Thursday, December 29, 2016

Three weeks of letters

December 5:

This week was real good! The family I told you about last week we met with them yesterday! Turns out one of them has been baptized already! But the other kid has not been. So we're excited to be teaching them! She has a baptismal date for the end of December! But this week while we did a lot of street contacting and passing out all of the #LightTheWorld pass along cards, we had a lot of success! It was really cool because while we were doing it, we even had some people come up to us and wanted to meet with us! Then others asked for Book of Mormons and some other things! It was real fun. 

So we ran into a problem while doing laundry.. me and my companion put our clothes in together and he left some gum and chapstick in his pants! So I have two pairs of pants that I can't wear anymore :/ So for Christmas or something I could use a couple dollars to go buy pants from Ross or something! haha I love you guys! Hope you had a great week. Love Elder Collings 

December 12:

We had a pretty fun week! our area flooded .. so we were locked up for most of the time.. and on Monday I  had to go to the doctors to get some stitches.. hahaha I was hiking and some bamboo got the best of my hand.. but don't worry I'm totally fine. :) 

December 19:

The flood was ok! In Kihei it normally only rains about 2-3 times a year! It's just normally really hot and crazy! But when it flooded, it rained the whole week! So by Sunday almost all of the roads were shut down! We live right by the ocean so we had to sleep at the zone leaders home, since the water was getting close haha! But it wasn't bad.. there was a guy kayaking down the road hahha!!

My finger was a pretty good cut ha! We were hiking on P-day and broke a piece of Bamboo.. And bamboo is really sharp when you break it! It cut my pointer finger pretty good! I had to get stitches and get part of it glued.. but I'm totally ok! It's more just annoying having my finger wrapped up and trying to type or write things down hahaha! It doesn't hurt and is healing just ok so no need to worry :)

I was told I can call you on Christmas eve! I can plan on calling around 6:30am Hawaii time, and if we can find someone to FaceTime, I'll FaceTime you guys! But if not I'll just give you a call :)

So we had a crazy week! There was some things going on in Kihei and we got whitewashed out.. So I am now back on Oahu! Serving in Moanalua Samoan ward! haha I'll be there at least until this transfer ends or maybe stay. I'll just have to see when transfers come! My new companions are Elders Alalatoa from Western Samoa and Elder Ball from Alberta Canada haha! It's been a real good time! But for now I'm just learning the area and meeting all of the investigators here! We teach a lot of Samoan people, so me and Elder Ball have no idea what's going on during the lessons since it's all in Samoan haha! But the spirit is always there.

Sorry for the short emails we've just been really busy! I love you and can't wait to call this week! Alofa atu ma manuia le aso!!! 


Friday, December 2, 2016

Steven Tyler and trials

I hope I get to see the gorillas when I come! :) we had a good week! Neither of us are getting transferred so I'll be finishing Elder Lokotui's training! So kinda funny.. we were meeting with one of our investigators at her pizza stand! And then a car rolled up and started to talk to us! The man in the car happened to be Steven Tyler hahaha! It was crazy! But I'll write more soon. We have some lessons we gotta teach today so I'll email back when I can! Love you!

This week was very blessed! This whole week we didn't have anyone talk with us, or any lessons so it was really hard.. But we just kept on working and visiting people! This lasted all the way until Saturday.  I was getting really frustrated because I wasn't sure what was going on.. But me and my companion kept working and praying we could find people. Finally we came across a part member family, and he told us we could teach his two kids who haven't been baptized yet. This really grew my testimony on how if we're diligent the Lord will bless us. And that when the adversary is tempting us and making life  hard on us, as long as we push through and faithfully endure, we will always be blessed from the trials we go through. The Lord gives us trials so we have an opportunity for growth, and to learn. I have such a solid testimony of that. I was reading in my personal study and came upon this passage that is my favorite story from the Book of Mormon now. This is right after the Lord touched the stones for the brother of Jared.

