Monday, January 27, 2014

Missions are the BEST!

This week has been super fun!  Sister Harrison and I have been working super hard.  But we had a crazy experience!  We came home and the lights were on in our apartment but we knew for sure that we turned them off.  So we were legitimately freaked out.  So we felt like we shouldn't go in so we waited for the other sisters to come home so we could go in together.  But then we went to open the door and the doorknob turned all the way and we know we locked it! So we freaked out and didn't go in and called our zone leaders and they came over and saved the day.  They were just finishing an exchange so they had another companionship with them and so the 4 of them came and cleared our apartment.  When they opened the door one of them yelled "Yo, there's 15 of us!"  Super funny.  They cleared all the rooms with knives and a chair shield.  It was freaky.  Nobody was in there and we discovered our doorknob doesn't actually lock so the knob always turns but the dead bolt was still locked.  Super scary but the elders said a blessing on the house so we are all good.  The next day Sister Harrison and I went through some sweet action plans in case anybody was ever in our apartment or for other dangerous situations.  The elders gave us some good advice…they told us to not be the slower companion.
This morning we were playing crazy ball for morning sports.  The other team was kicking and I thought I was funny and grabbed a ball that was on the floor and threw it at people while they ran.  I totally hit one of our zone leaders in the face. I felt so bad!
Thanks for all the letters everybody!  You guys are the best!  Love you! Bye!
Sister Coltrin

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Okay, so the real story is that I left my computer to email President, so Elder Gunnell wrote that email home for me... hahahaha. But I'll update you with the rest of the week:

So, what Elder Gunnell wrote is true - the Elders really did have to go check our apartment with knives. It was ridiculous but scary.
On Monday we went to the Henness' house for FHE and dinner. They are awesome!
Tuesday morning we had a lesson with Denia, our new investigator. We spent the whole lesson just answering her questions that she wrote down from church. She is so smart and is really prepared. After that, Sister Harrison and I did some training during district meeting on our member maps program.  The zone leader's were on exchanges, so one of the AP's was there... talk about intimidating. That night we went to the Woodward's for dinner and Brother Woodward committed me to write in my journal every night, since I stopped a while ago. It was really funny, he told me he was going to follow up with me.
On Wednesday we had cleaning checks (passed with flying colors, obviously). And we also had dinner at the Lee's. I love the Lee's.
On Thursday we got to take Denia to the temple to do a Plan of Salvation temple tour! It was really windy and cold (well, like 50...) but it was really spiritual and she totally understood everything. We committed her to baptism on March 22 and she was so excited! She is already telling everyone about it!
For dinner that night we were supposed to go to the Tingey's house - but there are 2 Tingey's in our ward... so we texted both of them, and the one that was supposed to feed us took a last minute trip to England... so we got to eat with the others. It was pretty funny, but they told us they wanted us to come! They served missions in Scotland! At the end, Sister Tingey told us about how she wants us to teach her son's friend because she thinks we would be the perfect missionaries for it! It was really nice.
Friday we had weekly planning... with a little bit of real life Fruit Ninja during lunch. Hey, we had a lot of extra apples, and we had about a billion knives... what were we supposed to do!?  Our ZL's said that they had about 3 spoons and 2 knives, so we went through our kitchen stuff and gave them some of our dishes and things that they needed (I guess that makes up for accidentally hitting one of them in the face with the kick ball this morning...). We went on exchanges that night, so I got to go with Sister Lake to Green Valley for the day.
Exchanges were AWESOME. It was a crazy awesome and inspired day. We had lessons every hour with some incredible people. And we got to make cupcakes with a member and bring them to investigators. We had a really awesome first lesson with a man named Don, and we street contacted some people that let us come in right away. We had a great day. Sister Lake is going home this transfer - she is such an awesome missionary! I will miss her.
Sunday was awesome too. Denia was at church with us and just loved it. She kept telling people that "these angels found me”.  At one point I yawned during church and she turned and said, "Oh! You girls ARE real people! It must be hard to fit your angel wings in real people clothes!" She is so sweet. We are having dinner with her and some members tonight!!
That's about it! Sister Cummings (my other half) had to leave today to go home for surgery :(  But, she'll be back in Vegas soon enough! I miss her already. (I know you're reading this Sister... shout out to you!) So, for the time being, I'm back in a trio! No worries though, since I'm a pro at being in a trio by now!

