Monday, November 25, 2013

Too Many Stories For One Transfer

And the ups and downs just keep coming! Thankfully it is the end of this insane transfer! We all got our transfer documents last night, after a day long delay, because of our crazy mission. Sister Nichols will be leaving to Black Mountain, Sister Cummings will go back to the Carnegie ward with Sister Stinnett, and I will stay in the Paseo Verde ward and train a brand new missionary!!  I do not know her name yet, but I will go meet her tomorrow after she gets here from the MTC!  I feel unqualified but I am excited for the opportunity. It's going to be so fun!  

So, last Monday after emailing we got to go to Smashburger with Abraham! We spent the rest of the day cleaning our apartment and playing sports at the stake center. It was a pretty chill day. 

On Tuesday we met with two of the Carnegie investigators, Vanessa and Crystal.  They are both awesome! Vanessa is a super cute older lady - who is from Westland, Michigan! We talked about Michigan for a long time. Crystal has a super cute little 3 year-old, and when we got there she had made lunch for us!  It was super sweet. She is so ready to accept the Gospel and be baptized. 

We had a bit of a rough night that night though. In my last email I talked about a less active young man that we had gone to visit who was suicidal. We had asked him where was one place he wanted to be, or one goal he had. He responded with, "I want to be in Heaven." We told him he would have to wait, because Heavenly Father still had work for him to do here. We told him that we could all progress and prepare to meet our Heavenly Father together, though, and that the Temple is the closest place to Heaven on earth. We made a goal with him to get him there. He accepted and told us to come back to meet with him every Tuesday night. We went back on Tuesday night and had a horrible, horrible feeling as we were pulling up to the house (around 6 pm). There was a police officer outside who had been called by one of Scott's friends who was concerned about him and wanted the officer to go and check on him. Scott's brother pulled up a few minutes later and he had no idea where Scott was. We left a little bit later to go to the church for meetings. We felt a strong impression to pray for Scott and his family. As we knelt in a circle in a small room, the Spirit was so strong, and we could feel the power that was there with us. We felt that we weren't the missionaries that were supposed to be there to help Scott, but there were missionaries beyond the veil ready to help him. We could tell that Heavenly Father would be there for us, for Scott's family, and for Scott - no matter what happened.  Later that night we found out that Scott had gone to the Las Vegas Temple and shot himself inside the Atrium in the lobby. It was a very sad night. We stayed up late talking with President and Sister Neider. We prayed for the Bybee's all night. We know that Scott is in a better place and is receiving help from the missionaries that are there.

On Wednesday, we got two new investigators! Marcy Till, a lady that was on our potentials list. We brought one of her member neighbors with us. We left her with a Book of Mormon, and she invited us to come back after Thanksgiving! She had a bearded dragon named Lizzie, who she let us hold! We got some pictures! It was really cool. We also met with Avery, a 9 year-old of a less active, part-member family, who is very excited to be baptized! We are also going to be working with her Father, to re-activate him. He is super nice and seems really ready to come back. That night we stayed up cleaning our house and car to be prepared for our mission tour the next day with Elder Bruce A. Carlson of the Seventy! 

Thursday morning we went for a breakfast at the Green Valley Stake Center and had an all-day training with Elder Carlson! It was really awesome. We were in the missionary choir, too! After that we got to go to a Relief Society Thanksgiving dinner with a couple of investigators! 

On Friday a member took us out to lunch for her birthday! I mean, who wouldn't want to be with three cool missionaries on their birthday - am I right? :) We started making cookies for all of the "do not contacts" on our ward list! We are going to drop them off for Christmas! We also contacted a lot of potentials and some less actives that day, and then got to have dinner with a recent convert and her suuuuuper talkative granddaughter. Mom and Dad, I formally apologize for talking so much as a kid because, wow. Just wow. 

We got to meet with Vanessa again on Saturday. We waited for transfer calls allllll day, but since everything in our mission is crazy, it was delayed until Sunday. But, that night, we found a huge un-opened bag of gumballs in our cupboard. What do you do when you find a huge bag of gumballs? You have a competition to see who can fit the most gumballs in their mouth, of course. So Sister Nichols watched in disgust, as Sister Cummings and I stuff gumballs into our faces. Obviously, I won with 52 gumballs!  I blame my sore jaw on my competitive side.  Go me! 

