Monday, December 23, 2013

Hello everyone! What an exciting week it has been! I was really excited to meet my new companion, Sister Smith because I heard she was great. The last week of being with her has confirmed that she definitely is. Sister Smith is from Grants Pass, Oregon (which is really funny because we have a mutual friend). She is 20 years old and has four brothers, is also a black belt in Taekwondo. Don't know how my last two companions have been black belts.... maybe God wants me to learn Taekwondo? :) 
Sister Smith is very sweet and I love how forward she is. She's not afraid to tell you how it is, which is AWESOME. I love it when people are like that. She's gorgeous and a total tom-boy. Super humble and full of the spirit. We have a lot of similar interests and basically hit it off the first day. Then after figuring out how we know each other through our mutual friend we bonded a ton. We live in such a small world. 

Getting to this new area didn't start out very happy though. In fact it was pretty scary. Upon arriving we found out that Sister Smith's previous companion had a head full of lice. That's right. LICE. The worst part about it was that they didn't know she had it for TWO WHOLE TRANSFERS! That's like three months of bugs living on your scalp. Apparently she was really itchy but didn't say anything to Sister Smith till one day a bug fell out of her head. Sister Smith checked her head and found lots and lots of lice and eggs. Uhh.. just talking about it makes me queasy. I found out that I have a phobia of things happening like this. I teared up a couple times when ever we would talk about it because it freaked me out so much. 
So they didn't find it till two nights before I got transferred in. So when I got there they had everything packed up and she had just sprayed the beds and couch with RID stuff. Walking into that apartment I immediately began cleaning vigorously. Oh I was so freaked out. I vacuumed every square inch of that apartment. And wiped everything down. It took me a couple of days to finally unpack. But luckily I never got lice and our apartment is now totally lice-free. But MAN that was scary! 

So I am serving at the University of Missouri in Colombia, Missouri. The collage is also known as Mizzou. It's a pretty big school and their mascot is a tiger, which is pretty sweet. I am currently the senior companion of the companionship and am follow-up training Sister Smith. We live close to campus in a funny little apartment that is actually in the basement of a frat house. Good thing I am really good at sleeping and hopefully won't have too much trouble with it being really loud upstairs when the students come back. Mizzou is a really big party school. 

The first two days were full of cleaning and organizing. Sister Smith just finished being trained but didn't know how to use the area book... So we went over that and did some updating. We got to meet the Branch President who is really awesome. But for last Sunday and this Sunday our YSA Branch will not be meeting for church because everyone is out of town. It's really strange to come to an area where you don't have your own ward for the first two weeks. We went to church at another ward and I found my friends sister that looks exactly like her. It was really weird but I was glad I went to that ward. I loved hearing the Christmas music and being able to reflect on the gift of Christ. 

We got to meet with an investigator named Jamie. She's from St. Louis and is dating a guy in Utah. She is Catholic but believes absolutely everything she has been taught. If she hadn't left town to go see her boyfriend in Utah we totally would have had her get baptized this weekend. But her time will come. I am so excited for her to have the gospel in her life. 

We got a new investigator named Natalie who is a school teacher at an elementary school. She's has a strong faith in Christ and considers herself Lutheran but is really open to other religions. She already had a Book of Mormon and had a lot of good questions. She said that when she comes to know that these things are true for herself, she will be baptized. I'm really excited for her to come back into town so we can teach her again. 

For Christmas we have some pretty exciting plans, which is awesome because I thought we'd be staying in our basement apartment. Christmas Eve we are free to do what we want (within mission rules) from 5 p.m. to all of Christmas day! We are allowed to watch DISNEY MOVIES! And I am soooooo happy about that! That was something I was really hoping for. Tuesday night our zone will be playing sports at the stake center and Christmas morning will be spent at a members home. We'll go over there for breakfast and then have lunch at someone else' house. We will watch movies and skype our families and eat lots of food. :) I am pretty excited. 

Great news is that Jerry (my investigator in my last area) got baptized this last weekend! I'm so proud of him and hope that their family will do all they can to go to the temple in a year from now. 

I'm running out of time but I want all of you to know that I have a testimony of Christ as our Savior. I love him so much and I am so grateful that he came to this world to pass through all the things we must pass through in order for us to gain eternal life. I know that the only way to true happiness is through living this gospel and doing all we can to be like Christ. The Church is true and I love all of you! Have a very Merry Christmas!!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Woah! Sister Lowther got her visa and is now on her way to Brazil! Right now! And I am getting transferred to Columbia, Missouri to a university ward! I'm SO STOKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love serving at universities! The Lord really loves me. :) I just can't believe I am getting transferred! I thought for sure I would stay in Sandy Creek for at least two transfers. And I can't believe Sister Lowther got her visa! So crazy and exciting. I am so happy for her! She will do so great there. 
Now you might be wondering who my companion is right now... cuz missionaries can't be alone. I am with Sisters Scott and Herdman who are the sisters serving in Arnold. We get to see them just about every day since we live in the same complex and now we are in a tri-panionship until transfers on Wednesday. Which is AWESOME because I seriously love these two. They are amazing.

Tuesday we got to teach a new investigator named Felicia who is totally ready for this gospel. She has a seven-year-old daughter and really wants to know what church is right. She wants her daughter to know God and she really wants to be freed from the guilt that is caused by mistakes. We promised her she can feel that relief through Jesus Christ. She's baptist but never felt comfortable at the church she was attending. The lesson went great and she was excited for us to come back. I felt God's love for her and was so excited to help her access the atonement. 

