Elder Collings – Notes From The Field

Good morning Mom! So funny story, my bike got stolen haha. Right outside of
our apartment. Along with Elder Boulettes and Elder Hathaway’s. Sooo I
called the mission and they don’t have any spare bikes. I also asked
multiple members and nobody has one to spare. Which means I need to
probably buy a new bike… and preferably today or else I’ll be walking all
week. There’s a member named Brother Lancaster that’s willing to sell me
one of his bikes for a deal. It’s a $800 bike but he said he’d give it to
me for “whatever my budget is” and I’m not quite sure what that is. Getting
a bike from him will still probably be cheaper than at a store.

Yeah working out has been great! Honestly I’m hooked haha. I regret not
doing CrossFit but then again I regret a lot of things before my mission.
I’ll definitely be doing CrossFit when I’m home though. In the morning, we
play b-ball and I come home and lift then I have some protein and a bowl of
cream of wheat. For lunch I bake a chicken breast. Then dinner is whatever,
but I come home and do some ab workouts and stuff. Idk what I’m doing but
I’m doing it haha! The biggest blessing though is the self confidence that
comes with it. I’m definitely less-hesitant in some situations where I use
to feel self-conscious. I hope to work out with Colt when I’m back, he can
show me the ropes haha. Missionary work was pretty basic this past week,
nothing really to report on. But we did go with Lauryn to the Newport Beach
temple to do baptisms! She enjoyed it and she really wants to serve a
mission now. We get a new stake president here in La Verne this Sunday. I
talked to Brother Lancaster about the bike. He’s taking us and the bike to
a bike shop tomorrow morning to get me all set up.

Love,

Elder Collings

Sorry about not replying last week

Hello! No those weren’t the ties we made, I’ll try and get a picture of one
to you. We’re not at our apartment right now. No I haven’t got my glasses
yet, but they should be ready today so I’ll stop in and pick them up. I’ll
try to send a picture in those as well! I got a haircut today and I think
it looks pretty good. For the past 2 weeks we’ve been waking up at 5:50 to
go running and play basketball. I’ve noticed a lot of fat cutting and
muscle toning which is great. We also got some weights in our pad now and
I’ve been lifting but I’m SOOOOO sore from the freaking kettle bell swings
haha.

I’ve bought a few pairs of 32-32 pants so I’m not in need but more
definitely wouldn’t hurt, I only have like 3 now. But I am hurting for some
new white shirts! I’m wearing a missionaries white shirts who went home 3
months ago so they’re 25 months old and looking rough. So that would be
great. I’m a size 16 neck and some nice athletic fit white shirts would be
nice. I do have one request though! Could you send me a few sets of some
nice workout clothes? I’m wearing like the same two shirts and two shorts
which I’m sure you’ve noticed in all the pictures I send home. So that
would be greatly appreciated.

Elder Hansen emailed me back for the first time yesterday two haha. He’s
going to be back in the mission in November 18th. So I hope to see him.

Lauryn’s baptism went great! Their was a great turn out and she had a lot
of support. Her parents came as well. Also, she’s really leaning towards
serving a mission in a year which is great! Nothing will bless her more.

We found a really cool investigator last night named Ariana who we are
going to meet with again tonight, I really hope she progresses! We found
her out cleaning her garage and we got into a gospel conversation that was
great. She would’ve probably talked to us for hours with great questions
but we had another appointment to get to. Tonight we’re taking her a Book
of Mormon. Other than that, nobody’s really going anywhere which sucks. But
we’ll keep looking and hoping someone comes into our path![image:
kneeling.jpeg]
[image: praying.jpeg][image: standing.jpeg]
Anyways if you have any questions let me know! I want to answer as many as
I can because I feel bad for last week haha. Love you!

Halloween Week

Hello!

