A nice, normal missionary week

Dearest family and friends, 

 
This week…nothing *really* eventful happened. Besides…General Conference…but you know…living day Prophets, Seers, and Revelators speaking to the whole world on exactly what God wants us to hear…no big deal, right? 
 
I guess the first item of business is…BUSES! How much fun are they? #sarcasm But anyways, I actually do like them because we get to talk to a lot of people. We just get ourselves into some pretty funny situations. For example, we needed to get off at a certain stop to be home at 9PM. So, I was at the middle of the bus, talking to some punk teenager, and Sister Rogers was more towards the front talking to this very nice Filipino lady. We needed to get off on the Elm Drive Stop….and so…I pulled the lever for the bus to stop. And I start to get off the bus, fully intending on Sister Rogers following me…but she just stayed on the bus and continued  talking to whomever she was talking to. I realized that, and quickly hopped on the bus again. I said her name…”Sister!” “Sister Rogers!” And then feeling super desperate, “Lachelle!”(that is her first name). Her response? She didn’t flinch or even recognize that I was trying to get her attention……..HA! The only way to get her attention was to walk up to her and look her straight in the eyes and say, “Sister. We missed our stop. We need to get off…NOW.” Ha. She felt pretty bad about it, but we got it figured out. We just had to run home…literally. 
 
Navraj continues to make my mouth drop. Literally. We taught her the Word of Wisdom yesterday and she used to have alcohol, coffee, and tea, but due to a surgery she had, the medication she took required her to not touch those things for a year and so she does not have them anymore. You can see how the Lord has been preparing her for this.(paragraph..courtesy of Sister Rogers) I am getting way too lazy with my emails home. I promise to be better! 😉 
 
I loved General Conference! I really learned so much and gained so much inspiration from the messages that were given. Everyone should go and watch it! 
 
Anyways, I love you all! Have a wonderful week! 
 
Love, 
Sister Colvin  
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A great couple of weeks…

Okay, everybody. Calm down. I’m alive. 

 
 I’m sorry that it’s been a few weeks since you’ve heard from me. There has been some crazy junk going on! I will try and let you know all about my new area, companion, and investigators as best as I can! 
 
1. Mississauga South! Let’s just say that we live in downtown Mississauga = a lot of people and a lot of funny stories. We live in a high-rise apartment building that has one bedroom and that always smells like Indian Food. We have a clear view to these two buildings–that I guess are pretty famous? They call them the “Twisty Towers” (or the “Marilyn Monroe buildings”…if you’re not a missionary…haha). There are a multitude of foreign grocery stores around us that we shop regularly at on our Preparation Day. I’ve met people from over 60 different countries…and I don’t think that will settle down anytime soon. We will be losing the blessing of having a car this week, and will be moving to the busing system! We will be able to talk to a lot more people and to be able to constantly be planning on when to have appointments, etc. It should be really interesting. Hopefully it gets a little bit warmer soon…so that WE DON’T DIE OF BEING COLD ALL THE TIME. 🙂 Hehe. The ward is very supportive of missionaries…as in…we have 4 sets of us! It makes for some fun moments and a whole lot of confusion when it comes down to who we can and who we can’t visit in the ward. It’s a little frustrating at times, but I’m learning how to have more patience with people and their actions. I really like a lot of things about this area. And let’s face it, the things that I don’t like about this area…the Lord will teach me to like! 🙂 We also post Kijiji ads (think…EBAY) and so we get quite a few referrals for people wanting free bibles, etc. It’s fun to *almost* be a technology missionary. 🙂 
 
2. Sister Rogers = My new companion! She is from Sammamish, Washington–just outside of Seattle! She is a dancer and is absolutely so funny! She went to BYU and got accepted to the Nursing Program right before she came on her mission. She is probably…the nicest person that I have ever known. She legitimately has no unselfish desires and would never do anything to hurt anybody. She is very selfless and has a really good heart. I like being her companion. We get along really well and we have the same goals in life–which makes conversations a whole lot easier! 🙂 
 
I guess there is really no other “information” that you would want about the area, BUT we have had some awesome experiences in the last couple weeks that have really helped me grow! Here we go…
 
1. Elder David A. Bednar, Bishop Dean M. Davies, and 2 members from the Quorum of the Seventy came and instructed this mission. Just imagine the spirit in that room. Over 300 Missionaries, that had all fasted to receive answers and revelation for themselves and their investigators, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and other inspired men from the Lord that were given inspiration on how to  direct this mission. What a once in a lifetime opportunity! I truly did gain knowledge on how to more effectively direct my life. I really did feel the Spirit so strong! It was an incredible experience. 
 
