Transfers!!

Hello! Well, yup, I got transferred. I’m going to the Herritage Ward is San
Dimas and La Verne. I hear it’s a great ward with awesome members so I’m
stoked to get to know them. I am companions with Elder LeBaron! My other
MTC companion haha. Imagine that. I’m so excited to be with him and it will
be cool seeing how he’s grown since day 1.

ALSO! I am living with Elder Hathaway again! He just got transferred into
the Las Flores ward and we share an apartment. I’m very excited about that.
He’s my new Zone Leader actually. I saw that coming a million miles away,
he’s a great Elder and will be good for this Zone. In other news I’m now
the District Leader which will be interesting. I feel like District Leaders
do a lot of the leadership, we’ll see how that goes.

Love,

Elder Collings

Last week’s letter!

Well I don’t have much time, I’ve been busy today and didn’t leave myself
much time to email but that’s okay because you guys didn’t even email at
all so however much I write is like a billion times more than I got from
you ๐Ÿ˜‰ This week was good, we had Zone Conference and we learned about how
to deal with rejection. It was actually really good, we all felt like going
out in our areas and looking for people to reject us afterwards haha.

We also did some service for some investigators in my last area, the
Adamsons. They had us sweep their roof free of pine needles because this
hugs tree is constantly dropping them. We also washed their cars then they
ordered us some pizza, but I didn’t have any because I’m fixin to look
good. I’ve already lost nearly 15 pounds. I only had 6 meals last week
hahah. I’m intermittent fasting and it’s working well. I’m surprisingly not
hungry at all. I still crave food but my willpower is far beyond me
slipping at this point haha. Today my only meal was a plate of green-beans.

We had another Samoan wedding this past week. Except this one was
interesting because it was half Samoan and half Tongan. We got to see some
Tongan culture as well, a lot is very similar but their were cool touches
here and their. Juju and Tsunami (Paio) got married! I really like Paio
he’s pretty reserved but over the past 7 months I think he likes me as well!

We had 4 investigators at church this past week. The ones I like the most
are Kelly and Alejandra. Kelly is a recent convert of only 2 years and him
and his wife Kelly moved here about 2 months ago with their newborn girl.
Alejandra is awesome, she’s come to church twice now and already believes
everything we’ve taught her. Kelly has helped her so much and is the
perfect fellowshipper. I can see her getting baptized soon but I doubt I’ll
be here for it. Transfers are in 2 weeks and I’m destined to leave. I hope
not, but the odds are slim haha. Anyways, I hope you all had a fun weekend
and I hope to hear from you at some point! Love you!

Elder Collings

Hee was SO excited to get to eat at Cafe Rio!

Your Son is Listening to the Spirit

I didn’t receive a letter from Elder Collings this week. I did receive a
few pictures and the letter below from a sweet Sister Missionary in his
mission:

To the mother’s of Elders Collings and Crandall! My companion and I told
your young men that we hope their Mothers are super proud of them, because
they are following the spirit so closely! They told us to tell you
ourselves, so I will, haha! Every mom deserves to get an email about the
good their missionary is doing at least once, so here’s ours.
A beautiful, inspired thing occurred the other night when my companions
front bike light quite working. Oh no! So before we went out that evening
we called the Creekside Elders (your missionaries) praying that by some
crazy miracle they were near our apartments. They didn’t answer. We always
pray before we leave the house, so we said the prayer, including praying
that the Elders would call us back. A few seconds after the prayer ended,
the phone rang. We were both like “yeeeees, it woooorked!”(I love how we
both have that sure faith before we even check who is calling). We asked if
they were anywhere near our apartments. YUP! In fact, they just finished a
contact with someone /in/ the apartment complex! Not even their area.
Miracle! We asked Elder Collings if we could use his really powerful bike
light that he said he had. He responded with “that is inspired. I had lost
it in my stuff, for 7 months, until last night I wondered where it was,
found it, and charged it.” He doesn’t even use a bike, but he thought to
find it AND CHARGE IT, when he had no reason to, after it’s sat lost for 7
MONTHS!! Everything about that was magical.
I was just struck by how closely they must be following the spirit, not
only last night, to do something odd after 7 months, but also today, that
they were exactly where they needed to be. I love that! As a missionary,
it’s easy to make a plan for the day full of good, productive missionary
things, and God will do His best with your plan. It’s another thing to be
so in-tune with the spirit that it guides where you are and what you do in
every moment. They must be changing lives.

