More investigators….

NOTICE: This email is not going to be as long as the others. We are going shopping in Hamilton today. 🙂
 
My dearest family, friends, and random people that I’ve never talked to,
 
Simcoe is humid. I hate the heat. Bleh. My skin gets so clammy and wearing make-up is a shady situation. It probably doesn’t help that I wear cardigans all the time…but Sister Wester is working on that. 🙂
 
This week has been a week of miracles. As always. When are there not miracles in missionary work? We found 3 new SOLID investigators this week. Nikki, Derek, and Chris. Nikki was someone that we met on the street. She is a recovering addict who is very open to reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. She accepted the invitation to be baptized and she is really looking forward to when she receives an answer for herself! Derek is married to an active member in the Hamilton Mountain ward. She (and him) attend regularly, but they are in our area and are going to start coming to the Simcoe branch. We just straight up asked him why he isn’t baptized, and he was really open to learning more and taking those steps. Chris is a little  bit of a miraculous situation…he removed his records from the church about 15 years ago. He was married to a lovely member…and then she cheated on him with a member in the bishopric. Crazy stuff. He kind of lost his faith when no disciplinary action was taken and they both still had their temple recommends. He has a recent history of selling drugs, and has been down somer ough paths. Anyways, The church gets a call during sacrament meeting from him, and he wants to come back. He realizes that he has made a lot of mistakes in his life, but he is ready to feel the Spirit again in his life. He is really awesome and almost cried when we gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon. He is such a geniune man; with so much potential. We are ecstatic to be able to work with him towards being baptized again. 🙂 We might be dropping Neville–WHICH MAKES ME SO SAD–but he is not keeping commitments. James is also not coming to church. We do not know if they are ready for this message,yet. We will know more next week.
 
Question time:
 
How much time do you actually get to read/write letters and emails?
 
Basically as much time as we need. We usually spend about an hour and a half on the computers, and then go home and write as many letters as we like. 🙂
Did you ever get a package from Nana? 
 
Yes, I did! It was absolutely wonderful! Tell her thank you so much! Thank you to everyone that sends letters and packages. It really means a lot to us. Thank you Mommy and Daddy for the “cream cheese”. It came on Sister Wester’s birthday, and we’re both in awe. THANK YOU SO MUCH. It means the world to us.
What is a typical P-day like?
 
We study in the morning, and then go to the family history center to email family and friends, then grocery shopping…then whatever we want to do. We’re going shopping in Hamilton today…which is about an hour away…yea…?! Because I love shopping so much? 😛 🙂 Who, in the Book of Mormon, is your hero?
 
I have recently been reading about Abinadi and Alma. Their faith and courage astonish me! I mean, Abinadi gets up in front of a king and gives him the what-for. “You gotta repent, man!” I really admire that strength and courage. I know that we all can have that if we pray for that to our Heavenly Father. He will bless us with that gift, because I have seen that, especially while I have been on my mission.
 
I will have been on my mission for TWO MONTHS this week. Can you even believe that? I can’t. Time is moving so quickly…and so slow at the same time. The days seem like months…and the weeks feel like days.
 
Some of you…*cough* parents *cough* have expressed concern of me “sugar-coating” my emails. False. I don’t type anything that is not true, and I tell you all the most important things that have happened to me. Yea, there are some things that I’m not going to tell you…because they might scare you…or the details are not very relevant at all. Just remember that I always write what I am feeling, because I want everyone to know the ups and downs of serving a mission. It is NOT easy. At ALL. But it is so worth it.
 
I’m so sorry that this email is so short, we just have to get running. Just remember that this gospel is REAL. God is so real. He loves each and every one of us, and he wants us to be happy and find joy in life. How do we find joy? By living the gospel, reading our scriptures, praying, and going to church. Those things might seem insignificant but I KNOW that they are essential to our happiness while on this earth.
 
I love you all, and I am so grateful to call you all friends. I’ll be thinking about you from Simcoe, Ontario this week, eh?
 