2. THE TEMPLE…I GOT TO GO.I was so excited to go!  I hadn’t been able to go to the temple in over a year. I really did forget how much of a beautiful place it really is. It truly is a house of the Lord. I made a promise to myself that I would attend the temple as often as I could when I get home. It is something that I hope to accomplish. We truly do make covenants with the Lord when we enter into his temple. 
 
3. Miracle Investigator! 
 
So. Let me tell you about…Navraj. Think…Zelda…times 10. Let me tell you her story…thus far. 
 
a-We called a referral from Kijiji named Lily. She had requested free DVD’s about Jesus Christ. She didn’t answer her phone, and we didn’t leave a message because we thought that we could call her back later that night. This random number calls us, and we think “Oh! It’s Lilly!” So, Sister Rogers answers the phone and says, “Hello Lilly!” There was this awkward pause on the phone…and we realized that no one had responded. The woman on the phone said, “How on earth did you know my name was Lilly…?” We were like…”Uh… Pardon?” She explained to us that her name was Navraj and that she had requested missionaries on mormon.org. She was calling us to confirm that we had gotten that information. Uh…that never happens. So we were super confused. Turns out that her Dad had called her “Lilly” when she was a little girl and that it had been her pet name. And we had just called her that…by accident. Weird situation number one. 
 
b-Weird situation number two. She is dating a member of the church that lives in Virginia. But, early on in their relationship, they had decided not to talk about religion because either of them did not want to feel pressured or pushed to go in to anything that they didn’t want to. Navraj has looked in to EVERY religion possible on the planet, and eventually decided to look into the LDS church. But she didn’t want her to boyfriend to know, until last weekend! She went to go and visit him in Washington D.C. and then she waited in the lobby of the temple while he went to go and do an endowment session. She talked with the temple workers for the entire duration of the session about the church and the significance behind the Restoration. 
 
c- She told her boyfriend that she would like a copy of the Book of Mormon, because she didn’t know where to find one. She asked him to bring it for her when they met up in Washington D.C….well…he forget (typical…lol!) and she was a little upset. They were driving to the temple, and lo and behold, they saw two missionaries walking along the side of the street. She tells her boyfriend to stop…maybe they have a copy of The Book of Mormon? They did. And she has been reading far into it…she is in Mosiah right now. 
 
d- She has had dreams about the sealing room and other sacred ordinances done in the temple ever since she was a little girl. But, she had no idea what they were until she talked with the temple workers a couple of weeks ago. Weird Situation Number Four. 
 
e-Sister Rogers and I were sitting in Sacrament Meeting yesterday and I just got this STRONG impression that we should invite Navraj to be baptized on April 20, 2014–Easter Sunday. I second guessed myself for probably half an hour. That is one of the only times on my mission when I have felt that I have “wrestled” with the Spirit. I told Sister Rogers what I was feeling, and we decided to just see how the lesson went ( we met with her later that day). It was a fair decision. When we went to go and see her later that night, I got SUPER intimidated when I met her for the first time. She’s about 6 feet tall, super trim, Indian and basically looks like a Bollywood Movie Star! We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she said about the whole thing, “I have heard this before. Before I came to earth, this was taught to me by my Heavenly Father. I remember this.” Our mouths dropped. Her next comment? “Also, whatever happens in the temples, was I taught that before I came here to earth as well?” Um. Yes. What a miracle. And this is the kicker. We invited her to be baptized, and she said ABSOLUTELY. And so we were so happy and were about to set a goal to be baptized and promise her blessings. And then she said…” Sisters. *pause* I just feel like I need to be baptized on Easter…” I started to cry. I really truly felt the Spirit testify to me that this was HER time. The Lord is truly in charge, and we are just instruments in his hands. 
 
f-I truly feel that I was put into this area to meet Navraj and to realize that the Lord is preparing people for us all over the world and at different times. 
 
