Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November 25, 2013 -- Primera Semana en Espanol

Dear Familia,

I am SO Grateful today for your WONDERFUL emails and everything.  They make me SO happy and feel so blessed.  At this season of Thanksgiving I'm so grateful for y'all.  Sometimes I look back and just say, Man I'm sorry my famliy had to put up with me.  But I'll be better when I return, promise! :)
Entonces!  This week was BUENO!  Many missionaries left, and we got three new here, and Hna Button and I moved into a new apartment!  I may have told you a l'ill about Hna Button before, but oh well, she is 22, and from Wenatchee, Washington.  She wants to be a cop or Swap Medic when she returns, and loves trucks and hunting.  She is one of the most people-loving people I've ever met, so we get along great, and the members wherever she goes LOVE her.  I've learned a lot from being her companion and look forward to continuing!
So we've really just been getting to know the people of Barrio Rocky Face this week.  They are so so sweet, and humble, and want to serve the Lord.  They are also excited to have Sisters for the first time ever, which is fun.  On Saturday we got to have dinnner with our Bishop Torres.  He is younger and has the 5 cutest kids in the world.  The ward is filled with many sweet families, many of whom want to help us learn Spanish so that is great.

La unica problema is that our Espanol is not great yet!  And most of the ward members' English is better than our Spanish, so it's easier to just communicate in English, but this is not the way we learn!  So it's a little discouraging.  I know that it's up to me to learn, and I make that choice, but sometimes it still feels like no matter how hard I study and try, I still can't communicate what I want to say.
So that will just be a matter of prayer, and effort and time.  We have an investigator, Luis, who really wants to get baptized.  He comes to church, schedules visits with us, and listens to the Book of Mormon every day.  But, he is waiting for divorce papers to go through, and they could come through any day-- tommorow or next year, and so we are praying hard for that to happen.  He desires to be baptized so much, and we want that for him as well!  Tonight we have an appointment with a man, Everardo, who's wife is less active and when we were visiting her the other night, he became interested. 

There are many other potential investigators, and many many Hispanics here in Dalton that need the gospel, but it's hard when neither of us speak the language very well!
However, this trial has really helped us as a companionship grow more unified in our desires and goals, and helped me learn more about the Atonement.  It really does have a power to change us and our desires, and keeping covenants can make those changes permanent. 
Por Favor pray for us and the people of this area! 
LOVE y'all and pray for you every single night!!

Love, Hermana Collier

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 18, 2013 -- Voy a habla en espanol toda dia!!

HOLA familia!!!  

Gracias for your wonderful letters and emails and love!!

OK.  So.  First of all Haley and Kaley.  So we had their baptism date all set, it was last Saturday,  Mom was super excited, the girls were excited, all was fine and dandy right? 
Well therees this little thing called the adversary.  We got a call on thursday, turns out the mom had made some mistakes that week, and she'll be, well, gone, for a month.  We can't baptize them without their mom there, so we cancelled it! 

It was VERY sad, especially because they were all so excited, and everyone had been praying for them so hard.  But they'll continue being taught as they live at a family friends house so it's ok.

On Friday, we had transfer calls. I wasnt expecting anything at all!  But they said Sister Collier and Sister Button are moving!!  We had a slight suspicion though, that they were going to take out the two Elders from the Spanish ward and whitewash the area with Hermanas, so we called the Assistants to see if we needed to haul all our things to transfers in Knoxville, or if we should just change apartments,and they affirmed that we'd be moving to the Spanish ward.  So Hermana Button and I are going to the Rocky Face Spanish ward, and Sister Malloy will be staying in our apartment and training a new Hermana from the CCM!

So, I will be teaching, talking, preaching ESPANOL this transfer!!  I am excited but also VERY nervous.  We are taking over some investigators that have progressed a LOT and mine and my companion's spanish is VERY limited.  Not to mention many of the ward members speak only Spanish, and it will just be very interesting!!!  But I do know that the Lord will help us.  I do trust in Him!  This will be a great oppurtunity to refocus and set goals.  The lesson: Be careful what you pray for, cause you just might get it.

