Monday, February 24, 2014

9 Months and a Brand New Transfer

It's a brand new transfer! And, so far, so good! I love my new companion, we are having so much fun together, and have had a really great and successful week. This is going to be an awesome transfer!  

Monday was our last p-day all together as a zone. Half of our zone left from transfers! We all had a fun time, played sports, and did all the normal stuff. For dinner we went to Metro Pizza with the Dalton's. Then we went and said some goodbyes since Sister Harrison was leaving in the morning. 

Tuesday morning was our very last morning sports - sad. We took zone pictures jumping off the gym stage, had treats, played sports, wrote in journals, and said bye! It was sad, but hey, that's what happens when you're a missionary I guess. We finished packing Sister Harrison's stuff and we went to the chapel to transfer! We met our new companions there, switched all our stuff out of the cars, and went back! 

My new companion is Sister Reynolds! She is here on a trial mission for 2 transfers because of medical issues. She is from Hurricane, Utah, only 2 hours away. This is her second transfer here, so I'm still training her, but at the end of this transfer she will either go home or will get a mission call! We are hoping her call will come! She is so sweet, and energetic, and fun. I really love her and we are having a bunch of fun together! We got back to our apartment, unloaded all of her stuff and we had a mini training session for me on how to work all her medical equipment - a little overwhelming, but we are all set and ready to go! 

After we got settled we had a lesson with Denia - one of the last ones before her baptism! We answered questions and got everything sorted out for the baptism. We also stopped by a less active's home. She came out and talked to us on the door step for about 20 minutes! She told us to keep her in our prayers and that she really wants to eventually come back to church. We went and had dinner at the Lee's - chicken and rice, since that is all that Sister Reynolds can eat. I love the Lee's! They're like family away from home. 

That night we went on splits with Sister Addington and Sister Orme. I felt bad dropping Sister Reynolds off with someone she didn't know, to go and meet people she didn't know - but she did great! I wasn't feeling very well, and unfortunately got sick while we were on splits... but hey, at least it wasn't freshman year of high school on the bus, right? (Hopefully you get the joke...) 

Wednesday was pretty much just "get pumped about this transfer" day.  We have a new District Leader, Elder Snell. He talked about district unity and we all made an oath to talk to everyone, rely on the spirit more, and be 100% obedient. He bought everyone white binding for our planners, so our district is now "bound together". Kinda girly, but it was cool. So now our planners are cooler than everyone else’s. I guess. That morning we went to Sister Addington's to make Denia's baptismal program. We met with Sister Woodward to go over the lesson that we were going to teach her friend the next day. We went to the Lee's and made bread for people in the ward and took it to them. Then we had a lesson with Matt about the Plan of Salvation at the Zitzmann's house! After that we got to go with Sister Addington and Denia to the BYU Singer's concert! I was so excited to go! I LOVE BYU! And I got to see two of the girls from my BYU freshman ward there! They are in the choir. It was amazing and Denia had a great time. 

Thursday we met with Denia again and also our new investigator Julie! Julie is awesome! She is friends with one of the members of our ward who used the “willing and brief” invitation to invite her to meet with us. We had a few pretty scattered lessons with her, but it's really neat to meet with her. She is reading the Book of Mormon! That night we went to the Brown's for dinner and had, can you guess? Chicken and rice! Haha. 

On Friday we had a really good weekly planning session. I told Sister Reynolds about Sister Bluth and how we are pretty stumped about what to do with her, and Sister Reynolds suggested having HER fast for an answer! I don't think we've tried that yet! We were really excited about it and are hoping that it goes well! We also got to have lunch at a less active sister's house. Sister Sweet fed Sister Reynolds chicken and rice... but gave me a tuna fish sandwich. Mom, you know what I'm thinking right now.  Fortunately that's not something hard to get down, but man do I hate tuna fish. But we had a really great visit with her and she really opened up to us. She told us that she was in need of a priesthood blessing, so we called Bishop and her home teacher so that she could get one. We all came back that night to help her out! 

We were in Denia's neighborhood again and she saw us, so we went in and helped her do things for a while. We like doing service for her and we always get to share a Mormon message with her. I love Denia, she is like family!

On Friday morning Elder Adams texted the whole district (he's not our district leader, but oh well) and challenged us all to watch some finding segment on The District. We watched it and texted our whole district and offered a prize to the companionship with the most street contacts for the day. Everyone went crazy hahaha, we got so many contacts! Elder Snell and Elder Adams won, but we all had a blast. We went and street contacted in a different zone for a little while too. After that we had chicken and rice at the Mactagone's house. I'm a little surprised at how many different ways there are to eat chicken and rice! 