Well, everyone, that is about it. I have been really blessed to be able to know all of you. You have changed my life! I love you! 
 
Love, 
Sister Colvin 
 

Transfer!

Dearest family and friends, 

 
The AWFUL time has come. I’m leaving the blessed land of Kitchener-Waterloo. This place has become holy ground for me. I’ve learned and grown so much from the people here and the companions that I have had. It is heartbreaking to leave, but I realize that it is necessary for me to grow and to learn. I really have created so many relationships here that will last for years….and I hope for the eternities! 
 
I will be going to Mississauga South with Sister Rogers. More information next week. 
 
We really don’t have a lot of time to email this week. 
 
I love you all! 
 
Love, 
Sister Colvin 
 
p.s. Pray for me! 

An exciting week!

Dearest family and friends, 

 
What an exciting week! Many things have happened in Canada and many things have happened in Rexburg, Idaho. I guess we’ll start at the beginning…
 
1. Ethan was baptized! I seriously was so blessed to have been able to know him and to help him be able to be baptized. There were moments when we didn’t know if he was ready, but time and time again,he proved us wrong. The baptism service was really beautiful and so special for him! We did a little video slideshow of him and his life, and he LOVED It. Funny thing happened as well, when Ethan walked into the font he said quite loudly, “You told me that it was going to be hot!” (in reference to the water). IT was SO funny. So Grateful that I could be here for his baptism. 
 
2. Zone Conference! We had a really neat experience in London, Ontario (about 1.5 hours away from here). I love being instructed by President and Sister Scott and the AP’s. They really are inspired and I always learn so much. It was also a big blessing to be inside all day! This area of Ontario was hit with extreme white-outs–pretty scary stuff. We are very grateful to have not been on the roads at that time. The Lord really does bless his missionaries. 
 
3. My little baby brother, Adam, got his mission call to Brasil Maceió Mission! He will be learning Portuguese and leaves on July 2nd…a mere month and a half before I get home! But, I am so excited for him! He will be SUCH A good missionary, and the people of Brasil are so lucky to have him. Another fun fact, we baptized a Brazilian family last November, and as soon as I found out, we called them up! Turns out, that one of their uncles used to be the Mission President for the mission that Adam is going to! They say that it is SUPER DUPER hot, but the people are so friendly and kind and will always give you food. 😉 I’ll have to record them saying something in Portuguese or something like that. It is crazy how small the world is. 🙂 Anyways, I am SO proud of you Adam. July will be here before you know it! 🙂 
 
That is really everything of importance that happened this week. I’m just very grateful to be here and to be in this area (at least for another week) 🙂 
 
I hope that you all have a fantastic week! I love you! 
 
Love, 
Sister Colvin 

Mission Brain

Dearest family and friends, 

 
Honestly? I’m just trying to come up with something to write this week. This week was so good, i just can’t even remember what happened! I guess my “mission brain” is kicking in this week. 
 
Janet and Norm were confirmed–it was absolutely beautiful! They really have just grasped everything about the gospel.Norm has read the whole Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants and most of the Teaching of the Prophets manuals ( this is a man that wouldn’t even talk with us 3 months ago). He smoked for 50+ years…and he just gave it all up because he knew that it was true. Absolutely incredible! Janet is Aboriginal and is so sensitive to the Spirit and loves everything about the gospel. Their number one goal is to get to the temple. Seriously…how much cooler does it get than this? Answer: It doesn’t. 
 
Ethan is still strong for baptism this Saturday–and we are so excited! He really does know more than most adults about the gospel, and he is so ready to be baptized! 🙂 
 
We had a neat experience last night. Some members in the ward invited their friends over to have dinner and to have a gospel discussion. Their friends are FIRM Mennonites and told us straight up that they wouldn’t change. Intimidating, eh? The member told them at the beginning that he did not want the spirit of contention in his house, and that we would not bible bash. Period. These people were pretty good, but there were some points where they were quoting the bible…and we couldn’t really respond with anything else but our testimonies. We were there…for a while…and it made me realize a couple of things. 1. This church is so true. It makes perfect logical sense. 2.I really have grown so much in the past year. If you had told me a year ago that I would be teaching the Restoration to 3 people who were devout in their faith and knew more than their preachers…I would have said “HECKA NO”. But, now look? The Lord really has blessed Sister Prescott and me to be able to testify and teach about the gospel. Serious blessings, people. 
 
