Elder Colton

Elder Colton

Monday, October 29, 2012

"It Will Change Your Life"

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,

Those of you who are from the Roswell Stake back in Georgia will find this amusing: Elder Bryce Kuck (who went to Milton High School) and I are now serving together (along with Elder Thevenin).  They made some mid-transfer changes and Elder Kuck and his area were added into our companionship. 

Cristina and Bernardino...
We met Cristina's mom who lives with them this past week and she is even more interested than Cristina.  Unfortunately Cristina talked with some people who had very anti-Mormon feelings last week so that shook her up quite a bit.  We haven't been able to meet with them too much this past week because they've been working longer hours than normal, but prayers from all of ya'll would be very appreciated.

One of the families who I've simply fallen in love with is Karina and her two children.  We met them in our first week and last night went to temple square with them.  Karina told us that she has been praying every night for the past month and her entire life has changed because of it.  Prayer is simple: it's talking with God.  Start by saying "Dear Heavenly Father" or something similar; end by saying "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen," and just talk with God in the middle.  I invite anyone who doesn't do that daily to do it.  It will change your life.

Love ya'll,
-Elder Colton

Monday, October 22, 2012

"The Most Inexperienced But Most Excited"

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,
Greetings from Millcreek once again.  I get to stay here at least another transfer.  One of the most exciting parts about this transfer is how solid my district is. 
brief explanation of how our missions are divided.  There are 300ish missions around the world, each with 100-300 missionaries.  Missions are divided into zones.  In our mission, we have 10 zones that are spread throughout our mission boundaries.  In each zone in our mission there are 2-4 districts.  Each district has 3-5 companionships of missionaries. 
We probably have the most inexperienced but most excited district in the world right now.  We only have one person who has been out on his mission for more than 10 months.  Only three people have ever been transferred (meaning changing the area they are serving in).  Most of the missionaries have been out six months or less. 
For anyone who has served a mission, they know that that is not normal.  But, we're super excited. 
Update on Cristina and Bernardino:
They were in Wyoming nearly all this past week so we couldn't talk with them too much, but tonight we're meeting with them and they have already said they want to go to church on Sunday.  I'll let you know about them next week because there isn't too much to work with this week. 
Love you all,
-Elder Colton

Monday, October 15, 2012

Elder Colton Mission Pictures

"Is It Okay If You See Alcohol?"

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,
Greetings from Millcreek, Utah.
 So as promised, I'll continue talking about Cristina and Bernardino.  This past week, Christina began working full-time, so teaching them suddenly became a lot more difficult.  We went by last night though and had an interesting lesson. 
Christina immediately invited us in but then stopped us right away and asked something along the lines of: "Is it okay if you see alcohol?"  That made me laugh and we went in.
Another young couple was visiting them and the boyfriend was drinking, which typically leads to one thing: bad lessons because he's been drinking too much.  At first we didn't really want to teach a lesson so we offered to just leave a spiritual message and then head out.  But as we shared a scripture from the Book of Mormon, they began to ask questions about the Book of Mormon.  The boyfriend asked us "who wrote the Book of Mormon?" and then Bernardino asked us "who wrote the Bible?"  We explained that the people who lived here in the Americas had the Gospel of Jesus Christ thousands of years ago and that they wrote the Book of Mormon.  They asked a lot more questions about the importance of the Book of Mormon for our Church and we helped them understand that if the Book of Mormon is true, then it means that this is the Church of Jesus Christ just like we believe.  We invited them to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it's true.  Later this week we're going back and we will see what happens. 
I know the Book of Mormon is true.  It's something that has been confirmed to me over and over again here on my mission.  I love this work and I love the opportunity to be a disciple of Christ.
-Love you all,
Elder Colton