That night the Zone Leaders called and told us that we set the “willing and brief” invitation on fire in their ward because one of the members we taught it to was their Bishop's daughter, and now their whole ward is pumped about it! So that was pretty cool! 

Saturday we met with a new investigator named Stephanie. She isn't in our area, but she wanted to be taught by Sisters, so the Zone Leaders gave the referral to us. Approved poaching! 

After that was Denia's baptism. IT WAS AWESOME. Get it, mom? :)
But really, it was a great experience. We started in the chapel, there were a bunch of people there to support her. She was so happy. We had talks in there and then went to the Relief Society room to the font. Ben Reber baptized Denia! Then everyone went back to the chapel and wrote their testimonies for her and we put them in a little binder. Sister Harrison got to come too! It was good to see her and hear how her new area is! Denia bore her testimony after she got back and talked about her conversion and how she loves our church and how she can feel the love and the truth that are there. It was tender. Then we all went to the gym for refreshments (fruit and veggie trays for Denia of course). It was great to have her meet more people and see how many people support her and love her. We went outside afterwards and Sister Reber took photos for us, since she is a photographer. It was awesome! It was really special since Denia is like family. 

Sunday was church and the usual church routine. We had dinner at the Wicken's - our Ward Mission Leader. Then we had a lesson at the Romano's with Matt and read the Book of Mormon with him. He is already halfway done with 1 Nephi! We were really impressed and excited. He told us about how he feels joy when he goes to church and reads. He is awesome. 

Sister Reynolds and I decided that we would video blog every night. Since I don't write in my journal ever, I thought that maybe I would actually record something if I only had to talk at a screen. So far, so good. Wish I'd thought of that 9 months ago... Speaking of 9 months, I'm officially halfway done with my mission this week - crazy how fast time flies. Yikes. 

I am so pumped about this transfer and about everything! I love Sister Reynolds and I love being a missionary. 

Have a great week, I love you!


Love, Sister Coltrin
Sister Coltrin, Denia, and Ben Reber

Sister Coltrin and Sister Reynolds

Sister Harrison, Sister Coltrin, Denia, and Sister Reynolds

Our Zone Goodbye Picture

 "I lost both my english name tags last week, so now i have to wear my spanish tag"
Sister Coltrin and Elder Gunnell


Monday, February 17, 2014

The Last Day of the Transfer

Well, we start a new transfer tomorrow! I can hardly believe that it's over already, the time has gone by so fast, and it feels like Sister Harrison just got here!  Sister Harrison will be going to SUNRISE and will serve two of the family wards there, and get this - she gets to go on exchanges with Sister Fields! Jealous, just a little bit. But, I am so happy to be staying here in the beloved Paseo Verde ward in Anthem. I will be training a new sister for her second half of training. Her name is Sister Reynolds! I am excited to meet her tomorrow!  

This week has been really great for us! A great way to end the transfer! 

On Monday we had a ton of fun at sports. Sister Furstenau and I kept those braindrops in our pockets and threw them at people during sports. They had no idea where they were coming from, it was sooooo funny. Then everyone saw them and started picking them up off the floor and we were all throwing them around.  Fun!  That night we had dinner with the Wimber's, a less active family in our ward. They are AWESOME! After that we went to Family Home Evening with Denia and Sister Addington at President Gates' house. The Elders taught about the Plan of Salvation. Denia loved it! We had a great time. 

On Tuesday we had a lesson with Denia about tithing and fasting. She was really excited about it. We had district meeting after that...which was a weird situation. Our district leader had cancelled District Meeting for the week, but then President called and said he was coming to our District Meeting this week... so the Zone Leaders took care of district meeting, and since it was scheduled with little advanced notice some people showed up 45 minutes late and we had a 5 minute training... it was just pretty much a disaster. But oh well. 

Our District Meeting went long, of course, so we hurried over to the church for Denia's baptismal interview - which she passed with flying colors! After that we went and met with Apple, our recent convert, and talked about the Plan of Salvation and the temple. She has lots of questions but has a really great attitude and loves to learn. We had dinner at the Wimber's again that night, and then went on splits with Sister Addington and Sister Orme :) 

On Wednesday we went to Sister Furstenau's District Meeting...pretty bad again. We got to upgrade our phone at the mission office, so go us! We were joking with all the other missionaries about how we were upgrading to an iPhone... so when we sent the Zone Leaders a text we changed our tag to <Sent from my iPhone>.  IT was probably the best text we've ever sent. They sent back the scripture in Nephi about "Wo unto to liar..." and so that started a whole scripture war, which we won of course. That night we taught one of our 7 year olds, his parents want us to teach him before he gets baptized. 