In other news, it was a great week, we went out to see a less active family and took a team-up that had been friends with the family for a while.  You know you're in the south when your team up swears at the less active family whilst telling them to come to church, and then repents in the prayer.  That being said, this family DID show up yesterday!  We had 4 investigators and a several inactives come on Sunday which was such a blessing.
 Jonathan and Felicia our investigators, also came  which we were not expecting!  Felicia really, really likes church, and basically told us the other night she wants to be baptized.  Jonathan, on the other hand, understands like it ALL, he comprehends the doctrine really well, but is really scared to take the step of faith.  It is really hard to watch these two, she who wants to just get married and be baptized, and he who seems to know it's true but isnt' quite willing to dive in so suddenly.  I am definetely saddest about not being able to teach them anymore, Felicia is just a year older than me and weve become great friends.

I have learned SO much this week about having a vision, a vision to baptize every single person we talk to.  It makes a huge difference in the way they learn and the way we teach.  The Holy Ghost can testify and come stronger and with more power when we have a vision for their full potential. 

I love missionary work!  I am so grateful for this chance to serve!

Hermana Collier

Hermana Button's birthday wish was for one the members to let us come over to the Fire Station and try on the fireman gear.  It was pretty fun!

 My wonderful first Dalton district,(with the zone leaders in there somewhere).  I love everyone of them!  Three of the elders are leaving, and we're getting three new, and one new hermana.  Pretty bittersweet.

Hot chocolate and Mexican treats at the Local Flea Market . . . like a mini Espanglish Mexico!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Weekend in Chatt, and The Twins Are Getting Baptized!

Got to go to the Joseph Standing memorial which is in our area, last p-day.  It was definitely sacred, dedicated ground, so it was super cool to go there and hear the story of a dedicated servant of the Lord who sacrificed his life for missionary work!  (Editor's note:  Elder Joseph Standing was shot and killed by a hostile mob while preaching the gospel in Dalton GA in the 1800's with his companion, Elder Rudger Clawson. After his companion was shot, Elder Clawson folded his arms and said “shoot”, but the mob chose not to.  He survived his mission and became an apostle in later years.  Apparently there wasn’t a branch in that area of Georgia again until almost 100 years later, in the late 1970’s.)   

Hello Family!!

COMO ESTAN!?  I love all of your emails so much!  And I really really love yall so much!
This week has been crazy.  Crazy in a good way. 
On Friday we went up to Ooltewah which is near Chattanooga, for Zone Conference.  The things I learned will change my whole mission.
I learned that Hope is a GOAL - something we're looking towards, and that Faith is the action we take to reach that goal.  The steps to making a change/reaching a goal are:
1. See it: Recognize the issue 
2. Own it: Take Responsibility 
3. Plan it: How will you do it? 
4. Do it: Act!
So that was really awesome to learn.  After that conference, our trio exhanged with another, so Hna Button went back to Dalton with two other sisters from Ooltewah and Sister Malloy and I stayed in Ooltewah with Sister Jones.  We had some really great lessons that night and a wonderful dinner appointment. Before we were done that night, we got a text from the sisters in Dalton that night who'd had a lesson with the twins.  They said that Haley and Kaley have a date.  The twins are getting baptized this Saturday!! Sister Malloy and I were SO happy for them, and we immediately said a prayer thanking Heavenly Father.  They still have quite a bit to learn before Saturday, but we have a plan and faith that they'll be prepared!
The next day we had a bunch of plans, and they all fell through within an hour! So we saw a lady raking leaves and asked if we could help. She asked our names, but thought "Malloy" and "Collier" were too hard to pronounce, so she called us Jones, Blondie, and Smiley.  It was kind of hilarious.  We helped her rake leaves, and sung some hymns for her.  After that we found some new investigators and taught another lesson.
Saturday night was the Adult session of Chattanooga Tennessee Stake Conference.  It was so so wonderful to see so many Latter Day Saints gathered together.  The meeting was POWERFUL, on Hastening the Work.  As I sang "I Feel My Savior's Love", I felt such an outpouring of the Spirit like I never have before!  It was a feeling that made me want to act, to do and be better.  It was an extremely revelatory experience.  The next day was the general session which was also fabulous, and Jonathan and Felicia were able to come!!  We were so happy for them.  We have another lesson with them tonight.

