Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Play Ball!!!! and classic Whitney awkward moment

So this week has been a week of blessings.

On Monday we had our p day and hung out with the Bedford sisters.

On Tuesday, we went to the old folks home and painted their nails and got to talk to a lot of them. It was so much fun and all the ladies there were so sweet and cute! After we finished up there it was pouring! We got soaked as soon as we walked outside!

Wednesday we had a great district meeting and had a great discussion about the Atonement. One thing I never really thought of is that Christ suffered through everything that we have ever been through but that is including the way we felt while going through it and our emotions and reactions. It makes the Atonement that more real and amazing. Another thing about the Atonement: Jesus Christ had to go through it both spiritually and physically. The Spirit could have just shown him in his mind what we go through but that wouldn't make it so he would know exactly what we go through. Just like a doctor can see the signs and know the symptoms of a heart attack, he never truly knows what the person is feeling unless he has had one himself. So Jesus Christ had to feel what we feel in order for us to truly have someone always there with us who knows EXACTLY what we are going through.

Also another cool thing to think about is the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham knows a little piece of what it feels like to have to sacrifice his only son for a greater purpose.

We also had dinner with JoAnne. We then talked about some questions she had and told her to always rely on the Lord.

Thursday, we went and visited a lot of the members. We had lunch with Sister Keplinger and talked about how when you are obeying the commandments and doing all that you can, He will help you through anything. We then had dinner with some members who live in our area but go to the Lawrence Spanish ward. They fed us some really good Dominican Republic food and I was stuffed afterwards. We then had another discussion about the Atonement.

Friday, we planned a little bit and then went to a cute, spunky older member's house. She taught us how to make really good apple crumble pie and fed us some German bean soup. Later we saw JoAnne again and she fed us again! She fed us this really good chili and rice. We brought the rest of the apple pie with us and had that for dessert (little did we know that apple pie is her favorite dessert). We talked about prayer and how to have a sincere prayer. We then picked up the elders and had them give her a blessing before she left to go visit her family out of state.

On Saturday, we had lunch with another member. She fed us salad, corn, potatoes, ice cream, and meatloaf. It was so good! This member is so cool too! She is super talented but humble about her talents. She quilts, paints, cooks, sews, carves wood, and tons of other cool things. We shared with her a Mormon message about how we are all creative because we come from our Creator who created this beautiful world for us.

Later that night, we got to go to the Fisher Cats' baseball game. It was Mormon night there so our whole district got to go. We set up a booth with copies of the Book of Mormon, pamphlets, and pass-along cards. We got to talk to a lot of people and also got to see part of the game. President Stoker even bought us all hot dogs and fries.

So if you can't tell already, the blessings that we saw this week is tons of meal appointments and getting to know the members better :)

Have a great week! Love you!

 As usual, here's a little more from our side conversations:

I was surprised when she said that her dinner with meatloaf was good.  She has always hated meatloaf, no matter who made it.  Her reply:  Yeah.......it was WAYYYYYY good......  I guess her tastes are changing.  She used to be the pickiest eater ever. ;)  The member sent leftovers home with them.  She was so excited. 

Whitney also said she is having camp withdrawals.  She was excited to get Chelsea's updates but want pictures from camp.  I guess we know what we will be sending next week.  To help with her withdrawals, she has been singing camp songs.  Her companion told her she should get voice lessons.  She isn't sure if that was meant as an insult or a compliment...  She is also looking forward to receiving a t-shirt or hoodie from Brighton so she can "represent."  Ummm, I better have Chel buy one soon.  Summer's going to be over before I know it.

I told her about our neighbor's mission call.  Her response, " NICK IS GOING ON A MISSION!?!?!?!?!?! WOOHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" If any of the Ereksons read this.  She is so excited for Nick.  She laughed when she heard he was leaving so quickly and said at least he got 8 weeks, not the 6 she had. :)

Awkward moment:  Most awkward question that has been asked me by a man: "Sister Collins, I have to ask, where do you get your dresses?  I really like them and would like to get some like them for myself." ... Wait, What???

 She is on exchanges with two sisters in the Exeter, NH area.  She is having a great time, but she is sad that a package has been waiting at the mission home for her since Monday.  I told her that Chel and I added a special surprise for her.  She may be disappointed when she sees that surprise is ant traps.  Yes, she is getting more than that.  There are treats and cds, but she knew those were coming.  She HATES ants like most people hate spiders, so we laughed when we saw them and had to add them to her package.

