Silly Canadian weather….

Dearest family and friends,
 
Again, for the second week in a row, we are left with half an hour to email and write. It’s challenging because I don’t really know what to focus on and what to say. My mind is in a jumble at the moment.
 
The weather in Simcoe is HUMID. And then it gets freezing. It varies between the temperature of the Arabian Desert, and the North Pole.     ……    I have no further comments.
 
Our investigators are doing really well, they are all just struggling to keep commitments. Nobody came to church yesterday. It was not cool at all. Sundays are the most stressful days of the week. There is a reason P-days are on Mondays. 🙂 I really don’t have much to say, other than please keep praying for these wonderful children of our Heavenly Father.
 
1.  How does the Sister Missionary Leader thing work in your mission?
There are 6 Sister Missionary Leaders in this mission. They are in 3 companionships, and are in different areas of the mission. They are primarily responsible for attending the Missionary Leadership Council and training other sisters by helping them with their personal struggles and needs. They also go on a lot of exchanges. 🙂
 
2.  When have you felt the most joy in the last 3 months?
When I completely recited the First Vision in a lesson. I felt so happy, and I felt so much peace and warmth. Of course, there are many other times where I have felt SO much love and joy, but that’s just the experience that sticks out to me.
3.  What is Victoria Day and why is it a national holiday?
Canadians and their holidays. They have a huge national holiday about every month. Canadians like to party. We think that it was Queen Victoria’s birthday…she’s only been dead…for…I don’t know how many years. Canada is strange. 🙂
4.  What is the hardest thing you have to do every day?
Probably wake up half an hour early every morning. haha. I need my sleep, man! Also talking to mean people…I don’t like that…
 
Anyways, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO EVERYONE! There are many birthdays this week. Happy Birthday especially to my wonderful little brother, Caleb! I can’t believe that you are 10 already! I hope that you all have a wonderful day!
 
Doctrine and Covenants 10:4. I love this scripture. It talks about how we should not run faster than we have strength for. I know that the Lord knows each of us, and he wants us all to succeed and try our hardest, but he doesn’t want to burn us out. Try for achieving the best possible, and if that doesn’t work out, try again and press forward. Don’t beat yourself up over the little things. The Lord WANTS US TO BE HAPPY! How do we be happy? By living the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I know that this gospel is real! I know that God lives and loves each of us. BUT, I do also know that Satan is real. I know that he wants to conquer each one of us. We can make the choice to chose whether or not to choose (literally) good over evil. I KNOW THAT THIS CHURCH IS TRUE. I have never been more sure of anything in my life. I have prayed and received direct answers to my prayers. Yes, I don’t have the answers to everything. But I do know that this is real.
 
I love you all! Happy Memorial Day!
 
Sister Colvin
 
 

No transfer!

My dearest friends, family, and wonderful people,
 
The Family History Center Director slept in today (which was a test of my patience), and so we are at the Public Library. They give you half an hour. It is going to be crazy; especially because I have to write President Scott as well. Here we go…
 
Anyways, NOTHING changed in Simcoe! Sister Wester and I are still in the Promised Land. We were really surprised because the AP’s even asked us to be in early on Sunday night, because there were so many transfer calls. We were fully expecting to get a call. Well, we didn’t.  And now we have at least 6 more weeks in Simcoe! The Lord must really need us here. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for this area. I am worried about progressing. I feel as if I have gotten comfortable, and I don’t like that. I am really going to work on pressing forward with faith and continually trying to become better!
 
We had a really hard time in Simcoe last week. We only taught 3 lessons the entire week! We had many, many lessons set-up, but all of them fell through. So frustrating! And a little bit depressing. 😦 We didn’t reach any of our goals, but we have already made huge strides in doing better this week. Tracting is good for the soul, eh? We dropped 11 investigators in this past 2 weeks. That was so hard for me. I hate getting to know these people, realizing their amazing potential, and then having to drop them because they won’t commit. I guess this is a part of missionary work that I wasn’t prepared for. Anyways, not much to update you on that front. We have been doing a lot of street contacting. One day we talked to over 50 people! Cool, eh? Would you all pray for the Lord to send blessings and miracles to Simcoe? We know that if we have enough faith, that it will happen. 
 