On Thursday we had FIVE, yes FIVE, I repeat FIIIIIIIVE lessons with investigators! We usually get 5 in a week here! But we had five in one day! We were going crazy, it was awesome! We met with Denia and read the Book of Mormon. We had an awesome lesson with Missy about baptismal covenants and service. We had a GREAT lesson with Matt! We taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and invited him to be baptized and he accepted! The spirit was SO strong when we were talking about baptism! He doesn't have a date yet because his parents are against it, so we are working on that. We also met with a new investigator named Julie! Sister Woodward used the "willing and brief" invitation with her friend and her friend said YES! So we are teaching her and she came to church this week! Also, we went to dinner and Sister Paul had invited her non-member friend over, so we got to teach her too! It was a great day! 

Friday was Valentine's Day! We wore red and had our house all decorated and cute! I got awesome Valentine's packages from home and from the Yskes'!  They were so cute!  We spent the day heart-attacking the widows in our ward (with paper hearts... not real heart-attacks.. :) ), so that they would have something cute on Valentine's Day. Since my hand hasn't gotten better from 2 weeks ago, Elder Gunnell and Elder Petersen made me go to see one of the doctors in their ward. We went with them to his house and he checked out my hand and told me that I sprained it pretty bad, and that I need to wear a brace, so I'm wearing one now. That night we had a really great dinner with our favorite Sister Addington. We made her a giant card! It was fun. 

Saturday we had Sister Furstenau with us all day. We also got transfer stuff in the morning. Half of our zone is leaving! It is crazy. And we are double transferring out two sets of Elders for SISTERS! Half the zone will be Sisters now! It's awesome - and Sister Bohling (from when I was in Sunrise) is coming to Anthem! Yay! We had double dinner that night since we had to do both wards - I thought I would die from being so full. 

Sunday was great! We had church, had dinner at the Wimber's (again), and went to the Why I Believe fireside! 

Today is a great day too - My sweet SISTER CUMMINGS is back!! Wooooo! I missed her! I love her.

I'm excited for a new transfer and the new experiences that await us! Have a great week! I love you!

Love, Sister Coltrin

P.S.  Elder Anderson and Elder Gibson had a little bike issue, and one of their bikes is in the shop - so in the meantime, they are borrowing a tandem bike from a member! It is so funny!  People love to see them and they even stop and take pictures!  Sister Furstenau and I rode it!!
Sister Coltrin and Sister Furstenau riding the tandem bike

Sister Furstenau and Sister Coltrin

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Week of Blessings!

Hello! This has been an awesome week to be a sister missionary in the Paseo Verde ward! We have been working really hard this transfer and are really starting to see the fruits of our labors! Next week is transfers and I'm nervous to see if I will stay or go! I love this ward and the people in it.  

On Monday after p-day we went to the Wadsworth's for dinner. They are so funny. Apparently they put the rice on too late so it was still a little crunchy, so we all made jokes about crunchy rice the whole time. Brother Wadsworth used to do the emergency signal back when it wasn't a recorded voice, so he did it for us - so funny. After dinner we  had Family Home Evening with the Brown's. We did an object lesson with them about the importance of going to church, praying, and studying the scriptures. It was fun! Their kids are really cute. One of them was talking about how all of that helps us to "cling to the iron rod" and then he proceeded to show us how he would hold on to the iron rod by pretending to hold on all the way around the room and scooting himself along.  Cute! 

Tuesday morning we had a lesson with Denia and did the same object lesson with her. We committed her to read The Book of Mormon every day. After the lesson she went to Seagull Books and bought some Book of Mormon study books - all FOUR volumes - to help her in her studies! She also bought a bunch of Mormon Tabernacle Choir CDs and some Vocal Point CDs :) When she commits, she really commits! After that lesson we went with Sister Furstenau to a lesson that she had with an investigator that is struggling with depression. We talked to her for a long time and told her to read Jeffrey R. Holland's "Like A Broken Vessel" talk from General Conference. She was an awesome lady and we are praying that she'll be able to feel her Heavenly Father's love for her. For lunch we went to Great Harvest Bread Co and some members bought us sandwiches and loaves of bread! It was so nice! The members here are so good to us. 