On Sunday we had our crazy two church schedule! We texted Missy telling her we were excited to see her at church, and she texted back in all caps telling us how excited she was! She is so cute and loves, loves, loves the Gospel. I can't wait until her parents let her be baptized. We also started to see snow on the mountains - noooooooooooooooooooo! It's too "cold" here (hahaha, joking, it's still in the 60's). Our transfer documents came that night and our zone all met at the church to have them read to us! So, yep, I'll be training this transfer! 

That's about all the exciting stuff I can remember for this week! Have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving!

Love, Sister Coltrin

PS. Mom, you'd be proud, my planner cover is a cool nativity picture I found in the New Era - I thought of you :)


Monday, November 18, 2013

And The Stories Just Keep Coming...

I am not sure what is up with this transfer, but oh my goodness. It has been yet another crazy week. Makes for good stories though!
I'll start on Monday. We went out with Sister Lanman from the Carnegie Ward to a super nice restaurant called "Claim Jumper". It was really good and she got a billion different appetizers for us to try and to take home. When we got to the restaurant, I looked over and saw Brother and Sister Conger! I was so excited to see them! They are from the Sunrise area, in one of the family wards. We had dinner with them a lot! It was so good to see them and talk to them for a little bit. After dinner, we went back to Sister Lanman's house and she had a huge banana split bar for us - fresh fruit, candy, and every other topping you could hope for. It was an awesome night.
On Tuesday, we went to lunch at Sister Ockerman's house. She is a cute, older widow. She made us grilled cheese and talked to us about her family. She grew up in Kalamazoo! Yay for Michigan people! We contacted a lot of people for the rest of the afternoon and finished perfecting our area books - because our mission is being toured by one of the Seventy this week. That night after dinner we went to the West's house in the Paseo Verde ward. Sister Cummings is being tested to see if she has Celiac, and Sister West's kids have Celiac, so she taught us how to cook and showed us some good gluten-free stuff. It was really nice, she is great. When we got home that night, we went to put a CD in our DVD player so we could listen to music, and realized that someone had broken into our apartment and stole both of our DVD players and one of Sister Nichols' bags to put them in! They had dumped the stuff out of her bag, stashed the DVD players in it and left. It was crazy! And pretty scary to think that someone we didn't know had been in our apartment. We called all the Elder's to see if it was any of them just playing a joke, but no, someone actually broke in. It's good that they didn't take anything else though - like our cameras and Ipods!
Wednesday night was just as scary! We spent the day contacting potentials and had a few lessons. That night, we came home to plan and while we were planning, someone tried to break in again! We all hid behind our kitchen counter armed with kitchen knives. It was super scary, but once the person realized that we were in our apartment, they left. We called the Zone Leaders and moved all our desks in front of the front door and sliding glass door. Looking back on it, it's pretty funny. But at the time, we were so scared.
On Thursday we spent the day at a doctor's appointment in the Las Vegas West mission for Sister Cummings, and when we got back, some of the Elder's called us and asked us to stop by and visit a certain person in our ward sometime. The Elder's were with a family in their ward and they were concerned about their son who lives in one of our wards. We stopped by and he let us in. He was clearly upset about something and was surprised that we were there. We talked to him a little bit and found out that he is seriously depressed, and is frustrated, and feels like Heavenly Father has forgotten about him. We were able to talk to him and try to help him see that he has not been forgotten. At one point he stopped and said, "So, just wondering, why did you stop by here at this time?" We told him that we heard he might be having a hard time and felt like we should stop by tonight instead of waiting.  It was really cool and the Spirit was really strong. We know that we were there for a reason and so did he. We are pretty sure that he was planning on taking his life that night - we scheduled another time to meet with him and help him progress.
