Monday, March 18, 2013

Hey Family!
Thanks for writing me mom and dad, it was good to hear how you and the family are doing. Thank you soooo much mom for the St. Patrick's Day package! So cute! All three of us wore our little green hat clips to church! I even tried to take a picture for you. I will try to attach it. That is so funny that you made Corned beef and cabbage because that is exactly what I had! That and potatoes. I thought it was okay but the best part was green mint chocolate chip shakes afterward. A family in the ward made it and had us over. It was so fun. So awesome that Camden is rolling over! Love that little man. Hey, I need a picture of his cute face! Would you please send me one? I miss him. Sounds like L.A. was fun! You mentioning antiques made me think of how I haven't even told you how cute Covington is. There are a lot of antique shops and everything seems to be antique. The houses are all really old and cool looking and the center of the town itself is just cool looking. You would love it. But the weather has been kinda crazy. It's usually pretty cold but not temperature wise... it's the humidity. It makes the cold go straight through you! But then some days it gets a little warmer and then the next day it will snow. So good thing my mom prepared me with good clothes cuz this weather is nuts. It's been fun though and I'm glad we have a car. Limited miles lets us walk around town though. Our area covers Indiana and a couple of towns in Illinois. Dad! The other day when we were driving home I counted 69 deer! Luckily we haven't seen any in the roads yet.
Dad! I hope you have an awesome Birthday! I sent something in the mail for mom to prepare to give to you. I hope she got it and can give it to you. But I love you so much! Mom, I was wondering if maybe you could send me an Arizona Sunsets calendar with everyone's birthdays on it...? Would you mind doing that for me? Because since I don't have technology I actually need a calendar. Also, I know you are all busy, but feel free to write me letters in the mail. I love hearing from you and it's nice to get something in the mailbox every now and then. :) Thanks! Oh and thanks for telling me about how you used part of my letter in your talk dad :) That made me feel special.
So this last week went by in a flash. We worked hard! Our teaching pool got pretty small after Morgan became a member and a couple of our investigators dropped us. So we have been tracting and praying and fasting for new investigators. This week we gained four new people to teach! On Tuesday we tracted in a little tiny town called Newport and people would not keep their doors open long enough  to even hear what we had to say. Door after door just kept shutting and we had to work to keep our spirits up. Then we had dinner at a members house there and Sister Delp really made us feel better. Good food and good examples of people who accept the gospel and change their lives always brighten our day. She was found by sister missionaries a long time ago in Colorado. After hearing her story we left to tract a few more houses before heading home. It was snowing and people wouldn't even let us in. Just as we were finishing up, thinking we hadn't had much success at all that day, the very LAST house on the street was our miracle of the day. Jane Wood answered us with a "yes" .... my response was "Really?" I was so shocked that she actually wanted to hear and learn about the gospel! She said her dad was sick and just recovering from surgery so we would have to come back in a week but she genuinely wanted us to teach her and her son. What a great day! Jane made the whole day worth it and we were so excited!
We taught the Carron family two more times and then had to say goodbye. We are SO sad that they have to move and we didn't get to see them baptized here. But we are going to stay in contact and make sure they find the missionaries in Arkansas and get baptized there. They are such an awesome family. I love them so much and just wish they could stay. But everything happens for a reason.
We've been back over to Cynthia's house several times. She's the lady in the tailer I was prompted to knock on. Each time we go she is either not there, not feeling well, or not there... BUT I have faith that we will catch her on a good day and we WILL teach her and she WILL gain eternal salvation! Haha. :)
We tracted a lot this week. It was fun but I think we need to work on our door aproaches. I've been thinking a lot about how to make them better.
We taught Morgan the last lesson after baptism and she is a rockstar! She told us about how she has decided to stop listening to certain bands and she has even decided to start working out! I was so happy to hear that and explained to her that she is becoming truly converted because she is changing. To repent means to change and that is what she is doing. Such an awesome girl! Oh and she brought her sister to church yesterday and guess who wants to keep coming to church and take the lessons!? Ally does! That's her sisters name. BUT she is 17 and her mom won't let her take the lessons. :( Hopefully when she turns 18 in July I can still be here to teach her. She's such a cool person.
How is the Book of Mormon reading going for you all? I try to read 15 pages a day so that I can have it done before next transfer but I'm falling behind. I'm really gonna have to step it up but I just hope that Billy is reading it as much as we are. He needs to know the Book of Mormon is true.
