Caught in a downpour!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Colyn's final thoughts as he reflects on these blessed, past two years

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 -
What is the Mission???
The Mission is a dream. A Missionary starts by entering into a new world—no phone calls home, no homemade food, missing his family, and being permanently placed with a unfamiliar companion. He accepts to live by strict rules knowing that the Lord will bless him if he does so. As time goes on, he learns more about life—how to overcome trials, the principles of raising a family, what to look for in his future wife, etc. And without noticing it, he starts to worry more about the people he is currently with and solving their problems than he does about his own family. He loves the people and they love him back. And when the time comes for changes, tears are shed, both his and theirs, because of the precious moments they have spent together, never knowing if it will be possible to see each other again. Two years go flying by and then comes the unstoppable moment of stay or go. This Missionary, knowing that his time is almost up, feels both a sense of sadness and happiness. He recognizes that he is going to have to leave behind his newly-developed family, but knows than an overly-excited family is waiting anxiously for his return home. This is the Mission—two years of selfless service given up to the Lord so that this Missionary, his family, his converts, and those he has come in contact with, can be blessed for the Eternities; the two most cherished years of this young man’s life…
Thank you to all those who have supported me and kept me going strong for these two years. I could not have done it without you. I love you and thank you so so much.
Les amo,Elder Colyn Quinn

He is COMING HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To the Followers.....

This is Susan, Colyn's mom. I just wanted to share some feelings about these past two years and having Colyn gone so far away. When the day arrived when Colyn and I had to be separated for two long years, I think we both didn't realize how really hard it was going to be. In the MTC, watching the movie that they share with the families before the inevitable separation, Colyn was so nervous that his legs were shaking. The closing prayer was being said and I reached out and put my hand on Colyn's leg as to try and comfort him and he responded with relaxing. He held my hand throughout this whole ordeal, as he always did when we sit through Sacrament meeting together. And when the final hug came to say goodbye, we could not let go of each other. My arms were grabbing at him as to try to take something home with me. The last thing Colyn whispered to me after he told me that he loved me, was.... "I'll be back."
Those were the last three words that I heard him say while he was still in my sight. I have hung on to those words these last two years and drawn strength from them, knowing he would be back. And now HE IS COMING BACK!!!!!! This wonderful, glorious day of him coming back is here!!!! I am truly blessed! My Heavenly Father, for some sweet reason, granted me such a privilege when he sent me such a Prince of a son as Colyn is!!! He knows he is a child of God. He came here obedient, has always remained obedient and I pray that obedience will continue throughout his entire life. He loves his mom. And for this, I can never thank Heavenly Father enough for this choice blessing of having Colyn share his life with me!
Thank you for checking in and keeping up on Colyn's journey in Peru. He has felt your love and it means the world to him! He has had much success on his Mission, again baptizing three more souls this past week. He is grateful to the Lord for allowing him to be where he is and to experience "loving the people he serves".
November 3, 2010 seemed like an eternity away, and now my boy is returning home!
Love to all , Susan - A loving mother of an Awesome Missionary -
(as Colyn would say to every mother he called when letting them know when their son's would be arriving home....he would say to them either in speaking or in writing.....
"Thanks for being a loving mother of an Awesome Missionary")

"The Mission has been the best experience of my life"

Monday, October 18, 2010 -
I think I'm starting to get really lazy about writing home because I know that I will be home soon enough to just tell it to you. Next week will be my last week to write home. Can you believe it??? This month is just flying by. What are you guys going to be for Halloween??? What's the creative idea this year???
We had a very cool baptism this weekend. His name is Leonel Chavez Olaya. He is 18-years-old and lives with his Grandma because his family is separated. Before teaching him the Gospel, he was involved with drinking and hanging out with bad friends. He had always worn a mouth piercing, but we just taught him the Gospel and read the Book of Mormon with him. He himself had to make the change. On Saturday, I had the privilege of baptizing him. Just before starting the meeting,we were in the bathroom changing into our white clothes and we had a really good conversation. He took out his mouth piercing never to put it back in again. He has made so many changes to get to this point. He showed up yesterday dressed in a shirt and tie (given that the shirt was mine, the pants were my companion's, but he looked like a stud). He will be a Missionary in one year's time. How cool is that??? I am doing fine. This week was probably the best week of work that I have ever had in Lima. It was such a fun fast-paced week.It flew by like nothing. I have to tell you that there are many moments where I just wish the next to weeks could pass by in a flash,but I have many more moments telling myself that I don't have that much longer to put on the Missionary tag and be a full-time representative of the Church and of Jesus Christ. The Mission has been the best experience of my life...I love you Family. Love, Coco

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Only 24 days and the Best Friends are back together!!!"