This is Melissa – I guess there wasn’t time to write a letter this week but
I did get a few pictures. I know that he had a baptism on Sunday and Lauren
was baptized. And also know that he was able to attend a ward Halloween
party on Saturday, it looks like he was able to dress up! Thank you to
everyone who has kept Bridger in your prayers. We’re down to just about
seven months left. These last few months have gone by very quickly! I hope
the rest goes by as quickly as this time has 😁.

Doing good as always!

Hello! Doing good as always. So Marlon basically just has kinda fallen
away. We only saw him once this past week and he was definitely under the
influence of something. Hopefully he comes around but we’re going to have
to move on if no progression is made soon. I feel like everyone we were
meeting with us dropped us this past week haha. So once again our teaching
pool is down to about nothing. But Lauryn is still hanging in there! Her
baptism is this Sunday before church. She’s getting very excited and so are
we. She’s invited lots of friends and family and I know the ward supports
her so it will be a good turn out. Tyler, the young man that found her,
will be baptizing her the same day he gives his farewell talk! What an
introduction to a mission haha. Also after speaking with Lauryn she is
considering a mission! She’s about 50/50 right now. She feels like she
doesn’t know enough to serve but I promised her that she knows more now
than I felt I knew before entering the MTC. Also Natalea will be at her
baptism so that will be fun. We’re trying to set up a date for baptisms for
the dead with both Lauryn and Natalea and with the new mission rules, I’d
be able to go as well. Also, I was able to talk with Sarah from the Samoan
Ward this past week over the phone. It’s amazing knowing all my converts
(The Lords converts) are still active in the church! Including Max and
Richard which were baptized after I worked with them. I’m glad to know that
those people were truly converted to the gospel and not some other factor.

On Wednesday we had our mission tour with Elder Dykes from the 70. He is
one outstanding guy. He instructed on a lot of things but what I took from
it was the importance of helping investigators repent. Including helping
them understand how the Sacrament is a process of repentance. He went into
greater detail, but I recognize a need for improvement in my own style of
teaching when it comes to repentance.

Today for P-Day we got hair cuts and went shopping. I got some new socks
and that was it. And for the rest of the day we’ll probably just hang out
at home and take a nap or whatever. One thing I’d like to do is go to the
optometrist and get my eyes checked. My eyes are fine, but I’m noticing a
hard time focusing on distant objects. There is one right by our apartment
but do I need anything before going? Would I need to pay or does insurance
cover it? If you could let me know so I can go in today if needs be that be
great. And little side note, if you ever send pants, I’m now a 32-32 😉
Just In case you’re wondering. Also, one last thing haha, I’m starting to
make my own ties. I got a sewing machine from a lady in the ward and got
some fabric and patterns from Joanne’s last P-Day. Me and Elder Hathaway
are doing it. Tell Grandma! She’ll be proud of me.

[image: Bridger and Hathaway 2.jpg][image: Bridger and Boulette.jpg][image:
Bridger and Hathaway 1.jpg]

HE can produce the best YOU

Hello! I’m doing good! I’ve had a good week, I think the temple always just
sets the tone for the rest of the week. Elder Boulette is doing good haha.
He really is a good guy. I’m glad he’s my companion even know he has a lot
to work on still. But he’s progressing.

Dad told me all about the hunt. That’s to bad they weren’t able to shoot
the elk, but we’re here for the ride, not the destination, right? I sure
wish I was there. I feel those trips are the times when I had the best
relationships with Dad/Colton. I’m worried about the Utah winter as well😂
I’m freezing my butt off here. And it was 101 today haha. The person who
sent the picture was a young woman named Bailey. Her brother, Tyler, leaves
on his mission to Baltimore in a few weeks. Tyler comes out with us pretty
often and he’s one of my favorite people.

So Marlon is doing alright. We finally meet with him Saturday and had a
great lesson. He finally found a job and that’s what’s been keeping him
occupied. We were with him almost 2 hours Saturday. He was supposed to come
to church but the member we asked to pick him up took to long so Marlon
decided to go to church with his friend. So next time we’ll have a
different member get him.

