Friday, December 16, 2011

Brett's last 2 e-mails

Dec 6, 2011

Dear Family,

You are all awesome! We are at a Zone Activity (Sadly, it does not involve Poison Ivy...)

On Wednesday, we were "Transferred" to Turlock 1st Ward. It was sad to leave Turlock 3rd, but I have great hopes for Turlock 1st.

Investigators who are in 3rd ward:

J- Has a Baptismal Date

T- He has simply Disappeared... I hope he is OK. He has had a rough life and Drugs are where he comes from.

The Investigators of Turlock 1st Ward:

H has a Baptismal date for December 19th. She is really progressing. We taught her the Law of Tithing the other day. She accepted it, which I was terrified about. She came to church. We are so excited for her!

Ji and Ja- We had a follow up lesson with them last night. They have decided not to live together anymore. We don't quite know what is in the works. We are focusing on getting them to keep the W.o.W. at this point... (It is also a problem that they live up in Modesto...)

H- His wife isn't particularly happy about us meeting with him. She wouldn't answer the door when we dropped by the other day... (That is so aggravating)

New Investigators:

Jimmy(No, that is not his real name)- He was referred to us by Bishop Harris. His wife is a Less-Active member. His Father-in-Law has told him a lot about the gospel. He wants to move to Vernal, UT. He is very prepared. He may be Baptized by the end of the Month.

E- Another referral from Bishop Harris. He is also very prepared. His wife is not very excited about meeting with us. He may be baptized by the end of the month.

Other notes: We are working really hard to find new investigators, as our teaching pool is pretty dismal. We are working hard to capitalize on the Christmas season.

Wasn't the Christmas Devo, awesome! I loved the opportunity to hear the prophet speak.

I have not recieved the package yet, but our Zone Leaders go to Fresno tomorrow to pick them up.. I hope it is there...

Kodi is awesome! Tell her that I said that. Tell her she is awesome. She is such a great friend!

If you could send the SD card back with the pictures on it that would be great!

In your second package could you send me a dark, conservative scarf, and some V-neck sweaters... It isn't Idaho Cold, but when I prepared for Arizona... There was frost this morning... and you know how I am with internal body heat... (I think I am losing my Idaho Blood, although I keep waiting, with much dismay, for it to snow.) They are cleaning up leaves here, and some of the Deciduous trees still have leaves... It is wierd.. The fog that we have had is quite thick...

I will get Colby something.... I don't know what... That is cool about him writing so many letters... It is classic. Has he shown them to you, or is that scheme obsolete?

To anyone reading my blog:

"Please send me letters. I really enjoy them. You are all awesome!"

Mom, SEND ME SOME CHOCOLATES! I love them very much!

You are all awesome! I know the Church is true and that Heavenly Father Loves me!

I love you all!

Elder Coles


Good luck with the new tri. Don't hurt too many of your AP students... I am really learning a lot. Most of the time I feel like I went from the Frying pan into the fire...

I am struggling with asking good questions when I teach, as well as with finding. You are the best teacher I know, so do you have any suggestions?

Love you

Elder Coles

Dec 12, 2011

Hello Family!

You are all so awesome! I did get the Package. I hope to make Mexican Stuffed Shells sometime this week. I made Alfredo last week... Out of my HEAD! (I did the same thing with Western Style Beef my first week here...) We get fed by members a lot, and so far I haven't been fed anything really weird... Here's hoping...

This week was Awesome! We have a Baptism on Sunday, and set two new Baptismal Dates.

Investigator Roundup:

H- She is getting Baptized on Sunday, and is ABSOLUTELY ON FIRE! She has a testimony and wants to be baptized. It is truly a joy to teach her.

Ji and Ja- They are working on quitting smoking. We gave them the stop smoking lesson yesterday. That was interesting since they had gone two days without cigarrettes... They were super cranky. At first I was really scared, because they got in a fight during dinner, then I realized they were going through nicotine withdrawals... That helped. They are awesome! Don't ever start smoking... It is evil.

Hu- Same

Jimmy- He wants to be baptized by his father in law while he is in Utah over Christmas Break. We don't really teach him. He teaches himself (With the Help of the Spirit)

E- Still excited, though kind of flaky... He keeps most committments, yet did not come to church yesterday...

T- This woman is amazing. She wants to be baptized, has a testimony, but her husband wont let her. That is so frusturating.

D- We thought he had fallen off the map, but we saw him on Saturday and invited him to read and pray. He doesn't think he should stop investigating since that is all we are asking.

That is about it.

Thank you so much for your packages. They were a real morale booster.

I still don't know what to get Colby for Christmas.... We only go shopping on Preparation day... I will work on it...

You are spending a fortune on Shipping, arent you! You do know really well how to take care of missionaries. Thank you for the Shirts! and everything else!

I am just so happy today! Christmas is AWESOME! I love you all! The Church is True. Christ is Lord. HOSANNA!

Love you all!

Elder Coles


Things are going great. It is work. As President Gelwix calls it, "Hot. Sweaty. Dirty. Work." but it is awesome! I got the Stake Letter the other day. It was awesome to see your signature. Is that the one you wrote, or did President Rockwood or President Rose write that one?

Your deck-the-door at Snake River is always awesome!

I will tell you when I call next week.

Love you!

