Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013 - Another Adventure in Missionary Land

This past week we met our new Mission President, President Nattress and his wife. We have Zone Conference and District Meeting that day. President introduced himself and then he had little mini interviews with each of us to get to know us. We also talked with Sister Nattress while our companion was being interviewed by President. They're very nice and I like them already. It was a little weird to not have President and Sister Howes because I know they're personalities already.
Transfers are tomorrow. It's weird that they're now on Tuesdays instead of Wednesdays. I'm still with Sister Pooley and we now have 2 wards instead of 3. The Elders are moving into our little bungalow and we're moving to their house where we will be living with another companionship of sisters. I have to say I'm not jumping for joy right now having to move again and it's only been three weeks since I've last packed. It should be interesting having to live with another companionship of sisters. Should be quite an interesting transfer. I am happy though that we're keeping the majority of our investigators. We're also moving out of the way Anti neighborhood, which I'm not sad about. No more "pleasant" conversations with them on the street.
We had a pretty good week. We taught Julie and Johnny this week and finished up The Restoration. Johnny really doesn't have any background and Julie does so it's been a little difficult teaching them on the same level. When we shared the First Vision, Johnny totally got it. They also understood why the Great Apostasy happened and Julie asked the question why other people don't accept this message as well. We're really excited to teach them again this week. They've invited us for dinner and then we're going to teach them a lesson. They have been praying as a family and individually. Johnny has never prayed in his entire life and he loves it. He totally gets it.
We fasted for Sydney this weekend for her to be baptized. We still haven't heard back from her since she isn't back from her dad's. We are praying and hoping that it went well and everything will go as scheduled for her baptismthis Saturday. We have an appointment with her on Tuesday.
We did meet a lady named Rebecca out at the park and we taught her a lesson right then and there. She's totally interested and has a lot of questions. She was particularly interested in eternal families because she's wanting to get married to her long time boyfriend soon. Unfortunately she doesn't live in our area, but we got her information to have the missionaries where she lives teach her. We were hoping that her boyfriend lived in our area so we could teach both of them, but he doesn't live in our area either. Sad day.
I had almost forgotten that the Fourth of July happened this week. One of our wards had a breakfast that we were able to go to. They're weren't a lot of people at the breakfast because most were out of town, but we did have 11 non-members come. It was nice to get to know people since I really haven't been here for that long in this area. We also were invited to a little BBQ with a less-active family that we were able to stop by. The day was a regular proselyting day, but we had to be in an hour early- 8pm. I didn't see any fireworks, since our view was blocked by the houses by us. We did see some the day after. It was certainly an interesting fourth of July.
It's great to be a missionary! I love the Book of Mormon studying for the Atonement. I just finished Alma 26 this morning. I love Ammon's discourse on boasting in our God because of His goodness. I love the example of the sons of Mosiah and the faith, courage, and dedication they had. Reading their story makes me want to be the best missionary I can possibly be. I particularly love chapter 26 because it outlines the struggles they've had and how they got through them. They went through the same things we're going through, all though some of their trials were different. We all have to go through trials, but we can become better through them and turn ourselves closer to Christ. I have now understood more the power of prayer since being on my mission. Heavenly Father does answer and He does love each and every one of us. He cares about the little details of our lives. The Atonement is real and we can become better from using the Atonement daily. I can't wait to finish the Book of Mormon and start another topic to search for. I have noticed how much it's made a difference studying for a certain topic. I know Christ lives and that He will come again.
Sister Collins

Sis. Poole and Lauren

New Mission President Nattress and his wife

4th of July Parade

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013 - Welcome to Pinterest Land & Breaking Records

Like I said last week, my new trainee/step-daughter is Sister Pooley. She's from Colorado and is 20 years-old. We are officially the Gilbert Mission and we now have a new Mission President. We have zone conference this Tuesday where we'll meet him and have training. President and Sister Howes are now on their way home. Sad day. I'm sure I'll love the new Mission President Nattress and his wife.
This past week has been HOT. Apparently we broke records in Arizona this past weekend. It's never gotten up to 120 degrees this "early" into the summer (even though I thought it's already been summer since April). It's been quite the experience riding our bikes. Let's just say I greatly appreciate cars a lot more. Oh well, no one said missionary work would be easy. The place were I'm living is like walking into another little country. The houses are nothing like the usual Arizona houses and it literally looks like you're walking into Pinterest Land. I'll have some photos next week of some of the houses. They're super cute and we live behind some members in a little Casita.
We have seen so many miracles this past week! We first taught a couple, Johnny and Julie, for the first time and they are now two of our new investigators. They are the neighbors have a family in the ward. We're excited to be able to continue teaching them. Johnny really has no religious background so we are taking everything very slow. Julie is a very spiritual person, but they do not attend a church around here. They have a daughter who's 9, a son who's 2, and one on the way. They weren't able to make it out to church yesterday, but we do have another appointment set up for this coming Wednesday. We had a powerful lesson talking about God is our loving Heavenly Father, prayer, how the Gospel blesses families, and introduced the Book of Mormon. Johnny has never prayed before so they are starting to pray as a family.
We also met with David again this week who we had taught for the first time last week. He also came to church! He thought church was "interesting" and how it was different. He has a lot of questions- he read the Introduction and the testimonies of the Book of Mormon. We're having a lesson tonight with him with his neighbors for Family Home Evening.
We taught an investigator named Sydney, who's 12, who has been coming to church and is almost done with the lessons. The sisters haven't been able to get into contact with her for several weeks. Sister Pooley hadn't taught her all of the time she's been in this area. She has to ask her dad for permission to be baptized and she's scared to do so. We talked about the story of Ester and fasting. We're fasting this next Sunday for her dad's heart to be softened and for her to have the courage to ask him and to explain how much this would mean to her. We're excited for her!! We have the faith that everything will work out according to God's will.
Another exciting development which happened this week was we taught Rene who we had met the week before on the street. She let us in and we taught the Restoration. Everything just made sense to her and she seemed very excited. She just had twins and she has two other children. She's a very spiritual person and she's very curious. She said she would start reading the Book of Mormon, but we weren't able to set up another appointment because she said right now her life is crazy. She told us to just stop by which we weren't too excited about, but if we have faith anything can happen. We'll stop by this week again. Hopefully we'll be able to start teaching her more regularly now. I also hope that we can start teaching her husband as well.
We also taught an investigator named Barbra. She's an interesting lady. She's in her 50's and she picked up and moved from New Mexico to help her son. Her son, Dylan who's 19, started having a lot of back problems so she's here to take care of him. Her daughter, who's house she's living in, doesn't like our Church so we can't teach her in the house. Barbra is a little scatter brained so we haven't been able to really sit down and have lessons with her. It's whenever we can catch her outside. This past Thursday I felt like we needed to go see her. We saw her outside and it turned out she was having a rough day. We taught her and she committed to come to church. Her son Dylan came with her!! It was great to see them there. 
The Lord has a lot in store for this area. We have been teaching a lot and since the broadcast, we have been getting a lot more member support. The people who we are teaching and we seem to be solid are all from member referrals. This has just increased my testimony on member missionary work and how vital members are to the whole process. "How much joy you will have if you just bring one soul unto me." There really is no greater joy than helping others come unto Christ. It's amazing how much joy I have because I am selflessly giving up 18 months of my life for others. It may be rough weather-wise and rough in other ways, but it's so worth it.

Sis. Poole and Sis. Collins

A dejected "pass-along" card!


Sis. Collins