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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ˜‰ 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!πŸ˜‚ 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 πŸ˜‰ 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 oneπŸ˜‚ 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 πŸ˜‰
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 meπŸ˜‚ 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 πŸ˜‰ 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 movieπŸ˜‚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 πŸ˜‰ 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 reasonπŸ˜… 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!
Elder Collings

Hump Day!

Hump day was pretty good! The day before me and Elder Crandall were on exchanges and had to go to East Pasadena to drop off some mission bikes that were here at our pad. So it was cool going back there! I also got to see Elder Hathaway since he’s the bike elder and he’s also covering East Pasadena. We had one of the members there, Brother Flores, take us to dinner. Then on the day of hump day it was basically just like any other day except I got your package, thank you! I’ve actually been wanting a Norwegian book so you read my mind πŸ˜‚ And thank you for the calendar, ties, and bread as well. The Elders I live) with appreciated the bread very much haha. Then me and Elder Crandall went to the Rays and burnt our shirts there together.
I’ll try and give you an in depth review of my week, the struggles and the blessings that come from being a missionary! This past week was pretty good. Every week is good as a missionary but this week was above average. Last Monday we got together as a Zone and played basketball and volleyball. My zone consists of about 26 missionaries, sisters and elders. Playing volleyball was great, I haven’t played since the MTC. Elder Hansen and I were on a team. Me and him tore it up haha. A bunch of sisters were on our team as well and they did nothing so me and Elder Hansen just took control and whooped every one in the Zone πŸ˜‚
I went on exchanges with an Elder named Elder Barber on Saturday. He’s an awesome missionary! He just finished serving as an AP which is the highest position of leadership you can have as a missionary. He taught me a lot the day I was with him. I hope to be as good as he is when I’m about done!
On Sunday it was stake conference. We had 2 of our investigators there but the one who’s supposed to get baptized next week didn’t show up. Now we have to push his date back another week. But all is well. I guess he had to go into work because his boss was threatening to fire him or something. Last night we had dinner with the Rays. They’re a family who feeds us every single Sunday. Us and the Chinese elder’s and sister go and hang out for like 2 hours there every Sunday night and eat and talk. I look forward to that every week!
It’s crazy what you appreciate as a missionary and what gets you pumped haha. Like at home I’d be excited to go to another country for a week but here I get excited if someone waves back to me in the carπŸ˜‚ It’s a real struggle sometimes haha. This morning we just got done playing basketball with 6 other missionaries and now we’re about to go to Costco to get our groceries then I want to go buy a painting from this guy that sells them at the street corner. But I’ll probably go buy some pants instead, I’m in need of a new pair.
All in all it was a good week. Taught a lot and have a lot going on. Oh could you send me my GoPro? That would be great! I don’t have a camera and that would be a good one to have out here. Love you!
Elder Collings

Busy Week Driving!

Hello! So I don’t have much time but it’s been a great week! A LOT of traveling though… I think I told you before that President is really pushing for a Samoan baptism before he goes home. Most all of our work has been focused towards Samoans! They’re all so spread out so we’ve done a ton of sitting in the car driving. I’m the designated driver which means I’m the only person allowed to drive the car so Elder Condie just falls asleep and I’m pretty much just chilling alone. I don’t mind it to much, it’s nice just playing my music and driving without having to hold a conversation sometimes.
This past week we were in Long Beach, Pasadena, Los Angeles, Riverside, Fontana, etc.. All but one of the cities I named are not in the mission so you can get an idea of how boring this weeks been haha. But we’ve had some good success! We have 3 less-active part-member families we’re working with. The most promising are the Mamea’s. We’re teaching Manaia who’s 10. She loves the church and really wants to get baptized! She doesn’t think it’s fair that her 3 older sisters have been baptized and she hasn’t (which is true). Manaia also has 2 unbaptized brothers but they’re currently in Hawaii so we haven’t seen them much.
Manaia came to church yesterday with her Aunt and Uncle, Buda and Elspith. Manaia’s Mom’s name is Nofoanga and she’s currently going through a divorce. It’s hard on her and her kids but at the same time I think it’s caused them to open up to the gospel and consider coming back to church. We still have a lot of work with Nofoanga, but Manaia is loving what we’ve taught and I’m sure we’ll see her baptized in the coming weeks! Louis, from the English ward, is doing great as well. We moved his baptismal day back a week because this week is Stake Conference which sucks, but he’s solid enough that I think it shouldn’t be a problem with him.
That’s a brief summery of the work. There are so many other people I could talk about. We really have a lot going for us right now and we are working with so many people! But as missionary work goes, I’m sure we’ll have to drop 80% of them in about a weekπŸ˜‚ We do have hope and faith! Have a great week and always remember who you are! πŸ˜‰
Elder Collings [image: fist bump.JPG][image: handsome.jpg][image: Condie.JPG]

