July 2015-July 2018

July 2015-July 2018

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Flying, Flying and more Flying.....

The plane's route to Tokyo.  It takes 13 hours and then another 3 hours from Tokyo to Taiwan.

We called Delta airlines and the missionaries have arrived safetly in Taiwan.  It's 4:00 in the morning there right now.  We hope to hear something tonight......fingers crossed!

We made it to Portland!

I bet this was a special sight to see! Elder Coletti and 13 other missionaries just landed in Portland. They are on their way to Tokyo and then Taiwan for the next 2 years......21 months actually, but who's counting?!

On our way!

Such a beautiful tender mercy! Our sweet friend, Jason Bertola, saw Elder Coletti at the airport this morning on his way to Taiwan! You don't realize how priceless these pictures are until you are the mother of a missionary. Joey looks so good and so happy. It makes letting him go a little easier.

The Visas are here!!!

Great news!!  The VISAs are here! Our branch president gave us permission to email you right now. We are leaving on Monday the 28th at 8:45 in the morning.  We leave the MTC at 3:35 a.m.! I'm not going to have a pday to email you this week, so that is why I am telling you right now.  We will go on flight 623 (Delta air lines) straight to Tokyo. We then have a 2 hour lay over and then hop on flight 473 (delta air lines) to Taiwan.  We should get to Taipei at 8:35 p.m. Taiwan time.  I'm going to try sending a box home tomorrow, but I might have to leave it at the MTC for you to pick it up.  I'll write some notes inside it explaining some stuff.  This is the last time you will hear from me via email at the MTC.  I will try calling either your cell phone, or the home phone between the time of 5:30 and 7ish Mon. a.m.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Meet the Mormons and Attitude

This week was a roller coaster of emotions!  There were lots of ups and downs, but nonetheless it was an amazing week and it had to be my favorite one here at the MTC......week nine!

Monday September 14, 2015:  
We went to the temple and watched a Sister Missionary from our branch take out her endowments.  She's from China (she's a fast track) and so she didn't have access to a temple in China!  She went through the Provo temple and our whole district got to be a part of it!  She looked so happy and it made me remember when I received my own temple endowments. It was really emotional for her and it was honestly just an amazing experience to be a part of.  We also did another Skype lesson with a member in Taichung Taiwan.  She was super nice!  I knew that she couldn't really understand our Chinese. It's not because we are saying the words wrong but because our accents are really weird and hard for her to understand.  Even though she couldn't understand us, she kept participating and kept encouraging us.  When we, Elder Miller and I, were done we looked at the rest of our district Skyping other members from Taiwan. It made me  so excited for Taiwan.  I could just picture all 10 of us Elders in Taiwan talking and spreading God's love.  It got me so qidai (excited)!

Tuesday September 15, 2015:  
The Tuesday Devotional today was ZHEN BANG (EXCELLENT)!  The Primary General President, Rosemary Wixon, talked to us and she did fantastic!  At the very end we sang  The Armies of Helamen and that song really moved me. I loved it when everyone stood up and sang it at my farewell. It's one of my favorite songs. I especially love the lyrics which go:

We Are As The Armies of Helamen,
We Have Been Taught In Our Youth.
And We Are The Lord's Missionaries,
To Bring The World His Truth.

I don't know why but those lyrics really, really hit me!  It makes me think about how important our calling is as missionaries. We are the Lord's missionaries in order to bring the world his truth.  Sister Wixon also shared a scripture about how the Lord won't have us do anything he doesn't think that we can do! 

1 Nephi Chapter 3:7
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

I love this scripture. It's really reassuring and comforting.

Wednesday September 16, 2015:  
Everyday is amazing but nothing worth note happened.  We watched a video about the Ten Commandment of Good Health.  After watching it I decided that I don't eat enough grains and fruits or vegetables. I'm going to try and incorporate more of those into my diet...HAHA!

Thursday September 17, 2015:  
We taught Holly today. We actually teach her everyday, but most of the lessons I don't mention. Today was a very special one!  We interviewed Holly to get baptized!  We had Elder Holloway and Elder Wadsworth act as the District Leaders and conduct the interview.  They said she passed so that is awesome!  Holly will get baptized Saturday!  Just so everyone is clear, Holly is really our Laoshi (teacher) Sister Hsiung.  She role plays/acts as our investigator, butt it is still really cool!  Elder Miller and I could see just how much she has grown and developed throughout our lessons.  I think it will help us later in the mission field to reflect back on.

