GOOD vs. evil

Hello all you wonderful people!
Today, Sister Wester and I are going to Hamilton because I am in dire need of some new clothes. So, we don’t have a lot of time. Sometimes, it stinks to be so far away from normal civilization. Just kidding…Simcoe is COMPLETELY normal. *cough*
Also, I know that a couple of people have requested to be my friend on Facebook! Could you possibly accept their requests for me? I know that Sister Hernandez and a couple of the Macdonalds did. Please and Thank you! 🙂
The weather is so humid. And hot. We actually started to not feel well after we had walked around in the heat for a couple of hours, so we are going to invest in some waterbottles today, because we were starting to become dehydrated. Sister Wester was even seeing dots in her vision. Not good! Our apartment also doesn’t have air conditioning…which stinks. So…we might be buying some fans today as well! 🙂
This week I have learned that missionary work is full of so much joy and happiness…and so much heartache. You see these wonderful people (our brothers and sisters) and you want what you know will make them happy! You want to invite them to come to Christ and be healed through the marvelous, infinite atonement. But, people have their agency, and Satan knows how to influence these wonderful children of God into making bad decisions. Satan stinks.
I told you last week about Jessica, a wonderful, hardworking mom that really needs the gospel of Jesus Christ in her life. She told us that she felt the Spirit, and she knows that it is true. She understood the need for a Restoration, and cried when we taught the Plan of Salvation. She even recognized Satan and his efforts against her. Jessica apologized for not reading more between the 2-day hiatus that we met with her. But she still read. She told us that she knew that God wanted her to read the Book of Mormon and come closer to him. She was completely solid, and was the most prepared person that I have met on my mission. Well, she talked to her husband about meeting with us. Earlier on in the week, he had said that he wanted to meet with us as well. He wanted to come closer to God! We were very excited to meet with him. Jessica told us that he went to a party last week, and things changed. He told her that he wanted to go “to the church that he went to as a little kid”. To clarify, Jessica has been in this abusive relationship for a while. We do not know the seriousness of the situation, but we do know that he abused her and her children before he moved out of their house. She really wants to keep her family together. So, she saw this opportunity to “come together” with her husband, and took it. She told us that she will still pray, and she will attend church with him and her kids. At a different church. We were shocked. This wonderful woman was prepared! She had felt the Spirit! And yet, she had rejected it. We are still fighting for a return appointment, with both her and her husband. But she is ignoring us. This was a heartbreaker. We KNOW that Satan worked through her husband to influence her. But, Satan is not going to win on this one. We are going to be fasting with some branch members this week for her and her family. We are going to fast for her husband’s heart to be softened and that they will still be willing to meet with us. I know that if we have enough faith, that more miracles are going to happen. Emily Nixon, our investigator to be baptized next week, is doing wonderful! She really enjoyed church yesterday, and is getting really excited for next week. We have taught her the commandments, except for tithing and the Sabbath Day (which we are teaching on Tuesday). She is a little nervous for the interview, but we assured her that Elder Palmer (who is a wonderful district leader, by the way) isn’t that scary and that she knows as much as she needs to for her to be baptized. She is WONDERFUL. There was a question in Relief Society yesterday, “Why do we take the Sacrament?” And Emily immediately answered, “Because we renew the covenants that we make at baptism each week.” She is amazing! And she is going to be baptized next week! 🙂 Mark, who had a date for next week, cannot get a hold of his addictions in time. He is looking into a long-term facility in Tillsonburg, and when that does happen, we will pass him on to missionaries there. We are concentrating on finding this week, so that we can find more of the elect. Because this area is a huge field, just waiting to be fully harvested.
Question time!
1. What are your thoughts about the broadcast tonight? 
The Broadcast was INCREDIBLE. I learned so much from these wonderful servants of God. I really am so grateful to be a missionary, and to be part of this work. I know that the Lord knows and loves each of his missionaries…which is over 70,000! Can you believe that? The most disappointing thing, however, was that nobody from our branch showed up. Not even our branch president. We are hoping that they are going to rebroadcast it next week…because every person should watch it. I want it on DVD. haha. I am going to be such a nerd when I get home. I’ll probably watch General Conference re-runs for fun. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that, right? 🙂 2.  Did you get your package yet and did you have to pay taxes on it?
I didn’t get it yet… 3.  How are you feeling with transfers coming up?
I honestly don’t know. Sister Wester thought that she was leaving last time…and she stayed. And so I really have no idea. I personally feel that I might be leaving and going more North (maybe to Etobicoke or Oshawa), but I really don’t know. I do know that the Lord has such an individualized plan for me and for his work. He is going to put me where I need to be. This work is REAL.
Well, I know that this wasn’t as long as it probably should have been. (And don’t worry, my beloved parents, I only email you on a regular basis now…). But, I know that missionary work is a wonderful, inspired, divine cause. I know that I am supposed to be out here for a reason. And can you believe that I have been out almost 5 months? Time flies when you’re on the Lord’s errand! Thank you so much for the wonderful support and love that you have all shown me!
Sister Colvin