I’m thinking about school yes. I haven’t narrowed anything down but UVU, U
of U, BYU Hawaii, and USU are schools I’ve been thinking of. President
Wells is great! I definitely know he’s been called by God to serve here in
Arcadia. And of course I enjoy the mission, I wouldn’t still be out here if
I didn’t. My mission has molded me into the new Son of God that I am. I
will be forever in debt for the two years California has given me.

The work is still rolling along. We found 8 investigators last week but
still were not getting anyone to stick. We’re hoping to work with some
member referrals soon, because they are the ones that end up progressing
the most. We have plans on getting referrals from everyone. I taught a
portion of Elders Quorum on Sunday and that’s basically what it was. Me
just telling them to give us referrals haha. But in a poetic, Spiritual way
😉

I’m grateful for all the love I feel from home and I hope you guys know I
love and pray for you! I want the best for all of you, and I know the best
YOU comes from giving yourself freely to the will of God, so HE can produce
the best YOU.

Went to Ikea!

Hey this is Baylee this is my fave Elder. Thank you so much for raising
such a great guy!!!

Went to the temple!

What’s up! So today was our P-Day because we were able to go to the temple!
So sorry for not letting you know yesterday haha, it just escaped me. But
we got to do some initiatories and an Endowment session early this morning
which is always wonderful. I felt like this time attending the temple was
the time I’ve got the most out of it. I wish we were allowed to go more
often but at least we get to go right? Hopefully I’ll be attending this
December with Natalea.

So my new trainees name is Elder Boulette from Rio Rancho, New Mexico. He’s
a graduate from the class of 2017 so he’s fresh out of High School. He did
4 years of Jr. ROTC in High School and is certain he’s going into the Army
after his mission. He wants to be a combat engineer. He’s also an Eagle
Scout so he should come out of basic training as a Sargent which I guess is
pretty good. Sounds like a pretty rough and rowdy guy huh? Here’s the
kicker…he’s only about 5’5” and 105 pounds haha. He is a TINY kid, but he
has a huge heart and a great desire to do missionary work. He really is a
good guy but very quirky as well haha. I’m excited to see how he does these
next couple of months.

So Marlon kinda dropped off the face of the earth. Last time we talked to
him was Wednesday and he was still super gung-ho about everything but we
just haven’t been able to contact him since. We’ve stopped by his house
every day and have called/text multiple times. Idk what’s up with that boy
but I do believe he’s not just dodging us. Hopefully we’ll meet up again
some time this week.

No I’m not sure how to exactly send a cashiers check so I’ll just steer
clear. I have to learn how to save money when it’s in my possession
anyways. I was thinking about it and when I get home I’m going to need that
skill so might as well work on it when I have nothing to lose out here haha.

This week has been good. Me and Elder Boulette were able to find 11 new
investigators which is a great number. Our biggest problem right now though
is finding people that stick. Everyone flakes out by like the 2 or 3 lesson
which sucks. There’s nothing we can really do to find those that are the
elect other that just keep sifting the wheat through the tares so hopefully
we have some success. Lauryn is still on track so at least that’s something
to look forward to haha.

Anyways, if you have any questions shoot ahead! Thanks for keeping me
updated on what’s going on at home. I hope Colton and Trev get an Elk. I’m
also sorry to hear Grandpa has Parkinson’s. But one thing I do know is that
he’ll hit it head on with a great attitude.

Elder Collings

•••

October

Hello!

I really enjoyed Conference. They were some power sessions. I enjoyed Elder
Anderson’s talk and President Nelson’s talk the most.

I’ll give you an update of the week later but I’ll give some insights rn.
This last Saturday, we got transfer calls which I think is crazy because
that was literally the fastest transfer ever. I forgot to even tell you
last week because it just snuck up so fast haha. But I will be getting a
new companion. Elder LeBaron is going to Hacienda Heights 1st Ward though!
I’ve been telling him all about the people he needs to visit.

