Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It Was A Crazy Week!

We have had some crazy experiences this week.  

Sister Fields and I both got our haircut by one of our members that is a licensed cosmetologist. Hurray for free haircuts! (Did you get my joke, Mom?) 

We also taught Family Home Evening for our ward on Monday. We have been trying really hard to get our members involved in missionary work. We taught the restoration, just like we do to investigators, but at the end we talked about how their friends need the message of the restoration. It was really powerful and spiritual. We had them write down 5 friends names in the beginning, and at the end we asked them to find us sometime this week and tell us the name of the person that is ready for the message now. It was awesome and hopefully it will work. One of the members of our bishopric asked us to teach FHE at his home sometime. 

And! Our Bishop told President Neider that we are the best missionaries that he has ever had in the ward! So that's pretty cool! 

We also got to teach FHE with a family after our Single's Ward. They have a 13 year old boy who doesn't want to go to church anymore. So we focused on him and hopefully it helped a little. We challenged them to read the Book of Mormon as a family. 

We had zone conference again this week. 8 hours of training. Although it's really good stuff- it is SO LONG. Sister Fields and I were so done by the end of it. We went to Chaunee's house afterwards and her and her mom had gotten us fresh fruits and vegetables! It was awesome. 

Speaking of fresh fruits and vegetables, Elder Ortiz gave us his blender because we were talking about how badly we want smoothies! It is awesome! Now we get to have fresh fruit smoothies every morning. 

On Tuesday, we felt a little off all day, like something was wrong or was going to be wrong. We got in the car after a lesson that night and had a bunch of missed calls. So, we called back the Elders that had called us. They said that an agent pulled them over on the side of the road and was looking for someone. The Elders referred him to us and he called us. We were pulled over on some dark road and "Agent Kennedy" called us. We told him that we would meet him at the church. We drove to the church as fast as we could, we were super scared. And thankfully there was Young Men's and Young Women's going on, and the Zone Leaders were at the church. They told us to call President Neider. So we did, and he told us to stay away from the Agent and not let him see us. We weren't allowed to leave sight or sound of the Zone Leaders. It was scary. So they sent one of the Bishops that was at the church out to talk to him- luckily he is a lawyer. The agent was looking for someone in our ward and wanted to get his information from us. It was so intense. So obviously we didn't give any information out- but we did hear that the person got taken back to Salt Lake and got locked up. So yeah - interesting night.

After that experience, we were sort of scared in our apartment (we're pretty sure if you shook the door hard enough, the lock would unlock). So we were trying to make light of the situation and were talking about where we would hide if someone came into our apartment. Sister Fields was listing off places. She said I could hide in my suitcase. I told her I wouldn't fit, and she dared me to try.  And yes, I can fit. Sister Fields zipped me up in my suitcase. It was the funniest thing of our whole lives. She filmed the whole thing. Pretty proud over here. Hahaha! 

We also went to contact potentials in "The Browns".  It is probably the most run-down and sketchiest apartment complex I have ever seen in my whole life. We had to go with 2 priesthood holders just to contact people. Ridiculous.  So we were going to a lesson there and we were looking for this guy's apartment, and we turned a corner, and this HUGE dog got up and barked at us. In my head I was screaming GET ME OUT OF HERE, but we just walked past the dog as it was sniffing us.  It was so scary!  I was thinking, well, I guess I'll officially be bitten by a dog on my mission. But luckily that wasn't the case.  Luis wasn't there for the lesson, so we went to contact some other people, and when we were done, Luis drove by us and said he was so sorry that he was late and asked if we could reschedule, so that was a blessing! We'll definitely schedule our next lesson at the church though... 

Little side note, I wore blue on Saturday and am upset about BYU. I had Abraham text us scores. The end. 

We have been meeting with Cristal a lot lately, she has been struggling. But she really has her heart in the right place. The sweetest quote of the week was when she said, "Please don't give up on me." Oh my gosh, my heart melted! We would never give up on her. 

We had dinner at a family's house from another ward, and they have 3 younger girls - a freshman, 4th grader, and 1st grader. They fight like nobody's business, oh my goodness. But it is so entertaining. The 4th grader was telling us how their cat "jumps from curtain to curtain" and the freshman was telling her how that's not true and the fourth grader shot back with my favorite phrase ever: "Okay…I exaggerated a little, but WHATEVER." Sister Fields and I were almost on the floor laughing. The sad part is that they fight with their mom too. She was so glad to have us there. At the end we challenged the girls to try to make their home a peaceful and happy place. The mom hugged us at the end and you could tell she just needed a little peace in her home. We are thinking about bringing her cookies or something this week. 

