Monday, April 29, 2013

This week was full of good ol' hard work! We stayed extremely busy and found while we taught. A big part of missionary work is finding those that are truly prepared. My Mission President explained it well- "Sifting is hard work. You have to take several scoopfuls of sand and sift before you find a nugget. Sifting is what we do in missionary work. Scooping is what we do also. I am so happy our mission is exceeding our Region and Area in "scooping" and "sifting." Because of our hard work we are one of the top baptizing missions in the Midwest." This is what we do. We get sad when people don't keep commitments or ask us not to come back, but it's all part of the process. We are starting to narrow it down and will hopefully have a baptismal date set soon. We are teaching a guy named John who is actually our neighbor. The way we found this golden investigator was a pretty fun story.
Last Monday we needed quarters for laundry and so we went across the street to get some at a restaurant. We were not happy when we put all the clothes in and realized we were short 50 cents. We didn't want to go back to the restaurant because that would be embarrassing. We looked everywhere and couldn't find any quarters so I grabbed a dollar bill and started nocking on doors around our apartment complex. No one seemed to be home in the middle of the day till one door opened. A man in his 30s with some sweet dreadlocks answered and got his little jar or change to see if he had any. He was nice and said he just did laundry and sadly didn't have any. Then he said "You guys are Mormon right?" I flipped my hair back from covering my nametag and said "Yes! We're missionaries!" He then told us he would love to sit down and talk with us some time. We came back two days later and taught him the Restoration. He told us that he has been religious but is looking for a change. The spirit guided our lesson and Sister Adamson and I taught with love and unity. At the end of inviting him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon I asked, "If you come to know these things are true for yourself, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone who holds the proper authority?" He accepted. SWEET!
We will be teaching him again this afternoon at 4 and invited a member, Brother Keetch, to join us in the lesson. We are really focusing on involving the members and getting to know them. I'm excited to teach him again and see how his reading went. He had a close friend pass away over the weekend which is so sad... but because the next lesson is the Plan of Salvation I know that we can apply it to his life. The Lord is the Master of this vineyard and it is SO cool to labor in the field with him. I love this!
One more highlight of the week really quick...
The C. family (name removed by request) was on our "Potentials" list and we decided to contact them and see if we could teach them. When we knocked on the door they gladly let us in and Brian and his wife Melissa (age 40s) told us about their history with missionaries. He explained how they had been taught many years ago but that when he read the story of Nephi getting the gold plates, he could not understand or accept the fact that the spirit told Nephi to slay Laban. Sister Adamson read to him the scripture that says it is better for a wicked man to perish than a whole nation to dwindle in unbelief. "Yeah, yeah, that's all the Elders could give me. But it still doesn't make sense that God would say, thou shalt not kill and then command someone to kill." Then the spirit brought to my mind the atonement. I explained to Brian that God let his only begotten Son be tortured and killed. That he knows more than all of us and can see the greater purpose for the bad things that he allows to happen. The spirit was strong and I read a scripture to him about the atonement and what it does for us. Then Sister Adamson explained that the Lord gave Laban two chances to just give the plates to them. He still used his agency and he still decided to be wicked. It was after God gave him the chance to change that he was delivered into the hands of Nephi. We also talked about war and fighting for righteousness and how Nephi was fighting a battle for the Lord.
Brian then said, "Okay, I feel like we can move on now." His wife Melissa put down her knitting needles and explained to us that we had just done something that no missionary could ever do. That Brian had been stuck on this thing for years and whenever missionaries would come back to try to teach them he would ask if they had solved the Nephi problem and they wouldn't ever tell them anything more than what the scriptures said! They couldn't learn any more because he couldn't have that question answered! WE DID IT! Two little baby missionaries that hardly know anything solved this problem and then gained their trust! They told us to come back Friday for a salmon dinner.
We then told them about the ward cake auction put on every year to raise money for boys and girls camp! Their 11 year-old boy CJ just happens to be an amazing chef that leapt at the opportunity to make his famous New York-style cheese cake! They came to the auction and were welcomed by everyone in the ward and it was so cool to see the ward fellowship! CJ won an award for his cake and they even bought something.
Another family we are teaching came to the auction as well but I don't have time to say anymore. Until next time!
The Church is TRUE!!!!
Sister Collett

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sister Adamson, her new companion.