Love forever,
Sister Colvin

Rain, Rain, Go Away! and….8 is great!

My wonderful family, friends, and acquaintances,
 
Greetings from the RAINY land of Simcoe. It has rained almost every single day this week. And…it’s not like “Idaho rain”. This is RAIN…rain. If that makes sense…We do love the rain, though. It’s just really hard when you have to go tracting and be outside a lot of the day. Hopefully it should be warming up, and then maybe we won’t have to wear multiple layers anymore *crossed fingers*
 
Well, last week I mentioned that we all were going to see some miraculous things happen here in Simcoe, Ontario, Canada. Things have happened! The Lord is DEFINITELY hastening his work. We have been specifically praying to find more people to teach. We dropped Josh because we did not feel comfortable with him. Sometimes the Lord gives you those feelings because he is telling you, “Don’t do it”. As I related last week,we struggled with finding new investigators and meeting with the investigators that we do have. We prayed a LOT and sincerely asked Heavenly Father to help us in this work and to lead us to the people that were ready and prepared. Well, this week we found EIGHT new investigators. It was such a miracle. Isn’t it amazing how the Lord takes care of each of his individual children? Their names are Judy (member referral), Blondel(tracting), Amber and Trevor (member referral), Paul(tracting), Dillon, Emily, and Brittney(member referral). We are SO blessed to have been able to find them. Now, I really don’t have time to keep up with “informing” ya’ll with each individual investigator. But, I will tell you more about Neville and James. We called James and this lady at the group home told us that he was “never interested and doesn’t want to meet with us”. What now? James has quit smoking and drinking ever since he met with us and he always expresses gratitude for us when we meet with him. There is something going on there that we are not quite sure about. We’re going to let it sit for a couple of days and see what happens. Neville…is awesome. He is praying, but he’s still struggling for praying about specific things. He is progressing a little but more each time that we meet with him. We’ve decided that he just needs to be baptized. 🙂
 
Sad story last night…Neville had us over for dinner. Now, Trinidadian food has a lot of spices…and you kind of have to eat a little but at a time. We were talking about faith and prayer and getting specific answers, and Sister Wester says…”Okay. Well, we better go. Can we leave you with a prayer?” I was really confused because it was so sudden, but I just went with the flow. We get outside and Sister Wester expresses the need to go home. She got really sick from his food. She threw-up and did NOT feel very well last night. It was really sad! She is feeling better today, though. 🙂
 
Question time!
 
What is the thing you miss the most about the U.S.? 
 
I honestly don’t know. I’m going to have to answer that question next week.
 
(What is the thing you love most about Canada? (Besides the people…because that is so cliché.) 
 
CHOCOLATE. Their chocolate is FAR superior than the States. I’m just saying.
 
What is your favorite chapter in Preach My Gospel?
 
My purpose as a Missionary. It helps me be able to see “the big picture”. But PMG is the bomb. The end.
 
Is it finally spring in Simcoe? 
 
I will withhold comments. Because every time I say that it might be Spring…it snows.
 
How often do you see or have contact with your mission president/wife?
 
Hardly ever.
Why does Sis. Wester sleep with the phone under her pillow? 
 
The phone has the alarm on it, and it goes off at 6 AM every morning…to go running…yea… 😛 She doesn’t trust me with the phone, because she thinks that I will change the alarm…so that we don’t have to go running…She’s right.
 
I have been so bad at birthdays! I am so sorry! Happy Birthday to Grandma Evans, Uncle Russ, Bishop Magleby, Grandma Colvin, and Erin Burgener! You are all such mighty forces in my life and I count myself blessed to learn from you and get to know you. I hope that your day(s) were so wonderful. 🙂 Happy Birthday again!
 
I love this quote…” I am only one but I am one. I cannot do everything but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”. I love this quote so very much! All we can do is try our best and not let our weaknesses get in the way of what we can do!
 
I love you all very much, and I cannot wait to hear from you all next week. Choose the right! The Gospel is true! Be obedient!
 