Friday September 18, 2015:  
Today was a test of faith. Our whole district was called to the main office and we were told that they have not received our VISA's and we have to stay in the MTC for one more week.  When I first heard this I was so upset!  For weeks I had been looking forward to going to Taiwan!  The MTC is amazing, but I am ready to leave this place honestly!   I thought of this quote I heard: "You can only have unlimited Spiritual bread sticks at the MTC for so long until you look around and realize....What am I doing here with all these Spiritually fat people!" ! HAHA   No..... the MTC truly is amazing, however I just want to go to Taiwan at this point.  I feel like I have learned all I can here and the only way I'm going to take the next step is in the field. I guess you could say I'm going a little stir crazy?:)

Saturday September 19, 2015:  
Today I woke up and decided to adjust my attitude. I needed a different approach about the whole VISA situation.  I realized that this is happening for a reason.  I'm not on my time and I have to realize that this is the Lord's time.  He delayed our VISA's for a specific reason.  Maybe he wanted us to stay here at the MTC so we can be more spiritually prepared for Taiwan? Maybe the people in Taiwan that we are suppose to teach are not ready for us yet?   I don't know what the reason could be, but I know there is a specific reason for it. I'm just going to trust in the Lord and his timing. It will all work out.

Sunday September 20, 2015:  
We watched Meet the Mormons.  It has to be one of the most influential movies that I have ever watched.  I even cried during it which my mom knows does not happen very often (if ever?). It was amazing.  It is so wonderful how much the Spirit has transformed me and molded me.  Before coming on my mission, I had a testimony that God was real and that he loved me.  However, since being here for 9 weeks, I have now realized how blessed I am to be part of this church.  I started to think about how much the church has blessed me and my family.  I wondered where I would be if I was not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Would I have the greatest family in the world?  Would I be here serving him?  Would I meet all of these wonderful people I have met at the MTC?  I know, without a doubt, that this church is true.  The gospel has blessed me and my family so much that I can't even put it into words.   Most of my life I have taken everything for granted.  When I would pray I would ask for help, but I wouldn't always thank the Lord for what he has given me. He gave me my perfect family.  I know families are forever and I'm so grateful I get to spend eternity with mine.  I owe all of this to the Lord. I know that God loves us and he wants to help us here on earth.  That is why he has given us our families.  That is why he has given us the Book of Mormon.  That is why he has given everybody the ability and invitation to pray to him.  Watching Meet the Mormons made me realize how many people have come to know this church is true and how we are all children of God, no matter how different we are.  I really loved the story at the end about the Missionary Mom".  It hit me really hard when she was in the convenience store, crying because she felt like God did not love her.  Her second son had died. She felt like nobody loved her, but then the store clerk was there to comfort her.  The clerk was so loving and accepting of her. I realized that EVERYONE here on earth are children of our Heavenly Father and we are all perfect in his eyes.  We are all his children and he wants us to return to him so badly.  While watching the movie, I put myself in the shoes of someone who has never heard of the church and who needs some guidance in life. Just thinking about that brought me to tears.  I love my Heavenly Father.  I know that if everyone can come to the knowledge and understanding that God exists and loves us, how much better this world will be.  Sorry for making this so long, but this was a really important experience to me.  The most important person I could convert on a mission is myself and I think that has happened.  This church is perfect.  I know that our Father in Heaven loves us.  He has blessed me so much in my life and I have never realized it until now.  I challenge everyone to first watch Meet the Mormons because it is amazing!  Even if you are not Mormon, you cannot deny the miracles that occur!  It will change your life.  Try to apply the teaching in this movie into your life.  Think about how amazing this church is and how much it has blessed your life.  Every little thing is from our Heavenly Father and we all need to help others feel of God's love. After you have reflected how this church has blessed your life, go share it with someone.  Christ died on the cross for all of us so that we can return to our Heavenly Father.  The least we can do is tell everyone about our faith in this church and our gratitude for it.  If everyone spreads the word about the blessings of this church to someone who doesn't know about it or understand it, the Lord will bless you immensely!  I love this church and this mission opportunity.  I am so grateful for it.  It honestly has changed me for the better.  I love you all and I am so grateful for each and everyone one of you being a part in my life! I'm better for it.
Elder Coletti
This is of two Elders leaving our branch.  The one leaning on me will go to Utah State, so I'm sure I will see him again!  The other one is the one from England.  Absolutely hilarious to hear him try and speak Chinese with his English accent!

The Elder on the left is going to Taipei with our district. He is from a different branch.  The one in the middle is the one on the left's companion.  He is going to Mandarin Chinese speaking England. The one on the far right is Elder Ball. Elder Ball, Elder Slatter, and I are known as the big pranksters in the district!  He does have an extremely strong testimony.   He is going to Mandarin Chinese speaking Australia, Sydney

3:  The pajama pass down continues!  It's a tradition. Also,  my Chinese friend LOVES my rubix cude!