A trip to the zoo.  She was excited that there was free admission.

Tracting in foggy weather, prayerfully searching for people ready to receive the gospel.

She said there are a lot of beautiful cathedrals in her new area.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Lord has truly blessed Sister Adamson and I. We are being directed and guided to people that are willing and ready to learn about the gospel and it is so incredible. There really is nothing cooler than going home and looking back on the day and seeing how the Lord takes us by the hand and shows us where to go and who to talk to. I know that this is the Lord's work because without him, none of this would be possible. The church is growing at the rate that it is because the Lord is hastening his work. We are doing this under his direction through a Prophet of God who knows and loves our Savior. This really is a historical time and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.
This week has been love Sister Adamson week for me. I have really been trying to learn how to love and teach her the way that the Lord would have me. I am not very good at it yet but I know that he is helping me and that I am getting better every day. Again- there is no way I could do this without the Lord. I love him so much!
Sister Adamson is from Hurricane, Utah (by St. George) and has three siblings and a nephew, just like me! But she has a brother who's 12 and a sister who's 4... yep! a lil baby sista! Idk how old her older sis is. But we are very different. Her mother never cooked or cleaned for her and so she loves to eat spaggetti-Os and is good at cleaning. She's a very sweet girl and now that we are into the work we are getting along and enjoying laughing together. She's super young (19) and I am learning to be loving and patient. The best part of training is seeing her grow in the work. She really is learning a lot and at the same time as me. There is still so much that I am trying to learn and figure out and luckily she is patient with me. I really do feel blessed to be learning and growing with her. She is an amazing missionary and is trying so hard. We both are trying hard.
With hard work and obedience we are blessed with success! This week we were lead to find 12 new people to teach! And all of them are black! I love black people!! Seriously, they are so fun! Especially people like Donna :) She is a walking miracle and she just LOVES Jesus and her salvation is SO important to her! She's Babtist but super open to learning more about the gospel. Her son who's 17 was totally up for learning more as well. They are such nice people and she is a GREAT singer. We teach her on Fridays. Oh we do teach one white lady named Lori! Her daughter became a member and is waiting on a missionary. She said we could come teach her but probably won't change... so she thinks ;D
We are teaching a mother named Marla and her three triplets who are 12 years old! She let us in and she said we could come back and when we did we cleaned her house which was a mess. But then she made us lunch and it was a lot of gooood food. Ah! I'm out of time!
We are teaching another lady named Lezlie and she is gonna get baptized!!! Oh yeah! ... we were gonna meet with her today but she said she was too busy. Hopefully tomorrow!
Gretta is a way cool story but I don't have time to tell you about everyone! We need to go shopping for food! Oh and we are playing kick ball under The Arch today! I'm excited to see it :) We are gonna have so much fun.
The ward loves us and takes good care of us.
We're teaching and working hard and trying to be the best missionaries we can be!
Last monday we went to the Zoo :)
Love you all :)
Sister Collett

Monday, April 15, 2013

Transfers were crazy. I went in the meeting as a little baby missionary being trained by two incredible missionaries and came out as a trainer with my own little baby missionary that I was going to have to teach and show how to be a missionary. I'm not going to lie and say I wasn't freaking out, because I was. When we left the meeting and I was driving (weird) it took us half the day just to find our apartment because it was in an apartment complex that had one tiny entrance in an odd place. But we made it! We bought some food to last us the rest of the week and got settled.
Day one- Culture Shock!
I've had to become used to the sound of cars and sirens and an ambulance driving by at least once a day. The weather was not welcoming and we had basically no success tracting around houses that I would actually call mansions... I'm not used to seeing people walking around in suits and driving insanely nice cars. In Covington our car was the nicest car for miles! I became comfortable in my first humble area where there were tiny houses and dirty kids. This is just not Covington. BUT!!!! I am staying positive and trying to not think about how EVERYONE and their dog is Catholic and does not want to change. ... Oh Covington, why are you so far away?
NO. I am being positive! I have a baby missionary I have to take care of! And she's precious! Her name is Sister Adamson and she is from Hurricane, Utah. She is very sweet and timid. And very sensitive. So I'm learning to be more sensitive and careful about what I say. Which I'm really excited about because God knows I need to learn to be more sensitive to people's needs. I love this girl and we are going to do great things!
The next couple of days got much better! The sun came out and we were both a lot happier to be in Webster Groves. We organized all our records of potential investigators and spent time walking around the main part of Webster to talk to people and give out as many cards as we could. We met some AWESOME people and it was amazing how many people we talked to that day!
When we ran out of cards we sat down outside of a little cafe that was closed and a kid around our age passed by us and we exchanged our "Hi, how's it going?" and he passed on by. ...I felt like we needed to talk to him so I told Sister Adamson. She questioned if I was sure and by the time we actually got up to catch him we had to run after him... which probably looked weird to a lot of people. Including him. BUT we explained ourselves and told him our purpose and invited him to learn from us. HE ACCEPTED! Yes! We have our first investigator! His name is Dakota and we will be teaching him outside the cafe on Thursday! We were so pumped we had to try really hard not to squeal as we walked away.
Life is good! We get to go to the Zoo today! I AM SO STOKED! But I'm out of time. Love you all! Keep being missionaries!
Love always,
Sister Collett

