Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Three Months This Week!

What the heck? I will have been out for 3 months this week! Time flies.  

First things first. SISTER FIELDS AND I HOLD A MISSION RECORD. Yeah, we're cool. So just in case you were thinking that we don't work hard - WE DO! We have a record for referrals and no one is even close to our number (that's what our referrals sister told us). Wooo! Go us. 

We've been riding bikes a lot too! Almost every other day. We try at least. And of course my bike pedal fell off. 

We contacted so many potential investigators this week. Our appointments kept falling through, which was really frustrating, but at least we found some new people to teach! We were going to teach a potential investigator, but we lost her address and she wasn't answering her phone. We prayed and all I could remember was that she lived on Linn Lane, which is a pretty long street. We looked for apartment complexes on Linn, and no surprise, we found it! It was really awesome. 

We had interviews with President Neider this week as well! While he was interviewing, Sister Neider gave us some really awesome training on The Book of Mormon. It was amazing. She role played reading 1 Nephi 1 with us, and it was so intense and awesome. I love Sister Neider. When I went in to talk with President, he told me that he appreciates how happy I always am. He is the best. He just always makes you feel good about yourself. Sister Neider does too. 

At the end of the training Sister Neider told us all that she wants us to focus more on The Book of Mormon. Then she told us all to, "Testify of The Book of Mormon with power and excitement, like Sister Coltrin." WOAH. It was a nice compliment. 

During the training, Elder Tongi told us about how he lost his backpack. A few days earlier he left it in the parking lot while he was putting his bike on the rack. It had his camera, all his pictures, his good scriptures and everything inside it. They went back to look for it, but it was gone. Sister Neider stopped us all and we prayed that we would be able to find it. No joke- the next morning Elder Rogers and Elder Johnson brought the backpack to morning sports. A homeless man had picked it up and brought it to a member's home. WHAT. THE. HECK. For real!? Crazy! Heavenly Father answers prayers. 

We had a pretty rough week though, other than that. We had a lesson with an investigator that had been passed off to us.  The Sisters that passed him off to us and Sister Fields and I went to dinner together at the investigator's house. He lives with members in the Sister's family ward. It was really obvious that they had all been talking about Sister Fields and I and that they didn't like us... Not sure why. It was pretty upsetting, so we went home and cried on our bedroom floor like babies.  We were really sad. We both went to different rooms to pray. I asked my Heavenly Father to give me a hug. Instantly I just felt so warm, like someone was actually hugging me and was telling me that it was going to be okay. It was a really neat experience. 

We met with Des, who is a less active member in our ward. We love her. She had lost her patriarchal blessing, so we helped her to request a new one. She got it this week and excitedly told us that she feels like Sister Fields and I are in it! It was really cute. 

Some super exciting news, EDER GOT THE PRIESTHOOD YESTERDAY! How cool is that!? We found him street contacting just a little while ago, and now he is so happy and has the Priesthood. Wow. He is awesome. 

OH! And there are a few girls in the family wards that we take to teach lessons with us because they are preparing for missions. Becca is one of them. On Sunday she came up to us and brought us some really cool shell lei's! She and her family just got back from vacation in Hawaii and she thought of us and wanted to bring us something! How sweet. 

Our Singles took a trip to California this weekend. Abraham (aka ABC) texted us and asked us what we wanted from Cali! He is so awesome and he makes sure we are taken care of. We love him! I love when our members randomly text or call us to make sure we are okay, or even to tell us that they are thinking of us. 

We also went on exchanges this week.  It was fun because I got to be with a Sister from my MTC district. Of course all our appointments fell through when she was there, but we must have contacted about 50 potential investigators! 

Our investigators are doing well, but it's been really hard to meet with them. 

Tony: Will be getting baptized within the next few weeks. He is awesome. He definitely feels the Spirit and knows that the church is true. He skips work to go to church and meet with us! It is crazy. We had a really good lesson with him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ this week. 

Jared: Long story. He isn't our investigator anymore. I'm not sure if he is ready to be baptized. We still pray for him though! 

