Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hello Spring?

Well I must say that the weather outside is frightful....a frightful 80 degrees! Its January and we are all sweating out here. Goodbye winter clothes hello spring! A member had told me that by this time of the year it was really cold, or should be....... Its been an interesting week trying to remember to dress cool. I am so sorry that none of you can experience thesweat bliss oh I mean sweet bliss of California. =) hahahaha
It was an amazing week in teaching people and in finding people. We had a wonderful lesson with a new investigator named "Blue." She is a former investigator. When we asked her if the missionaries who had taught her for almost a year had brought up baptism she said no. We were perplexed to say the least. Then we told her our purpose was to baptize and it was her turn to be stunned. She said, "Well that makes sense!" Our lesson was quite lengthy, something we weren't expecting. She just ended up having a lot of questions. Her main concern was that she is afraid she wont make a good Mormon. We assured her that there is no such thing as a perfect Mormon. When we also told her about the Book of Mormon and had gave her some of our experiences in reading it and in remembering to read it she was again shocked because of course the missionaries are perfect, right? WRONG! it was such a real life lesson it was amazing!
We gained another investigator almost by surprise. We asked him if he had 10 minutes and proceeded to teach him. Well we may or may not have taken a lot longer but the spirit was so strong. He almost started crying as I was relating Joseph Smiths experience. His gaze was on me and I knew that if I broke eye contact that the power of the moment would be lost. When we taught about the Book of Mormon he blurted out "I'll read it!" We hadn't even finished teaching it yet. It was amazing! I don't have a name for him yet but I'll let you know.
I had an experience this week with the Bishops wife. As we went to some of our scheduled appointments they kept falling through and the people answering the door where different than who we intended to see. For whatever reason I was always ready to go to the next place. As soon as the bishops wife sensed it she would jump in and ask if they had some time now for us to teach them instead. I later thanked her for her efforts and made it obvious that I needed to change and improve on this particular part of being a missionary. She wanted to me understand that she didn't do it to make me feel bad, which to be honest it had but I needed it! She later told us that her mission president had ingrained in them to be bold and fearless, two things that I have been wanting to change. I really appreciated her efforts and I have allowed them to work within me to motivate me to be better. It was a good experience.
We had a regional stake conference yesterday and it was so good! Elder Eyring and Elder Andersen spoke as well as Sister Burton. It was great as they talked about the hastening of the work. Elder Eyring talked about reaching out to our kin to share the gospel with them, to find those who have wandered and to bring them back. It is our responsibility!!!! It made me think of the things that I can do when I get home. Not just with family but with others too.  Oh it was just so good. I also got to see many of the YSA's and got to talk with them. It was so fun to see the excitement on their face when they saw me. I must have done something good while I as there. =) I miss them sooooo much! I am honestly excited to go to a singles ward. It was just such a good day.
We taught our little investigator (the 13 year old) yesterday too! The spirit is so strong with him and as we talked about the Atonement his eyes lighted up even more. Satan is working so hard on their little family. His grandpa got run over by a car this week. He is okay but is foot is fractured and they only bike when they have to go somewhere. We keep praying for them so that they will be safe and protected from the adversary.
We also found a less active member of our ward who lives in a mental group home. At first we were nervous because we don't know what his condition is but he actually is very alert and sensitive. We met with him twice. We read in the Book of Mormon and it was amazing the insights that he had about forgiveness. He really wants to go to church but hasn't been able to get there. We found a ride for him yesterday and he expressed such a relief and a calming feeling for being there. We are so excited for him! While we were there we also found another 2 potentials. This place may be a gold mine!
Well I think that is it for today. I am sorry this is so short! I love you all so much!
Hurrah for Israel!
Sister Cottrell 

Amazing Week!

This week has been amaizng. I have really been working on asking inspired questions while street contacting. Its been amazing to see the responses from people. They feel the spirit more quickly and it seems to weed them out faster. You know the people who are truly interested and those who aren't. We went on exchanges this week and it was amazing! I was able to work with a sister that I have always wanted to work with. Her name is Sister Walgren. She is a power house and I really learned alot from her.
We also had a ward blitz on Saturday. I was able to take the Relief Society President out with me. We ended up talking to a lot of spanish people which was great because she spoke spanish. I couldn't understand a lick of it but the spirit was strong and I know she had a wonderful experience. Now hopefully she can pump up the other sisters in the ward.
 I didn't get transferred! Hooray! This is the first transfer since May that I haven't had something to do with or for. Its great! a little weird but good. I am so excited that I get to finish Sister Bray's training. She is so wonderful and I am excited to see how she continues to progress as a missionary. 
We gained 2 new investigators this week which were pure miracles. One has 2 little children (we found her on exchanges) and the other is a 13 year old boy (he has come to church since he was little). I am so excited about these investigators. Its going to be a great experience! Last night we taught one of them and it was so powerful! I am confident he will be baptized in the next coming months.

There were several times this week where we had older men flirting with us. It was always funny because the companion they were flirting with never figured it out until the other companion told them. We also had a drunk kid flirting with us. Apparently he joined the church when he was 14 but wont come to church because he cant get his family to come with him. I partially believe him. I am sure there is some truth to what he said. Sister Bray told me that when people get drunk they always discover they have a tongue. They always have it sticking out just a little bit and that is exactly how this kid was! 
I saw a semi truck trailer that hauls cars with the title "Cottrell inc." on the side. I was super excited! 
I met a direct descendant of David Whitmer on the street! We walked up to him introduced ourselves and he said, "Oh yeah Im a member. Can I see your book? He opened right up to the testimony of the 3 witnesses and said you see that guy? Thats my great grandpa!"
I got a spider bite on my leg that swelled to the size of a couple quarters. I think it came when we met with a potential outside sitting on his lawn furniture. (its healing now hahaha) 

Last week we had a ZTM where we talked about casting our nets away. We wrote down our nets and literally threw them in the trash. I didn't think much about it but the Lord did, I have discovered. I can't tell you how much the Lord has helped me stay away from the nets. One of them was fear. Not your every day "Am I going to be safe today?" fear but the fear of talking to strangers and making mistakes. I have felt more bold and more passionate about the work this week than at any other time in my mission. I am trying as hard as I can to take one day at a time and to control the things that I can control. It doesn't do me any good to focus on anything bigger. It stresses me out. I have also seen a lot of growth in myself this week. I think the Lord is trying to tell me something. Up to this point I haven't really felt like I have changed but there are little things that have popped up that I know are different about me.
Well I cant think of anything more. I love you so much! Its gonna be another great week! Hurrah for Israel!
Sister Cottrell