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hey Family!

So mom, I don't have time to read your whole email right now but I'm going to print it out so I can read it in the car and maybe respond in a letter... But I don't think I'll have time to even write letters today because things are so crazy.
The last week is a blur of teaching! We taught almost all of our investigators and our teaching pool is getting bigger. We went on exchanges to Litchfield and had some fun with the Sisters there. But the one thing that has been on all our minds this week is TRANSFERS! We were all anticipating the phone call that would tell us who would become trainers. So as missionaries we go through a 12 week training program. Obviously I have only done half of the program and still have a lot to learn. But that didn't stop God from calling me to become a new trainer! Not only am I going to be training a brand new missionary... I am going to be OPENING A NEW AREA in Missouri! What the heck. I ... me? Um, God must have a LOT of trust in me to do all this as a brand new missionary. What does it mean to open a new area? Just as Sister Lowe and Sister Woodward opened the Covington area where there was no record of missionary work, I am going to a city down by St. Louis that is called Webster Groves. Usually when you come into a new area you look at the records of people that were taught by other missionaries before you got there. When I get to Webster Groves there will most likely be no record of people to teach and no potentials. So what will my little missionary campanion and I do? TRACT. After contacting the Bishop and ward mission leader we will knock doors and PRAY for some kind of teaching pool to form. I know this is going to test me in all aspects of my mission and my faith. The city is not like sweet little Covington where people are living humbly and are in need of a change. I heard Webster Groves is ritsy. It will be so hard to try to get into the homes of rich people who are content with the way life is. I also heard that most people down there are either rich Catholics or rich Jews.  ..... This is gonna be awesome. Really though, I am excited. It's going to be such an adventure to go from such an opposite place. Just uh, keep prayin' for me please! Haha!

How awesome was conference?! Oh it was just so good. I loved hearing some of your insights in emails. Thank you so much for sharing! Yes, I also recognized the theme of the importance of obedience and keeping the commandments. SO important and completely applicable to everyone but definitely missionaries! Obedience really is the key to happiness. I have always felt that way and hope to be able to live it more fully. I would love to share all the insights I received from conference but there just isn't enough time. Mom, I love that you want to have a family home evening on that talk. I will write some of the things I felt was important and send it to you so that I can have a little part in your FHE! :D

I know this letter is way too short but I need to get going because today is our last day with everyone in the district and so we are all going to have a District P-Day and join in a paint fight. Not sure how it's all gonna go down but we will see. It should be lots of fun!

I love all of you soooo much and really appreciate your love, your prayers and your support. Wish me luck on my crazy new adventure in the city! Keep being amazing people! It brings me peace just knowing you are being blessed. Also, thank you SO MUCH for donating so much money to missionary work. I hope that I will be as financially secure when I have a family so that I can contribute as my loving parents have. I know that our family is blessed as we keep our covenants and serve in the church. Thank you for being such wonderful examples to me. I love you all!


Sister Collett

Monday, April 1, 2013

The picture of us in front of the pumpkin was one day and then the snow pictures are the next day. Just to give you an idea of how crazy this weather is. Haha! There's a picture of the BBQed raccoon we had. Oh and then I met Lincoln in Lincoln, Illinois. The last picture is of me and Sister Minor. Is she not the cutest thing you've ever seen? Gosh, she is so sweet! Out of time. Love you all!