Another cool thing, Gladys Knight is going to be putting on a concert here. It's a "missionary experience concert" so members can only get tickets if non-members are with them! Yes!  It will be an awesome way for people here to share the gospel. Who would say no to a concert? It's going to be awesome. 

We had some really good lessons this week. We got to teach Huey at Adam's house again. We taught him about the Plan of Salvation. It was hard for him to understand (he is from China and hasn't had too much experience with religion because of it). We explained it a few different times and simplified it, and when he finally understood, the look on his face was priceless. It just clicked with him and he was so happy! We were all so excited. His prayer at the end was incredible and he told us he was so happy that we were helping him to "understand the Mormon".  He told us he would be at church if he woke up on time. We bore strong testimony about church and where he needed to be, He was at church the next day- and had the hugest smile on his face. He really enjoys church and we love teaching him. 

We also got to help teach in a pass-off lesson with some other Elders. We taught the restoration to a guy named Langston. The lesson flowed so well! We were all so in-tune and afterwards the Elders told us that it was the best pass-off lesson they'd ever had! It was really awesome. 

We were with Edna and she told us she was going to go to church this week! We were so happy. Beyond happy. And then she called us that morning and said she wasn't going. We were really sad. Tears were definitely shed. Hopefully next week. She hasn't been to church in over 2 months. Pray for her. 

We were contacting less actives this week, and dropped a pass-along card with our phone number on it to a guy named Jimichael. He wasn't home. But he must have gotten the message because he was at church for the first time in over 6 months! It was awesome!! Hopefully we'll get to work with him and help him come back to church. 

Kevin is set for baptism on October 12th, and hopefully Tony will be baptized then as well. Langston, Huey, and Jamie should be set for the 12th or the week after. Dillan has stopped talking to us, so hopefully we will get a hold of him this week. We are still trying to get a hold of David and Monique too. 

We are still working with Matthew. We love him so much. He is so happy at church and we can see a definite difference. We asked him to write a list of the things he believes and knows. He wrote that he believes in God and he believes that he can be forgiven for the things he has done. It was awesome. We hope that he can see the difference that we can see. 

Two of our members, Karina and Denise (also known as Miss McDade- she's a 4th grade teacher) are so super nice to us and take care of us. Miss McDade brought Sister Fields and I water and snacks to church because she thought we'd be hungry. So sweet. We love them. Karina's sister is serving in the Lansing Michigan mission! Sister Wiberg. 

Sister Fields and I made "MORMON.ORG" t-shirts one night too. They are sweet. We love mormon.org. We basically tell everyone to go to it. 

I have to give a training on planning during District Meeting tomorrow- so pray that it goes well, and I'll know what I need to teach about! 

Thanks for all the updates!

Love, Sister Coltrin

PS. Mom, thanks for sending my 8th grade picture to Sister Fields. She loves it and shows it to everyone. Hooray for me. Hahaha.
Sister Fields and Sister Coltrin

"I can fit inside my suitcase...what skill!"

My mormon.org shirt

Monday, September 16, 2013

I Shook Hands with an Apostle!

We finally have people to teach! This week was awesome!  

Okay, so I'll start with Monday. Sister Fields and I got to go shopping with some of the girls in our ward. It was a lot of fun! We just got to hang out with our members - it was almost like we were normal people... hahah. We got to get some new clothes at this store that is like Forever 21, but really cheap! It was awesome. We had lunch and got to play dart war- so, over all good day. We also got to have dinner with other missionaries in our district at a member's house. They're Samoan, so we had really good food that night.  Sister Fields and I came to the conclusion that we are friends in real life, not just companion friends because we have to be. 

On Tuesday, we had a really good district meeting about Personal Study. Elder Rogers is probably the best district leader in the universe. We tell him that all the time. We had really good personal studies all week, and I learned so much more because of what he told us to do. Not that we were "studying wrong" before, but it was just a lot more focused and spiritual. 

After District Meeting, our whole mission got to leave mission boundaries and go to the Las Vegas West mission to meet with the missionaries in the West Mission and be trained by ELDER NEIL L. ANDERSON and TAD R. CALLISTER. No big deal. It was awesome. Like, really awesome. And we got to leave mission boundaries, so it was like the best day ever. And I got to see Elder Adams! I waved to him, and he didn't notice who I was at first, and then freaked out when he realized who I was. At the end we talked for a minute. We were excited since it was the closest thing to family contact that we had. 

