Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014

I got super sick on Tuesday. We had to come home so I could pass out... I basically fell dead on my bed and didn't wake up till the next morning. The next morning I was still feeling yuck but we were going to the temple and I had this feeling that I needed to go and I am so glad I went. The Twin Falls Temple is super pretty and going to the temple, it gave me extra strength and reminded me that Heavenly Father does know me and love me. Oh! And I got to see Sister MacDonald at the temple! :)

When we were going around visiting less actives and inviting them to the music festival, one of the ladies we were going to invite wasn't home but her neighbor was outside. So we walked over to the neighbor and invited her and just started talking. We found out she is a member (but her records aren't in the ward) and she was struggling really bad. She was having a way hard day and told us all her struggles. We asked her if she'd like to have a blessing since brother Tolley came out with us and she said yes. After the blessing she hugged us and thanked us for talking to her, that we were the answer to her prayers. :) :) :)

We met with Staicia and Rayna this week. Staicia was supposed to get baptized this week but our lesson went a little different than planned. Rayna has been struggling and feels she is missing something in her life... Instead of us teaching the lesson we had planned for Staicia, we started to share our testimonies. Rayna said she wants the feeling she feels when we are teaching so I asked Rayna if she'd like to be baptized and she said yes! We told her we would think it would be awesome if both her and her daughter Staicia were baptized on the same day and she totally agreed! YAY! Both mother and daughter are going to be baptized on the same day! Double yay! I'm so excited! I met them my very 1st day out here in Idaho and now look where they are! Its just so cool! :) When we were leaving, Rayna (the mom) told me she loved me and cried on my shoulder. She shared everything with us. :) I love her! :)

We visited Don Eddings this week. He is sticking to his baptism goal and wanted to even move the date up! He is a sweet guy. Every time he shakes my hand he always comments on how cold my hands are haha He's going to buy me some gloves ;) Anyway, when he shook my hand goodbye he asked what I would say to people about him when I get home from my mission, that I had baptized this "crazy old hack of a man, a hick from the sticks." I giggled and I told him, "I will tell everyone that I met Don Eddings on my mission and I love him." He looked at me like he was shocked by my answer and asked, "Really?" I replied, "Of course! I can even say that right now!" He smiled so big. I wish I could describe it. :)

Joe Mabey is really struggling with smoking... yesterday he received a blessing to help him quit and he asked for us to be there. He is trying so hard and I know he can do it! He said something funny yesterday. He said smoking is making him "crazier than a junk yard rat." He's a goofball haha :P

In Sacrament this week both my companion and I had to give a talk... the other speakers were out of town... I've been stressing out about that talk all week... I didn't know what to talk about. Anyway, after Sister Tinker gave her talk it was my turn... So I walk up there with the talk I'm about to give and I just... I had this feeling to not give the talk I had planned out.... I don't know what really happened? I just opened my mouth and I don't really remember exactly what I said... I know I was crying though haha the spirit does that to me ;) It was so crazy! I didn't read one word from the talk I had prepared! When I finished and sat down, I was thinking to myself, "What the freak just happened?" After church Bishop Dowdle pulled both me and Sister Tinker into his office and told us that it was the best sacrament he had ever been to and that he has never had so many people say they were so glad to come to church... He made us feel amazing!! When he shook my hand and told me how glad he is that I'm here, his eyes were full of tears so of course, me being a ball baby, I started to cry too... haha the spirit is amazing, even though it always makes me cry. Haha! It was a crazy experience, all of it, and having people tell me I did great was awesome but I didn't do anything... It was all Heavenly Father, I did nothing but open my mouth... pretty crazy... :)

Its crazy how much I love helping people and especially the people we are teaching. I wish I could describe how awesome it is when they tell you they love you or they say they appreciate you. Its the best feeling in the world. I'm so grateful to be here and even more grateful that I've been given this opportunity to help them come unto Christ :) 

I love and miss you all!

