Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Merry Christmas and a Happy Birthday too!

Well... This may have been one of the busiest weeks of my whole life!! 
Having a birthday 2 days before Christmas has never been convenient, but this year I think it was a little crazier than every other year of my life haha:) But it has been a really amazing week! We have truly seen many Christmas miracles! 

On Monday we got to go to a live nativity put on by the church every year. We met our investigator Alyssa there, and she had a really great time! And it was actually pretty warm out too! Afterwards we went to the church and got some hot chocolate, but there were a ton of ysa wards there for their fhe's too, so I got to see a lot of members from my last ward and that is always a blast:) 

This week we also drove out to a city in our area called Turner Valley, which I had never been too before! But turns out that it was way further away than I thought and it was a miracle we were able to find it since the sun had long gone down by the time we started leaving familiar territory! We met with a less active out there who was really sweet, and had the longest beard I have ever seen in person! He stroked it the whole time we were visiting with him! I thought it was a little funny:) But he was really nice and said we could come back whenever we were in turner valley again:) 

THEN! We had another miracle with a less active who we had been trying to contact for months! He was always just really flaky with setting up appointments, but then HE TEXT US! And asked if there was a time we could meet up! So we met up with him and brought 2 members of our elders quorum presidency Austin and Bryce, and it went SO great! He said he really wants to start coming back to church, and he really connected with the brothers we brought, and then he said that he would be at church on Sunday! AND THEN HE ACTUALLY CAME! Even though it was blizzarding outside and he lives 30 minutes away! It was an amazing miracle! And now we have an appointment to see him this week as well!:)

We met with another less active we have been trying to contact for a really long time this week too! We brought a sister in the ward who is preparing for a mission right now and again, we had an amazing lesson! He realized that he knew the brother of the member that we brought with us to the lesson and then went to church with them to the family ward this week since it was Christmas! And we are going to see him next week again when he gets home from his cabin:) 

AND! (The miracles just kept on rolling this week!!) 
We met with Sam, our recent convert, and invited him to bring his friend Henry to our lesson because he had brought him to church with him a few weeks ago and said he had really enjoyed it. So Sam agreed, and then showed up to the lesson with Henry AND another friend named Edi! So we got to teach all 3 of them! They had some great questions and it was even cooler to see Sam answer some of his friends concern by bearing his testimony. And both his friends agreed to meet with us and take the discussions! 

And just for good measure, one last miracle I'll share: 
We had a great day full of miracles and when we came home to plan for the next day we decided to call a random number in our phone that said Potential investigator next to it. Long story short, he answered, and agreed to meet with the sisters that are in his area up in the NW of Calgary. 

So just incase anyone is wondering if there really are people out there who are ready to be taught, and accept the gospel, the answer is YES! But I do know that it all happens in God's timing. And I am so grateful for an amazing companion who is so in tune with the spirit, and is so dedicated to the Lord. I know we have seen many miracles because of her amazing faith. 

Alright. So that was really just the beginning. . .

On Friday I turned 20 years old! Holy cow... I really can't believe it! But, it is true nonetheless. I woke up to all the sister in my apartment singing to me, and bringing me all my birthday packages and gifts! I opened them, and then they all ran and decorated our apartment with all the decorations my mom had included in my packages:) Then after our regular morning routine we had a lesson with Shaun who brought us Donairs to try for the first time! I thought it was pretty good, and they assured me that they are actually usually even better than the one I had gotten. 
Then we had a really sweet lesson with a less active we have met with pretty frequently over the phone! He had called because he was dealing with some really frustrating things. We talked him through some things and then bore our testimonies of our Savior and of His literal enabling power and how it can help him right now if he will choose to accept it. By the end of the lesson he read us some texts from the person that was causing some of the trauma and they had resolved things. It was so cool to realize that you can really "have a lesson" anywhere and any time. It didn't matter that it wasn't a traditional lesson setting. The spirit was there, and we were able to pray with him, and bear testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ. It was one of my favorite lessons I've ever had! :) 

Next we went to Costa Vida with a few of my absolute favorite sisters, and then we spent the rest of the evening making cookies, and writing christmas cards to some of our favorite members, and then we went NOEL CAROLING with some of the missionaries in our district:) (Yeah... That pun has been used a few too many times this season haha) One elder even beat boxed while we sang and it ended up sounds really really cool! :) 

