Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June 26, 2012

 I am excellent today, and am pleased to inform you that I am not going to be transferred.  I feel bad for Elder Caprio, though. He really likes this area, and he has only been here for one transfer. Oh well, the Lord needs him somewhere else. I have no clue who my new companion is going to be. I get to drive next transfer! I don't know why I am so excited, we drive about 100+miles a day, but I passed my driving exam. I am also going to be the Senior Companion, so I assume that my new companion has not been out as long as I have. It is strange to think that the missionaries who are now finished being trained are six months behind me....

 As for the Weather. It is great. It has been a little chilly the last little while. It gets pretty cold in the mornings.... (It reminds me of home.) Although, during the day, it has been 80's to 100's. TRIPLE DIGITS?!?!?!? IN JUNE? :(

Your walk to the Temple sounds like it will be a great thing. I wish we could encourage our Investigators and the Less active Members we are working with to do the same, but that would be a very major hike. (The Oakland Temple is 120 Miles away)

I have not recieved my package yet. I don't know when I will recieve it, but It will be no later than the end of the week after next.

Our Investigator is Struggling with getting a wedding license. We hope it will be soon. We are taking the Bishop over there with us tomorrow.

TUESDAY-We had a lot of appointments, which is great. We saw a couple of less-actives, two of them did not come to church, but the one, who contacted us through mormon.org. (That is a really amazing story. So I will explain. He is about 26, and he fell away from the church when he was 16. He has been feeling like he needs to change his life around and get back into the church, so he contacted us through mormon.org. We made an appointment, and he was there when we showed up. We thought he was a nonmember, so we started asking some questions. He told us that he was a member and wanted to get back into the church and wanted a review of what the church teaches. So we taught him Lesson One. We gave him a Book of Mormon, and he held it like a baby. It was great. He showed up to church on Sunday.) Then, we did an ATM follow up with a family in Second ward.  
WEDNESDAY- We had district meeting. I was on exchange with Elder McDonald. (Yes, that is his name.) It was a good day. We had a lesson with a part member family. (They are both awesome. He is not a member, and worked for the Forest Service on a Hot Shot crew for years.) Then, we went to Institute.

THURSDAY- We had a pretty good day. We exchanged back, and had lessons with our Investigator whose daughter is a recent convert and some less actives.

FRIDAY-Weekly planning. We also travelled to Groveland, and had an ATM With our Recent Converts. Then, we had an investigator lesson with an Investigator.

SATURDAY-We had some good lessons. One of which was with a lady who became a new investigator.

SUNDAY-We went to church, taught an ATM, and had a member present.

Well, I had better go. I still have to write President.

I love you. I know the church is true.

I love you.

Elder Coles

The mark the deer left on the car!

Monday, June 18, 2012

June 18, 2012

Dear Mom,

First off, We had an interesting experience yesterday. One of the Local deer decided to make friends with our Corolla. We weren't going very fast, and it was a very small deer, but it still went over the car. Leaving several dents and a smudge on the windshield. Then, it got up and walked away. It had appeared out of nowhere, and surprised both of us. There was nothing we could do.

For Preparation Day, I am going to be taking a driving test so that I can drive in the mission. It should be really easy. Although, the 50 Question CA state Driving exam that they are making me take, is worrying me. In Idaho, It was only 30 Questions, and I only answered 26. I think Idaho has better drivers too..... There seems to be an incongruity here.

Good Luck with the Sprinkler System. I look forward to it coming on while I stand at the front of the Sidewalk, as my suitcase comes open and spills everywhere. Only to find out that you have moved. :)

We had mission Conference on Saturday, and I met a Sister Aubree Thomson. Who says she is my cousin. She says her Mom's name is Mary Ann Reece. So I think it is plausible (That and the fact that Diana sent me this, "Do you know that you have a cousin serving in the same mission as you?  Her name is Sister Aubrey Thomson.  Her mother is Nana's half sister MaryAnn Reece Thomson.  (Same father--Grandpa Reece- but different mothers.)  I have been talking to other one of Nana's half-sisters on facebook and that is how I found out.  I sent your mom the information too.". Could you get back to me on that? I am really interested to know if she is my cousin. Could you get me her family's address? (I am not allowed to send her letters or emails, since she is a sister in the same mission...)

Other News from Mission Conference. It was really great to hear from Elder Ballard. The Spirit was there. Especially after the conference. It was strongest as we talked about what we had learned on the drive home. One of the emphases was that we need to consider ourselves as apostles, with a little "a". We, as members of the Church have the same calling to testify of Christ and the truthfulness of His Church. We just dont have the same Apostolic authority or office as the Quorum of the 12 Apostles (Capital "A"). Also, to work as hard as we can. Don't coast through your mission. It was really great, and so was Stake Conference.

I know that Christ lives! I know He Loves me! I know that He called Joseph Smith to be a prophet. I also Know that this is His true Church!

I love you

Elder Brett J. Coles

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Having President Gelwix for a mission president is an interesting experience.

May 21, 2012
Dear Family,

My new Companion is Elder Caprio, from Lehi, UT. My first UT companion. I have a feeling I can rest assured that there will be many more. He has been out 3 months longer than me. He has been out 10 Months. It is the first time that I have a companion with approximately the same amount of experience as I have. It is refreshing.

