Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Blue Lobster!!!

Thank you so much for the bed warmer!!!  I am finally getting warm.  Our room gets really cold because there is an air leak in our window.  We are contacting the landlord to see if he can come seal it better.

The training in Manchester was great.  I wrote a lot more about it in the letter I am mailing today. 
The other night we were able to go over to the church to help the scouts with Thanksgiving baskets.  While we were there I met a nonmember who was there waiting for her son who was playing ball with one of the young men in the ward.  We had a chance to visit with her and talk about the gospel.  One of the things she asked about was tithing.  We were able to teach her the law of tithing and pointed out that everything in the building, including the ball the boys were playing with, were purchased with tithing donations.  We weren’t able to talk long or set up an appointment, but hopefully we will run in to her again.

Lately we spend a lot of time tracting.  We are still working on building trust with leaders and members in the ward.  We really need their help in getting referrals and having them do visits with us to be truly effective in this area.  I don’t think some understand that missionary work has changed.  We need their help and support.  Luckily, we do get the support from the Ward Mission Leader.  He is awesome.  This week he said I remind him of his daughter.

For Sister Bee’s one month mark we went to the fish market so she could hold a lobster.  I told the owner that when I was little I got to put a lobster to sleep (you rub them on the back and eventually they curl their tails under and fall asleep).  He was excited because he hadn’t done that in a long time so he helped me put it to sleep then set it up so we could take pictures.  I also told him it works on crawdads too. 

We are still meeting with E for new member lessons.  He is pretty amazing.  We couldn’t find a member to come with us but he still really wanted to have a lesson so he built a fire outside and we had the lesson outside.  A real fireside.  Now my coat smells like camp and I am totally ok with that.  It was a great lesson and the spirit was so strong.  It was a tender mercy to end our day with that lesson because it had been a pretty stressful day.

I am mailing the letter today with more info about my week.

Love you, bye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sister B and Sister C

We told Whit that if Sister Bee complains about back pain it is from having to bend down for all of these selfies.

She really isn't that scary ;)

Staying warm by the fire

Fireside new member lesson with E

Whitney, E and his favorite book


Sleeping lobster

rare blue lobster


Sister Bee and Sister Collins are having a great time together

Picture snapped by Sister Bee

Monday, November 17, 2014

Lost SD card and lifelike dreams


Time is going by so fast.  Sister Morgan will be going home on December 17th and Sister Smedley will be done in March. 

Speaking of Sister Smedley, I think the SD card that had all of the pictures on it from my time with her accidentally ended up in the garbage.  Last time I remember seeing it was on the table as I was switching camera cases a few weeks ago.  I left the room for a little while and Sister Kimball cleaned the kitchen while I was gone.  I am hoping it shows up, but I am afraid it won’t.  Luckily Sister Smedley is from Utah so I should be able to get pictures from her after I get home.

That is so crazy about the Mormon Channel series.  Last night, one of the dreams I had was a new video on Mormon Channel and I was super excited about it.  I would have never guessed there really was a new video or that it was about the Beards.  I should be able to watch it next week at our district meeting.

Guess what?

My responses: 

You are freezing?

You love me?

You sent me a letter?

Her answers:

  • I was freezing yesterday since the boiler in the church was broken and it was 22 degrees outside.  It was so cold, we ended up only having Sacrament Meeting.(she should be used to that since the old Herriman Bldg had the boiler go out all the time)
  • I do love you.
  • I am sending you a letter.
  • And. . . We got cornered by Jehovah Witnesses the other day.  In the first three minutes they shared two scriptures about satan and told us that we all have a demon following us and then tried to give us one of their magazines that was all about the devil. They left us with and awful feeling.  Also, they keep going where we go and I feel as if I am in a spiritual gang war!

We did get multiple offers for Thanksgiving, so we won’t be eating alone.  We will be having dinner with three single women.  I am getting so excited for the holidays!  It will be different since I am away from home, but will still be great!

Answers to questions I asked:

What was your most spiritually uplifting moment?  It was a lesson that we had with a part member family.  We had dinner with them and then we had her and her non-member husband watch the video, “ Because of Him.”  After it finished no one said anything and Sister Bee and I both felt prompted to stay silent and then the member clicked on the stop bullying video and we watched that and then we watched the “Mountains to Climb” video.  No one talked and the Spirit was super strong.  At the end, the husband whispered, “Wow… that was intense…”

What was the best part of your week?  Getting to know Sister Bee better and watching her silly side come out.

