Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Model Missionaries, Obviously



I love Las Vegas.

So after I emailed you last week, we went and had a dart war as a district. We walked into the gym of the stake center and the lights were dimmed, there was super dramatic church music (no lyrics) and there were tables on their sides and huge carpet rolls were standing up, and the Elders had made these huge guns made of PVC pipe and foam noodles. We all shot each other with nerf darts for about 3 hours.  We were on teams and had to shoot all of the other team. Needless to say, our district is pretty awesome. 

I convinced my companion that we should switch off every morning running and going to morning sports with our district. So now I drag her running around our complex. When she is done, she just sits where she can see me while I keep running. It's okay though, she stretches. One time while we were running we passed a huge mirror that someone was throwing away, soooo now we have a huge mirror, so both of us can get ready at the same time more easily. 

The beginning of this week was really discouraging. We could never find street contacts and our lessons kept falling through.  One day we had like 7 lessons and they ALL fell through. So frustrating. We cried (we are babies). The next day we decided to fast. UMMM let me just say that FASTING WORKS. For real. We found 20 street contacts and gained 5 new investigators AND all our lessons were good. It was basically a miracle. 

Our new investigators are so great: 

-Adrian: He is so awesome. He investigated the church a few years ago and then went to his friend that is in our singles ward and said he wanted to meet with the missionaries again. He is so prepared to hear the gospel. I invited him to be baptized last night and he said he would! We are preparing him to be baptized on July 20th. I am so excited! 

-Tony: He is being taught with Adrian. They are friends and actually both told their friend that they wanted to meet with us together. His brother passed away recently and he is searching for peace. It was amazing, last night we taught Tony and Adrian about the Restoration and afterwards we asked them how they felt. Tony said he felt "warm and oddly emotional", it was really cool and kind of funny. But so awesome! The Spirit was so strong. He is also preparing to be baptized on July 20th. 

-Nelson: We met him on P-Day at the car wash.  We took him to our Stake President's house to watch “Finding Faith in Christ”. He was supposed to come to church, but had to work. We are hoping to schedule a lesson with him soon though. He is really interested and always says that he wants to learn more. Also, interesting fact... he told us at the car wash how he and his family managed to sneak into America from El Salvador... they are citizens now, but I was like whaaaaaat you're telling us that you came here illegally... hahahah. 

-Eder: Oh my goodness, this is an awesome story. So we were street contacting and we were about to go home. We saw him standing by his car about to get in and leave. Sister Sneidere and I both had a really strong impression to go talk to him, but he was about to leave. We looked at each other and said "should we just go home?" but we decided against it. We talked to him and WOW he is so prepared. He used to have friends that are members and he had questions about the Holy Ghost. So we set up a lesson with him. He is so willing to learn and to do anything that we ask! We invited him to the YSA lake trip and he went and made friends! And he loves meeting with us to learn! He came on Sunday and loves the people and always wants to come to activities and stuff. There is a returned missionary in our ward that he has taken quite a liking to, so they are like best friends now. The RM's name is Jesse, and he loves having a friend and helping us teach Eder. We invited Eder to Family Home Evening tonight and he is going to come. Pray that Eder can feel and recognize the Spirit, please! We challenged Eder to be baptized on July 27th, so now we are preparing him for that. 

We have three baptisms this Saturday, Cristal, Edna, and Lenny. We are so excited! I love serving in a singles ward because you can relate to them and you know what to teach them a lot better (in my opinion). Pray that Edna will be ready... we thought she was but we aren't sure anymore.  The way Cristal describes the spirit is soooo cute though, she gets all excited and says that something is "growing inside of her".  One of our investigators asked me to speak at the baptism!  So I guess I will be giving a talk this Saturday. 

When we street contact, we find a LOT of drunks. Like, a LOT. It's kind of funny because they give us their information, and then we call them when they are sober to make an appointment, and they don't remember us. Well, that's not funny, but you get what I mean. One crazy guy told us that we were false prophets and that he was going to "treat us well at judgment when he judges us" because he "loves us and we are beautiful angels from God" hahah. Yeaaaah. And we're the false prophets? ;) We found a homeless lady and she said she used to be a member but then she stopped going. She wanted to go again, but we didn't know which building or what time she would go (since we are just over the singles ward). We RAN to a member’s house as fast as we could to find out the info and we ran back to her, we were afraid she would leave! People probably thought we were crazy. 

We get fed by members in one of the family wards as well as our singles ward (since the singles don't really have the money to feed us meals). 

The other sisters in our district put diesel in their car, hahahahahahaha. They aren't allowed to drive it until sometime next week. Everyone keeps asking us if we were the ones that put diesel in the car, and we tell them no, and then say, "okay good, we didn't think you were that dumb" hahahaha. Sister Hall and Sister Bohling. I love them. Sister Hall is Hawaiian. Sister Bohling reminds me EXACTLY of Stacy Mero. Even her voice! And the things she says and how she quotes movies, it's so funny. 