Monday, September 14, 2015

What a small world?!

Crazy story:
One of my Young Women in my ward went to EFY this summer and made a friend named Cameron Bezzant. His older brother, Elder Bezzant entered the MTC the same day/same mission as Joey and he is in his same district! Cameron sent her these pictures of his older brother on his mission and Joey is  in them! Haha:) What a small world?!

Taco Bell and Football Cheers

Monday Sep. 7, 2015:
The Temple was closed because it was Labor Day. We played basketball which was BANG (AWESOME) and we also played a volleyball game with another district in our branch.  We all entered the MTC at the same time so we have a little branch rivalry going on. They're honestly great though!  They are all going to Mandarin Chinese speaking Australia and Canada. I taught my district a football chant that the offensive line would always do right before our games.  It goes like this: I would shout "Who's got my back?!" and then they would shout "I've got your back!"  We decided to do it before our volleyball game...haha. It really got our whole district fired up which was funny.....And then we lost!....hahaha  It was still fun! We had the opportunity to skype with a former mission president from the  Taichung mission. That was really cool!  He told us a bunch of tips and really helped us with our Chinese!

Tuesday Sep. 8, 2015:
Today I had to have some ingrown toenails removed from my feet.  I've had  them for about a month and just kept thinking that I could take care of them myself.  It didn't  quite work out like I had expected! Elder Butler basically forced me to get them removed!  I'm glad he did because they were really hurting!  Elder Miller and I had to take a shuttle to the Dr. to get them removed.  While on the shuttle Elder Miller and I actually saw the outside world!  There is still a world outside of the MTC! I noticed a sign showing that Taco Bell had a new advertisement! That was cool! It was weird seeing all of the people not wearing missionary name tags...Haha!;)
Wednesday Sep. 9, 2015:
We had the opportunity to be a Host today. That is when you walk around with the new missionaries and help them find where their classes and residences are located.  It was really fun, but also very sad at the same time.  It brought back memories of when I came to the MTC.  It still feels like yesterday and 8 weeks later I'm still here!  The MTC truly is amazing.  It's funny how the Lord works.  Whenever I start to put my own abilities higher than the abilities of the Lord, I get knocked off of my feet!  This week was really humbling.  I was a little down about not having the capabilities to deliver the message of the Lord in the way that He would want me to. I did a lot of praying (I even fasted!). I decided that if I work my hardest and I don't leave any time to feel helpless or inadequate, the Lord will help me.  I'll talk later about a cool experience that happened on Sunday and I how my prayers were answered.

Thursday Sep. 10, 2015:
Today was a little rough. I got really down because we received our flight plans, and I realized how close I am to leaving for Taipei.  This kind of put me in a bad mindset because I want to go to Taiwan NOW....not in a week. The MTC is great, but I feel almost as if I would grow so much more if I were in Taiwan.  I have since been humbled and realized that I still have a lot to learn in order to be the most effective missionary I can be in Taipei.  If I want to be successful for the Lord in Taiwan, I can't waste any time.  I need to learn as much as I can while I am here in the MTC.

Friday Sep. 11, 2015:
We were able to talk to a sister missionary who just returned from the Taipei mission  10 months ago.  She gave us some great advice and a lot of helpful tips about Taiwan. She said that it was most important to just love the people.  Our Chinese will definitely not be as good as the people in Taiwan and it isn't going to be easy, but  if we love the people with the same love Christ has, then everything is going to work out.  She said not to worry about getting rejected because they don't understand yet.  We need to have a desperate attitude when we serve because if the investigators see the amount of compassion and love we have for all of God's children, then they will feel God's love too.

Saturday Sep. 12, 2015:
Nothing Major happened today.  Everyday is amazing but nothing worth note.  Sorry ....I don't have much time so I'm trying to condense this email as much as I can!

Sunday Sep. 13, 2015:
We watch a former talk from Elder Holland called "Mission's Are Forever".  It completely changed my perspective and attitude that I had been feeling this week. I was a little discouraged about not feeling capable and not having the abilities yet I need to learn this crazy hard language. I was just ready to leave for Taiwan already, etc.  I watched this video and I was comforted. I don't remember exactly what Elder Holland said, but I do remember how I felt after hearing his words.  I learned that I need to think of the people serving more than myself. I'm thinking too much about my own feelings and if I am prepared. In the end it isn't about me. The message I have, although not perfected, is the perfect message for the children of God.  God is preparing the people of Taiwan to receive his message. I do know that I still cannot get complacent.  I have to keep moving forward...learning and growing. I need to keep thinking about how the Lord can best use me in order to help the people of Taiwan.  I can't get discouraged if I'm not feeling ready or I'm feeling inadequate. I should turn outward so that the Lord can better use me.

