Monday, February 23, 2015

Stop in the Name of Love!

I realized I need to love the people in this area even more so I have a stronger desire to contact everyone and have the courage to do it! I love this gospel, and I love this work, even though my companionship is difficult (its improving a lot!) I'm the only person to blame when it comes to feeling discouraged. Its my own choice to choose how hard I work and I know I'm happier when I'm working hard! It was a hard week because I feel like my efforts aren't really getting places but maybe I'm just not trying hard enough... I think I need to push myself even harder then the miracles will come. My goal this week is to contact as many of our referrals as possible so we can have more people to teach and instead of walking to their door, start running! Throughout my studies (btw I finished reading the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel!) I realized the greatest blessings or miracles came after a sacrifice. I'm willing to sacrifice myself by pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. We are going to get new investigators this week. I know if I sacrifice, do my part, then Heavenly Father will help us find more people to teach.

Even though we didn't get any new investigators this week, we taught a ton of less actives and did quite a bit of service. Fay is still going strong with preparing to enter the temple and the Kaplans are becoming totally active! Macy has been coming to church every week now and hasn't missed one of our book of Mormon classes! We may not be having a baptism, and when I look at the numbers that kinda brings me down but when I think of the people we've helped, I'm brought right back up again! Helping anyone come closer to Christ is the best feeling ever. Whether they are an active member, less active, totally inactive, or not a member at all and totally not interested, when we help them and the spirit comes, thats the best feeling, it makes all those hard times disappear.

Michelle is struggling with faith... she says its just something shes never had. We asked her to read Alma 32 and I'm so excited to follow up with her today! As I was studying for her this morning I realized for any of us to increase our faith we must increase our obedience. When we are obedient, our faith increases, and when our faith increases, our desire to be obedient increases as well. So my conclusion for Michelle is if she starts living the gospel, her faith will increase, and so will her desire to start living it! I know for me that this rings true. I've seen how as I've tried to be obedient my faith has increased and as my faith has grown, I want to be more obedient! I want to follow my Savior and His example. I want to be more like Him. 

Stop in the name of love! ~ We were driving to go contact a referral when we saw a tiny lady taking out her trash. She was hunched over and her son was trying to help her but couldn't lift the trash. I pulled over, Kennedy was like, "What are you doing?" We stopped and I was like, "Lets go!" So we jumped out of the car and helped this lady with her trash. She had a few bags she needed to take out and we quickly found out that she was in a car accident and really injured her back and her son wanted to help but he wasn't strong enough. Something as simple as taking the trash out, she couldn't do it. We were more than willing to help! :D And as we helped her I saw her heart be softened. She smiled at us and invited us in and thanked us repeatedly. When we went inside, we got to know her and some of her struggles. We shared with her how Heavenly Father loves her. The spirit was there and when we asked if they knew their Heavenly Father loved them, her 1st grader son and 4 year old daughter looked up to their mom and said, "we know He loves us, huh mom" :) She replied "yes he does." :) When Kennedy and I left we just knew that was exactly where we needed to be and at the perfect moment. It was so cool, I felt instant love for this family. Isn't that cool? Talk about perfect timing and Heavenly Father leading us to where we needed to be. :) I am so grateful for how Heavenly Father lets us be His hands. I'm grateful to know that He cares about me and about all of His children. I know He is watching over me. Right now I may not be seeing immediate results from my efforts but I know He sees how hard we are trying and I know our efforts aren't wasted.

Gotta go! Have a great week everyone!

James 4:8 "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you..."

