Monday, August 19, 2013

Exciting things are happening in the St. Louis Mission! This last transfer we recieved 35 new missionaries into the field, and I got the best one. Her name is Sister Huppi :) She's 5 ft and full of excitement. She's from Logan, Utah and just graduated with a degree in athletic training. She's 22 and used to do gymnastics and has been coaching for many years. She plays the violin and is very sweet. She also has a great sense of humor... basically, I can't believe how much God loves me. Right off the bat I could tell how excited she was to be in the field.

 Transfer meeting was really cool because there were so many missionaries there. When Sister Huppi read off her companion and that we were opening the University 2 area the crowd murmerd with envy. Apparently university is the place to be.
When Sister Huppi was getting her luggage Elder Banks, the assistant to the President, came up to me and asked if I was excited to be training and opening a new area. I told him I was stoked. He then proceeded to tell me that when they were praying about who should open this area, the APs, STLs (Sister Training Leaders) and President Morgan had all recieved revelation that I would be the one to do it. I was stunned. I had never been told something like that before and it gave me a lot of courage and excitement, knowing that it was the Lord who had called me to open this area. I know that I am here because God wanted me here and I know that I was given Sister Huppi as my companion so that we could do exactly what the Lord has in store for this area. I LOVE knowing that God is at the head of this work. This is not something run by men. There are over 250 missionaries in this mission and any of them could have been who the leaders felt was right but because God knows what his children need- he made the outcome clear for them. I know that this work is devine and I am so grateful to be a part of it.

The drive to Urbana, Illinois was the shortest three hour drive ever because Sister Huppi and I shared great stories and really got to know one another. We feel like we've been together a lot longer than five days. Things have been so fun. She's already taught me how to do a handstand!
The first day we went out to proselyte was so fun because we were both just so pumped to be on such a beautiful university campus. Our Zone Leaders showed us around and told us about the area. We were so excited to find people to teach that we couldn't sit still. So we grabed some Book of Mormons and booked it to campus. Where we were sadly dissapointed to see hardly any people there... Oh yeah, school doesn't start till next week! Ha! We talked to everyone we could and Sister Huppi did awesome! Oh man, I was so proud of her :) Just talking to everone and being so friendly and cute! We got a couple of potentials and got rid of our Books fast. So we went back for more! We taught a guy named Andre who really liked what we were telling him. We have an appointment set up for tomorrow to teach him more. So stoked!
The next day we went to the library to type up a list of ideas we wanted to present in our missionary coorelation meeting along with our dinner calendar. While Sister Huppi was over trying to get it to print this guy called me over and asked, "Do you work here?"
"No, I'm a missionary!" :) I replied.
"Oh, you're Mormon?"
"Do you have a book?"
"You mean a Book of Mormon?"
"Of course I do- here you go!"
He thanked me and proceeded to tell me how he's read some of it and would like to set up a time when we could come and teach him more about the gospel.
.....Miracles happen! We had accidentally gone to the wrong library and the papers didn't print till after we met Larry and set up an appointment. Coincidende? I think NOT! :) I love God.
Friday morning we had the privelage of going to do service at a soup kitchen in town! It was great. We got to serve soup and talk to nice people. A couple of people came up to us and commented on the light that was coming from us. :) Thought that was interesting. I love the light of Christ and how people are drawn to it. What a privilage to be a missionary.
After the soup ran out we decided to look for another job. We went into the kitchen and started to wash dishes. Sister Huppi and I started out humming church songs which turned into great harmonies and the people in the kitchen started to sing with us! The spirit was so strong there as we scrubbed the dirty dishes it was amazing! Every time we would finish a song they would all clap, thank us and tell us to sing another. Sister Huppi and I were beaming and I'm just so happy she has such a beautiful voice. The head of the whole operation who was a cute little British lady came over and sang a little with us and it was really cute.
When we were finished and leaving all the people in the kitchen thanked us and said that they hope we come every week. It was really sweet and Sister Huppi and I really bonded.
We set up an appointment to meet with a recent convert named Emily to get to know her and we asked if she would bring someone. She ended up bringing her sister who is not a member and we had a really good lesson about the Book of Mormon. We later found out from the ZLs that she was a former investigator and we're hoping to see her tomorrow again. Emily was baptized almost a year ago and she is now preparing to serve a mission. She is so on fire and LOVES doing missionary work. She wants to help us find and teach as much as possible. The Branch that we are over is soooo small. :) For church we meet at the little institute building and sacrament meeting is in a classroom. It's great though, the spirit is strong there. It's amazing to see young converts in the church who come to know this church is true and then choose to follow Jesus Christ and be a part of his Church. Even when it means being different or going against their parents wishes. The happiness in their eyes and their burning testimonies are awitness to me that this church is true. Why else would so many people be so grately effected by this great work? I love being a missionary and especially the blessings that have come from my mission. I'm so excited to serve in this area and to be a servant of the Lord.
This morning for P-Day we went and played some basketball at the Stake Center with the other missionaries. It was way fun but weird because Sister Huppi and I were the only Sister Missionaries and so we could only guard one another. Haha- we basically just chased each other. It was really fun to run around and get some exercise though. Then someone broke out the football and I was really happy. Sister Huppi and I went outside and she got to practice some of her crazy gymnastic tricks. She is awesome. Then the reast of the day was crazy trying to figure out where to find stuff and how to do laundry. We eventually ended up just going to do it at Momma Shep's house because she's basically our other mission mom. I've heard stories about this lady and feel honored to finally know her. She maked all of the missionaries these awesome bibs that are made of whatever fabric they like. I've seen missionaries where them and now I finally get one of my own! I can't wait to pick out what I want. Anyway, this is a long email... I should probably get going back to Momma Shep to get the laundry. Man, I love nice people!! Love you all soooooo much! Keep being missionaries ;)
Sister Collett