Then we saw this lady who was not really liking what we taught... but she said she would pray about it! :) And I know the Lord will help her feel that it is true. It is all in his own time. :)

Tommy is doing awesome. She believes everything that we have taught her... man, now that I'm getting transferred I won't get to see her progress. Man, that's rough. But the Lord has a plan! And I am sooo down with whatever he wants to happen! 

Jerry is doing great and is totally getting baptized this weekend. :) I won't get to be there but I have loved to see how this gospel has changed him. His wife said that he has been better with the kids and she can tell he is really trying to apply what we have taught him. It's pretty awesome. 

Sister Huppi told me that Rayman got the Aaronic Priesthood!!!! I am so so so proud of him and so happy he has chosen to follow Jesus Christ's example. So awesome.

Remember Christian? The guy in a wheelchair we were teaching? He totally got baptized. :D His parents finally gave him the okay! She hasn't told me anything about it yet but I wish I could have been there. I'm so so so happy for him! I can only imagine how awesome his testimony was when he shared it after being baptized. Ugh. I love my life. 

Angela is doing awesome and will hopefully be okay without us... I haven't told her I'm leaving yet because I hate goodbyes.. :( Good thing the Lord knows what he's doing! 

In Columbia I will be follow-up training Sister Smith. Don't know her but President says she's great. I'm so excited and can't wait! This is going to be awesome. I love everyone!!!!!! Merry Christmas!!!!!

Sister Collett

p.s. Please send me letters!!

Sister Alexa Collett
1850 Craigshire Dr. Ste 205
Maryland Heights, MO 63146
(314) 598-0191

Monday, December 9, 2013

Missouri is so beautiful when it snows! And all the houses are covered in Christmas lights. It looks so cute and festive. I love this season and the spirit of giving! We started off the week with Zone Conference which was wonderful. President Pully of the Stake Presidency came and gave us a training along with President and Sister Morgan. We also received trainings from our Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders, and Assistants to the President. It was a great learning experience and I really enjoyed feeling the spirit. The Sister Training Leaders gave a beautiful training on our relationship with Christ that really touched my heart and motivated me more to change. I love the power and love that Christ has and that we can have as we let him into our lives more. 

We had another exchange with the Sister Training Leaders but this time I went to Oakville with Sister Minyard (who was in my district in Webster Groves). She is such an amazing missionary and person. I LOVED getting to spend the day with her! The first lady we tried to teach wasn't home and so we went to go see an older, less-active woman. She had very interesting stories of her life that sounded more like something from Bonnie and Clyde. It was really entertaining but lasted waaay too long. By the time we got out of there it was dark (the sun sets at 4pm) and we walked away with gifts. Dried roses and copies of a book that she wrote. Haha, the things you gain on your mission. :)

I'm running out of time but we got a new investigator who is a lady named Tommy. Her husband is a member and has terminal lung cancer. They both have amazing faith and she is so ready for this gospel. We taught her the restoration and when I invited her to pray to know if it is true she said, "What if I already know it is?" I was pretty excited to get that answer. We invited her to consider baptism and her husband said she would once she knows more. She said a beautiful closing prayer and then gave us cupcakes! It was great! 

Saturday I had the wonderful privilege of attending the temple. That will be the only time I get to go to the temple for the rest of my mission. The policy is that missionaries can go if they really need to and it can only be either in the middle of their mission or at the end. And since I'm in the middle I decided to take it. I love the temple so much and will go as much as possible when I am home. Oh it's so wonderful. I could live there! 

Because of the snow there were very few people at church. BUT an awesome member in his four-wheel drive car took us up with GIANT hill to Angela's house to pick her up for church since her car couldn't make it. The road she lives on is steep and there was no way she could drive. So we prayed and the Lord provided a way for her to come. It really was a miracle and It was great having her there. She said she really enjoyed it. Jerry came to church as well with his wife and he is doing great. I'm out of time but happy and well. Love you all!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

I am SO grateful for my life!!!! Just to name a few things I am grateful for this week...
Socks! Food, clothing, a place to live, the scriptures, my family... especially little baby Camden who turned 1 yesterday!!!!!!! I'm grateful for friends and the people I've met on my mission and the insanely awesome experiences I've had and miracles I've seen! I'm grateful for my testimony and my knowledge of the atonement of Jesus Christ. 

I will never be able to describe the love that I have for the Savior. I'm so grateful for the chance I've had to more fully study his life and learn who he was and is. I've learned that he has a beautiful personality and is absolutely in everything. If we pay close attention we will see how he is part of every moment of our lives. Not only reading about Jesus Christ, but having his presence in my life has helped me know him. The only way you can get to know someone is through talking to them (praying) and spending time with them (working in the vineyard).
"And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things."
How grateful I am to be one of his servants! I can honestly say that there have been times where I have felt the Savior beside me. As well as others pushing me along and telling me to keep going. I know this gospel is true. It is perfect. We live in an imperfect world full of imperfect people that are all perfectly loved by our God. I am so grateful! :)

Here is what's happening down in Sandy Creek! This week was filled with a lot of everything. Our investigators are all being challenged. We were expecting six of them to be at church yesterday and only one came. I was reminded of how real Satan is... Angela was really excited to come to church this week for the first time and the night before her dog died. Then two of our other investigators were planning on coming when the night before her husband came home and was so angry her car broke down and he wanted a divorce. Then Jerry, who finally got work off, was supposed to come and the lady that switched him shifts changed her mind! And then Rich had a fire he had to go fight... But I guess firefighters kinda do that. 
But it's okay because Tim came! :) And he is still smoke-free! So proud of him. He is totally converted. I just wish he could get baptized... According to church policy he needs to be interviewed by the mission President and he will send in a request to see when he can be eligible because of his probation. So it is in the Lord's hands. Which is a great place to be! 