Okay, Birthday check!
So Christmas Eve was a ridiculously crazy day!! We got to go to the baptism of one of the members in Sister Frandsen's last area. (Fun Fact: her last name was Mooreman haha) Sister Frandsen and Sister Blake sang an arrangement of He Sent His Son, and I accompanied them on the piano! 😬 But thankfully my lack of skills was made up for by their beautiful voices and it went really well:)
But Wait there's more!
After the baptism there was another family getting baptized from my old Shepard ward in that same stake! But before the baptisms, the parents had to get lawfully married! (They had been traditionally married back in Zimbabwe years ago) So they asked sister Blake and Sister Frandsen and I to perform some musical numbers in between the wedding and their baptisms while they were all changing into their suits!  SO! I got to play that same song for a second time with an additional song for sister Frandsen to sing, and Another song for Sister Blake to sing! I honestly thought I was going to die. But thankfully, Heavenly Father is so loving, and helped me to not detract from the spirit their voices brought too much. 
Then we spent the rest of the night at a members house with the family ward sisters as well and got to watch almost every missionary allowed movie they had! haha (because it wasn't a prosylting day). 

We woke up at 5:30 and opened all of our presents with the Hermanas we live with, and then drove straight out to Okotoks to have breakfast with a member and the family ward elders:) That was great, and then we left to go to church where 5 less actives came, AND one of our Potential Investigators!! 
After church we got to Skype our families! :) Which of course is the best Christmas present of all:) I was really happy to see eveyone and get to talk to them for a little bit. But I was even more grateful when afterwards I didn't feel homesick, but rather felt excited for the things that are going on in my mission, and knowing how much it blesses my family at home:) 
Then we had dinner with our bishop and his family, and they invited our 2 recent converts Tagen and Sam to join as well! So it turned out to be a really wonderful night! :) And we finished it off by going to bed early to make up a little bit for waking up so early:) 

Okay, and final story: Yesterday President Miles gave all the missionaries permission to watch an approved movie!! Hooray! So our whole zone got together and watched Finding Dory! And oh my goodness I LOVED IT! I miss movies and tv a lot haha so it was really fun to get all together and watch a really cute, funny movie together:) 

Okay, sorry I wrote a novel this week! But there is still so much I didn't even have time to include! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! And know that I love and miss you SO Much!   
Have a wonderful week! And thank you for all your letters, emails, and birthday & Christmas wishes!
Love, Sister Dobyns:) 

Birthday fun 

Noel Caroling out in the snow:) 

Traditional Christmas Pajamas on Christmas Eve! 

Merry Christmas! 

Skyping home to the Family:) <3 

Here are just a few more pictures from this week! :) 

Monday, December 19, 2016

How Can I Keep From Singing

Hey everyone!
What an exciting week! We have seen so many miracles and had so much fun! 

It was a week of Christmas Celebrations! 
On Friday we got to have our missionary Christmas devotional and lunch with a few of the zones in the city:) Which is always perfect for me, because that's where all the people I love are serving!! :) The devotional was amazing:) There were some musical numbers, and readings of the nativity in our mission languages (so Spanish, English, and Mandarin). And I got to participate in one the musical numbers!! :) That was such a tender mercy for me. I have felt a little sad the the lack of opportunities to share my testimony through song this year. Especially because I have been pampered for so many years to be in an amazing choir where we got to spend hours and hours and hours singing of christmas:) Anyway, we sang a beautiful arrangement of O Holy Night and I loved it so much (even though... of course my voice was ridiculously out of shape.... I'm trying to not dwell on how the actual performance went haha) 

THEN! There was a baptism in our stake on saturday, and the elder from that area asked me to sing an arrangement of I Stand All Amazed with him:) It was a really really cool arrangement, and again, I was SOOO Grateful for the opportunity to bear my testimony thought song:) 

I turned 10 months last week.. and will turn 20 years old this week.. That's pretty as hard to accept as it seems like it'd be... 

We had our Christmas Ward Party which was a great success! :) We got so many Less Actives to come out and mingle with the ward, so we were really really happy about that:) 

We had 2 exchanges back to back this week too! :P That was pretty rough. I was running around like a crazy person by the end, but we had a good time:) I went with SIster Griffiths from Pinecreek, and Hermana Call from the spanish branch:) They are both really really sweet sisters, so I had a great time learning from them:) 

It's pretty much been FREEZING lately! But then we woke up this morning to it being 30 degrees warmer than it's been... so I can't complain today! :) 

I hope you all have the most wonderful Christmas this week! And enjoy talking to your families/missionaries if that's applicable to you:) 
Stay safe!
Stay Warm!
And always remember the true reason for the season🌟🎄

This is the cutest little ice rink just right outside the library window! #Canadaperks

Missionary Christmas Devotional Lunch with all my favorite sisters!!! :D

My sweet sweet mission president and wife <3 President and Sister Miles #relationshipgoals 

Ward Christmas Party! Turned out so cute!! :) 

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Lord is Pleased but not Satisfied

What a wonderful time to be a missionary!