Sister Coats

Temple picture with my district & Thank you for the package mom! :)
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Happy Easter

Frohe Ostern! (Happy Easter in German! Sophia taught me that :))

On Tuesday we helped the Relief Society for 8th ward all day. It was way fun! They were celebrating the relief society's birthday. It was a fondue party and quite a few people came. We got to help set up, serve, and clean for the whole party! As well as eat lots of yummy food & fondue. We also did tons of service on Saturday. We cleaned the church and the churches here are HUGE! They are like castles! I don't think I've ever seen a church as big as this one but cleaning was great because we had some little helpers, Payton and Kalli. They are 5 & 7 years old and love to follow us around, they made washing windows a blast! After cleaning the church we also did service for the Mabeys. I got to plant flowers and do yard work. Its funny how much I love doing service on my mission before my mission I wouldn't think yard work or washing windows was fun but out here, its a blast! I get to wear normal clothes and do physical work, be out in the sun, ahhh it was nice :) On Wednesday we went to the new missionary meeting. It was awesome to see almost everyone from my MTC district. I really miss them. Wednesday... man it was just awesome. We didn't even do anything very fun, we just talked about missionary life, but seeing everyone was sooo nice! Its easy for me to feel alone out here but yeah, seeing them made my week! 

This week we had a new investigator come to church! He is a junior in High School, football player, goofball and a bunch of fun to be around. His name is Boston and every time we meet with him we have an awesome lesson but as soon as we ask him to set a date to get baptized he gets a little freaked out. Our last lesson we had with him a couple days ago was probably the strongest lesson I've been a part of since I've been out (so in the last month haha) It was so awesome that I even started to cry a bit and Boston was smiling from EAR TO EAR! HE was so happy that he had a permanent smile :) Anywho, he doesn't want to upset his parents by getting baptized because his dad isn't active and his mom and sister are catholic and don't like the church... but his parents tell him he can make his own choices. I've been praying that he will get the courage to do what he knows is right. Its crazy because he knows he should get baptized but all we can do is pray for him.. I know he can do it! :)

We met a new guy when we went to a referrals house. His name is Manny and hes an ex-marine and asks questions about EVERYTHING!! He wants to know all about our church but isn't going about learning spiritually, if that makes sense? He wants us to teach him some more so we can "convince" him this is Christ's gospel but we keep trying to explain that he needs to pray and find out for himself.  We don't convince people this is the true gospel, we help people find out for themselves that it is. So yeah... he's pretty intense and doesn't show any emotion... he calls me Ma'am... I don't like being called ma'am haha Oh and he doesn't believe in God so getting him to just try praying is hard. He also kept telling us all the things he has like money, cars, houses, and everything else. We then shared with him how we left all of that behind to come on a mission. Even though he is pretty emotionless, he was way impressed with us that we are out here. I think he has a softer heart than what he is lettin on... I'm excited and a little scared of meeting with him again :P

Thursday was a great day. Joe Mabey, he was excommunicated from the church over 40 years ago and has been having the missionaries come over for the last 10 years are so. We've been teaching him since I got here and the missionaries before me were teaching him too. Anyway, our lesson with him on Thursday night, it was powerful. The spirit was so strong and he brought up baptism and we challenged him to set a date to be baptized and guess what!! We set a date!!!! He's going to get baptized next month and is finally going to stop smoking for good! Man, I really love him and his wife. They are the Mabeys we did service for on Saturday. I truly love them and want the absolute best for them. I gave Sister Mabey the flowers my Mom sent me and planted them in her garden. She was so sweet! She said, "Those flowers will always remind me of you." :) OH AND ANOTHER AWESOME THING HAPPENED THIS WEEK! Remember Brother Eddings? The old funny man I wrote about last week? Well we had dinner with him and his wife and talked about the restoration. 1st official lesson with him and guess what!! We set a date for him to get baptized too!! We set 2 baptism dates this week! :)

Yesterday was Easter and Ashleta's birthday.... oh man... yesterday I really missed my family... but the talks in sacrament meeting, were just for me. The microphone was broken yesterday in sacrament so the speakers had to talk really loud and theres a ton of kids in the ward so it was hard to hear the speakers but we were sitting pretty close to the front so it was okay for us... anyway, after the inspiring talks I read a scripture from doctrine and covenants where Joseph Smith was missing his family and the scripture (DC 100:1) said something like, "your family is well, they are in my hands, and I will do with them as seemeth me good, for in me there is all power." Man I really needed that scripture! I miss my family soo much and yesterday I missed them that much more!