Sister Lowther is doing great. We spend a lot of time studying and learning together. She is becoming a good missionary. The members of our ward are awesome and are usually willing to help us. Our apartment is the nicest one I have lived in yet on my mission! We have a dish washer!!! It's so great. I love appliances. Even if they are small and rusty. Another thing I'm grateful for!!!
Today we are going to go bowling as a district and I'm pretty excited. I'd better get going. Love you all!!! 

"I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving." 
-Psalms 69:30

P.S. - Sister Huppi just told me that Quiyuan is getting baptized this Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm SO excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love the LORD!!!! MIRACLES :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Well I have no idea what I wrote last week so I'm sorry if I repeat myself. Things are going well down in Sandy Creek. We have been driving a lot because our area is about 50 miles across... and we are only given 1150 miles per month. Oh and we live outside of our area... They couldn't find an apartment in our area so we are living in the same complex of the Arnold Sisters that serve in Arnold- which is the Crystal City ward. The downside is the 21 miles it takes to drive down to the church in Hillsboro but the upside is living close to other sisters. :) It's fun to be able to go to district meeting together and hang out on P-day.  Oh and if you want my new address it's 

Sister Alexa Collett
3212 Richardson Place Apt 6
Arnold, MO 63010

The most challenging thing for me in this area is how windy the roads are here. This is probably the only party of the mission that has roads that go back and forth the way they do out here. The reason why it's challenging is because I get super bad motion-sickness that I never knew I got till I came here! I guess I've never had to drive on roads like this before. The rest of the mission is super flat! It's really pretty but man, I get dizzy!  And all our investigators are super spread out so we spend a lot of time in the car. 

Sister Lowther is a trooper and never gets sick. She can even read in the car! Such talent. We do a lot of training in the car and I try to keep her busy learning as much as possible. Sister Lowther is very different from any companion I have had. She is very sweet and has a unique personality. It's funny going from being with a 22 year-old to a 19 year-old. She has reminded me of my age... I am so old. It's starting to feel like everyone around me just graduated from high school! Most of the Elders in my district did just graduate from high school. So weird...

Remember Rayman?? He totally got baptized. :) I just saw it on the mission website and it made me so happy!! Sister Huppi said that everyone is doing great back at the U of I. Chris received the Aaronic priesthood and is sharing the gospel with anyone he comes in contact with. 

Now to tell you all about the people we are teaching! Tim is a 52 year-old man who has a great testimony of the gospel! He was being taught by the Elders before we got here and has read the Book of Mormon 4 times. He's a simple man, with a big heart. He would be baptized but some legal complexities are preventing him from that right now. But he will be able to enter into the waters of baptism as soon as the Lord wills it. Tim used to be baptist and has been coming to church for the last few years. This week we taught him the stop-smoking workshop and he seems to be doing well. 

Jerry is the husband of a less-active member in the ward that was being taught by the sisters before us. They have two daughters and come to church occasionally. When we asked him why he wants to get baptized he said so that he can go to a good place after he dies. We have been working with him quite a bit and hope that his answer to that question will change drastically. He is supposed to get baptized in December but he needs to get work off on Sundays so he can come to church.

Jerry's wife Daisey gave us a referral for one of her friends from work named Angela. We went over to Angela's house and taught her the restoration with Daisey and she seemed to take to it really well. She was born with a brain tumor and wasn't supposed to live. She has wondered her whole life why she is here and what her purpose is. We are excited to teach her the Plan of Salvation on Tuesday. 

Rich is a firefighter in his 30's who has been taught by missionaries before us as well. He knows the Book of Mormon is true and came to church yesterday. He seems sincere in his desire to follow Jesus Christ and is moving towards baptism. 

We received a media referral that had ordered a "Finding Faith In Christ" DVD. We went over to their house to deliver it and met John and his wife Nancy. They are a very nice Lutheran couple who made it very clear that they wish to stay Lutheran. We told them about the DVD and answered some questions they had about our beliefs. We gave John a Book of Mormon and asked if we could come back to tell them about how the Book of Mormon came to be. They said we could come back. John expressed his sorrow about how their daughter had recently passed and we prayed with them and said we would continue to keep them in our prayers. I am excited to go back. 

We've been trying to work a lot with the members but it's hard because the boundaries were just switched around. Everyone at church is new because they combined four different wards. I feel like this is a great time to try and help the less-actives come back into the fold. 

Oh and I wanted to mention how on Thursday I went to a training meeting that was given by a man who was in the missionary video's called "The District". He gave a great training that changed my perspective on teaching. It will be challenging adjusting to the new techniques he taught but I know he was inspired and that success will come through diligence. 


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I'm so sorry everyone but I have absolutely no time to write today. The library was closed yesterday and today is a full day. 
I am in Sandy Creek, Missouri- which is just 20 minutes from Webster Groves where I served for 5 months! It's fun being back in Missouri :) Yesterday for P-Day we went and played football under the arch. It was nice to get to run around. It looks so different here in the fall/winter. All the leaves are starting to fall off of the trees. 

My new companion is Sister Lowther. She is 19 and from South Carolina. She was home-schooled till she went to BYU for a semester. She's very smart and has a wonderful testimony. She is waiting for her visa to arrive so she can go serve in Brazil. She's learning Portuguese, which is fun because I get to learn a little bit too. 
All of the ward boundaries got split up and changed recently and so our area is huge. It's crazy how much we drive. And we have limited miles, which makes everything challenging. We have to do a lot of math and planning. The Bishop is excited to help us and that makes me happy. We currently have three investigators and two with baptismal dates. The field is white here and we just need to figure out how best to harvest. Love you all!!