She also went to the doctor to have her ears cleaned out.  Gross, I know, but she can hear better now.  While she was there they said her blood pressure was high.  She has to go back next week to have them test it again.  Please pray it is just because she has had added stress with getting used to this transfer, or, like me, that just happens at DR offices.  She really doesn't want to go on meds for that.

We also talked about how many cousins are getting close to dating age (and are already there).  She said that she is going to send questionnaires that the boys have to fill out and send to her for approval before they can date any of them.  I feel especially bad for Katherine. . . her dates will have to deal with Whitney AND Denny!!!  I told her that she might scare them away.  "HAHA well the good ones will stay :)"

Last thing, they will be getting ipads which is a great tool for them, but AHHHHHH, one more expense!  It will all work out.  It always does.

A few pics this week:
 The apple crumble pie they made with a member
 At the Fisher Cats baseball game
 Her district at the game
 Whitney and Sister Fratcher

The meatloaf dinner that she loved.  Didn't take a picture of the salad.  Gotta love food pictures.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Still working hard in Manchester, NH

Whitney and Sister Fratcher after church

So this week we were able to find a new service opportunity that is connecting us more with the senior citizens. The lady who is in charge of the senior citizens' home is going to try and pair us up with people who are interested in talking about the gospel and scriptures. It is going to be a really good service and it's going to be fun too.

We also had a great lesson with JoAnne. She missed the Gospel principles class when they were talking about signs of the second coming so that's what she wanted us to teach her. We focused the lesson on the hope of the second coming and how it will be an amazing moment. Afterwards she told us that the fears she had about it before are gone and that it doesn't worry her anymore.

On Friday night to Saturday night I went on exchange with Sister Jensen. She is an amazing missionary! We had a great discussion about our studies. We had a great day that was full of work to do and it felt so good to feel like we were productive. Right away we were able to develop comp unity. We taught Ruth and Danielle, both are recent converts. We read the family proclamation with Ruth, and helped her see how many people love her. With Danielle and her two sons, we taught the restoration pamphlet and the Spirit was so strong in that lesson! 

Yesterday, Sister Fratcher and I were able to find three potentials that are searching for truth. Two of them said that they are going to come to church on Sunday.

Oh, I have some real maple syrup that I am sending you and a surprise for Chel too.  

I made chicken in the crockpot and roasted potatoes in the oven.  I also made pasta salad that day.  My companion really enjoyed it.  I was hoping to make leftovers last the week, but I don't think that is going to happen.  I copied what I saw you doing when you made dinner.  It was really good and reminded me of home.

When the Elders found out what I made for dinner, they were really impressed and want me to teach them how to cook or at least give them some easy recipes.

I can't believe it has been 3 1/2 months.  Sister Morgan and Sister Jensen (Sister Blume's Trainer)  both told me that I don't seem like a new missionary.  Sister Jensen said that going on exchange with me felt like going on exchange with a missionary who has been out a lot longer because I knew what we needed to do and at what times we needed to do it.  We try hard to always be on time.  Sister Jensen and I formed great comp unity right off the bat.  

I really enjoy the members here.  My comp asked how I know so many people.  It is because I have taken the time to say hi to all of the members and have also spent time talking and building relationships with them.  This really helps our work.

We had the opportunity to serve a sister in the ward.  We went over and helped clean her home.

Oh, also, I have been able to spend time with this lady who got baptized about 5 years ago then went less active, but has recently become active again.  We have grown pretty close.  We were talking on Sunday and she was looking at my necklace with my medallion on it and said that she wished she had one.  I told her that she could do personal progress and earn it and that if she wanted, we could help her.  She got really excited and now I am going to help her earn her medallion. :) We talked to one of the YW leaders.  She didn't realize that sisters outside of YW were able to earn it.  

I have decided I really want to do more with Family History when I come home.  I wonder what opportunities there are with school and careers in that field.

On Thursday, the Bishop invited us over because he needed to talk to us about some things.  We went over and he gave us ice cream and told us that he wants us to go visit this member that just moved here from Utah and is a recent convert. She moved in with her parents because she went through a divorce.  She has two sons and the 6 year old has cerebral palsy and is the cutest little guy!  When we visited her he just gave us a huge smile and while we were teaching the three of them the restoration he would get really excited when we turned to the pictures of Jesus Christ and the picture of the first vision.  He really made me miss Berkley, Callie and peer tutoring.