We're planning a trip to take Morgan to the temple in a few weeks! HA! Her husband is sitting two computers away from me... that is not a coincidence. Last time we were here Ron Stevens was on that computer. God is bringing us the people who don't want to hear the gospel. Haha! I hope her husband Jake can one day accept the gospel. He's really young though and probably just needs some time to mature. He's 18 and says he just doesn't like church. He won't listen to us now but I bet he will come around.
A couple of days ago Bishop was at the church for some reason when he saw a car pull up. A man walked up and tried the door. That's when Bishop asked if he needed something. The man's name was Tom Miller and he asked what time church was on Sundays and if he could have one of those Mormon Bibles. HA! We were pretty stoked when Bishop called and told us this story. Bishop gave him a Book of Mormon and told him what he needed to know, got his address and we went to visit him on Saturday. Tom and his wife Lori are an older couple who are looking to know which church is true. We taught them about the restoration and the Book of Mormon and asked them to be baptized. They were open to everything except for that last part. But hopefully coming to know that this is the true church will help them want to be baptized.
We tracted in Eugene and the only people that let us in were sweet little old ladies. Gotta love 'em! They were pretty old and lonely but we taught them and both said we could come back so we were happy. That night we ate dinner at the Kesslers who have a 23 lb cat that I took a picture with. Crazy good food too!
We are also teaching a 13-year-old named Nani and we are going to meet her parents today. She really likes church but her dad is Catholic so we'll see how he feels about her being baptized. Fingers crossed.
Corey Bugg is also taking the lessons from us and was at church this Sunday! Even his wife's mom Wanda was at church and she has been less-acitve for a while. We are working on getting their entire family back to church and will hopefully have a baptismal date for Corey soon. He has a crazy work schedule but he knows it's true, we just need to teach him and get him ready. 
We had 21 'Other Lessons Taught' this week! Which is a LOT! And we were all pretty excited about that. We're always improving and becoming better missionaries each day. This work is awesome and I love being out here! But I do miss you all and would love to get some letters. Have so much fun in Hawaii and soak up the sun for me! Love you all!!
Sister Collett

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dear everyone I love,
Thank you so much for your prayers because everything has been absolutely amazing! And I'm not just saying that. I don't think I have been even remotely sad or negative since I first placed my badge on my chest. What an incredible opportunity it is to bare Jesus Christ's name and next to my family name. I am so proud to be a Collett and a desciple of Jesus Christ.
So quess where I am right now. Really, Everyone think about my mission boundaries and guess where I am. Because it isn't Missouri and it isn't Illinois. Haha! I'm in that tiny little upper right-hand corder of the mission in Indiana! I'll tell you how I got here really quick. After flying in to St. Louis and being greated by my amazing new mission Presidents and Sister Clarks loving hug we were taken to the mission home to let the Elders settle in and then the sisters all went to a hotel. This is the biggest group they have ever had and so our first night we were spoiled and got to sleep in nice hotel beds. The next day was Transfer Meeting and I was the first to come up to the microphone to read off my companions name and the area I was going to. I got a huge hug from Sister Lowe and Sister Woodward! Yep, I am in a tri-panionship! And I couldn't be happier! Walking around people introduced themselves to me and said I had the best trainer their is. And they were all right. The three of us were definitely meant to be together. Sister Lowe is from Virginia and has been out for 14 months. Sister Woodward is just two months older than me and has been out since January so we are both being trained. But man, she is an incredible missionary. She is from Utah and we are all so different but we definitely mesh well.
So after meeting them we went with a member that drove them and got lunch in St. Louis before embarking on our 4 hour drive to my new home in Indiana! So get this, our area is very large and spread out but there is only one church out here. There are very few members and almost everyone in the ward is a convert. The church is actually over the line in Illinois and because of the time difference, we are always planning two different times. Like all the Elders are over in places that go off of illinois time but a lot of the members live over where we are in Covington. Haha, it's so weird. But I'm catching on! My companions are so patient and loving. And we have already done so much good.