We also started teaching new member lessons with one of our recent converts, Apple (she was baptized right before I came to Anthem). Apple is awesome. She is so kind and has really strong faith. We got to talk about the Restoration and the priesthood a bit with her. After that we went to visit a lady, Myrtle Brown, in our ward that lives in a care home outside of our area. She is NINETY EIGHT YEARS OLD!!  She is so sharp and so smart! We sat with her for a while and she told us about her family and grand kids and a whole bunch of really neat stuff! We had a great time with her. That night we went to the Christensen's for dinner and then to do ward visits with the ward council!  

Wednesday was a really fun day. We were driving past Denia's house and saw that she was outside. We stopped to say hi and saw that she was taking her groceries inside and was getting ready to plant some flowers in her front yard. We, of course, helped her take her groceries in. She was telling us all about the strange vegetables and fruit that she had gotten (she is a nutritionist). We found an apple in the bag of pomegranates that she had bought.  Then after that was all done, we went out and helped her plant the flowers! It was so much fun! She told us about her family and her life growing up. She told us about why she knows that the Church is true. It was awesome!! While we were there, one of our investigators that we have a hard time getting a hold of drove past and stopped and talked with us! And one of the less active members in our ward stopped by and talked with all of us for a few minutes! It was awesome! 

On Thursday we had another lesson with Denia, and then later in the day we held a stake out right outside of her house while we made calls. We waited for our investigator that we had seen while we were planting flowers in Denia's garden to pass! We waited for about an hour and then he came around the corner! He stopped to talk to us again and we set up a lesson with him! Hooray for persistence! Hahaha. That night we had dinner with Sister Parker and her husband, Irwin. We love Irwin! They took us out to the Cheesecake Factory.  YUM. Sister Parker has a daughter on a mission in Argentina. We love them, they are so nice to us. 

Friday was interviews with President! I love interviews!! It was crazy, we started at 1 and weren't done until 6...and I thought running 5 minutes over during Sacrament meeting was bad... Try 3 hours! It was still a blast though. Sister Neider always has the best trainings and talking to President is always the best. We also got to interview with Sister Neider, she always makes me feel so good about myself! She told me that I am a really strong leader in our mission and that it shows through the progression in our area. 

After interviews we helped set up for the Anthem Stake Relief Society Activity. IT WAS CRAZY. The Relief Society presidency brought 5 trucks full of stuff and a U-Haul (one of the full sized ones!) of stuff for decorations! They made about 150 cake plates to have the food on, brought full sized antique doors and frames, hung things on every wall - when it was done it was probably the most beautiful church gym I have ever seen. Mom, you should probably step it up with your Relief Society activities... ;) There was a former General RS President coming to speak to the stake, so that was a neat thing! We even had some investigators come! 

Saturday was Zone Training. Another meeting that went a few hours over... hahah! It was really good though. That night we had dinner with members from Sister Furstenau's ward. The people we had dinner with were from Michigan! And they had just been back to Holland to visit!! I was so excited! So I got to eat some candy that they brought back from my home :) That night we had a really powerful and spiritual lesson with our investigator, Matt, at the Zitzmann's house. We taught the Restoration. It was amazing! 

Sunday was a miracle! When church was about to start, one of the less active families that we have been working with walked in and sat in front of us!! We were beyond excited! We stopped by that night and they told us that their 13 year old daughter woke them all up for church and made them go!! Then they told us that they want us to come and teach all the lessons... and that they want to take all the empty days that we have left on our dinner calendar!! They are awesome! Also at church, our Stake President invited Denia and us to go to Family Home Evening at his house tonight.  Denia was so cute and came early to church for choir practice! And she also said that she wants to be called "Sister Mette'" :) ALSO one of our members called us and said that she was talking to one of her friends and she used the willing and brief invitation that we've been teaching to our members and it worked! We have a lesson on Thursday with her friend! 

Our investigators are great! Denia moved her baptism up to February 22! She calls us her kids. Missy is doing well too. I love it here.  Sister Harrison is great, I love her. We have so much fun together, and we love Sister Furstenau :) We are still obsessed with braindrops. We throw them over the shower curtain, during studies, at lunch, pretty much all the time. 

Have a great week! Serve others! I love you!

Love, Sister Coltrin

PS. Happy Valentine's Day!
More Braindrops fun

Sister Harrison and Sister Coltrin at the Las Vegas Temple


Monday, February 3, 2014

Happy February!