Sister Collett

Monday, November 4, 2013

It's November! 

Seriously, time is flying! We had a great week. It started off with a food fight last P-day to celebrate Elder Teixeira's birthday and also to celebrate two Elders going home at the end of the transfer... although it is sad they went home. Anyway, it was lots of fun. I even got raw egg in my hair!

Tuesday we found out that Sister Huppi and I will BOTH be training! Pretty exciting. Only three sisters are coming out so I'm pretty surprised that both of us will be training. But I am also excited. Sister Huppi will be a great trainer. 

Rayman is doing great! We had a stellar lesson with him Tuesday and he still wants to get baptized but we set a new date with him for the 16th. I don't know if I said this last week but he just got kind of nervous about taking such a big step. He went to church yesterday and even fasted! Saturday night after the baptism he was like, " Who's ready to starve tomorrow??" with great excitement. Man, he is so funny. 

Wednesday we had a lesson with a recent convert named Alexis who I have become good friends with. She helped me to see that God called me to this area to help prepare her for her mission. She has been called to serve in the Tucson, Arizona mission and will leave when she graduates. It has been such an amazing thing to see her grow in the gospel. I am so grateful for her testimony. 

Qiuyuan is still doing great! She totally dropped drinking coffee and reads and prays- I am so proud of her! We went over the baptismal interview questions with her and she did great. Ugh! I love her so much. When I told her that we might be transferred she was so sad! I wish I could be there for her baptism at the end of the month. :(

We taught Christian about faith in Jesus Christ and repentance and how we can be cleansed from sin. We invited him to be baptized the first weekend of December and said that was perfect! Saturday he came to the baptism of Chris and Sunday he came to church and really enjoyed it.

Halloween was a blast! We went to a party at Christina Allen's house and it was great. Investigators came and we even got a few referrals out of it! And the food was great. It was stormy and fun. I love holidays!

Sorry this email is all over the place but I need to hurry. The baptism of Chris was amazing and I was soooo filled with joy and the spirit as I saw him become perfectly clean. Sister Huppi and I sang a musical number that came together nicely. Chris bore his testimony, which was very powerful. Saturday night we found out that I will be opening a new area in Missouri called Sandy Creek! I'm excited to open and train again but will really miss all of the wonderful people here I have come to love and care for so much. 

Gah! Gotta go catch a bus! Have a wonderful week! Next time you hear from me I will be back in Missouri! Love you all!

Sister Collett

Monday, October 28, 2013

Well Chris finished the Book of Mormon in two days and is now almost done with the Doctrine and Covenants... it's pretty crazy. Not just that he read that much but the distinct change that has come over him is unbelievable. He is so happy all the time now and testifies of the truthfulness of the gospel at every chance he gets. He's even talking about serving a mission! And he's 25! Never in my life have I seen someone change as much as he has and so quickly. I have gained a testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon. I'm so happy God answers prayers and can purify all that come unto him. Chris is so excited to get baptized this weekend! :)

[ haha! Chris just texted us and said, " D&C 122:8 - The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he? SO GOOD" ]

Tuesday we met with Precious and had an incredible lesson that ended with the spirit so strong. We invited her to be baptized on the 9th of November and she accepted with a smile and emotion in her voice. 
After that we had a random potluck thing with a bunch of members, non-members, investigators and missionaries that was really fun. After eating dinner we watched a Mormon message from Elder Holland's testimony of the Book of Mormon. Sister Huppi and I then bore our testimonies and invited everyone there to read and ask God if the book is true. The Spirit was strong and they all agreed. After that we met with Christina's friend Kate who has met with us a couple of times before. She went to the Apple Orchard with us and we try to meet with her as much as possible but she's super busy. It was a good lesson and Precious was sitting in on it. Kate has a problem with coffee and somehow it came up and Precious was like, "What? We can't drink coffee?!" Then she stopped and was like, "Awe whatever, I know it's bad for me anyway." Haha! It was so great. We taught her more about it later. 

Wednesday the Sister Training Leaders came for exchanges. We had an appointment that day with a new investigator named Christian who is wheelchair bound and very sweet. I knew that since we would be on exchanges only one of us would get to teach him with one of the SLTs. I felt prompted to have Sister Huppi teach him with Sister Woodward and Sister Zundel and I went out contacting on campus. It was fun switching it up and working with another sister. After we came back together the sisters told us about the lesson. They said that Christian had been reading and prayed about the Book of Mormon. He told them he had a dream that the Lord came to him and told him that it was true but that he needed to find out for himself. He knew that this was the path that God wanted him to take. Christian is an amazing spirit and is such a strong individual. He was born three months premature and has very little control of his body. He is very smart and loves to read. He said that he wants to be baptized and has been reading the Book of Mormon. He has a Catholic family and has decided to tell them he is getting baptized when he goes home for Thanksgiving.

Thursday we met with Rayman, read from the Book of Mormon with him and went over the baptismal interview questions. He said he felt ready and we invited him to come to Shannon's baptism on Saturday. He came and was interviewed afterwards. 

