Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Week 17 - Chicago

Hi y'all :)

Happy Fall!! Shout out to the best little brother in the world, Kevin, whose 11th birthday is on Thursday. Happy Birthday Kid!!

So we taught a lot and laughed a lot this week. It was just a great week in general. We once again got soaked (Ive never been rained on so hard before in my life) but we were smiling through it. I love challenges, they show you what your made of.  Although, some members reported that theres 2 ft. of water in their house (I totally believe it) so weve been helping them out. It's been fun!

We went Muslim contacting over the weekend (you know to spice it up) and found a man named Arshad. We started talking about how "God is the same yesterday, today and forever" therefore God would call a prophet today and he really was fascinated. Although for our first appointment, we showed up at this tea shop and he was there with his minister who has a MBA in Finance and PhD in Religion.... needless to say we were scared 🤣 We started teaching through the pamphlet and it turned into a lively but peaceful conversation on the similarities we have with Islam. It definitely changed my perception and we really agreed on a lot of things. We got to Joseph Smith and I just felt like I should bear my testimony and wow, the Spirit really confirmed to me that what I was saying was true. I started to feel about for this minister who has study religion all his life but still doesnt understand. We texted Arshad afterwards and he said "You know there's a difference when you teach compared to him. Call me anytime for a Bible study." We were super excited.

Other than that, weve just been teach the same folks and inviting more and more people to Christ. Weve had a lot of support to from free dinners to someone heartattacking our bedroom after a very cold and rainy day. I want y'all to know that I know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God. That he was the man who was humble enough to ask God a simple question and by doing so has changed millions of lives. One of my all time favorite lyrics is "Millions shall know Brother Joesph again." I testify that he restored Jesus Christ church and Im proud to testify of him everyday. Have a great week y'all :) 

Sister Emily Coley

D&C 135:3-7 Last thing Joseph Smith did was sacrifice himself for his friends (see John 15:13 as well for a good study) 

Photos: 1. Sisters and us eating Deep Dish pizza by Lake Michigan 2. Someone heart attacked our apartment 3. Chicago (before the storm) 4. A member gave us a gift card to Red Lobester, so were feasting! 

Week 16 - Chicago

Hi everyone :)

So this week has been a bit slower than usual. A lot more cancelled appointments than usual but thats alright. Life happens :) Transfers happened this week and I have the privilege to train Sis Andrews, who is a ray of sunshine. She's a convert from a really rough town called Petersburg, Virigina and has been thrown into a lot of scary situations in her lifetime. Her testimony is so pure because of these moments and Im grateful to have her.

Sis Robertson and I went from the airport to Downtown with the new missionaries last week and it was so much fun! These new missionaries have so much heart and a powerful testimony! I was so humbled and proud watching them contact for the first time on the train and actually hand out several Book of Mormons. Their high spirits and cheer definitely reminded me of how much I LOVE being a missionary and how much Ive grown.

My testimony of endurance has significantly grown through this experience. We went to do a Bible referral at this 4 story apartment. So naturally we decided to knock on every door. As we spiraled down the floors, we got some serious door slams and even a few bible bashers. We made it to the first level knocked on one of the last doors and the most scariest looking guy Ivd met walked out. We started talking then he called his wife to come over (who looks just as scary). She stopped in her tracks, then came to me so that we were a foot away and said "You were in my dreams last night. God told me two ladys were going to appear and teach me about Christ." Weve had a few lessons with them since and were excited.

Ive been so grateful for the warm weather lately. Although Saturday that wasnt the case. It started dumping rain on us for 4-5 hours and we had nothing to do but find. Yay. Luckily we actually saw so many miracles happen. We went inside of a popular grocery store and started to sneakly contact some people. We actually got talking to the baker (I used to work as a bakery assistant so I couldn't help it) and she gave us a cupcake. We have an appointment with her this Wednesday too! People definitely didnt want to drive in the rain so there were a lot of bored people who just needed to talk. And in times when we were outside drenched from head to toe and the wind was beating us over, I couldnt help but smile. My companion and I started singing primary songs and we were so happy. It reminded me of that quote "Saints can be happy in every situation." Im so grateful that I know that God loves each of us so much therefore we dont have to worry. We can be joyful.

Have a very happy Fall Break :)

Sister Emily Coley

3 Nephi 24: 2-3, 17-18 Will you be an instrument to God after the refiners fire or be wasted up in the ash? Ive pondered that a lot this week.