I will get my companion Tuesday. I’m training once again so I’m excited to
see who my companion will be! That would be cool if it was Elder Lesa but
like I said I didn’t see him on the list of incoming missionaries so I
don’t know what’s going on with him. Also the Zone Leaders we live with,
Elders Hathaway and Allard, are training as well. So we’ll have 2 greenies
in the apartment. I’m excited to train but a bit nervous because I don’t
feel like I have a complete grasp on the ward after just 6 weeks here. But
it will be great for the trainee if both our baptisms go through this
month!

I got my new suit!! It’s the greatest. It’s the same suit I found at Macy’s
so good job 😉 I only took one picture in it though and it was with my
District. I’ll have to take others out in the sun light where the suit
really looks good. But I’ll sent the picture. Thank you sooooo much!

Elder Collings

Elder Collings – Notes From The Field

Yes, we did have pretty good success! We didn’t meet our goal of 20
investigators but we did do better than last week with a solid 12 new
investigators. We found some pretty promising people as well, I will talk
about one of them here in a second. Our investigators are doing good! We’ve
been blessed with timing this week to be able to catch most people home and
teach them a little more about the gospel. I’m feeling good! Wouldn’t say
💯 but I’m definitely a solid 80-85%. It’s mostly just an annoying runny
nose and a minor cough but the Dr. said I’d have that for a quick minute.
No I haven’t received my suit sadly… I will get to see it Wednesday! I’m
excited to see what it looks like! Thank you so much for ordering that for
me, I really appreciate it. I was really in need of a new one haha. I will
wear it this Conference weekend and be sure to take some pictures for you.
I don’t think I need anything, I’m pretty content with where I’m at with
everything.

So, this week was good! I feel like me and Elder Lebaron worked hard and
talked to everyone we saw. This is a hard area to find in as well. I feel
like the city just rolls up the sidewalks around 6:30 at night. The streets
are just dead. That’s usually the best time to contact people on the
streets in my past area. There’s also no place where you can find lots of
people at once. So we just kinda go wherever we haven’t been to find. But
we found a very cool investigator!

We meet Marlon Friday night. It was 8:30 and we had about a 20 minute bike
ride home. On the way we we passed by this shady guy with long shorts and a
hood over his head. Of course we do our best to talk to everyone, so we
stopped haha. He was very friendly right off the bat. Turns out he just got
stood up by a girl and was blowing everyone off that night and just wanted
to be alone, but something told him to speak with us. We got to know him a
little, he’s 31 and moved here from Alabama 4 months ago to do HVAC. We
taught him the Restoration right there and it turned into a 45 minute
lesson. He was very involved. We got his info. and told him we’d be back
tomorrow morning haha.

So the next day, Saturday, we came by at 11a.m.. We meet him outside and
taught him about the Book of Mormon. We explained how this book confirms
everything we taught him the previous night and how gaining a testimony of
it is the key. He was excited to receive his own copy. At the end of the
lesson we invited him to church with us the next morning. He immediately
said, “I’ll be there,” in his black southern twang accent haha.

So the next morning we picked him up with the Jojola family! He stayed all
three hours even though we forgot to mention that fact the day before.
Personally, I thought the talks and lessons given were thrown together by
the speakers and teachers in 5 min.. They were un-structured and dry. That
is the WORST when you have investigators at church for the first time. But,
the Spirit did its job and Marlon loved it. Our VERY white ward
fellowshiped Marlon better that I’ve ever seen.

At this point we’re stoked to have such a willing investigator. After
church one of the High Councilmen came to us and Marlon and invited us to a
fireside that night given by Brad Wilcox in u
Upland. We were worried Marlon would feel overwhelmed by so much Spirit in
one day! To our surprise he wanted to go! Haha one miracle after the other.
We were certain we couldn’t go because of the fact that it was out of the
mission. But after calling President Wells he allowed us to go! We were the
only missionaries in the mission with permission to go.

