Send Jonny a Letter!

Send Jonny a letter!!

Elder Jonathan Collier
1015 Norwyk Ln.
Williamsburg, VA 23188

Monday, September 11, 2017

Last Email!!

Hey Mom!

My week has been really really good. Time is going by wayyyy too fast. This is really weird sitting here right now. This has honestly been a super fun week though! We were definitely able to see God's hand all throughout it just like the rest of my mission. Packing and getting all that ready was hard though. I didn't sleep much last night... haha! I don't know how much I'll sleep tonight but we'll see! 

We were able to find a family that we taught this week! That was super cool. ACtually, the story is sweet, we were going over to dinner with some members, but the dad was late from work, so we went out and worked until she was gonna text us when he came home. So we went out and contacted this guy that we had known for actually a few months now but haven't been able to teach! So we contacted him, (and it was raining pretty hard so we were wet) and he let us right in! We taught him, his wife, and their 10 year old son and they really liked what we shared about the restoration! it was a pretty good lesson and they invited us back for dinner! I won't be there for it, but it was cool to be able to be apart of that. 

We also saw a few more of our investigators this week, and KAren and her family are doing fantastic. They have started to read the Book of Mormon and have said that they want to be baptized! It's only a matter of time now. Seriously, investigators that come through working with the members are the greatest. They are the most solid! So that was cool to see. 

Other than that, it was just a solid week. Bad on my part, I didn't pick a ponderizing scripture yet... But i will! And I DO KNOW that this is the true church. I have come to know that the Lord leads and directs this work for HIs children. IT's such a blessing to be apart of it. I said a prayer last night reflecting on my mission, and I just felt peace. The same peace that I feel when I read the Book of Mormon, and take the Sacrament. The Spirit is real. And I know that God is there and wants to be apart of our lives. 

Thank you so much for all your support and love this whole time Mom! I guess I'll have a lot of stories to tell this week! 

I can now officially say, I'll see you soon! I love you so much!! 

Love you,

Elder Collier

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Church Is True!!

Hey Mom!

That is so exciting that Harrison and Jenni had their baby! I'm excited to meet them. And for sure I will go with y'all to BYU Homecoming! That'll be a blast to go see them. 

Things are just going fantastic over here in the Lightfoot ward. This ward is just on fire! It's been so cool to see the flames of missionary work just keep getting bigger and bigger as this ward has been forming. The members are just doing so well! This week, we were able to teach a family of some member's friends and they are great! They came to church last week, and I honestly think they are looking into this for real. They haven't had any problems with what we have taught so far so they are just solid. The fruits of working with the members are starting to come forth! It has been so cool. They're the ones we ended up painting the deck for last week! 

I did end up bearing my testimony yesterday. I was actually asked by the bishopric to make sure and go up there... haha! It was kinda really cool to be able to do that. I'm going to miss all the people in this area so much. It's weird knowing that this is the Last week. Plus we have stake conference this sunday, so that was the last chance I'll be able to speak in the Lightfoot ward! Side note: I do get to sing in Stake Conference next sunday though so that'll be really cool! It's going to be a few missionaries and we're doing the EFY medley, but with the Time is Far Spent instead of As sisters in Zion like how Zach had us do it that one time! I'm so excited. And that'll be really fun to sing with Zach in a few weeks! 

I can't think of very much else that is happening. I'm a little nervous to come home, and really sad to leave. But I'm also kind of excited to come home too... Is that bad? haha! I probably should think about getting things packed... 

My ponderizing scripture this week is a fantastic scripture. Moroni 10:4-5. "4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." I know for certain that this scripture is truth from God. I have seen this work time and time again for myself on my mission and for others. If we read from the Book of Mormon, with Real Intent, and pray and ask, He WILL let us know that it comes directly from Him. The Book of Mormon is the Word of God without a doubt in my mind. I read it every day, and I feel like every time I read it, the Spirit just almost turns on like flipping  a switch. It is miraculous! 

I can't think of much else that is happening, I guess I could just tell y'all pretty soon actually! But Mom I love you so much. I'm so thankful for your support and love and encouragement every week. I promise that this week is going to be no different for how hard I'm going to work than any other time on my mission. If anything, I'm just going to work harder! It's the home stretch, gotta give all you've got right? 

Anyway, I love you Mom! I can honestly say, I'll see you soon! I hope you have a great week. 

Love you! the church is true. 

Elder Collier

Monday, August 28, 2017

Two Weeks...

Hey Mom! 

It's weird that it's coming up so fast! I don't want to think about it, but I know I have to if I want to be at least a little successful at home I do need to think about it haha! But I want to make sure that this area is left better than when I found it. My goal is to just make sure that when I leave the work doesn't stop. Which it won't, but I want to make the transition as smooth as possible. 