Have a good week!  Love you all!

Love, Sister Coltrin (with help from Elder Gunnell...)
"Well, we are certainly prepared for when actual intruders come."

Real life Fruit Ninja

Sister Coltrin and Sister Cummings
Get well soon, Sister Cummings!!

Sister Lake and Sister Coltrin on exchanges

Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy Monday!

Well, this week pretty much made up for our last couple of weeks! We have been really busy and have found a few new investigators!
On Monday we had p-day fun and then went to the Christensen's for dinner. I love the Christensen's. They make me feel at home even though I'm across the country from my family. After dinner at their house, we walked outside to go to the car and saw a car speed away from ours. We were nervous at first - expecting that someone had broken into our car. But the car stopped a little ways away and we saw that it was Devan Romano in his land rover. We stopped to talk to him and as he drove away, he quoted my blog post that I had written that day - so Devan, shout out to you!
That night we got a call from a number that we didn't know, and of course it was one of the High Counselors in our stake. He called me and asked me to speak with him in Sacrament Meeting - so score for me, I got to speak twice in 3 weeks! I guess I didn't do a good enough job the first time around... :)
On Tuesday we gave out maps upon maps upon maps. And that night we had ward council visits and guess what we did!  We gave out more maps.
We got a referral this week for a boy named Blake! He has some mental handicaps, and lives in our apartment complex with his Dad. We went over to see him and he really loves learning about the Church. It's really sad because his Dad really underestimates how much Blake can actually understand. We don't think that he understands enough to be accountable, but he does read the Book of Mormon that we left with him, and when we visit with him, he tells us all about the verses that he likes! It is amazing! We are going to continue to meet with him and just do Book of Mormon studies. He tells us that he feels the spirit really strongly when he reads the Book of Mormon.
We met with one of the families in our ward last week and when we asked them if them we could do anything for them, one of them said that they really like brownies... so obviously we took note of that and made them brownies the next night and dropped them off at their house. It was really funny. Sister missionaries are gonna take you seriously when you ask them for something, so be careful.
We also ate at the Hillier's home during the week. We walked into their bathroom to wash our hands and I felt right at home - their bathroom was covered in BIRDS! I laughed so hard. It was great!
We also got another new investigator on Thursday! Ben Reber's neighbor that came to church for Devan's farewell! Her name is Denia. She is the funniest and healthiest 79 year-old woman I have ever met! Ben and Devan went over to her house to help clean up her yard and when they got there she said, "I need to the meet with the missionaries of your church, call them up!" So, we went over the next morning! She is so ready to accept the Gospel and the Restoration, everything totally made sense to her. SHE was asking US when she could get baptized when she came to church on Sunday! We love Denia!
Thursday night was a little different for all of us. We had a Stake Priesthood Correlation Meeting. All the missionaries in our zone, all the bishops, and all the ward mission leaders had a meeting that started at 8pm... and didn't end until 10! It was such a long meeting. And we were supposed to be home at 9... But we got to talk about how the work in the ward is going and ask for more ward missionaries! Woooo! We had to drive Elder Anderson and Elder Gibson home after the meeting, and right before they were getting out to leave they were telling us scary stories of things that had happened to them, so when we got home we had to run from the car to the door and then turn all the lights on in our apartment, hahaha.
On Friday we got to go to Sister Addington's house for dinner. She is so sweet. We were also supposed to meet with another potential investigator, but her mom passed away that morning, so obviously we didn't meet with her. We are helping her move some stuff this week, so hopefully we will be able to help her through this hard time in her life.
We also went to a family's house to give them their map, but their baby was sleeping, so we all whispered the whole time - it was super funny.
On Saturday Anthem had ELEVEN baptisms! Our zone was literally having baptisms all day! One of them was Crystal and her daughter, who I got to teach a few times while I was in Carnegie Ward with Sister Cummings! It was really great to be there :)
So, our apartment is super dark all the time because there aren't any lights - surprisingly, the light of the gospel isn't literal. But, the Phillips asked us if we needed anything, and when we told them that, they brought us 4 lamps! We have so much light now! It's super funny, when we are leaving and have to turn all the lights off, it takes it like, 5 minutes just to get all the lights off.
On Sunday we had 4 investigators at church! Missy, Matt, Denia, and Sister Bluth were all there. I spoke with the High Counselor. He asked me to speak about preparing for a mission, so I gave my 6 tips to prepare for a mission.  Sister Christensen found me later and threw her arms around me and said she wished that my parents could be there! She is the sweetest. Sister Parker told me that she hopes I speak again in 2 more weeks - and if we keep up this pattern, I will be. Hahaha.
We got to go to the “Why I Believe” fireside with Denia and the Reber's on Sunday night! I love going there and hearing the testimonies of recent converts, and it's so fun to see all of the other missionaries!
That's about it over here in Paseo Verde! I love this ward, Sister Harrison and I are hoping to stay here together next transfer too. I love Sister Harrison! She is such a good missionary and is so fun to be with.
Have a good week! I love you!