Lieba Grube, (sincerely in german, I don't have the german letters on my keyboard :P)
Sister Coats :)

Pictures : Payton and Kalli's cat had kittens!
Cleaning the church! Sister Tinker, Payton, Kalli, and Sister Dowdle :)
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Monday, April 14, 2014

tough week/ The Plunge

Audrey Coats

11:24 AM (4 hours ago)
to NathanCarolHannahCaseyAshleyConnorOliviaMattElinaJaredKyleNatalieAliciaAngieJimLisaSpencerTylermeGaryJennyJulieDianeJosephEmily
This week didn't start out good... but it ended way good. This week it felt like no one was listening to us, our appointments were cancelling or our lessons didn't end up going very smooth, our investigators weren't keeping their commitments, and yeah... a whole bunch of trying to be busy but nothing was happening... We had zone conference which wasn't great, maybe because I'm a newbie? Idk, it just added to the list of difficulties I had this week... but this weekend, Saturday and Sunday made up for such an awful week. 

Erica didn't keep any of her commitments even though we had another very spiritual lesson with her... I hope she starts reading and coming to church soon... We had an appointment with Kirsti and she is starting to get iffy about being baptized because of her parents. Which is understandable but still! We were sad to hear that the more she is thinking about baptism the more she questions it because of her parents... Sophia is still going strong! She is keeping her commitments and she helped us teach young womens yesterday and she taught me how to say a few things in German and shared my favorite scripture with me in German. Btw, I can't do the gurgle sound that Sopia makes when she speaks German, she thinks its funny. Haha :P 

This weekend the Wayments took us for a ride on their dune buggy! It was so fun! The wind through my hair! It was nice :) We had dinner with the Mayor of Burley, Mayor Smedley. He and his wife are so sweet and fed us so well. They invited us over again and he's going to teach us how to make candy. It was pretty cool eating with the mayor. We did splits this weekend and I went with sister Winmill. She's amazing! She is super spunky and a blast to be around. We ran through sprinklers to get to someones house! Which was a blast because we were sopping but the invitation we had to give to them was dry! 

On Saturday we invited Staicia and Rayna to come watch a baptism. The mom, Rayna, was sick but Staicia came. Staicia is 8 years old and when she watched the baptism she was sooo excited!!! We taught a lesson after the baptism and set a date. Its awesome how excited she is to get baptized and she wants her mom to get baptized too. Staicia was all smiles and giggles after our lesson with her and she said the closing prayer. Her closing prayer was so sweet. I sometimes feel like she doesn't listen to us while we are teaching but she is totally listening. She can't remember the "church lingo" but her little prayer showed how strong her testimony is and when she prayed for us... Best feeling ever! She wants to get baptized and I am sooo lucky to be part of it!