-A random missionary in their district, Hermana Rino

July 31

Hello!

Yes, Octopus was super gross haha. The tentacles weren’t as bad but you saw
me eat like part of the arm or something. I’m glad I tried it but I almost
threw up, super gross… yeah we’ve been doing a lot of stuff such as
family history this past week. Elder Crandall got pretty sick last Tuesday.
He saw the doctor on Thursday and the doctor said he has a virus similar to
bronchitis and told him to stay home for like 3 days. So we’ve been all
cooped up this whole week. It’s been super sucky but Elder Crandall is
pretty sick so there’s not much we can do. Elder Condie is starting to get
it but me and Elder Stone have still been avoiding it. There’s really not
much to talk about this past week other than the Samoan Family reunion! It
was a whole week and everyday they had something different going on. We
were invited to a lot of the events and it was really cool to be a part of!
President and Sister Wells came for one of the dinners on Friday and spent
the night with us, and the ward which was very cool! Sister Wells LOVES the
Samoans. Her Sister is currently in Tonga for some reason and she feels
this is a good way to bond with her. President Wells showed up in his
Samoan attire as well haha. He was looking good!

Me and Elder Crandall had to give talks in the Creekside ward yesterday. I
feel like my ability to give talks is getting much better. I don’t get as
nervous which is a plus haha. I spoke on the Restoration so it was an easy
topic for me to write a talk on. We also taught the combined youth about
the apostasy during the third hour. After the class, all of the leaders
and some of the youth came up to us asking us for our notes so they could
learn more. I feel it went really well! So now I’m off the hook for giving
lesson and talks at least for the near future haha.

We had some lessons but they were just normal lessons with people who
aren’t really progressing at this point. Today was pretty fun. We got
together and had a Zone activity. We played softball and Wilson ball then
had a BBQ at the park. It was super fun being together as a Zone doing
social things.

I’m jealous of the Oregon trip! It looks like you guys have so much fun!
And that’s crazy that Billie and Caleb are having another kid!! They’ll
have 2 kids by the time I get home and I won’t have met either one of them
haha. Tell them congratulations!! Also, good luck to Colton at his new job!
Soon he’ll take over the company and maybe he’ll be kind enough to let me
be janitor or something.

I’m glad everyone is doing okay though and I’m grateful for the love I feel
out here in SoCal from all of those at home. I know there’s no better place
for me to be other than right here in Walnut CA and I’m excited to continue
working in the Lords vineyard. I know the Book of Mormon is true and that
the same church Jesus Christ established during his earthly ministry is
found once again in this day! I hope everyone will put forth an effort to
read the Book of Mormon and gain their OWN opinion of what it is and what
it contains. I love you all!