Our meeting with Qiuyuan was incredible. We have been meeting with her even though her father and boyfriend didn't approve of her being baptized. We had a beautiful lesson on temples and tithing and families. Her initial interest in the church came from going to temple square and learning about families. In the lesson I asked her a personal question about her boyfriend she speaks fondly of. I asked, "Do you think you will marry your boyfriend?"
She smiled and said yes. I then asked if she loved him. She replied with a very sincere "yes". Then I said, "What would it mean to you to know that you could be with your boyfriend and your family forever?" Her eyes widened and she said it would be the most important thing to her. The spirit was so strong as we testified of eternal families and bore our testimonies to her. 
I read 1 Nephi 3:7 that says, "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."
Then I explained how God would not command us to be baptized if he couldn't prepare a way for us. I told her a little about Nephi and the faith he had to follow the Lord even when he could lose his life and how the Lord delivered him. Then I asked her if she had faith that the Lord would prepare a way for her to be baptized and she said, "Half" - I told her that all you need is a little faith. Alma 32 says "if we have but a particle of faith, let that desire work in you." We invited her to set a new date to be baptized on the 23rd of November and she accepted. She said she will pray and ask her father again. 
On Sunday at church she came to us after and was so excited to tell us that she had spoken with her father and "It was like magic" how his opinion changed. She said she is still praying for her boyfriend but she knows that God loves her and that he answers her prayers. 

We taught Precious the rest of the Plan of Salvation with a former less active named Christian. He did a great job teaching and after the lesson he shared with us how he has been considering serving a mission after he graduates! We were SO excited. He has loved helping us teach and it's so great to see members, non-members and everyone grow in the gospel as it is being taught. 
Precious talked to me after church and said how she had shared the plan of salvation with one of her friends. She said she explained it all to her and she really liked it. I told her how when we share our testimonies they grow and I said, "You wouldn't have shared it, if you didn't believe it was true." She said I was right and that she definitely believes it. 

We had one last lesson with Shannon as an investigator Friday night just to get her prepared for when she would be baptized the next day. We went over the promises she's be making and she was able to be shown what it would be like through a video on The next day she was baptized and Chris, Rayman and Precious were all there and were able to feel the spirit and get excited for their own baptisms. 

I can't begin to describe the feeling that comes with watching someone you've come to love so much enter into the waters of baptism. To see them follow the example of Jesus Christ and be fully immersed in the water and come up washed clean from all their sins is the most beautiful thing. The joy that came on her face was priceless. The service was beautiful and two members of our branch did a piano, trumpet duet of the song "When I Am Baptized'. It was really cool. 

After the baptism we had an open house at the institute and gave tours of the building. We chalked on the ground outside and some people came in! It was great! We had some members bring friends and it was a great way to get people to come and learn more. 
That evening we taught Emre (he's from Turkey) and we taught him about the importance of prayer and church attendance. He read from the Book of Mormon and said he could tell it wasn't like any other book. He said he would come to church and he did!! :) 

Sunday we had SIX investigators at church!! Chris, Rayman, Precious, Christian, Qiuyuan and Emre! It was SO GREAT! Man, that felt good having that many people there! :) and the talks were great! They all said they enjoyed church and are moving closer and closer to God! I'm so happy that sometimes I just laugh at how great life is! 

But transfer calls are this Saturday aaand if I get transfered... I don't know how happy I will be. I love the Lord and I know he knows what's best but I just can't leave these people!! They've come so far! Oh I hope Sister Huppi and I can stay one more transfer. :( Gah! I love the gospel!! 

P.S. Sister Huppi has taught me how to do a handstand and a cartwheel! It's so great! Oh and I can play twinkle twinkle little star on the violin! :D

Monday, October 21, 2013

Great things are happening people. GREAT. THINGS.
We met a girl named Precious at our bus stop at the beginning of the week and she was really nice. We sat down on the bus and I proceeded to tell her all about the restoration and showed her how great the Book of Mormon is and explained where it came from. She was hooked. Totally wanted to learn more and we met with her Tuesday and taught her the full restoration and she had great questions and seemed to really like it. She said that she has never been baptized and would love to be baptized when she knows it's true. She came to church and loved it, is coming to home evening tonight and we are meeting with her again tomorrow and will hopefully be setting a baptismal date with her. God. Is. Great. 

Tuesday Rayman showed up to his appointment early. He sat down and said that he had come to tell us that he wouldn't be able to meet with us anymore. Sister Huppi and I were speechless and didn't know what to say. I'm sure we both prayed in our hearts and then somehow, by the grace of God, we proceeded to have an extremely spirit-driven lesson that was exactly what he needed to hear. He shared with us that the night before when he was contemplating not meeting with us anymore, he was translating a Japanese proverb that said, "Don't run from those who come to you."
This experience really impressed him and I asked him if he was going to take the advice or not? He laughed and said he would and we continued to teach him about the story of the  Tree of Life in the Book of Mormon. I don't even really remember all that we taught, I just know that at the end of it he felt much better and wanted to continue to progress towards baptism. 

We had dinner at Momma Shepp's house again and had some leftovers from her little Canadian Thanksgiving... so delicious. We've been trying hard to work with the members more and focused a lot of the week on meeting with them. 

Thursday we taught Rayman again who now is super solid and totally came to church!! Which is a huge deal because he said he always had a rough time coming to his old church. He loved it though and then texted us later that day and said, "It's so weird, I was watching this show and a line from one of the characters stuck out to me and it said "Someone who can't sacrifice anything can't hope to gain anything" Today of all days!"
God is totally speaking to him all the time! It is so cool! 

That day we also taught Shannon about Temples and family history and she and Dominique were interviewed for their baptisms. Elder Locklear is our district leader and he later told us that her interview was a very spiritual experience. She bore her testimony to him and told him that the day that we met her on campus she had been going through a hard time and prayed for help... soon after we talked to her on campus and taught her the restoration. I still remember how matter-of-factly she accepted baptism. The Lord is so great!

