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. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Week 10 - Chicago

Hey y'all :) JOHN GOT BAPTISED!!! Im so happy right now, it doesn't feel real! What a rush!

 So its been a crazy week here in Chicago! At 9 AM on Thursday we got a call from President telling us hes doing any emergency transfer and now we will have 3 sets of missionaries in this ward! He then proceed to ask us where he should put the boarders. We met with the other missionaries and President really let us decide where the lines will be. He didnt say anything the whole meeting except, "lets pray if its right."Sure enough when we prayed, the Spirit knew exactly where it should be and we stayed with our orignal plan. My area is now a third of what it was. But the blessing is we kept all of our solid investagators whos progressing. We didnt lose any of them. That meeting really strengthen my testimony. 

In addition, weve been laboring over this baptism. We invited anyone and everyone to it and sure enough a third of the ward was there and most of our investagators as well! By Wednesday night everything was in place and we were pumped. Although, Friday night was probably one of the longest nights of my life. Two days before his baptism, John accidentally clicked an ad that had heavy anti-LDS stuff on it. It really shook his faith and totally scared us. The stuff in the articles were full of half-lies and would look offical to any non-member. In our lesson with him, at first we fought like lions going back and forth. Until the thought came to me to just listen. We let him talk. And suddenly everything was calmer and peaceful. We then all worked together and discuss the ideas on the website and compared it to the simple truths of the gospel. We all bore testimonies, even John, then we left and prayed for hours. One of our members that came is named Seth. He has been inactive for years but has recently came back because theyre having a baby. The Bishop has asked us to bring him to lessons to try to spark a fire in him. And boy is he burning bright now. He stayed behind and talked it through with John until midnight!! John knew it was true through the Spirit and scriptures Seth showed him. John has always been solid but that really tested his faith and he said that know he doesnt have even a particle of doubt because Satan was really fighting against him. Really cool experience. 

I know this church is true. When John came up from the water, there was so much light and understanding in his eyes. Afterwards he was telling everyone there that this church is true multiple times. I admit I was crying, I was so happy and grateful that God allowed me whos only been in the field for 8 weeks to find and teach a man whos been searching for over two decades. This work is so great and full of purpose. The gospel has the power to heal any broken heart.To all my mission friends out there, every heartache, every rejection, every effort is absolutely, completely worth it. "Great shall be your joy if you bring one soul unto me." I hope you all have a great week! 

Sister Emily Coley 

D&C 18 "the most important work is to preach the word of God" Joseph Smith

Photos: 1. John and Seth before baptism!! 2. Eclipse in Chicago 3. and 4. Walking around Wrigley Stadium where the Cubs play 

Week 9 - Chicago

Hey everyone!

Good luck to those going back to school, Im sure glad Im not! 😋

So I admit this week has been rough but extraordinary. On Monday night, we noticed red bumps lining our arms and legs. Sure enough we have bed bugs! Weve been wrestling with them all week by using medience, spray and cleaning our sheets every other day at the Laundromat. Its been a long battle but I think were winning ...slowly :) Luckily weve made some good contacts at the Laundrymat because theyre not going anywhere for the next hour either :) (muwhaha)

In addition, my tire went flat on Saturday evening and every bike store was closed by then. So weve been walking, hitching rides and using our Pday at this bike store. But weve been blessed so much from it. Members have really helped us out and we got to serve some people with a fuming engine. Through all of this, Ive been humbled to appreciate simple things like a mode of transportation, food, and a bug-free bed.

On the flip side, weve had a really successful teaching week. I went on my first exchange with Sis. DeFriez and had some fun. She allowed me to led and really teach the disscussions which totally helped me see what I still need to learn from Sis Robertson. It was also transfers and we are not going anywhere (despite this being my companions 5th transfer here)!! Were so happy, I cant wait to see what this area can look like in another 6 weeks.

Holy cow, please pray for our investagator John. His baptism is this Sunday and he is absolutely solid and golden! He had his interview last night and it was intense. Haha I felt like a worried parent. I was pacing everywhere and time was frozen in place! I absolutely cant wait until Sunday, pray for him.

With all of this excitement of our 5 Filipano investagators, the relief society threw a Filipano Party in which we feasted on their INCREDIBLE food, whacked a pig pinata, and our members really went out of their way to get to know them. Im so grateful for this party. All of our investagators said they felt like they belonged. I can only wait to see how this will boast them in their conversion.

Have an incredible week!! 

