Fourth week in the field has been great!

Hello! Greeting from bazillion degree weather here in SoCal!

This last week has been good! We’ve meet a lot of interesting people!
Last Thursday
me and Elder Phillips (Our district leader) got to go on exchanges. He’s an
awesome missionary, we really got along good.

We went and visited a less active named Brother Buffington. We go to his house
every Thursday at 2pm. He’s 91 years old but surprisingly mobile haha. His
wife passed away about 3 months ago and his son just passed away on the 9th
so it’s been hard for him but, he’s still happy
as can be! Him and Elder Philips really hit it off. They are both from
Tremonton, Utah. Brother Buffington started talking about all the things
there from 70 years ago and I guess none of it is still there haha.

We also got to visit one of our new investigators this last week. His name is
Tuan. He’s 14 and from the Philippines but he’s been in the states most his
life. He just moved to California from Arkansas a few
months ago and says this is the worst summer ever haha. He has no friends
so he just sits at home all day. I asked him what he likes to do and he
plays tennis. I told him I do as well and he lit up like a light bulb haha.
He made sure to get our number and we had plans to go out today and play
tennis but they fell through. Hopefully next week πŸ™‚ He’s not too
interested in the gospel but what 14 year old boy is haha. I got him to
commit to baptism though! Hopefully he’ll stick with it.

Yesterday we went out with Brother Stacey again and meet a guy named John.
Him and brother Stacey really hit it off. They both served in the military at
the same time and were talking about all sorts of stuff.
Brother Stacey served for 33 years in the Air Force and was some Chief
General of Command or something like that. I guess it’s the highest rank
you can receive so that was cool to find out πŸ™‚ We go back to teach John
Tuesday with Brother Stacey so hopefully we’ll have another solid
investigator soon! We also have dinner with Brother Stacey Saturday so that
will be fun. He’s loaded and always takes us somewhere cool to eat haha.
The Marshalls also got back from their
trip this week. It’s nice to have them around, they always brighten the
mood and will do anything for us.

I have no opportunities to take pictures haha. When we’re out for the day
Elder Yoon gets mad if I’m not focused on the work which is great, but
means I don’t have any chances to take pictures haha. I’ll try and get
some. I also got a plant today πŸ™‚ It’s pretty cool. I figured it’d teach me
to be a good parent. If I can keep a cactus alive I can for sure keep a
child alive πŸ˜‰ Basically the same needs.

Here’s one of the malls near me. Literally everywhere here is Chinese.
You’d think you’re in China if you didn’t know any better. I’d say only
about 4/10 people we meet on the street speak English. It’s crazy.

Here’s a kid pushing his two little siblings around his apartment in a
shopping cart haha. We’re in such ghetto places sometimes. But those places
are usually where you find the humble people willing to let you in.

My iPads about to die so I better go, but week 4 has been good! Iearned so
much and I’m trying my best to apply that into my
teachings. Anyways, always look for missionary opportunities at home!
There’s always something you can do to share the gospel with others.
And “Remember who you are!” –

Trevor Collings πŸ˜‰

One last thing, “You’re off to great places, today is your day. Your
mountain is waiting, so get on your way! -Dr. Seuss

Love, Elder Collings.

Week Three Was Great!

Hello! Week three was great! One of our investigators came to church this
week, his name is David. He’s dating the bishops daughter so we got this
baptism in the bag πŸ˜‰

We did a lot of service this past week. We’ve helped a few people move
in/out and tomorrow we’re going to a
less actives to help her clean up her place for an appraisal (Thanks to you
and every phone call you’ve had, I know what that’s all about) πŸ˜‰ We’ve
spent a lot of time with awesome members this past week, I just love ever
member here. Brother Stacey is one we probably spend the most time with. He
goes out with us every Sunday to visit people and usually does stuff with
us throughout the week. I had to give a talk Yesterday which sucked haha
but it went well. Everyone said it was a great talk and one Brother came up
to me and said he’s been
struggling and hearing my talk was exactly what he needed. It made me feel
great to know I helped someone in need and that the Lord works through
everything we do even if we don’t realize it.