When you send music, you can just put it on a flashdrive.  The cars in the mission are super fancy and pretty much spaceships so they have USB ports for those. ;)

Happy Birthday to my MANY family members with July birthdays!!! Wish I was there to celebrate with you (kinda). :)

Love you!!!!!!!!!



Monday, July 7, 2014

Transfer Week

So this week I got a new companion her name is Sister Fratcher and this is her last transfer and then she goes home!! I don't know her too well yet but so far she has been super spunky and super funny!

On Monday it was the last day Sister Morgan and I were together which was super sad! We went and visited quite a few people and Sister Morgan said her goodbyes. At one of the members house, she had 40 water balloons filled up and other water fight supplies ready for when we got there. We got there a little early so she wasn't home yet and then the Elders showed up because on of them got transferred. The member ran in and got the water fight stuff and made us have an awesome water fight.

On Tuesday was transfer meeting. Sister Morgan ended up going to Yarmouth, Maine. I also got to see Sister Blume, Sister Oliphant, Elder Thomas, and Sister Victoria Brown which was super cool. Especially since I haven't seen Sister Brown since High School. 

The first counselor in young womens call us and invited us to help with with mutual on Wednesday. Only two girls showed up and not form our ward but one is investigating. We talked about prayer and asked a lot of questions about how prayer had helped them and who we talk to in our prayers. Then we watched the Restoration and the Spirit was so strong!!

Thursday we had district meeting and come to find out we might be singing at a baseball game here on July 19! I guess it's going to be LDS night and we are going to have a booth set up too. Then we were able to contact almost all of our referrals! Right as we were talking to this one guy though dark clouds rolled in and we had this huge thunder and lightning storm! It was great but everyone here thinks I am crazy for how much I love storms. Later that night we had dinner with one of the members. She is from the Dominican Republic and makes AMAZING food. We had rice with beans and pork in it, this salad with avocados and cilantro and tomatoes in it, and tostones. It was so good!!!!

On the Fourth of July it rained all day! But we got to go do service with the Elders at the soup kitchen. It was great but it amazes me and breaks my heart to see how many people have to get food from there. 

Then on Saturday we got to go to another members house for dinner and had a BBQ. 

Sunday we were finally able to finish planning! 

Oh and the week before Sister Morgan and I were pretty much out of money on our support cards and didn't even have time to go to the grocery store on Monday. So on Saturday we did a milk drive with the food bank. from 9am-2pm we stood outside the local grocery store with a booth and invited people to buy some milk to donate to a family in need and we had a big refrigerated truck to store them in. We ended up collecting about 157 gallons of milk. We met a lot of people and the lady in charge took tons of pictures of us on her phone to post to their Facebook page. The biggest miracle that came from that is for helping them out they gave us both a $15 gift card to the grocery store so we were able to buy groceries! 

 I have had some really great studies this past week. Pretty much I learned that we are put through trials to learn and grow but also that sometimes they wrought upon your minds once more so that you can resolve them and set them to peace for the future. That in order for you to find peace after the trial you must go through all of those feelings again, figure out why you felt them, use the Atonement, pray for strength and guidance, and work it out so that you can over come it and find long-lasting peace. Because Heavenly Father could give you peace right in that instance, but it wouldn't last for too long because the problem or trial is still there. So instead, He gives you a way to overcome that trial over time with patience and faith that with grace you will come off conqueror. Grace is divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ

The scriptures I found and learned this from are Alma 34:40-41; D&C 121:7-8; Job 23:10-11; and grace in the BD.

Love you!!!!!!!!!!! 

A couple other things she mentioned in subsequent emails:

They did get to see fireworks this weekend.  Their neighbors were lighting off some arials and they got to watch.

She loved seeing pictures from this weekend.  "Isaac's hair is getting so long." ;)

Sister Morgan is now serving in Maine. (Katherine - so close!)

 This week she has been run in to people who chew with their mouth open (Chelsea's pet peeve) and play with their feet (Whitney's pet peeve).  

Also asked if "the thief" took the purse she gave me for Christmas.  Nope, not that one.  Just the one I got because it was yellow and reminded me of her.

She is doing great.  Just trying to adjust to a new companion and changes that come with that.

 Dinner with the Skidmore's the weekend before transfers. with Sister Morgan and Elders Sowby and Warner.
 Played in the rain storm at the end of their day.
 Milk service project
Love the aprons!!!