Monday, August 12, 2013

(Sorry, didn't have time to write last week!)

I'm going to be training again! I'm so excited! And I'm going to be in a University ward in Columbia, Missouri! Crazy, right!? Usually they have zone leaders in YSA wards because they are so busy helping other missionaries they need to be in a place where they can have easier success. We are going to tear this place up! I am so excited! It's going to be weird being a missionary on a college campus but I know that great things will come from it.
This week we did a lot of work. Found a lot more people to teach and even got investigators to come to church! Steve (guy we teach in his treehouse) came to church and I think he really enjoyed it.  We'll be teaching him again tomorrow.

Here is his treehouse.

Oh, and he says this lotus only opens when we come to teach him.  Coincidence?  I think not!  :-p

I'm gonna miss this area. It was hard to say goodbye to all the families in this ward I have grown to love, but I am so excited for what is ahead. This past week we started teaching a few families who are really searching and ready for change in their lives. We found this one lady named Stephanie who, when we knocked on her door, didn't seem like she wanted to talk to us.  But then we told her about the Book of Mormon and she was like, "What? There's a record of Christ coming here? I've always believed that but never knew there was a record of it! I've been searching for this my whole life." Then when we came back to set up a time to teach her she said she was a couple chapters in and totally loving it. Way nice lady. Sister Linton and her new companion will have so much fun teaching her! 

There are a ton of people out here who are searching for the truth but "know not where to find it." I just LOVE finding them and teaching them! Sure, sometimes people don't show up for church but some do! And many of our investigators are progressing. I just LOVE being a missionary! There is nothing better than helping people to know that God is not silent- he speaks through his Prophets today and that Christ's church that HE istablished is on the earth today. Seeing it click in their eyes and helping them to feel that joy is the best feeling in the world. I love this work and I love my Savior. I wish I had more time but just know that I love all of you!

Oh and we got to go to the temple and it was awesome! If you haven't been to the temple recently GO. It's great. :) 

Have a great week! Next time you hear from me I'll be in Columbia!!!!!
With a new greeeenieee!!!!

p.s. my family is awesome :) they do member missionary work- and so do my friends! :) LOVE YOU ALL

 p.s.s. here are some families I'm going to miss in this area!

And this is Dorris, who came to church for the first time this week.

This?  This is a bird.