Monday, February 1, 2016

Tempe Transfer

Mom and Dad,

Thank you for praying for me. I was moved to Tempe on Saturday night, someone went home and so they needed a new companion. Also Elder Wessman couldn't handle being a trainer, so President decided to send me here.

I'm with Elder Cahoon now, he is from Boston. He is a nice guy, and I'm catching up on my training, I will probably be here next transfer as well. We are in Tempe in an area called Guadalupe, it's the South West part of the city. 

I got the packages you seen me, thank you very much! I will put them to good use. The probiotics were what I need more of! I'll be good on salmon oil though, I found 2 more bottles in my suit case, and I found the D3 spray bottle and the B12.

Sorry to hear you are ill mom, I'll be praying for you. Keep taking care of your body and praying! How is your exercising going? You eating healthy?

Yeah I'm sure Elder Vincent Will appreciate that. Last I heard he was doing ok.

The guy you sent a card to was my friend Justin. I played games with him on the computer a lot. He lives in Massachusetts.

A Sister missionary broke her back last P-Day. Not sure where she was in the mission, I think they were playing tag or something, and she climbed up on a play structure and fell off. She is fine though, not paralyzed or anything, just from what I heard she was in a lot of pain. They performed surgery, sent her home, she will be going through physical therapy and plans on coming back out in 2 months. You should pray for her, that she gets better. District, and Zone P-Days are banned now. No more basketball, sports, dunes, etc. hopefully this is only temporary though.

Sounds like Dustin and Teresa had a cool trip! I miss Kona sounds like you too are having a fun time! It sucks down here, we have lots of stray animals around even in Tempe, can't do anything. I think I care about the animals here more than the people. I might try and volunteer at a humane society, but when I asked for permission to volunteer at that Therapeutic Horse farm in Yuma the APs shot it down because we would be working around animals. I never realized how coddled the missions are! Was Nate's like that? I heard about all the snow the east got, pretty crazy. I would be disappointed to if I were Dustin! Got a bike and you don't even get to use it! I miss the snow a lot, the weather is boring here. Today actually reminded me of Michigan though, cloudy and gloomy. I don't really care for Arizona haha, definitely don't want to live here.

Yeah God will help you with your school work definitely, just do your best and have Faith God, He will help you make up the rest. If you do that and still fail, maybe you weren't supposed to pass. I will continue to pray for you that school goes well. You should watch the 'Will of God' Mormon Message, it's one of my favorites.

I like living in an apartment with just me and my companion a lot better. It's way less annoying.

Love you! I know Gods watching out for you Mom, keep praying and doing your best, everything will work out!

Elder Colligridge

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Farewell Elder Collingridge

November 29, 2015

Elder Collingridge - Farewell Talk

I was reminiscing about some of my experiences from scouting the other day and I remembered a certain experience I would like to share with you. A couple years ago as we were traveling by car to a campsite I found myself in a deep sleep, well as deep a sleep as you can have while you have your friends sitting on either side of you, poking you, messing with you, and taking selfies with you asleep. Only to be shook awake by my friends I was sitting next to in very excited voices “Griffin! We just hit a deer!” As I was still half asleep and groggy my first response was one of irritation and disbelief. But as I opened my eyes and looked through the front windshield I saw the hood of the car dented up and the steam seeping through the cracks, and as I looked behind me through the rear window I saw a deer carcass laying in the road about 100ft from our car. Being the adolescents we were we proceeded to exit the vehicle to inspect the deer. This experience I had kind of reminds me of a story of Christ.

On one particular journey to Galilee, after Christ had taught multitudes on the shore of the Sea Of Galilee, he beckoned his disciples on a small vessel and they departed across the lake. In the middle of their short journey a great tempest suddenly arose, winds started raging, waves thrashed on their small vessel. I can only imagine the look of horror on the apostles faces as their ship started to fill with water from the rough waves, and then the jaw dropping surprise as they looked to the back of the ship to see the Savior peacefully asleep.

Mathew 8: 23-24 describes it as such: “ And when he[Christ] was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.”