More miracles in little Simcoe, CA

My dearest family, friends, and people that I will probably never meet,
Hello from the crazy bountiful land of Simcoe! This week has been one of miracles, frustrations, disappointments, love, sickness, sweat, breakdowns, and pure happiness. Such is missionary work. I am slowly learning that when everything is going really wonderful…the Lord is going to humble you and put you in your place. Probably several times until we get it through our thick skulls. But, I love being a missionary. I know that I haven’t been out very long, but I cannot even imagine coming home and coming back to “real life”. Ah! I am so scared! Well, that is a long ways away. So, it’s all good for now.
I got a lovely sickness this week! On Friday, I was blessed to have a fever of 102.3 degrees Fahrenheit. I was achy all over, had that fever, and had a bad case of the dizzies and chills.I also threw up twice. It was wonderful. I loved it so much. NOT. The thing is, you just still have to keep on trucking. We met with people, I took Ibuprofen, I survived. I finally humbled myself and called the mission nurse on Saturday and talked to her about it. She thought that I had strep throat. That was probably because of the white sores on my tonsils. Imagine that. She told me not to go to church. Oops. We had to talk in Sacrament Meeting and teach Gospel Principles. We went to church.The fever continued until late Saturday night, and then on Sunday I just felt like junk. I had a terrible headache and had no energy. Sister Rees (the mission nurse) told me to take a rest on Sunday, or else it would just keep getting worse. So, I did. And I felt better. We then went out tracting! Whoopie! I don’t have a fever today, and I am feeling better, so for now, I’m not heading to a doctor anytime soon. I’ll keep you updated on that. 🙂
We have seen SO MANY MIRACLES THIS WEEK. We received a random text message from this woman in Calgary that said we should go visit one of her high school friends in our area. She had already talked to her about missionaries coming over and her friend really wanted us to come. We went and met a lovely woman! Her name is Jessica and she is 25. She has 2 beautiful young children (that are wildly rambunctious and adorable) and a lovely little farm. She runs a small daycare during the day. She does not live with her husband at the moment, because he went back to drugs(after going to rehab several years ago). She really wants their family to stay together, though, and she told us that she knows that this message that we have will bless her family and bring them closer together. Her husband also has expressed a sincere interest in learning more about the gospel of Jesus Christ, we just haven’t been able to meet with him yet. We talked about the Spirit, and she said that she felt it as we were talking. As we recited the First Vision, she said that she believes it, and she knows that it is true. She readily and wholeheartedly accepted an invitation to be baptized on June 30th. She is so excited to read the Book of Mormon and knows that she wants her family to be together for eternity. The Lord is wonderful! Emily, also has a date for June 30th. She is looking very solid for that date. She is integrating with the ward well. We have taught the Plan of Salvation, The Restoration, and the Law of Chastity. We are also meeting with all of our progressing investigators at least three times this week so that they can be prepared for baptism on their dates. Mark has a date for June 30th. We are going to fast and pray with him to see if he can be ready by that date. He has come to church twice, and has read and prayed. The only thing is, he has a serious addiction problem that he might need to get more help with before he can be baptized. He is looking to go to long-term rehab, and so his plans are up in the air right now. He really enjoyed church and told us that he had good feelings while he was there. So, everything is looking really well for all of our investigators! We have had some investigators drop us this week, but we are definitely reaping the harvest in Simcoe! This wonderful area has so much potential and so much growth in store. I hope that it continues to blossom into a solid area. I know that it will! I hope that I can stay here for a long time, because I have grown so attached to the people and the area. Pray for me AND Sister Wester to stay. Haha. All I can say is that the prayers of the righteous are answered. 🙂
Question Time!
1.  Does your mission have the 12 week-new to the mission training program for greenies?  Does your trainer do that?  What is that like?
Yes! Your trainer does that with you. It’s basically like a little tiny manual that they teach you from. You do a lot of roleplay, and you watch the District a lot. You have an extra hour of study in the morning to do training! It really brings you closer to your trainer as well, at least it helped Sister Wester and me 🙂 I liked it a lot. And, I am not going to lie…I miss studying for an extra hour in the morning. I like study. 2.  Question from two weeks ago…Why are you serving a mission?
I don’t know if I can answer that question in a couple of sentences. All I know is that there are people in Ontario, Canada that need to hear the gospel from me. I need to have certain mission companions. I need to learn from certain district leaders and zone leaders. I know that the Lord has an intricate, individualized plan for ME. I can’t fully comprehend it, but I know that this is part of my plan that he has for me. I want to help my brothers and sisters come into the fold of God by helping them receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I want to be a bright light to those that need hope. I want to fully keep the promise that I made at baptism to “mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort”. I want to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. 3.  Have you had your second Hep A shot?  If not, what is your plan to have that happen?
Uh…no…my bad…I forgot…kind of…not really…I HATE SHOTS…I’ll call Sister Rees…sometime…soon…haha. 🙂
Anyway, it’s that time again. Time to say goodbye! Haha. Not really, we all said goodbye a long time ago. 🙂 But, I do love you all and I pray for you every single day! I love you! Keep the faith! Thinking about you in Canada!
Love always,
Sister Colvin 🙂