That night we went out to dinner again to Red Robin. There was a lady sitting alone at the table next to us, so we invited her to come and sit with us, but she didn't want to intrude. It was really cute though, because she talked to us almost the whole time we were all out to dinner, and she waited to leave when we left! We left her with a card and told her that we'd love to meet with her again. It was really awesome. After that we went to the Viking chapel for Sister Nichols' exchange with Sister Fields! So Sister Fields came and stayed with us in our apartment that night! It was so good to be with my sister again. I love her. She went with Sister Nichols for the day and I got to be with Sister Cummings in Paseo Verde.
Friday was a really great day! I got to work in just my area for the whole day!  We made a ton of contacts and met a lot of really cool members. We stopped by the Stacey's house and they gave us their homemade bread, a ton of referrals, and a great idea to get more referrals at Christmas! They are super awesome! That morning we stopped in the mail room at our apartment to get all the ads out of our mailbox (the mailman gets mad when we just leave them in there). We left a pass-along card on the bulletin board! We also saw that there was an apartment Thanksgiving lunch going on that afternoon! We decided we would stop by and try to get to know our neighbors and see if we could find investigators. It turned out to be a super great idea! We were the only younger ones there and everyone wanted to talk to us! They asked us about home and about what missionaries do and everything! One lady even told us that we could come to her house if we needed anything, since we don't have our moms with us! And she isn't even a member!  It was awesome! That night we got to go to the Reber's and teach Missy again.
Missy is so amazing. She has such a strong testimony. Her parents are being really difficult. Although they decided they wouldn't kick her out, they told her that they didn't want her to get baptized until she turns 21. Missy doesn't want to play that game though - she knows that they won't let her even when she is 21. She doesn't think she will have to wait that long, and neither do I. We have so many people fasting and praying for her and for her parent's hearts to soften. Please keep Missy in your prayers!
We came home that night so that we could take Sister Fields back for exchanges, and so that I could go on exchanges with Sister Celis, my Sister Training Leader, buuuuuut, I got pretty sick and was throwing up. So that's fun.
Saturday we went down to Kingman, Arizona for a baptism. That was Sister Nichols' last area. I laid in the backseat and only ate saltine crackers that day because I still felt pretty sick. But it was a lot of fun to be in Kingman for a little bit. We got to drive on Route 66, so I feel pretty accomplished in life.  We met some pretty awesome members that are down there. It is pretty bare and desert-y though... Yeah. That night after we had come back to Henderson we stopped at a referral's house. Her name is Crystal and she is really awesome! She is ready and willing to learn about the gospel. Her daughter is really sick and her boss had given her daughter a blessing. She was amazed and excited to know more. She told us that we would definitely see her at church the next day!
Sunday was crazy. I went to Ward Council at 8. Paseo Verde Sacrament meeting at 9. Gospel Principles at 10. Relief Society at 11. Carnegie's Gospel Principles at 12. The Arroyo Grande Ward's Sacrament, Gospel Principles, and Relief Society at 1, 2, and 3 because that's when Crystal was coming to church. Oh. My. Goodness. It was crazy. So much church. We are over achievers, I guess. It was a good day though.
Not much else is going on. It was a crazy week, but a good one! We decided that we are going to go to the temple on Christmas Eve! We are really excited for that! Transfers are next week and we find out what's going on this Saturday!
Thanks for everything! Have a good week! I love you!

Love, Sister Coltrin

Who can resist a jumping picture?

Sister Cummings and Sister Coltrin at an outlook in Arizona

Sister Coltrin on Route 66

"The pass along card I left in our mail room"