The Apostles then proceeded to awake The Savior saying “Master carest not that we perish?” Christ then responds in verse 26 & 27: “And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marveled saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”

I think there are two essential lessons we can learn from Christ in this story. The first is about having faith when the trials in our lives seem to over burden us, and the attitude we should have when confronted by these tempests. 

If you think back to these stories of the car I was in that hit a deer, and the Savior calming the tempest, probably the only thing that is similar is that Christ and I were both asleep through these otherwise slightly annoying, terrifying, and tense situations. So when I first read this story I immediately thought “Sleeping through trials? This is second nature to me, just ask my old Seminary Teachers!”

For those of you who don’t know, Seminary is a morning class high school age students attend before school at around 6:15 in the morning, and we would basically cover a book of scripture each year of high school, so one year was the old testament, the next was the new testament, then the Book of Mormon etc., Unfortunately, I developed a bad habit of sleeping in class, and it probably didn’t help that I brought my own pillow…

Anyways, as I further pondered this scripture and my own experience I realized it wasn’t so much important that we were asleep, but for the distinct differences in the reasons for our slumber. Where as mine was based more off of a ignorance to my surroundings, Christ’s was based off of faith, comfort, and peace. 

Christ once said “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” He was not spared grief, pain, or anguish. His suffering and atonement in the Garden of Gethsemane, followed by his crucifixion are obvious examples of this. But no matter how fierce the tempest, peace was always on the lips and in the heart of our Savior.

I think we have all had an occasion where we have cried out “Master, Carest not that we perish?” We must approach our trials with the attitude of our Savior. Far too often it is easy to try to be ignorant of our trials, pretend that they don’t exist, to in a sense “sleep through them” like in my experience. It is also easy to feel over burdened, to be overcome by our trials, to lose hope and let depression and anxiety into our lives. We must look onward with an eternal perspective, and with faith, that no matter how fierce the tempest, peace may always be on our lips, and in our hearts.

The second lesson we can learn from this story is the fact that Christ used his faith, and abilities to bring peace into the lives of the other passengers who had started to lose their faith and hope. 

As disciples of Jesus Christ we are covenanted and obligated to do the same for our fellow man. The prophet Alma described this promise we made when he taught and prepared a large crowd to be baptized. He said:

“As ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;”
“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God,”

We have the honor, and privilege of being comforters to our fellow man.  I would like to share a short story, the author is unknown, but the message they share articulates this point.

“Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.
Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.
Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it. In his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.
Days and weeks passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.
He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.
It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window
The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.
She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

Being crippled, bed ridden and seriously ill, the man in this story has every excuse to give up his will to live, and let depression into his life. But the man by the window does not let him! He reminds him of the joyful things, worth living for. Although the man could not see the things described to him, he could feel it in his mind and in his heart, the joy and warmth they created. This reminder gave the man something to live for, and encouraged him to improve.

We need more of this. We live in a time prophesied to have great calamity, and destruction on our world. We see people's lives afflicted, from death of loved ones, divorce, persecution, disabilities, addictions, illness & injuries.

We must minister to those who are weak and fearful in their hearts. We can help ease other burdens best as we help God strengthen them. We must remind our fellow man of their identity and purpose as sons and daughters of a loving God.  We must mourn with those that mourn, and comfort those in need of comfort.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Yuma, Arizona

January 04, 2016 

My kitchen before I cleaned it.  They had 7 Elders living in the house before I got there, and they didn't clean anything before they left.  The dishes must have been sitting in there for a week, since I had to wait until P-day to clean. The smell was bad. Wish I had an after picture since it smells and looks a lot better.  The dishes still smell slightly like mold, any suggestions to get rid of that?  I was thinking of soaking them in bleach, and just cleaning the ones I'm gonna use.

Elder Collingridge's Mission to Clean Dishes
January 11, 2016

Mom & Dad,

Thank you for thinking about me. All I can say is God did not send me
here to enjoy myself...Not only is the work tedious but it is just
kind of terrible a lot of the time.