Dora/Jenny/Melanie: I'm not sure if I told you about these three last week or not. They are so ready! They are friends with some of our members, so they just showed up at church one day and wanted to learn. We haven't been able to meet with them since our first lesson, but hopefully we will be able to soon. The problem is that Melanie is 13 years old... and since we are Singles Ward Sisters, we can't teach her. We are still trying to figure out what to do about that. Also, Jenny only speaks Spanish... So we bring Spanish speaking members to help us out. We asked if they would rather be with Spanish missionaries, but they said no. Dora is great! She is really receptive and feels the Spirit at church. 

Yung/Huey: These are the guys that we taught across the Strip last week. They were supposed to come to church this week, but weren't able to make it. They are really nice though and hopefully we will get to meet with them again this week. 

Analyn: A less active member that we are working with. She is awesome. She fell away for a few years, but wants to come back. We have had really good lessons with her and we really love her. We read scriptures with her last night and challenged her to read the whole Book of Mormon again. 

Fernanda: A recent convert. She is awesome! We met with her and read scriptures. She has really great insights and questions about The Book of Mormon. I love reading with recent converts because they're so focused and receptive to the messages within. 

Edna: Pray for Edna. We visit her quite often, but she doesn't come to church (or leave her house) because of some health issues. 

Adrian and Eder and Karl are as great as ever. We love them so much. They have really strong testimonies and always want to help us out with lessons whenever they can. It is so awesome. 

Transfers are next week! I hope that I get to stay here in Sunrise for a little longer, but we will see. Maybe I should write to President and tell him that for my birthday, I want to stay in Sunrise... hmmmm. 

We have been working really hard. We got 79 referrals last week and have been contacting them and teaching all week! We give people referrals like crazy- hence the mission record :) 

I love you all and hope you are all doing well. Thanks for your prayers and letters of support!

Love, Sister Coltrin 

PS.  I caught a lizard in our apartment.  It was awesome!
"The lizard I caught in our apartment"

"Our pet lizard...kidding...we let it go"


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Love the Gospel!

This was a really good week! But then again, every week is good.  

So, I'll start with last Monday, after I sent my email... 

We had Elder Konshuk and Elder Howe with us for most of the day, taking them emailing and shopping and such. We met up with Sister Bohling, Sister Worthington, Elder Rogers and Elder Johnson for lunch at Panda Express (pretty much a missionary's favorite place). Then we met up with the zone at our church building for p-day sports... AKA DART WAR. One of our Elder's, Elder Rapoza, got his visa to Peru, so we were trying to make it a super awesome p-day, since he was leaving. We played dart war around the whole church building…we moved couches, chairs, everything. I got shot right in the eye. It hurt so badly, but I am okay. It was so intense. It was the best dart war yet! 

Back story to the next part: Last week on Sunday, we left a sticky note on our Zone Leader's car that said, "Tag, you're it". We came out after church and they had put sticky notes all over our car, and had broken into our trunk and put a bunch of their stuff in it (including a 7 foot blow up snowman...). So obviously, this was war. 

So while everyone was intensely playing dart war, Sister Fields and I stole Elder Lovell and Elder Mojica's apartment keys (don't worry, we got permission...). We drove to their complex and were running around looking for a picture of Christ in the window to know which apartment was theirs. Once we found it, we got all the stuff from our trunk and threw it back into their apartment. We even plugged in the blow up snowman.  It was so, so, so funny!  We sped back to the church and just pretended like we had been hiding the whole time. 

We got the funniest phone call from them that night when they got home... hahahaha. 

The next morning, Elder Mojica threw water in our faces to get "revenge" (lame). Sooo during our time to get ready for the day, we went and saran wrapped their car. 

No one messes with the Temple View Sisters. Obviously we won the war. 

On Wednesday, it was Sister Oyanadel's birthday. Sister Fields and I made breakfast for her and her companion and brought it to morning sports. We would have made "breakfast in bed" but they just moved and we don't know where they live.  So we made "breakfast in a bag at morning sports". Same thing, right? Right. 

We also got to do service at the place where we washed ponies a few months ago! Except this time we cleaned the inside of their house (which was worse than washing animals, if you can believe that). It was so gross. But we were happy to help. Plus, we will pretty much do anything if we get to wear pants while we do it. 