Love always,
Sister Colvin

No transfer yet! At least 6 more weeks in Simcoe…

My dearest family, friends, and wonderful people that I hope someday to meet,
 
After a very long and stressful day yesterday (in anticipation of our transfer calls), we are staying here in Simcoe for at least 6 more weeks! I am so excited to stay and hit the pavement, and find those people that are ready now to hear the gospel. I am so grateful for this chance, and we are going to PUSH forward with faith. We have set some goals in PURE faith, but we know that they are possible if we fully rely on Heavenly Father. Be prepared to see more amazing miracles happen in Simcoe. 🙂
 
Wasn’t General Conference absolutely amazing? It was exactly what I needed. The spiritual boost that you get from listening is absolutely astounding! I had some very specific, personal questions that I wrote down in preparation to listen to the speakers. ALL of them were answered. I don’t know if any of you have done that, but I know that if you have that faith that they will be answered, they will be. “If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me”. [Moroni 7:33] The Lord answers his children’s prayers. It may not be in the way that we would like it to be, but he does. We just have to believe that he will answer. I testify that he knows each of us individually. He knows our strengths and our weaknesses. He WANTS to answer us, but if we don’t believe that he can…how can he help us? Have a KNEELING prayer every single day in supplication to your Heavenly Father. The only time in the scriptures where we see how the Savior prayed was in the Garden of Gethsemane–he knelt. When we kneel we feel closer to Heavenly Father and the respectfulness that a prayer really is. We are literally having a conversation with our beloved Father. He wants to hear from us. I know that kneeling while I pray has really blessed and changed my life. It’s definitely strengthened my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I love him so much!
 
On another note, it’s been kind of a hard week here in Simcoe. About eighty percent of our appointments fell through–whether it was the member that was supposed to go with us, or the investigator themselves. I feel as if the Lord was teaching me a lesson. We were coming off of this “happy place” last week. We had a baptism, we had investigators that were keeping commitments, everything was going perfectly. I needed this week to teach me a couple of things. It’s not MY work. It is the Lord’s. If we don’t involve the Lord in this work always, we are not going to be as successful or feel as good about what we have been doing. We will achieve greater happiness when we know that the Lord is pleased with our efforts. That is something that I am going to work on this next week–to involve the Lord in everything that I do. 🙂
 
Our investigators are wonderful people…as always. But, as you can tell from the above paragraph, it’s been a rough week. Neville bombed our appointment because he went to another church. We don’t quite understand him. But he really is progressing and praying every day. He just will NOT pray about a specific date to be baptized. We are meeting with him next week and we will address his concerns and questions, and hopefully he will realize the importance of the gospel. Sandra asked us to come back in a couple of weeks. [In other words, don’t come back for a while]. We met with James once this week, and he has completely stopped smoking and drinking. This is a vast improvement! However, because he was addicted to Oxycotin for 15 years, his brain process is very slow. He doesn’t remember what we teach him. He remembers some things if we go over them very slowly and repeat it several times. We are worried that if he does make it to the baptismal interview–that he won’t pass. But that is a little ways away. Zelda is doing great! She is being confirmed this Sunday and
she really enjoyed General Conference. Our biggest concern is that she is plateauing. We want her to continue to learn and progress. As we all should be! Wendey is meeting with the Elders in Orillia now! We are so happy that they got in contact with her. She is awesome, and we hope that she continues to take those steps toward baptism. Now…Josh is our new investigator this week. The only thing is…he is strange. That is all there is to say about him. He also takes the Bible very literally. As in, he feels that women are very inferior to men and that they should not teach men anything,etc. We don’t quite know what to do with him, because we feel like we met him for a reason…it’s just really weird to teach someone that doesn’t believe that you can teach them…because women are weaker…yea…Any advice on this one?
 
Question Time!
 
Okay…question time: 1.  What was your favorite talk during General Conference?   Why?  
 