Teaching a drunk guy on a park bench….sweet!

My dearest family, friends, and acquaintances,
This week has been one stressful thing after another. I honestly think it’s the weather. Gloomy, rainy, humid, terrible, depressing, blechness, that just seems to never stop! And…my poor hair… Anyways, I’m not complaining. I love Canada. I love Canada. I love Canada. I love Canada. I love Canada. I love Canada.
We seem to be struggling to keep appointments this week. Everybody just seems to be cancelling. Satan is working harder than ever to stop people from learning more about the gospel. But…he’s going to lose.Because he’s stupid and a dumbbell. And…because Simcoe is AMAZING. We have had disappointments this week, however. Jenna has decided to not learn any more. She said that because her “Mom didn’t feel comfortable with it…and she’s just going to stick with the church she grew up in.” Ironic thing? She doesn’t have a religious background. People think we’re so stupid sometimes. Earth to Canada! We. Are. Not. Crazy. Okay, maybe a little bit, but that’s besides the point. We do have some crazy people with potential! WE HAD 2 INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH YESTERDAY! That is indeed a tender mercy from the Lord. We have been struggling with that so much for this transfer, and we were so blessed yesterday. Emily came to church and said “She had a lot of fun, and it was nice”. The only thing is…she’s a little socially awkward…so we’re going to work with her on that. Haha. She has a date for June 30th and is looking very solid. She might have Law of Chastity issues…this could be fun…Mark is the other investigator that came to church. I don’t know what it is about Simcoe, or us, but we teach quite a few drunk people. And they still read the Book of Mormon…and come to church! He has some severe addiction problems, but we’re going to help him with that. We were walking through the park and we taught him on a park bench! It was sweet…besides the fact he was drinking a beer while we were reciting the First Vision. But it’s cool. It’s cool. He’s going to be baptized. Our other investigators are wishy-washy. Meh. We’re working on them.
We actually are doing exchanges tonight! We are going to be going with the Sister Training Leaders. I will be going to Brampton (big…city…ack!) with Sister Tofa and Sister Wester will be staying in the Promised Land with Sister Sutton. We are very nervous, probably because they’ll be reporting on everything to the “big guys” (a.k.a. Mission President). And we have to do a house inspection…and a car inspection…pray…hard… haha. 🙂 I’ll let you all know how it goes next week.
1.  What has been different than you expected about serving a mission? 
The exhaustion. Both mentally and physically. I knew that it was hard work, but I never expected to have blisters pop on your feet, and for them to bleed. And then to feel so much grief and disappointment that you feel as if you can’t feel anything else. And all you want to do is go cuddle up in a blanket with hot chocolate and slippers. And yet, you still move on. And you still find that little ounce of strength and faith that there are people out there. And you push through. And then the Lord pours out blessings upon you, and you finally realize what it is all about. It’s about love. Love for the Savior. Love for this gospel. Love for this people. And once you realize that, any sacrifice is worth it.
2.  Do you get copies of the Ensign to study/read?  Do you each get a conference edition?
We do…but they are not “ours”. They are the apartments. I read some talks from the General Young Women’s Meeting…and it was WONDERFUL. President Uchtdorf and his “journeys” was especially comforting to me. I love the gospel! Haha. Just thought I’d throw that out there. 🙂
I’m still working on that other question. I’ll get it answered eventually.
This week I have been reading about the war chapters in Alma. Can I just say…I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON?! It’s like a movie…but better! Moroni, Helaman, Teancum, Lehi, Pahoron…they are all just so cool! I really love the examples that they set for all of us about persevering and enduring to the end. They also learn from their mistakes.  In Alma 60, Moroni writes this really condescending letter to Pahoron and is super rude about all of their circumstances and what not. Pahoron just promptly forgives him, tells him the situation, and asks for help. Moroni is like “My bad…” and goes to help Pahoron out. These men in the Book of Mormon were human, yet they still had so much faith and courage in their God that nothing could waver them. That means that their tenacity and faithfulness is possible for all of us! We just have to want it. I know that I want it. I’d also like a sword…and a title of liberty…but that might never come. 🙂
Anyways, I gotta go. We have to go clean our house. I. Just. Love. Cleaning. So. Much. 🙂 Happy Birthday to everyone this week! I hope that you days are wonderful and that you eat lots of cake! I’m thinking of you from Canada!
I love you all to Kolob and back! 🙂
Sister Colvin
p.s. You know when I was talking about eating hot chocolate in bed? Ice cream does the trick just fine. 🙂 I even ate it in my sleep. Boo. Apparently I talk A LOT in my sleep…and Sister Wester records it…and makes me do things such as eating ice cream in my sleep. And dancing on the bed. And going to get her water. It’s ridiculous. I think it’s the stress. HAHAHA. At least that’s what we’ll say it is right now.
p.p.s. I LOVE YOU. 🙂

