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