Hardest part of your week?  There were a couple rough things this week.  I guess the hardest was having people decline us.  It is always hard.

New or different foods you tried:  Ummm, homemade chocolate pudding (yep, she is used to the instant stuff) and more lamb.  We had lamb a few weeks ago too, but this time it was in shepherd’s pie.  It was really good.   Oh, and an autumn salad that had apples, raisins, carrots and mayo in it.

I have been blessed with some great and supportive Bishop’s throughout my life.  All Bishops do things a little different, but I appreciate them for that.  I miss the Bishops I grew up with and the Bishop in Manchester.

If you have any great Christmas music by LDS artists or MoTab, I would love some to listen to here in Maine!

Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sister Kimball, Sister Bee, Sister Miller and Whit

Snow in Maine.  The view from their apartment.

Sister Bee may end up with a sore back by the end of their training if they take too many selfies.  Whit is so, um, petite.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A week in the life of a brand new trainer

So This past week has been crazy!

On Monday we had dinner with a member and then made sure that Sister Kimball had everything.

Tuesday was transfer meeting. We had to meet at the Augusta Chapel at 6:30 am (YUCK). Everyone who was supposed to meet us there were late because their power went out. For the Sisters it was out for a few days. Sister Kimball ended up transferring to Damariscotta which is in our district. We got our stuff all loaded up and headed out. When we got there the meeting for the trainers was almost over and then the big meeting started. Sister Blume is training too! I am really happy I got to see all the missionaries from my last district! I was put with Sister Bee and it was funny because as we walked toward each other to give each other a hug we had the awkward moment of whoa you are really short and you are really tall. Then I got to see ERIN AND KATE!!!!!!!!!!!! I was soooooooo excited to see them! It was like seeing family! TENDER MERCY!!!!!! After that we traveled back to Augusta. That night we had dinner with Brother and Sister Perez. They are super cute and always feed us really good food.

On Wednesday we had district meeting and that went great. We went over Alma 32 and what we have to do and what others have to do to gain that testimony and true conversion. It was really good. Then we had coordination. Then we had scripture study class. We read 1 Nephi 3 about when Nephi and his brothers are trying to get the plates. As we read we pulled out good and bad examples of how they were diligent. We then related it to our lives. It went really well and everyone participated. 

Oh and last Sunday after the storm one of the members slid off the road and the electricity pole broke and the transformer exploded and there were live wires surrounding them and they were stuck there for a while but everything was okay in the end.

On Thursday we had service and the interview for Sister Bee for service at the hospital. After that we had a lesson with our new investigator, D. At first we were planning to go over the plan of salvation but as soon as we started he mentioned that he struggles with the concept of faith. So we changed our lesson in the middle and instead went over Alma 32:28 with him and discussed how faith is like a little seed. It went great! Oh and even though he said that he isn't a reader he read both the introduction and the testimony of the three and eight witnesses in the Book of Mormon!

Then that night we had dinner with some other members and they fed us really yummy tacos :)

On Friday we went tracting before we had our lesson with our recent convert, E. We knocked on this door and this lady on the phone answered and told us to come in. After she hung up she talked to us for a while and opened up a ton to us. We set a return appointment and we are seeing her tomorrow. The coolest part was that she said to us that maybe God sent us to her. And we said yep :)

Then with E we went over the Restoration. We started off with the question: How has the knowledge that the church has been restored brought you hope. It rolled off from there and ended up being more of a mini testimony meeting. And he will be getting the priesthood soon!

On Saturday we went and helped rake leaves at a member's home with some other members. It was great because we got to know the members better. Later that day we helped with this memorial service. Mostly nonmembers attended and they were super sweet and really grateful. We helped set up and made it look nice for them. For the service I had to lead the music. The two songs were Amazing Grace and Oh My Father. Well either they didn't know the songs too well or were too emotional to sing it because I ended up pretty much singing a solo for both and it freaked me out! Especially because both songs are pretty high. Then afterwards they kept coming up and saying that I had a beautiful soprano voice... little do they know that I am actually an alto. 

That night we got a call from the Primary President asking if we could teach the Valiant 11 class. The lesson  was on Esther and about how fasting can bless our lives. The class went really well and all the kids kept telling us that we were swag teachers. Yep you got that right!