Elder Collings

Elder Collings – Notes From The Field

I haven’t heard from Elder Lutz but I’ll email him today, he should respond by the end of p-day. And yeah I miss you guys! You think I’m just heartless or something? Idk, I’m still thinking about the whole China thing as well. I mean I 100% want to go but I’m not sure where the Lord wants me next summer, I’ll discuss that later when I talk about interviews. Tust me, I’ve been praying about what to do after my mission pretty frequently haha. Question of the year!
I was not nearly as bad as Zion and Ziggy. I testify that I wasn’t haha. It was like trying to teach theoretical physics to a rock. It just wasn’t happening without the Lord hand. But they’re super great kids and they did learn all we taught them. They’ve also read to Enos in the children’s Book of Mormon all by themselves which is a proud moment for a missionary:,)
Yeah we’ve been hitting the softball fields pretty hard. Not this week because the whole ward has their 77th annual family reunion and it’s hosted here in Walnut this year. They’re way to busy to play softball today but we’ll probably go participate in the events they’re doing today. The cleats were only $10 at Burlington. Can you believe that? I basically stole them.
Interviews were great! We actually had the opportunity to not only be interviewed by President Wells but Sister Wells also which was a first for me! After I got a second to sit down with her she remembered you guys from her farewell and really wants those pictures you took. So if you could send me that stuff again that’d be great. Sister Wells is extremely nice and sincere. President is as well. We talked a lot about my mission so far and the Samoan ward. We also talked about what I want to accomplish in life. He gave me some good advice and it was a really good interview. Probably the longest one I’ve had. I’m super glad they’re our leaders here in the California Arcadia Mission.
Spiritual experience I’ve had his past week ties into my interview with President and you probably won’t like it much. This past week I’ve really been contemplating what to do after my mission which is something I try not to do because it’s like 10 months away and I need to focus but, it’s really been on my mind. I’m thinking either working at home and hanging out with you guys, or going somewhere out of the country if the opportunity presents itself, such as China, I have to figure out what schooling I want to do and where I want to do it, just so many questions.
Right before my interview with President I was talking with the former AP and I got prompting with what the Lord MAY want me to do after my mission. See up until this point it’s always been MY interests and wants with what to do after the mish. I’ve never really asked God what He wants for me. So like 2 minutes before my interview a thought came into my head to extend my mission.
NOW HOLD YOUR HORSES! Don’t get too emotional, haha. I was going to mention it to President but I decided I need to do some good fasting and prayer for a quick minute then if it’s still something I feel I need to do, I’ll bring it up with him in a few months. I have plenty of time before it needs to be brought up. I’m not too sure as to why I would need to extend but what I feel is it’s because I need more time to learn something. I don’t know what I would need more time to learn but, that’s just what I’m feeling. So we’ll see where that takes me!
The work here is going well we have some great people we’re working with. Some names are Manaia (made contact with her again!), Kelly and Alejandra, Madison, Gore, and Anna. They’re all great and could easily accept the gospel but right now everything it is in the beginning stages. I’m sure we’ll see more success soon! I’ll send pictures from the week.
Elder Collings

Hello Mom!

Hello Mom!
1. My first week with Crandall was great, we found some people and have a pretty good plan for the area since we’re basically white washing it.
2. Yes, Zion and Ziggy got baptized yesterday after church! The whole ward stayed to support them and all the primary kids were there to sing musical numbers. It was great! President and Sister Wells also came to the baptism!
3. I hope to teach English in China next summer ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s not a volunteer program. I will be making money to send me off for college. From what I’m told I could earn around 20k for the summer. I’m having Elder Lutz send me more details since he is now home as of last week.
4. Maybe some white shirts or something, other than that no. I was thinking we could just put my 20th birthday on lay-a-way and we could go get me a laptop and a phone for college when I’m home. Something of that sort. Thoughts??
That’s cool that you guys are in St. Louis! One of the good friends I made in the MTC is in St. Louis right now. That’s also cool you guys are in Nauvoo! That’s must be fun being there. After this I feel like you’ve hit all the major church history sites in the states right??
This week was great, me and Elder Crandall get along great. It will be an adjustment learning to teach together though. I tend to take the lead and address all the questions and things of that sort in the past and so has Elder Crandall in his companionships so we’ll have to work on giving each other opportunities to speak and what not haha. But at least he’s not silent! It could always be worse haha.
The baptism went great. It was the most stressful day ever though haha. I felt the whole day we were running around trying to fix problems so it could all run smoothly. The baptism was to start at 3, about 45 minutes after church ended. As we were getting ready a whole group of people showed up telling us they scheduled the font for their baptism at 3. Idk why they were there in the first place?? It’s our building and they should be going to the stake center anyways, but it all worked out. Zion and Ziggy are the most distracted kids I’ve ever worked with by leaps and bounds. It was like trying to direct gold fish the whole day.
But in the end, they both had their correct baptism suits on and all the pictures were taken and all the talks and testimonies we shared and they were able to enter into the waters of baptism. Their “uncle” figure, Casamina, baptized them and it surprisingly only took one try each. Ziggy has a huge fear of drowning in water so we thought that was going to be a big problem hahah. But he seemed to forget about or something because he was fine!
Other than that our week was pretty normal! We had 3 different events at the church with the Samoans last week, each time the sent us home with about 10 pounds of food which is the norm.we played softball with the Samoans today. So far we’ve won the last 2 games we’ve played but today they smoked us 36-28 haha. So I just had to step up my game and go buy a pair of cleats so it wouldn’t happen again haha ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh something super cool! So at the baptism, our bishop had President and Sister Wells sit with them for lunch. And Bishop DeGuzman worked his magic and convinced President to let us wear our ieficangas (still don’t know how to spell it) every week to church! Haha we’re pumped! I guess Elders in Samoa can’t even do that but now we can!๐Ÿ˜‚ Bishop also sized up President and gave him one of his own! So President Wells will wear his to a Samoan event that he wants to attend next week.
Anyways, it’s been a good week! The work is still moving along, there is a lot for us to do and we are trying our hardest every day to accomplish it. Let me know if you have any questions!! I will send more pictures of the baptism next week when I get them from Sarah.
Elder Collings