It is so hard to try and remember everything that happened this week.  An hour can go a lot faster than most people would think! 

Here is a cool poem I heard this week:
God says, "Come to the Edge"
We say, "No, we will fall"
"Come to the Edge!"
"No, we will fall!"
And so we did.
Then he pushed us off
And we flew.

We are not always going to understand the promptings of the Spirit.  According to Mosiah 4: 9, We can't comprehend all the things that God can comprehend. God knows best about everything.  We have to listen to the promptings of the Spirit, even if we at first don't understand it.  God can only make miracles happen if we are in a place where miracles can happen.  Don't expect something significant to happen if you won't put in the effort or have faith. Trust in God and act on the promptings of the Spirit.  Listen to the Spirit and act on it, even if you don't feel comfortable or agree with it.  Get ready to watch miracles happen....they happen everyday if we will just see with our hearts and acknowledge them.

Love you all! Thank you for the support!  I'll write one more email in the MTC next Mon. and then I will be in Taiwan!  So excited!!!
Elder Coletti


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Being an instrument in the Lord's Hands

This email is not as long as usual due to time restrictions, however, this week was amazing! I can feel the spirit molding me into a person that I never thought I could or would become honestly.  I'm being prompted to do things that I normally would not feel comfortable doing. The miraculous part is that I'm listening to the spirit and acting on these promptings without hesitation! Whenever I act on something that I don't feel comfortable doing, such as trying to say something in our class that I don't know how to say in Chinese, wo ganjue Shen de ai (I feel God's love).  The words that come out my mouth during lessons are surprising and wonderful.  I don't know how I remember them honestly. I do know that Shen (God) is working through me and helping me when I need him most. I am speaking Mandarin Chinese, but more importantly, I have learned how to teach the gospel.  My Chinese is only going to get better as I spend the next two years hearing it and speaking it full time in Taiwan. I am set apart as a Missionary and that means I am blessed with the gift of tongues,  but I need to be able to allow the Spirit to work through me in order to reach the hearts of the mudaoyou (investigators). I need to be an instrument in the Lord's hands.  I love my mission so much and I wouldn't trade it for the world!  It is by far the best decision I have ever made in my life and I am so grateful for this opportunity.  Taiwan.....here I come (Sept. 22)!!

I love you all and I hope you all have a wonderful week!  Stay safe
Elder Coletti
This is Elder Slater and he is in my district.  We are known as the class clowns and have way too much fun together!

This is a brand new Elder in our district from England.  It is absolutely to hear him speak Chinese with his English accent!  HAHA!  I also cannot keep him out of my stuff....he loves everything I have, especially my clothes! ....oh well:)

Best Dang District....Period!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Buddy the Elf and Ice cream

Monday Aug. 24, 2015:  
Elder Woo left our district and headed to his mission in California.  It's a very weird story.  The MTC thought that he was a fast track, when he is basically intermediate with speaking Chinese.  However, he did not know how to teach the gospel in Chinese, which is kind of important for a mission. He was sent to the Provo MTC to do a six week program and leave at the same time as our whole district. Nobody let his mission president know the change of plans. The mission president needed him ASAP, so he had to leave immediately. Crazy!  He found out he was leaving Saturday, which had to be stressful for him.  I really love this Elder and I hope for the best with him!

Tuesday Aug. 25, 2015:  
Today I had one of the best personal scripture study sessions I have ever had!  I was studying in 1 Nephi 
Chapter 8 about the tree of life. I understood more than I ever have before!  At first I thought it was just about holding fast to the iron rod (word of God) and then we would be able to taste the fruit (love of God).  That is what it is about, however, I looked at it from a different perspective this time.  I put myself in Lehi's shoes . What was the first thing he did after he tasted the fruit?  He wanted to share it with his family.  This made me reflect back to my experience last Sunday with listening to Elder Bednar's talk  "The Character of Christ" and how it is about turning outward instead of inward.  Lehi could have turned inward and kept all of God's love to himself.  But, instead of thinking inward and about his own desires, he turned outward and thought about the desires of his family.  He wanted to share this gift which was most desirable above all other gifts.  I learned to turn outward with the love of God.  Lehi wanted to share the fruit of the tree with his family and he did.  This chapter has completely changed my perspective on missionary work.  I have tasted the love of God.  We all know that it is the most desirable gift of all and is absolutely "delicious".  However, there are still billions of people that have not tasted of this fruit.  As our faith towards God and his love grows, we will have a greater desire to share the love of God with everyone who has not tasted it.  Instead of turning inward and keeping this wonderful gift to ourselves, we need to turn outward and help a friend or family member taste the love of God, which is the most desirable love of all.  I promise that if we do this, then we will begin to develop Characteristics of Christ, and we can then help the Lord with his work.