Sister Coats

Thank you for the package mom! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Stuck in the Mud

YAY!! I am staying here in Mackay! I love the beginning of a new transfer because it gives me a renewed energy boost to work even harder! :) I am worried about Sister Kennedy though. Its hard for me to give someone else the desire I have to share the gospel. Some days I feel like I am dragging her out the door but all is well, I know the work will pick up and there is always something we can learn from each other and even though the hard times aren't very fun, that's when I seem to learn/grow the most. Any who, I can't wait to see how this transfer turns out and I know the hitting point for Sister Kennedy is coming (I feel like she has already it but its all good, I guess I just need to be patient and keep loving her.) But Hey! The work is picking up! We have plans to set dates with 3 of our investigators and with all the changes in our wards. New bishops, new ward mission leaders, I have a feeling some new doors are going to open. Change is hard... because we've built trust with these people but at the same time it is good because they may have new ideas and different ways to get the work moving! So bittersweet all together hehe :)

Overall good week. (Every week on a mission seems to always turn out good!) The Ippolitos came to the ward activity and they brought friends! Jimmy was extremely sick so we came over to visit him. He goofed off and what not but Evelyn asked us to say a prayer for him. As we bowed our heads and I started to pray, the spirit took over. Probably one of the strongest prayers I have had on my mission. The Spirit led my words and touched their hearts. The spirit was so strong none of us could deny it. When we said amen, Jimmy was quiet (he is never quiet!) and Evelyn was in tears. They felt it. We all felt it. :) I am so grateful for prayer and that we got to be instruments in the Lord's hands to help the Ippolitos feel how much Heavenly Father loves them. They can't deny it, none of us can.

Also this week we literally got stuck in the mud... both spiritually and so did our car. haha After meeting with the bishop, it was raining, snow melting, we drove to turn around and bam... got stuck. The more we tried to move, the deeper we got, kinda embarrassing. But hey! It turned out to be super great because a totally inactive family helped pull us out who before that, avoided us at all costs. Anyway, because we got stuck we had to figure out how to get ourselves out right, well luckily for our car an inactive family came to the rescue but as for us spiritually, only the Savior could pull us out. I felt like the more I tried to help or figure something out, the deeper Sister Kennedy and I got. Our unity was completely off and I learned this week that often times I rely way too much on myself. I don't go to Him as often as I should. I shouldn't just go to Him when I need help but also when everything is going okay, I need to show thanks, appreciation, love, ask for His direction... I need to be humble enough to change... so I can let Him come closer to me. I think part of the reason why we felt stuck is because we both had to humble ourselves. We needed to let down our pride and stop focusing on ourselves or each other and instead focus on the work! Focus on our investigators! When I stopped focusing on dragging Sister Kennedy out the door (and how frustrated that makes me ~ changing frustration into love) and she stopped focusing on how she doesn't want to be here, the spirit came back. We were able to talk things out, humble ourselves, and get back to work, the right way! (Which I think helped Sister Kennedy to stop thinking about home. Cool how work does that :)) I am grateful for how He helped us break things down so we could build them back up in His way. Turning our will into His and instead of asking for our circumstances to change, asking for the strength to change our circumstance (if that makes sense? :)) You know, sometimes I need to get stuck in the mud before I let Him come help me out... and sometimes I need to get stuck before I commit to change... ya know what I'm saying? Geeze... I just wish I didn't get stuck so often! Haha :) Trying to word that together all cute and totally didn't work hahah conclusion... I hate getting stuck in the mud but I know there's only one person who can pull me out and that is the Savior. (Pretend that was all worded cute haha)

Have a great week everyone! 