Fighting the good fight!

My wonderful family, friends, and lovely people that I have never met,
I am so excited to be here in Simcoe! I know that transfers were a little while ago, but I really am so grateful to have been entrusted with the care of these people in this area. The Lord must trust me, because this area is a special place! I know that there have been times when I have been discouraged over the work (who knew that opening a new area would be challenging…?) but I have always known that I am meant to be here. I know that I was supposed to be Sister Wester’s companion.We may not know the reasons now, but we will someday. We’ve had quite a few struggles, but we have always worked it out. This branch needed US to help them in their missionary work. I know, without a doubt, that I am meant to be here. How comforting that is to me!
This week has been a wonderfully, amazing, painfully depressing, uplifting week. Kind of ironic, eh? We’ve had so many wonderful things happen in this area. We found 2 new investigators (Jenna and Emily) who have both accepted dates to be baptized! They are really solid investigators. Our other investigators are doing well, they are just “slow cookers” and it might take them a while to commit to a date. We have done SO much tracting/contacting/finding this week. Probably the most that I have done thus far on my mission. It’s been insane. For example, we didn’t have any appointments yesterday…and so we had SEVEN hours to go find people to teach. Hallelu. We made it fun, though. 🙂
I have really seen the Lord’s hand in my personal life this week. As some of you know, I’ve been disappointed in others’ decisions recently. It’s really upset me, and I was being affected by it. But, I turned to the Lord. I asked him to remove these feelings from my heart and my mind. I asked him to help me more fully focus on the work, and not be worried about people that I am close to. What could have torn my heart up…uplifted me! I know that the Lord is aware of each of his children, no matter what point they are at in their life. He loves each one of us, and he wants each one of us to be happy and find joy in this life. No matter how much people hurt us! Turn to the Lord, he knows best! Alma 7:12.
Question Time!
Does the humidity affect my hair?
You bet it does. My nickname is “Ms. Frizz”. So not cool. Sometimes I wish that I could just be bald and be socially acceptable. Hair is so over-rated, eh?
Am I still doing all of the driving?
Yes. And I drive a lot. I get kind of sick of it sometimes, but it’s cool. I feel really bad for Sister Wester, though. Because she is supposed to be driving, but because of a long-standing ticket in the States, she can’t. It’s been difficult to get past. I LOVE OUR SUBARU. I want one when I get home. Ha. We’re so spoiled.
A scripture this week that has strengthened me? Alma 7, Doctrine and Covenants 10:4, Phillipians 4:13, ALL OF THE SCRIPTURES. haha.
I can’t answer the last question this week. I’m going to have to think about it, and I am almost out of time. 🙂
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO EVERYONE! I love you all, and I hope that you have the best day ever! I’ll be thinking about you from Canada. I also sing Happy Birthday to you as well…from Simcoe…haha…I’m a little weird. Just know that I am thinking about ya’ll!
Anyways, my time is running short, just know that I love and care about you all. And, if there is one thing that I know in this life, it is that this gospel is real. If I don’t know anything else, I know that God is there. And that this is Jesus Christ’s church once again restored to this earth by a prophet of God. I know this is true!
Love you all forever and always,
Sister Colvin
p.s…I love you….
p.p.s. I love letters…and I’m selfish…send me letters! 😉