But things are still going great! On saturday we helped some member's in the ward paint their friend's deck for  a service project. IT took 8 HOURS. But it was fun! I'm still sore from it. But THEY CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY. It was so cool! They aren't investigating yet, but they said we could come by soon! I'm excited for that! The rest of the ward is doing great missionary work too. It's so fun! 

I gotta share an experience from yesterday! Our car is in the shop and we have been biking and walking the past week, so yesterday we got dropped off in a northern part of our area and were walking around to contact people. And we were planning on just walking a few miles to another section, but we WAY underestimated how far it was and how long it would take. It was like a 5 mile walk and it was 8 at night! haha! We had a member that was gonna drive us home that night anyway, but we still had time before then! I don't know what we were thinking though so we just kept walking. And then about a mile in, a member pulled off the side of the road from another branch near us, and he said, "Elders! Get in the truck!" So we listened to him and he drove us where we needed to go! God literally rescued us. That's something I've learned, that when we do our absolute best, we'll still make mistakes, but God will rescue us when we need  rescuing. 
Other than that, things are going great! For some reason we haven't found any new investigators in a few weeks, but we're still moving forward! We've got a few that we think should come through pretty soon that we're excited about. Plus, the ward is just on fire and that's what I love to see! In time the Lighfoot ward is going to explode with success! 

This sweet little girl loves Elder Collier and wrote him a sweet love letter!
I'm happy that things are going well for y'all! I hope the baby comes soon! Maybe it's waiting for me... haha! That'd be a long time though! I was wondering, cause I haven't asked yet, what would I be doing for my job? I'm super excited and thankful for it! 

My ponderizing scripture this week is Alma 26:16 "Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." As I've been reflecting on my mission a little bit, and I read this scripture and that is definitely how I feel about my mission. It's great! 

ANyways, I love you so much mom! thank you for everything that you do for me. I promise I will work hard for these past two weeks. That's what I've done my whole mission, and it's not gonna stop now! 

Have a  great week Mom! I love you! I'll see you soon. 

Elder Collier (Jonny, Not Sammy)

Monday, August 21, 2017

There's an Eclipse!

Hey Mom!!

Yeah it's super weird... how fast time is going. I'll see y'all pretty soon! I got my flight itinerary in the mail the other day. I don't know if you've seen it yet, but my plane is supposed to land in Portland at 3 pm on September 12th. I've got a 5 hour flight straight from Atlanta to Portland! That'll be fun. I'm glad you got those pictures! And we did see the eclipse today, one of the elders had the special glasses. We were about 85% in the zone. It was pretty cool!

That's weird that my talk is scheduled and everything... Ah well. I think that'll be fun if we could go to the beach together! And tell Brother Morgan thank you so much for helping me get a job! I'll be looking forward to that as well. Those would be sweet hours. What would I be doing? 

Things are still going well here! We didn't find any new investigators this week, and actually didnt' really teach a lot either, but it was a good week. For some reason the teaching seemed to slow down, but that's not gonna stop the Lord's work, so I'm not going to either. It was still good! We're also losing our car for most of this upcoming week cause it needs to get repaired in the shop, so that'll be fun! Back on the bike! 

Oh! I got a lot of pictures yesterday from your cousin Blair Christofferson of Grandpa when he was younger! It was really cool to see those. He gave me a folder so I'll be coming home with some!

We taught one of our investigators Travis this week! we lost contact with him for a little bit but he let us come back! He's muslim, but he's not currently practicing so he's been open to learning from us. Last night we kinda just laid everything on the table and told him that if he would just commit to reading the Book of Mormon, praying about it, and coming to church with a sincere heart to know if this is true, that he'd get his answer. It was pretty powerful. 

My ponderizing scripture this week is 3 Nephi 17:20-22 "And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full.

21 And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.

22 And when he had done this he wept again;" I chose this one because our Elder's quorum president share this in Elder's quorum yesterday as his favorite verse of scripture, and when I read it it just hit me. The Savior just loves us each so much. The Savior literally couldn't hold back His emotions with the Nephites, just like He couldn't with Lazarus. And it would be the same with each one of us. I know He lives, and through Him we can live with our Father in Heaven! 

I do know for sure that you and Dad have testimonies Mom! Y'all are seriously one of the biggest reasons that I even have a testimony! So thank you for your examples. 

I love you mom! thank you for everything. Have a great week!

Elder Collier

Monday, August 14, 2017

Back to a Duo!

Hey Mom!!

So this past week was super fun. Being in a trio is just super fun every single day! We just had a blast being together all three of us. I think the hardest part is that sometimes it's a bit harder to stay serious sometimes... but it worked out! Elder Oldroyd and I are now going to have to learn how to work with just the two of us! haha! Elder Gardner is going to the mission home today and then going to fly home tomorrow. It's soooo weird cause I was in the MTC with him, so it's starting to hit me pretty hard that my time is coming up. But it'll all be okay. 