Transfer Week

So the big day, I can tell you’re just dying to know haha. To be blunt about it, yes…I did get transferred BUT I’m not leaving my areas, at least all of them ๐Ÿ˜‰ So I will be staying in the Samoan area but I will be leaving Hacienda Heights 1st Ward. Elder Condie will stay in HH1 and will be training a new missionary. I will instead be covering the Samoan ward and the Creekside ward which is in the city of Walnut and they actually share a building with the Samoans so it makes sense. But to make things even better I will still live in the same place with Elder Condie, his trainee, and Elder Crandall, my new companion! So I will still be involved with HH1 because it’s in my district and everything. Pretty wild huh?
So basically HH1 and Samoan split and I, the Samoan elder, will pick up Creekside ward which Elder Crandall was already serving in. So lots of changes but almost none at the same time! Haha I’m super happy with the way things worked out. I’m sad to leave HH1 but Creekside seems like it has a lot of potential with missionary work even know there is absolutely nothing happening there right now so it will be a lot of building up the missionary efforts. I’m so happy to stay for Zion and Ziggys baptism this Sunday! I’m grateful I’ll also be able to attend the baptisms of people I taught in HH1. I don’t think this could’ve been any better haha! We’ll see how me and Crandall work together, he’s been great to live with so far and he’s changed since the MTC.
[image: Samoan.JPG][image: Elders.JPG][image: HH1.JPG][image: Pres. Wells.JPG] [image: Sister missionaries.JPG]

4th of July!