I am trying to eat healthy but the store we shop at is Walmart and
their food selection is definitely frustrating. I usually eat PB&J's,
Honey Bunches of Oats cereal, Horizon organic milk, the protein
stuff you sent with me which is a life savor, ramen noodles, or
Aidell's sausages which is the kind we eat at home, I was pleasantly
surprised Walmart had them.

Please send healthy snacks if you can. Thanks for trying to find a
farmer, I'll look into it, but honestly the only time I can use to
shop is on Mondays and we share a car with another companionship, so
we usually only do things the 4 of us agree on, and they don't want to
waste it going there when they can just shop at Walmart.

I wish we could go during the week, but we devote our whole days to
proselytize and teaching people...The only problem is it doesn't feel
like we use every hour of our day.

Apparently some new training took place, and they don't want Elders
tracting anymore, ever. They want us focusing on trying to get member
referrals, and planning lessons. Which would work if we could pack our
whole days with lessons. The problem is you need a lot of committed
investigators to do that. We have a lot of investigators, we have 5
people on date to be baptized, which is supposedly a lot, but we only
meet once a week max, which if you add up the time total we meet with
them every week, it's probably not more than 5 hours.

The rest of our investigators not on date are really flaky, or we
don't meet every week. Anyways it feels like we waste at least a
couple hours total at the church each day just waiting for our next
lesson. And since we can't use this time for personal business we just
wait...It's really boring, and I would use this time to plan for
lessons but planning time is already factored into our schedule, not
to mention the better you get at teaching the less time you need to

Boredom is getting to me...we have only biked once, even though we
share a car. For some reason my companion thinks a 20min bike ride to
an appointment is way too far away...I dunno maybe he doesn't like
biking. Don't get me wrong though, he's a great missionary, and is
trying his best to teach me and I'm trying my hardest to learn and get
along. But I would rather bike to an appointment than wait at the
church for 30 minutes for the other Elders to give us a ride. He also
isn't a morning person and won't go running with me, and usually
sleeps for his exercise time or talks to the other elders. Other than
that he is a cool guy and we get along well enough and teach good
together. I haven't had a companion I have really clicked with yet.

I found a pull up bar here and use that. I also do sits ups and push
ups and am trying to stay in shape. It's difficult though because the
members expect you to eat so much.

It's kind of depressing what some of these people eat for dinner. We
live right next to fresh fields of lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, and
dates...But when we arrive for meals we see people opening cans of
some vegetable substance and sticking it in the microwave right before
we eat. I usually try to eat slow, so they don't invite me to go for

It is a really cultured place though, there are lots of Native
American tribes like the Cocopah and Navajo influence in the area.
Plus the Hispanic influence. The best meals we have had have been with
Hispanic families, and I have no problem stuffing myself full! Thank
goodness for them!

Fun fact, Cocopah believe in 3 different tiers of heaven after we
die...They just call it different names from what we do.

I met a lot of missionaries going to foreign places at the MTC, like
Pacific Islands, Europe, Africa and Asia.  I emailed Arthur in
Paraguay. Foreign missionaries don't get the luxuries that we have on 

their mission like iPads, phones, meals at members houses, cars, nice housing... 
If it was God's will though I would honestly switch places. The things we
have are convenient and cool I guess, but I don't need them to do the
work, and I kind of wish I had the challenge to cope in life without
these things. I try not to be jealous and focus though.

I pray to God everyday that I'm grateful he is letting me serve, and I
try to make the most of it. Maybe a foreign mission would have been too
fun and too easy for me? Maybe that's why he sent me here, to prepare
me for real life...

We went to the Sand dunes today, they were about a half an hour out of
Yuma in California. They shot Star Wars somewhere out there. They are
big dunes - a lot bigger than Lake Michigan dunes.

I have been missing Michigan a lot since I got here, I checked your
weather the other day and saw it felt like 3 degrees out with the
wind, pretty cold. It's been warm here but a bit rainy.