This past week was honestly a blast though. Elder Gardner worked hard until the very end, and that was just great. We continued to find new investigators, and we taught a few people this week as well! It was just a good all around effort this week. Honestly, I think I'm just a little nervous to keep the work up how he did. He was honestly so great, one of the best missionary's that I've been able to work with. I hope that I can help keep things up in the ward! Although the ward doesn't seem to need any help with that. The Lightfoot ward is just awesome. They are missionary minded, and i'm pretty sure we're going to see a lot of new investigators start to come from the members pretty soon! And if not, at least they'll start extending more invitations! that's the most important part. 

This past week seemed to fly by, I can't think of anything too specific... We did start teaching this couple! They've got three young kids, and the husband's brother got baptized into the church a few years ago! They have been super fun to meet with. They are really intrigued by everything, but are definitely hesitant to make any solid commitments. But, in they're prayer last night, they thanked Heavenly Father for us coming over to "teach them a better way of life." It was really cool! There are prepared people out there! We just have to find them. 

One thing that's great about a companion going home is that all the members want to have you over! So we were able to meet with a ton of the solid missionary-minded families in our ward! It's been super fun to do that! We've started to practice scenarios with them and it gets super funny. I just love this ward so much. 

We saw our investigator Bob again, and he's a super knowledgeable guy. He just can't get past the Apostasy. But he really just wants to find out if the Restoration is true, because he knows that if it's true, then he has to believe it! It's just hard to get our lessons focused sometimes, but it's good. If he just starts to really study the Book of Mormon, he'll find out that it's true. That's what I did! 

My ponderizing scripture this week is D&C 97:8 "Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are accepted of me." This is a sweet promise from the Lord to us. All He asks is that we be willing to keep our covenants, and to sacrifice, and he promises us that if we are willing, that we are accepted of Him. I believe that is true! This is definitely His work that we are apart of! 

Anyway, things are going great here! It sounds like things are pretty crazy for y'all! I'm glad that you are staying busy that's for sure! And thanks for that insight about Zion's camp too! 

I love you so much Mom! Time won't slow down! Have a great one, I'll talk to you next week!

Love you,

Elder Collier

Monday, August 7, 2017

In a Trio!

Hey Mom!

Yep 5 weeks left... it just still doesn't feel real though. I'm definitely excited to see y'all! It just doesn't seem like it's actually happening! We have started Elder Gardner's last week so it's really weird... Especially because we were in the MTC together! But we're now in a trio! Elder Oldroyd is with us, and we'll all be together until next Monday, and then it'll just be me and Elder Oldroyd! It's been SO fun this past week. We just have a blast, all three of us! Elder Oldroyd hasn't been a Zone leader before either so we get to show him the ropes a little, but he's great. He's going to do so well here! 

I got to use a machete to do some service. I cut down a small tree. It was fun!
And here's downtown Toano! It's a little town we cover. Yep, that's everything. 
I got to see Elder Ciminski at transfers! Probably the last time I'll see  him before I go home since he's in NC

Elder Gardner and Elder Oldroyd while we were out proselyting.
Had to go get some Cookout one night. It's a great place to eat.

I can't believe it's been that hot out there! It does that every once in a while I guess! It's been super hot here too so don't worry about me... haha! 

Sammy I bet is having a blast in those new MTC buildings! Elder Gardner and I watched the virtual tour last monday... it looks beautiful! I'm definitely jealous because they get to see the sun a whole lot more than we did when I was there haha! 

This week was great. It just seemed to fly by in the trio! Elder Oldroyd seems to fit in great. We're still working out the kinks of teaching with three of us, but it's going better. But by the time we get it figured out elder Gardner will go home so.... ah well haha! Things just seem to be going well though! 

We found a new investigator family that is really SOLID. I'm so excited for them! The dad's brother got baptized in Georgia 2 years ago, and we just stumbled across them! They just seem so prepared by the Lord. When we taught about dispensations and the Restoration she just said, "Wow. THat makes so much sense!" It was such a good lesson, and they were so excited to have us back over tonight. Plus they've been reading the Book of Mormon since we saw them last. So things are going well there! 

Wednesday was a pretty crazy day! We went down to Portsmouth to Get Elder Oldroyd and bring him back, but the Assistants couldn't help a lady move cause of transfers so we went to help someone in Portsmouth to move and it was crazy! There wasn't a ton of stuff, it was just super disorganized and stuff was everywhere... haha! but once we got it figured out and packed into boxes it was good. Theyy were very appreciative so we were glad to help. 

But yeah things are going very well here it seems! The work is great and we just keep pressing forward like normal. My ponderizing scripture is Jacob 5:71 "And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come."  When I read this the other day, the part about the end being nigh at hand hit me super hard of course coming to the end of my mission. But I know that if I labor with my might, I'll have joy with Him who sent me here. I'm know for certain that this is the Lord's work that we are a part of! i'm so thankful to be here. 

