Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Hello family and friends!

I am so sorry I dont know what has been going on with the email system. I hope that this email comes when it is supposed to.

This week has been so busy! But let me start with last Sunday:

On Sunday our mission had a special fast to help us reach our goals of 30 Baptisms in July, 1000 new investigators in July so we can baptize 40 in August. Sister Scrivner and I decided to add our own goals into the fast to help us reach our goal of 2 baptisms in July. We had one lined up already so we were fasting in faith to find another. It was a wonderful Sunday and we closed our fast with the feeling of peace that the Lord has heard our prayers. On Monday we gave the spiritual thought for FHE. When we were done one of the sisters in our ward asked if she could come out with us instead of going to the beach (FHE). We were excited to have her join us! She told us that she had been prompted to ask during the spiritual thought. As we prayed right before our lesson with a former investigator Sister Scrivner felt prompted to ask for help as we extended a baptismal commitment. But what she prayed for was for help to know how to help our investigator progess. When she finished praying she explained what happened. I got the distinct impression that this investigator was to be our other baptism for July. We were all kind of blown away. We went into the lesson starting out as we had planned. We soon discovered our lesson going a different direction which is okay because it lead us into the conversation of baptism. Sister Scrivner extended the commitment and he accepted it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were so excited and astonished that all we could do was laugh by the end of the night. As well as offer prayers of gratitude that the Lord answered our Fast so quickly. It was truly a miracle. Then yesterday morning we got a text from his ride saying he was sick and couldn't make it to church. This was a problem because if he didn't come to church we would have to push is baptismal date back a week. We called him to verify he was sick. After we hung up he texted us that he had taken some medicine to calm his stomach and was waiting to see if it would work. We started to prayer immediately that the Lord would heal him so that we could help him keep his commitment for church and baptism. I kid you not that 3 minutes later we heard from him that he felt fine and was on his way to church!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Lord has been so mindful of us and continually answers our prayers. Some definitely quickly than others but they are answered all the same! While we were at church we taught Gospel Principles. We asked the question of why fasting is so important. Our dear investigator piped up from the back row. He said, "its important because it allows us to leave the worldly things behind and focus on coming closer to God." .......DONE! He basically taught the class in one sentence. We couldn't believe it. How amazing that our investigator could answer a question about fasting when he is the result of a fast. Our minds have been blown. ;D

We started our exchanges this week with some of our Sisters. It was so good to get to know them and to hear their concerns and then feel directed by the spirit to set the goals for the exchange so that we could help them progress and become exceptional missionaries. Here are the miracles we saw: (in bullet point because there are too many details to share ;D)

1. we found a less active member from Utah that is YSA age!

2. a guy answered the door with a pistol in hand. Dont worry all was well when we said we talk about our Savior. He dropped the gun into his pocket, and he was 85 years old.

3. during the memorial service (for friends and youth of the Church) for our ward member we were able to locate two non member friends of the ward member and give them Book of Mormons and talk to them about the Plan of Salvation.

4. we committed an Atheist to give a pass a long card to someone who wants to know more about Christ, hence getting him to talk about Christ to someone else. heeheehee that one was funny because I didn't realize what I had done until I walked away. haha

5. While I was with my girls I was able to watch the change that took place in them as they saw the miracles unfold through out the day. I was able to help them recognize miracles in way that motivated them and gave them more positive attitudes.

Exchanges were amazing and I am so glad that I have had this oportunity to be a sister training leader.

I spoke in church yesterday. I was so nervous and I have no idea why. I was asked to speak on the plan of salvation. When I clarified how I was supposed to do that since it has been the theme for a couple weeks now the Bishop told me to talk about the girl who passed away. He wants to keep her memory fresh and the plan of salvation alive in our wards mind. Well as I studied for this talk I realized that I didn't want it to become a Euology. So I prefaced my talk with saying "I know that all of us will be thinking our our ward member because the sorrow is so fresh in our minds. But I want you to try to think about how the Plan of Salvation applies to you because you're apart of it. You are here!" Sister Scrivner informs me that I reached my goal. That at first her mind was drawn to the events of late but by the time I was done she was thinking of herself and how the Plan of Salvation blesses her. I had several other people tell me that I had said things they needed to hear. I was grateful for that because I felt scattered the whole time I was up there. I guess that was my logical mind feeling that as the spirit was talking. It all worked out and I am relieved.

I have officially become the designated driver of our vehicle because Sister Scrivner is under Doctors orders to not drive due to her seizures. I really hated hearing that (even though I am safer driving now) because I haven't wanted to drive since I got here! California drivers are nuts! and we all know my magnetic effect on cars. ;D hahaha. I trust the Lord will protect us and our poor car. His name is Jack because he has the turn radius of the Titanic. ;D

We have been trying to teach Red how to talk like a king and decided we needed to apply it too. One day this week our phone was being stupid and I said "this phone sucks!" Sister Scrivner turned and said, "okay now how would you say that like a queen?" I thought for a moment and said "This device is not performing to its fullest capacity. And I am VERY disappointed!" (in a British accent) hahaha we laughed pretty hard over that one. In fact it has become our inside joke. Amazingly enough it is working out quiet well. We are finding new ways to say things and get around not so lady like words.