Wednesday Aug. 26, 2015:  
Today was our last lesson with Holly.  Elder Miller and I invited Holly to live the Word of Wisdom.  If she was able to live it until our next lesson then Elder Miller and I promised we would bring her an ice cream.  So, what kind of missionaries would we be if we didn't live up to our word! Holly followed the Word of Wisdom and we brought her a Blue Bunny Ice Cream Bar. Holly could not stop laughing!  She thought is was the funniest thing in the world!   It was a really good lesson and Holly is doing great!  Today I saw a tianshi (angel).  No lie!  I was sitting in my room, eating some Doritos, when all of a sudden I heard something in the bathroom. I went to check it out.  It turns out that there was an Elder singing in the shower.  I decided I had to follow the example of Buddy the Elf!  I sat in the bathroom and just listened to him!  He was so good!!!  He was singing Coldplay and I couldn't help but start singing along with him!  I scared him!  He was really nice to me though and didn't yell at me to get out. We just continued to sing Coldplay and it was awesome! We are now friends:)

Thursday Aug. 27, 2015:  
We got a new lao shi (teacher) today.  He's not our permanent teacher,  but he is going to help other classes in the branch.  He can speak four languages: English, Chinese, French, and Tagalog.  He is from Taipei and he has taught me so many helpful tips!  He said the people in Taiwan are very polite and won't correct you when your Chinese is bad. We should ask them for help speaking Chinese:)   He also said that the girls in Taiwan are very attractive and they love Americans. They will be all over us and we need to lock our hearts!!  I got a giggle out of that one! :)   He helped my jianzheng (testimony) grow as well!  He taught me that we need to do something that will improve our faith EVERY SINGLE DAY!  We cannot just act on faith once a week and expect it to grow.  If we do not participate in an act of faith everyday, then we are missing out on so many blessings and faith building experiences.  I really took that to heart and I am working on improving my faith every single day! We can't just go to church once a week and expect our faith to grow.  Faith is just like a tree.  If we were to water a tree once a week, it would end up dying.  But, if we watered the tree every day, it would grow into a giant orchard!

Friday Aug 28, 2015:  
We taught Holly and Tony this week.  The lessons were BANG (AMAZING)!  While we were teaching Holly, the Spirit could be felt so strong in the room.  I honestly don't remember what I was saying, (because it's in Chinese and I usually don't even understand what I'm saying myself!) but, something I said made Holly cry!  It was the weirdest, yet most spiritual thing I have experienced. Holly is really Sister Hsuing (our lao shi or teacher).So, when she started crying, I was really confused!  I saw her wipe her eyes, and then I paused because I wasn't sure what to do. It taught me a valuable lesson.  I may not know what I'm saying half the time in Chinese, but if I speak with my own conviction, than the Lord with put those words into the hearts of the mudaoyou (investigators) I am teaching.  I witnessed this with Holly!   We then taught Tony.  While we were teaching him he actually smiled!!  Usually Tony shows absolutely no emotions during our lessons and it almost feels like he is just bored. He smiled today and I could see the spark in his eye that he was getting what we were teaching.  It was awesome! Tony is another one of our teachers named Brother Walters.
Saturday Aug 29, 2015:  
We had TRCs today which is always amazing!  We also found out that on Monday, Aug 31, 2015 we get to Skype and teach someone from Taipei!  I am so excited and will tell you how it goes next week! 

Sunday Aug 30, 2015:  
Today I had to lead a discussion in Priesthood about the Book of Mormon.  It went really well and the discussion that followed was great.  The Devotional in the evening was by Brother Dahlquist and he taught us about taking baby steps and how that will make all the difference.  This can definitely apply to everyone.  I applied this to the lesson I learned earlier in the week about feeding my faith.  I don't have to do anything incredible or life changing everyday. I just need to take baby steps and then that will make all the difference.  It's better to take baby steps than no steps at all.  We also watched  "Teaching" by Elder Holland.  It's Elder Holland, so of course it was amazing! 

Love you all,
Elder Coletti