Monday, June 30, 2014

I don't have time to write today!
Sorry... Maybe this will give Ell a chance to catch up on my blog posts ;)
Love you all!

Favorite thing this week was volunteering at the 175th birthday of ISD (Illinois School for the Deaf). 
Signing is so fun!

Second favorite was holding a baby bunny.

Least favorite- no mail…

Monday, June 23, 2014

The war is over.... we won :)

Last Monday was Zone P-day and it was awesome! Our Zone Leaders planned this whole Olympic games thing for us and it was so fun! Our district got some face paint and put hand prints on our faces to unify us... we did awesome. We metaled in every even and took gold in quite a few events. The last even was my favorite because we played Ninja with everyone and I won! Good times. 

Now that it's summer time we have the opportunity to do a lot of service and help people with yard work, moving, cleaning, basically anything people need help with. One evening we were at the park doing some planting and mulching when a lady walked by and jokingly said, "Hey, if I give you my address will you come do my yard?" The four of us missionaries looked at each other and were like, "Actually, yeah!" She was like, "Really? Who do you guys work for?" We then explained how we are missionaries for our church and just like to do service and that we'd love to help her out with whatever she needs. 

"Then, I just donate to your church or what?" She asked. 

I then told her our job as missionaries and how we teach people about the gospel and invite them to improve their lives and yata yata. And she was like "Great!" 

She gave me her address and phone number and the next day when we texted her to set up when we would come she said that she is really excited to hear the message we have to share. :D So we'll be seeing her on Tuesday and we are excited. 

Another example of missionary work through service is how we came in contact with our newest investigator named Joseph who lives in our building. He is from the Philippines and is a physical therapist here. I actually met him before Sister Sims got here when Sister Richardson and I came home one night and it was raining. He was trying to bring in groceries from outside and it was coming down pretty hard. We offered to help him with his groceries because he really needed it. We helped carry his groceries up to his floor and he was so grateful. We gave him a card with our number on it and told him to let us know if he ever needed anything. We would see him around after that and would say hi. Then Sister Sims got here her first day and met him in the hall on our way to drop off her luggage and she asked him if he was from the Philippines cuz she was just serving there. After a couple of weeks of just saying hi in passing he decided to text us one night and ask where and when our church is so that he could attend. We set up a time to show him around the church and had an awesome lesson with him. 

Sister Sims said that he is like all Filipinos- super open and receptive. She said it was hard for her to come and be a missionary in the states because everyone in the Philippines wants to hear your message and will do anything you say and here people run away from you. Haha! Joseph is married and has a little boy that live in Texas. He is here for work and hasn't seen them in a long time. Hopefully one day they can be an eternal family. Fingers crossed!

A lady named Sheryl requested a missionary visit online and we finally got to meet with her this week. She works a lot and so we had to wait until she was not working to meet with her. She's an older lady and she said that her son was recently baptized into the Mormon church and he wanted her to learn more. She was very open and receptive. She's had a lot of different churches in her life and wants to know the truth. She works a TON so we won't get to see her again till Thursday but man, I love teaching people that want to be taught! 

Saturday there was a huge Civil War reenactment at the park in the middle of Jacksonville. It was so cool! Tents everywhere, carriages and authentic costumes! Then we watched them have their battle and it was pretty intense. Gun powder explosions made it really real. After the battle we got to hear Abe Lincoln give his address for a little before we had to go and have something to eat before Brenda's baptism.

Her baptism was perfect. She was so excited and so happy! The Bishop baptized her and then afterwards when she was changing in the stall and we were waiting for her we asked her how she felt and she said she felt good, really good! Then she said, "In the name of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!" haha :) 

When I told her she just made some pretty big promises she said she's gonna make sure she keeps them! After the service she received the gift of the Holy Ghost. We went in the other room for refreshments and she told me she felt "Super good!" and that she was "filled with the Holy Ghost!" :) She was so happy. I love seeing people filled with true joy. I'm so proud of her and the great lengths she took to get where she is today. There was also a great turn out from members of the ward. I know this Church is Christ's church. There are too many witnesses to deny it. I love serving my God and bringing this beautiful message to his children. 

Last night there was a missionary fireside where members of the ward that had served missions did presentations on where they served and little stories and things that they experienced. It was really powerful to hear all their testimonies in their native language. I love missionary work and am so grateful for it! Love you all!

Sister Collett

Civil War Reenactment!

The lady in the last picture I sent was a random person we met who is from Sweden and she's a convert to the church. So rad.

Brenda got bapetized! (that's how she pronounces 'baptized')

Remember last week when I sent a picture of us in the corn field? 
This is the same corn and now it's taller than us! LOOK HOW FAST IT GROWS!