2 Timothy 2:19 "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his..."
Sister Coats

Stuck in the Mud

Monday, February 9, 2015

Tough Week

Extremely hard week for me because everything seem to fall into pieces... and just like the heading to this email, felt like I was pushing on a pull door! Here we go ready? ;P So, I got extremely sick, thankfully only for one day, but not being able to work and wanting to work is no fun... then we set a baptism date with K and then that blew up on us. The spirit was so strong in our lesson, K even got emotional, we set a baptism date, everything went great then on Saturday we hear from one of the members that at the basketball game this weekend she was telling everyone we are forcing her to get baptized. What?! Really, because thats what we do, we force people to do things, force them to take the lessons, force them to get baptized, urrrhhh and what bugged me the most is she didn't tell us, we had to hear it from a member! RUMORS! So yeah, heard she was bad mouthing us, bashing us as missionaries and worst of all bashing His church! So we called her and I'm grateful Sister Kennedy handled this because she is great at being right up front with people and I'm a peace maker which isn't always a good thing or I speak my mind and make it a heck of a lot worse, anyway totally laid it out and Sister Kennedy said it powerfully and direct, totally led by the spirit, "We represent the Lord. We are His servants, if you didn't want to get baptized you should've told us." Then K said, "I never said yes." Boy oh boy, so glad I wasn't the one on the phone right then because I would've blown up, but Sister Kennedy kept her cool and was like, "K you did say yes and you know you did, all of this would've never happened, we wouldn't have planned a date with you and planned out your baptism at our lesson with you if you would've said no. K we can't meet with you anymore." It was kinda awesome. :) I just can't believe she would out right lie to us like that but from what we've heard, its just like her to do this. Shes done it before. I just hope we didn't loose any member trust... What the what.... so frustrating... I mean its totally understandable for K to get nervous about it or maybe feel embarrassed? Idk, but I just don't get totally out right lying to us like that, we were there! And then speaking bad about His church and the members especially when the members have done so much for her. Why would you bad mouth the people who help you? Idk... fellowshippers, everyone involved, it hurt all of us. Kaitlyn will come around... maybe not for a long time but we have to keep loving her... even if that seems really hard to do right now haha 

Man, this week was just so hard and then to add on top of all of that stuff, all this week Sister Kennedy talked about going home... which broke my heart and made the work a lot harder to do because I felt like I was dragging her out the door... And I love missionary work! Its a blast! I just.... I don't think I've ever had a companion that wanted to go home before and to be truthful, that's never entered my mind as an option, so it was really hard to relate. I mean, I understand missing my family and missing home but I don't understand going home. I came out here and I'm going to finish but I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that Sister Kennedy has been hearing some bad news from home and feels like she would be of better help to her family if she went home. All I could do was pray for her and shared with her how being on a mission has blessed my family more than anything I've ever done before. I know that me being on a mission is blessing my family more than me being at home. It just really hurt... I feel like I've failed as a trainer because I haven't helped her catch on to the JOY that comes from doing missionary work. Its hard to give that desire of sharing the gospel that I have to someone else... they have to desire it too, I can't make her desire it, but I guess I can at least try to help her gain a desire, right? I don't know, it was just a hard week. I want so bad for her to experience all the happiness that comes from sharing the gospel, and I try to remind her of the good feelings that she has already experienced from being out here. Getting what she knows to be true to enter into her heart, helping her gain that knowledge that sharing the gospel brings happiness, getting that from her head into her heart. (Like what Elder Ballard said, "Our great need is to get the belief and knowledge that is in our heads into our hearts. Doing so anchors us in the truth." I feel like that relates to all aspects of the gospel and missionary work.) :) It will come... I know that will come for her and I know that when it clicks, it sticks. :)

Alright done with that negativity, lets get back to being positive! So Sister Kennedy wanting to go home, so I strongly encouraged her to call president, which she did! YAY!!! I am so grateful for him and what he said. From what she told me he said basically what I said about being out on a mission is the best thing you could do for your family but him saying it hit home because she seems more chill today and she is NOT going home!! YAYYAYAYAYA!!! :D I am grateful that she called him and that he gave her the direction she needed, she seems happier and more willing to try since she talked to him. Who knows, maybe she had to go through that so she could trust him faster than I came to trust him. I wish I would've trusted him and his calling a lot sooner in my mission.

I feel all is getting better now. Just need to stay positive, keep praying, and focus on the successes we had this week. Like Fay came to church! (We are helping her get to the temple) We gave a book of Mormon to Jimmy, and he accepted! So that is HUGE! We got a lot of referrals to contact and really, how could I not be happy? I know this is Christ's church, I know I am a daughter of God, and I know He wouldn't send me here to fail. He wants me to succeed. He loves me and wants me to be happy, He loves all of his children and desires all of us to be happy. His gospel and being able to do His work has brought me true and eternal happines! I know it because I've felt it. I continue to feel that happiness and I believe its only a preview of what eternal happiness must feel like! I am so truly happy to be here doing His work. I know I am where He wants me to be and I know He is shaping me into the person He wants me to become and who I want to be. Its not possible for me to not be happy. Yes disappointments, trials, and sorrows come but I know my Savior loves me and I know this gospel is true!! So this is how I feel... BRING IT ON SATAN! I know where I stand. I know who's side I'm on and there is nothing, no one, that can take that knowledge away from me.
See? How could I not be happy? Hehe :D