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Much Better Week

A much better week than before! My body isn't tense all the time now!
So on Monday we got a call from President Neider after we emailed. He told Sister H that she would need to pack up her things and there would be a different assignment for her for the time being. We went home and packed all her stuff up and finished the rest of our night. I got a new winter coat, since it is cold here now - and by cold I mean 70 degrees... Yeah. And we got to have dinner with Abraham at Arby's! A good P-Day.
Tuesday morning, Sister Cummings, Sister Nichols, and I took Sister H to the mission office, where she will be working for a little while. It's a little awkward when people ask if she finally got her visa... but it's okay. They usually understand once I say no. She's a nice girl and I will continue to stay in contact with her. The three of us then became a trio for the rest of the transfer, covering both our wards! We moved all their stuff into our apartment (since we have two bathrooms) and got everything in order for the rest of the transfer! We love being a trio. Love it. That night we had to go to two back to back dinner appointments though because we forgot to cancel one of them... we were stuffed.
On Wednesday we had district meeting, and then went to talk with our Bishop, so that the sister's could meet him. He is so awesome. Later that day I got dropped off at the Christensen's house (James' family) and rode up to the Gladys Knight/Saint's Unified Voices performance with them and one of their non-member friends. It was so awesome! We had super close seats in the chapel and the whole thing was amazing!! It was so weird to have such loud music in the chapel, but it was really awesome. And it was fun to be back in my old area! The Christensen's are the best. We went to Olive Garden for dinner on the way home.
On Thursday I got to go to Gladys Knight again! The Sister's were going and we couldn't find someone for me to be companions with. This time the performance was in the West Mission. Devan Romano, from my ward, took us up there to meet one of our investigators that rode up with a member. Devan is about to go on his mission to Cape Verde, off the west coast of Africa! He is 19 and already has his master’s degree in accounting. Crazy. He drove us in his 2013 Land Rover that he bought with his own money, what the heck? It was a party. Gladys Knight was awesome (all the performances are a little different). We even stood up and clapped... hahahah. Everyone was getting really into it, I think it's because it's not every day that you get the opportunity to stand up and clap and dance during church... hahahha! We stopped at Cafe Rio on the way home. It was a good day!
We had interviews with President on Friday, and training with Sister Neider which is always the best. I loved it! When I talked with President he told me that he was really grateful for all I've done this transfer. He told me that my Dad called to talk to him because he was concerned about my safety. I started to cry because my Dad isn't one to do something like that. President told me to call my parents later that day to make sure they knew I was okay and all that had gone on with Sister H. In my head I was like, "Welllll, I guess I'll talk to my parents if you reaaaally want me too..." :) It was a good day. That night we went and had dinner with a member in my ward that we are close with, Sister Addington. She is so amazing. We had a good time at her house.
I went to see Bishop again on Saturday because my foot has been hurting me (I have been walking without shoes, or on the side of my foot...) and he is a retired podiatrist, so he wanted me to come to make sure everything was okay. He told me that I have a pinched nerve in my foot and to be barefoot as much as possible. Score!  That night, we went to the Reber's for dinner and had a lesson with Missy. All week lots of us have been praying for her parent's hearts to soften. After our lesson with her, she told us that her Mom has started to tell her to just find what makes her happy and stay with it! That is amazing, considering that her parent's are very against her being baptized. We love Missy.
On Sunday we got to stay at the church from 8am to 5pm! WOOOO. Long day. We went to Paseo Verde's ward council, sacrament meeting, and gospel essentials, then Carnegie's sacrament meeting and gospel essentials and relief society. Then Carnegie's ward choir. We did Personal Study/Comp Study and then went to Paseo Verde's ward choir. Oh my goodness. So much time at the church. At church some of our members brought their friends to church! It was awesome! Hopefully we will get to meet with them this week! After dinner with the Phillips, who are probably my favorite family ever - dinner is just basically a huge laugh fest, we went to a youth fireside just so that we could meet all the youth in the ward. It was nice!
After the fireside was the highlight of my week... We drove home, got out of the car and went to walk inside and KARINA AND MISS MCDADE were there! AND GUESS WHO WAS WITH THEM?? My very favorite, sweet SISTER FIELDS. We ran to each other. And cried. And hugged. It was the best. We were so happy. We miss each other so much. They all came in and stayed for a little bit. Karina and Miss McDade brought us food and cleaning supplies and other fun stuff! They are the best. It was so good to see them and be with them. I love them so much. They are my big sisters.
It was a great week! We were able to talk to a lot of people. We still just have Missy though! Pray that we will be able to find new investigators! It is so hard to find here, but we are working hard on it!

I love you!