I’m really looking forward to this next week! We will be having Zone Conference and Zone Training! I’m sure that I will learn some stuff! 🙂 
 
I’m so grateful for you all! I hope that you have a wonderful day. 🙂 
 
Love, 
Sister Colvin 

Eleven Monday holidays…

Dearest family and friends,
 
Let me begin with saying that there are ELEVEN Monday Holidays in this land they call Canada.  I mean…that’s all fine and dandy you know, until we realize that we must still proselyte on holidays…and our Pdays are pushed back until the next day. Really…long weekends are totally nice when you have a job…but NOT for when you’re a missionary. The holiday yesterday was called “Family Day” and it happens  once a year…people are supposed to spend time with their families and not work. How interesting….it’s called FAMILY HOME EVENING PEOPLE. By all means, please spend time with your family for more than once a year. But hey, as Sister Prescott says…”Not my pig. Not my farm.” Pdays will always eventually come around. 🙂
 
We were so blessed this week to be able to see Janet and Norm be baptized! I honestly did not think that I would be here to see it happen. It was a beautiful service! It started with a prayer and then Sister Prescott, the Primary President and I with a bunch of Primary kids got up and sang “I am a Child of God”. It was a total surprise to Janet and Norm, and they love the little kids  in the church! They were crying all the way through, and I must admit that I got a little teary myself. It was a special moment and the Spirit was so strong! We had a talk on baptism, and then they were baptized! Janet described it as being so full of light and happiness after she was baptized! Norm said that he felt an internal calm and how he just wants more and more information. They are absolutely incredible! I told another Sister that if I didn’t see any more baptisms while I am on my mission, it would be okay, because I got to see Janet and Norm’s. They really have been so special to me and they have changed my life. They will be my friends for eternity!
 
Max (who was just baptized a few weeks ago) will be receiving the Aaronic Priesthood and will be ordained to the office of Priest next week! This is such an exciting time to be a missionary! This work is definitely hastening and moving forward. And Max…he’s just super cool! 🙂 I’ve also been infinitely blessed to have been able to know him. Man, sometimes it’s just so hard to think about how much that we’ve been given. I really owe SO much to God.
 
Our year mark was super exciting. We had cupcakes and burnt this nasty old hockey jersey at a member’s home. It was SO fun. It’s still so hard to believe that it’s been so long since I’ve been in ‘Merica. Oh well. I better enjoy my time in Canada now. 🙂
 
We had another exchange this past week. I went to Brantford with Sister Stats (who was also trained by Sister Wester). It was an interesting day! Sister Stats hasn’t been in Brantford that long, and at times, she looked at me and said “You know more about this place than I do.” Okay. Yea. Maybe. I’ve been on quite a few exchanges there! 🙂 We got to have dinner at the Stake President’s house and we taught quite a few lessons. It’s neat to be able to share your testimony with people who you probably won’t ever see again…just because you want to share it ALL with them and help them feel how important it is to you. I also had a few fun moments, there have been some members from Simcoe that have moved to Brantford for various reasons, and I got to see them! When we were planning, I was looking at the ward list, and I recognized names on there! So that’s where we went! It was almost like being back in Simcoe again! 🙂
 
All in all, it’s been a pretty astounding week. We hit the Standards of Excellence again, we witnessed 2 baptisms, and we were fed every single night this week. HAHA. Let me tell you, Sister Prescott and I are getting pretty good at being fed. 🙂 Sister Prescott has taught me well.
 
Anyways, I hope that y’alls weeks were grand and that you didn’t miss me too much on Valentine’s Day! 😀
 
I love you! Stay warm!
 
Love,
Sister Colvin

One-year Anniversary

Dearest family, friends, and lovely people, 

 
Cute story of the Week: Our Ward Mission Leader’s granddaughter has given us a name…we are now the “Misha-fairies”. Mostly it’s just because she can’t pronounce “Missionaries” but I think that it’s so stinkin’ cute.I think that should be the official name right now. It’s much more fitting. 
 
