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

•••

Bronchitis

Hello! So I don’t have much time but that’s okay because this week was
pretty un-eventful. After I went to the Dr. on Tuesday she told me I
had to take 3 days to rest so we were cooped up until Saturday!

Hello! I’m feeling much better. I was able to go to the Dr. on Tuesday and
she told me I have bronchitis and I had a fever of 102 at the time. She
gave me a different set of antibiotics, a steroid inhaler, and a rescue
inhaler. The rescue inhaler has done wonders for me haha. I can finally
breath without coughing. I haven’t had a fever since Tuesday either which
has been a blessing. It’s still hard to ride a bike when your lungs don’t
work but we’ve been walking and busing. The fires are in our mission but
I’m on the opposite side so I haven’t been affected at all. I will be over
there Wednesday for a follow up Dr. appointment so I’ll see what’s up. I
will get the Amazon pantry box tomorrow. Zone Conference was alright. I
feel like I didn’t learn much and other missionaries felt the same. The
topics weren’t really related to missionary work so it was a little
confusing as to why we were there, but it was good! Yeah I got Elder
Hathaway’s moms email, I’ll respond to her now. Here’s some pictures for
the week! I’ll tell you about my week soon. Also, I hit my goal weight of
185! I’m actually 184 right now but I realized I still have more to go so
my new goal is 175 and then from there I’ll put on some muscle if I figure
out how!

That was rough but we managed through. We were able to meet with Lauren a
few times but her mom bailed each lesson so I still have yet to meet
her. I found out this week that her mom told her that she’d get kicked
out if she got baptized but she still doesn’t let anything waver her
decision. We think her mom is just all talk but still, that’s a scary
claim for anyone to hear. Especially a 17 year old girl. We picked up
a few people this past week but nobody promising. We’re working with
Michael, Teresa, Dona, Carol, Mike and Evette, and a few others. The
ward here is just fantastic! They show soooo much love towards us the
missionaries. So many members are here to help us out is so many
different ways which I’m very grateful for. This week I’m finally
feeling better for the first time in the area so we’re hoping to work
hard and see the blessings that come from it. Anyways, I hope you guys
have a great week! I love you guys and I also love his great work I’m
apart of. I have a strong testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ, the
Book of Mormon, the prophet Joseph Smith, and the fact that this
church is the Lords kingdom here on earth.

Elder Collings

Labor Day E-mail

I still feel like dirt but on the bright side my fever broke about 2 nights
ago so that’s a plus, hopefully it doesn’t come back. Right now I still
have a wicked cough and 0 energy/strength. I’ve never been sick to where I
feel sooo week! I don’t know if I’ve just never noticed it or if I’m
getting old or what, but I have no strength to do anything. I feel for all
those old sick people now haha. I have been taking it easy but at the same
time we’ve still been working. I’ve been told by a lady in the ward who’s a
pharmacist to call the Dr. and get on something else so I’ll probably call
today.

Yes, I got Mallory’s package! That was very nice of her and I’m super
grateful she took the time to put that together, she came in clutch with
those FavRed Starburts haha. Tell her thank you so much! I also got cards
from both Grandparents, tell them thanks as well! I’m going to email them
personally but if I can’t get around to it help me out. Also thanks to
Brook for putting together that video! That was fun to watch and see how
people have changed. Thanks Brook!

Yes I’m on a bike. It’s good for me but it hasn’t been fun lately,
especially with a fever and it being 107 degrees outside haha. But it’ll
cool down soon enough and I’ll be better soon as well, so it will be a good
way to get into shape. I don’t need a car for being district leader, only
the Zone Leaders need cars so they can pick up everyone’s mail and supplies
each week. This week we have Zone Conference so I won’t have to prepare a
district meeting, whoop whoop! That’s stressful haha.

Lauren is doing good! There’s nothing that will stop that girl from being
baptized! She has 0 support from friends and family but she has come to see
how the gospel has already changed her life. She won’t let anything get in
the way of her and her Heavenly Father. She came to church and we had a few
lessons with her last week. But tomorrow will be interesting because we’ll
meet with her and her mom. We hope her mom will open up a little and see
how this has been affecting her daughters life and hopefully hop on the
church train as well haha.

From what the Zone Leaders said I guess Sister Wells really liked the video
and it made her laugh! That’s about the extent of what I’ve heard haha.
That’s cool that you went and saw those cool places! I’ll probably never
see them in my life so you’ll have to tell me all about them when I get
home.

What do you think about a new suit? I think it’s time. All my pants look
saggy on me. I’ve gone down maybe 4 waist sizes about now. I need some
fitted clothes.

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 😉 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


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