Dearest family and friends that I love, 

We received transfer calls last night. And, even though transfers are hard, I know that there is a bigger purpose behind them. I know that President Scott is inspired from God and that wherever we are sent is where the Lord needs us for specific people, specific experiences, and specific companions. I will not be leaving Kitchener/Waterloo East, but my companion, Sister Mitchell will be. She is not leaving Kitchener, just changing areas and companions. My new companion will be Sister Karly Prescott. WE WERE MTC COMPANIONS. That is very abnormal, and it doesn’t happen very often that you get a companion twice while you’re on your mission, but I am very excited to learn more from Sister Prescott and keep growing this area into what the Lord wants it to be! The Elders (Healey and Ikeda) will be staying in this ward as well. I can’t wait for more funny moments with them! This next transfer is going to be grand, and we are going to see many of God’s souls enter into the waters of baptism! Hurrah for Israel! 
My birthday was last week, and it was so great! Shout out to Sue Umbach for delicious chinese food and spectacular birthday cake! The day was crazy, but it wouldn’t have felt like a birthday if it hadn’t of been a little “out-there”. We taught 6 lessons that day and had a wonderful Coordination meeting that night. Also, we might have decorated Elder Healey’s driving card with Relief Society and My Little Pony stickers. Shhhhhh. Don’t ask. Don’t tell. 🙂 Overall, it was a wonderful day. 
We got to teach a man named Joseph this week. He is from Croatia, and is a total sassy-pants. He has read The Book of Mormon all the way through before, and feels that he has received an answer to his prayers. Apparently, we are a cult. and God told him so. It kinda threw me for a loop, and I really didn’t know how to respond to that. BUT, the Spirit is so awesome. We just laid down the law and told him he wasn’t praying with an open heart and mind and that if he really desired to know if it was true, he would know that it was. Maybe we responded a little sassily? It worked. He came to church this Sunday (which he INSISTS on calling “Mass”…he’s a former Catholic) and really enjoyed it. He has wonderful fellowshippers, and we are planning on setting him with a baptism date this week for October 27th. 
We are also teaching a lovely lady named Rebecca! Rebecca and her family (7 children ranging in age from 4 months to 17 years) are wonderful! They are originally from Sudan but came to Canada about 10 years ago because Rebecca did not want to raise her children in her country because of political unrest. Rebecca has a strong desire to know more about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. She really wants to come to church…but she says she can’t get her children ready in time. Also, the church that she attends now is for people who are from Sudan…and they speak her native tribal tongue (which I can’t even pronounce the name of). It’s kind of a difficult situation to get her to come to church. But her family is so adorable, and they need the gospel so much! We will be setting her with a baptism date for November 3rd this week. 
UPDATE ON DEE! We met with her this week, and it went very poorly. She has been going through a hard time lately (car accident + the anniversary of her brother’s death= not a good week). We thought that the Plan of Salvation would be balm for her troubles, you know? Not so. She just informed us that she was going to attend her Catholic Church and that she didn’t want to confuse her children by bringing them to 2 churches. She said that she was happy with her Catholic faith. I. was. frustrated. Probably the most that I have been in for a while. BUT. There is this awesome member named Leisha that lives in Dee’s apartment building. I guess she went and invited Dee to church on Saturday (without us ever asking her too…what a good member missionary) and DEE CAME TO CHURCH. It was a miracle! Never underestimate what members can do for these investigators! We will be setting Dee with a baptism date this week! For sure! And she will be baptized this transfer! I am planning on it! 🙂 
More updates on more investigators in future emails– Question time! 🙂 
1.  What is the best way for members to support the missionaries in their ward?
Okay. Yes. We do like dinner appointments. But we would be a whole hecka lot happier if you gave us referrals for people who are ready to receive the gospel. Haha. Reach out to the missionaries, ask them when you can go teaching with them. Be a pillar of support for them and also for the people that they are teaching. It makes our job a lot easier when you help our investigators by inviting them to church, giving them cookies, etc. AND be willing to help if we ask. 🙂 Seriously, I’m going to make a conscious effort when I get home to be a FABULOUS member missionary. 
2.  How does the Atonement help us with our daily struggles?
I don’t know how it is for everyone, but when I am struggling (which happens everyday) I just remember that Christ is always with me. He knows what I am going through because of the Atonement. He has suffered what I am suffering, and how comforting that is for me! Why not turn to him for assistance and encouragement? He knows EXACTLY what we are going through, he knows best how to help us. We just have to reach out to him. 
Here is a quote that really helped me this week: 
“Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others of a more serious nature. There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such challenges, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required.” -Thomas S. Monson 
We all need to have patience in our trials and afflictions, and I have especially learned that this week. One of the less-active members that we were working with, Yvonne, passed away on Friday in her sleep. It was very sudden, considering that she was only 43 and had just gotten back from a huge trip in Newfoundland. I didn’t know Yvonne that well, but we had been meeting with her regularly and doing service for her. She had also been coming back to church. I know that she is very happy now, and free from all of her health issues and emotional trauma that she has been through in her life. I am very grateful to have been able to know her and help her come closer to Jesus Christ. We all need to realize that life is full of difficulties and things happen that we aren’t expecting. But cheer up! God is good, and if we have patience, we shall reap rewards that we can hardly imagine. 
I love you all! Have a wonderful week! 
Love always, 
Sister Colvin 