I think I’mmaking great progress with the members and they seem to really
love me. Elder Yoon has been saying that they don’t trust the Elders very much
but I think they just don’t trust him haha. He has a hard time connecting
with people (Imagine that). The Marshalls left on vacation so we’ve had to
fend for ourselves when it come to food. Yesterday I had a can of pineapple
chunks for lunch hahah.

I got the books you sent me and I’ve been practicing a ton πŸ™‚ Hopefully
soon I’ll get good enough to were I can use it in my efforts to bring
others unto Christ. The mission president keeps dropping hints that I’ll
be called to speak Spanish so I’ve been preparing for that πŸ™‚ The other day
in our interview I told him I had to speak in sacrament and that I was nervous
and he just kinda laughed and said, “Wait until you have to speak in a
Spanish ward”. But I’m excited and 100% willing to learn a
language πŸ™‚

So far the missions been a struggle but wonderful at the
same time! I’m just waiting for that next transfer day to come haha. Have
a good week! Here’s a selfie I took in the car the other day, I look pretty
goofy but oh well. See ya!

End of 2nd Week!

This week has been good! My companion hasn’t changed much but
it’s whatever, I’ve just accepted the fact that it is what it is and I’ll
be gone before I know it haha. And to answer your question he gets mad at
all the little things. Like we’re good in lessons but the stupidest things
set him off. Like one day I guess I parked the car on
the wrong side of the road and he freaked out saying I should’ve
stayed over there and I made a huge problem (which It didn’t) and
another time I took out the trash and asked him where I could find a
new bag and he got mad saying I’m supposed to ask him before I do something
like that and I shouldn’t have done that. Idk it’s just dumb
things that don’t matter but oh well.

I got to go on a 24 hour exchange yesterday with one of the Korean speaking
Elders, Elder Yang! He’s Korean but he’s from New Zealand and we got along
great! We were up until like midnight just
talking about life which is something I haven’t been able to do since
I got here so that was good. Sunday morning we went to 2 meetings, the
English ward then the Korean ward. It was fun but I had NO CLUE what

was going on half the day.

We also had a Korean lesson which was an awesome experience. Even
though I couldn’t understand anything and didn’t say a word, you could
feel when they started talking about more serious stuff because the
spirit just filled the room. It’s awesome how the spirit works and can
touch you even when you don’t know what’s going on and when you don’t
understand. Which is probably what most of our investigators are
feeling. They don’t know what we’re talking about, heck even I don’t
know what I’m talking about half the time, but through the the spirit
they know it’s true. And that’s why they continue to have the desire
to learn more.

We met some interesting people this past week. We meet a guy
named Luigi, he’s about as Italian as they come. He was wearing some
dark dress slacks with shiny black shoes and a white tank top with all
his chest hair hanging out and a thin gold necklace. He was super tan
and was bald with gray hair on the side. So super Italian. I guess he grew
up Catholic but was converted to some other Christianity when he was 35ish.
He was super knowledgeable about the bible and even the Book of Mormon and
we had about an hour and a half talk but he didn’t
seem too interested. He did commit to re-reading the Book of Mormon
though πŸ™‚ We just meet so many different kinds of people all the time
it’s hard to keep up haha.

I went and bought a Ukulele today! Haha I’m determined to be pro by the end
of my mission. I’ve also been playing the guitar a lot. There’s nowhere in
my area to get like a beginners book for either instrument so I’m kinda
just doing whatever but hopefully I’ll find someway to learn soon? I also
got my iPad Thursday! It’s been a huge blessing with teaching and learning.
It’s so much easier to learn Spanish with the iPad haha.

Keep sending pics and keeping me updated with what’s going on in
your lives! It’s good to hear and see how you guys are doing? Let me
know if I can do anything for you guys or if you need help in anyway,
I’ll do the best I can! Keep living the gospel!? I miss and love you
guys as well! You’re an amazing example to me and everyone around you!