Well that was my week. Oh and if you want to have a study that will strengthen your testimony of Joseph Smith and the restoration read 2 Nephi 3 (Lehi's dying words to his son Joseph) and Isaiah 29:4, 10-14

Love you!!!!

Notes from home:

It is so interesting how our thoughts and actions can be so much alike even across the country.  The scripture she shared above is one that I shared with the young women in our ward a couple of weeks ago.  She also said that when they share lessons with members they have them share the story that they have read and how they can apply it to their lives.  This is exactly what we are having our youth do as part of a Book of Mormon Challenge.
I received an email from the mission home regarding the holidays, phone call/skype and Christmas gifts.  There really isn't much she needs and she has very limited space to carry items between transfers.  The best gift she could receive is letters from her family and friends.  Including your testimony, pictures and articles from church magazines would also be great.  It would be great if we could fill her mailbox throughout the holiday season.  

Since she just started training, we know that she will be in the same apartment for another 11 weeks.  If you would like to mail something to her, let me know and I can get you her mailing address, or you can send it to the mission home.  If it is received by December 12th, they will make sure she gets it before Christmas.  

Thank you for your continued support of our sweet missionary.

Mission home address:

Sister Whitney Collins
New Hampshire Manchester Mission
2 Bedford Farms Dr, Ste 208
Bedford, NH 03110
Sister Bee and Whitney

Raking leaves in Augusta

Meeting up with friends at the trainers' meeting

Reunited with Sister Smedley

Elder from the Manchester Ward

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Birthday Dad!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday Dad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It snowed. . . . . . Elliot got baptized………………………………… I’m ………………………………….Training!................................ :S

Yeah, I am kind of freaking out about being a trainer already. . . I did not expect us to get transferred.  We had gotten home from a meal appointment and Sis Kimball was in the other room and I heard the phone ringing.  It was in her bag and I couldn’t find it in time to answer.  Then when I finally found it, it said we had a missed call from President Stoker…I made her call him back and then he told her she is being transferred and that I am going to be training an new missionary. . . I screamed!  Another one transfer companionship.  At least I know my next companion will be with me for at least 2 transfers.  I feel like I just finished training.

We have to meet at the Augusta chapel at 6:30 am tomorrow and a member will be driving us down to Manchester for the transfer meeting.  Sis Kimball will be meeting her new companion in Augusta and heading to her new apartment/area.

I am excited to be able to see Sis Smedley, the Skidmores , Stokers and some of the other missionaries from my last district. :)  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go visit anyone since I am not driving.  I also get to go back to Manchester with my new companion in a couple weeks for new missionary training.  Hopefully then I will be able to catch up with some of the members and investigators.

We had a slow moving snow storm come through yesterday.  We lost power for a few minutes and it flickered a few other times.  A lot of the members were worried about us driving and telling us not to go out because several people had slid off the road.  I was skilled and didn’t even slide once.   As I was driving the elders, they wanted me to drive faster and slide.  I told them that I would continue to drive slow and safe and if they didn’t like it, they could walk.  They chose to stay in the car.

The snow was crazy last night. We kind of got into a snowball fight while I was scraping the car because I might have flung some snow at them on accident…

It is kind of weird driving the Elders places.  Most areas have car shares.  It is kind of rare that we have a car and drive Elders to meetings and stuff.

I am still trying to get to know this area and ward better.  It is interesting how different things are between wards as far as the coordination of missionary work goes.  I was so used to how things worked with the bishop and ward mission leader in Manchester, I am still trying to figure things out here.

I got to read and hold an original copy of the Book of Mormon!!!

The lighthouse was AMAZING!!!! It was sooooo beautiful! I found a crab claw.  I was going to keep it, but it stunk.

Elliot got baptized this week.  It was amazing.  I will have to tell you more about it later.

My dressy boots are starting to get worn out.  I may have to go buy some more so I have something besides dress shoes to wear when I don’t need my snow boots.  I may also have to get another blanket so I don’t freeze.  It is already getting super cold here.

Love you!  Have a great week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First Edition Book of Mormon, "It's the BoM!"

Atlantic Ocean

Lighthouse in Maine

Sister Miller and Whit


Sister Kimball and Whit

Maine Coastline

Lighthouse Stairs

District P-day at a lighthouse

View from the top of the lighthouse

Sister Kimball and Whit