Well I think that just about does it for this week. I love you all and I hope and pray that you see the miraclous power of God's hand in your lives.

Hurrah for Israel!


Sister Cottrell

Missing Email- July 8th

Okay email for week after July 4th.
Hello everyone!
It has been a very busy emotional week for us in Northridge YSA. Our week started off with meeting with a guy, I'll call him Red. Red came into our church building 3 Sundays ago looking for the Bishop to confess. We met with him instead and talked to him about repentance. Come to find out that he is a member! So we set appointment times to meet with him. Then we found out that he is homeless, a recovering heroin addict, and just got out of prison. We set a time for Sundays to meet with him half expecting him to show up again. Well the next 2 sundays he has come and we have had lessons with him. We got a call from him just a couple of nights ago. He was venting and very upset. When we got him calmed down we talked about the things we could help him with. The poor kid hasn't done laundry in 5 weeks, he hasn't had a shower in 1 week, he as no place to stay, he hadn't had a meal in 2 days, his girlfriend has not been a good thing for him, and he smoked weed to calm his problems down in his mind. So we made a sandwich for him, gathered the extra snack food we had, put a small hygiene kit together and gave it to him. He was definitely touched. Okay so now that I have given you the current problems with him let me give you his background. Red grew up in the church. Around 11 years old the male figure in his life started injecting him with Heroin. By the time he was 12 he was in the Skinhead gang (american natzi gang: the gang where only white people are acceptable and all other races don't belong in america nor do they have the right to mix with white people) Since then he has spent time in and out of prison and running the streets. I want you to take 30 seconds and think about how your life would be if someone started your life out injecting you with Heroin. Would you be like him? I think we all would be. His lifestyle was determined by someone else. Yes he has made choices but you when you are addicted to heroin you go where you can satisfy your addiction aka gangs. Red is amazing though. He remembers so much about the church! I has a primary song Nephi's Courage that he has remembered all these years. Its the only one he can remember. He has come to us to get help to change his life. He told us that he read the bible in prison in a week. He understands that he is the Prodigal son trying to come back home. In the last 3 weeks he has made amazing progress! He has done everything he can to become an inactive member in his gang by gang standards so that he can find God. If he deters from the lifestyle of finding God, his gang will kill him. He has taken huge steps to disassociate himself from people who do heroin. He asked to be taught the law of chastity so that he could start dating girls in the church. When we taught him yesterday about having the potential to be kings and queens and that we needed to act like we had the potential he immediately changed the way he talked about people. We also taught him a list of meaningless substitute words for his swearing. When we heard from him last night he didn't swear once! He also talked about treating a girl like a queen. hahaha Red is so precious. He is really trying. He told us that he wants his mom and sisters back. He said that he wanted the God he grew up with back in his life because the pagan Gods haven't done anything for him. He has prayed everynight this week and when he read the Book of Mormon he cried. He is doing everything he can to change. He even went to the family ward to get the message because he needs church and wants to replace drugs with church. He also told us that he isn't racist when it comes to church because they are all his brothers and sister in Christ. I hope you can see the love we have for Red and what a precious soul he is to God. Our bishop has been wonderful for Red too.
We also had a heart ache this week. A dear sister in our ward was killed in a freak car accident. She was standing at a bus stop when the car accident happened along with 2 other ladies. The cars were racing the local street at 90 mph. A van pulled out in front of them. Both cars ran into the van knocking it over. It flattened the sedan and the truck rolled and spun out taking out the bus stop and a flower shop. All 6 people involved in the accident were taken to the hospital in critical condition. She died early in the morning. She had only been a member for 2 years. I am so glad that she had the opportunity to accept the gospel in this life. I know that she is going to be an amazing missionary in the spirit world! Our testimony meeting was themed around the plan of salvation. Her death has really united our ward and it has been amazing to watch. I have many opportunities to reflect on the plan of salvation and it amazes me just how much more I learn each time. I know that there is life after death and that we all have the opportunity to live with our Father in Heaven again.
This week we also had missionary leadership council. In this council we talked about lowering the goal of 1000 baptisms to 300. I was actually really disgusted with this idea. I told President Hall that I wasn't okay with lowering it because we had already committed to the Lord of working to 1000. I did some math and found that it really is possible for us to reach this goal of 1000. We have 75 companionships in our mission. If each of us baptized 2 people every month to the end of the year we would reach 900 baptisms. Then we would add the 124 we already have. We would reach 1024 baptisms. This number isn't including the increase of missionaries we are getting in the next couple months. ITS POSSIBLE!!!!!!! So President set a month goal of 30 baptisms for our whole mission in the month of July since our average is 21. We had a mission fast yesterday so that we have the Lord extra help in reaching this goal. I know we can do it!!!! Our zone is opening 3 new areas and Chatsworths zone is also opening 3 new areas. The work is hastening!!!!!!!!! I am so excited!
Well this email is really long and I need to go. We are starting exchanges this week and I know we will see miracles! I love you all very much!