Hola! My week has been pretty great! A lot of good stuff has been happening. I’m jealous you guys went to the condo for the 40th time since I’ve been gone haha. Tell everyone at the BBQ hi for me! I miss good Utah food at BBQ’s. Nobody has simple steak and potato meals out here. It’s all funky food if we’re feed by the white people, but most of the time we have Hispanic of Asian food because that’s basically 90% of the population. The Samoans have good food as well but some of it is nasty. Like Taro and raw fish soup, eww gross haha. But I’ve become wayyy less picky since being here. When you guys see how I eat you’ll probably roll over and die haha.
I honestly don’t really write anyone. Like today the only email I plan on writing is this one๐Ÿ˜‚ People forgot about me. The Samoans are having a Fia Fia at the park tomorrow with tons of food and people. We plan on going there tomorrow for our 4th. But honestly I’d like to head up to the Marshalls in Temple City and spend my 4th with them again, they know how to have a 4th celebration like you guys back home. Technically they live in my area still ๐Ÿ˜‰
President Wells took over on Thursday, we’ll meet him Wednesday which will be exciting. I don’t see any changes happening here soon, but in a few months I think he’ll mold it into what he wants. Transfers are Saturday. I want nothing more than to stay here haha. I’m praying I don’t leave even though the odds are against my favor. The wards and areas are great but that’s not why I want to stay. We have a lot going for us right now! We have 4 people on date and hoping to have more by the end of the week.
This past week us and the leadership of the Samoan ward have reached out to a less active lady named Sarah Timoteo. She has 5 kids and is a single mother. We met her once at a party months ago and I tried to get to know her but she was very reserved. Well for the past two weeks our primary president, Sister Laulu, has been picking them up and basically forcing her and her 5 kids to church haha. We talked to her last Sunday and she agreed to have us over. We found out that 2 of her kids are baptismal age but haven’t been baptized. We set them on date for July 16th. I’ve met with them every day since then with a teen in the ward named Paul Haloholo. I’ve been taking him on splits a lot because he’s about to get his mission call. Elder Condie has been working in the English ward with other members as we go on splits. They all came to church again for the 3rd time yesterday.
Sarah has made leaps and bounds as well. She was baptized 3 years ago in Utah but was not converted or taught at all. She told us she learned nothing from the missionaries that taught her. Since me and Paul have been there she’s learned a lot and really wants to take her kids through the temple to be sealed some day. Zion (9) and Ziggy (8) are great. They really have soaked up all we’ve taught. I’m super bummed I’ll probably leave a week before their baptism though… but I know I’ve helped them grow in the gospel and that’s my purpose! We teach them again tonight at 7:30.
Louis sill won’t freaking come to church. Idk what to do with that man. We teach him the night before and he commits to coming 110%, then we call and visit him Sunday morning and he’s about to get in the shower to go to church. Then he just disappears! He’s the most stressful investigator I’ve had haha. He was supposed to be baptized this Sunday but we’re going to have to push that back as well… so there’s another baptism I’ll miss seeing!
Manaia Mamea is still doing great. She’s the 11 year old daughter of a less active in Riverside. Her mom, Nofoanga, is really warming up to us. She agreed to letting Manaia get baptized and Manaia really wants to take that step. She’s very smart and remembers what we teach, even though she gets names mixed up all the time haha. The only problem with her is that they live like 1 1/2 hours away and it’s hard to go clear out there. We’ve been setting up Skype and FaceTime lessons though. We’re hoping to see her get baptized here in the month of July. Baptism number 4 that I’ll miss!! Man I can’t get a break.. but wait there two more people!
Rosemary and Crystal are a mother and daughter we’re teaching. They’re about 50 and 30. They’ve been out of town the past two Sunday’s but they’ll be here this Sunday. They are a little distracted in lessons but they pick it up. The gospel is very clear and simple to them and they agree with all we teach. They are set for date on July 29th. They’re doing good.
So you can see why I want to stay haha. 6 months of work here has lead up to 6 very potential baptisms this month. But some Elder will probably come in and reap all my successes haha. But it’s okay I guess, it’s all the Lords work anyways. I’m just happy I could be a part of it.
Really quick one thing that has happened this past week that has strengthened my testimony of the power of the priesthood. So last Sunday night we get a call from Sister Semu, wanting us to give a blessing to one of her non-member friends mother. I guess she’s been sick for the past 7 years and they were open to having us over. So the next night we went and gave her a Blessing. We explained what it was to the family and how it’s all the will of God. I was very prompted that it was her time to return home, which is not really what us, or they wanted. It was said in the Blessing that she was to leave peacefully to her Heavenly Father. Well the next day, 16 hours later, we got a text from Sister Semu letting us know that Miss Evelyn had passed away right then. It was a very humbling experience to be a part of. One of those moments you realize how real the priesthood is.
Anyways, it’s been a great week full of blessings and miracles. I hope to stay but whatever happens I’ll be okay with. I have no clue where I could go. Also side note, a Chinese member in the Chinese ward that we share our building with wants me and Elder Lutz (A Chinese speaking missionary) to go to China next summer and teach English haha. I think it would be awesome! So keep that in mind. I got to go, love you guys and hope you have a great week! Email me back with your thoughts on my email. I never hear what you guys think about.

This is what Bridger does when the power goes out! Go to the Dollar store and buy a bag of tea lights!

Elder Collings – Notes From The Field

Hello! So I don’t have much time to email, sorry! But I’ve had a good week! We had our last Zone Conference with President Villanueva and his wife this past Thursday. It was great, they ended with a Q&A open to anything. I learned a lot about him and how he’s come to be in the position he’s in now. Like nobody came to church this past Sunday. So we’re going to have to move Louise’s date once again. Also a Samoan girl named Manaia could make it as well, she 11 and her aunt and uncle did come and that’s her ride. We’re hoping to baptize them both on the 8th, which is my last Saturday here! I hope everything works out so I can be there for their baptisms! The shoes are great, it’ll be hard to keep them clean though considering they’re all white haha. Yes, I got Grandmas package, tell her thank you so much! I loved all the treats even though they aren’t good for me๐Ÿ˜‚ And the whole apartment enjoyed the Amish bread! The house looks great! I’m surprised you did such a good job without me there to tell you what’s up in the world and what looks good ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’ll be weird coming home to that house haha. Are you guys still planning on going to Elder Hansen’s homecoming? Love you guys! I’ll talk more next week.
Elder Collings