We had a pretty great week! Things are definitely picking up here in the Paseo Verde ward. I love this ward so much and am so thankful for the time I've been able to spend here.
Last Monday I got an awesome package from my Mom (and Dad... but probably mostly from Mom). It had these really cool little beads in it that grow when you put them in water – they’re called Braindrops. An obsession has begun, and we pretty much just throw them around all the time. It's getting really intense. We plan to bring them in our pockets today during p-day sports and throw them at people without anyone knowing. It's going to be awesome. We also got to decorate our little apartment with Valentine's Day stuff! So now we have pink and red stuff along with our Christmas tree :)
Monday night we went to Denia's house for dinner with the Grzywaczs! It was a really fun dinner and it was really good. We had a great time talking about the Gospel with her and about her life and everything.
On Tuesday we had a lesson with Denia in the morning. We talked about baptism and confirmation, and why we need to be baptized and what covenants we make at baptism. She is so excited for her baptism! She tells everyone about it, and it's written in permanent marker on her calendar :)
After that we had district meeting and we all went out to Panera for lunch - yum. That night we went on ward visits, and took more maps and visited some less active families in our ward. We love going on splits with our awesome members! It helps us out a lot.
Wednesday we were on exchanges, so I was in Green Valley with Sister Pulliam. We had a great day! We had district meeting (so I got to go twice this week!) and we had appointments set up for every hour of the day. Unfortunately all our appointments cancelled up to that made for a prettttty long morning. But we had a really great lesson at the end of the day, so that made up for it. They have an investigator that is struggling a lot, and when we pulled up in the car she ran out to hug us and just sobbed into our shoulders. It was so sad. But we were able to help her and lift her up spiritually. It really great.
Thursday we had another lesson with Denia and we talked about following the Prophet and the Word of Wisdom. She LOVED the Word of Wisdom. Since she is a nutritionist, she totally gets that our bodies are temples and are gifts from our Heavenly Father. She found scriptures to use with her clients that she works with! She is already sharing the gospel with people - she even invited her less active neighbor to the Relief Society activity this week! She's awesome! I took a picture of her with her giant poodle to send this week.
That night we went to see a less active, and she wouldn't open the door, so she talked to us through the door... awkward. She said she wouldn't open the door for unidentified persons... But we definitely identified ourselves - and she could see us out the window... I mean, we even have name tags... but okay. It was really funny. We texted her when we got back into the car and set up an appointment with her.
At our dinner that night, our members told us that they made it a 2014 goal to do more missionary work - obviously we approved of that New Year's Resolution!
Friday morning we went to Denia's again - long story, but she thought she might get broken into that morning, so we and Brother Reber went over to stay with her until everything was settled. We had to leave, but when the "robber" called, Brother Reber went to take care of it.
We had to leave Denia's house because we went with Missy and Ben to do a Plan of Salvation Temple Tour! It was great! The spirit was so strong. Afterwards, we sat in the lobby and the atrium with Missy. It was a really powerful experience, so peaceful. She loved it.

That afternoon we went to the Zitzmann's house to make cupcakes to take to Apolonia! She is a recent convert, and we have had a hard time getting to meet with her, and we just wanted to make sure she knew that we love and support her. It was really fun (plus, the cupcakes were really good). We had dinner at the Dalrymple's that night, and Brother Dalrymple told me all about his job, which, of course, is advertising! It was really fun to get to hear what he does.
Saturday morning we had stake visits with Elder Golden of the 70! He is amazing, and has such a strong spirit. He is from South Africa! We went to visit some of the widows in our ward and some less actives.  That afternoon we went to do service at Denia's house (we saw her all week!). We polished silver with her for a while... hahaha! She is so fun to be around, it was a blast. That night was the Saturday evening session of Stake Conference. IT WAS AMAZING. Elder Golden is really awesome, and the music and the speakers were really inspired. There was a panel of people from the different wards, and the Neider's spoke, as well as the temple president and his wife. Great night.
So, I've been doing really well with my goal of finishing The Book of Mormon! I'm almost finished with Alma. I have 17 days left to finish, but I'm right on track! It's been great and I'm learning a lot. Speaking of goals, even though it's past New Year's, we've been showing this Mormon Message to all our members lately, it's definitely my favorite - please go and watch it!
I love being here in Las Vegas. I love sharing the Gospel with others, and seeing how it blesses and changes lives for good. It has definitely changed mine.

Thanks for all the support and love and letters! Have a great week!

Love, Sister Coltrin
Fun with Braindrops

Cupcakes with the Zitzmann's

Denia and her poodle

Sister Coltrin, Missy, and Sister Harrison at the Las Vegas Temple

Sister Harrison and Sister Coltrin