HIGHLIGHT OF MY ENTIRE MISSION: We had to cross Las Vegas Blvd, also known as THE STRIP. We had a lesson that was on the other side of it, soooo we had to cross it. Of course it wasn't right where THE strip is... but still. It was the same street. We recorded it on our cameras. It was a monumental moment. 

We taught our lesson (it was the sketchiest place I've ever been). Halfway through one of their guys friends walked it. They told us that he was an acrobat. They were telling him to show us some of his tricks- like making his abs do the wave. He was about to show us and were like UHHHH NOPE, NO, NO, WE CAN'T SEE STUFF LIKE THAT.  They were like, ohhh yeah I guess that would be inappropriate.  Looking back on it, it was really funny. 

We have ridden our bikes a bit this week! It was really fun. Sister Fields almost hit a rabbit with her bike.  Someone's pet bunny got out and was hopping around our complex. I still hate riding in the street. So I ride on the sidewalk. That's where cool kids ride. 

Tony, our investigator, is AWESOME. He left work to come to a lesson with us! And he skipped work so he could come to church!! He is trying to find a new job so that he won’t ever have conflicts with church. He is so strong and so ready to be baptized. Adrian is one of his friends, so he comes to Tony's lessons with us. Adrian bore his testimony to Tony and his testimony was amazing! It is so strong!  We love them both. 

One of our potential investigator's called us up one night to see if we wanted to hang out... I don't think he really understands what we do as missionaries. That was a really awkward phone conversation. 

Important side note: if you've never had frozen grapes before, stop reading this, go out and buy some grapes right now, and put them in your freezer. Okay. You're welcome. 

At church on Sunday, the gospel principle's teacher could not remember our names. So when he called on us, he said "Sorry, what are your names again, I'm really bad with names." Without skipping a beat, Sister Fields responded, "Uh, we wear name tags." 

We taught an amazing lesson to a less active this week as well.  Her name is Analyn. We started asking her questions. That got into way deeper stuff that has happened in her life. It was crazy. Talk about the gift of discernment. At the end, Sister Fields said, "Wait, one more question. Was your heart broken when you were 11 or 12?" She said yes. Sister Fields said, "Your Heavenly Father wants you to know that you don't have to live there anymore. I don't know if that means anything to you, but that's what I feel prompted to say." It. Was. Crazy. The Spirit was so strong. She started to cry and just hugged us. I love the Spirit, oh my goodness. I love being a missionary! 

We have a few new investigators. You gotta love when new ones just show up at church. Three new ones! Two sisters and a cousin. The only problem is that one of them is 12... so we have to get that figured out soon. We accidentally taught a 12 year old in the singles ward... Oops. 

I also had a really cool experience with prayer this week. Heavenly Father answers prayers. Like, really. I just felt like I should ask Heavenly Father if He was really listening to me. The next day we sang the primary song about Prayer and all the talks in church were about prayer. It was really awesome. Ah, I love the Gospel.

I love you and miss you all! Thanks for everything!

Love, Sister Coltrin

Sister Coltrin and Sister Fields are excited for Eder's baptism.

Sister Coltrin's zone

The saran wrapped car..."it was a lot better than it looks in the picture."

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Thanks for your Support, Letters and Prayers!

Thanks everyone for all the emails and the letters! You all are awesome!! 

Sister Fields and I had to speak in sacrament meeting at church yesterday. It went well! Although we hated sitting on the stand and not being with investigators, it was fine. Everyone came up to us afterwards and told us how awesome we are... so I guess that was a bonus. 

Eder and Adrian got confirmed too! We were worried because Adrian was a few minutes late to church. Eder was getting confirmed, and Adrian still wasn't there. We had to leave the stand to go find him! But they're confirmed, so it's all good. We also had 3 new investigators just show up at church, what a blessing!  It was sweet! 

On Tuesday it was one of our Elder's birthday. He doesn't eat sweets, so we made him a "cake" out of fruit - it was AWESOME. I'll send a picture.  He leaves for Peru tomorrow, after waiting for his visa for 5 months. Crazy. 