Thanks so much mom! And I just can't believe that so much is happening right now! Super exciting for sure! I'm always so glad to hear that y'all are doing well. I love you so much! 

Have a great week Mom! I'll talk to you later! 

Love you,

Elder Collier

Monday, July 31, 2017

6 Weeks Left!!

Hey Mom!

Can you believe I only have 6 weeks left?? Time is seriously flying... I started my last planner today. It's so weird! But honestly, I'm going to work my hardest to the very end, and I feel confident that it'll be okay even though I'm a little nervous for when that time comes. 

The weather has been super weird recently... It was super hot and humid (like close to triple digits) at the beginning of the week, then on Saturday it stormed and dropped to 67 degrees, and now it's not humid at all and it feels amazing! That humidity is brutal... haha! 

But things are going great here! Elder Gardner and I are staying together until he goes home in two weeks, and we will get a third companion, Elder Oldroyd, who is a new zone leader! That's going to be super fun. Then once elder Gardner goes home, Elder Oldroyd will be my last companion! It's so weird. I'm excited to be with Elder Oldroyd though, I was actually with him in a trio in New Bern when my companion went home there, so it'll be fun to serve with him again! He's been out for about a year, and I think he's from Cedar City, but I'll let you know next week for sure! So things will definitely be changing this week! 

We've had some really cool experiences this week. I went on two exchanges, both with some younger missionaries, and they are doing awesome. I think one of the reasons I'm in this area is for sure to help the younger missionaries around me in my zone. There are two new trainees coming this week too so that'll be fun. 

We had to drop a few of our investigators this week and that was sad... They just weren't keeping commitments! We said we'd still visit them though. But when we did that, we found some new investigators! One was Bob who we saw yesterday and he is honestly seeking to know if this is true! He's a devout baptist, and he was a little hurt when learned about he restoration because it meant that his church was false... but the fact that he understood that right away and he still wants to learn was awesome! He just really wants to know if the Book of Mormon is true. We also met a guy named Jesse who isn't religious at all, which is rare for this area haha! But it was cool because he prayed for the first time at the end of the lesson! It was powerful! I love having these experiences. 

I wasn't able to pick a ponderizing scripture but there's actually a funny story why. Last night we had a dinner with the Bean family, and we shared a message with them adn they are just a great family. Brother bean was gonna come to a lesson with us, but it wasn't for another 30 minutes to we wanted to meet some of their neighbors before our lesson, and someone was moving in! It was perfect! We ran over, dropped off our stuff on the grass, and helped them for a little bit before we had to go! But then when we had to go, and we jumped in the car and drove off to go see Bob. But then, when we got there, we didn't have our scriptures or anything! So we walked in there with a Book of Mormon and a Bible from the  back of our car... it was good. But we didn't have enough time last night, so the beans still have my scriptures... haha! Anyway, it was pretty funny!

That's so great that Rachel got baptized! I'm so excited for her. And it sounds like y'all are doing well on your vacation too! that sounds super fun.

anyway, I'm doing great! I hope you have a great week Mom! thank you for everything. I love you! 


Elder Collier (Jonny, not Sammy)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Things Are Moving Forward!

Hey Mom!

That's so cool that Sammy is on his mission and in the MTC now! He'll make it through. It was really tough for me too! But at least he has one extra week in the MTC and time to prepare for the field! I had 12 days haha! His experience with homesickness will allow him to help him when he needs to train or help a new missionary. It'll be great for him. I don't want him to be homesick either, cause it was hard for me. But it'll make him better! sometimes that's necessary. 

Things are definitely moving forward for us! We finally took the time to let go of a few of investigators that we hadn't seen in a while But once we did that, we found so many people! We found probably 4 new investigators this week and that was super cool! Not all were the most solid, but one was a really good lesson! His name was Travis, and he grew up with both Christian and Muslim influences! It was really cool because he was asking a lot of questions, and he texted us a couple days later and said that he had written down a lot of questions since he's been reading the Book of Mormon! that was super cool! 

Our investigator Miranda some how managed to get sick before church again... I don't know how this is happening. Every time we want to let her go, she manages to say that she's willing to commit, and then doesn't follow through. We may just need to stop going for a while and see if that does any good! It's just so sad to let people go. But sometimes it'll be good for them. 

We taught Gospel Doctrine yesterday on Missionary Work and it was super fun! We turned it into kind of a big "Practice Session" To help people not be so scared to talk with their friends and neighbors! People actually really enjoyed it and it was super funny. I think that's been something that is definitely moving forward here is the member work. And our bishop met with us this week and that is our Main focus in this ward now! We definitely won't give up finding and teaching through our own efforts, but when you find through the members, so much good happens! Things are just going so well! I'm happy. 

