Pure Joy!!!!!

My dearest family, friends and all who read these rambling emails,
 
Canada is flippin’ cold. I cannot wait until I don’t have to wear wool tights, wool socks, thermals, jackets, coats, mitts, hats, scarves, and snow boots. My fashion sense while I have been on my mission has dropped drastically. I guess that you can’t be choosy when it’s below freezing. 🙂
 
This week has been one of the most rewarding weeks that I have had in my entire life! As I’ve stated in earlier emails, opening up a new area to missionary work is very challenging. The first 3 weeks you’re just getting everything organized and under control. You have to do the area book, and make sure your apartment is running smoothly, get to know the branch, understand how the branch works with missionaries, visit everyone in the branch, find people to teach, and just maintain your mental health. We feel as if we are finally catching up with ourselves. We have a teaching pool, the branch is beginning to understand how to be member missionaries, and we’re beginning to see the fruits of our labors. We’re so excited for the amazing things that are happening in Simcoe. We’ve been truly blessed to be put in this area. This area NEEDED Sister Wester and I to come. We may never know the reason why, but I have truly come to know that the Lord had a hand in all things.
 
The most exciting thing that has happened since last we met was…ZELDA IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON SUNDAY!! If you don’t know who Zelda is– refer to last week’s email/post/wherever you read my emails. Isn’t that absolutely incredible? She was so prepared. She doesn’t drink coffee, tea, or alcohol. She’s been on the patch for 8 weeks to help her stop smoking. She readily accepts everything we teach her, and she is so close to Heavenly Father. She feels the Spirit so strongly. AND she is getting baptized only NINE days after our first lesson with her. Can you even believe it? Sometimes Sister Wester and I will just look at each other and chuckle because we cannot even grasp what is happening. It’s a testimony to us that WE (honestly) are not the driving force behind finding these people. The Lord prepares these people, he molds these people, and then we teach them and they get baptized. It is as simple as that. We are meeting with her every day this week to help her prepare to be baptized. Next week, you can have a baptism picture to put on the wall. I am so incredibly blessed. Heavenly Father answers prayers. Ever since Day 1–Sister Wester and I have been praying to have a baptism happen in March. We prayed SO much and with SO much faith. Honestly? Toward the middle of the month, our faith was waning. We had all of these doubts and apprehensions. Who on earth could be baptized in 2 weeks? Then–Zelda–happened. I know that my faith increased ten-fold. What an amazing miracle!
 
Our other investigators are an up and down battle. One day we’ll meet with them, and they’re all gung-ho about the gospel and they feel the spirit so strongly, the next time we meet…they haven’t read the Book of Mormon or prayed and they won’t come to church. Bah. Sometimes…especially as a missionary…people’s agency just gets on your nerves. Sometimes I just want to yell…”JUST PAY YOUR TITHING”. Or…”JUST READ THE BOOK OF MORMON” “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?” “JUST PRAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!”. BAHHHH! It’s okay, though. I fully realize that people have the agency to choose to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, that’s why we’re here on this earth, eh? We haven’t been able to meet with Sandra because she is having a lot of health problems. And she says she doesn’t have time to read and pray. We’ve decided to put her on the “back-burner” and come back in a couple of weeks to see how she is doing. Neville is an anomaly. He has told us “I will be baptized. Someday.” Neville, just put on your big boy pants, and be baptized. Haha. He will get there…someday. He did come to church yesterday though and we know that he felt the Spirit. We’re also going to start teaching one of his Jamaican friends this next week. This could be an adventure. Zilda has been put on hold until further notice. The last time we saw her, she was very hostile and aggressive towards us. She was cussing us out, and we did not feel comfortable teaching her after that. We’re not saying that we don’t want to teach her, because we want to teach everybody, but we want to teach people that truly have a desire to learn more…and don’t cuss out the missionaries… 🙂
 
Question time!
 
Do you ever get a chance to sing?
 
Actually, I am getting LOADS of opportunities to sing. We had a leadership training last week in Kitchener and 10 minutes before it started, Elder Marshall (1st Assistant to the President) asked me to sing a hymn. I had Elder Bacanawa accompany me. Yesterday, in Branch Presidency Meeting, President Hernandez asked me to sing in church. I impromptly sang “Love at Home” with Brother Nicholls playing for me. Sister Wester and I are also singing next week in Sacrament and at Zelda’s baptism. So, that was a long answer to a very short question. Yes. 🙂
 
Have you tried that crazy fries with cheese curds with gravy dish? 
 
Yes. It was…different.
 
Have your life plans changed significantly? 
 
YES! But I don’t have enough time to tell you about it right now. 😉
 
What is the best thing about a mission? 
 
Learning to love all of the people that you work with. Seeing them make changes to bring their lives in closer harmony with the Savior and his teachings. Teaching the gospel to the best of your abilities, and knowing that you’ve done enough. You’ve tried your best and that is all that the Lord asks of you. EVERYTHING. Except when dogs do #1 AND #2 on your boots. So not cool.
 
Does Sister Wester have any members in her family besides herself? 
 
No. Sister Wester is the only member in her family.
If you could have any kind of bag, describe your ideal. 
 
Mommy, you know exactly what kind of bags I like. We shopped for hours…remember? 🙂 Our bags actually don’t have to be that big, though. It could be significantly smaller. In fact, it would be nice to have something a little bit smaller, so that things don’t get lost in there. 🙂
 
Is there anything you need right now? 
 
I don’t think so. I’ll let you know. *wink*
 
Wow. Exactly today, I have been in Canada for one month. Can you even believe it?! Why is it going so fast?! This is so not cool! Actually, it’s awesome, I am so excited to see the progress that I have made in this short month. I cannot even begin to comprehend what I am going to be like after 18 months. I guess I am going to be shaped into the servant that the Lord wants me to be. I am so excited to look back on these first couple of months and say “Whew. I survived.”
 
One thing that I have definitely come to a knowledge of on my mission is PURE joy. As I feel like I am saying all of the time, being a missionary is difficult. You have to be able to find that joy, or else you will crumble under the pressure. This is true for all of us in our “normal lives”. We’re here on this earth to have joy. How do we find joy? We pray for it. It’s as simple as that. “Heavenly Father, I really want to be able to find joy today. Please help me be able to find some. I know that you can help me through this”. HE IS THERE. Pray to him for everything. Including finding that joy. I’ll follow up with you all…someday. 🙂
 
I know that quite a few of you have emailed me and told me about some struggles that you’ve been going through. I wish that I could help more, but Jesus Christ knows more than I do. He knows everything that you are going through. Because he’s been there. He’s felt how you felt, and he’s been down that road that you’re going down. He knows how you feel. Turn to him and ask him to relieve that burden. He’s just waiting for you to ask. He’s already paid that price for all of our weaknesses and sins, LET HIM take that burden away. It’s not worth it.
 
I love you all, and I pray for you daily. You are such great examples to me of righteousness and pure joy. Stay Strong in the gospel, and you will be blessed throughout the rest of your lives!
 
Keep in contact!
 
Love forever, Sister Colvin
 
p.s. Thank you Sister Eaton for the letter! I loved it! Adam, that is so cool about your friend, Tanner. He is going to love his mission! Have you been reading the Book of Mormon? I loved your letter, I will write you  BOTH later today.
 
p.p.s. Sister Wester has decided that she is going to be best friends with Captain Moroni and Jeffrey R. Holland in the next life. Wouldn’t that be sweet? 🙂
 
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