Sister Emily Coley

Helaman 15:6 the antidote to any laziness or tiredness is diligence and work.

Photos: 1. Sis. DeFriez and I after a long day 2. Pig Pinata 3. Lines of food there 4. Us with John (we love him so much) 

Week 8 - Chicago

Hi everyone!

Another busy week gone! I had my first Zone Conference which I know understand why people get so excited over it. Its like watching conference but its based on every aspect of your day, everyday. It was super good and we talked a lot about how faith=obedience=more faith= powerful missionary. I came away with even more drive to find people who are ready for baptism.

In addition to this crazy extraordinary week, it was Stake Mini Missionary weekend. I guess once a year the Laurels and Priest Quorom comes with the missionaries all weekend long! Kinda cool, right? I think if I went on one before, I would feel so much better about coming out. It definitely isnt knocking on doors all day (at least not in this area). It was SO great. We got Missy who is also the Presidents daughter and shes a powerhouse! Shes got her moms sass and her dads cheerfulness. We joked off a ton and told stories and got in insight scoop into the Presidents life. She will be an incredible missionary next year and I learned a lot from her.

Funny story so we were done with a lesson when we noticed a family huddled around the tree, so naturally we started talking to them. Sure enough their cat is stuck 20 ft. in this tree and they cant get up. Sis Robertson  immediately started "monkey-ing" it and got stuck as well. So as a combined effort she climbed on my shoulders to the tree to the cat! It was hilarious, like who else would do that?! Three minutes later we were walking and a man walks up and asks if we've seen a chicken whose name was Pot Pie! We laughed and said no. He asked us to keep an eye out for him. So we secretly went on a chicken hunt while we tracted in the area, yelling "Pot Pie you here" and making every chicken joke we could think off :)

Other awesome story, we get a call from a former investagator named Mama Musada to help her weed her garden. We showed up and it was a jungle growing everywhere! 4 foot long weeds covered ever inch with waist long grass and pokey bushes. My companion and I looked at each other and laughed. We met Mama Musada who is this 80 yr old Hindu woman who is missing several teeth. She gave us a rusty rake and we went to work :) Every two minutes Musada would yell stuff like "You get that weed" and "Eat your Gatorade" and "I think the cats stuck in the toliet again." It was so bizarre but very entertaining!

I love you all and thank you so much for your support and writing to me. I get super excited when I see them and I appreciate them 

Sister Emily Coley 

BD Election first two paragraphs -about foreordination which is jaw-dropping

Photos: 1. Mini Missionary 2. Saving the Cat 3. Blueberry pancakes we made 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Week 7 - Chicago

Hey y'all,

I can't believe the summer is almost over! I feel like it just started. I hope you all are enjoying your summer vacation.

This week was full of teaching appointments which I'm so grateful for. Some of our investigators are really progressing and others.. well I guess are not ready for the gospel just yet :) I think I'm slowly understanding why people say missions are hard because you really put so much time, thought, prayer and emotion into people who turns ya down. But theyre find the truth eventually. I'm enjoying every twist and turn. Every lesson is taught differently to every person and you never quite know what you're walking into :) Weve already have had some really... odd lessons with odd investigators beliefs that has been quite entertaining to say the least.

 Yesterday one of our investigators whose been trying to get off work on Sundays for weeks got to come and we were overjoyed! On one of my first days, my trainer stopped a Filipino man named John on his bike and we've been teaching him ever since. He kept showing us his tie hes going to wear to church and it was a miracle that his boss's heart was soften.

Now I am a firm believer that God puts people in your path for specific reasons. We were leaving a nursing home after visiting one of our investigators when a woman stopped and asked us if we would give a spiritual message to her dying brother. We were so excited to teach the Plan of Salvation that we were practically skipping down the hallway when a worker stops us in our tracks and started freaking out. Luckily she was a member. She got caught up in an awful controlling relationship for years and hasn't been anywhere but her home and work. She said the one thing that kept her going was her faith in the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ loves for her. She escaped this relationship a few weeks ago and has been praying to find the church. We happily gave the address and now were teaching her the gospel again. It was so powerful to me that God puts everyone in your life there for a reason but you must talk to them in order to know why they're put there. I love y'all!!

Sister Emily Coley

D&C 93: 10-20 is an incredible study on how Jesus Christ became perfect. Highly recommend!

Photos: 1. Biking to church with John 2. Park we like to contact in 3. Heading towards the Promise Land ;)

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 he...