 And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be furious wind blow upon the  face of the waters,towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.
 And it came to pass that they were many times buried inthe depths of the sea, because of the mountain waveswhich broke upon them, and also the great and terribletempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.
 And it came to pass that when they were buried in thedeep there was no water that could hurt them, theirvessels being tight like unto dish, and also they weretight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore when they wereencompassed about by many waters they did cry unto theLord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top ofthe waters.
 And it came to pass that the wind did never cease toblow towards the promised land while they were upon thewaters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind.
 And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, thebrother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he didthank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when thenight came, they did not cease to praise the Lord.
 10 And thus they were driven forth; and no monster ofthe sea could break them, neither whale that could marthem; and they did have light continually, whether it wasabove the water or under the water.
 11 And thus they were driven forth, three hundred andforty and four days upon the water.
 12 And they did land upon the shore of the promisedlandAnd when they had set their feet upon the shores ofthe promised land they bowed themselves down upon theface of the land, and did humble themselves before theLord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because ofthe multitude of his tender mercies over them.
I love this because it gives a perfect example of how when we go through these mountain waves and furious strorms "sin temptaion and the adversary" we may not know why all these bad things are happening to us. But if we apply this scripture to our lives, then it shows us the Lord tests us and tries us with all of these things, because they are pushing us forward to the promised land, making us better men or women of god. But more importantly, better disciples of Christ. I love you all and hope that you had a fantastic Thanksgiving! 
I miss you and hope all is well! 
Elder Collings

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Hard week with lots of blessings

I feel bad for President Bekker here! The past 2 transfers there has been over 20 missionaries coming in and not a lot leaving!

This week was pretty hard but lots of blessings! We're biking so we did a lot of traveling this week haha! We contacted all of the referrals that were givin to us last week and had a lot of success come from it! We had 5 Investigators come to church and last week we only had one. So the work is picking up a lot! One of the families we are teaching the husband just got diagnosed with Kidney cancer and when he figured out he called us and asked us to give him a blessing and after he said he felt really good and calm and said it helped him a lot. He'll go to Oahu to the hospital there to get surgery and get the treatments so hopefully all goes well. But all in all this week was awesome. The start of this transfer we got whitewashed in so we didn't know the area or people at all and when we looked at our area book no one ever even touched it so there was no investigators or potential investigators so I thought it was going to be pretty rough! But as we have worked really hard, the ward has really began to trust us and give us people to teach and now we are teaching 5 families definitely very grateful to be in this ward! Love you guys and I hope you have a great week. Elder Collings

(Mom here, this week Conner did not send a letter, just 14 pictures. I'm posting his pictures with the letter from last week. )

Funny pictures with me and Kirkham


Me working on my bike for about an hour hahaha 

Had fun during the sunset in kihei ha

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Fifteen Referrals!

We had a real fun week! Kihei is very touristy so wherever we go we always run into members somewhere.. So this week we got 15 referrals from members! It was the craziest thing.. haha!

This ward hasn't had their own missionaries in a long time so they are really trying to help us out a lot. It has been really cool! It's the first time on my mission I've had to keep track of the referrals we have gotten. The ward really trusts us and is helping us any way they can, so I'm pretty happy out here haha!

It's been real fun with elder Lokotui! I just figured out he actually has a scholarship to play safety for BYU when he gets done with his mission! Pretty cool haha! For our studies I've been helping him with English and he has been teaching me Tongan! But man I've been so lucky to train two missionaries who are so cool!

Everything is going good and hope you're doing ok! Love you! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ofa Ki He Hoa!