How is everything else going at home? Hope school and work is going
good for you Mom and Dad. Mom, I wish I was there to help give you a blessing
with Dad. I was able to give another man a blessing last week. I
felt good giving him the blessing, but he is still in a lot of pain. I
blessed him that the doctors would be able to find a way to subdue his
pain from his back, and that as he grew closer to God through prayer
and keeping commandments that that would help as well.

I feel for the people in Yuma though. It seems like most of our
investigators, and a lot of people we meet are disabled in some way,
addicted to something, or just aren't motivated to work or improve
their well being. Sometimes I wonder if they know life can be a lot
better, but I guess that is my job to show them that through the
Gospel of Jesus Christ they can be a lot happier.

I got my pants ok thank you they fit fine!

I love you all and pray you're safe. Let me know if you need anything!

January 11, 2016 

Crockpot and blender wouldn't help that much - Thanks for thinking of me though. Please do not send me any food that needs to be refrigerated. Our fridge is disgusting and there is no room to store food. I can barely fit my Milk and Jam in there.

The Elders who were transferred from this area left all their food behind, and no one thought to throw it out so it's rotting in there. It's also really disgusting and needs to be bleached and wipe out.
I recommended to the other Elders we clean it out, but they don't mind how it is...On top of that we barely have time to do it on PDay, and our kitchen countertops are gross again and our sink is filled with dishes again. 

These guys don't clean up after themselves. It seems like whenever I try to use a kitchen pan I am cleaning out someone's crusty eggs from the day before.  On top of that our room needs to be vacuumed and it's probably been several weeks since it's been done, IF it's been done...Our floors need to be properly swept and mopped, Elder Wessmen did it last week but he didn't do it right because I could feel dirt still sticking to my feet as I walked around. 

Guess you didn't have to wait for me to have kids before I knew what it felt like to have people not listen to you about living in a clean area. But to be honest, this isn't even comparable to the messes I made at home.

I am exponentially more grateful for how you raised us Mom. I don't know how they live like this, especially when it's in our power to have a clean living area.

Love you, pray for me I don't go cray.

Yuma, Arizona

Yuma, Arizona

January 04, 2016

Mom and Dad,

Glad to hear you are both doing well!

Tell Brother Duckworth he is in my prayers and I hope he gets better! Glad to hear you are all staying strong and appreciating the blessings we have! I love you all and miss you a lot!

Didn't get a chance to call anyone else at the airport I let other missionaries call and it took up most of the time. I would like to say hi to my brothers though, would you mind sending me their emails? Also I need ideas for easy meals I can make.

We stayed at the mission home Tuesday, and Wednesday. It was awesome, President Toone and his wife are cool. They took us to the Mesa Temple, which is one of my favorite temples now. Thursday we got transferred to our first area.

I'm in Yuma, Arizona, and it is jokingly referred to as the Edge of the World.  Since we are right next to the boarder. I share a house with my trainer Elder Wessman, and another companionship Elder Watt, and Elder Keetch. They are all great guys.

When I got here the kitchen was filthy. But I cleaned it up good this morning, and hopefully, I can convince the others to keep it clean...The dishes were sitting in the sink for a while and after I washed them they still smelled moldy, and I might try buying my own if I can't get them to smell clean. Should I try soaking them in a bleach water mix?

I need a pair of slacks for wearing. Could you send me one? Black, would be best. President Toone wants them to be able to hold a crease, like suit pants, and be made out of a good material. I am definitely a 34 now...We have a pull up bar here so don't worry about sending one

Yuma is a pretty crazy place! We went to see an investigator the other night and accidentally knocked on the wrong house. A man answered while he has holding a gun in his hand... I'm not sure if he was expecting us to get scared or run, but I don't think my brain registered he had a gun and I said in my perkiest missionary voice "Hi we are missionaries fro..." He slammed the door on us and we preceded on to find the investigator's house we were looking for. We found him and had an awesome talk with him and he said he would call us and schedule an appointment!

On Thursday the first day we got here we were able to commit someone to be baptized, and yesterday I gave someone a blessing. 