After Elder Anderson walked in, he told us that he wanted to shake each of our hands. He took 20 minutes to have us file up row by row and shake his hand. It was awesome. 

Elder Anderson taught us about the Atonement. I can't even describe to you how amazing the meeting was, and how strong the Spirit was. Oh my gosh. It was incredible. He told the mission presidents that missionaries need to be staying in wards longer - so hopefully that means I'll stay in Sunrise a bit longer! 

At our District Meeting we had taken seminary tables from the Seminary room. Obviously, being the daughter of a Seminary teacher, I felt bad that we had forgotten to put them back. So, I made Sister Fields and I wake up early, at 5:20 am, to go put them back before the seminary teacher got there. That was for you, Mom. You're welcome. 

On Wednesday we were going to contact a less active member that we haven't been able to see. We got her as a referral from another ward a few months ago, and even though we've tried to contact her at least 15 times, we have never seen her. We were about to go and see her and I realized that we had lost the sticky note with her address on it. We prayed that we would just be able to remember where it was. As we were leaving the apartment, we realized that we had a voicemail from the lady that had given us the referral. We hadn't talked to her since she gave us the referral a few months ago. We listened to it and she said the address in the message! It was awesome! What a blessing. Prayers are answered. We went and knocked on her door and her Dad answered and said she was home! That has never happened! He went to get her. We heard some voices. Then her Mom came to the door and said she was sick and couldn't come to the door and we couldn't go see her. Then she slammed the door. That was a bummer, but we will keep trying. 

We have had so many good lessons this week. We were able to meet with a lot of less actives. One less active showed up at church and invited us over to teach her the lessons again. Even though she was born into the Church, she has never really felt "active". When we went over to her house and she had a non-member friend there! So we will be working with them both! We shared a really cool Mormon message video with them. 

We've been working with Matthew still too. He is less active. We love him so much. We meet with him twice a week. He is willing to do anything to find out if the Church is true. His parents are with us a lot - they are fully active. It's really neat to see them try to help him and bear their testimonies to him during lessons. We love their whole family. Pray for Matthew. We feel that he knows it's true and just has a hard time feeling that. 

Chaunee Olsen is a member of one of the wards in our stake and goes to lessons with us a lot. She is about to leave for a mission in Wisconsin! She is so sweet. We love her. We took her to the temple and just talked about missionary work. We answered a lot of her questions and bore our testimonies to her. We explained a lot of things to her. It was really awesome and spiritual. Sister Fields talked about companions. She talked about how she has opened up to me and told me things that she has never even said out loud. She talked about how she knows that we knew each other before we came to earth, and that I had my hand on her back encouraging her to go. The Spirit was crazy strong. I love Sister Fields, and really do feel like she is a sister of mine, and one of my best friends. 

After our really great lesson with Huey last week, we weren't able to meet with him right away. But he called us with questions this week, and we had a lesson over the phone with him! It was awesome. He wanted to read The Book of Mormon with us. On Sunday, he called us and said he "found a new Gospel". We were worried and asked him what he meant. He said he went to Church that morning, and he wouldn't be able to make it to our Church at one. We freaked out, but he explained to us that he just found a "Mormon Church" closer to his house and at an earlier time so that he could go to Church that day. He went on his own! It was awesome!

On Saturday one of our Sisters that got transferred down to Lake Havasu was coming up to Vegas for a baptism. Sister Fields and I were sent to the Temple to wait for her and bring her to the baptism. We were supposed to meet at 10:30 am... and they arrived at 12:30. So, yeah. That was pretty frustrating. We felt bad for her. The members were going slow and she missed the baptism. Sad. But we were happy that we got to see her. 

We had dinner at a member's house with Elder Rogers and Elder Johnson. They have a dog named "Molly" and that is Sister Field's first name. So the Mom would say, "Molly! Stop licking Elder Roger's face so he can say the prayer." We were all laughing so, so hard. She didn't get it, but it was hilarious. 

The past few weeks we have been giving other people referrals like crazy. And we finally, finally, finally got referrals from other missionaries! We were able to get FIVE new investigators this week! It was awesome! They are all ready for baptism too! We would have people call us and say, "Oh we have a member that has a friend that wants to get baptized, and he is YSA, so go teach him." IT WAS AWESOME. That happened 5 times! What the heck? So cool. 

We are now teaching Tony, Huey, Dillan, Mary, David, and Kevin. Yes! And Tony went to church on Sunday!! He is getting a new job so that he can come on Sundays! His last day of work at this job is on Thursday and we are so excited! He can finally meet with us on a regular basis! They will all be baptized pretty soon, we are sure of it. They are all great and are all progressing. We got to teach the Restoration a lot, which we hadn't been able to do in a while! 

