Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"It's All About Being Cool and Helping Folks"

THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME! We had so much fun, and saw (and heard) lots of funny things. This is officially Sister Smith's last week in the mission, and we get transfer doctrine on Saturday - this transfer has FLOWN by.

Monday was a blast - literally, we went to play laser tag with our district. Sister Smith and I are the only Sisters, but it was still tons of fun. And Sister Smith was the best one, she beat all the Elders (they would never admit that though)! It's a really cool place that some members own, so they let us play there all p-day! It was awesome. After that we went see Meet the Mormons again with the Loveall's! It was great. We learned that we are the only mission that got permission to see it in theaters! Obviously because the Vegas mission is the most important! So that was pretty cool. We got permission before Elder Holland said that there would be no missionaries in theaters, so they let us still go! 

Tuesday was District Meeting. Sister Smith and I had to give a training on Getting our Investigators to Church. Lucky us, one of the AP's was there on exchanges with our ZLs. It was even more awkward since he had just given a training in the past Zone Conference about getting people to church... hahaha. But it turned out great! The rest of the day was just so weird. One lady took us out to lunch... and when we pulled up we not only realized that she was taking us to eat at a buffet in a casino, but that it was out of the mission. We ended up telling President about it and he just laughed and said "it happens". We went over to meet with Amanda and CJ. It started off great, and we were teaching all about the commandments and their importance. Then all of a sudden, his sister came downstairs and was having seizures and abdominal pain, so they called 911 and the ambulance came and took her. So, it was pretty chaotic, and we were all trying to help her and talk to her. Then they took her in the ambulance and left. And then CJ and Amanda turn to us and are like, "so... the commandments." And we just kept teaching them about the commandments, hahahaha. It was NUTS. We had a quick dinner and then taught Orion and Kaycee. That night we were contacting some people, and we met this guy on the street that told us that he and his wife own a nudist colony... it was the strangest thing ever! The great thing about being a missionary is you can ask them all sorts of questions without being a weirdo, so he told us all about his life, and about how they are wicken's. He told us that his house was super themed, and he let us come in to see (had to check to make sure his wife had clothes on, first, hahaha). Their house was like a jungle, there were trees and fairies and all sorts of mystical stuff. It was hilarious! 

Wednesday was good, too! We met a few people and had a few really good lessons! We met with a new guy named Thomas and taught him the Restoration! He loved it, and he loved the idea of the Book of Mormon. During the lesson he was talking about how he wished he could have the first/original copy of the Bible, so it wasn't all distorted - so obviously he loved the idea of it! We got a call from the family that was supposed to feed us, but they were sick with bronchitis, so we had dinner at the Relief Society President's house! She is so sweet and we love her and her family. After dinner we had a lesson with a new investigator named Chris. We were outside talking with him and his member friend, and the member was telling him about the church and how it's all about "being cool and helping folks" hahaha, it was so funny - and yet, true. We talked to him about Heavenly Father and how he loves us and about repentance. It was such a great lesson! The spirit was so strong. We also met with Adrian that night (9 years old) and he and his family are moving up to Spanish Fork - so Sister Smith and I are going to go see them when we are in Utah! Yay! 

Thursday was another interesting day. We had to take the car to pick up the Elder's that owned the car, and then take all of us to the collision center to pick up our car. On the way out to the car in the morning to bring our stuff from the car inside, this super creepy guy came up and started saying really inappropriate things and asking us for our phone number and where we live. We obviously didn't give it to him. After we sort of told him to leave, he stood off a ways and watched us for a while - it was super creepy. Finally after like 10 minutes, he left, and we ran inside to get our stuff to go pick up the Elders. We got our car, and then we went to teach Amanda and CJ about tithing. We came back to finish weekly planning, and we were talking about the creepy guy, and we were kind of joking about him and said, "what if he stalked us, and came and knocked on our door?" AND THEN HE DID. It was crazy! I saw him walk up the sidewalk, and I gasped, and instantly Sister Smith turned around and slammed the blinds shut. He rang the bell and we bolted back to our room, locked the door, and then went in the closet. He kept ringing and wouldn't go away! We called the ZLs and they told us to call 911. So we called 911. The ZLs showed up about 20 minutes later and told us that he left, and then the police came and told us that if we see him again, we need to call them immediately and they will come and arrest him - hahaha, crazy! They said they've had problems with him before. It was so scary, but hilarious! Welcome to North. Later we went to vacuum Sister Plett's house, and had dinner with the Leavitt's and met with Sister Rock again. Great day, hahaha. 