AGH! I’m almost out of time, this is really not cool. I don’t have time to answer your questions. I am sorry that it is so rushed and not a very good email. Next week, I promise that it will be choke-full of spirituality and happy things! Yea!
 
I love you all, and I love this work! Please know that I am doing well and that I pray for you all everyday!
 
Much love from frigid Canada,
Sister Colvin
 

Flushing the teaching pool…..

My dearest family, friends, and whomever else is reading this,
 
Greetings from (what Sister Wester calls) the promised land *cough* Simcoe! Simcoe was having beautiful weather…until our Mother’s day calls…it was snowing, hailing, and the wind was blowing mightily. It is SO cold. We were so mad. We had to put our tights and coats back on. So not cool. I seriously believe that Heavenly Father has a sense of humor.
 
I loved being able to talk with my family on Mothers day! You are all so amazing, and I love you very much. It was difficult for me as well at the end of the call but, It’s almost like a band-aid that you got to rip off, you know what I mean? Back to reality. 🙂 I am very glad that the technology was working okay, just next time, I would love to be able to see all of you and not just the side of Mom’s face. You have a very lovely face, Mommy. I MISS MY TESS. Okay. That’s over with. We see some mean dogs (a couple have tried to bite me…but not Sister Wester…what’s up with that?), and Tess just holds a special place in my heart. As does my family.
 
This week was absolutely crazy. Actually, all weeks are absolutely crazy when you’re a missionary. That is something that I never expected would happen. Everything was going to go exactly according to plan, and everyone would be baptized, and come to the appointments, and not give us attitude? Right? Riiiight. We have dropped 10 investigators this week. 😦 The two most heartbreaking ones were Emily and Ward. Emily told us that she didn’t want to meet with us. She was raised Catholic, and did not want to be baptized. And she does not want to read the Book of Mormon. She was supposed to be baptized yesterday. Sad day. I think that she is not ready. Someday she will be. Whether in this life, or the next, I don’t know. Ward was anti’d by his father (who is a pastor). He came to church yesterday (which was great) and then he came to our gospel principles class. He made some comment about women, and how they can’t hold the Priesthood. Sister Wester was then like, “Oh no. I don’t think so. Let me stun you with my awesome speaking abilities”. He apologized after that. He also told us that he doesn’t want to meet with us. He won’t continue to read the Book of Mormon. It was really sad, because we didn’t even get to teach him a lot, because all of the discussions we had were centered on Anti. And how all of those crazy things work. Like the levels in the Celestial Kingdom? And Polygamy? And “skin of blackness”? Bah. I hate Anti. And I don’t even know half of what he’s talking about. He also has great potential, and I think that he will find the truth and happiness someday. Maybe in 10 years he will pick up a copy of the Book of Mormon and really start to read it. I know that he will receive an answer someday. Also, that guy who had his records removed before he could get excommunicated? Yes. Not so. President Hernandez told us after the call that he found out from Salt Lake that he had been excommunicated. Why do people lie about things like that? We’re going to find out eventually. That guy is a tad (okay…a LOT) creepy. He is moving away from Simcoe though, so all is well. 🙂
 
Question time!
 
1.  If you were to have a change at transfers, what would be your ideal?  Would you want to stay and train?  In what area of your mission would you love to serve?
 
If I was to have a change at transfers…I honestly have no idea. I like being in a smaller town, you get to know the branch better and you *tend* to meet nicer people. But nothing against big cities. I would LOVE to become a trainer. But I don’t think that I am ready for that yet. It might take a little while before the Lord trusts me enough with another missionary. I love Simcoe. I really do. I have grown so attached to the people, and the wonderful investigators that we do have. That is a stinky thing about serving a mission. You form these close bonds and relationships, and then you have to leave. 😦 I would love to serve anywhere in this mission. But I am not going to lie…I would die if the Lord called me to Toronto. PEOPLE SCARE ME.
2.  Would it be best to send birthday/Christmas stuff to the mission home?
 
