The first week of my last transfer! Transfers were super interesting let me tell you. So I'm sure you want to know who my companion is and all of that jazz. My new companion is Hermana Anderson and she goes home the transfer in June. I'm back in Gilbert! I cover one of the YSA wards and....a Spanish Branch. Yes, you may now refer to me as Hermana Collins. I went Spanish speaking my last transfer. Let's just say I haven't studied a language since German class my Sophomore year of High School. It's been an interesting past couple of days let me tell you. Very humbling. I feel like I'm a newbie all over again not know what's going on. At least we have the YSA ward which saves me because I actually know all that they're saying (even if they might be a little weird. Oh the joys of a Singles Ward. I like looking in from the outside- it's a lot more entertaining). I can now say some of my testimony and I learned the vowel sounds. We haven't had a lot of time to really have Spanish study and I've been praying a lot for the Gift of Tongues. I really need it. At least I can understand some of the words because they sound and mean the same thing in English, gospel terms seem to be easier! Sometimes what I remember from German class pops out and it's embarrassing.
This transfer I also have another assignment to go on mini exchanges, along with our regular exchanges, with all of the sister companionship's and teach them how to effectively plan and how to organize their Area Books. Apparently President thinks I'm very good at both of these things. We'll see how it goes! I really have no idea where we're going to find the time or how I'm even going to train them! A lot of prayers and tender mercies from Heavenly Father! I know He is helping me and I wouldn't be in this area with Hermana Anderson for no reason unless it was divine inspiration, which I believe it is. I'm going out with a BANG. I'm going to be sprinting for the last 5 weeks and I'm totally up for it. Can't.Wait.
Let's see, what has happened the last couple of days...? The first night I get here in this area we go and have dinner with the Branch (we basically only eat with the Branch because no one in YSA signs up) and it was only in Espanol and we had our Branch weekly coordination with our Ward Mission Leader and the ward missionaries. It was all in Espanol so I had no idea what was going on. They like to give me a hard time because I don't understand what they're saying. Oh, well. This really made me wish I had actually taken Spanish in High School. The next day we had Interviews with President and had trainings from the Assistants (oh and now we have 3 of them and one of them is a Traveling Assistant who just goes on exchanges with all of the Elders every day) and the Zone Leaders. I always love Interviews with President. Later that night we went to the Visitor's Center (Can you believe Kelsey is going home tomorrow! Too bad I didn't get to see her this one last time where we're both missionaries) with our YSA investigator Kyle. We watched the Testaments with him because he wants to understand more where the Book of Mormon came from and the time frame with the Bible. He really started with no religious background at all, so we have to teach very simply. The night before I came he had learned how to pray. He comes from a very chaotic background and he's ready to change to have that peace in his life. Also while we were waiting for Kyle to get to the Visitor's Center his same fellowship brought another non-member friend, Farrah. She had taken the lessons when she was 14 (she's now 28) but stopped taking them because of the pressure to get baptized and the Elders told her she wouldn't see her animals in heaven (we have no idea the doctrine on that). She's very hesitant and she wouldn't set up a specific return appointment to meet with us, but she accepted a Book of Mormon and said she'd pray. She had gone to the Temple Open house and she felt the Spirit very strongly and she said she wanted to be baptized! She also said I was the one to introduce Temple video to her at the Temple Open House. She took this as a sign to maybe press forward. That was a cool experience to see why I needed to be in this area my second day here. We've been praying that she'll call us to say she's ready to take the lessons. We relieved some of her concerns about missionaries and the lessons. Hopefully soon!
The Branch has a lot of Recent Converts that we're teaching the new member lessons to and on Saturday we knocked on a less-active woman's door and her non-member boyfriend, Javier, answered. In short he's now our new investigator! We got to talking with him and he lost his oldest brother a while ago and he said he lost his faith and that it's a problem. We said we have the answers and that we can help him get his faith back. We have a lesson with him today at 3. We're also teaching a part-member family and the father is not the member and he won't commit to be baptized. Even though he's taken the lessons. He refuses to pray and even work towards a date. We're teaching the family the new member lessons and he's there. This past lesson we had with them the kids were like "Dad! You need to be baptized so we can be more united and a forever family!" The kids I guess have never called out their dad before in front of the missionaries. We'll see if his heart will be softened. We hope to continue to find new investigators this week! I know the Lord will bless us for our obedience and diligence! Church on Sunday was also interesting. We only went to the Branch's sacrament meeting and they all speak so fast I really didn't catch much. We went to the YSA Ward because Kyle came to church! That was great! He hasn't been to church yet! Also before we went to dinner we street contacted these two guys who right after they started talking we realized they were high as a kite and drunk. One of the guys said "Are you with Jesus?" I replied "Yes, we represent Jesus Christ." We invited them to the Easter Pageant and the same man asked "Oh, is Jesus at University and Stapley?" Oh the people we talk to. Also another couple we talked with were also on a little somethin' somethin' and the guy asked if he had to wear shoes and his wife said "he had to put on holy shoes like ours."
I'm so ready for the challenge that lay ahead and I know the Lord will/has blessed me so far (well, my entire mission). Someone in one of the talks on Sunday said "very little comfort happens in the growth zone. Very little growth happens in the comfort zone." I feel so blessed to be a missionary and to be serving the Lord. I know Heavenly Father will never give us things we can't handle without His help. I have seen the power of faithful prayers and diligent scripture study. We can be protected as we follow the commandments God has given us. Today I read in John 14:15. "If ye love me, keep my commandments." It's really that black and white. Either we keep all of God's commandments (even the little ones) showing to Him that we love Him or we don't follow His commandments which show Him that we don't love Him. I strive to in every action show how much I love my Father in Heaven by doing all that He asks me to do. I know He lives and will bless me as a try my best to do everything he's asked me to.
Hermana Collins and Anderson
Beautiful Arizona sunset