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! 

Week 21 - Chicago

November 5-12 500 Testimonies Later: Hi everyone! This week was full of difficulties and challenges but I love challenges therefore...