October 11, 2010 - (A note to all the followers....for the past few weeks, Colyn has not been writing letters home because he and I have been exchanging emails for two hours every Monday morning. So I have compiled the last month's worth of Colyn's conversations and put them in one post.)

September 20, 2010 -
We find out changes on Saturday night this week, so I am way excited to see what happens. I am pretty sure that I will be staying where I am to finish my Mission because this is my last Change, but we'll see what Heavenly Father and President have in store for me...
About the weather... I think we are just barely finishing winter, barely because it is still freezing, but we have had some warm days where the sun has been shining. We are just starting spring, but summer will be here for Christmastime... And I'll be at home... Wahoo!!!
Love, Coco
I still haven't heard anything about Yolanda, but I assume that she is doing okay... I just can't wait to see her again...
Wahoo!!! That means we'll be talking every Monday until I go home... only 7 more I think... Can you believe it??? Everyone asks me if I'm trunky, but I just tell them no, but my family is... Hahaha. I love my family.
Love, Coco
Don't worry... You'll be seeing enough of me in a little while. I just hope you don't get sick of me talking to you because we have to catch up on two years of life... That might take a while... :)
Are you kidding me Mom??? It would be awesome to have Chase open up his Mission Call the day that I get home!!! It won't take away from anything. I didn't think you would want to wait to open it until I get home, but it makes me feel so happy that you want to wait to open his Mission Call until I get home... We will be super anxious for an arrival home and a send-away call... It will just add on to a great night... PARTY ALL-NIGHT LONG!!! And if it seems even better... I will get home and we can just be with the family and good friends and then we can have the big party another day, like on the weekend...and Chase can invite his friends and the Family over to watch him open his Call... You think he'll be getting his Call before I get home?... That is so exciting!!!
Love, Coco
Yes. Comas is part of Lima. It's a little prettier than my other areas have been in Lima, which makes it nice as well, but nothing beats the Jungle...

September 27, 2010 -
Good News!!! I am going to finish my COMAS!!! I am so happy. I am going to stay for my last Change here and that makes me feel really good. I now will not have to get to know a new area, new members, new house, new companion, nothing new. My companion, Elder Zárate and I are both staying. It is so nice. And I am so excited to end my Mission as a Zone Leader in Comas!!! At the same time, I am sad because my friends are leaving the Zone: Elder Smith and Elder Cridlebaugh... Elder Smith is going to be a Zone Leader in Lima and Elder Cridlebaugh is heading off as District Leader to the jungle of Iquitos. I am so jealous... But it is what the Lord has planned... I'll be seeing Elder Smith every once-in-a-while, but today is the last day I will be seeing Elder Cridlebaugh. It's sad to see friends go and they think it is so weird that I am going home this Change. They don't believe it, just like I can't believe it. It has gone by so fast. We have plans to hang out after the Mission so we'll see where life takes us...
I Love you....Coco

October 4, 2010 -
Is you there? Because I didn't get my sweet Mother's e-mail this week...
(Yes Coco....I am here...)
Hallelujah!!! I love my Family!!!
Mom, How are you doing??? Less than one month left... Can you believe it? So, this weekend we didn't watch General Conference because down here in Peru, their Elections were going on, and it is illegal to have any type of reunion in any place, so there were no Church meetings this weekend, and yesterday, we weren't even able to leave the house. We stayed inside all day studying, organizing, and just enjoying a day off... We are going to watch General Conference this weekend the 9th and 10th. And Fast Sunday is going to be the 17th so this month is just going to fly by... WAHOO!!!
You got my packages!!! How fun is that??? I thought you'd like what I sent. Mom, I still need you to select your ten favorite photos of me in the Mission...not baptisms... And get them sent to tomorrow. Tomorrow, we are going to the Temple so I will be able to write you again tomorrow... Hey Mom, Dad tells me that you are trying to make everything perfect for my return home. But Mom, don't stress out. I just want to be able to enjoy the day with my family. Don't be so overwhelmed with everything that you can't even enjoy the day. I want it to be a nice enjoyful day...
The couple that took the packages home is the Nelsons. They are the couple that have been spoiling us like crazy with pizza, hamburgers, french toast breakfast, grilled ham and cheese and pretty much anything we wanted. I felt so bad for them because the husband Elder Nelson got really sick down here. He had some kidney stones and an infection in his body so they thought it would be better to go to the USA to get taken care of, recuperate, and then come back to finish the Mission. They are planning on coming to my Homecoming Meeting and I will be inviting them. They didn't want to go and I felt sad for them, but I know they'll be going back out to serve...
I know. Nathan is finishing his Mission... Can you believe how fast that went by??? I will get home, and then Nathan White gets home three weeks later. Isn't that weird? Our whole group of friends are going to be getting home within the next couple months... How exciting...
I love you so much....until next week....Coco