Sunday was busy... we had meetings before and after church with the stake and ward, we taught BYD, YW, and Gospel Principles... Sacrament was awesome though because on Saturday we visited Ashley and Vanessa. They're a lesbian couple with a little baby girl they adopted. All week they were never home but Saturday they were. We shared a message with them and invited them to church and guess what! They came!!! It was awesome!! It was funny when Vanessa went into the women's bathroom. She was dressed in a suit and this old grandma just looked at her like, "OOOOO" it was hillarious! So yeah our "lesbo couple" as they call themselves, are coming around haha they've been interesting investigators ;) After church was awesome too. We had dinner with the Winmills, their little girl Kayla kinda reminds me of my little sister Ashley so I always want to go over to the Winmills! :) Sister Winmill made homemade stuffed crust pepperoni pizza... wow it was good... After dinner we went to visit the Eddings. Sister Eddings is a less active and her husband isn't a member. We went over to their home and invited Sister Eddings to the relief society birthday dinneron tuesday and Brother Eddings (hes in his 80's and has cancer.) as soon as he opened the door he said, "Come in pretty ladies, I have some questions for you!" He asked us if we would teach him the lessons!!!!! We haven't asked him to take the lessons because we've heard that he in not interested and doesn't like the church... but he asked us to teach him!!!!!! I'm so excited! He wants to have us teach him and invited us over for dinner. His wife told us that he thinks the world of us! :) He said some pretty funny things... he said, "So why haven't you girls been trying to get me into the pond? Is it because of the scary stories you've heard of me?" We just sat there and smiled.... haha! Then he asked, "So if I decide to take the plunge, which one of you girls gets to baptize me?" We laughed and said, "Um... neither." He said, "Never mind then." It was way funny and then before we left he told us the story of the last missionaries he had 20 years ago. He told us how all they were trying to do was get another number, he was just a number to them, so he told them, "I've talked to God. God told me I'm going to hell and you wanna know why I'm going to hell?" The missionaries said "yeah." Brother Eddings said he stood up and said, "because I'm going to burn you mormons to the ground." HAHA Those missionaries sprinted out the door and never came back. Sister Tinker and I were like, "What???" I asked him, "You're not gonna do that to us right?" Eddings said, "Oh never!! I like you." :P So yeah, we got a new investigator!! SO EXCITING!! :D Also yesterday we had a blast with Wild Bill, Bill Hedges. He told us all these ways he knows how to fight and showed us some self-defense tricks. His nickname, Wild Bill, definitely fits him! Hes a cool member. ;) 

Ashleta your birthday is coming soon!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ASHLETA!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!! 

Have a happy Easter Everybody!
Sister Coats

PS: Its getting warmer here in Idaho and I got an Easter package on Saturday!!! It made my entire week!! Full of German chocolate! YUMMY!! THANK YOU JENTZSCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Audrey and Sister Macdonald

One month down

One month down! This week went really well although the weather has been bipolar. In the morning it snowed and by the afternoon we were dying from the heat! I prefer snow over sweaty hot weather. :) So this week my head has been hurting really bad and comes on really strong then its fine but man, headaches are the worst! 

Remember Sophia? The German exchange student. She invited us to her sweet 16 birthday party. It was a lot of fun. We decorated pillows and got to eat lots of yummies. It was a pj party and I really wanted to wear my pjs. We have a lesson with her tonight. She is so fun to teach because she goes above and beyond what we challenge her to do! :) We taught the plan of salvation to Erica this week. She felt the spirit and even started crying yet she made up every excuse in the book not to watch conference with us... It gets me a little frustrated because she can feel the Holy ghost yet she wont act on those feelings... we have another lesson with her this week and I hope she will start keeping her commitments... We invited Kirsti to be baptized and she really wants to but her parents wont let her. Her parents are letting her take the lessons with us but they are really strong about her not getting baptized... We've been praying her parents hearts will be softened... The best lesson of the week was with Stacia and Rayna! A mom and daughter. Stacia is 8 and wants to get baptized. She goes to church with her friends and loves it. I met Stacia and Rayna my 1st day in Idaho. I really love them. So the deal is Stacia wants to get baptized but needs to learn more about the gospel and her mom, Rayna is sitting in on the lessons. Its funny how Stacia always wants to talk about baptism. The church feels good to Stacia so she is all in! Haha Every few minutes she asks the same questions, "When is this lesson going to be over? When can I get baptized?" and her mom Rayna just ignores her and keeps listening to the lesson. Rayna at first wanted nothing to do with the gospel, she just wanted to sit in on the lessons but now she is the one asking questions and keeps all of her commitments. So yeah, both Tinker and I have a feeling that both Stacia and Rayna will want to be baptized. Rayna is so ready for the gospel. Everything we say she eats it all up! Daughter and Mother... its awesome! I'm excited for our next lesson! :)