I know that when we are close to the Spirit, we are inspired to be better.  We're inspired to be more diligent, and more Christlike.  It is something that is very difficult to always be close to the spirit but when we are it is life changing!

Thank yall for your love and support.  Y'all are INCREDIBLE and I pray for you every night!

Love, Hermana Collier

Exchange for the weekend in Ooltewah! with Sisters Malloy and Jones - I loved it!!

 Hna Button, Sis Malloy and I with Haley and Kaley a couple weeks ago at the trunk or treat.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November 4, 2013 -- The Plan of Happiness is Real Y'all!

[Editor's note:  Some readers of this blog may wonder about words like "hilar," "totes," "presh," etc.  Those are Maddy-speak for "hilarious" "totally" "precious" . . . if you come across a word you don't know, consider what possible syllables could follow to make it a word you do know. ]


Gracias for your many sweet letters, I love y'all SO MUCH!!!  CONGRATS Jon and Bri!!!!!  I am sooooooo happy and excited about this!!  This is a VERY good thing I'm going to have a sister!! I can't wait for you two :)

I got to watch the BSA broadcast the next day during our hour, which we can do occasionally, and I strategically planned for the day after the broadcast.  The people in the Dalton State Library probably thought I was pretty weird as I tried not to squeal out of happiness and joy as I watched my cute little brother in it!!!  I Loved it, good job Mom, and Caleb, and everyone else involved!  I was so proud of you Caleb!  You are obviously mature and have worked really hard to perform that well, it's a great example. 

Oh, and Mom that is good that you thought the "Drive thru prayer" is priceless, cause this week wetracted into a guy named Mike, and guess what?  He owns it. Not only that but he wants us to keep coming back and teaching him!  Ha-ha we'll see how far that goes :)

This week has been good.  On Monday, we had our investigators Jonathan and Felicia over to a members home for FHE, the Clarks.  The Clarks are a young couple who both served missions, they were really quite the ideal couple to have our investigators meet.  We talked about the Plan of Salvation, and the Clarks added to the lesson with their insights and testimonies, and the Spirit was so strong.  Things were really clicking for both of them.  At the end, Jonathan said that he felt like the next step they needed to make was join the church. However they both work a whole LOT, including Sundays, so we're still working through all that.

This week we also had the Trunk or Treat.  It was a great time! Felicia came and brought some friends, and Hailey & Kailey and their family came!  Also some less-actives who haven't been to church for months came out, so we were able to talk to them and it was just awesome.  I am starting to really grow a love for our ward and the members here.  They are just GREAT!

Yesterday we didn't have ward council so we got to attend the Spanish Ward which was fabulous.  They are so loving and want sisters there sooo bad.  Then they needed a pianist for RS so I also got to go there as well.  I love them!

This week my testimony in the Plan of Salvation, or Plan of Happiness, has been strengthened a great great deal.  We are spirit children of God, and He sent us here to gain experience and a body, and with that body we have the chance to Love, Teach, Serve, Uplift, and live as the Savior would.  Our goal is to return home to Him, and our families help.  After we die, those who did not have the opportunity to hear the gospel will get that opportunity because we all need to be cleansed by the Savior's Atonement!  I know this is true and invite y'all to read up on it in Preach my Gospel this week!

Hermana Collier

With Felicia at the Trunk or Treat - yes she has a mustache drawn on:)

With cute little girl in our ward, Faith, at the trunk or treat!

Fall in the South is divine!  The trees are all on fire and the weather has been perfect!  We've biked this past week a lot and I have loved every second of it!

Have you always wanted to meet the guy being baptized on the Mission call packet? Well I have.  Well his name is Brother Sanhueza, from Chile, and he lives here in Dalton. He had us for dinner, and I had my call packet with me.  So I just couldn't pass up this opportunity, I had to take a picture!! 

A family in our ward made us cute little Halloween things. Totes presh.