Love, Sister Coltrin
A big box of love from Karina and Miss McDade

Denise McDade, Sister Fields, Sister Coltrin, Karina Wiberg

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Long Week

Well, this has officially been the longest week ever, in the history of long weeks. Sorry for the lame and short email last week - I was still pretty scattered and shaken up because of some scary stuff that happened.

So, to make a really long story short, my companion has some severe anger issues and can't handle change or stress. Last Sunday night while I was driving us to contact some ward members, she got angry and yanked the steering wheel...I almost lost control of the car…it was really scary!  So on Monday she had to go talk to President and we were there for most of our P-day.  On the bright side, President had me call my parents, so I got to talk to them for about 10 minutes.  Then President told us to go home early and get extra sleep.  So that was good!  Unfortunately, the next day my companion got angry again and she hit me.  It has been a very difficult week but I think the end may be near.
On a happier note, we had a few lessons this week- with Missy and Jacque Bluth. Missy is still awesome and has a super strong testimony. She is still on track for baptism on the 30th of this month. Her parents are still really against it and hopefully she won't get kicked out of her house. We are trying to think of ways to help them see that we aren't bad. They just don't understand.
Sister Bluth has been coming to church for 6 years. She is married to a returned missionary and they have 2 small, cute kids. She reads conference talks every week, has read The Book of Mormon cover to cover a few times, and prays. She hasn't received an answer to know if Joseph Smith was a Prophet or if The Book of Mormon is true, so she hasn't been baptized yet. Pray for her that she will have enough faith to not be overly logical about it. Otherwise, she is golden!
On Wednesday, we got to go to our combined ward Trunk-or-Treat! There were so many people there, really good costumes, and awesome chili. We got to be there with the other sisters - Sister Cummings and Sister Nichols. We all dressed up as animals (we got $5 costumes from Target that a member paid for, so nice!)  We decorated our trunk and passed out candy and pass-a-long cards, aaaand a few pamphlets and Book of Mormons when the cards ran out... So fun! A couple dressed up as Mayhem, from the All-State commercial, and Flo from Progressive, an advertising major's favorite costumes!
On Halloween, we had Zone Training in the morning, we had a lesson with Missy, Sister H had a Doctor's appointment, we had dinner with the Sisters at Great Harvest (where missionaries eat for free!), and then we got to go to the mission office for the missionary Halloween party! We got to watch a movie called Ephraim's Rescue, which was actually pretty funny and good. There were some funny musical performances and we had candy and caramel apples! We were there until about 10:30.  It was such a great time. It was so fun to see all our friends there. Sister Fields and I "dressed up" as each other - so we wore the same outfit. Ex-companionship unity right there! I love her.
We went on exchanges on Saturday, which was really fun. I spent the day in Black Mountain with Sister Eager, who came out a transfer after me. We had a lot of fun and got to talk with a lot of people!
Sunday was church and ward choir practice. On Sunday nights we get to have sleepovers with the sisters for P-day, so we went over to have our P-day sleepover.
At dinner on Sunday night we went to the Bell's house. They have a daughter, Julie, that looked so familiar to me. She told me the same thing, so we tried to figure out why we would know each other. Turns out that she is Lisa Mendenhall's friend and would come and visit her a lot!  Obviously she recognized me since I look the exact same as when I was 4 years old... hahah. They are good friends with the Mendenhall's!
Speaking of Julie's, good luck with your half marathon, Julie! I'm super excited for you! You're awesome. And Brian, I hope you loved visiting BYU! Sounds like you had fun. And Aunt Lorrie, I used a nail polish remover thing this week and though of you telling me to think of you when I used them... hahaha. I love you all!
This week we get to go to one of the Gladys Knight firesides! We are super excited and are expecting a lot of referrals from it!
Thanks for all the letters and emails! I love you!
Love, Sister Coltrin
It is 60 degrees and I have to wear a coat...ridiculous!

Trunk or Treat with Sister Cummings and Sister Coltrin

Mayhem, Sister Coltrin and Flo

Sister Nichols and Sister Coltrin
Sister H and Sister Coltrin