It doesn’t really matter I think. It also might depend on how soon you send it and stuff like that. Because I wouldn’t want it to hit that awkward, “Am I being transferred, or what?” time…
3.  How are your shoes holding up?
 
My flats have seen better days. But I love the tracting shoes that we got at TJ Maxx. They are really comfortable. And I have a sweet tan line. Yea for the sun! (But not humidity…blech)
4.  When have you felt the most joy in the last 3 months?
 
I will have to think about that one as well. 🙂 I will answer next week!
 
As Mother’s day was yesterday, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Mom. Mommy, you are such a wonderful example to me. I love you so much! You have definitely raised me in righteousness and helped me become the young woman that I am today. You are so amazing! ❤
 
I found an awesome scripture this week during personal study!
 
Acts 17:27- “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us.”  How comforting is that? If we seek the Lord happily, we shall find him, because he’s not far from any of us! The Lord wants to bless us and he wants to help us out, we just have to seek him first. I really want to apply that scripture more to my missionary work. I need to always remember that the Lord is with me always, and that I should always seek him. I know that the same is true for all of us! The Lord is with you! You just have to seek him first! That’s not too much to ask, eh?
 
Well, another week gone. Next week is transfers, and I am not going to lie, I am pretty stressed out about it. I really don’t like change. But, it’s part of life, and I need to get over it. I might not even move out of Simcoe. I just hate the anticipation, you know? However, I know, that the Lord is going to put me where I need to be. With what companion I need to be with. And what people I need to teach. *deep breath* Here we go!
 
Well, I haven’t even started my laundry yet…which is a big no-no. haha. I guess it’s time for me to sign out. Just know that I am always thinking about you guys, and I pray for you every single day! You guys are wonderful examples to me in my life! The church is true! This gospel is real! I love my Savior! I love being a missionary! And I love..YOU!
 
Much love from Canada,
Sister Colvin
 

God loves EVERYONE

Dearest family, friends, and wonderful acquaintances of mine,
 
Simcoe is beautiful! I haven’t really ever lived in a place where there are blossoming trees and green everywhere! There is quite a bit of humidity, that can get very uncomfortable. I’m such a baby when it comes to heat.
 
We had Zone Conference last week…which was absolutely incredible! Paul V. Johnson of the Seventy instructed us for about 4 hours. I learned so much about how to work with less-active members and how to be happy with myself and the efforts that I am making. Elder Johnson talked a lot about thoughts, and how our thoughts can either uplift us, or bring us down. Those that bring us down are from SATAN. God doesn’t want us to be down on ourselves. He wants us to recognize our mistakes, repent, get over ourselves, not have a pity party, and move on. We are the master of our thoughts, it might be difficult at first, but we can control our thoughts and always keep them upbeat, positive, and wholesome.
 
We have had a decent week here in the Simcoe area. It has not been the best week, but we are pressing forward, because we know that the Lord has mighty plans for this area! We have a new Investigator named Pierre Ferron. He was a fighter and has been in trouble with the law many times. He is a recovering alcoholic and is going through recovery. He doesn’t read or write at all. We ordered the cd’s for him, but the Zone Leaders accidentally left them at the office, so we are trying to read with him and help him gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. He is from New Brunswick and speaks fluent French. He is also very….uh…”French”. He’s left a couple of messages on our phone…that have been questionable…haha. We quickly told him that he cannot call us ‘sexy girls”.He realizes why we are here though and he is interested in learning more! Nevertheless, we always take a priesthood holder with us when we teach him. He is progressing very well and praying daily to know whether or not what we are teaching him is true. Another investigator that is not progressing anymore is Ward. His father is a pastor, and has given him Anti literature to read. It is really sad because we feel that he has so much potential, but now he is hung up on these negative things that his dad has told him. We have talked to him about “by their fruits ye shall know them” and how he can find answers to his questions through prayer and reading the Book of Mormon. We will teach him one or two more times and if he is not progressing, we may have to drop him. We are no longer teaching Blondel or Neville. They are not ready yet. 😥
 
Questions!
 