Last night we had dinner with the Pope family and the daughter Breanna invited Syerra over. Syerra had a few questions and she was the one to bring up baptism. After she brought it up I had this feeling we needed to ask her to be baptized. I asked her and she started sobbing! She's a tough girl and doesn't cry but she let the water works go! As she was wiping away her tears Brother Pope shared his testimony and it was powerful. She looked up and smiled. She just said, "I'm so excited." She doesn't want to set a date yet so we told her to pray about being baptized. Man, I hope she prays because she is so ready to be baptized! When we talked about the gift of the holy ghost she said she wants that gift! Even though we didn't set a date shes having dinner with us at the Popes house on Easter which is only a couple weeks away. :) Oh! When we showed up at the Popes house sister Pope asked her little girl, "Who are they?" Her little girl looked up at us and jumped up and down and said, "They're prophets!!" It was super cute and funny!

So yep... This week went really well and I'm excited for the weeks to come. The only negative things about this week were the headaches and my mission picture... Its the worst picture I've ever seen of me and I'm not being dramatic. Its awful. They said only my mission president would see that picture but nope!!! It's everywhere! It was on the mission monthly news letter for every missionary to see and its on the wall at the mission office... oh my heck... that stupid picture is haunting me...

Btw, Conference was amazing! I hope y'all got to watch it! So many awesome talks, I think my favorite talks were from Uchtdorf and Eyring. 

I love and miss all of you!! :)
Sister Coats 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Letter March 31 2014

Hey Everyone!!

P-days go by so fast and they are the busiest days of the week. We have so much to do! Last p-day though we got to go bowling as a zone. It only cost us $2 to rent shoes. I really stink at bowling... man... I'm awful... I should've used the bumpers. Haha :) This week at district meeting we focused on how we can apply scriptures to people and not try to make the scripture fit the person. If that makes sense? So I've been trying to do that and its really helped. 

We are teaching a girl, Ciara, who I think is ready to be baptized. Shes one of the members friends and she loves the scriptures. She knows a ton about them and reads everything we ask her to read but she has a hard time showing up to church because she works on Sunday... so we really need to help her realize how important the sacrament is. I'm excited for our next lesson because we are going to ask her to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. We had an amazing 1st lesson with Erica! She has a little boy who's 2 and she is pregnant. I was sad yesterday when she didn't show up to church... We visited her after and she was watching TV with her friends... Its hard to not to be sad when you know people need the gospel in their life and you love them and you know the gospel will bless them... we have another lesson with her soon and I hope that she will act on the feelings she felt and hopefully feels again. For her to understand the importance of church and taking the sacrament she needs to come to church! Its one thing to explain it and its another thing for them to do it. We met with the Mabey couple. They're a really old couple and the husband has been excommunicated. They are really nice people. Our visit went really well. We talked about forgiveness and how we not only need to forgive others but we need to forgive ourselves. Sister Mabey was crying happy tears :) Brother Mabey just needs to stop smoking and then he can get baptized but I know our visits are helping him.

On Wednesday we did exchanges. I went to Rupert for the day with Sister Moore. It was a lot of fun. We taught a Book of Mormon class, helped one of the members create center pieces for her Easter party, and cleaned all of the Jensen's windows on their farm. I loved cleaning windows haha I got to wear my sweats and even though it was a little cold outside it was nice to be doing some physical work. The Jensen's are really awesome. Sister Jensen made us dinner while we cleaned and her grandson Brody scared me soo bad! I was cleaning one of the windows and then walked inside to get the garbage and he popped out at me! I don't even know if I screamed or not but Brody fell to the ground laughing at me and during dinner he'd just look up at me and giggle... he was proud of himself haha :)