Give me that pizza!

Dear family and friends,
Funny story of the week: On Thursday we REALLY wanted pizza. It was a really long day/week and all we wanted was some ooey-cheesy goodness. So, we called Boston Pizza and placed our order (we were going to have them deliver it because we didn’t have the car that day). A large cheese pizza with ginger ale. Perfect. So Canadian. After being on hold for 20 minutes, the man at that Boston Pizza told us that they didn’t deliver to our area. It was the wrong Boston Pizza. So he gave us the number for the Boston Pizza which would deliver to our apartment, and we called them. We placed our order. Large cheese pizza with ginger ale. That’s all we wanted. We waited for 10 minutes there…and they told us that it was the WRONG Boston Pizza. WE JUST WANT A LARGE CHEESE PIZZA WITH GINGER ALE, PEOPLE! After the third Boston Pizza, we finally got it figured out and we got the pizza…after our dinner hour was over. So we had to wait and eat it after 9:30 at night…so not cool. But, oh my goodness, did that pizza taste wonderful.
This week we discovered that in our apartment we have a dehumidifier.  It is like a humidifier, but it does the opposite thing. It sucks all of the wet nasty stuff right out of the air. My companion and I got the thing all set up and turned it on in our bedroom for the day and shut the door. When we got home for the evening, we walked into our room and I cannot remember anything tasting so good as that cool, dry air–not even chocolate. The next day, when we went to set it back up and the machine started flashing lights and making very loud beeping noises at us. I started playing around with different buttons and knobs, when I pulled out a little black rubber plug and about a gallon of water came whooshing out of the machine and onto our wood floor. Apparently all of that water that gets sucked out of the air has to go somewhere, and that somewhere needs to be drained occasionally. 
We had a ward picnic last Saturday, which was really great and also hilarious. The pinnacle of the picnic was the tug-of-war at the end. The bishopric and the ward executive secretary and clerk challenged any six men to a tug-of-war. So, Elder Healey grabbed Elder Ikeda and volunteered for the team. 
“Where are we going?” -Elder Ikeda 
“To do the tug-of-war.” -Elder Healey 
“What is tug-of-war?” -Elder Ikeda 
Everybody mischievously laughs.The elders and the other men on the team won.Then it was time for Relief Society against the bishopric.We almost lost, because the bishop, who weighs easily 400 pounds, just wrapped the rope around his belly and sat down. Which is cheating. But with a little help from some of the Elders’ Quorum, we still won.
We are teaching Dee, a friend of a member Julie Dugnus, and Dee’s 9-year-old daughter Avery. They have come to church two weeks in a row and have been coming to activities regularly as well. They are currently Catholic, but Dee likes the environment of the LDS church a lot. Julie has been working with her for a long time, and we are pretty sure it’s her time! We are so excited about her. She is going through a hard time right now, but she has really found hope through her faith in Jesus Christ and the Atonement. She was in a car accident this week (darn it, Satan) so we haven’t been able to meet with her in a couple of days, but she is wonderful!
We also started teaching an Indian born-again-Christian family, Gene and Padma. They are so cute, and have a lot of questions about prophets, which they believe in already. They have a really hard time grasping the concept that God’s work is not complete. The Plan of Salvation is going to be a struggle. We read 2 Nephi 29 with them and the idea of God speaking to all of his people was really important to them. He works out of the country, so it is really hard to catch them, but we are meeting with them this week. Teaching families is wonderful!