Elder Coles

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Elder Coles' investigators

Nov 21, 2011

Dear Family,

I got a letter from Brother Inskeep, and Decker this week! I was so excited, up until this point Elder Roberts has been getting all the mail.... (You guys email me,so you are exempt...)

Wow, a lot of questions today! I only have an hour to email, but I will try to answer them all.

Everything is going great! Life is good. I need to concentrate on losing myself to the work, and working as hard as I possibly can.

We do have many investigators, but I haven't talked about them much. We have:

Ja: Ja lives in a sobriety house. He is a recovering drug and alcohol addict. He has a baptismal date for this weekend. He is struggling to quit smoking, so I don't think he will make his date.

H: Struggles with the courage to come to church even though she has received a witness from the Holy Ghost that the Gospel is true. She is making good progress.

Ji and J: Ji is a member who is a recovered drug addict. His parents are active. It is amazing to see his testimony grow. Struggles with the reality of the atonement, and self guilt. He is working on becoming worthy.

J is an investigator, she is Ji's fiance. She is progressing really well. Both need to quit smoking. We had a lesson with them last night. They are amazing people.

Hu: We tracted into Hu. He is reading the Book of Mormon. He has some doubts. Probably because of his "Other Research." He is sincere though. It is so nice to be able to direct him to Pray to know if it is true, and he actually does it.

T: T is a former Drug Dealer. He is a big softie, though. We found out recently that he was on Amphetamines.... That was fun... He was excited to tell us the other day that he had been clean for 3 days! Extremely sincere, just has a lack of understanding. I am worried that he is on probation...

I can't think of any more. Although I know I forgot someone...

We teach pretty much everyday. I am becoming more used to mission life. I am not nearly as scared as I was at the beginning of the transfer...

We do have Walmart. I promise not to use Gramps and Gramms' Christmas Present for groceries.

I did get your package. Thank you so much! I loved it!

Thank you so much for telling me about Suzanna! That is awesome! Tell her that she has my congratulations!

This life is very temporary. The nice thing is that we know where we are going.

Interesting fact about Turlock, CA: "Turlock was once in the Guiness Book of World Records for having the most churches per Capita." We met a preacher on Saturday night.... That was interesting. I think what really made me mad was how condesending he was and how much he denounced our belief, when all we wanted him to do was read the Book of Mormon and ask God if it is true. (Which it is) I was really angry. I did bear my testimony to him, although I was angry, but it was still my testimony. He started praying in the middle of it as if I were the Antichrist or something. Oh well. Hopefully his heart will be softened someday... I have taken to calling him Ecclesiastes.

I can't think of anything else right now.

You guys are amazing! I love you all!

I know the church is true. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know that Thomas S. Monson is his rightful successor and that he has been called by God.

Elder Coles

PS- There are a lot of seagulls that have migrated here. In the evenings whole flocks of them camp out in the trees. Yesterday we came out of an appointment into a carpet bombing....


Thank you so much for that. You are an amazing man. I appreciate your great example. Do you have any tips for avoiding bashing with people?

I hope Riley Nelson is OK... Collapsed Lung? Wow.

Keep it up

Elder Coles

Nov 28, 2011

Dear Family,

First off, we cover two wards, Turlock 1st and Turlock 3rd. On Wednesday (Transfer Day) They are splitting our area. Elder Roberts and I will remain in Turlock 1st. It is fairly disheartening, but such is the nature of the Life of a Nomad... (All of the investigatiors with Baptismal Dates are in Turlock 3rd...)

Ja is doing well. We are trying to get him to stop smoking. He came to church this weekend, which was awesome! He is progressing.

H Also came to church on Sunday. She wants to be baptized and is working on that. It is awesome!

Ji and J They are living together, which will need to be worked out. We are working on getting them to stop smoking.

Hu- We have not met with him since.

T- His phone was disconnected. He is homeless. We are scrambling to find him before wednesday. (He is in Turlock 3rd).

It was really sad. We were talking to a woman the other day who seemed extremely prepared, but declined a Book of Mormon because her Priest had counseled them not to read it. There is a Catholic Church in our area and we have recieved permission to talk to the Priest to ask him why he doesn't want his congregation to even read it. If he is so sure it is not true, then it wouldn't hurt people to read it.... (Turlock has an immense number of churches, there are at least 12 within a half mile of our apartment (Catholic, Lutheran, Assyrian Catholic, Assyrian Presbyterian, Assyrian Evangelical, 2 Different Nondenominational Churches, A Jehovah's Witness church, and several others). It is pretty interesting. ) There is actually a fairly large "Anti" Population here. Some of the nondenominational churches teach that it really doesn't matter which church you go to as long as it is not the LDS church.

There are several congregations here in town that teach their people to argue with us and to try to "Take down" the Church. They also show "The God Makers," So I've heard. Yet the church is still growing. A testament to me that "No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing."

Other than that, I have not wrecked on my bike this week.

The Church is True!

I love you!

Elder Coles


I remember you dragging me around the softball field. That was fun. I actually told Elder Roberts about that this week. Funny you mentioned it...

Thanks for the advice. I needed it. You can definitely tell when someone wants to argue. They don't let you speak, generally.

I know the Church is true. I know Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God. I know that Christ lives and that I have been called by God as a representative of Christ. I hope to magnify that calling to the best of my ability.

Love you!

Elder Coles