We then taught Qiuyuan the lesson that I have been not too excited to teach her... I know how much she likes coffee but we had to teach her the Word of Wisdom eventually. Then God proved my fears wrong again and the spirit testified to her that this law of health made sense and that it was for her benefit. She is doing her best to live it and also came to church on Sunday! 

Friday we got to work in the kitchen this time at the soup kitchen and it was a blast. There is a man there named Rob who is a pastor for his church and he is just so fun! He sings songs we don't know and is always being funny. Right before we left I came to him and said, "Hey Rob, have you ever wanted to see a Mormon baptism?" He responded with, "Of course I have!" and we told him all about Dominique's baptism and he said he would be there. 

Saturday was baptism day! Dominique looked so beautiful in her white baptismal dress and boy was the spirit there! Our zone leader Elder Anderson baptized her and we sang "I Stand All Amazed." It was great and Rob came along with quite a few other non-members! Oh it was great. She bore her testimony at the end and it was just beautiful. 

The next day she was confirmed as a member of Christ's church and received the girft of the Holy Ghost. We had a great turn-out at church but Chris wasn't there... And we couldn't get a hold of him. His girlfriend Ali texted us that he was in North Carolina visiting his dad. Hmm.. this made me worry a little. We didn't hear back from him for the rest of the day. Then today he called us and told us a crazy story. He went to North Carolina to get away and was wanting to abandon ship and not get baptized. Then last night when he was alone he said that he heard a small voice tell him, "Read scriptures." He ignored the prompting twice and when he couldn't fall asleep he decided to start reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning. He kept reading for ten hours and got all the way to ALMA! He told us he's not sure what happened but that he is definitely getting baptized and that we don't have a thing to worry about! He sounded so happy!

I KNOW GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS. We have been so worried about Chris wondering if he would ever really stop smoking and change to get baptized and the Lord is so good. :) I love my Savior so much. I know that God is real. There is no way these things just happen by chance. This is Christ's Church and it is so great! I love it! All we have to do is keep going! Keep calm and Morm-on! ;)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Picture Post

Birthday cleverness

Full to bursting after being fed by some members....

Her zone

The campus where they frequently proselyte 

.... A rabbit... (lol!)

Spending some time at an apple orchard

Remember to write Sister Collett, she would love to hear from you!

Monday, October 14, 2013

This week was a learning week. We had a lot of success finding but I feel like some weeks I just have spiritual growth-spurts! I feel so blessed to be a missionary. 

We taught Rayman about commandments and tithing because he was worried about not being able to pay his tithing and we cleared that up with the guidance of the spirit real fast. He seems committed but didn't come to church on Sunday... his phone is disconnected so we don't really know where he's at at the moment... it's his birthday today! :)

We had a beautiful lesson with Qiuyuan that was definitely led by the spirit. I love being guided to teach just what that person needs to hear at that time. We talked about putting our trust in God and helping her to see the faith that she has built already. It's been amazing to see her testimony grow. She agreed to coming to the first hour of church this week- it was so good to see her there. What a sweet girl. 

We have a new investigator named Josh who is on the wheelchair basketball team. He had a teammate who was in our branch that is on him mission now. We contacted him on campus and have met with him twice now. He is Catholic and very involved in his church. He seems to really enjoy meeting with us and has a sincere desire to know truth. He said that he would get baptized when he knows it is true. 

Shannon and Dominique and both doing great and we taught them together this week since they both have been taught all the lessons. We shared some Mormon messages with them and invited them to share them with their family and friends. 
We had Shannon come with us to the stake center to have a tour of the building so that we could show her what it looks like and explain how her baptism would go. We sat in the chapel and read the sacrament prayers with her and the spirit was strong. She came to church for the first time the next day and seemed to really enjoy it. 
After church we planned Dominique's baptism with her- she is so excited. I LOVE this work! We will be working on putting together a musical number to perform at her baptism. 

Bus contacting is magical! We only rode the bus once to get to the soup kitchen and in the short time we were on the bus I got two return appointments with people! Maybe we will just start bus-hopping instead of street contacting. 

We met with a less-active named Annie who hasn't been fully active since she was baptized seven years ago. We are teaching her the lessons over and is really starting to open up and make progress. 

We have a new investigator named Emre who is from Turkey. He's 18 and quiet but curious. We had a great first lesson with him and are excited to teach him more. 

We had an incredible lesson with Chris this week. The spirit was so strong and a member that I really look up to shared her incredible testimony. Alexis is a convert of three years and loves helping us with our lessons. She shared about how her weaknesses have made her into the person she is today and it helped me understand why I am the way I am and I now have a new gratitude for the trials and challenges I have been given. I love my Savior and I am so grateful for the guidance he gives me daily. I wish I had more time to write but we need to run to the store. :) Have a beautiful week and remember that God know you- he KNOWS you and knows what you need. Never forget how much he is a part of our lives whether we recognize it or not, he is there. 

Love you all!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Last week we set the goal of having four baptismal dates and at the beginning of the week it looked like a pretty tough goal. But we taught Shannon a lot and finished up the lessons with her. I asked her if she was able to pray about the Plan of Salvation and she said that she knows it's true. She believes all of it now and we set a date for her to be baptized on the 26th of this month! She came to conference and really enjoyed it. She's an awesome girl and I am so excited for her to become a member of Christ's Church. 

Regan wasn't making any progress and so we had to make the hard decision of letting her go. We won't be teaching her anymore but I know that we planted a BIG seed and that one day her heart will be ready to receive the message. 