What two things have you learned since being on a mission that have changed you the most?
 
1. God Loves EVERYONE. Every person that we talk to on the street, tracting, or whatever, I just feel this overwhelming love for them. Even if they cuss us out, are completely drunk, or are a tad bit scary. God loves ALL of his children so much.
2. It’s not about me. If I have the Spirit with me, and I try valiantly to share it with others, everything is going to work out. The Lord is going to put prepared people in our path to talk to and to help them come closer to Christ. I have nothing to do with this work. It is all the Lord’s work!
What do you miss most about “civilian life?”  What do you not miss at all?
 
The radio. I just love jamming to music in the car, and singing at the top of my lungs. I also miss naps. And hot showers. I really don’t miss the “drama”. Yes, there are some crazy things that happen on a mission, but it’s not focused on “This boy didn’t talk to me. I’m depressed. I got a bad grade. Boo. Now I am going to go drown my sorrows in texting people and eating chocolate”. When you’re a missionary, you focus on how you can bring these people closer to Christ, how you can better have the Spirit to be with you, and what you can do to be a more effective instrument in the Lord’s hands. I love it! How often do you have District/Zone Conference?  What are they like?
 
We have District Meeting every single week. Zone Training every month. And Zone Conference every other transfer. Missionaries just basically gather together and learn more about how to work better with the members and investigators. We role-play quite a bit, and strengthen each other through experiences. Also, it’s nice to make friends. 🙂 Has the new email policy made is easier or harder for missionaries?
 
It’s a toss-up. Now you want to email everybody! But…you gotta keep focused on emailing family and President Scott. 🙂 I email Elder Shumway, and Merritt on a regular basis. Not long emails, just for encouragement, you know? Because, missionary work is hard. If you didn’t already know that… 🙂
 
I’ve been reading about some pretty awesome missionaries in the scriptures this week. Ammon, Alma, Amulek, Abinadi, Moroni, they were all so cool! I can’t wait to meet them someday. In Alma 26, Ammon is glorying in the Lord! He is bearing his testimony of faith and how God has power to do all things. In verse 37 it says, “…God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth…”. What an amazing statement that is! God is mindful (that means that he KNOWS) all people, whatever land they may be in! It doesn’t matter if the people are in Canada or the Phillipines! God loves all of his children!
 
I’m so glad that Skype is going to work out! 🙂
 
I was wondering if you could procure for me some emails and addresses of people that I haven’t been able to contact. Lizzy, Laura, Camille, and Erin. 🙂 Thank you very much!
 
Anyways, I love you all so much. Keep reading and praying! God loves you, and so do I!
 
Love forever,
Sister Colvin

Striving for Excellence!

My dearest family, friends, and random people that I’ve never talked to,

I can’t believe that another week has already past! It literally just feels like yesterday that I was getting off the plane in Toronto…and mentally freaking out. I haven’t gotten off a plane recently…but mentally freaking out? Eh. That’s part of being a missionary.
 
Simcoe is having beautiful weather! It hasn’t gotten too hot yet, and I am not looking forward to those long…sweaty days. Any suggestions on how to keep cool in humid weather?
 