We had a few less actives come back to church! Crazy hair Ian (he has long black hair and he spikes it in all different directions, kinda looks like a porky pine hehe he has a punk type of style) Whenever we visit Ian his band is playing downstairs. They turn the music up so loud it really does make the little house shake. Its nice that his band plays the music so loud only because then we always know when he's home. :) Liz and Brother Giles also came. We helped Liz clean her house. Shes a heavy lady and has a really hard time bending down, so we helped her clean and in return she came to church and sat next to us! :) Brother Giles really is crazy. He has a karaoke machine which I really want to try and he can belt it out! He is always teasing us and making fun of us that we don't get to go out and do the things he gets to do. He says whatever is on his mind and his wife always gets so embarrassed. :) Sunday is a relaxing day compared to the rest of the week because we go to church all day but its nice to have other people teaching instead of us but I was asked to give the closing talk yesterday and we taught the gospel principles class last week.. both last minute... but still, we mostly just listen to everyone else :)

The Brower family, they fed us dinner the other night, are way cool. They have 3 kids and love food! Sister Brower is an amazing cook. When we were all waiting for her to bring over her pasta, her little boys were so funny. They couldn't wait for dinner, one of her sons looked like he was about to cry because he was so hungry. Before dinner, when we pulled up to the Brower family house, we saw their little boy David peaking out the window. David likes to wait for us so he can open the door and lead us to our dinner seats, its really cute. :)

Bonnie received her endowment this week and got married in the temple! Shes a super old lady and is pretty sarcastic. She says some funny things. She was like, "Oh I'm excited to wear garments. I think they are going to help me from looking so awful for the wedding night." We were like "what do you mean?" Bonnie said, "I'm an old lady... you know what I mean... my body isn't what it use to be and come to think of it... neither is his so, garments are going to help both of us out." haha :) She invited us to her reception after they went to the temple and she was all smiles. Something she does thats really cute is when she laughs she opens her mouth way big but then quickly closes it and puts her hand over her mouth to keep her dentures from falling out. :)

Did you girls watch the General Woman's broadcast? It was way good. I loved the video of all the stages of life but my favorite part was Eyring's talk. He talked about his mom and how she was so loving, made me think of my mom... I love my mom... He said to smile at your mom and that made me miss my mom even more... but I was sending a smile to my mom anyways! One of my favorite things he said was that we need to comfort, help, and do it with a smile. :) I also loved how he said we are all more alike than different. So yeah, I loved his talk and I need to do what he says, Smile! :D

Last night we ate at the Alvey's. We had grilled chicken which tasted just like Dadio's so that was good, and we had monkey bread for dessert, which is amazing! Then we watched Saturday's Warrior. I've never seen it and oh my gosh.. that movie is cheesy... I was trying so hard to take it seriously but I just couldn't. It was painful to watch... but because it was so cheesy it was pretty funny too. My companion sister Tinker really enjoyed it though and asked if they had a sound track. Sister Alvey said she has the CD... I was thinking "NOO!!!" If Sister Tinker gets that cd.... I'm going to have to hide it from her!!! :P Anyway, the Alvey's are hosting an exchange student, Sophia. Shes from Germany and really wants to get baptized but she can't because its against the exchange student program rules... Sophia is awesome. She has a way cute accent and is very giggly. Through the week she writes down questions as she studies the Book of Mormon and then whenever we see her we help answer her questions. Oh! So Sophia really likes this boy and one thing I love about her is how boy crazy she is! Whenever we're over at her house, I help her text the boys she likes because she never knows what to say even if they only say "Hey" she gets all nervous and says, "He said hey! what do I say? I should say Hey back right?" Its so funny because I've totally been that nervous about texting someone I've liked and sister Tinker doesn't understand what being boy crazy is like, so sophia and I have that in common haha :) Sophia is pretty awesome. She invited us to her birthday party on friday and gave us some german chocolate last night. German Chocolate is the best! :)

Love and miss you all!!! Thank you for the letters and emails!!! :)
Sister Coats

You can send letters to the mission office or to my apartment address.

Sister Audrey Caroline Coats
19 w. 218 S.
Burley ID 83313