Wednesday, December 25, 2013


A week of change is always scary at first. However with time everything and everyone settles in and the adjustment is made. This week has been full of changes!!!!!! To start off I have a new companion. Her name is Sister Emily Bray. This is my second companion in a row whose first name is Emily!!!!! Its just meant to be hahaha. She is from Riverton Wyoming. She is 21 years old and has a fiancé at home. (She said yes on conditions she can go on a mission. He purposed thinking he could change her mind. poor guy.) She is so adorable and I love her very much. When went out for the first day she worked like she has been out for 6 months! It was so COOL! I love being with her and we are both learning a lot from each other.
I am opening a new area in the sense that the ward I have gone to now has 3 sets of missionaries. The first ward to have 3 in the English half of our mission!!!!!!! Its a new experience. The area I am in is Van Nuys. I must request that you do not go and look up information or pictures of this part of town. There are pockets of good neighborhoods but mostly this is the true ghetto of the mission. There are streets we have been given strict instruction to stay off of at night. There are a lot of gangs and drug addicts. Please do not worry. We are playing it smart and safe as much as we possibly can. We go to members homes at night and street contact and door knock during the day. We are still trying to figure out all the logistics of it. Its a work in progress. Our bishop has given us 5 names per week that he wants us to visit. We were able to contact all of ours and we even got 2 less-active sisters to come to church yesterday! We taught 1 lesson to our only investigator and we are close to dropping him. We are told by the Elders in our ward that the area we are in hasn't ever really been worked through. So we are starting from scratch! ;D The ward is very welcoming to us. There are many, many different cultures here. The majority of them are English and Philippino. Our first dinner came from a Philippino family. We aren't sure what we ate and we aren't going to ask anytime soon. Im still not sure if I liked it or not. Someone suggested cow vien.......weird.
Miracles and funny stories:
I'll start with funny stories. We went to visit one of the less-actives. The house had been dark for a couple of days so we started to get worried since she is Elderly. When no one came to the door after we knocked I decided I would look through the mail slot to see if there was a light on. (Her door has brown glass) As I was bent over looking in all of the sudden I saw someone walking towards the door! I immediately pulled back blushing from my little spying escapade.... The door never opened! Then the mail man came walking up. I offered to put the mail in for him so I could either replace my foolishness or do a good deed. Pick which ever one you choose to believe. They are both true. I decided to knock on the door one more time while we were having a good hearty laugh and our member finally opened to door. She was completely oblivious to what had happened and it made us laugh even harder. hahahaha She came to church on Sunday! She said it was because she was supporting us because we were giving our testimonies. We later found out from a friend of hers that she said, "The girls always out shine the boys!" Our sacrament program was given by all of the missionaries either giving a testimony or talking on the lessons we teach.
Another funny story is that we were driving like we always do. A yellow jeep cut right across 2 lanes of traffic to make it to the turn lane. I was startled but not upset. When we pulled up next to them I noticed they were sheepishly looking at us. We started laughing and then we just kept looking back and forth. All of us were laughing about it without talking to each other. What made it even funnier was that they were older gentlemen! California drivers are CRAZY!
ummm.... oh yeah miracles. Besides our two less actives coming to church we had some really awesome experiences finding. One day we decided to knock a certain street. I was getting frustrated with all the polite turn downs. I was feeling quite done with the street but decided to just do a couple more doors. A young man was walking out to his car when we stopped him. We started teaching him about having faith in Christ. He mentioned to us that it is the only thing he has to pull him through this rough time. His parents are separating and he isn't happy with it. Why people just decided to open up to us perplexes me but I am glad that they can. This young man provided a light during a dark moment for me that day and I am eternally grateful we pushed on. Later on that day we went street contacting just before dark. We stopped another young man. He said he wasn't in the mood but I felt prompted to give him a card with the YSA info on it. When he got it and looked at it he very seriously said, "Thank you for not passing by." That was it. We wished him well and continued on. Sister Bray has very quickly picked up when a miracle happens. She will just stop and look wide eyed as she reviews the moment and then says something about the miracle. Its so awesome!!!!
Probably the most prominent memory of the week was last night. We went to yet another less-actives home. She didn't know we were coming so it was a surprise. We got to know her a little bit. She is getting married in a couple weeks and had skipped out on church that day. I offered to say a prayer before we left. I felt like it was just a normal prayer for someone but when I opened my eyes she was crying and kept saying, "O, that touched my heart." The spirit was strong. I also noticed that her fiancé had turned off the TV while the prayer was being said. It was just a cool experience.
Well I think that is it. I am safe don't worry. There are lots of miracles to be had this next week.
Love you all lots! Hurrah for Israel!
Sister Cottrell

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