Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hello From the Great San Fernando Mission!

If you couldn't tell from the subject I am officially staying in the San Fernando Mission! I had a feeling I would based off the deductions I was able to quickly make before transfers and who I knew was transferring. So where in the world am I in the mission? I am in fact back in the San Fernando Valley. I am in the Northridge YSA ward! Yeah that's right singles ward time! I am so excited to be here for several reasons. 1. my area covers the whole valley. Its so big that we have to use a GPS to get around. That also means I can work in the Chatsworth area ;D 2. I get to be companions with Sister Scrivner who is also a Sister Training Leader. She also was Sister Haws' MTC companion. Cool!
Transfer meeting was amazing! When we walked into the gym to deposit luggage the whole gym was full! We got 45 new missionaries so that took up a great deal of room. We also had the whole mission present (minus a couple companionship's) . As we sang "Called to Serve" when the new missionaries walked in they just kept coming, and coming, and coming! We filled 3 rows all the way across the chapel with new missionaries!!!! It was just breathe taking. Then the nerves hit just about every missionary present and the questions started running through our minds of "Where am I going?" "Who will be my companion?" "Am I in the San Fernando Mission or Bakersfield?" The congregation was buzzed with anticipation. President Hall stood up and started it like any other transfer meeting. When my name was read off it literally startled me. I was so excited to hear my companions name and the area I was going into! This meeting also brought a lot of tears. Many of my dear new friends have gone to the Bakersfield Mission. This includes Sister Dyreng and Sister Haws who are companions and Sister Training Leaders together. ;( I know they will be amazing though and they will help the mission flourish into a booming new mission. So that is the news with me.
The other amazing news is from the New Mission Presidents seminar that was broadcast to the whole world! I hope you get the opportunity to watch it. There are so many new missionaries in the MTC! I broke out into goosebumps several times during the opening song. Okay okay okay I will tell you the news of the broadcast:
Missionaries are now being allowed to use the internet on a daily basis for about 1 hour. They will be using Sykpe, Facebook,, and several other resources. Tablets and smart phones are currently being tested and when available will be issued to the Missions. Missionaries will also start to give frequent church tours and will remain in the church building so that anyone can walk in!!!!! My mind has been blown! There is so much changing in the missionary work! I am so excited. All of you should take the opportunity to watch the broadcast. There are many inspirational talks and will help change every members view of missionary work. Several of the speakers (apostles) spoke on the need for wards to step it up. "The Missionaries are only in the area to assist the members in missionary work." and our ward mission leaders are to be our best friends and its their responsibility to fill up our appointment books so that there isn't time for us to go knock on doors. Yeah, there was some pretty hefty stuff said. It was amazing, if anything it renewed a sense of urgency in all the missionaries.
Okay so my week other than BIG announcements. By wednesday night Sis. Scrivner and I had the opportunity to help some of our sisters out. One is struggling with separation anxiety from her trainer going home. So we talked to them separately so that we could both help them. It was great just to be there and listen to them. I think that if any thing we do to help these sisters outside of training it will be just to listen. We all need someone to listen to us and thats what we are going to be here for. Obviously they have their companions but sometimes when your struggling with your companion they are the last person you want to talk to about how to handle them. We told one of them to text us a smiley face when she is struggling. The next day she texted us that she couldn't find a mustache for it. We laughed so hard and hope that she did too.
Sister Scrivner is an angel sent from Heaven. As we talked about our past experiences of this last transfer we both realized that the Lord knew we needed each other. We had very similar experiences and once that was discovered we both agreed that we were going to put behind us the hurt feelings of last transfer and focus solely on the sisters we have under our stewardship. We have also seen many miracles in our area. On Wednesday afternoon we went onto campus (CSUN) and finally found the department that would let us set up a booth to hand out literature. This is something that several companionship's have attempted to do. So we are very excited. We had an investigator that we dropped. Unfortunately his ideas about the nature of God were not allowing him to progress in learning about the gospel. One of these ideas is that God is a blob of Love and doesn't have a body. When we brought up all the accounts of seeing God he said that he can mold himself to look like a human being....yeah we were sad to drop him but when you talk for 1 hour and 15 minutes and can't make progress on the nature of God something has to be done.
One of the difficulties that Sis. Scrivner has last transfer was getting seizures. So one night she had to pull an all nighter for a procedure. I went to bed then woke up really early to help her through the morning hours. Then after the procedure I crashed for 2 hours on the couch and she slept from 3-11pm and then 11:30pm-6:30am. yeah she needed the sleep. hahaha
We just got word this morning that there is a very good chance we will pilot a bus area. That means our car will be taken away and we will only have the bus as our transportation. Crazy right? another mind blowing idea. We asked president to get special permission to get on the city transportation website to get a one day pass to try it out. He told us "Absolutely! Let me know how it goes!" We responded so quickly to the idea of switching over that our Zone Leaders called us to make sure. We are very excited. There are so many possibilities of increasing our teaching pool by contacting on the bus. We live next to the university campus so lots of students bus to it. ;D Well that's it I think. Sorry this is so long. There is so much amazing stuff going on in the world of the Church!!!!!! I hope you are excited to see the Hastening of the work happening. Elder Holland said that we will never again be able to say concerning missionaries "There they go" rather it will be "Here they come!" How true it is!
Now more than ever before: HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!
Sister Cottrell
Me and Sister Dyreng- Chatsworth
Palmdale, CA