I'm not quite to my last transfer yet. 7 weeks left though... it's going by too fast. Elder Gardner goes home in 3 weeks, so we think we're going to get a third companion for those 2 weeks before he goes. Then I'll go. Ah that's so weird! But I'll probably stay here in the Lightfoot ward though and I'm okay with that! this ward is SO GOOD. I love it!

My ponderizing scripture for this week is 2 Nephi 9:21 "And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam." I chose this scripture for this week because I just love Jesus Christ. And I love how the Book of Mormon simply testifies about what He did for us! He simply came into the world to save all those who will Hearken unto His voice. And right now, I get to help people hear His voice. I love being here, and I know for certain that Jesus is our Savior! 

I loves you so much Mom! I hope y'all enjoy your road trip! Have a great week!

I love you!

Elder Collier

PS And I finished the Book of Mormon again this week, and I'm going to read it all the way through before I leave! I've got about 10 pages a day to do, but It's been good so far! I'm almost through 1 Nephi again! 

Two Missionaries Out!

Hey Mom!

How does it feel to have two missionaries at the same time?? This is definitely new for y'all. It's super weird thinking about it for me haha! It hit me a few times, but it didn't distract me or anything so that was good. I'm glad that it was a good Sacrament Meeting! It sounds like it was really cool. Such a cool experience. 

Sammy doesn't need to be worried about the MTC! Everything just happens so quickly at the beginning that you don't even realize what's going on haha! It was hard for me I'm not going to lie, but if you don't have those hard experiences, then you'll never know the good ones! So that's been such a blessing for me. I was actually reading through my journal the other day from the beginning of my mission, and I was SO HOMESICK. It was crazy! But I also had so many cool experiences to help me keep working hard and for me to just keep at it. And eventually, I was able to overcome it! and Sure it comes and goes, but that's what prayer, and scripture study are for to help you learn how to rely on the power of the Savior and apply is power into your life! But most importantly, as I've really focused on helping others to apply the Savior's power in their life, that's when I think I've learned the most. It's so cool. 

I'm glad that you and Dad will get to go on a trip! It'll be a nice break I think to just be the two of you. No dogs, no kids! How long has it been since you could do that?? haha! 

This week for me was a good week. Elder Gardner and I, I think, have finally started to work super well together, and we just are loving it. I mean, It's hard definitely, but it's been very good. It was hard this week because it was in the triple digits for three straight days... without the humidity. WIth humidity it was about 110... so it was hot. Also, Our investigators have kinda seemed to be dropping off recently... Miranda was supposed to come to church yesterday, but she ended up not coming, and then she's going to go out of town for a few weeks... Our investigator Lisa ended up dropping us an hour before text just be fore our lesson in the Bishop's home! That was super sad. We haven't been able to contact her since, so we don't know why, but we'll keep trying. And we haven't found a new investigator in a while, but we're still going forward!  The Members are just doing great though! I love being able to help the members to reach out to their friends. that has  honestly been really cool.

Thank you for sending me Sammy's talk by the way! It was SO good. He's going to do so well. 

I can't think of anything else super exciting that happened this week... It's just been fun. As President Weed (my mission president) said best, "Joy is a sign that you are on the Lord's errand." So if we are feeling joy, (Pure Joy)  we can know that we're doing what we're supposed to even amidst how hard mission life can be! 

My ponderizing scripture for the week is John 6:38 "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." This one stood out to me because the Savior set the perfect example. And just how The Savior came to not do His will, but to do the Father's will, it's the same for me. I came here on my mission (and to this life for that matter) to not do my will, but to do my Father's will. And I know that as I do my best, that the Lord will support us. He will ratify our decisions, and rescue us if need be! I love being out here, and I'm so excited for Sammy to experience this as well! 

I hope you have a great week this week Mom! It'll be so hard  I bet, but it's going to be so worth it in the end. Sammy is going to do such a great job on his mission and I'm so excited for him. Travel safe! I love y'all so much.

I love you!

Elder Collier

Monday, July 17, 2017

Time Doesn't Want To Stop

Hey Mom!

I seriously can't believe how quickly time is moving. It feels like just yesterday I was sending an email home! Ah... Well it's okay. I'm glad that the funeral went well. I'm sorry that it was so tough this past week... hopefully this next week will be easier. But I think a good thing is that Sammy gets to be with everyone before he has to leave this next week! That'll help him for sure. A lot happening for y'all in the next few weeks!

I'm glad y'all liked the pictures! When we were over at the Nielsons, it was great! And yes I was working while I was over there haha! I totally would've gotten the joke though Mom haha! It was super cool at that appointment though! They're one of the families that we've started to work with to teach them how to do missionary work and they're just taking it and running with it! Literally our goal is to have all the members of the ward praying to see who they can help with real intent! it's been super fun. Also, President Nielson, and Dad got hired by CES at the same time! Dad pointed it out to me, and while we were at dinner President Nielson found dad's picture haha! He does the same thing that Dad does out here. 