I don’t even think that I can name one. I loved President Uchtdorf’s because Sister Wester and I had just had a discussion about light a few days earlier. It just reaffirmed our testimony’s and helped us understand more about the light of Christ and how we are all filled with infinite light! More about conference later. but, yes, Elder Holland is a gospel rock star.
 
2.  What is your branch like? 
 
It is very small and very old. The same people have  been here for years and years, and so it is hard for new people to come in, because the relationships are already so tight and close. But, I really do love this branch. One of our focuses this transfer will be on involving the members in the branch a lot more, so that we can develop that closer relationship with them. We feel that once we do that, we will have more investigators than we can handle. 🙂
3.  What is Simcoe like? 
 
It is the Ririe/Blackfoot of Canada.
 
4. Can you tell us a little more about the new sister missionary leadership positions?  Is it like ZLs for the gals?
 
We haven’t heard anything about these positions! Can you fill us in? Is it on lds.org? 5.  From Caleb…What kind of car do you drive? 
 
I drive a Chevy Cobalt. 🙂
 
As I mentioned earlier, General Conference was amazing! One thing that Elder Holland said really struck a chord with me.
 
“Imperfect people are all God has ever had to deal with.”
 
We are not perfect. Nobody is. I feel as if sometimes I think others are. But, they’re not. God knows that we are all going to make mistakes and do things wrong. All he asks of us is to turn to him and to be healed through the Atonement of Christ. I know that when we come to that knowledge–that we are going to mess up– our lives are going to go so much more smoothly. We don’t feel anxious when we make mistakes, because we know that we can be forgiven and move on in our lives to have wonderful experiences…and make more mistakes. How necessary it was for me to hear that!
 
Anyways, I actually had a question and a favor to ask of you. We are really starved out here for musical arrangements. Could you maybe send us some? Duets and Solos,preferably of hymn or primary song arrangements. 🙂
 
I love you all so much, and I hope that you have a beautiful, sunny, rest of the week! You all are so amazing and great examples to me. Keep pressing forward! Have faith! You all are awesome!
 
Love always,
Sister Colvin

A White Easter

My dearest family, friends, acquaintances, and people that I have never met,
 
I feel as if my letters get more and MORE boring every single week. Just imagine what it’s going to be like six months from now…
 
Anyways, the weather in Simcoe is hormonal. I’m not even exaggerating. It’s beautiful 70 degree weather one day, and then the next it’s 30 degrees. And then the wind picks up. And then it snows. And then it starts to hail. And then it gets really hot. And then it’s foggy. Man, and I thought Idaho weather was difficult to predict? Ha.
 
Funny story of the week.  Well, we received a phone call from our District Leader during our study time. He was very sober and serious as he told us that there was an unauthorized call on our phone at 3 a.m. in the morning on March 20th. We were so confused. Sister Wester sleeps with the phone under her pillow, and so how could that have happened? He told us that this could mean that our phone privileges would be revoked for the rest of our missions if this wasn’t resolved. He told us that he would call us back in two minutes after he contacted our Zone Leaders to see what they wanted us to do. We were freaking out. We hadn’t called anyone! He called us back and said, “Okay, Sisters. The Zone leaders are talking to the AP’s right now, but we thought you might want to know the number that was called. Okay, the number is…APRIL FOOLS!”.  If I wasn’t a missionary…I think I might have said some interesting words. He gave us a heart attack. It’s a pretty good prank, though. Gotta admit. Very clever and inventive. Haha. We get a lot of jokes from our district. 🙂
 
ZELDA WAS BAPTIZED ON SUNDAY! (see picture)
 
Her baptismal service was so amazing and she was so happy. The spirit was almost tangible as she made that sacred covenant with her Heavenly Father. She was glowing after President Hernandez baptized her. We were so happy for her, and we truly do recognize that she is a miracle. Can you even begin to comprehend the Lord’s hand in her road to being baptized? I can’t fully understand it, but all I know is that she was a direct answer to our prayers, her prayers, and the Lord had a plan for her. We are so excited for her to continue to progress so that she has the opportunity to go to the temple in one year. If that happens, I’ll be able to go see her enter in to that covenant. And I cannot wait.
 
