Hey y'all! (Just channeling our Southern sister missionary with that opening line!) We hope everyone is having an enjoyable week so far. Sorry I'm a bit behind on the posting this week, but my mom had a chance to email back and forth with Collette for a while on Monday, and she wanted to share a bit of what Collette had to say so we could keep you all updated.
Thank you to everyone who has been praying for and writing to our missionary! Transfers are coming up on the 18th of this month, so we'll see what happens with her staying or going. I'll be sure to post an updated address if anything changes! For now, the address in the 'Write Me' tab is still good. USE IT! Pretty please... with cherries on top!
And now, from Sister Barclay:
"I am so excited! Here in our ward, a member of the bishopric, Brother Bush, challenged us to ask all the members when was the last time they attended the temple, because he is in charge of recommends. So we accepted the challenge and asked a family in the ward if they had been to the temple lately, and they said, 'Ya know? We haven't. Why don't we set a date and go?' And they invited us to go with them, so we are going on the 26th! I'm so excited! I miss the temple!"
In a letter my husband, Dan, got from Sister Barclay, she let him know that yes, they get to go to the temple but only two times a year. She said, "It bums me out! And it's the Baton Rouge Temple! It's small but super pretty. I've just seen the outside, so I hope I get to go in soon! I love the temple!"
Collette also told my mom:
"Every time I teach the restoration and say how important family is, I just get excited to talk about my family and how much they have helped me be here and how much I love all y'all! Y'all are what keeps Cole going! I know that this gospel blesses families, because even though I am far away, I'm seeing the blessings go straight to my family!
...Don't ya just feel like your testimony is growing stronger every time you teach someone else? It truly does and is strengthening in me every time I get the courage to open my mouth! This gospel is so amazing!"
And for all of you reading from Cedar, Collette commented that the snow you all have gotten lately is the most snow she's seen in Cedar for a really long time! She said that it's been raining like cats and dogs in Metairie lately and by the time she got to the library to send emails that morning, she was soaked!
She also says:
"Everything is going good here! Transfers are on the 18th and I just really hope that I don't leave! I love Metairie so much! There is still so much work I have to do here! I wish we'd get a car though! haha oh well, one day!"
On that, apparently she hates biking because the traffic there is "nuts!"
Later in the email with my mom, Collette asked her to send her some music she can play on the piano because playing the piano makes her happy! (She really does play beautifully! We miss hearing her sing and play at home.) She says, "We went to New Beginnings the other day for the young women [a program welcoming the new girls and their families to the Young Women Program in the church] and they didn't have a piano player to play the prelude music, so I jumped on the piano and started playing and it was really good! I love the piano and singing; it really shows my testimony. All of our elders just love singing with me as I play, and they think they are the most awesome singers ever! haha They're funny! They even want to do a district musical number, and me and Sister Widdison are thinking that's crazy! They are such great elders!"
Then Collette does kind of question/answer time with my mom that I thought might be fun to share. Sometimes it's nice for those of us back home, to hear some of the ins and outs of missionary life. My mom told her they were "silly questions" but I thought they were great; stuff I was wondering too!
Question from mom: Do you do you laundry at a laundromat?
Answer from Cole: We have a washer and dryer in our apartment, so we just buy laundry soap! And me and Widdison share! We usually split the grocery list too. We buy everything we need and just split the cost in half.
Q: Where is your favorite place to eat and does the ward feed you or do you have to eat out?
A: My favorite restaurant to eat is Copelands. They have amazing cheesecake and these things called crawfish fries! Yum! A sister in the ward usually takes us there! I love Cane's. It's like the best chicken ever, besides Brothas chicken, it's the bomb! Everything is so spicy. It's got a real good kick! We have dinner appointments but not every night... just depends, but our ward is pretty good about feeding the missionaries, and we have a lady that lives next to us that buys our milk for us! She's so sweet! We are trying not to eat out so much, but ya know, we sorta fail at it because biking makes us hungry all the time!
Q: If the members could do anything for you, what would you suggest? I always wonder what we could do to help them.
A: Ummm, one thing I would say is feed them and ask them if they need rides!!! And find people for them to teach, like referrals! We like those!
Then Collette asks my mom if they have sister missionaries in their ward and my mom tells her they don't. Collette told her that they have 8 sets of missionaries in their ward! Holy cow! Just their ward!
In closing Collette says:
"Vio con Dios! (God be with you!) haha an investigator tells us that every time we meet with her! I love the people of Louisiana!
Love, Sister Barclay"
Until next week!