Photos: 1. Cupcakes from the Baker 2. Sis Andrews 3. All of the trainers and trainees 4. Selfie at the Bean with new missionaries 5. Reflection 6. Rainbow

Week 15 - Chicago

Hey y'all

Wow this week has flown by. I swear it should be Wednesday! We had a lot of funny moments this week. And Im SO excited but nervous, we got transfer calls yesterday and Im going to be a trainer in this area!! This like never happens with people just out of training. But I know God will help us every step of the way and through Him I can do it!

Easily the best part of the week was Conference! I noticed that as a missionary so many promptings and revelations came to me during conference to tell my investagators. In fact my notes are filled with more things for them that me! Two of the sessions we got to watch them with our retired Philippino couple which warmed my heart when I saw them taking notes! I loved every talk, and I highly encourage everyone to read through them again.

Last Pday we went exploring in the city which easily is my favorite thing ever! We were towards the ghetto side and found this heavily graffiti bus, so of course we start taking pictures of it! In process, a bus driver came out and naturally we start contacting him. Apparently we ran into a local hardcore jazz band called the Reggaes. My companion asked if we could share a message, and the next thing we know were teaching the Restoration into a greasy microphone to a popular heavily tattooed  jazz group in a graffiti school bus! They cracked us up too! It was easily the best and funniest Restoration lesson Ive given.

And of course we did what any foolish missionary does and locked themselves out of their apartment. So funny story we had our apartment inspections with Senior Sisters and by habit locked the door when we rushed out to greet them. When we came back sure enougn our front and back door is completely locked. So we tried everything. Bobby Pins, credit cards, nametag pins, pocket knife, praying really hard anything to pick the lock. Finally an idea dawned on my companion that we have a broken lock on our bathroom window. So a car jack, a severly bent soup can, two rough looking rocks and 20 prayers later, we were able to budge the window barely enough for me to climb through the window and unlock the door! We were laughing by the end and definitely taught us a lesson.

Also this whole week, weve been worrying about our food supply. By Friday night, weve reduced ourselves to cans and we started to pray we can make it to Tuesday. A half hour later, a member texted us that shes feeding us Jimmy Johns for lunch. Then we showed up to watch Conference with our investagators and they fed us Phillipano food. Sure enough on Sunday, a ward member called us and said she felt prompted to invite us over to Sunday dinner. We also got a call from President asked if we could help them tour the new missionaries around Chicago and theyll fed us breakfast, lunch and dinner on Monday. But the coolest miracle of all is we were bus contacting this tatooed, tough-looking guy. He wasnt interested but stops us mid-sentence and says "I strongly feel like I need to give you this. Youll appreciate it more than I do." Gives us a candy apple and hops off the bus!!

God knows our desires and needs and will always bless us if we do our part to keep the commandments and serve his children. I love God so much, and Im so grateful for everything and everyone He's personally given me. Anyway Ive got to go bring some hope and confidence into some new missionaries. Have a great week, Im so grateful for each of you :)

Sister Emily Coley

1 Nephi 1:1 Conference was filled with reading the Book of Mormon, so just do it! 

Photos: 1. My perspective of Conference 2. Reggies bus 3. Little piece from home 4. Locked outside 5. City with Sisters 6. Celebrating getting inside with Senior Sisters  

Week 14 - Chicago

Hey y'all

Sorry for the title, my President asked us to title our emails that for a good laugh 😅 We got flu shots at Zone Conference

And shout out to my big brother Tyler who got engaged over the weekend!!! Ty, I love you and Nikayla welcome to the family! Anyone who can make my brother smile as much as you do, is already a sister to me! 

Zone Conference was incredible as always. President was telling us all of these statistics and numbers of new investagators, on date, baptisms etc. And apparently the record for this mission is 21 baptisms/month. But President started to prophesied (which is beyond cool) that we can double that number but we must beware of Satan and believe in the impossible. It was super awe inspiring and Sis Robertson and I have been worker harder than ever before. And sure enough weve found some humble people and have quite a few first lessons this week that Im excited for.

I was amazed by how personal Womens Conference was. Anyone (male or female) who needs a boast of self confidence, watch it. I loved how it was all about self-worth and reminding us that we are children of God. As a missionary, you talk about that all the time when you go finding, but it really hit me by how powerful and life-changing it is. The Relief Society had a party before and we got to snack during the Conference, it was great!

Anyway, have a wonderful Conference weekend this week! I want to add my testimony of how bless we are to have a prophet on this Earth and get guidance and direction from God through Thomas S Monson. I sustain and support him and the twelve. They truly are inspired men. In comparison to the world, only a handful know that simple truth. We are so blessed to believe it, so share it! Anyway I love you all. Have a spiritual week. 