Friday was interviews! It was so fun. Sister Snow talked to us for a while about relieving stress, and then we got to watch Meet the Mormons as a district, haha! It was the 3rd time me and Sister Smith had seen it- and we LOVE it! Before we all left, President told us that they recently went to a regional meeting where Elder Quinton L Cook talked with all the mission presidents in the southwest region. He told us that Elder Cook told them that in all of North America, the southwest region has the highest success in missionary work! President was looking at the charts after that, and of all 21 missions in the SW region, the Nevada Las Vegas Mission has the highest numbers, and has the most success! So, in case you were wondering, I am literally serving in the most successful mission in all of North America! Woo! We also met with Orion and Amanda and CJ. CJ told us of a completely yellow church outfit that he has, complete with top hat - which he brought out for us, of course. We met with Sherry that night and read more of the BOM with her. Kaycee called us during the day to ask us a question, and she got into talking and told us that we are "gospel superheros" hahaha! She is the cutest. Chris texted us that night and unfortunately he got into some anti-mormon stuff about blacks and the priesthood. We are still working on it, but he is pretty unwilling to meet with us now. It's sad. 

Saturday we got to go to a stake activity with Kaycee! The stake hosted this huge Disney production, where performers from broadway came and did tons of Disney songs - it was so much fun! And they were so talented! We had dinner at the Corbally's house - we had chili and it reminded me of home because it seems like Mom almost always makes chili when the missionaries come over. We also found a hilarious CD in our car that was made by missionaries in the Alaska misson! It is so funny. 

Sunday was great, church in both wards. I stayed for sacrament meeting in our second ward, and they had me come up and bear my testimony. I used the "I'm from Holland... Michigan" joke, and, as always, it was a crowd favorite. Hahahah. People love that one, I don't even know why. We had dinner at the Benner's and had steaks as big as my face, and potatoes that were even bigger! Then we raced off to go to the Why I Believe Fireside! It was Sister Smith's last one, and I realized that I only have one more. Yikes. It was a great fireside though, and Orion got to come. We had a great time, and I got to see Sister Robinson! 

I love my mission. I love Vegas and everything here! I love teaching people about the Gospel! I have never been this happy! 

Pray for me this week, please! I'll need all the help I can get as I begin my last transfer of my mission. Eek.

Have a good week! I love you!

Love, Sister Coltrin
CJ in his top hat

"Me and the top hat and Mello - the dog with the underbite"

At the Why I Believe Fireside with an investigator

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

This Was A Great Week!

This week was great! 

Monday was p-day and we played at the church for a long time. That night we got to go see the Brown's and teach a new member lesson to the 9-year old, Kawika! Kawika and his brother, Ikaika, are so, so, sooo funny. They're young, but tell us the funniest stories about them at school. We love them! 

Tuesday was district meeting, which was really good. We contacted people, and had dinner that night at one of our Bishop's homes. We had a lesson scheduled with Orion at the church - but his Uncle told us that they were "busy". We had set up a surprise party for Orion because it was his 16th birthday! We had a banner and a cake and everything, it was cute. We decided that we were not letting it go to waste, so we drove over to their house and when Orion came to the door, we yelled Happy Birthday, holding our banner and cake! He had totally forgotten that he was supposed to meet with us that night, and the Uncle came out, and was surprised that we were there, but you could tell that he was happy that we had done something nice for Orion. It was sweet, Orion was so happy. We all ate cake, and sang Happy Birthday, and all that jazz. It was so fun, and before we left, he gave us hugs. He said that no one had done anything for him all day. It was sweet. After that, we got to go over to the Loveall's and do a fun object lesson about praying, reading the scriptures, and going to church. They were so excited to be baptized, Anthony kept talking about it! After that lesson, we went over to see Kaycee. We taught her the Word of Wisdom (while she was holding a bottle of tea... haha). She said it would be hard to give up tea because she loves it, but she would do it! Kaycee is so funny, I love her. She's 11, and you can totally tell! But she loves church and is excited to be baptized. 