This week has been very good, but quite frustrating at the same time. About 80% of our appointments fell through. I HATE WHEN APPOINTMENTS FALL THROUGH. But, I have learned many things from having those appointments bomb. Uno, the Lord wants you to be in one place at a certain time…that might mean that your appointments have to fall through. Dos, people have their agency. Tres…the Lord is teaching me patience. Which is difficult. But good. I’m not complaining… 🙂 We came SO close to achieving the Standards of Excellence this week. We needed one new investigator and one more with a baptismal date. It is quite disheartening to come so close to a goal that you have had for a while…and not make it. Fortunately, we have every single week to reach this goal…so we are GOING TO HIT STANDARDS THIS WEEK. Our investigators are doing well…the ones that we do have. We have cleaned out our teaching pool this week. And we have several “DO OR DIE” lessons planned out this week. Neville…is one of those lessons. It’s so hard to see people that you’ve come to care about, and they have so much potential…not keep commitments. We don’t think that he is ready. And we don’t want to push him anymore. 😦 Emily has a baptismal date of May 12th. She is looking pretty solid for that day, we’re just concerned about the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. Ward will not set a date. BUT he has been reading and is in 2nd Nephi. He is showing great potential as well, and we hope that he realizes that this message is going to bless him and his 5 year old son.  Sorry for all of the Caps lock…it’s my drama queen coming out. 🙂
 
A few items of business…Mother’s Day is coming up…THAT means that I get to skype with my family! So, family, you should get a webcam and skype. Because I would love to see your smiling faces as WELL as being able to talk to you. We are on Eastern Standard Time. I will call you on Saturday (hopefully) to make sure that everything is set-up and the time is right. My time to talk to you is from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm. I don’t know that time that is for you guys…that’s just the time it would be for here. We are skyping at a member’s house. I really hope that we can get this all figured out. Because that would be really cool. 🙂
 
We went on exchanges 2 weeks ago…and I forgot to tell you all about it! I went to Hamilton to work with Sister Williams. She is an amazing missionary…just very…intense. Which isn’t bad, just very different from my amazing trainer *duh duh duh* Sister Wester! I learned a lot about how it is going to be on the rest of my mission and how different companions affect the work, etc. I don’t want to talk to much about it, but I am very grateful for that experience! Street Contacting in big cities….is different….you meet a lot of weird people…
 
Question Time! 🙂
 
What kinds of things do you shop for in Hamilton?  What did you buy? 
We went and shopped for clothes. I didn’t buy anything. 🙂
When are transfers and do you think you will stay in Simcoe?  Does your mission president tend to leave people in areas for awhile or move them around? 
 
Transfers are on May 19th. I have no idea whether or not that I will stay in Simcoe. President Scott is “known for whitewashing and changing things up a lot…and doing crazy stuff” (Sister Wester). I guess we will see what happens…
Do you ever hear about news in the United States?  What about happenings in Canada? 
 
Not really. We did hear about the Boston marathon from a member. But, we are pretty isolated with everything that has been going on. Both in the States and in Canada. President Scott (at interviews this week) did talk to my zone about being aware and safe in the surroundings that we are in. He didn’t tell us details about anything, but he said that ever since the marathon there have been some crazy things happening around the world. What is your favorite thing about serving in a Branch?  How about your least favorite thing?
 
I like how small it is. But I also hate how small it is. If someone doesn’t feel welcome, there aren’t that many people to “send to them” to help them become more integrated into the branch. Everyone knows each other so well, and there is so much love in this branch. We are so blessed to be here. And to be the ones to help this branch really “jump-start” their member missionary work.
What two things have you learned since being on a mission that have changed you the most?
 
This is a pretty hefty question that I will think about and answer next week. Deal? 🙂
 
I came across a scripture this week that I thought I would share with you. It is 1 Nephi 13:37. “And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost: and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be”. What a great promise that is to all of us! If we seek to bring forth Zion (in whatever way we can) and endure to the end…we shall be lifted up at the last day! We will be able to live with our beloved Father again. I know that I want to live with him again. I want to be able to talk with him and tell him all about what I’ve learned and how grateful I am for him and his plan for me. Pray a lot. He definitely wants to hear from you!
 
I better get running…we don’t have any dinner appointments this week…so we’re going to go buy lots of food. 🙂
 
I love you all, and I hope that you are all doing wonderfully! I know that if you read the scriptures and pray about it, you will be happier and things will go more smoothly in your life. Sorry for this jumbled email…lack of sleep is catching up to me. 🙂
 
LOVE YOUS! [It’s a Canadian thing….]
 
Sister Colvin