Wednesday we had Zone Training, and one set of the AP's were there. They introduced themselves as each other... it was so funny... especially when one introduced his companion as, "Hi, I'm Elder Shorter, I'm from Washington DC, I recently got 'Dear-John'ed, and I'm a Mormon." Haha…poor guy.   

Later on Wednesday, we got to take a family on a tour around the temple!  Sister Fields and I also got to go to the temple on Wednesday! It was awesome! 

On Thursday we were on our way to an appointment and there was a huge accident that was right outside of our apartment complex. There were so many cars, and a ton of traffic. A police man came up to our car and said, "Hi Sisters!" He talked to us for a while, and asked us if we had an appointment. Then, he went back out into the road, stopped all the other cars, and let us go! It was awesome! 

We had a really, really, really awesome lesson with Tony this week. We took him on a tour around the temple. We talked about the plan of salvation and how the temple has a huge role in that. We talked about doing work for the dead. The Spirit was so, so strong. It was the first time Tony had smiled in a long time. He lost his brother about a year ago, and the knowledge of the plan of salvation was exactly what he needed. Ah! The Gospel is just so true! We got to bring him into the lobby and the atrium of the Temple. He could see that the atmosphere just changed instantly. He was so peaceful. 

Good news! Cristal's doctor told her that it's a miracle! Her heart is healthy!! Thank you all for your prayers for her! What a blessing!! 

I also got a visit from Diane this week! We were able to go out to lunch with her! It was so much fun to see her. She brought me my pillow pet- yessss.
We got to do service for a man in one of the wards. It was crazy! He has several  huge backyards, and the backyards are full of a bunch of scrap metal! So we got to help him sort it and put stuff on a trailer! All the missionaries were there, it was fun.

On Saturday, we attended a baptism for some other missionaries in our district. Sister Fields felt really sick, and after the baptism she passed out. So we stayed at the church building for a while afterward until she was sort of okay. One of our members brought us pizza to the church! 

We had combined dinners with Elder Rogers and Elder Johnson a few times a week. Elder Rogers has a 4 year old girl laugh, and it is so, so funny. We were all together the other day and we were laughing, and he just curled up into a ball on the floor and laughed for like 5 minutes- we were all dying. 

Sister Fields borrowed Sister Bohling's bike! So now we can ride bikes sometimes! We are going to ride them street contacting and to morning sports. 

Thanks for your support, letters, and prayers. I love you and miss you!

Love, Sister Coltrin
Diane Ellison and Sister Coltrin

Sister Fields and Sister Coltrin with the "little bity car" that Diane drove

"The awesome fruit cake we made for Elder Rapoza."

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Miracle Week

Can I just say how much I love being a missionary? Uh, I love it. Sister Fields and I are working really, really hard. Although it's not about the numbers, it is about the souls, and you can count souls. Our companionship goal for this transfer is 8 baptisms and we are already half way there. We have had a really awesome week!  

Last week on P-day we took a really long nap. It was much needed and it was awesome. Then we went to Family Home Evening did all the cool stuff that YSA sister missionaries get to do. I am dreading the day that I get transferred into a family ward. I love being over the singles ward! 

We got a TON of referrals this week. Seriously, like 45. That is ridiculous. Usually we get 3 or 4 a week. One of them happened to be from some of our Elders, Elder Tongi and Elder Thomas. On Wednesday, Sister Fields and I went to knock on her door. As we were knocking, we looked at each other and pointed at the door behind us. We both said, "We need to knock on that door." It was so crazy. We were both inspired to knock on the other door. A really tall 19 year old boy answered the door. Alan Brown. We gave him a mormon.org card and told him to text us his thoughts about it. 20 minutes later, he texted us and said, "I don't know where or what time, but I am going to church." We were screaming in our car. What a miracle. 

Also on Wednesday, our Zone Leaders, Elder Lovell and Elder Mojica had a referral and they wanted us to take her around the temple on a tour. So we met them at the temple so they could tell us what they wanted us to do. Afterwards, we were talking to them right before we were getting in our cars to leave. An elderly man came up to all of us and started telling us how great we are for being missionaries. We were standing across from the Elders and he told us all to look across at each other. We figured he was going to say something like, "Think about how great of a missionary that person is," buuuuut of course not. He said, "Look across and think what great eternal companions they would make." We all busted up laughing. We seriously could not stop laughing. It was so awkward.  We still joke about it. 

