Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sept 28 - Nov 7, 2011

Hello, everybody! I am very sorry this is late. I have not had much time, such is the life of a missionary. (Thai is good, it keeps me out of trouble...:)

As you all know, I entered the MTC on Wednesday, September 28th. That first day was, shall we say, a bit of a shock to my system... I was actually not very excited, then, before I knew it, I had hugged my family and said goodbye for two years! I was "Processed" then sent to my classroom, where I met Elder Fisi'ihoi, my MTC companion. Elder Fisi'ihoi is from New Zealand and is of Tongan Descent. He is an amazing Missionary.

I really loved the MTC, I loved our teachers,and my disctrict. (Most of which went to the Colorado, Denver, South Mission (Fruita is in that mission)). I learned a ton. There is a very special spirit there, Be prepared, they have you teaching on the First day. Remember your purpose and you will be fine! NEVER try to convince anyone of the truthfulness of the gospel. The Spirit will do that much better than you ever would be able to. Simply invite them to come unto Christ and pray, and they will come.

I was excited to leave the MTC, even though I loved it there, and was accompanied by the same anxiety that was present when I entered the MTC. We left on 17 October. (Oh, before I forget, Conference was amazing) We boarded our little CRJ200 (That was for you, Decker) and started for Fresno. Elder Fisi'ihoi and I were the only Elders in our travel group. Our other Travel Group members were: Sister Caramella (From Fairfax County, VA. (She is serving next door to Elder Roberts and I, in Turlock 4th)) Sister Ingram, (From Kirtland, OH, currently in our tri-zone area), Hermana Wiglama (In our district), and two other Hermanas who are down in Fresno. (They only travelled with us, so I don't remember their names)

We arrived at the Fresno Air Terminal (Which also double as a military airbase for the California National Guard), and were greeted by some departing missionaries, who counseled us to be exactly obedient, and that the California Fresno Mission is a baptizing mission. Then we walked through security and met President Gelwix and the Assistants. We collected our things and left for the Mission Office. We were again, "Processed" and then we went out on our "Open your Mouth" Experience. I was with Elder Black, Who was an offensive Lineman for BYU before he came out, and was really surprised at how bold he is. We were street contacting and he was showing the people a picture of Christ, asking them why Christ was baptized, and then inviting them to be Baptized. Some of them said "Yes"! Later, I was doing a similar thing. I really wasn't prepared to be extending baptismal invitations within hours of entering the mission. After that, the New missionaries, (We don't use "Greenies" in this mission) Went to the mission home and ate dinner with President and Sister Gelwix, and the Assistants. That was really good. President Gelwix does an excellent job of making everyone feel welcome.

After dinner, Elder Fisi'ihoi and I went with the Assistants and put in for the Night.

The Next day, Elder Fisi'ihoi and I were Assigned to our trainers, Elder Fisi'ihoi to Elder Jenkins in the Fresno Area, and Myself to Elder Roberts in Turlock, about an hour and a half to the North of Fresno on I-99. It is comparable to Idaho Falls in Size.

Elder Roberts is an amazing missionary. He mostly teaches by Example, which is very nice. He corrects me when necessary and encourages me to do the same to him. He considers us equals, which is amazing.

Turlock is a nice place. I feel good about the work here. We are working with several people, although they each have their own challenges.

I will update this next week. I am running out of time.

I love you all!

The Church is true. I know that with all my heart, and will carry that knowledge to my grave if that is what God asks of me. The Book of Mormon is the Word of God.

"Never Surrender. Never Quit. No Regrets." President Gelwix

Elder Coles

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