Also the bikes that we were riding was at our Ward's Pioneer Day celebration! It was a tri-ward activity for the three wards in Williamsburg. It was pretty fun! 

But this week just seemed to fly by. We had a Zone Conference on Wednesday and that was super cool! It's pretty fun giving trainings at the zone conferences now! We also had a big 4th of July get together at our Stake President's House In Newport News with all the missionaries, and that was pretty fun! We didn't get the memo of the water balloon fight, so we had a water balloon fight in our white shirts and ties! Pretty fun! 

On Saturday one of the families in the ward asked me to speak at their son's baptism! That was pretty fun! And then we had our tri-ward party! None of our investigators came so that was sad... but we got to have some fun there! There's a video of me and Blair Christofferson doing the Stick Pull! 

But yeah things just keep getting better and better over here. I absolutely love the Lightfoot ward. Our investigator pool is dwindling a little bit... it's been hard not seeing anyone come to church. Except of Course the Branscomes who are the part-member family we're working with. But none of our other investigators have made it. We're still working hard though. There's still something more we can do! 

Reading my scriptures this week, I found a great scripture that sums up my purpose as a missionary in a few verses in the Doctrine and Covenants and with everything going on, it seemed to speak right to me. So my ponderizing scripture(s) are Doctrine and Covenants 18:10-14 (and I'll add emphasis to some of the word that stood out to me) : "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance. And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth! Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people." I think the verses some it up pretty well. But I know and how important this calling is as a missionary. It's something that I'll love and treasure for the rest of my life. I'm so thankful for it! 

Thank you for all that you do mom! I hope you have a great week this week. This is the last full week before Sammy leaves on his mission too! I hope  y'all have a lot of fun. 

I love you so much Mom! I'll talk to you later! 


Elder Collier

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

No Matter What We Go Through, The Gospel is True!

Hey Mom!!

I'm doing pretty good this week. Again, it was tough to hear about Grandma. I remember you telling me last week that she was put on Hospice, but I didn't expect it to be this week that it would happen. But I also didn't want it to happen just after Sammy left on his mission, so I think it was timely. He can now go in without any worries, and have extra support from Grandma and Granpda Doty and Collier. So that's something that'll keep me going, and I know will help Sammy! He's going to do great. Thank you also for sharing what happened with Grandma with me. That's a very special spiritual experience and I'm grateful for that. I know that they are happy again and are doing great work on the other side of the veil! 

I shared that quote in the subject title because someone said that in their testimony yesterday during sacrament meeting and I thought it was perfect. "No matter what we go through, the Gospel is true!" You can't forget everything you've been taught and experienced at the the drop of a hat or a bad situation. Jesus Christ and everything you learn about Him, is what is supposed to help you through those times. And I know that he does. While Grief is real, and it comes and goes in waves when you don't expect it, Jesus Christ still does know our situation perfectly. I know it! He's there and knows us so well! 

I think one of the greatest parts about my mission, is that I get to help people in similar situations make it through times of difficulty in their lives. The other day, we talked with a woman that had recently lost her husband and she was struggling. She was Christian and believed in the resurrection, and she was just trying to figure out where her Husband was now because he hadn't been resurrected yet. And I confidently was able to read from the Book of Mormon in Alma 40:11-12 "11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between deathand the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. 12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow." This is also my ponderizing scripture for the week by the way. But I could confidently tell her exactly where her husband was now, and that he was able to learn about the gospel there! The Spirit was strong there. And I know for certain that the Plan of Salvation is real and it's a perfect plan! 

Things also have just been great this week. The work is progressing great. We have an investigator named Lisa that we have taught for a few weeks now that is sincerely interested and asking all the right questions. We had a great lesson last night and she is just super willing to read and pray about the Book of Mormon! It's really cool. This is probably the only area that I've taught multiple investigators multiple times! We also have been working with a ton of our active members, and yesterday one of the families bore their testimony about the great missionary opportunities they have been having (because they are doing awesome!!) and it really just lifted the whole ward! Then we had dinner with a family who we had talked to about praying and seeing who they could share the gospel with, and they did!! And we were able to talk right there with what they could do! This ward is just great. 

I am just loving being here still. I promise to work as hard as I possibly can, because that's what I'm called to do! IT's the only time in my life that I can come this close to giving my all. I love it. I'm so thankful for loving grandparents that have lived righteously. I'm thankful for the memories I have with them, and all that I've learned from them. They are forever going to have an impact on me. And I'm so thankful for your's and Dad's examples to me as well! You are truly the greatest parents anyone could ask for. 

I love you so much! Thank you for all that you do for me. I'll forget myself and get to work!

I love you Mom!

Elder Collier

Cool Miniature Golf Place!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

We have to Keep The Faith in Missionary Work

Hey Mom!