This is the lake we drive by whenever we go to the church.
Oh and the corn field is right by the church too.. Carn and beans beans and carn! (hick accent)

Monday, June 16, 2014

What a beautiful week!
Monday was fun Tuesday we had Exchanges and I got to spend the day with one of my favorite missionaries- Sister Scott. She's awesome. We tracted most of the day and then found some new investigators the next day when it was pouring rain! The Lord blesses you when you work hard in the rain. ;) We had so much fun together just laughing and being silly. I love that sister. We had President interviews on Wednesday... President had to mention that it was my last interview with him. :( So sad. I love my mission president. I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

Speaking of wonderful people...
One night we came home and were planning, when the elders called us and said that they needed the miles on our car and that it was an emergency. We were so confused and didn't want to have to go all the way downstairs but he said the zone leaders needed it. So we went down to our car to find it covered in pass-along cards from the 90's. They had used sticky tack to put them all over our windows. They got us. We thought it was pretty funny but wanted to get them back.

So a few days later we chalked their windows and had a blast doing it. We had some other ideas of things we could do but didn't want it to be too mean. We wrote on the window "this means war!" Then this morning they invited us to come to breakfast with the Pittsfield elders and when we came outside our car was written on and covered in string... I was laughing so hard and Sister Sims was saying stuff like, "I'm gonna kill them!!" She was so mad haha :) Now they are going to really get it. :)

I'm so excited for Brenda to get baptized this weekend!!! Life's great. I love being a missionary.
Hope everyone is doing well! Love you all!

Sister Collett

So we had this genius idea to put smelly hand sanitizer on our upper lip to mask the strange smells of people's homes. So funny #missionarylife

Playing Ninja in the Azkaban parking lot.

Elderly beauty pageant for our friend Mary!  We love her.

Using the sugar scrub Elliot made for us.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Hello everyone!
Let me introduce you to my new companion! Her name is Sister Sims and she is from Las Vegas. She's 20 and a convert to the church! Woohoo! My first convert companion! She was baptized two years ago and is the only member in her family. How lucky am I?? Seriously, the Lord is too good to me. Wanna hear something fun? Her first name is Lexie... yeah, we basically have the same first name. We get along great and are already having lots of fun.

This week has been a busy one. Four of our investigators came to church yesterday! Things are moving along and we are still working on finding more people to teach.

Last night we went to a graduation party for a member of our ward who is deaf and it was so much fun! There were a lot of deaf people there and so I got to use a lot of sign language I've been learning. Sister Sims is picking it up fast and is ready to grow. I know we are going to learn a lot from one another this transfer. She's probably going to be my last companion, but we will see. Things are great! I love it here so much! The weather is beautiful most of the time and it's so greeeen! I love it. Thank you so much for all your love and prayers! Hope all is well back there and know that there is nothing better than this gospel! I'm so grateful for it and I know that it's true!

Love you all!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

When you have no other means of finding new people to teach, what do you do?
Knock on people's doors and ask them if they want a better life. Man, that is so weird. Can you believe we do that? We go door to door and invite people to change their lives. The craziest part is how much we are rejected. Studying Christ's life is starting to drive me nuts because of how the people rejected HIM! He did miracles and they wanted him to leave because they didn't like what he was teaching. "The wicked taketh the truth to be hard." No one likes being told that they need to change their ways, but come on! He's the Son of God! You seriously think that a devil could give a blind man sight?? No. It is God's power and his authority that Christ acted by. Man, I wish people weren't so blind.

The doors keep shutting and the clouds above us get darker. Soon the warm wind picks up and we know it's coming. Down the rain pours and we are instantly soaked. What do we do? Keep knocking. People look at us like we're nut because we've got these huge smiles on our faces as we stand soaking on their porch. Sister Richardson is originally from Tucson and so we both have a great love for the rain. We were loving it! It was hot anyway and we needed to cool down. A couple of people said that we could come back at a better time and we were excited. Woohoo!! The potential of someone accepting the gospel into their lives!!! YES!!

The thunder and lightening was starting to get a little intense and so we decided it we should probably go home and have dinner.

This week we had the potential of having well over 20 lessons and almost all of them fell through. We expected to get 13 new investigators with all the appointments we set and people we found and ended up with 1. Isn't that crazy?? I don't know what it was about this last week but things did not turn out like we planned. Luckily, I have an awesome companion that has a smile on her face no matter WHAT and it was probably one of the most fun weeks we've had together. Sadly, it's the end of the transfer and she is being transferred to Potosi, Missouri. She's been here a long time though and needs to experience other places in the mission. She'll do great out there.

My new companion is named Sister Sims... I think. I know absolutely nothing about her but will meet her Wednesday! Yay! Opportunities for growth! I love change!

Last night we went to Rich's Pentecostal church because he invited us. The Elders came too and it was.... an experience. People speaking in tongues and shaking and falling to the ground. Hahaha! We were all kind of weirded out. It was a good learning experience. :)

I'm out of time again. Oh and it's Sister Richardson's birthday today! :) She's 21! I love her!!!

Soaked to the bone.