On Wednesday we got to go over to see Amanda and CJ and their 9 day old baby, Christopher! HE IS SO CUTE! AND SO SMALL! We walked in, and Amanda was like, "Okay, who wants to hold him first!?" It was a little bit heartbreaking to have to tell her that we are not allowed to hold babies, but we survived. We saw another investigator that night, Sherry and her husband AJ, AJ is getting baptized in December, but Sherry is still unsure. She is studying with her church and loves the Bible, and isn't reading much from the Book of Mormon. We are going to be reading with her a lot. We went and had dinner at a family's home... and their teenage daughter kept making fun of her mom - oh my goodness, it made me feel so bad for anything mean I had ever said to my parents. Sister Smith and I walked out to the car and we were so sad! Renae had an appointment with us, but cancelled it and told us not to pressure her about meeting... so we aren't sure what's going on there, but hopefully everything will be okay. That night we had exchanges, but the sisters were late. They had to go a different route because the road to our apartment was closed because a gunman was on the loose... welcome to North! 

Thursday was exchanges, and I was with Sister Davis here in our wards all day. We got to see a lot of people and teach a lot of lessons, and we street contacted 30 people! We taught Orion about following the Prophet and about the word of wisdom. We got to see Amanda and CJ again and read from the Book of Mormon. CJ's mom was going crazy about us not holding the baby. She really wanted us to... it was sort of awkward. We also got to see a man in our ward who is working on getting re-baptized. He has an awesome story of getting back into the church that he shared with us, and told us that we could help him by coming over and re-teaching him all the lessons. We had ribs for dinner at the Gill's house! They are so awesome and nice. We met again with Sister Rock and then exchanged back. 

Friday was weekly planning, and then we had the Loveall's baptismal interview! We picked up the Elders to bring them to the church, because one of them is sick. They had a few empty water bottles with them, that they filled up at the church... they have no water at their house, so we had to stop somewhere the next day and bring them water. How are you supposed to live on 4 water bottles when you live in the desert and are sick...? But anyways, the interviews were awesome! They both passed and were so excited to be baptized! We quick ran to the Hanna's house and had a 10 minute dinner because we had to go to the Bishop's house for MEET THE MORMONS! The Turner's took us and our investigators to go and see it in a theater (yes, we are allowed to go). It was crazy driving to the West mission, and going to a casino to watch a movie in the theater... hahahah… what an experience as a missionary. We took pictures of it, of course. We LOVED Meet the Mormons! EVERYONE SHOULD GO SEE IT! 

Saturday we had a coordination meeting in the morning, had a lesson with Amanda and CJ, and then got ready for the baptism! It went so well! The spirit was so strong, and it was all just so sweet. Justin was so ready to be baptized and start new, and Anthony was so excited! They both bore their testimonies after, and they were so sweet. We went to their house afterwards for dinner! They both got brand new CTR rings from Justin's wife. We were all so happy!

Church was great! Kaycee sat with us in our first sacrament meeting, and she went up to bear her testimony! She asked me what you do to bear your testimony, and then she wrote out what she wanted to say, and then I went first, and then she bore hers! It was so sweet! And she is only 11! It was great! We went to the other sacrament meeting together so we could both be there when the Loveall's got confirmed. It was a great day!

Today we are going to play laser tag with our district for p-day! We are having such a good time here! I love North! Sister Smith and I have to give a training this week for District Meeting on getting our investigators to church, so let’s hope that goes well.

Happy Birthday to Brenden Murphy this week - love you, B!

Have a great week, everyone!

Love, Sister Coltrin
Happy Birthday to Orion!
With Sister Coltrin and Sister Smith

"Sister Smith and I at the Aliante Casino Theater to see Meet the Mormons on opening night!"