This week was another great week. Things are just going great here in this area. This has honestly been one of my favorite areas to serve in! The ward is fantastic, and the people here just are super prepared and ready to receive the gospel! No one has come to church yet, besides the part-member family we are working with, but people are actually reading the Book of Mormon! And keeping return appointments! It's been super cool. I just love being here so much. Elder Gardner and I are doing great together as well. We're glad to be serving another transfer together. 

This week I've really been trying to put the faith back into missionary work. Sometimes after doing it for so long,it can become like a job! You pray so often that it may seem rote, you feel the Spirit prompt you to do different things, but you're so used to it that you just do it anyway, but one of my favorite leaders that I served around, Elder Richins, one time told me that "We need to keep the faith in missionary work." Or something to that effect. But really the underlying thing that makes the miracles happen in missionary work is Faith! Faith centered in Jesus Christ. Faith that we can work miracles if it is the Lord's will! And when you truly remember to have faith, you do see miracles. Gordon B. Hinckley said to Quentin L. Cook when helping create Preach My Gospel, "Tell the missionaries if they have more faith, they will have more success." Boy is that true! 

But we have been continuing to see miracles in our area this week. One day we decided to pray about where we needed to go next, and we thought of a certain neighborhood! But as we were going there, my GPS sent us a weird way and we got lost. We then felt prompted to knock on the door of a house that we saw off of the main road, so we parked in the driveway and walked up. We then talked to the man that lived there for about 15 minutes and he was sincerely interested in having us come back! It was super cool! We didn't meet his family, but he's got a wife, and 5 kids! It was sweet. Again, miracles  happen when you exercise faith. 

We had a few families invite us back earlier in the week! One invited us in and they were super nice! We had had contact with them for a while, and they had read the Restoration pamphlet, but they just weren't willing to pray about it and they said that they didn't believe it was true. But they were super nice. That's pretty common out here though. I just don't understand why someone wouldn't  just pray and ask God! There's like no way to lose, except your pride if you dont' want to be wrong... haha oh well! We're just trying to help them. The next family that invited us back was like the complete opposite! We met him on the street, and we got his phone number and had been in contact with him trying to set up a time to come by! And he was actually calling us back and everything to set up! We go into the lesson, we had prepared a nice lesson for them, they had like some soft christian music playing and had even baked cookies for us! Then we finally start with a prayer, and BOOM. Out comes the Anti-Mormon material that they had read. It was ridiculous! haha! They were so nice at the beginning! Talk about Wolves in Sheep's clothing right? Anyways, they brought up a ton of things that they didn't believe, but we just had to say that all we were doing was trying to help them receive blessing in their lives. It was tough, but we made it through! 

Things are just going great though! The ward is fantastic and they are really trying to help our investigators to come to church. It's so cool. It sounds like the youth conference went really well! And also, I can't believe that Austin is married... tell him I love him too! But I just think it's weird... haha! And please tell Grandma I love her too. 

My ponderizing scripture for this week is Mosiah 3:19 " For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a childsubmissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." Mosiah 3 is slowly becoming one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. But this verse really just kinda lays out how we can overcome our natural tendencies and become more like the Savior! If we can put our will in line with God's will, and follow His promptings to repent and become better, or to serve others and turn outward, that's how we can over come the natural man. I know that that will help us have a changed nature! 

Anyways, things are going great! I love you so much Mom. The gospel is true!! Everything. I love being here on my mission. I hope you have a fantastic week this week! I love you.


Elder Collier

PS I got a GIANT bike, and it's a hybrid road/mountain.  but I heard TREK bikes are pretty good. If he can, I'd recommend shocks in the front, because mine doesn't have any and going over bumps is kind of annoying. But that's just a preference! Anyways, I hope that helps! I love you!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Survived Transfers!

Hey Mom!

I hope Dad had a good day! I thought the card was pretty good. It was the best! He sent me pictures of his new socks too! I'm jealous haha! Sounds like it was a great day for him! 

I'm super happy for Sammy too. He's doing a ton of things that are super cool! Graduation, going through the temple... Man. Now he's in Mission Prep mode. That's super crazy. Within this next transfer for me he'll be going into the MTC! 

This week was a great week for us! We ended up not getting a transfer call, so Elder Gardner and I are staying together for another transfer! It's super weird because we both go home so soon! After this next transfer, we think we'll be placed in a trio, because Elder Gardner goes home 2 weeks in, and then I will go home at the end of that transfer, so for 4 weeks I'll probably have my last companion! We'll see though. I just know that for the next 6 weeks I'll be here in Lightfoot still! I'm so happy cause it's super fun. 