We are teaching Farman still. He is from Iran, but has practically lived EVERYWHERE in the world. He lived in Russia for 6 years, because I guess he had to leave Iran for political reasons (he was living there when 9/11 happened). He said that it is/was very messy. He speaks many languages, and English is the one that he wants to learn next. We have been teaching him from the Book of Mormon Stories book, and he has really been feeling the Spirit!  He has also been to church twice, which is normally a huge barrier, so we are really happy about that. When we first met with him, he had the Book of Mormon and the Gospel Principles book both in Persian and English. He definitely has some hard-core real intent and has accepted a baptismal date for October 20th! Hurrah for Israel!
We are teaching more of the elect, but each week I’ll highlight a few of them! I’m very grateful for the people that I have been given the opportunity to teach in Kitchener/Waterloo East. This area has been a blessing and a boon to me, even though I’ve been tested beyond what I’ve ever thought that I would be as a missionary. Who knew that being a missionary was difficult?!
1.  Now that you are 1/3 of the way done with your mission,  what is the best advice you would give to others preparing to go?
Please before you go on a mission, make sure that you really want to go. Going on a mission is a sacred experience, and if you are out here with only the idea that you want to impress people at home, or get into BYU, or anything along those lines, you will shortchange your mission. You will not be able to fully grow as the Lord wants you to, and you will not be able to help the people that you have stewardship over as much. Now, don’t get me wrong, people can change. And I wish that everybody could serve a mission because I am being continually molded into the woman that I know the Lord needs me to become. I wish everybody could have this experience. Don’t take it for granted!   2.  Have you seen any miracles lately? 
Define what a miracle is. I see them everyday. When I get up in the morning, that is most definitely a miracle– that I am able to get up that early and still function as a normal human being. When we have food in the cupboard…that’s a miracle. When people smile at us on the bus, and we talk to them and get their phone number/address…definitely a miracle. When we feel protected by the Lord every hour of the day. Miracles are everywhere when you are a missionary, you just need the right attitude, and you will find them.
So, this week I will turn 20! Can you even believe it? I feel as if time goes by so slow, but so incredibly quickly at the same time. It’s hard to believe that next birthday I will be 21…and not on a mission. Which is so odd to me, because that was the plan all along! Go on a mission when you’re 21, come home, go to school, wahoo! I guess the Lord had different plans for me than what I had for myself. Isn’t that how it always works?!
One quote that has really helped me this week :
In the great Composer’s symphony, you have your own particular part to play–your own notes too sing. Fail to perform them, and with certainty the symphony will go on. But if you rise up and join the chorus and allow the power of God to work through you, you will see the windows of heaven open. Rise up to your true potential as a child of God!” ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf
 I know that we each have our own individual parts to play in the symphony of life. Just as President Uchtdorf says, RISE UP TO YOUR TRUE POTENTIAL. Do those things that will help you be part of that symphony. Read your scriptures. Pray daily. Sacrifice for the Lord. Show others that you are a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Become who the Lord needs you to become! Don’t be afraid of trials. We all have a purpose in this life, so go out and find it. I know that the Lord will sustain you through your righteous efforts. I know that he loves us and wants us to find true joy and happiness in our life! Our biggest obstacle in finding happiness is ourselves…allow yourself to feel happiness and peace! Or else…I will come angrily from Canada and give you a smack on the head. Haha.
Anyways, I really do love you all, and I think and pray for you each and every day of the week! Peace and Blessings from Kitch-Wat!
Love always,
Sister Colvin
p.s. Happy Birthday to Savannah Kashow! I hope your day is wonderful! Love you!