I really like fasting. (OK, so I don't like fasting itself, but I like the way it makes me feel spiritually.) I definitely have a testimony of fasting. 
Thank you for the counsel. I really appreciate it, and will keep it in mind.


MONDAY: Preparation day. Elder Goodsell packed. I cleaned the apartment.

TUESDAY- Elder Goodsell went to Fresno. I was on exchange with Elder Chambers, the District Leader, and his companion. That was really fun. Elder Chambers and I have a similar interest. The Military. We had a hard time staying focused.

WEDNESDAY- Elder Caprio came. We had a pretty good day.

THURSDAY- We had an awesome day. It was great, we saw so many people. It was so much fun! I was on a spiritual high!

FRIDAY- We had weekly planning, and then saw some people.

SATURDAY- We had a good appointment with J1- He is an investigator, his daughter is the Recent Convert.

SUNDAY- CHURCH! it was great! We also had a great time on splits! I love sharing the Gospel

I KNOW the church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ are True!

I love you!

Elder Coles

If you could send me some music with those pictures, that would be great! Love you!

Elder Coles

May 28, 2012
Dear Dad,

Life here is great. We have been working hard. I am enjoying the work, and I am more effective because of it. We are just going out and testifying of the truthfulness of the Gospel. We had a baptism this Sunday, and have two more scheduled for the 9th of June. Hopefully we can help one of our other progressing investigators get married, then baptized. We had specialized training this week (It is really a Zone Conference, but the Mission President can only have 3-4 Zone conferences a year. He can have as many specialized trainings as he wants to...) It was great. I need to review my notes again and pick out several things to work on.
  I think our investigator will be OK, but they don't really mince words in the Gospel Principles manual. They tell it like it is. It is good. I like it. Then, I read DC 76:50-70. That was good. It makes me want to be absolutely sure that I make it back to my Heavenly Father and that I help others get there too.
    We deep cleaned our apartment this morning. It was refreshing. Mom would be proud. I cleaned out the fridge and went through the cupboards. It is amazing how much stress that relieved. Thank you both for teaching me how to clean the house.
  Thank you for the observation about the small and simple things. It is so true! Have an awesome week!

Thank you for your testimony.

Tell Mom I said Hi!

I, too, know that the Gospel has been restored. I know that Christ lives and He loves me!

I love you!

Elder Coles
June 4, 2012
Dear Family,

I love all of you! I had an awesome Week! It was tough, but that always makes it better. I live on the side of tough things. No one ever said that this life was going to be easy.

As for the new convert, Elder Ballard is coming to stake conference on the 17th and he wants to have a meeting with all the recent converts. That is going to be AWESOME! He is 10 and getting to meet an Apostle!
   As for the baptisms we have on the 9th. They are in Groveland branch. That is good, because Groveland is struggling. We don't go out there too much. (It is like driving to Nana and Pops' for one appointment.)

Kiah wrote me. I was so excited. She is so awesome! I really appreciate her letters. They brighten my day.

Having President Gelwix for a mission president is an interesting experience. He is a ball of fire. It is great. He knows how to motivate people well, and he expects results. He also truly cares about us. He is deeply concerned with our salvation.

My Companion is Elder Caprio from Lehi, UT. He is my first companion from UT. As for our investigators, they are doing well. I am enjoying teaching them.

We have several investigators who need invited to be baptized. There is one who needs to get married. Then, as far as we know, he is homefree. We are working on improving our teaching so that we can help more of our Investigators feel the Spirit.


J1- He is the one who needs to get married. His daughter is a Recent Convert.

B1- He is trying to think his way through the Gospel. We are working on helping him feel the Spirit.

B2- He isn't really interested from a spiritual standpoint. He is just curious.

G1- He is a woodland firefighter. He is also trying to think his way to the truth. He needs humbled

P1 Family- They are a Part member family. They are fading fast. They say they will come to church, but they don't. It is really frusturating.

R1- He is going through a messy divorce as his wife has turned Lesbian. It is terrible. It is tearing him up inside.

J2andH1- They have a date for the 9th. We are teaching them tonight.

I know this work is true. I know that Christ Lives! I know He loves each and every one of us. I know He prepared Joseph Smith to restore His gospel.

I love you!

Elder Coles
PS- Thank you for the pictures!

June 11, 2012
Dear Mom,

All of these pictures were taken in my area. The grandiose ones of the panorama were taken near Cold Springs. (I was on a split with one of the Zone Leaders, and we had the Old GPS.... It led us astray.)

Transfers are on June 27th. I hope I get to stay as well, but I will do whatever the Lord wants.

I want to see the yard. That will be interesting. I always wanted a sprinkler system. Am I even going to recognize the house? Or have you moved? Am I going to be attacked by a, "naked Ninja"?

I really love baptizing people. Saturday was my first time, and it was great. I loved it. There is definitely something different about doing the baptizing than simply watching.

We are going to go to Columbia today. It is a town that is stuck in the 1890's. You would love it. We shared the road with a stage coach. It was interesting.

I hope Danny gets his call soon. It would be cool if he got called to the CFM (California Fresno Mission). Chris is Home? Wow. It feels like he was gone forever.

Thank you so much for your email. I love you, and I can feel your prayers. Thank you for raising me to be this person.

I love you

Elder Coles