Man this week was crazy!! I said all my goodbyes Monday and Tuesday which always really stinks.. haha So I didn't like that part as much! But Wednesday morning Elder Heimburger dropped me off at the airport and I met my new greenie there! Elder Lokotui He he is from Ha'apai Tonga! So to start off our day, once we got home and unpacked a little bit, I took him tracting! As soon as we started, some Jehovah witnesses came and started knocking on all the doors right after we got done knocking on them.. So I wasn't too happy about that.. Won't talk too much about that! haha But we are just trying to kick start the ward! There isn't much going on right now so we're just trying to find people and visit members for referrals which has worked pretty good! We have gotten 5 referrals since Wednesday so It should keep us busy. But on Thursday we spoke in a missionary fireside with our WML and then Friday there was a wedding reception for our ward, and our bishop told us to come, so we did! And then he called me to say the prayer for them hahaha! I've never done that before.. So that was fun! And on Sunday we gave talks at church! haha poor Elder Lokotui we've had to give all these talks in front of a lot of people! Church on Sundays has a lot of people because of all the tourists coming to Maui! But it's been an awesome week all in all. We have a lot of people to see and the ward trust is building! I love you guys and hope you have a great week! Elder Collings

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Transfer and Maggots!

Man so pretty crazy week! I'm going to Kihei, Maui! I'll be white washing in and training another new missionary haha. I thought maybe I'd get a break for a little bit!! ;) But I'm pretty excited to get another greenie! I'll being the district leader there as well and its really cool because I'll be able to go on exchanges with people in my district serving on the island of Lanai, pretty crazy haha! Elder Heimburger is training a missionary too! So I'm a grandpa in the mission! haha I'm going to miss Waipiolani ward a ton.. But It's pretty cool because a lot of the families I met here that I really liked all grew up in Kihei! And their family is still living there, so I'll be able to get to know them. 
 haha so funny story as well.. Here is the story in my comps words was a dark and stormy night...much like tonight, when we were eating dinner at an Auntie's house from Japan.  She knows I love Papaya!  So she always cuts me some Papaya to indulge on.  I was scarfing them down.  Halfway through my last Papaya, I froze... I stared down at the fruit in my hand.  Part of it was moving...there was A BIG MAGGOT IN MY PAPAYA!!!  The worst part is that I had seen them before, they had looked like simply part of the fruit, and I was so enthusiastically eating the papaya I didn't even think about it.  GUYS!! I ate a couple maggots last night!!!! It was horrible!  I couldn't even make a face, I had to graciously decline eating more fruit and ask if I could take it home.  I couldn't offend our host, so she doesn't know.  I awake late last night with horrid dreams of worms in my stomach.  But needless to say, I am still alive.  haha so that is my horror story from last week.  "Return of the Maggots"

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Conference Weekend

So my tag is made out of Koa wood! There is a member here that will make them for us! I have a mango one as well! I never wear it during the week! Only when I have service projects or stuff like that

But my favorite talk by far was elder Oaks on Saturday! It was super cool because last week I told you how we aren't going tracting anymore.. So I got our district together and we brainstormed.. One of the things we thought of was during dinners leaving a social media commitment! So whether that was taking a picture with us and posting it, or just sharing your favorite Mormon message, or quote etc.. And it was super cool to see that Elder Oaks gave a talk on that. Also there were a lot of talks given saying not to look beyond the mark and just focus or the simplicity of things.. Then they followed up with the Doctrine of Christ, explaining Faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. And it just struck me that we really don't need to look beyond the mark.. That was my favorite thing about conference!

But everything is great! We get transfer news this week. so we'll see if anything happens! I've been here for half a year so I'm thinking something might change haha! But we will see. I'm definitely not excited if I do leave because of how awesome this ward has been to us! 

We had a great week. We were able to think outside of the box and find some real solid new investigators that we'll be teaching. One came and watched conference with us so I'm really excited to see how he felt. But I love you and thanks for everything!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

No more tracting

We had a good week. We had the opportunity to go to MLC this week, and it was pretty crazy.. Steve Allen, who is over all the missionaries in the world came! He was asking us a lot of questions about how we find people.. Our mission tracts a lot, haha! So in a very loving manner he looked at us and yelled "YOU DONT GET IT DO YOU!" and then he looked at the AP's and said, "And I know you dont get it because I tracted all day with you yesterday!" haha... It was pretty intense to say the least.. So now we don't tract anymore as a mission, haha. 