We found 5 new investigators this week. That was super fun! They just all kinda came out of the wood work! All of them we had met previously and set up appointments with so it was pretty cool. One was a young guy, he actually graduated in 2015 the same year as me and Elder Gardner so that was kinda weird cause he was going into his Junior year of college this next year haha! But he was pretty interested in finding a church to be apart of. It was a good lesson. Elder Gardner and I just love being here! I'm not going to lie, he's been one of the more difficult companions for me to get along with, but we work really well together! It's been weird haha! We love working together and are great friends, but it's like when you start living with your best friend and it gets really difficult. But it's been great because we are really trying to get better and we are really motivated to work. There's only a few weeks left for both of us so there's a big sense of urgency to work as hard as we possibly can between the two of us. 

We had a great lesson with the Branscomes, the part-member family we are working with! It was super cool because we were finally able to discern what one of her concerns were! The Spirit will definitely help you figure out what people need. And we are going to see them again tonight! We also started teaching Lawrence who is 84 years old. He's been catholic his whole life so he says it'll be hard to convince him, but he started reading from the Book of Mormon, so we'll see how far he gets before he is... haha! But yeah we are definitely staying busy talking with and teaching people. Plus our members are doing great missionary work! Your Cousin Blair's daughter Sabrina brought a friend to church the other week and she said she was pretty interested so that's exciting! Our ward members here are awesome. I love this ward.

My ponderizing scripture for this week is 1 Nephi 13:37 "And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be."  I read this the other day and it really stood out to me. I love the promise that it says when we seek to bring forth Zion, we will be blessed with the Holy Ghost and be saved. But the thing that really stood out to me, was that it was those who Seek to  bring forth Zion. Not just those who have seen a ton of miracles, or those who have baptized thousands, but those who just honestly want to try their best and do the Lord's will, will be blessed with the power to do so. I know that that is true, and if we just try our very best, we will be blessed for it! I know that this is the work of the Lord for sure!

Thank you so much for all that you do Mom! I love you so much. The Work is going great here and I'm loving every minute of it. I realized this morning that there's only 12 weeks left for me. That freaked me out a bit... haha! 

I love you so much Mom! I hope you have a great week this week! Talk to you soon!

Elder Collier

Time is Flying!

Hey Mom! I'm doing pretty great still! Your cousin asked me for your email so I assumed he would send you that... haha! People always seem to do that! 

I can't believe that Sammy's seminary graduation was yesterday and his actual graduation is today. That's so crazy! Things are going by so quick. The temple is going to be a great experience for him! I haven't gone in a LONG time so I'm super jealous! And that's super cool that Kevin gets to set him apart! That's going to be a super cool experience! Sammy's time to leave is coming up quick!! 

This week was a pretty good week! We had another member of the Seventy, Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. come and visit our mission! It was a really good meeting, and I again got a ton out of it. It was mainly centered on the power in the Book of Mormon and how the Doctrine of Christ brings Hope into the lives of others. I love how everything we do out here is so outward focused. It's all about how we can help someone else out. That's what a mission is! Helping and loving other people. 
Jonny's Apartment

Jonny and his companion

We were supposed to have a few investigators come to church this week... But Miranda got sick and has to go into surgery, so she couldn't make it, and another one of our investigator couples just called us and told us they weren't gonna make it. It was super sad! BUT! A part member family that we were working with had dropped off the map about a month ago, and they showed up to church yesterday! We were able to set up a lesson with them! They are super fun! So miracles still happen. We're definitely keeping in touch with Miranda though with her surgery. We stopped by and saw her last night and she looked good. We had a cool lesson with her earlier in the week! I was thinking about her during my personal study that morning and a scripture stood out in Helaman that hadn't stood out before to me! It was Helaman 5:10-11, the ones right before the famous Helaman 5:12 about the sure foundation. They weren't very special to me necessarily, but when we shared those two verses with her, she said they rang true to her! The spirit flooded that lesson, and she said that was the first time she's felt that way since she's been reading the Book of Mormon! It was really cool how the Spirit worked there. He can definitely tell us of others needs during our Personal Study on a mission! 

We found a new investigator yesterday so that was exciting! His name is Lawrence. He seemed pretty interested in the Book of Mormon but said he probably wouldn't join. We'll see once he starts reading the Book of Mormon... haha! There's power in that book! 

Anyway things are just going great here! The Ward is doing tons of missionary work and we're helping them do it, and then our goal is just to talk with as many people as we possibly can throughout the day. IT's been a lot of fun. Elder Gardner and I are working together pretty well. 

My ponderizing scripture is Moroni 8:26 (right after he talks about how baptism brings a remission of sins) "And the remission of sins bringeth meeekness, and lowliness of hear; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God." So it really focuses on how through the remission of our sins we're made humble, and through that we receive the Holy Ghost who can fill us with hope. It was just really cool cause this week it stood out to me to see how the Gospel of Christ can fill us with Hope in our lives, through the Holy Ghost. Hope for a better world. I know that the church is God's church on the Earth, and that we can truly have hope through the Gospel!

Thanks so much for all that you do Mom! I really appreciate everything. I love you so much!

Have a great week this week! I love you.

Elder Collier