Talk to you later!

Elder Collings

First week in the field

Well, I’m here! I got off the flight that was about 2 hours long but I
slept most the time and met 14 missionaries for about a minute that were
going home. Then we took off out of the terminal and met President and
sister Villanueva and the two AP’s. They were super nice and greeted us
with a sign and were super happy to see us! Then we loaded our luggage and
took off to the mission! Me and the trio got to ride with one of the AP’s
and he answered all our questions we had and told us what to expect that
day so that was super helpful.

We all met at the mission office and had some paperwork to do and a quick
little orientation. Lunch was pretty good that day, one of the secretaries
made some baked potatoes. Then we had a meeting and meet our companions and
found out where we’re serving! I’m serving in Temple City which is pretty
big and is about 99% Asians and Hispanics. My companions name is Elder
Yoon, he’s from South Korea and is just a little guy haha. He’s been out
for 10 months but only 3 in California. He served in Korea while he was
waiting for his visa. He speaks pretty good English but he still has
trouble sometimes so that’s kind of a challenge sometime. We got along
pretty good at first but it’s just kinda going downhill. He misunderstands
a lot of things I do and gets really frustrated over the smallest things. I
try to talk to him about it but he’s not very open to anyones opinions but
his own. So I do my best with him but It’s been really hard.

I guess I got here at one of the worst times haha. The work is really slow
and we don’t have anyone to teach. I’ve only taught one lesson since I’ve
been here. His name is Hector, he’s about 55-60 and he talks A LOT but it’s
funny haha. He really listened to what we had to say but as soon as we were
done he went right back into talking about his garden so, idk if he meets
with us for our message or for our company haha. We’ve been trying to
contact old investigators in our area but it’s not going to well. But we do
have a car! So that makes everything a lot better πŸ™‚

The area is pretty nice/ghetto. You could drive down any street in the area
and see million dollar houses and trailers side by side so it stays
interesting. Most of the big houses are owned by the Chinese so we’re in
the ghetto like all the time! πŸ˜‰ I wish you could see half the people we’ve
talked to, you’d probably be too scared to look at them through out of fear
that they’d track you down and shoot you but they’re all super nice to the
missionaries so we just chat it up hahah. Yesterday we were walking through
a hispanic trailer park looking for a former investigator and we went to
her house and knocked on the door but I guess she moved like a year and a
half ago, so this big ole beefy shirtless Mexican with about 700 tattoos
came out with a switchblade hanging from his pants and started talking with
us. We have an appointment with him and his family this week haha.

My house is great! We live with the Marshalls and they are awesome. They
feed us whenever we need it and have food for us here so we don’t do any
shopping. Brother Marshall also does most of our laundry every Sunday
morning so that’s a huge blessing haha. We’re going to spend most of our
4th tonight at our house with them and neighbors so it should be good πŸ™‚ I
get my IPad on Friday and once I have that I can check my email every night
after 10 but I can’t respond, so keep those emails coming πŸ˜‰ The work is
defiantly hard but it’s fun, hopefully it picks up soon so I can start
teaching people and start having some awesome spiritual experiences! So far
Cali’s treating me well but it has been really hot. I hope you all have a
good 4th of July! Try not to be to sad without me there! πŸ˜‰

First area and first companion

Elder Collings has arrived in Temple City for his first area. He is living
with a member family. They said that they are so excited to get to know
him. He has a wonderful companion Elder Yoon from South Korea. They said he
will teach him well.

Temple City area is really large, so they will have a car for awhile.
Bridger is the designated driver! He says he will have to get use to the LA

first area pix 1

Elder Collings has arrived!

Dear Parents,

Today we had the privilege of welcoming your missionary to the California
Arcadia Mission. Thank you for all you have done to prepare him to serve
as a worthy representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Attached is a photo taken as he arrived. I am grateful for the opportunity
we will have to serve together here in this part of the Lord’s vineyard.
We will do all we can to support and to encourage him in this challenging
new calling as a full time missionary.