Super long email this week! Love y'all!
Sister Coats

PS: When we did 12 week yesterday we read PMG 10 A successful missionary, crazy how the spirit works. It was exactly what I needed. When we read Alma 8:14-15 & Helaman 10:4-5, I personalized it just for me and whoa, this is what I got, (its kinda goofy but hey, I personalized it! Enjoy hehe) Alma 8:14-15 "And it came to pass that while I was journeying thither, being weighed down with sorrow, wading through much tribulation and anguish of soul because of K and Sister Kennedy... The Lord comforted me saying: Blessed art thou, sister Coats; therefore, lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great cause to rejoice; for thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God." Helaman 10:4-5 "Blessed art thou, Sister Coats, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments. And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for ghou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will." 

Picture... I know how you always want pictures mom so I had Sister Kennedy take a picture of me... I was sick. There ya go hahha :)

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Be Bold

It was a week of improvement. We took to heart what Elder Ballard said about being bold and miracles happened because of it. The Ippolitos, a couple from New Jersey that I met the 1st week I came to Mackay. They both say they don't want anything to do with the church but over our visits, Evalyn has been reading the book of Mormon, read the ensign, and has been asking us a ton of questions. Her husband Jimmy is the one we really need to work with because I believe that if he was interested in the church, Evalyn would be right there with him. Over our visits it started as, "No you can't share a message," and him interrupting through prayers, and making jokes right when the spirit comes in, well, over these few months both of their hearts have been softened. We are saying prayers with them, sharing messages, and this week Jimmy wasn't feeling very well so we dropped by a get well goody. They invited us in and just like Elder Ballard said, BE BOLD, so we did just that. We taught the 1st lesson. Jimmy still isn't interested and teased us for sharing but when we testified, he became quiet. If nothing else, we know he felt something. (The spirit was there) :) It was awesome. Being bold and confident made a huge difference in the work. We were able to testify to everyone and anyone! We got a few new investigators and I believe because of our boldness, the spirit was able to come even stronger to our lessons.

Sister Kennedy is starting to talk more. We contacted a lot which helped her (both of us) with door approaches. She had a hard day this week where she seemed really depressed... so to keep ourselves happy and up, I made us do a cheer again haha We are not going to just sit and slug around, so we got up said a cheer (yes like a physical cheerleader cheer haha she thinks I'm crazy but really cheers work!) and went to work even harder. Taking a short lunch and dinner to keep even more focused on the work and promising to not even talk negative about anything. I think it helped because it made it so we didn't even have time to think negative thoughts, the only thing we could think about is the work! And if we did think negative we didn't say it. We said only positive things, which before ya know it, you start believing what you tell yourself. Making her cheer,"I'm happy!" I think really did make her Happy! Haha :)

By the way, we had interviews with our president and it was so great! I've really come to love and trust him. It made my entire month to hear him say he is proud of me and that he has recognized how much I've grown. It just really meant alot to me that he cares about me and helping me become better.

One last super cute thing, we got to teach primary this week and the Bell's little boy Jackson has the biggest crush on us! He made sure to sit right by us and he even told me, "I'm scared of you." Me, "Why?" Jackson, "I don't know.... I really really like you and I try to hide from you. You can't tell anyone I like you!" Haha He ran around church telling everyone that we taught his class! Jackson is only 4 years old but he made my week! Telling his friends that I am HIS missionary! Hahaha Its really adorable! Teaching Primary is so much fun! ;)

Have a great week everyone! 

PS: Scripture that stood out to me...
1 Thessalonians 2:4
"But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts."

Love Sister Coats

Pics: Getting Lost in Paradise :