We are also meeting with our members and are helping them to find friends to introduce to the Gospel. It's been going pretty well so far. Hopefully they will recognize the importance of member missionary work. 

On Sunday we had the "Why I Believe" fireside, which is basically a fireside where converts or others speak of why they believe the Church is true, and how the came to know. It's a really powerful fireside. Sister Fields arranged some sweet songs for the choir to sing! She is talented. And awesome. 

We hiked Sunrise Mountain once again this morning. I am way tired. But I got to watch the sunrise, and it was amazing. Watching a sunrise from the very top of a mountain is just too cool.

Love, Sister Coltrin
Flashback to my birthday....some missionaries left notes on our door for me.

Sister Fields and Sister Coltrin

Sister Fields covered my desk in nice notes!

We got a letter from Sister Coltrin this week and the back of the envelope made me smile!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Finally Teaching Again

Thanks for making my birthday awesome! Letters and packages and emails galore! My zone was super nice and had a little party for me - complete with piƱata. It was a really good day. Plus I got dessert three times, so not a bad day at all...  

Well, after a looooong dry spell, we finally got to teach some really good lessons this week!  For the past few weeks, as you know, people have been really flaky on lessons. We had about 30 planned, and none of them actually happened. And Tony was out of town, so we really had no one to teach. 

We were so blessed though! We were contacting a lot of potentials, so we were in the car almost all day. Almost every neighborhood here is gated, so it's really hard to contact potentials, as you can imagine. But this week was awesome! Every time that we got up to a gated community, someone was just punching in the gate code, so we always got in! Yay for sneaky missionaries. There was one time when we were at the gate trying to guess the number (usually #000000 works) and a kid came up and just typed the code in for us! It was awesome!  

We got to meet with Karl and have a really awesome lesson around the temple. We talked about the plan of salvation and focused on baptisms for the dead. We have been talking about the temple a lot with out recent converts. We are trying to plan a special temple trip to do baptisms and we got permission from President to go with them! We are really excited. We love doing temple tours with people. The Spirit is so strong on the temple grounds. 

We finally met with Huey! He was at Yung's house when we went over to visit him a few weeks ago. The weird thing is that we haven't been able to teach Yung since then, but Huey has come to church and we got to teach him this week! We went to a member's home. And just let me tell you about this member. His name is Adam. He got home from a mission in the Philippians about 6 months ago. He is basically the best missionary in the entire world. Yung asked some really hard questions, and Adam just answered them, using scriptures and pictures, like it was no big deal. Sister Fields and I basically just sat there with our jaws dropped the whole time (not really, but... yeah really). It was one of our best lessons yet. We literally got in the car and SCREAMED the whole way home because we were so happy. And it was a 20 minute drive. Needless to say, we will be meeting with Huey again soon.  

We have been meeting with a less active that is in our ward, Matthew. He is really awesome. He was in the marines. He has never really had a testimony, but he is tired of not really knowing for himself. Sister Fields and I know that we are supposed to be here for Matthew. He told us that other sets of missionaries have tried to help, but they always give up after a while. We haven't given up and he just clicks with us. We brought one of his friends (a really awesome member, Willie) to help us teach him. We have been talking a lot about The Book of Mormon and prayer with him. He has opened up to us so much, and really does want to know for himself. Pray that he will be able to sort things out and get an answer!

Fernanda is another one of our recent converts. We love her. We have been meeting with her a lot lately and she is so awesome. I feel like I learn from her every time we meet with her! She has such a strong testimony and she applies the things that she learns from reading scriptures and such. She is so great!

We got a new investigator named Dillan this week! Apparently missionaries have visited him a lot, they are just never consistent. He is ready. So we told him that we would be consistent. He came to church on Sunday and stayed all three hours! 

On Wednesday, Sister Fields and I helped Elder Rogers and Elder Johnson out with a youth fireside about missionary work. It was the first time that I have been in charge of a fireside! It was really awesome and went really well! Since the Elders aren't as "exciting" and "fun" as we are (their words, not mine) we had to help them out. So we started with a mini training about missionary work and inviting people to do things, like come to church, or meet with missionaries, or come to seminary, things like that, or even just playing basketball at church. Then we split into different rooms and did role plays with them. I think they all really enjoyed it. We were relaxed and fun, so they knew that we were there to help them. It was awesome! 