October 11, 2010 -
(I am here Coco.....)
Mommy!!! I love my Mom!!! How's the day treating you???
Hey. I still haven't gotten my credit card yet??? Do you think it would be possible for you to send me some money through Western Union? Honestly, I am living on nothing. It stinks to not have money. I am not able to spoil my companion, or buy a soda or treats at nighttime, or take a 3-liter pop to a Family Home Evening, because I can't spare even one cent right now. So do you think you could do me that favor. Just put the money in Western Union under my name, and I will go and take it out. What do you think???
I am so glad that you are enjoying school. Only three weeks left and I'll be able to help you with your homework... How does that sound???
Hey. Did Chase get his Mission Call yet??? Or is it this week that it gets there??? Are you sure you can wait til I get home to open it??? I honestly cannot wait. How exciting!!!
(Coco, I told all the sisters in Relief Society yesterday...."this time next month (meaning fast Sunday) my best friend will be home again with me!)
Is that right? Only 24 days and the Best Friends are back together!!! That seems so crazy. I miss my Best Friend so much. But we know that we wouldn't change anything for these two years...
It's time for me to go. I love you so much. General Conference was really good this weekend. They talked a lot about the importance of the family, which of course made me feel really good. I love you and hope everything is excellent. Until next week. I won't be writing in the morning because we are going to a Museum in the morning. I will be writing in the afternoon at about 2:00pm Lima time. I love you. Thanks for your help. I'll let you know tomorrow about the money. Thanks...

October 12, 2010 -
YEAH!!!!! I'm rich!!!!!
I got the money out yesterday!!! Thanks for taking care of me. You saved me. I love you and miss you so much. Take care.
Love, Coco

Monday, September 13, 2010

"Every prayer makes a difference"

September 13, 2010 -
Hey Family,
Oh if I could put into words what a wonderful weekend it has been. We had the greatest time this weekend. All week long we were trying to get together all the papers we needed for two couples to get married so that the wives could get baptized. Starting with the first couple… Carmen Mejia. She has been waiting for three years to get baptized. The problem was that her husband, Marco, never wanted to talk with the Missionaries and would never leave his room if they happened to find him in the house. We went last Monday night to visit Carmen and see how she was doing and if she had talked with her husband about the Wedding. Her husband was there that night. We knew that he had never come out to meet the Missionaries before, and I was just praying and praying that he would come out and just talk for a sec… And guess what??? He came out. I honestly couldn’t believe it and was so nervous to talk with him. We stood up when he entered the room and then I just had to sweet-talk him. He is a really nice guy. I talked to him for about ten minutes and asked him to get married to his wife just so she could get baptized. We sat in silence for about five minutes, almost laughing and smirking and smiling, because there was a Spirit that was telling all of us that he was going to say “yes”… And he accepted. He said that he would get married only so his wife could get baptized, but that he didn’t want to be obligated in any Church things… That was the first couple…Carmen and Marco
The second couple has a completely different story. The husband Henry is a Returned Missionary, but has been going through many problems in his life. He and his sweet wife, Yizza, live in a one-room rented house where they have to share a bathroom with other people and their bed, table, kitchen, and chairs are all in the same room, the size of the room I lived in at our house in Riverton. They are so humble and have been going through so many problems. At first, before I knew her, Yizza didn’t want anything to do with the Church, but she came to love it and wanted to get baptized. But she needed to get married first. We had to help them baby step by baby step to get the papers ready. The Wedding was on Saturday and they handed us the last bit of papers at Midnight on Friday night, just after I had made a batch of rice crispies, but that is besides the point. But everything worked out. This is the second couple…Yizza and Henry.
Saturday afternoon, we headed early to the Wedding and guess who else was getting couples married…ELDER STEED!!! It was so good to see him. I don’t know if I’ll see him again until we are both in Utah because he goes home in a week… The couples both got there and the Wedding went just fine. Everyone was so happy that they got married and we couldn’t wipe the smiles off of our faces. With me, my Companion, the two couples, their witnesses, and the couples’ families, there were 26 people who went to the Wedding from our Ward. So to come home we just called a bus from the street, kicked everyone else off the bus and told it to take us to Comas. The 26 of us all piled into the small bus and had the funnest hour-and-a-half bus ride ever going to the Chapel for the Wedding Reception. I think I was laughing the whole ride home. (The Peruvians have a really good sense of humor.) We didn’t get to stay long for the Reception because it was already late, but I left my camera with the Bishop so he could take pictures. It was a special night… Weddings are always great!!!
Then yesterday was the Baptism. We have also been teaching a Young Woman named Yosselin and her Baptism was yesterday as well. I baptized all three of them…Yosselin, Yizza, and then Carmen, and what an experience that was. The water was freezing and my hand was shaking in the air as a said each Baptismal prayer, but each one was perfectly fine and even though they were cold, they went under the water and came out fine. Carmen is 44-years-old and has had some health problems and felt so cold, but knew that she had to fulfill the Commandment after three years of waiting… I have never seen Henry, or Yizza, or Carmen, or their families smile so much as they did this weekend. Honestly, it was one of the best experiences that I have had in my Mission. I started off the week by having my wallet stolen, but that didn’t matter. The week ended so perfect that I can’t even start to thank Heavenly Father for letting me be a part of these events in these families’ lives. So I just want you guys to know that everything is going great. I honestly love the Mission and it is so true that I am starting to get sad that I am going to have to leave it all behind for a while, but every Missionary has to start and end his Mission. And of course, there is always the happiness and joy that come from knowing that we (you, my family) are not that far away from seeing each other. Just know that I am enjoying the Mission. I absolutely love it and wouldn’t change anything for it. It is one of the best decisions I have made in my life and just look at how much we have been blessed. I will just keep working until the end. Keep praying for me, for my companion, for the Missionaries in my Zone, for my investigators, for my converts, and for all of the friends that I have made. Every prayer makes a difference. Thanks family for being my support and my inspiration. See ya soon…
Love, Coco