Blonde moments!

Dearest Family, Friends, and people that I am sure are wonderful,
Funny/Interesting/Strange Stories of the week: So…my natural hair color really showed itself this week as I said many blonde comments and did some really silly things. For example, there is a recent convert that likes to meet at cafes. We went to this pretty nice, chill, cafe and ordered a late breakfast. No big deal, right? Except…when the waiter asked me how I liked my eggs I looked at him and said…”Not runny. Preferably cooked.” I wasn’t even trying to be a smart-aleck or anything like that. He looked at me strangely and said…”So…scrambled…?” And I said…”Sure, why not?”  Yea. It was a little embarrassing.
Other than my perpetual, doomed, blonde moments, this week has been really rewarding. I know that I have definitely seen the Lord’s hand with this work in this area. We have some wonderful investigators that are some of my favorite people in this world! Dee and her daughter Avery (remind me of Aunt Angie and Brittany Kashow), Kcoasst (grass-eating guy), Joseph (quirky Croatian), Mohammed (loving father who is from Sudan), Farman (we’re teaching him English…he’s from Iran) and some others that I don’t even know how on earth to describe. 🙂 They are all teaching me valuable life lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life. I can’t wait for you all to meet them someday!
1.  How are you preparing for General Conference?  
I AM SO EXCITED. Seriously, it’s like Christmas and birthdays combined for missionaries! But, I wrote down some things that I am struggling with/questions that I have, and I have been praying that they will be answered as we listen to the Prophet and Apostles speak. I almost always receive the answers I need when I follow this process. I would encourage you all to do the same!     2.  How have you felt the hand of the Lord in your life this week?  
I have felt the hand of the Lord in my life in many instances this week. Mostly in the day-to-day conversations and the beautiful weather! 
Anyways, I love you all, and I hope that you are doing well! Be happy! Smile! Life is good. 
Love always, 
Sister Colvin  

Short and sweet…

Dearest friend and family,
Funny/Ironic story of the week: My anxiety about riding busses. I am terrible at it. I will not lie or mince words. I love talking to people, but the actual process of getting on a bus and stressing about what stop to get off of…kills me. I can barely handle it. One particular instance jumps out in my mind…this last week we have been bussing A LOT because even though we share a car with the Elders, they got the car this week because they had appointments,etc. I’m not complaining. It was about 8 o’clock at night and we missed our bus. Gr. We had to wait an extra half an hour until the next bus comes. So we talk to people, make some phone calls, you know, do what missionaries do. We then get on the bus…and it’s the right bus…but it’s going the WRONG DIRECTION. Boo. We had to walk home. In the pouring rain. At night. Not really funny, more pathetic, but hey. Those of you who have a car…COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS. 🙂
This week has been a wonderfully, uplifting, spiritual week. We have had Zone Conference and Zone Training and Exchanges! Holy toledo! Major blessings/excitement right there! I don’t have hardly any time to talk about it, the work is definitely moving forward in the Kitchener/Waterloo East area! 
Sorry that this is so short, I PROMISE that next week ( 5 days from now) it will be longer. I love you all! “Keep on trucking!” 
Sister Colvin