Monday, September 14, 2015

Last Email Home - See You Soon Mom!

I want to tell you stories of this week but time is running short...3 John 1:13-14 "I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.";) My mission... the grandest, hardest, most wonderful thing I've ever been blessed to do is coming to an end. I can't believe it. Its bitter sweet. To think that 18 months ago I was packing up my suitcases to leave and saying goodbye. The hardest part of it all was hugging my mom and thinking I wouldn't see her for a long time. On the cement curb of the MTC, feeling out of place next to a kid in a suit with a tag and me with my converse sneakers and bright blonde hair (yes I wore converse as my dress shoes haha). The hardest thing I've ever had to do was say Goodbye to my mom and walk away. Kicking my feet one in front of the other, I had no clue what my mission would do. As the song says, It is the hardest thing I've ever come to love. Over these 18 months, lives have changed, but I feel mine has changed the most. I came out on the mission thinking that I was going to change the world, having no clue how the mission would change my world, change me. I can feel in my soul that I did my best and the Lord is pleased with me. I don't have this thought of like, "I should've done this or should've done that." I gave it my all. I know it and He knows it. I know with all my heart and soul that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I don't want this to end but I know He has a plan. Seeing hearts be touched and changed, I know He was with me each and every day. He loves us and I've felt him put his arms around me. In the moments that seemed hard, I now look back with a thankful heart. He knows me better than I know myself. I wish I could put into words how I feel but words can't describe how beautiful this is to me. Testifying of what I know to be true... and watching hearts change as the spirit told their hearts my words were true. I've got worn out shoes & skirts, water damage in my scriptures, but most of all I have His name pinned to my chest. I don't want to give back my name tag. It has His Name next to mine. If I could tell everyone to go on a mission, I would. Because of my mission I've come closer to Christ than I ever have been before. When my name tag isn't on anymore, His name will still be written on my heart. It is going to be hard leaving this place I've come to love. Flash back to, "You've been called to FREAKING Twin Falls Idaho" haha Man, do I love this freaking place! Haha :D I had no clue what I was in for. Heavenly Father knows best and now I don't want to leave but I can't wait to get on that plane and come home to my Mom. I can't wait to show you Mom who I've come to be. I'm going to hug you and not let go. Families are forever because of His plan and oh how grateful I am to know that! I can't wait to see my family, I'm gonna squeeze ya tight ashleta piketa! <3
I wish I had more to say but I leave you my testimony. This is the Church of Jesus Christ. He lives. He watches over us. This work is true. Joseph Smith is a true prophet. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Jesus Christ's Atonement is real and eternal. He can heal the broken heart, I know this because He healed mine. He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane for me and you. With every drop of blood that was shed, remember it was shed for you. There is no greater happiness than knowing this. I will live my life for him. I am His missionary and will always be His friend. In the name of Jesus Christ amen. <3