We had one reaaaally awkward dinner this week with a family in the Elder's ward. They proceeded to tell us all about how they had home birth's with 4 of their children and, yeah, I'll just leave it at that. Yay for awkward dinners! At least the food was good. 

Speaking about food, we got to go to IHOP twice this week. The Conger's took us out for breakfast one day (their son serves in our home mission) and a member took us there for dinner the next. We love IHOP. 

So, cool thing, our mission and the Las Vegas West mission are combining tomorrow in the West mission for training from Elder Neil L Anderson and Tad R Callister! We are so excited! We get to leave mission boundaries AND be trained by an Apostle! What the heck! Maybe I'll see Elder Adams while we are in the West mission! 

We met with a returned sister missionary that is one of our ward missionaries. She is so organized and has such good ideas. She helps us a lot and gives us a lot of cute stuff to use and ideas on object lessons. Nancy Brown is probably the best sister missionary in the whole entire world. She served in Chicago! We love her. 

We were sick of eating candy and ice cream, so we sent out a mass text to all the Elders saying that whoever responds first gets all our candy and ice cream. The responses were so short, it was so funny. "US" "GIVE" "WE" hahaha. It ended up being the Zone Leaders, so we went to their apartment to drop off all our junk food... 4 cartons of ice cream and a bunch of candy... oops. Anyway, we were at the door and right above their door there is a leaking pipe, so it is all wet there. AND THERE WERE MUSHROOMS GROWING AT THE DOOR. It was so nasty and so funny! 

That's about it for this week. We have some new faces in our zone. One of our old AP's is now in our zone, so everyone was really weird at first, but now it's normal. 

Hope you're all having a good week!

Love, Sister Coltrin

PS: One day this week is was SEVENTY-SEVEN DEGREES. We were excited beyond all belief.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Happy 20th Birthday!

What the heck, I am 20 years old today!  Transfers are this week. Anddddd... I'M STAYING IN SUNRISE WITH SISTER FIELDS! Yes…6 more weeks in the best zone ever. Unfortunately some of our favorite missionaries are being transferred, but I'm glad to be here nonetheless.  

This week was pretty slow, we had about 30 lessons planned, and they ALL fell through. It was a major bummer. But we got to work with a lot of less actives, so that is good. 

So we were running low on miles this week, being the last week of the month. We eventually ran out of miles... so we walked. We walked 18 miles one day! It was crazy. I didn't get any blisters but Sister Fields feet are torn up. We were so dead at the end, and all of a sudden a car pulled over and it was Karina! One of our favorite members! She just said, "Get in the car" and she dropped us off where we were going. 

We also went on exchanges this week. Our Sister Training Leader called us in the afternoon and asked us if we could exchange that night.  We were not thrilled with the super short notice but our Ward Mission Leader brought us Mike and Ikes and stuffed crust pizza and that put us in a good mood. 

I got to be with Sister Cheatham for the day. We had a good day!  We went and did service for a member of our ward.  It was good to have an opportunity to serve. Sister Cheatham is really sweet! 

Huey came to church! He had a great time. He said he wanted to meet with us sometime this week and then come to church again on Sunday! He is so polite and awesome. He is from China. 

This week we had cleaning inspections. Karina brought us all new cleaning supplies, and we went all out. We wiped up a bunch of mold and way nasty stuff. Our apartment is old and gross. But we got a 10! Boom. We are awesome. 

We had dinner at Abraham's house this week (and we are emailing from his house right now since it is a holiday). It was a lot of fun. Good dinner and we got to meet his awesome cousin who is visiting from Mexico! She is super cute and nice. 

We also had dinner at the Congoor's house. Their son is serving in our home mission, the Michigan, Lansing mission!  It's cute, they have a big map of Michigan up and they put his picture where he is serving. 

We attempted to take zone pictures at our zone training, since lots of us are leaving, but they failed miserably. Like, really bad. 

Pray for new investigators! We are really struggling to find people to teach. Also, pray for Tony. He is going through a hard time. Hopefully he will be able to meet with us this week so he can be baptized this weekend. 

We have been challenging people to read the entire Book of Mormon. I want to challenge you all to do that as well! Prayerfully pick a date to finish by and read! We have cute charts that people fill out as they read. I'll send you one if you want! I'm almost in Helaman! 

The Church is true. Thanks for all the support and emails and letters!  Happy Labor Day!

Love, Sister Coltrin
Sister Coltrin and Sister Fields at Institute

Dinner at the Congoor's
Dinner at the Congoor's
20th Birthday Celebration!