Well…Brad Wilcox gave a great talk about how our church is different from
other Christian faiths! After the fireside Marlon said, “the Spirit has
confirmed many different things to me tonight”. It was just an amazing
weekend with Marlon. We found him Friday night and in less than 48 hours
he’s sitting in a multi-stake fireside given by Brad Wilcox..have miracles
ceased or what?! Haha it just makes me laugh at how amazing this work goes
sometimes!

I’ll keep you posted on how our investigators progress but I’m out of time
to email. Thank you so much again for everything! I’m glad I could be here
serving the Lord. Have a good week!

Getting better!

I never I’d hear this from Bridger 😉

“After getting sick, lying on my death bed, I realized I should take a more
healthy way about losing weight haha. The food you sent was great! I’m
learning to really like healthy food as well! If you sent me that box of
food before my mission It might as well have been a box of severed fish
heads! Now that stuff is more appetizing than all that junk I ate
previously. Thanks for raising me on nasty organic healthy stuff! It’s
finally paid off.”

I’m feeling better! I still have a lot of congestion and a lingering cough
but I’m doing okay. I had another appointment with the Dr. on Tuesday and
she wants me on another set of antibiotics, but I haven’t picked them up
and started them yet because I don’t want to spend birthday money on
anymore medication haha, it’s already eaten up like $60. Personally I don’t
think I need a 3rd set of antibiotics anyways, that’s ridiculous. But I do
have a little side note of going to the Dr..

The Dr. Is about an hour to and hour and a half away from La Verne all the
way over to Glendale. It’s been rough finding rides there. This last time
we decided just to take buses and trains as to not be a burden on the
members (I’m sure they don’t think of it that way but I do). So we’re doing
pretty good so far and we made it to my old area Pasadena with only a bus
and a train, but we still have like 30 minutes of travel time by bus and we
had already been on the public transportation for an hour and a half.

We were waiting at the bus stop for our last bus and I decided to give my
ol’ buddy ol’ pal Natalea a call! She was excited to hear from me and I was
excited to hear how she was doing. She has still been very strong in the
gospel! She’s only missed 1 Sunday since baptism and has just started
attending a night institute that fits her schedule. She’s been to the
temple and has done baptisms for the dead as well! She’s just trucking
along with a testimony as strong as ever! Our call went on for 30 minutes
and the bus was supposed to be there 25 minutes ago haha. So at this point
we’re sunk and had no way of making it to Glendale.

Little did I know that when I was talking to Natalea, Elder LeBaron said a
pray that we’d be able to get to the Dr. on time. I was about to end the
call with Natalea because her mom just got there to pick her up. They were
headed the opposite direction for an appointment of their own. Just then
Nataleas mom, Leah (one of my old investigators as well who ended up
opposing Nataleas baptism) asked what we were doing. After finding out we
were in a bind, she offered us a ride despite the commitments they had
already made!

They came and picked us up and got us to Glendale in a good amount of time.
It was great to see them both as well and see how they’re doing. It was a
tender mercy and it was awesome to see the Lords work in the confusion of
our schedule. It’s amazing what a prayer and a little faith will get you
these days, that sure hasn’t been hit by inflation.

Overall this week was great. Me and Elder Lebaron were able to find 11 new
investigators this past week which is better than most Zone Leaders but
we’re striving to double that this coming week. We know we can meet it
because our Zone Leaders, Elder Hathaway and Allard, are finding an average
of 65 new investigators a week! The standard of excellence in the mission
is 5 a week so these numbers they’re achieving is blowing everyone away and
they’re having amazing success. After watching they way they’re working me
and Elder Lebaron are starting to pick it up ourselves. That’s why we know
we can meet our goal with a lot of Heavenly help.

I’m excited to see how the week goes and I’m pumped to go out and work this
week. I hope you guys have a good week!

Elder Collings

•••


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