Sister Smith and Sister Coltrin waiting for the movie to begin
"Black widows line the streets at night here. It's gross."

"Jayden liked taking pictures, here is just one of them."


The Loveall's baptism!
Sister Smith, Jayden, Sister Coltrin, Justin, Anthony, Brother Petty, and Elder Wright


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Another Great Week!

Another great week over here in North Las Vegas! Sister Smith and I have a blast and we love our sweet wards and investigators!  

On Monday we all played at the Stake Center for p-day. And our investigator, Amanda, had her baby! Christopher Jay Askin II. We were so excited! That night we got to go and see a recent convert, 9 year old Kawika. He is the sweetest and most Christ-like 9 year old I have ever met! 

Tuesday we were able to have a couple lessons with new people and other investigators! We met with a man named Clenton, who said that he got interested in the church when he went to the job center here and the people were nice and helped him out. He seemed really sold, but his granddaughter did not seem too happy that he was meeting with us - so we will see! We saw Ms. Poole for a few minutes and prayed with her because she had a doctor's appointment the next day. We also got to see Orion, who was a little nervous about getting baptized, so we were able to talk about baptism and show him pictures, and he felt a lot more confident after that. We met with Renae and taught her the Restoration. It was pretty confusing for her, so we are trying to break it down with her now. We also saw Kaycee and Debby. Kaycee is really excited to get baptized later this month, we read the Book of Mormon and talked about keeping God's commandments. She is the cutest. 

Wednesday we had to do weekly planning early because we were super packed this week. So we spent the morning planning and then had lessons later that night. We got to have dinner at the Anderson's and they invited Kaycee, our investigator to come! It was really sweet to have her there. We also got to meet with the Loveall's. Justin and Anthony are getting baptized this weekend and they are really excited! 

Thursday was Zone Training Meeting! We had dinner with Sister Bacod, and then met with Adrian, a 9 year old investigator and read the Book of Mormon. He was so funny, he wanted to read as much as possible. Then we saw the Loveall's again and talked about the 10 commandments and taught Anthony the hand signs for the 10 commandments to help him remember them. He loved it! He does them all the time now. 

Friday, Sister Smith and I got to go to the temple! It was an incredible experience and a perfect day! We took pictures around the temple, and did a session there, and had lunch. I love the temple and am so thankful for it and the chance we have to go there. We got to see the Loveall's again that night, and taught about fasting and tithing. Anthony was still doing the 10 commandment hand signs He is cute. 

Saturday was General Conference! All the missionaries set up camp in the stake center and watched while we took notes and shared food. Conference was so good! After Conference we contacted some people and had dinner and had coordination meeting. 

Sunday's Conference was great too! After Conference, we got to meet with some of our new investigators that we met this week, here's the story: 

So, Sister Smith and I were walking, and we saw this lady about to get out of her car. She was taking a long time, but we felt like we should slow down and wait. So we walked reaaaaally slow so that we could talk to her. We said hello when she finally got out, and she stared at me and my name tag for like, 45 seconds. It was so weird. She just looked up and said, "Come in." We went inside with her and she told us that she and her family had been meeting with the missionaries 20 years ago, and loved church and coming to church, they got married so that they could get baptized, but then had to move really quickly and were never able to get in contact with the missionaries again. She said she thought of the missionaries often, and even showed us pictures of them! It's a miracle that we were able to talk to her! It was so cool! We are meeting with their family now! Her name is Yvonne and her husband is Alex. There were 2 little kids there at the time and they were so funny! We were talking to them, and asked them what they had done that day, and the boy piped up and said, "We be playin'!" Sister Smith and I laughed so hard. 

We saw Renae the night after dinner at the Holly's house. We read over Joseph Smith's testimony with her and talked about Prophets. 

I love North and Sister Smith! Have a great week!

Love, Sister Coltrin
At the Las Vegas Temple

At the Las Vegas Temple
"We did our best with a 10 second timer"
Sister Coltrin

Sister Coltrin and Sister Smith