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Eternal Families

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,
I love all of you who read these letters.  But this week Brother and Sister Moody, and Sister Moody's dad are the ones that I love the most.  (Except of course my little cousin Annie, she is and always will be the favorite).  On Wednesday morning I had a pleasant and very unexpected surprise: six very good seats for the Saturday morning session of General Conference.  And the results of those six tickets: the husband of a long time member of the Church overcame much of his concern about whether or not the Apostles and Prophet of these days truly are called of God.  And Trevor, some who the english missionaries are teaching, decided he wants to be baptized on November 3rd.  I would consider that very successful.  Thank you Moodys very much.
I realize that for the last few weeks I've talked about a different family each week which doesn't make for very intesting reading.  So what I'm going to try and do is stick with one family for the next few weeks (assuming I stay in this area at transfers next week). 
A few weeks ago, we met a young couple walking outside their apartment: Kristina and Beranrdino (Berna) along with their 2 year old daughter, Naomi.  We only talked for a few moments about the importance of the family within the Gospel and the Church and they invited us to come to their home.  We tried for a few weeks but they were never both home together.  But Sunday night we finally caught both at home. 
They wanted to learn more about how our message can strengthen families and why members of the Church typically have strong families.  We began to explain that one of the main reasons is because through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (mormons), families don't begin when we're born and don't end when we die.  We told them that we lived with Heavenly Father (God) before being born and that after we die we can have the same chance.  Aka...there isn't the "until death do you part" in the marriages.  Thus, if our families are going to be together forever (think about how long forever means) then we need to learn to support and love each other now.  We also explained what exactly happens after we die (where we go and what opportunities we'll have). 
Both Bernardino and Kristina had many questions as we taught that we helped answer:
1. Where is my Grandpa who died three years ago?
2. Where was I before I was born?
3. Why am I here on earth (other than to work and help my family)?
It was a wonderful experience with them.  We went by last night and helped clear up more questions they had.  This Friday we are going back and teaching them at a local member's home.
I'll let you know how all of that goes next week.
Love you all,
-Elder Colton

Monday, October 1, 2012

Yet Another Miracle

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,
Greetings from Mill Creek, Utah.
Well last week I wrote about Carina and Luis and was super excited about them.  But, we haven't been able to meet with them for a week so we don't know where that is going.  But fear not, because we had an amazing experience this week that shows just how well God knows each one of us.
A few weeks ago, our Bishop (head of our congregation) sent us to a family who are all members of our ward (congregation).  He told us to talk with them about people who we should visit.  The father of the family told us that he met two young boys outside his apartment the day before who were trying to sell smalls gadgets and stuff for money because their family on absolutely none.  We went by the house but no one was home.  We tried a few more times and eventually met the Grandfather of the family, Hector Trono.  We found out he and his family (daughter and three grandchildren) had just moved from Mexico to Utah.  He and his daughter were less active members of the Church who both needed the Gospel and healing power of Christ again.  His daughter, Isis, has a month year old baby girl.  Her other boys, Alfredo and Issac, are full of energy and loved church on Sunday.  Alfredo is 8 so we are helping him prepare to be baptized in the coming weeks. 
But the miracle didn't stop there:
We also met another daughter of Hector's last weekend.  She is also a less active member and she has three children.  As I was talking with her 10 year old son, he mentioned to me that he used to live in Georiga but didn't know where.  So I asked his mom what part of Georgia they were from.  She asked if I knew where Duluth was.  (I am from Duluth).  Then I asked her where in Duluth and she asked if I knew where State Bridge Road is.  (I live 45 seconds from State Bridge Road).  Then she asked if I knew where the Publix was.  (I live right behind the Publix).  She lived in the apartment complexes right next to my neighborhood.  Her daughter and son went to Medlock Bridge Elementary School, which is the same one that I went to. 
Tonight we are having a Family Home Evening (a weekly family night that most members of our Church do) with them.
There are three things that I have learned over and over again as a missionary:
1. Coincidences are Heavenly Father's way of staying annonymous.
2. Jesus Christ really can heal us from anything.
3. Heavenly Father really does have a perfect plan for us.
Maybe someone reading this is a mathmatician and can find out the odds of me finding the Trono Family, but I have a feeling that it's on the level of math that only Anna Qui can do (one of my best friends from high school). 
I know that Heavenly Father loves each one of us and is setting up a plan for each of us to return to him through His restored Gospel.
Love you all,
-Elder Colton