Sister Sneidere is awesome. We have so much fun together and we work well together. She loves to bake. And since English isn't her first language, she sometimes gets some expressions wrong and it is SO funny. We laugh and laugh about it. She says that I should be on a TV show.  She says we have more fun than her and her last companion. She is leaving to go back to temple square at the end of this transfer. I will be sad when she leaves. She likes Las Vegas better, she says. 

I am getting some great tan lines... It is so hot here and we walk in the sun a lot. Sister Sneidere's feet look dirty all the time because of her shoe tan line, it is so funny! 

Oh, Mom. Can you send me a list of the scripture mastery rhymes, and also another card that has them all on it? And if you love me a lot... can you send a CD of all the scripture mastery songs? 

Did you hear when they mentioned Las Vegas in the missionary broadcast!? We are cool. I was scanning the missionary crowd for people I know. I'm 99% sure that Derek entered last week, so I thought I might see him. I was hoping that they would show Uruguay so that Carson would be there!  That would have been awesome. 

We get to go to the temple on Friday!! Everyone has been telling me that Las Vegas has the BEST Celestial room - better than Salt Lake's, so I'm pretty pumped. And I get to see my MTC district! I am excited. 

We are so busy all the time! It's crazy! I fell asleep while I was praying last night. I woke up kneeling by my bed. I love the people here and I love teaching people the gospel. It's amazing to see how receptive some people are and how ready they are to have the gospel in their lives. The Church is so true. 

I love you guys and miss you!

Sister Coltrin

PS. Can you believe that I will have been out for a MONTH this Saturday!?


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Vegas Baby!

I LOVE LAS VEGAS SO MUCH. Seriously, it is the greatest here! I have so much to say, I hope I have time to type it all out! Leaving the MTC was kind of hard, just because it was scary that we were actually going! It was great though, we all had fun together. I love and miss my MTC district. But seriously, Las Vegas is the best. I love my area, and my companion. I am in the Sunrise area, which has the temple in it! I actually am over the YSA Temple View ward! The members are so strong and are willing to help. The people here are GREAT. They love Christ and want to learn more about Him. People are so willing to give out their phone numbers, it's crazy... If someone came up to me on the street and asked my for my phone number after a few minutes, I'd be like, "uhhhhh, yeah right." But it's awesome. We aren't allowed to knock on doors because it's "dangerous" here. I think it's stupid, but I guess I have to be obedient now or something... Haha, just kidding :) We go street contacting though, usually at night when it is cooler. I love street contacting! Seriously.

My companion is so awesome! She is actually a Temple Square missionary and is on her out-bound time here in Las Vegas. She is from Latvia and she knows Blake! Her name is Sister Sneidere (Shh-nay-der-eh). We have so much fun together and work really well together.

We were walking in from the car last night and we found a frog! We both knelt down by it and at the same time we looked at each other and said "Should we get him some water!?"  It was really funny.

We were also walking home and had to cross the street... you know how I am about streets... So Sister S just walks right across (UM CRAZY) and I waited until there were no cars, but then cars started stopping for me, and I would try to wave to them to just go, and that I could wait. It took a while, oh my gosh it was embarrassing. And finally I just crossed the big street. And then we were walking into the drive of our apartment complex, and some guy was like "it's scary to cross the street, isn't it?" like making fun of me, hahahaha…I was embarrassed.

 Okay, so getting to Las Vegas…the airport is CRAZY.  You step off the plane and you're like, definitely and without a doubt in Sin City. But we met our Mission President and his wife, and they are amazing. I love them. We went to the mission home and did training and got to take a nap. And eat. It was a good day. The first two days were like that. The first night we had a dinner appointment and then went to Institute. Then we had more training the next day. And then some lessons. I thought I would be so scared to teach, but I wasn't! It was great. My companion doesn't drive, so it's all me. And yes, we have a car, which is good because it is SO HOT HERE. I take back every single time in my entire life that I have said it was hot outside. It is nothing compared to here! It has already been up to 114! SO SO SO HOT. But that's good because every single person offers us water. Seriously everyone. We always end up with like 17 bottles of water at the end of the day, it's crazy. There are people that ride bikes with carts attached to the back and they sell water, everywhere. And around noon, when it is the hottest, you can dig your shoe into the asphalt and it comes up.  It is so hot here that I don't ever un-make my bed, I just sleep on top of it.

It seems as if everyone here is Hispanic and most speak only Spanish. I wish I was Spanish speaking, it would be so much easier. But that is okay.

Every morning our district meets to play sports, it is so fun! We played football the other day, and we have played ultimate frisbee a lot. It is so fun, even though we wake up a little earlier to do it.

MOM, OH MY GOSH. You are going to die. We switched the CD in our car the other day and the first song that came on was from Joseph and the Amazing Techni-Color Dreamcoat, I DIED LAUGHING.

We are having three baptisms on the 29th! We have really awesome investigators, I love them. They have great testimonies.

I seriously love it here. I love the people. I love my companion. I love teaching people and meeting people and helping them to see what the gospel and their Heavenly Father can do for them.

I love you! So much!


Sister Coltrin

"The Las Vegas Temple from our church parking lot!"

Sister Coltrin and Sister Sneidere

Pictures from the MTC

Sister Coltrin and her MTC district.  LV for Las Vegas baby!
"LOOK, I AM A MISSIONARY FOR REAL!  I have a badge and everything!"