Love, Sister Coltrin
With Crystal and Aleissa at their baptism

Sister Harrison, Sister Coltrin, Missy, Ben, and Devan Romano
Our final goodbye before Devan leaves for his mission to Cape Verde, Africa

Sister Harrison, Sister Cummings, Sister Coltrin

Monday, January 13, 2014

Just Another Week in Anthem!

Well, since we've been giving out our member area maps all week, I'm afraid there aren't too many exciting stories and adventures to share from this week! I snagged a picture with Sister Harrison right before we came to email, since Mom called me to repentance for not taking any last week... So hopefully that will make up for it!
On Monday night we had dinner and Family Home Evening at the West's house! We had awesome ribs and really good root beer and cream soda. We talked to them about missionary work and showed them the maps that we made. They're such an awesome family.
Tuesday we got to meet with Missy! We brought apples for everyone and gave everyone 30 seconds to look at their apple and "get to know it". Then we put them all back and everyone had to find which one was theirs. We talked about how, just like we all knew which apple was ours, Heavenly Father knows each one of us, and He loves us. We had a good talk about how we all have felt Heavenly Father's love, and how we have seen it in our lives. Missy is going through a tough time right now with her family, but she has such great faith, and really knows of her Heavenly Father's love for her.
That night we ate with the Christensen's. We also went on splits with some of our ward missionaries so that we could give out more of our maps. I got to go out with Sister Addington. She is one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met. She used to work in the mission office here a few years ago. She is so loving and kind and I love talking with her. We were able to go and visit a few members that night.
On Wednesday we got to spend time working on and family search! We are trying to learn family search so that we can have genealogy activities in our ward! We also got to go out with Sister Parker and her husband. He is a non-member, but comes to church with her. He is super nice and we love him!
We got a referral on Thursday! The first one since I've been in Anthem! Woooo! It was for a YSA-aged young man and his father. His name is Blake and he has some mental handicaps, but he really wants to go to church. We went over and talked to him for a little bit and gave him a Book of Mormon. He wanted to come to church, but he got sick and couldn't, but we are going back to teach them the Restoration this week! We are really excited!
Friday we had weekly planning, and visiting members, and weekly planning, and more visiting members, and we had pizza for dinner. (No surprise there!)
So remember how I used to serve in the singles ward? Well, the Bishop there has a son that lives in my ward! And we went over there for dinner on Saturday night! It was awesome! That was pretty much the highlight of the day.
Sunday was probably the best Sacrament ever. We had Devan Romano give his mission farewell and Ben Reber spoke as well. There were a bunch of non-members there! They both pretty much invited everyone to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. The Spirit was so strong and I know that all the non-members felt it. It was a great meeting.
I am doing really well with my goal to read the Book of Mormon in this transfer! I am almost in Jacob already! It's been really awesome.
I hope you all have a great week!

Love, Sister Coltrin

PS. Have fun with the -30 weather! That is crazy! I'm so glad that it's in the 60s here :)
Sister Harrison and Sister Coltrin before church on Sunday

Sister Coltrin and Sister Harrison before emailing on P-day


Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy 2014!