See you soon <3
Sister Coats

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

18 Month Mark!

This week was rewarding and overwhelming. I feel like I am just missing something and I don't know what. Like I'm shooting at a hidden target... We are trying to work hard but with the lack of success I'm starting to lose my desire which I do not want to happen. I studied the 1st bullet point for this month's focus, "Cultivate attitude of desire, faith in God, concern for others," I really needed to study that. I realized that even though I feel alone, I'm not. 2 Timothy 4:16-18 "... all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known... and the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." 
Why do I so often forget that? The Lord stands with me, He strengthens me, and that I am His missionary! I know that and how cool is it that by me His message will be shared! :D Its awesome! I need to do all I can to make this message known to the people in our area. Its just been hard because I want to help sister Patterson take the lead but she gets afraid... She shuts down... I don't want her to shut down... I know she can do it! I know she can! I'm trying to help her build her confidence. We had a rough start at the beginning of the week, mostly because I am the one talking and I don't want it to be like that. I want us to be companions and work together... I want her to see that I love her and that she is a fantastic sister missionary! I can't do the work without her and we can't do the work without HIM. Thankfully, we got a blessing from a member and it was exactly what we needed. In our blessings we both were told that we need each other at this time. :) That helped so much! When we got in the car we talked about our blessings and we both realized that the biggest thing we need to do right now is recognize that we don't have to carry this work alone. We have each other and most of all we have the Lord. :) I am so grateful that we finally clicked. Even if our area is struggling, at least we have a solid friendship and can trust each other. I feel like there are so many things I can learn from Sister Patterson, she is kind to everyone and is great with the scriptures, when she testifies she testifies with power! :) I just want to help her see how great she is and that she can do this. I hope we can work on our unity and teaching together. We got the friendship & trust down, now its time to teach! :D With this crazy emergency transfer, I'm grateful it happened. Sister Patterson and I were talking about how it worked out perfectly because if nothing else, we needed each other right now. Heavenly Father definitely knows best and I don't want any other companion than Sister Patterson. :) 
Wait... hold up... sister Patterson just asked me if I could think of one time that the spirit wasn't there when we were teaching this week... holy smokes! Not once did we not have the spirit with us... so like, yeah our teaching in unity could improve, but we do have the spirit with us #randomsidenote 

Exchanges were interesting... It seemed like the sister I was with was doing a bunch of little things just to see if I'd point it out or not. It was quite ridiculous really. I don't want to be a police woman...  I had to pray to not get bugged... but hey! We taught a lady who had anti-crud and I felt to testify of the Book of Mormon. We were bold and blunt, but it didn't come out harsh. We told her that the only way she will come to know if the Church is true is if she gets rid of the anti-crud and reads the Book of Mormon with a sincere desire to find out if its true. :) The lady got quiet and held the anti-crud and asked, "This book really is anti?" We replied, "Yes, we can feel that its not good." (Really though, I could feel the book was bad as soon as I saw it) I was pretty persistent on getting rid of that anti-crud. The lady was like, "I can throw it out." But I insisted on us throwing it out haha ;) It was fun tearing that anti-crud book to shreds but it did hurt to see sacred photos of our Prophet Joseph Smith and the Temple be skewed and degraded.... however, while we were chucking it, a guy yelled at us and was like, "what are you girls doin?" I said, "Taking out the trash!" He said, "Can I join! Looks like you're having a hay day!" Haha the sister I was on exchanges with didn't move, but I sprinted to him. Shook his hand and shared with him how we are missionaries.Real life missionaries and how we have a message that will change his life! As cheesy as it may sound while reading it, I did say that and he got a laugh out of it. He agreed to meet with us later that day and the lesson was great! The Sisters got a new investigator and he seems willing to ACT on the message. It was fun. 

Any who! I'm proud of Sister Patterson for doing the exchange with the other sister. From what it sounded like, they are both really quiet but it gave Sister Patterson the opportunity to talk and she realized she can do it. She said, "I won't talk if I don't have to but If I have to, I realized I can." :) YAY! :) She did great on exchanges and the sister loved her. They worked hard and I think Sister Patterson realized how she can do this. She really can. :)

Heavenly Father is pretty awesome. He answered prayers. No doubt about it.
John 15:18 "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."

Oh! Last thing, we taught a family this week and shared with them the mormon message Heavenly Father Earthly Father, it was so perfect. The Dad was almost in tears. He realized how important his role as a father is and said, "I want to be a good example. I am a father because He is a father to me. I've never thought about it like that... wow, he really loves me." It was so sweet. Then he offered the closing prayer and thanked Heavenly Father for his family. :)

PS: Testimony meeting was pretty... unique... it was one of those testimony meetings where we were grateful we didn't have any investigators at church haha ;) Poor bishop ric though, they had to handle an old man flinging his cane/wooden rod around the podium and correcting some false stuff... not gonna lie though, it was pretty entertaining. I don't think anyone was sleeping haha 

Golly Gee.... we got our flu shot today and my arm is like... sluggin... :P
Have a great week everyone! Sorry this is all over the place 

<3 Sister Coats