On Wednesday night we had dinner at a member's house (Abraham's house) and Eder and another member were there too. Abraham and Eric and Sister Fields and I told mission stories and I'm pretty sure Eder thinks that missionaries are crazy. It was a lot of fun. 

That night Tony texted us! He started meeting with us and Adrian in June, but Tony stopped meeting and didn't get in contact with us. But he finally did! And he is ready now to accept the Gospel. Adrian came to the lesson that we had with him. It was so awesome to have Adrian teach him and bear his testimony. What a spiritual experience. He is set for baptism on the 24th! 

Thursday night we met with Jared. A little background, since we are a singles ward we cover three stakes - Central, East, and Sunrise. Jared lives with a newly married couple that is in the East Stake, in Sister Cummings ward. He should go to the singles ward, buuuut he is super stubborn and won't go to church or have lessons unless this newly married couple is there. Sister Cummings and her companion have taught Jared almost all of the lessons. She said they just can't get him to do anything, so they wanted us to try. So they passed him off to us. We're pretty bold, so hopefully we'll be able to help him. Pray for that. 

Friday we have weekly planning. We hate weekly planning. So naturally we had to have stuffed crust pizza to make it a little more bearable. While we were planning, we were thinking of how we could find new people. Our area is broken up into zones, so we decided that we would both write down on a sticky note which areas we thought we should street contact in each day. We prayed and then both of us wrote down 3 zones for each day. We compared them once we were done and every single day matched. The Spirit was so strong in our apartment. It was amazing! Heavenly Father really does direct our work. 

I have also gotten caught up on letters, so if you have written to me recently, expect a letter soon! 

On Saturday, some of the Spanish Elder's had to turn their car into the mission office to go back to Salt Lake. We had to drive them back home and then we had to give them rides when they needed them. We drove over 100 miles! Precious miles going to waste. Oh well, I guess it's service. We also helped a few people move. And we had an appointment with Luce, who we meet a few weeks ago (street contact that turned into 5 hours of service). The Spanish Elder's were there since we were passing her off to them. It was so tiring trying to listen to everyone speak in Spanish. We wish we spoke Spanish. 

We had our last pre-baptism lessons with Eder and Adrian! We had mini-testimony meetings. Adrian told us how thankful he was to us for teaching him and helping him to receive the Gospel. It was really amazing. Plus, after our lesson, a member that helped us with the lesson brought us smoothies! 

Our recent convert, Karl, signed up to help us with lessons on Saturday night! The appointment fell through so we took him street contacting with us. It was great and he invited someone to come to church!  He wants to go on a mission and he will be an amazing missionary. 

Sunday was awesome…the only bad part was that we got asked to speak in church next Sunday. I hate writing talks. Ugh. 

We had asked Elder Howe what his favorite dessert was and he told us that it was sweet potato casserole... whatever that is. So we got the recipe and made it for him because Sunday was his birthday. He has seemed really homesick or sad or something, so we have been trying to be friends with him. He was so happy that someone actually cared enough to do something for his birthday! It was awesome!

When we were at church, our ward clerk came up to us and told us that our Bishop said that Sister Fields and I are the best set of missionaries that the Temple View YSA ward has ever had! He said we work really hard and we are really good for the ward. It was one of the coolest compliments ever! I love our ward. 

ALSO... double baptism! Eder and Adrian are FINALLY baptized! They were so happy! The whole room was PACKED, there weren't enough chairs! People had to stand outside of the room and listen! What a blessing. I love being a missionary. Can you believe that we just ran into Eder on the street a few weeks ago? Total life change. 

Sister Fields is amazing. I love her and I love working with her. Pray that we find people to teach and that we reach our goal! 

Las Vegas is the best. 

I love and miss you all!

Love, Sister Coltrin
Sister Coltrin, Adrian and Sister Sneidere in spirit

Sister Coltrin, Eder, Sister Fields

Sister Fields, Sister Coltrin, Adrian, Nick (and Abraham in the background)
Our members are awesome and they love us!