Hello! Happy Memorial Day!

Hello! Happy Memorial Day! What are your plans for tonight? Anything fun with family? We have a dinner tonight with Tati and Josiah, a Samoan couple. They’re really cool! It was supposed to be with the whole Quiotcho family but I guess they forgot they were going to Utah haha. Other than that it will be a pretty normal P-Day.
We got transfer calls Saturday! Me and Condigity will be together one more transfer here in good old Samoan/Hacienda Heights! Elder Madsen, (One of the Elders we live with) left and Elder Crandall will be taking his place! It’s been good to catch up with him and it will be good to live with him again. (He was one of my MTC companions if you forgot).
Also we got a new Zone Leader, his name is Elder Barber. He’s Elder Hansen’s new companion. He was super excited to receive a new companion, he wanted to put his old one through the wall haha! I did the math and after this transfer when Elder Hansen goes home, we will have been together for 10 1/2 months of our missions, crazy right?? I don’t have many good memories of my mission that he isn’t involved in. It’ll be sad to see him leave in 8 weeks.
Overall this transfer was good for me! A lot of good changes were made in my zone so I look forward to seeing all the cool missionaries that are going to be around. I’m also pretty excited to see what happens this transfer. I feel me and Elder Condie will have some good success, we worked pretty hard last transfer and I’m hoping we’ll see some juicy fruits.
Louis is still scheduled to be baptized here in a few weeks! He is so solid it’s crazy. Honestly he speaks like no English and we don’t speak Spanish but the spirit is teaching him everything he needs to know. We finally had our ward mission leader come out with us to teach him and he translated the whole lesson. He talked to Louis to see what he knows and how he feels and he’s literally learned everything we’ve taught plus more! We have no idea how but it happened πŸ˜‰.
He’s seen the gospel change his life so much that he wants his 6 kids and ex-wife to be baptized and learn from us as well. He also gave us his parents info. to have the missionaries in Mexico visit them. Our Bishop and ward mission leader don’t want us to pass him off to the Spanish Sisters until he’s been baptized so that’s why we are still teaching him. He also wants to stay in the English ward to learn English, he’s doing so well!
Samoan work is going well, we’ve found a lot of people to teach but now we just have to actually teach them. So far everyone’s flaked out. Once we finally have some good sit down lessons with them it will start to click with them and I’m sure we’ll see some progression. Anyways I have some questions that I’ll ask in a minute! I Love you guys!

Elder Collings

Elder Collings – Notes From The Field

Hola! Buenos dias! I said hi to the Navy coach and small talk that goes along with that but not much haha.
This week was good! President is really pushing for a Samoan baptism before he goes home so basically all our work has been in the Samoan ward this past week. We’re definitely not finding and teaching as much there but it’s going well! A lot of driving and a lot of Finding for now but I can see some good potential with what we’ve found so far.
Louis is on date to be baptized June 10th so we’re excited for him, he’s progressing really well and already has a strong testimony on the Book of Mormon and the prophet Joseph Smith. He’s an English investigator so it doesn’t help the Samoan ward much but I guess we can’t just leave Hacienda Heights completely hanging.
Other than that it’s been a pretty basic week! Nothing too special. We did have a lot of good success with less actives we’re working with so that’s a plus. Anyways I hope you have a good week!! Let me know if there’s anything I can for you.
Love you!
Elder Collings

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