So, here’s something that will blow your mind. One year ago, today, I was set-apart as a missionary by President Erickson. I gave my farewell talk one year ago yesterday, and I will have gone into the MTC exactly one year ago on Wednesday. WHAT THE HECK?! So much has happened over the past year, and at times, it’s been slower than molasses, but it’s been SO speedy at the same time. I’ve definitely learned a lot, and grown so much as a person. I still have so much more to learn, but now I realize that I don’t have to learn *everything* I need to know for the rest of my life on my mission! This whole mortal experience is a growing experience, and I will continue to learn at home and throughout my life! 
 
Janet and Norm are doing so miraculously well! They both passed their baptism interviews last night, and are fully prepared to be baptized next week. Their conversion story has really changed the way that I do missionary work. Their examples of faith and courage I will always remember. I fully intend on coming back to Canada when they go through the temple for the first time. They are planning a trip as well to go and see Utah and Idaho in a couple of years. THAT will be cool. I’m just so blessed to have seen them change and work towards baptism! They will see so many blessings in their lives when they are baptized! Excited to see them continue to grow and share the gospel with their friends and family! 
 
Do you want to know my least favorite thing about missionary work? Seeing people get into Anti-mormon Material. I HATE ANTI. It is legitimately of Satan. okay. Rant over. Just stay out of it. 
 
There is this 12 year old boy, Ethan that lives with his Grandma(she has full custody of him) and he has refused to be baptized for a while now.  He goes to church every single week, he just hasn’t been baptized. He is a very sweet kid, but with some social anxiety and some learning disabilities. BUT, because Sister Prescott and I have been here for so long, he is finally opening up to us and acknowledging our existence (which is a big deal, let me tell ya). We sat down and talked with him seriously last week and he committed to be baptized on March 1st! That was seriously one of the biggest miracles that I have seen on my mission. I realize how much my former job helped me teach him as well (I worked with kids and adults with disabilities). The Lord definitely prepares us for other times in our lives! I thank Heavenly Father that I am having these experiences! 
 
Anyways, I better go, but I love you all! 
 
Go Team U.S.A.! Win those golds! I mean, I guess Canada is pretty cool too… 😉 
 
Happy Valentine’s Day! 
 
Love, 
Sister Colvin 

New roomies

Dearest family and friends, 

 
This has been possibly one of the most stressful weeks on my mission. Not because we weren’t successful and didn’t find people to teach, I just feel like there were just so many little things that just decided to pop up! Random things that we really had no control over. I think the the Lord definitely was trying to teach me a lesson on patience and humility. For example, we received a call during a lesson from the Zone Leaders, Elder Parker and Prochnow. They informed us that we were having another set of Sisters moving in to our apartment. We rushed back from our lesson and tried to make our apartment be able to fit another dresser, 2 beds, 2 desks and 2 more bodies. 🙂 It was massively successful, but it was a little bit crazy. They then moved in…with all of their stuff! SO much stuff! But, it it actually quite a bit of fun to be around more sisters! We talk about some pretty wild things. It’s like being in college! But…more fun! 
 
We have definitely seen some awesome things happen this week! I’m grateful to be out on a mission! I’m just glad that today is our “day of rest” as missionaries. It’s time to refocus my brain! 😉 
 
I love you all! Feel free to write me letters! 😉 
 
Love, 
Sister Colvin 

No transfer!!!!!!

Dearest family, friends, and wonderful people,  

1) Sister Prescott and I are not being transferred out of Kitchener/Waterloo. Glory be.
2) We had a baptism! Max decided to enter into that covenant with God! He was an absolute miracle The YSA (Young Single Adult) Elders had brought a guy with them to the talent show that they had been teaching for about a week. His name is Max.  His story is that he always drives by the church and he was wondering what it was all about so he looked up the number and called. They asked if he was a “single adult” and he said yes so they told him what time to go to church on Sunday and what building.  He went to church on Sunday, met the Elders and they starting teaching him. Now Max is from Nigeria and looks like he is 24 so… the Elders didn’t even bother asking his age . But when  Sister Prescott was talking to him Saturday  she asked him when he came to Canada, he said 7 years ago.  Then she asked him how old he was when he came to Canada and he said, 30.  Sister Prescott just looked at Elder Lasley (the YSA Elder) and then looked back to Max, and Elder Lasley goes, “wait… how old are you??” So… basically Max can’t go to the YSA ward. We told him he has to go to the family ward and he was totally ok with it.  So that was a serious blessing. And then he was baptized…Miracles are definitely a part of this work! 
3) We reached the Standards of Excellence again! The Lord seriously just keeps blessing us! I am so grateful to be a witness to it!
4)The crazy amount of snow…that is seriously a miracle that the sky could produce that much precipitation. Seriously. It was up to my knees. 