Happy New Year!  I can't believe it is 2014. This is going to be a good year! 

This week was pretty uneventful, especially being a missionary on New Year's Eve... All the missionaries were probably the only people in the Vegas area that weren't at the Strip. 

So, Monday after we finished emailing, we went to the church but the high school volleyball players were practicing. We probably should have challenged them to play us - but we didn't want to embarrass them.  We eventually just moved to a different building and played "midget volleyball" because the net was broken. I could reach over the net, just to put that into perspective... But it was still a lot of fun. We rushed over to our dinner appointment at the Ballard's house, which was really awesome! Their daughter, Brianna, leaves in February for a mission in Peru. She is awesome! After dinner they took us to a mission call opening for their Family Home Evening. When we were leaving, Brother Ballard came up to us and asked, "Sisters! What can we do, we can do a lot of missionary work, just make sure you push us! When are you coming over again?" Basically, our members are the best. 

Tuesday was New Years Eve! We all thought that we were going to the mission office to watch a movie all together, buuuuut the plans were changed and we all had to be in our apartments by 6 p. m. So we had dinner with Sister Addington that night (possibly the best enchiladas I've ever had - like better than Cafe Rio for real.)   Just goes to show that we really do only have Mexican food or pizza... and went home and locked ourselves in. We spent the evening listening to our primary jams songs and marking our scriptures. I wish I was kidding, but I'm not, hahaha. 

On Wednesday we got to work on Mormon.Org in the library and do some of Sister Harrison's 12 week training on the computers too! We finished more of our maps and met with members about them. We didn't have a dinner appointment that night, but a member gave us money to go out so we went to Panera - yay for food that isn't pizza or Mexican food!

Thursday was pretty much dedicated to taking maps to member’s houses, we spent most of the day knocking doors. We went to one less active's house to give her the map we made for her - she is a returned missionary and we thought a map might help reactivate her - oh boy, were we wrong.  She was like, "Ohhh, I've served my 18 months!" She gave us the map and paper back.  We laughed so hard when we left, it was so awkward! 

That night we went out to dinner at In N Out with one of our recent convert, less actives! She does the missionary dinner calendar. She and her family were baptized about 4 years ago. It was really awesome to be able to just talk with her about why she joined the church and why she doesn't come, and what is going on in her life. She is super nice and is really generous. We are hoping that we will be able to work with their family a little bit more. We love them! 

Friday morning we had mid-12-week training for Sister Harrison, so we spent most of the day there. It was really good and really powerful. I got a lot more out of it since this was my second time going to it. I can't believe Sister Harrison and I have been together for a whole transfer! It feels like she just got here. She is so awesome though. We love serving together. 

Saturday was Zone Training. After, when we were all about the leave, the Zone Leaders got all quiet and whisper-y because they'd just gotten a text. Of course it was about transfer documents. So we all waited there while they ran to the mission office to grab it and come back. 

We are super sad because Sister Stinnett is leaving after only one transfer here, but Sister Cummings is staying, and both Sister Harrison and I staying here. And, the AP's in our zone are leaving and their ward is having Sisters come in! So we will have 3 sets of Sisters in our zone! Woo! We are so excited!

That night we went to the Bickmore's house for dinner. We love going there. They are so funny and have the best stories. Their daughter is in the MTC going to Singapore. 

We finally have 1 p.m. church which is definitely the best time for church when you're a missionary. We got to do all our studies in the morning, and then we had the best correlation meeting ever (well, any correlation meeting is the best after you haven't had one for over a month...). We got to talk about getting more ward missionaries, and all our maps, and get everyone on board. It was awesome. After church we had dinner at our Ward Mission Leader's house, so it was like, even more correlation meeting!

This transfer my goal is to read the whole Boom of Mormon - so I'll be reading 13 pages a day to get it finished! 

This P-Day we are going to play dart wars! It's official - I've changed Anthem. I even got them all to play better games for morning sports! Winning! 

I'm excited for a new transfer! After this transfer, I'll be halfway done with my mission, and I can't even believe that. I still feel like I just got here. 

Have a good week! I love you!

Love, Sister Coltrin