We also had dinner with the Patriarch in the are! He has his own citrus orchard, with grapefruit, tangelo, and oranges! They are all in season and he just picked a bunch so, He gave us a bag full which was a huge blessing since we couldn't go shopping for breakfast yet so I just ate those! God's work is going strong! Have 6 investigators on date for baptism... They have a long ways to go, but they know it's worth it and we are here to help them!

Love you! Good luck with school mom, and good luck with work Dad! I'll be keeping you all in my prayers!

Elder Collingridge

Elder Wessman and Elder Collingridge - Yuma, Arizona

Elder Griffin Collingridge - Yuma, Arizona

January 11, 2016

Hi Mom,

I'm doing good! This week was a bit better, sounds like a great sacrament meeting you had!
I messaged Guss and he told me about him getting the Priesthood! It's pretty cool, I'm happy for him! That's very inspired what Bishop Mitton talked about - I gave a talk about service on Sunday, too. I told the story of Dad giving service to the Crowley's by building that ramp. I thought it went pretty good!

Glad you're there to help Stefani - she's lucky to have a friend like you. It's good to hear from you, thank you for keeping me in your prayers. I love you and am praying for you all as Well!

Love you!

Elder Collingridge

Safely Arrived in Arizona

December 29, 2015

We are so pleased to have Elder Collingridge serving in the Arizona Tempe Mission. Monday is Preparation Day at which time he will let you know his mailing address, the zone and district to which he is assigned, and the name of his Trainer.

As we met with Elder Collingridge we stressed the principles of obedience, hard work and worthiness.  This mission holds great potential for each missionary assigned.  The members are strong and love these great Elders and Sisters.  You can be assured they, and we, will do all possible to watch over your son.  It is a very special responsibility we feel toward our missionaries.  We want to see them enjoy a happy and successful mission.

Our missionaries have permission to Skype or telephone their families twice per year: on Mothers’ Day and at Christmas.  If you need to get a message to your son, or if you have any questions, please call us directly (480-838-0659).  We do want the missionaries to receive letters and e-mails from home on a regular basis, encouraging them in their proselyting efforts.

Thank you for raising a son who has a desire to serve the Lord.

Sincerely yours,
Toone Signature Samples cropped
President James L. Toone

Elder Collingridge, President and Sister Toone

MTC Days

December 26, 2015


The food is pretty good here, they try and serve something for everyone. In the morning I usually eat a bagel with cream cheese, or oatmeal. They have a bar where you can make you're own chicken wraps, and put lots of good vegetables in and stuff, I usually have that for lunch. They usually serve burger and fries, or something like that every meal, but I avoid it. They have nice soups and salads for dinner too.

Can't wait for my package, I appreciate it. Say hi to Elizabeth, and Guss for me.

Love you! Write to you next week!


Elder Vincent, Elder McCracken, Elder Changchum, Elder Watt, Elder Collingridge, Elder Lui
Elder Watt, Elder Vincent, Brother Griffiths, Elder Lui, Elder Collingridge, Elder Changchum

December 19, 2015

Love you and wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Let the family know I love them, and am praying for them all!
I will be able to call 4pm on christmas mountain time.
Apparently an Apostle will probably speak to us Christmas Eve, so i'll let you know how that goes! I'm excited, hope they do a meet and greet.

Love you all!

December 12, 2015

They are letting me write a short message to you as a special exception. My P-Day is Saturday so expect a message then! I'm doing well I really like the MTC. I'm adjusting to missionary life well, is hard but I really love it. I share a room with 6 Elders including me, they are all really great people. My companion is Elder Vincent hes a nice guy.

This is he closest I have ever felt to God, and my purpose as a missionary is becoming more clear to me every day we study. We are doing classes and exercises everyday that teach us how to help others come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel, through Repentance, Baptism, and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. 

Try not to send me any big packages until I am in the field in Arizona. I love you all very much! Remember me in your prayers and I will be remembering you!

Love you!

Elder Collingridge
Elder Vincent, Elder Watt, Elder Lui, Elder Collingridge, Elder Changchum
Back - Elder Changchum, Front - Elder Vincent, Elder Lui, Elder Collingridge, Elder Watt and Elder Lewis