Once we arrived to our apartment Thursday evening we went to our first appointment with the Carron family. We walked into the tiny house and I was immediately humbled. Everything was dirty and small and sad looking. Cockroaches were everywhere and all the little boys running around looked dirty but sweet. I have never loved a little family so much in my life. We taught them the restoration and the spirit was so strong. The oldest boy Branden said he tried reading from the Book of Mormon. I asked him how it made him feel. "Different" he said with a smile. Sister Lowe asked, "Like a 'good' different?" he replied with a big smile and said yes. I explained that that was the Holy Ghost telling him that the book was true. We continued the lesson and Sister Woodward taught the restoration portion breifly... then I had this insane desire to recite the first vision because she had left that part out. I knew then what the spirit was telling me to do. I asked if I could say something and recited the first vision to them. The spirit in the room grew even stronger. I bore my testimony about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. Then I asked both of them if they woud follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by the proper priesthood authority.They both said yes! And with gladness! Oh what a great feeling that was! We set a date and then read from the Book of Mormon with them. This experience changed my life. Sitting in that room I could honestly feel the intense love that Heavenly Father has for the Carron family. I loved them. Before I even talked to them I loved them and I love them even more as I pray for them constantly. The next day we went to talk to the mom and she said she had read from the Book on her own and knew it was true. She prayed about it. We went through the baptismal questions with her and she is definitely going to be ready.
That all happened within the first couple of hours of being in the field! You think that's good? Wait till you hear about the next day! TRACTING. Everyone was letting us in their houses! I don't know what the deal was, maybe our crazy faith but people actually listened to us! At first when we started not many people were home. Then I knocked on a door that opened. "Hey, sorry to bother you.." I smiled and couldn't finish because he was already telling us to come in. Ron Stevens was taught the first lesson and I know I said things during that lesson that only the spirit would have me say. I taught what Christ would have taught. It was incredible. We invited him to read the Book of Mormon, pray to know it is true and to be baptized a member of Jesus Christ's church. He said he would. The next house, totally let us in. A couple houses down we were let in to the next house. At this point we were out of Book of Mormon's and said we would come back to bring it to these two 14 year-old boys. Then we had dinner at a members home the Sullivan's and invited them to do a family mission plan we are implimenting for members. They were excited.
Then we went to Morgan's house and taught her and Sister Sullivan went with us. Morgan is 19 and newly married. She is an investigator that my companions found a month ago tracting. She is getting baptized this Saturday! Basically, the field is white here already to harvest and we are always busy! I love it! The next couple of days weren't as insanely miraculous but still had miracles. The members help out so much and take such good care of us. This little town is so cute and OLD. We are in the sticks out here haha but our apartment is nice. I love teaching the people out here. I love teaching. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! But it is also nice to have P-Day :)
We cleaned our apartment this morning and after this I get to go to the store finally! Haha, don't worry, I haven't been starving. But now I can get enough food to last the week instead of just the weekend. Anyway... Oh!
Mom, if you have my phone still I would like it if you could look on it in my notes and find my recipe for Santa Fe Stew. I also took a picture of it as well so you can look in my pictures if you don't find it in my notes.
Also, my new address is
Sister Alexa Collett
115 Washington Street
Covington, Indiana 47932
If you want to send a package of my journals and exercise ball n such you can send it to the mission home and I can get it when we go down for zone conference at the end of this month. That would be awesome. And send me a letter or two to tell me how you are all doing ;) Miss you guys!
Oh my gosh, I have so many stories to tell you! And it hasn't even been a week yet! There's just too much to say in so little time. But just know I am happy as can be and I love being out here! The Book of Mormon is TRUE! Zachary, you need to read this book. I promise it will change your life. If you want a testimony, read it! You will KNOW that Christ really lives. That he really does love you and that the gospel changes you. I promise that there is nothing better in this life than the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that it's true! But you can't know until you are willing to ask and act on that answer. I love all of you more than I could ever express. I want us all to do more missionary work. Mom and dad, maybe you could make profiles on Get into family history! Mom, you can use indexing to SAVE SOULS! .... Sorry, I keep using all caps but I am just really excited about all this. I promise you, as a representative of Jesus Christ, that doing missionary work with bring you closer together as a family and it will bring you closer to God. When we were baptized we made the promise to "stand as witnesses of God." this means being a missionary.
I just started to read the Book of Mormon again. What if we all started together again as a family? Then we can talk to each other about the things we learn and the blessings that we see come from reading. Anyway. Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help strengthen you or our family. This is a great work and we are so blessed to be a part of it. Woohoo!
I love this Gospel.I love my Savior and I love all of you! Keep on smiling!
Love always,
Sister Collett