Your continued support through weekly letters or e-mail, is important for
his success as a missionary. Mail should be sent directly to the Arcadia
Mission Office at 614 W Foothill Blvd, Arcadia, California 91006.

This is a great work and an exciting time to be serving mission in
California. The mix of cultures and languages here is most unique, and we
discover daily that special people have been led here to embrace the Gospel
of Jesus Christ. I know you and your family will be richly blessed for the
service he renders here and the sacrifice you are making to support and
strengthen your missionary.


President MoisΓ©s Villanueva

California Arcadia Mission

[image: Collings 3839.jpg]

President Collings and Tracy at the MTC

It was SO great to get this blog post from Tracy:

We have an Elder Collings in the MTC too! Steve’s cousin’s son is here.
They have lived close by us for years, and our son is good friends with
him. We looked for him for three days. Finally on Sunday, we went to the
information desk and asked it it would be appropriate to see him while we
were here. They jumped up and said absolutely!!

A quick phone call to his zone leader, and Elder Collings was there. He
had such a light about him. He smiled the whole time, and talked about how
his training is going. He will be leaving the day after us, and is so
excited to serve a mission. We are so impressed with what a geat young man
he is. What a fun experience to be able to see him while he is in the MTC!
[image: FullSizeRender.jpg]



P-day took forever to get here, but it's here!Β 
last week has flown by, so many new missionary's came last Wednesday.
Nobody I know though. The food has gone downhill, they're turning the
cafeteria into like a studio so almost all the options we use to have
have been taken from us. The reason they did that is because the 12
apostles and the first presidency will be here this week training all
the new mission presidents, I guess this is only the second time they've
done this. So chances are ill bee hearing from one of them tonight in the devotional or this Sunday so that's pretty exciting ?Β 
district is doing well.Β  Me and Elder LeBaron are doing good though.
He's super funny and talks a lot. We do everything as a district which
is good. Me and Elder Munsey probably get along the best. We've both
been out of high school for a year and are just on the same page with
our lives and are definitely more mature than the others. He lives just
down the street from Grandma and Grandpa Harwood. We had another
district in our zone leave yesterday which was kinda sad, we got really
close to them. I'll send another email with pics.Β 
teachings here have been great, we learn so much. We committed our last
two investigators to baptism which was great! We got two new ones
yesterday and so far its going great. We have plenty of chances to teach
them this week which is exciting! Everyone here loves teaching. I had
to give a talk last Sunday in sacrament which sucked. Every week
everyone has to prepare a talk and you find out who speaks as they're
giving announcements which is terrifying haha. But it went well,
everyone said it was great. I also had to give a lesson in priesthood
and i found out about that like an hour before because Elder Crandell
didn't assign anyone (imagine that). But the lesson went great! My
companions didn't help at all because they decided to talk and mess
around when we were supposed to prepare but that's all good, I killed it
without them ?
couple of nights ago being the bored missionaries we are, we started
taking off the vents in our rooms and found a stash of love letters and
valentines cards in one of them. They we're pretty funny! Our dorm use
to be a girls dorm so they we're a bunch of sappy letters some guy wrote
to his girlfriend haha. I love all of your guys letters and hearing
whats going on back home! Keep sending them! Sorry I can't reply to them
I just don't have much time to email. And I got your package! I loved
it! and everyone in the zone loved the Jerky haha.
Anyways I better get going, I love you all! I'll send some pics in a separate email.
Elder CollingsBridger1.jpe


California is Ready! E-mail from Arcadia!

Sister Collings,

We are (literally) counting down the days until we get to greet Elder Collings! It is a big day! There will be a luncheon when he arrives, photos and interview with the president, instruction on mundane procedures, assignment to his area, and departure with his companion by mid-afternoon. Although he will likely be very tired, he will be actively proselyting among the great people of southern California before his head touches his new pillowcase that night!

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