 
 
5)People prounounce “Hurricane, Utah”…”Hurrikin, Utah”. That’s bizarre. 
 
6) The fact that I am feeling so much better! Yea for colds that go away! 
 
7)Being a missionary is really such a joy! I am excited to see what else I need to learn. 🙂 
 
Love always, 
Sister Colvin 

Lessons learned.

Dearest family, friends, and wonderful people in my life! 
 
To begin this blog post, I’ve been collecting these points on things you learn while you are on a mission: 
  1. Living in an apartment building is actually not nearly as glamorous as it seems on television. In real life: neighbors have loud parties until three in the morning and elevators smell bad and the fire alarms are almost always being tested during study time.
  2. Chair soccer is the worst.
  3. What I thought was cold is actually not cold. On a related note, what I thought was a heavy coat is not, in fact, an actual heavy coat.
  4. You know how those old 1950s movies about the Ten Commandments and stuff make the Bible look interesting? It’s actually way more interesting when you decide to read it. ESPECIALLY the Old Testament.
  5. Planners are not just for old people.
  6. It is actually possible to eat too many cookies in one day.
  7. When you are walking down a street or a hallway and someone is about to pass you and you pull out your phone to make a fake call or send a fake text so as to avoid them, you are really not fooling anyone. It’s pretty obvious.
  8. Sunday is actually the best day of the week.
  9. Google is awesome. Don’t ever take it for granted.
  10. You really don’t need to ever shop anywhere besides the dollar store, Walmart, and a good thrift store.
  11. Pop music is awful. As is Facebook.
  12. Mail is so much better than email. 
  13. Naps are actually precious. 
  14. Rice and Mountain Dew are not a sufficient dinner. Neither is ice cream and corn. Neither is green beans and macaroni and cheese. Just buy fruit. And carrots. 
  15. The gospel actually applies to everyone’s lives. No matter what. 
This week has been so crazy full of miracles! I don’t even have time to write them all down! I think that I’ll number them…sorry for all of the numbering today. 🙂 
 
      1.Janet and Norm are as amazing as ever. They are still on fire. 
      2. Random YSA investigators that actually turn out to be 37 and want to be baptized. and we           get handed an investigator that’s completely progressing and will be baptized SO soon. 
      3. Teaching 10 INVESTIGATOR lessons this past week. 
      4. Reaching the Standards of Excellence for a second week in a row. 
      5. Seeing my testimony grow as I read the scriptures and “Jesus the Christ” (such a good               book!) 
      6. Getting letters from Em and Britt Kashow! MADE MY DAY! 😉 
      7. Watching this video with Janet and Norm : http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=911029448001 
      8. Feeling so much peace when I think about the future. THAT’S a miracle. 
      9. Finding new people to teach…!!! 
     10. Being able to demonstrate Christlike love to some crazy people in Canada. 🙂 
 
So many wonderful things are happening in this area and these people are just on fire for the gospel! I have been so blessed to know all of these people! And to be able to elp them in some way feel the Spirit more in their lives. Transfers are next week…and if everybody prays that I stay…I would appreciate that. 🙂 But if that’s not where the Lord needs me, I will go where he wants me to go…Except for Timmins. I don’t want to be that far north. 🙂 LOL. 
 
Shout out to my friend–Erin! I LOVE YOU! Get feeling better. 🙂 
 
Anyways, I am so happy! I honestly do love being a missionary! It’s by FAR the hardest thing that I’ve ever done in my life, but it has been so worth it. Thank you all for supporting me, and helping me feel that I have people that “got my back”. Grateful for you all! 
 
Love always, 
Sister Me