Our investigators are wonderful, as always. I guess that every missionary’s investigators are the best, but I seriously love them all. Neville attended Zelda’s baptism on Sunday and I think that was really good for him. He had never seen one before, so hopefully that will enable him to set that goal to be baptized this month and work toward entering in to that covenant. He actually talked to President Hernandez about how the Priesthood works, and President Hernandez jokingly said “Yea, Neville. You need the priesthood,eh?” And Neville responded, “Yes. I think I do!” We hope that Neville realizes that Heavenly Father is going to help him be prepared to be baptized. He doesn’t need to be perfect, he just needs to be perfect in Christ. As we all do! James is also doing well, but his family situation makes it really difficult for him to commit to coming to church. He lives in a group home, and he visits his family on Sundays. His family doesn’t want him to come to church. And he needs to come to church! Hopefully he gets it figured out soon. Our other investigators aren’t doing so well. Either we haven’t had the chance to meet with them or they aren’t keeping their commitments. If you all could pray for us to be able to find some more people to teach, that would be great. We have just been doing a lot of tracting and we haven’t been able to meet a lot of people who are open to hearing this beautiful message that we have. It is hard because we just want to teach everyone, but they also have to be prepared to hear the message of the Restored gospel. We will find some people this week, though. I can feel it. 🙂
 
Okay…QUESTION TIME! 🙂
 
1. Did you receive our package?  
The package was so amazing. Thank you so much for the picture of Christ. I pulled it out and just teared up. It is a beautiful picture that I will take with me everywhere! It was perfect. Also, thank you for the candy and the notebook. It legitimately made my day!
 
2.  If you are eating lots of potatoes and rice, are you eating any fruits and veggies so you don’t get scurvy? 
We get by with what we can afford. We buy canned fruit a lot. 🙂
 
3.  Do you think you may get transferred any time soon? 
We get transfer calls on Sunday night. I don’t know where or if I will be going, but…just pray for me! Okay? I am freaking out. I don’t want to leave Simcoe! Ah!
 
4.  This question is really for all your future sisters headed to the MTC…do they really need to take hangers? 
Yes. We had to go buy hangers when we got to Canada. However, our situation was a little bit different because we were opening up a new area and their wasn’t a “missionary apartment” already set-up.
 
5.  Now that the “email policy” has changed, have you found the time to communicate with any other current or former missionaries? 
Elder Robbins, Elder Shumway.
 
Mommy, did you all get my letters that I sent? I sent them about 4 weeks ago. I also sent you a birthday note. I really hope that you got it. I hope that you have a wonderful birthday, and I am so grateful that you are my Mom. I will sing “Happy Birthday” to you from Canada on April 6th. I love you!
 
During my personal study this week, I have really been focusing on my purpose as a missionary. What is my role in helping bring others unto Christ? I found this scripture in Alma 17:11 that I really love, “Go forth among the Lamanites[Canadians], thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.” What a beautiful scripture! If we are all patient in our afflictions and are good examples to all that we meet we shall become instruments in the Lord’s hands! How wonderful a promise! Continue to strive to become good examples to all those that you come in contact with, and the Lord will bless you with opportunities to share the gospel!
 
I love you all so much and I am so grateful for your wonderful examples of righteousness to me. You have helped me get to this point in my life, and I am so blessed to have people right next to me, guiding me and leading me down the right path. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us. We just have to ask him to allow us to see glimpses of that plan. When we see those glimpses, we will be so grateful that we humbled ourselves and asked about the desires of our hearts. He knows you! He knows me! He knows all of his children!
 
Well, we have quite a few things to do today, so I better get running. But just know that I pray for all of you daily, and I hope that you are reading the Book of Mormon and praying with faith daily. Those things will bless your life tremendously.
 
Until next week…
 
Love forever,
Sister Colvin