Sister Emily Coley

D&C 18:10 "Every soul needs to be rescued." Sister Joy D Jones

Photos 1. My perspective of Conference 2. My comp tried to sneak a picture of me 3. Us and the STLs at the best Mexican custard shop ever! 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Week 13 - Chicago

Hey y'all

This week has been the biggest highs and biggest lows I've ever experience in my life. And Id do it all again in a heartbeat because of how close I felt to Christ. Like everything in life there's opposition in all things. There's happy times and then there's sad times. But in the end, you can always choose to be joyful because Christ is always standing by you ready to help. This week was very challenging and trying but it doesn't matter now. This week was filled with joy and miracles.

Our President allowed us to go to the temple which was exactly what I needed. I forgot what a sweet peaceful Spirit the temple can bring. As soon as I saw a glimpse of Angel Moroni, I felt so much love burn within me as if I was going home after a long vacation. All those who live close to the temple, I strongly encourage going. I truly believe that the temple contains a hope and joy that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The temples provides the best atmosphere to experience a glimpse of what heaven is like. It is my fondest dream for my investigators to experience that. Game on!

Elder Renlund came on Friday and we were all so excited and he do not disappoint. I was the first one to shake his hand and within those few seconds I knew that he cared and really loved me and appreciated all the work and sacrifice I've put in. I was in tears, I felt the Spirit so strong. There were 3 Seventy members and it was interesting because they all talked about having unshakable faith in Christ and how that leads to joy. Elder Renlund explained that if you are always working hard to be the best child of God you can be and have a positive attitude in every situation throughout your life, you will know Jesus Christ's personality, ambitions, and be filled with incomprehensible joy. I want that so bad. It was life-change. Email me if you want my notes at all :)

Sure enough, with so much joy and good, rouh things happen. One hour after Elder Renlund talked to us, one of our Filipino investigator went into her baptismal interview, decided she couldnt and wouldnt pay tithing, gave us back the Book of Mormon and all of the pamphlets and dropped us. We were stunned. I was really sad but I remembered what Elder Renlund said about having joy in every circumstance and determined that she wasn't quite ready. But there's so many people in this area who are ready, and Sis Robertson and I just went contacting people as if our life depends on it. We talked to everyone in our path and we sure found some faithful people. Satan will do everything he can to distract, belittle and cloud our thoughts with darkness, but we can choose to fight him. And when we do, the heavens are opened and we are filled with light.

Also I am incredibly grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost because it probably saved me a trip to the hospital. My front brakes and gear shift is completely bent out, so the past week I've been going on the same gear rattling everywhere and its been taking me a lot longer to stop. On Saturday I woke up thinking I need to go to the bike store. Unfortunately it was a Saturday and Mexican holiday so its prime time to go finding. My trainer and I discussed and sure enough we made the long trek to the bike store. With gears running and brakes in working we were riding down the road when a car came speeding down an alleyway. Thankfully, I stopped in time with 6 inches to spare. Always always listen to the Spirit :) you'll never be wrong!

Also this week our mission was 1 of 12 missions (out of the 426 out there) to pilot the use of smartphones! From now on, people entering my mission will buy Galaxy J3 Prime phones instead of tablets. This means we get a hot spot with 2 GB of data and copy/paste in text messages which is super helpful. But where much is given, much is wanted. Our President says that if our numbers don't increase then the church will not continue this idea of smartphones for future missionaries. I'm so grateful and very humble because I know this mission can be worthy of this temptation. And I know as we use this tool wisely, our areas will start to blossom before our eyes (also Elder Renlund said it would too). :)

Have the best week ever!! Sorry this message was long and preach-y but I really felt like I should testify :)

Sister Emily Coley

D&C 68: 4-6 

1. Waiting for Elder Renlund 
2. My Zone outside of the temple 
3. The whole mission with Elder Renlund, Elder and Sister Nattress, Elder Taylor, and Elder and Sister Scott.
4. Smartphones!! 


Friday, September 15, 2017

Week 12 - Chicago

Hey y'all :)

This week has been a very typical week. We taught a lot of lessons and members are so thrilled to come with us! We had 10 come out with us this week which is such a miracle! The work has been good. Also we found out that Elder Renlend and his wife will be coming to our mission this Friday and weve been so excited and have worked really hard to be exactly obedient. We want him to come to our mission and feel a difference. Im beyond excited.

I went on exchanges with Sis Malstrom who is the perfect little ball of joy and light. It was so refreshing to get out of my area. Her area is the beautiful skyscraper city of Chicago,  so we got to go contacting down the lakeshore of Michigan (it looks just like the beach), eat very fancy and authentic Chicken Alferdo and teach on the 40th floor of an apartment building downtown. I was in heaven! I definitely am in love with the city and its probably my dream area despite mission work being extremely hard there. But I still love my area and the people here.