Melissa Collings-The Trusted Team RE/MAX COMPLETE Broker Associate – Owner 4352243272

Elder Collings – Notes From The Field

Hello! I’m doing well thanks for asking haha. The house looks good! Did you get a new tv in that room?? Is it a 4K tv or nah? Yes I got the package with my sweatshirt, thank you! I have not received a package from Grandma, but I’ll probably get it on Thursday. Tell her thanks in advance! That’s really nice. Yes, this transfer is half over, so 3 weeks until our next calls. I’m pretty sure I’ll be bouncing out of here haha. It’s been 6 months and the past 5 missionaries to serve here left after 6 months. I’d be happy with whatever happens. This area is great and I could see a lot of good happening next transfer. We’ve been working hard trying to find some interested Samoans and I think we’ve found a few. I could see 2 or 3 Samoans getting baptized here in the next few months! So if I stay I’ll be glad, but if I leave it will be good for a change as well.
A principal in the gospel I’ve come to know? I’d say there is a few haha. But the ones that stick out to me the most are; the Restoration, including the Apostasy, the Atonement, and the Characteristics of God. Those have been the things that have interested me the most and what I seem to look for most when I’m studying. The Restoration is obviously our unique message to the world and as a missionary our lives are centered around it, so it’s kinda hard not to be involved with. Everything in Christianity is all just an appendage to the Atonement, it’s the most important event in our existence. The Characteristics of God is something that intrigues me. It seems everyone we meet has a different understanding of “God”. So I’d like to know as much as I can about him to help other understand who he is and what he means to us.
Louis baptism has been moved to the 1st of July. He’s literally perfect, he has a testimony of the Book of Mormon. He knows Tommy Monson and Joe Smith are Prophets. He knows this church is true and everything else. But he won’t come to church! We had a lesson on Friday and he swore up and down he’d be there. We even showed up to his house before church and he said he was getting in the shower then heading over there. But he doesn’t show up! Ugh…it’s ridiculous. And the only thing left for him to qualify for baptism is one more church attendance. Please pray that he comes this Sunday haha. We’re going to teach him everyday and drill the importance of attending church. His date is one week before transfers so I hope I can see him baptized but who knows at this point haha. OH WELL! It’s not my baptism, it’s the Lords.
We have a pretty big trenching pool right now. We’re working with probably 10 families and individuals. You guys only hear about a few people we meet with but we have a lot more. It’s just to much to write about haha. But if anyone starts progressing really well I’ll be sure to let you know! We’re in the beginning stages with a lot of people right now. Which seems to always be the case as a missionary. One thing I was thinking about earlier this week is how frustrating it is that we can’t share all of our message to the people we meet every day. If we could just sit down everyone we meet and teach them all the lessons we’d be baptizing left and right. My only concern as a missionary would be out of hypothermia, just being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font. 99% of the people we meet won’t even hear us out. How could you shut something down so fast without even looking into it? I feel it’s because people are just so dang lazy. They don’t want to put forth the effort to investigate. So there’s my little rant for the month to you haha.
ANYWAYS! It’s been a pretty good week. We had some good lessons and good events. A lot of successful finding as well. This past Saturday our ward mission leader put on a family movie night for people to come to. It was supposed to be a missionary tool for the members to invite their friends to but I guess the members didn’t have any friends haha. They played Rouge One. The new Star Wars movie. And they wanted us there the whole time running the concession so it was hard not to go in and take a peak of the movie๐Ÿ˜‚but, I’ll see it in about a year haha.
Thanks for everything you do! I’m super grateful for you guys. Happy Fathers Day to Papa Trev! He’s a pretty good guy and he definitely lucked out on being able to be my Father ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also, Happy Birthday Mom! I know it’s coming up, I’m not exactly sure what day but it’s in the 20’s of June haha. I’m not good with remembering your birthday for some reason๐Ÿ˜… I swear it changes every time I ask so I can never pin down a date haha. Let me know if you have any questions! Keep reading the Book of Mormon! Read it every night with Brooklynn, help her understand the doctrine within it and what it means to us. Have a good week!
Love,
Elder Collings


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