We taught Quiyuan and she had some sad news for us... when she told her family about getting baptized her father did not approve. She will be returning to China at the end of the year and he doesn't want her to commit to a religion that will not be prevalent when she returns. We showed her a website called Mormons and China and it helped her a lot. We taught her about the tree of life and she said she would still meet with us. She came to the Saturday morning session of General Conference and really enjoyed it. We will be teaching her this week.
We are sad though because we had to drop her baptismal date and that was hard. 

Then we met with Chris and he started the stop smoking workshop with us and was well on his way to being baptized on the 12th. Then Saturday night he relapsed. He wasn't following all the steps in the program and realized he wasn't fully committed to it. He came to us wanting to really change and we believe he will be ready. He's made so much progress in the last couple of weeks. 

Dominique is doing incredible. We went over the baptismal interview questions with her and she is excited to make these promises with God. Her testimony inspires me and I have a strong conviction that the Lord is preparing his children. She will be getting baptized on the 19th of this month.

That night we biked home in the POURING rain and it was so funny. We were soaked and I loved it because I felt like a real missionary :) Wet, cold, and happy. Ha ha! :)

Friday we were sitting in the entrance area of the institute, reading scriptures on our lunch hour when I looked outside and a really happy guy that kind of reminded me of that famous workout guy with the poofy hair... came walking across the street towards our building. He had an orange shirt and seemed really excited about life. He saw me through the window and I waved at him. He stopped and started to walk up to the building. I opened the door and he asked me if Elder Loveless and Belnap were around. I told him they moved areas but that he was welcome to come in and have a seat. His name is Rayman and he had met the missionaries a while back but lost his Book of Mormon. We gave him another one and told him about what we do as missionaries- how our purpose is to bring others unto Christ etc.
He said he would love to read it and meet with us some time. We told him about General Conference which was the next day and told him we could teach him after. 

The next day he came to General Conference and loved it. Right after we taught him the restoration with the help of a couple members and he said that he would get baptized when he knows it's true. The next day he came to Conference again and we met with him after to see how his reading and praying went and so we could answer his questions. He said he had read to chapter TEN and had a lot of great questions about conference. Sister Huppi and I had prepared to present him with a baptismal date for the 2nd of November and he accepted to prepare himself to be baptized on that day. 

Great things are happening peopel. :) Just as they said in conference- this is a very important time in the history of the church. The Lord really is hastening his work! Catch the wave! "Join with us!" as Elder Uchtdorf stated. This church is so true and it is the only way to happiness and it is the only way to return to live with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. My favorite talks in Conference were the ones on missionary work and Elder Russell M. Nelson's talk about how "daily decisions determine our destiny." We need to act now- not tomorrow. Make changes today. "You cannot procrastinate the day of your repentance." I know that we are preparing for the coming of our Lord and Savior. Share this gospel with all those around you. Help our brothers and sisters to prepare to the final judgement when our Savior, Jesus Christ will reign on earth. 
We can turn these perilous times into pearls as we let the truth swell within our hearts and share it will all the world. What a marvelous work this is. I know this Church is the Church of Jesus Christ. He is my Savior and I love him. 

And Happy Birthday Aunt Randy! Hope you know how much you are loved!!! :)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sister Huppi and I have a new saying that I just adore. It came about when we started our new adventure as biking sister missionaries haha :) Oh that first day was so fun! Yes dad, I still know how to ride. ;) Our Zone Leaders are awesome and found me a bike I can use that has been passed around the mission. It's a little tall for me but it works. It's a nice bike and I have an awesome helmet that looks great on me. Oh I'm so grateful for those Elders. Sister Huppi is kinda small so we needed to find her a little bike... and she got it! A member found one on craigslist for free and it's awesome. Super retro and a little squeeky. :) I never have to worry if she isn't behind me because I can hear her squeaking along. We laugh and smile and whenever we have a struggle or laugh about how cool we look in our helmets we exclaim, "I love it Lord, I love it! And we really do. We even rode our bikes all the way to the soup kitchen on Friday - which was an adventure. Luckily the weather has been so beautiful and I really love being outside. It's so nice to get some exercise. 

This week we taught a lot of people and found five new people to teach. Our investigators are doing great and we now have three people preparing for baptism this month. Woop! October is here! :) Thursday night a sister from my first area in Covington, Indiana came and took us out to dinner. Her name is Sister Blew and she is the relief society president over the Danville ward. She works at the U of I and so it's fun to see her sometimes. The place we went had handmade milkshakes and they were sooo good. Sister Blew wanted some and proceeded to quote the Bible.. kinda. She said, "The milkshake beguiled me, and I did eat." Basically I love the people I have met on my mission and am so glad that I have been blessed with so many friends. 

Ugh, I'm out of time. :( But the scriptures are amazing and I'm learning so much! I want to write about how great they are! I love the gospel and want to encourage everyone to watch General Conference this coming week! And PLEASE invite your friends!! This is an amazing opportunity to invite people to listen to the Lord speak through his prophet! I'm so excited and hope you all enjoy it! Love you!