Below is a picture of our new investagator Fan. We were on the train and started to talk about how God blesses us every hour of every day. Fan was bewildered and got super excited. She asked, do you really believe that? We said yes we see evidence of it everywhere. She then got excited and said "Im on a study abroad from China. In my town, people call believers of God foolish but Ive always believed that God knows and loves me. Youre the first people Ive ever met that believe that too, can I get your number so we can talk more?!" Weve met with her twice now. Below is us at the church building in Logan Square that has a parking garage with the church floor on top. Fan bought us a Chinese Tiger, which I guess is the symbol of friendship, loyalty and trust. It been an absolute pleasure teaching her the simplest truth of God and I know God placed her perfectly in our path.

Last night was scary, the President invited us to dinner. I was so grateful and excited but very few missionaries get to go and spend one on one time with his family and I was so nervous I would accidentally break a rule :) But it was one of the greatest nights ever. President Bingham is really good at making you feel welcome and warm. We received so much wisdom and personalized  counsel to be the best missionaries, it was extraordinary! It made me think about how much love Jesus Christ has for all of us. Hes willing to spend personal time with each of us, so then we can build and grow. But we must be willing to look for it and receive it.

Have an amazing week, and let me know if theres anything I can do to help you!!

Sister Emily Coley

2 Nephi 2:1, Moses 6:55 this is the thought we left with the Binghams. The sweetest cookie has the most salt and cinnamon so then the sugar can taste even sweeter. In life theres hard times but that makes our joy more full.

Photos: 1. Fan at the church  2. My study desk with Chinese Tiger  3. Lakeshore we were contacting at

Week 11 - Chicago

Hey y'all :)

Happy Labor Day! I hope you all enjoy this awkward holiday where you randomly get to relax.

 Its been a long rough week but great things are happening here! It was New Missionary Training on Friday which you always get the greatest advice from it. We talked about how Satan can eliminate agency and how really we as missionaries are there to give Gods children the best chance at choosing good over evil again. It really opened my eyes to how much were constantly fighting the natural man in us and how crucial it is that we keep choosing God. It was fascinating.

I love our investagators so much! I love seeing how young and new they are to the gospel  an how much they grow over time. Were teaching a retired Filipano named Erlinda who will hopefully be baptized on the 23rd and asked her to pray. And it was the most beautiful (and very long) prayer where she blessed each one of my siblings, my home back in Utah, bore her testimony of how she needs Jesus Christ everyday, etc. etc. and I felt the Spirit so strong. She also calls us her adopted daughters (sorry Mom 😉). I love her. Or like we were teaching John  about missionary work and he said "what mission work  must be easy." Then turns to our member  "will you go to church tomorrow?" The member said heistantly "Yes.." Then he turns back to us and says "See Im at 100% so far." We were dying. I love them SO much. 

Holy cow then church is always nuts but especially this time. Weve been teaching this retired medical professors couple in which they just want hardcore evidence which is the opposite of faith. We invited them to be baptized last week and they werent interested. Then we couldnt get a lesson with them this week, so we were fearing the worst. Then sure enough we see them in sacrament! We started to get excited then we pulled them aside afterwards and they said weve decided we want to be baptized!!! We feel the difference in our home when you leave, we feel it here over our faith, and we are closer as a couple because of you two girls! We were ecstatic!

Oo and cool story, we were spanish contacting and meet this guy named Rudopho who the second we made contact just went on and on about his love for Jesus Christ. I love hearing that except my trainer and I know a handful of Spanish words between the two of us. I was amazed though because while this guy was speaking some of his words start to click in my mind and started to get sentences formed. I then bore my testimony and actually managed to set him an appointment with the Spanish Elders. Afterwards I couldnt remember what I said but my trainer was stunned. She asked if I knew Spanish. Man, the Holy Ghost is so real. Oh my goodness then at church we actually saw him!! Theres a picture of us below. We were so excited! That like never happens.

Anyway so many great things just keep happening. I love being out on a mission its been the most rewarding experience ever thus far. Theres some pictures below of us at the Lincoln Zo. The giraffes and alpecas were hilarious and by far the best. Have a great week!

Sister Emily Coley

2 Nephi 2:5, 11  Ponder what would happen if evil wins? What if good wins? How will you feel?

Photos: 1. Sisters with a zebra 2. My favorite animal 3. Sis Bonham 4. Outside our apartment! 5. City skyline 6. Rudopho 7. My favorite animal to watch. 

Week 17 - Chicago

Hi y'all :) Happy Fall!! Shout out to the best little brother in the world, Kevin, whose 11th birthday is on Thursday. Happy Birthda...