Monday, April 24, 2017

our area is on fire

Literally and figuratively. Naples really was on fire this week and there was a big evacuation made where 7,000 people had to evacuate. But we are safe and all the missionaries are good. The poor everglades need some rain though! The sky was nasty and it was raining ash but the work keeps on going!

Other than the literal fire, we also are on fire in our area right now. We were out knocking yesterday and found 4 new investigators to teach in an hour. Miracles! Jonathan is getting baptized this Saturday and all the branch members are excited and supportive. He texted us this morning and said, "I wouldn't be here without your help. Thanks!" This is why we do missionary work. There is so much joy and happiness that comes through the Gospel and through missionary work and I am lucky to be a small part of it.

If you haven't had the chance to read "Jesus the Christ" DO IT. And the talk called, "Joy and Spiritual Survival" from President Nelson will change your life. READ THEM.

This week was spent a lot in Naples, Cape Coral and Lehigh. We did a couple exchanges so we were all over the place and our miles are disappearing way too fast. Cape Coral was just an overall weird experience where a less active woman was holding her dog's leash while we were inside the house and the dog was just barking and snarling and it literally had a muzzle on. It made me question why people have dogs like that? We literally just stood up and left because who wants to sit and feel fear? NOT US.

We also got to see some amazing miracles as a zone. We have a April baptismal goal of 11 baptisms as our zone and so far we have 10! Jonathan is number 11 going down on Saturday!

Thank you all for your love and support!

1: The ZL's put us in charge of the zone activity invite... this is what they received.

2: When your area is on fire and you secretly started it... just kidding

3: Cape Coral bridge!

Monday, April 17, 2017

what's the tallest mountain in florida?

SPACE MOUNTAIN IN ORLANDO. President Richardson told us that and it still makes me laugh. What a goober.

So this week has been great. We drove into Ft Laud on Wednesday and I dropped Sister Schmidt off. Kill #2 accomplished. And then picked up my new comp Sister Adams. We lived together in September and it has been our mission dreams to be comps. At transfers one of the AP's was talking to me and they were like "Are you so excited, do you know Sister Adams?" and I was like, you don't even know. The moral of the story is, keep your mission friends a secret and you will be comps.

Other than this party that has been going on in YSA, we have seen some boss milagros. We were knocking yesterday and no one was answering... until Tyler! He opened the door, came right out and then started crying when we introduced ourselves. He said it was the sign he was looking for and he is so down to come to church and be baptized when he gets an answer! SO DOPE. We're going back to teach him more, but it was really cool that on Easter we were able to find someone who 100% needed to hear our testimonies of the Savior and His Atonement right then. The Lord has been too good to us here. It's really unbelievable.

Yesterday was Easter and it was amazing. We wore matching flower dresses and then we didn't have an Easter meal appointment, but a member in Bonita came and fed all 4 of us. #blessings

We met with Jonathan and Thiago who are both still doing great and Jonathan is getting baptized this weekend! We had District Training and decided our district name is the "Sandlot" District... so I'm down for that.

We had a zone leadership meeting and it went on forever but such is life as an STL, the struggle. But I love it. We have zone conference next week in Miami so it's gonna be great!

Basically missionary work is such a party and is the best thing in the entire world. I don't want this to ever end. 14 months has come and gone way to fast!

1: I look super gross but it was the end of the day and you know missionaries always look disgusting but... Jonathan is set for baptism now! Word of Wisdom done.

2: You know we got 7s tacos and ate it on our old back porch (because the sisters weren't home so we made do)

3: When you're finally comps!

4: Our adorable district

5: My companion... don't ask about the sheep costume


Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Miracles for days here in Estero! I know I have said it a million times but this one is LEGIT.

So here is the very long story that actually was just a week but felt like eternity:

On Monday night we got a text from our investigator, Thiago, the Brazilian one. He said he "wanted to talk about baptism" ...this kid wanted nothing to do with baptism like a week ago so we said HECK YES. We met with him on Wednesday and we talked and he asked when the next time he could be baptized. Good ole Sister Cottrell here, jokingly said, "well this Sunday actually!" He said, "Nah too soon, how about the 29th?" We're down. Then on Saturday morning, we are sitting in McDonald's waiting to exchange with the Cape Coral sisters and we get a text saying, "Can I still get baptized this Sunday?" WHAT WHAT WHAT? You betcha we screamed. We made some phone calls and called the ZL's in Fort Myers and asked if they could do the interview that night, and they said "Absolutely". So he had his interview and he passed. Then on Sunday morning Thiago entered the waters of baptism! He was baptized by his member best friend, recent convert and fellow Brazilian Abraham! MIRACLES.