"I'M 21 - YEARS - OLD!!!"

September 6, 2010 -
My Beautiful Family!!!
How’s everything going??? Everything is going great down here. I’M 21-YEARS-OLD!!! Can you believe it? I feel so old…just kidding. I still feel like a little kid, and I love it. What did I do for my Birthday??? Hmmmm… The whole Zone came over in the morning to our house to pick up their clean clothes and they sang “Happy Birthday” to me, and I was surprised by getting egged as well… By egged, I mean get hugged by some of the Missionaries to distract me and then getting raw eggs crushed on my head. It was an experience. My shirt, my tie, my shoes, my pants were covered in goop from raw eggs. It was kind of gross, but at the same time, a fun experience. It is a Peruvian tradition that when someone has a Birthday, they get egged. The Saucedo Toledo Family (the two twin girls, their older brother, and their mom) threw me a small Birthday Party at their house in the early afternoon. It was a sweet moment to be with them. They are such a humble family. And of course, I had to eat pizza for my Birthday so we all ate Papa John’s Pizza as a Zone. It was delectable!!! I would say that it was a pretty good day. I sure hope we are going to celebrate it when I get home… Oh, I almost forgot the best part of the day…I got my package!!!...on my Birthday… It worked out perfect. Going to pick up the pizza, we passed by the Offices and my package was there… Today in the morning, I made Rice Crispie treats to share with the Zone… They are delicious. Thanks for thinking of me… Thanks for the box of treats… What a good idea: Starbursts and Skittles… I love them… And I love the music. It is so great to finally have my music back… Thanks for always taking care of me. Thanks for the special Birthday package. I really loved the fun hand-written letters… They made me laugh… I had a pretty good 21st Birthday!!!
We had two special Baptisms this weekend: My companion baptized Lady Brillith Canaza Cueva. She is a fifteen-year-old girl whose family has been less-active for a while. Her Grandma is the only active member and recently went to the Temple to take her Endowments out. We hope that Lady’s Baptism will activate her mom and family. Yesterday, I had the cool opportunity to baptize Giancarlo Miguel Begazo Navarro. He is such a cool kid. He is 19-years-old and actually was born in the Church to parents sealed in the Temple. He even received his baby blessing, but for trials that happened in his parents’ life he wasn’t active in the Church and never got baptized. His dad and sister attended his baptism. It was a really spiritual experience…
I love you family and will be talking to you next week. HAPPY BYU SEASON!!! I LOVE IT!!! GO COUGARS!!! Go have fun and be safe…
Love, Coco

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"I remember why I am out here..."

August 30, 2010 -

To Chaser -
You are going to have so much fun at College. Just be careful okay. Don't go off and do stupid things. Think of it as the High School Musical Summer, just a little bit more calmed down... Remember to sleep. Don't stay up all night, every night with your friends... Do your homework and don't procrastinate. And get all of the big projects done so that by the time I get home you won't have anything to do, and we can just hang out!!! WAHOO!!! I can't wait Bud...(Everywhere I go, I carry around the picture you drew of us three brothers sleeping together on Christmas Eve because that is what I am most looking forward to. I don't care if we are getting older, we can still be little kids inside. Christmas is the best time of the year!!! And everytime I pull out the picture, I remember why I am out here and it motivates me to just keep Enduring to the End... Thanks for the pictures... Send me more...)
I love you bud and can't wait to watch your performance of Hairspray... Just a little bit more...
Love, Colyn