Sister Alyssa Unsicker and Sister Coltrin
Best friends since age 1, college roommates, Sisters at the MTC

Sister Hutchings and Sister Coltrin - companions at the MTC

Sister Moffitt and Sister Coltrin - college roommates and MTC sisters

Sister Christiansen and Sister Coltrin - college suitemates and MTC sisters

The must have MTC Map picture!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Hello to my Dear, Sweet Family & Friends!

Hello to my dear, sweet family (and friends)!

I love being a missionary!

This week has been crazy! The days are soooo long, but the weeks are so short (missionary time is beyond weird). So, I wrote you last Friday, but here is what has happened since then: On Sunday, we had basically all day to study, so naturally, my district all watched Mormon Messages together. We love Mormon Messages. It's an obsession. But, we did also get to study. And go to sacrament meeting. Two of the districts in our zone were leaving, and it was fast Sunday. One of the districts sang the EFY song, and uhhhh... long story short, they basically laugh-sang the whole thing and it was pretty awkward, but so funny. I bore my testimony, the first (and one of the only ones) from my district. We also had mission conference on Sunday, and we sang ALL THE VERSES of "If You Could Hie to Kolob"... as soon as they announced that, I pretty much laughed out loud.

 Did you know that there are missions HERE at the MTC?   They get called to serve in the MTC and they do the online stuff! I thought that was pretty cool. We got to go to the Provo Temple on our P-day, which was really awesome, we get to go again today. Whenever our district has free time, or gym time, we all go play volleyball together. We are sooo bad, but it is so fun, and funny.  Tad R. Callister came to speak at our devotional on Tuesday, which was really good.

 Dear Elder is AWESOME, I have been getting those on the days that you send them. I can't respond to them right away, obviously, but seriously they are so great. You should tell everyone to write me dear elders... It's basically a competition to see who gets the most at night when we get our mail... I haven't been winning, so get on it! :) Just kidding... sort of. I have sent a few letters too, so be on the look out!

Yes, I did get an MTC t-shirt, of course! I got it before my calling card... hahahhaa. Sorry, Mom. But I did get a calling card, so I don't feel too bad :) I just had to get a shirt first, because you told me like ten trillion times that I had to get a calling card. I told Sister Hutching that you had been crazy about a calling card, and then I opened a dear elder from you, and it said something about "don't forget to buy a calling card" and we both laughed soooo hard hahahhahaha.

So, the teachers at the MTC are great... but our district had quite a hard time focusing during the first few days... or week... One of our teachers "quit" our district (he has a brother going on a mission, so he went home). We joke about it all the time. We got a new teacher, Brother Trone, but we call him "Bro-tron". I'm pretty sure he hates it, but oh well. Anyways, we wrote out a pact that we would all be better at paying attention and becoming better missionaries, hahah, we all signed it. It's been working pretty well… most of the time at least. But we are learning. A LOT. When we go home at night, I pretty much fall asleep as soon as I get into bed because I am so exhausted!

Yesterday I had my in-field orientation, which was literally TEN HOURS LONG. IN THE SAME TWO ROOMS. It was crazy long, crazy boring, but we learned a lot. We learned about including ward members in missionary work, referrals, finding and contacting, everything basically. In class we have been studying the lessons and about teaching and stuff like that. It feels like we go over the same stuff like ten thousand times. But I guess repetition is important. Camille Bett's husband was one of my teachers there!

We have been teaching our investigators all week- our companionship is like the two elders from the district, the one that talks all the time and the one that never talks... I bet you can guess which one I am... ahahhah, the talker. Speaking of them though, Elder Christensen, from the district videos, he was one of my teachers in in-field yesterday. At the end I went and shook his hand (I thought you would like that, Dad). Also, he actually does speak! I was like, whaaaaat, you have the ability to talk!?  We teach 4 different investigators. It has been going really well! We challenged one of them to be baptized on the second time we taught him and he said he would. Teaching by the Spirit is so crazy. Sometimes I come out of a lesson, and I'm like, wait what did we even just teach him? It's awesome. Sister Hutchings and I learned like, everything about each other. Seriously, I can tell you where all her 8 siblings served missions...

 We were pretty discouraged at the beginning of the week, we had one bad lesson, and just felt like we were going to be horrible missionaries. I was studying from Preach My Gospel and was looking up a scripture (D&C 84:85). It was talking about teaching by the spirit, and in the margin I had previously written "Don't worry about it". It was so weird, since I pretty much had never had a reason to write that in there, but it was really cool, because I needed someone to tell me that. I just encouraged myself... go me.

By the way, we pray like 78 times a day, it is crazy.

DAD YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS: One of my teachers served in Chicago and he said that once they were teaching someone to pray and they started their prayer with "Yo, yo, Homie J up top" HAHAHAHAHHA I was dying laughing, it reminded me of you and your really cool phone messages... :)

I got to see Alyssa and Emmi, it was a great reunion! I took pictures and will hopefully be able to send some.

I love you guys so much and miss you! You are the best!


Sister Coltrin