Sister Schmidt really went out on a high note. Planned an entire baptism in about 10 minutes and all the YSA showed up! YAY! He was baptized and confirmed in Portuguese so why not?!

This week has just shown me how much we really are just instruments in the Lord's hands. There is no way I had anything to do with that miracle. I just opened my mouth and the Spirit spoke. So much joy. This is the Lord's work.

Also, transfer calls came and I get to stay here in good ole Estero YSA and my new comp is Sister Adams! I lived with her my 4th transfer and her 1st and we have always talked about being comps and now we are! There's a party in the YSA. I screamed way too loud and probably startled our neighbors. Miracle #2. I am so blessed in the comp department guys.

Jonathan also had the chance to come to Thiago's baptism and now he is even more excited for his own on the 22nd!

Here is a funny story from last night. So after the call I just like could not fall asleep so I got up and went to the bathroom. Well Sister Schmidt didn't hear me leave and saw the door open and went and shut it...and then when I came back from the bathroom the door was locked. And you have to sleep in the same room as your comp so I was like ...uhhhhh... and I just started knocking. Meanwhile, Sister Schmidt has had her house broken into on her mission in the middle of the night so she just starts freaking out and then yells: SISTER! I said, "Dude it's me. Open the door." She opened it like, "What the heck are you doing!?" I traumatized her a bit, but its all good. Miracle #3 is that she didn't come out and kill me.

I also don't know if I ever sent this out but my address here in Estero is:

19120 Miami Blvd
Ft, Myers, FL 33967



2: President Newsome, the branch president.

3: When your investigator asks if they can be baptized tomorrow.....


5: Sam and Janelle took us to I-Hop again.

6: yes dad, that is 2 tacos under 2 dollars.

7: when your mission president hands you 20 bucks for breakfast and lunch in the airport after your final interview.

Monday, April 3, 2017

#PrinceofPeace and milagros

WOW. General Conference was so inspiring! I loved every single second of it! There was so much to learn and be heard and if you missed any of it GO RIGHT NOW TO and watch it! Elder Costa's talk was obviously one of our faves as missionaries but Elder Oaks' was fabulous as well... GO WATCH IT AGAIN.

I forgot my notebook so I can't send my favorite quotes sorry, but it was all so good and so inspired. I loved it. And what made it even better is that our sick new gator Jonathan came and watched 3 sessions! He loved it.

I could talk about this kid all day. He is the coolest and just so real. I walk out of every lesson just grinning ear to ear because he just gets it. You can see the light that is growing inside of him. He came to conference and just ate it all up. He was so excited to hear the prophets voice and to hear and learn from his chosen apostles. Obviously, you stress a bit as a missionary, just in case they hear something that sounds super weird to them, but he just said it all made sense. God truly prepares people! His whole family is Seventh Day Adventist and he went into work this weekend and asked to get Sundays off and his boss miraculously said yes. MIRACLES MIRACLES MIRACLES! The Gospel is perfect and people are looking for it and it is our job to help them get it.

Also, there is a super dope new Easter video on and everyone should go check it out RIGHT NOW. #PrinceofPeace it's so good. Like always. I don't think they've made a bad Easter video because they are all just so powerful!

We also had MLC this week and drove on over to good ole Ft Laud. Great place. President's house is just so homey and it was so great to see everyone again! Even though we will see them in a week because it's WEEK 6 OF THIS TRANSFER ALREADY! Time goes so fast. Sister Schmidt has her final interview this week and then transfers are next Wednesday! I am praying I stay here in Estero because it is easily becoming my favorite area.

Also, the infestation of our cockroaches only caused one freakout/breakdown this week leading me all over the emotional scale this week from yelling/anger to crying on the couch. Sister Schmidt laughed the whole time and killed a cockroach for me. #truecomplove What has the mission done to my emotions?

Y'all. The church is true. There are people who are waiting to hear this message and we've gotta go share it! Don't delay a prompting to share it with everyone! The gospel is there for everyone and it is there for free. There is no cost, just effort and diligence. GO GET EM. Or as President Richardson would say: GIDDY UP!

1: our CO2 alarm wouldn't stop beeping after we deactivated it and Schmidt might have lost it...

2: Love Jonathan and YSA life

3: matching t shirts = comp unity

4: thank you giant baptist church for this very true sign

5: ESTERO YSA HOMIES (Jonathan is the Haitian in the back!)