For ward council this week we had to explain to our ward and stake leaders that we need a lot more help finding people because we can't just go tracting anymore.. They were supper supportive and are helping us a ton! I'm pretty excited to start looking for other ways to find people. So this week I've learned a lot! He also committed us to watch The District everyday, and study Preach my Gospel in personal study and companion study! We'll see how that goes! That part isn't that new because I have to be doing it with Elder Heimburger while I'm training him, so I'm used to it already haha! 

Everything is going great! Thank you for the pictures of Harvey! 
Love you guys! 
Elder Collings

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Livin Reggae nation but it ain't no Vacation

We had a really good week! Me and Elder Heimburger were joking around.. We both gained testimonys on dinner calenders this week hahaha! One of our old former investigators signed up for dinner a month back.. So we called them and wanted to see if they be willing to feed us "So we could talk to them again" haha But he told us he'll let us know, but if his wife says no then he just won't call back and that's how we will get our answer! 

So we waited and he called us back and told us that they would drop us off some Mcdonalds gift cards haha! So we met up with them and nothing really happened and they drove away.. But I told Elder Heimburger at least they'll think of us a little bit today and maybe we planted a seed again.. 

Sure enough he called us again and asked if we could get him some tithing slips and he said he'll ask his wife if she wants to be taught again.. So we agreed and met up once more! She told us she doesn't want to take the lessons but said thank you! 

Then he called us again and asked for a Book of Mormon so she could read it and pray if its true.. So we met up and did it once more! and then they went on their way.. And we just already thought that was pretty cool but then about an hour later he called again and wanted to meet up! So she ended up telling us why she lost interest in the church and we were able to talk to her about those problems and now we are going to start teaching her again! All of that happened in one day haha!! But now we have testimony's on dinner calender's so thats pretty cool! But I love you and hope you have a great week! Elder Collings

We had a good week this week! President Bekker allowed us to go to a service project at Ford Island, and we were givin tickets to go to the aviation museum there!  We've had a ton of service lately haha a lot of our ward is moving out, or moving in.. So I guess we're the professional movers now haha! 

We were able to go support one of our youth in a powderpuff game as well it was pretty funny, everyone was real confused when they saw missionaries walking into a football game! 

After the game we were given dinner from one of our families and this is what was on one of the plates haha 

The work here has been really good But I've been in this area for so long that I've literally been though everything multiple times haha so it's a little hard to keep busy at times! So we've been working with the ward members a lot and the less actives so we can keep busy! But I've been so lucky to be in two great areas for so long on my mission! I've grown so close to people here in the Waipiolani ward! 

Love you guys and I love getting all the email from you and dad! haha it's pretty funny to see dad playing pros basketball with all of them! Me and dad can challenge some people once I come to stay with ya'll for a bit ;) hahaha

Monday, September 5, 2016

Success through sports

We had a great week! Lots of surprises haha! So in my district now Elder Kirkham is back And Elder Morrey my trainer is her now as well! So even though its a new transfer I know my district even better!

Brother P had his Baptism interview and we taught him his last lesson! So he'll be baptized this Friday! haha

So on Friday I got a text from President Bekker saying there was a family who wanted to meet me and asked if I could make a trip to go see them.. So I was a little confused, but he ended up calling me later and said it was the Chatfield family! (They were the mission president in Uganda before Steve and I) I was able to have a very nice dinner with them and talk about their mission in Uganda as well. It was crazy some of the stories that they have had! I was really happy President Bekker allowed us to see them.

We had a couple funny stories! So I got bored of tracting one day.. So we challenged some college kids to basketball! I told them If we win we get to teach a lesson and if they do we'll go buy them drinks! So they accepted and of course we won because we have the spirit with us.. haha.  But we taught them and then told them that we play basketball at the church every Thursday! And since then one of those guys has been texting us everyday and asking what time our services are at and inviting us to go on hikes etc.. So we actually found a solid investigator from playing Pros ball haha! Also we have a group of around 20-25 non members who we play volleyball with, and they have been wanting to come to church and figure out more about what we believe! haha we've found a lot of success by playing sports here which  I don't  mind at all!

Everything is going great! And I love you guys