Sister Collett

Monday, September 23, 2013

Remember how I said I would be surprised at whatever happens with transfers? Well, I've never been this surprised! Luckily, Sister Huppi and I are staying here and together- YAY! But yesterday the Zone Leaders gave us some exciting news... We now have unlimited miles! Why? Because we will no longer have a car to drive. University 2 has now become a biking area! Hahaha! They are taking our car! We are going to be biking sisters!! What the heck?! Talk about a crazy curve ball. Man, the Lord always surprises me with how much he loves me. "Ask and ye shall receive" has gained new meaning to me on my mission. I'm just spoiled by him! Whatever I need he gives me- in this case it was a way to lose weight! So he takes my car. I'm still a little in shock because I didn't think I would ever be without a car because usually all the sisters get cars, but now that there are so many missionaries we don't have enough! 
So today will be spend looking for cheap bikes and helmets... ca. ra. zy.
How are we gonna get to the store? Everything is super spread out! And it's turning into fall/winter already! lol Oh gosh. Good thing I love adventure! Sister Huppi is stoked :) That sister was born for missionary work. She has so much energy!!! Sometimes it's hard to keep up with her. But I love it because she pushes me to be better.
Sad news about Rachel... her mom was not happy when she told her she wanted to get baptized and now she isn't allowed to come to any activities or be taught by us. :( That is the fifth person I have set a baptismal date with on my mission who couldn't do it because of parents. Sigh, if only they knew the joy and blessings they are keeping their children from. But! It is in the Lord's time and in his own way. I trust him.
Anna didn't show up to her lesson and we don't have any way to contact her other than email because she doesn't have a phone... BUT! We won't give up!
We were blessed with investigators being handed off to us by the Elders this week. The Urbana Elders gave us a group of people living in a house... It's just a bunch of unmarried couples. But they are awesome and totally listen to everything we've been telling them and Kamario is this 20 year old kid who is just loving what we teach. He asks great questions and is reading the Book of Mormon! They all wanted to come to church buuut when we went with a member to pick them up they were all asleep... Next week! :) They will come.
Wednesday night Dominique came to institute! I think she liked it. :) Later in the week we taught her the commandments and the word of wisdom and she was totally committed to living them! So great. Then on Sunday when she came to church- guess what the talks and lessons were on... keeping the commandments and the word of wisdom! So solid. 
Thursday we taught a new investigator named Chris who was being taught by the Elders until he decided that he wanted to try being taught by sisters since he's been taught by Elders for so long. He's ready and wants to be baptized but has some things holding him back. His girlfriend Ali- who is less active has been a great person to have at our lessons. She needs to hear the gospel just as much as he does. He needs to give up smoking and strengthen his faith. We were going to set a baptismal date with him tomorrow but he just told us he's moving to Hawaii. What? Ugh! Okay... dang it! 
That's okay, we will make sure he gets in contact with the missionaries over there. He will be okay. :)
We had seven appointments all in a row on Thursday- so fun! Regan is no longer keeping her commitments. We decided to take a new rout and see if she will teach us what she believes. We'll see where that goes but I have faith that these things are inspired.
Qiuyuan came to home evening monday and is really doing well. She didn't come to church this weekend because it was a Chinese holiday but we taught her Thursday about the gospel of Jesus Christ. She had great questions and we are excited to teach her again. She's still solid for being baptized on the 12th. Oh and Dominique changed her date to the 19th because she wants it to be close to her birthday as a present to herself. Which is cool. Just need to keep praying and staying strong.
Shannon is doing awesome! She is praying and learning and was totally planning on coming to church but got sick and couldn't come. Which stinks because President Bednar (Elder Bednar's son) came and spoke and it was way good. He spoke about becoming what God wants us to be and how the gospel isn't a checklist or a list of do's and don'ts. We are all trying to become like God and Jesus Christ. I love that.
K, now onto a good story. Soup Kitchen Friday!!! So this week were were all assigned different jobs and Sister Huppi was busing while I did soup. There are two kids of soup and so Elder Smith was manning the other soup. But for some reason, when we would ask people which soup they wanted, my chicken and rise soup was all that people wanted! Poor Elder Smith held the same empty bowl for a long time. He'd smile big and hope someone would want the beef and noodles but they would always want my soup. After a while we decided to switch to see what would happen so that hopefully the Elder would get to serve some soup! All of the sudden everyone wanted beef! Hahaha- his face :'D So funny! "What the heck? Why does everyone love sisters?!" the Elder exclaimed. The other missionaries around us started to notice what was going on and it became a fun little experiment. Elder Anderson (our ZL) told me to switch him jobs to see what happens if it's two Elders serving soup. Elder Smith is a little guy that looks like the napster guy in the movie "The Italian Job" and Elder Anderson is about 6'4'' and half black. At this point all the missionaries in there different jobs are watching to see what happens.
Elder Smith got to give out 2 bowls of soup while he was serving with Elder Anderson haha! We switched it back to me and he didn't give out any. Then Elder Frances wanted to take on the challenge to see if he could serve soup against me. (Haha, soup story.. I guess you kinda had to be there but I thought it was memorable.) Basically we concluded the fact that Sister are just better at serving soup. The End.
There's a return sister missionary in the branch named Christina who served in the visitors center in Mesa, Arizona. She is basically an angel and is always doing missionary work and helping us out. The other day when an appointment went through she decided to take us and her friend that we are teaching to the Curtis Apple Orchard! Anna who is also a member of the branch came and we had so much fun! We made sure to take lots of pictures and the apple slushies were sooo good! We ate a huge bag of kettle corn and had the best apple doughnuts I've ever eaten in my life. We taught her friend Kate a lesson on gratitude and also found a referral for the Rantoul Elders. There was a guy with a BYU shirt and we asked him if he was Mormon. Said no and that he was just a huge fan. We told him about what we do as missionaries and got his info to pass onto the Elders serving where he lives. Woop!
Now I have to go because the day is going and we need to find bikes! AHHH!! Still can't believe it! What the heck am I going to wear?!?!? Haha :) Missions are so fun.