ever strongly that the Church was true. She got the boy's information to send to the missionaries! She's a great missionary even when she had been struggling herself. 

I learned a very important lesson this past weekend. If you're ever doubting to know if this Church really is God's church back on the Earth again, restored in it's entirety- bare your testimony. Don't let Satan enter your mind and let him eat away at you. He poison's us by degrees. Little by little so that we don't even notice it. It's okay to question things, but it's not okay to rely on yourself to figure out the answers. We have to go to God. He's the only one who can tell us Yea or Nay. He knows ourselves better than we know ourselves. He's always willing to answer our prayers and He will answer- in His own time and way. It's always hard to put our lives in His hands and say "Thy will be done." 

We were supposed to go to President Howes' last Mission President's Devotional on Sunday, but Jennifer canceled the last minute and we weren't able to go. :( The hardest part about a mission is agency! I've really had to learn that people have their own decisions and it's all God's will- not ours. It's also His timing, which has also been disappointing at times. 

I know this church is true without a doubt. I know Joseph Smith say God the Father and Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove. Joseph was called as a prophet of God to restore His church back on the Earth again. He loves us and cares about us. We can receive answers to our prayers- I really loved the talk you gave me mom, The Spirit of Revelation by Elder Bednar. I've used it a lot this week in our teaching. 

Love, Sister Collins

face  masks!

Skyline Zone Missionaries

Sis. Hamstead (BYU roommate) and I at Visitor's Center

Sister Holcomb, Jennifer, and I at the Visitor''s Center

We walked out of dinner yesterday and it was like What The? Dead bird?