For starters, I'm happy to announce that Jimmy is DEAD! HOORAY! :D 
We have been stressing about that annoying little things for far too long!
But this morning we woke up to the greatest Christmas gift ever- Jimmy stuck in a trap. We are so happy that it is finally over!! :) 

So this week we had the awesome opportunity of having Elder Clayton of the 70 come and visit our mission:) He came to our MLC meeting, and then to our Zone conference as well! :) My favorite thing that he taught us was that the Lord is pleased, but not satisfied. I think that really sums up what I was trying to say last week! :) I have pondered on that sentence a lot this week, and talked with Sister Frandsen about what we can be doing to continue growing and getting better and doing even more to please the Lord. We are going to really give it everything we've got this week, and I know we are going to see amazing miracles as we do:) 

Being a missionary around Christmas time is my absolute favorite! :D Everyone is so kind and happy to talk to you even if they're not particularly interested. Even though we have been chilled to the bone as we've hit -35 degrees with wind chill this week, we keep trucking along! :) i have loved being able to share the Christmas initiative with everyone, and well as participate in it myself.
I have loved all the awesome service opportunities that we've been able to participate in! :) The other day we went to help out at a community center set up for a craft fair they were having over the weekend, and when we showed up they asked us to help people carry their boxes of stuff from their cars to their stations. We started helping immediately, but it was pretty obvious to everyone we weren't anticipating standing out in the 20 below all night. We got some of the best opportunities i've ever had during service to bring up the gospel and our christmas message! :) we even had a cute older lady give us free hand made scrunchies! haha!:D We wear them every night now:) 

This week we also got to go to the temple!!! :D Hooray! :D 
The Temple is always such a blessing. Wow. I got so much out of it this time around! Fun fact. This was only my 6th time going to the temple, and I have attended the Calgary Temple more than any other temple for endowments! I've been 3 times in Calgary, 2 times in the MTC, and 1 time at Timpanogas for my own endowment!  Kinda crazy to think about! I wish we could go more often than we do. it is always an amazing pump up for the next few weeks after attending:)
After the session was over Sister Frandsen and I were the last 2 people in the Celestial Room, and it was such a neat experience. We both felt like we received the answered to all our questions, and even more direction of what we can be doing in our area. 
I love my mission. I love Sister Frandsen, and I love the Lord. It has been a wonderful week , and I know the next 2 are going to be amazing as well as we prepare for Christmas! :)

I love you all, and hope you enjoy this random list of things that have been freezing this week!
Love, Sister Dobyns 

Fun List of my Frozen Life:
~ Leave your water bottle in the car during an appointment? Enjoy a the perfectly formed ice cubes formed while you were away...
~Have a runny nose? Just walk outside and it, and your nose hairs freeze on impact of the bitter cold.
~Need to write someone's information down to contact another time? I hope you brought a pencil, because all our ink is frozen!
~Everything is always tingling with pain as you walk out to the car
~You can still see your breath in the car for the first 10 minutes of driving
~When you breath in you have a perfect knowledge of where your lungs are located inside of your body because you can feel them freezing from the inside out 

Just some frantic selfies this week! 

Bumped into Sister Blake<3

TEMPLE DAY! -20 degrees! No patience for pictures:P

Monday, December 5, 2016

There's a mouse in my house.

Hello Hello! 
Yet another wonderful week in the Canada Calgary Mission! 

It's been getting pretty cold this week! I think tomorrow we are suppose to have a high of -19 degrees... so that's gunna be pretty fun!  The snow if finally sticking around, and I'm starting to feel like i'm actually in canada! :) 

On Monday some members of our ward brought one of their friends to fhe, and she had a really good time! She said that she is trying to make some new friends and hang out with a different crowd so Tagen and Spencer invited her out:) She kept saying how nice everyone was, and how things just felt different in our church! THEN! She when we were talking to her some more afterwards we were able to answer some of her questions about the church, and invited her to take the discussions and she said yes!! Hooray!! So we are Super excited about that! 
Sister Frandsen and I have made it a goal to pray to find those in this area who are prepared to hear the gospel in every prayer we say, and we are already seeing the blessings! :) 

We got a new Ward Mission Leader this week (Ben Smith). He's a really recently returned missionary and we're really excited to start working with him:) 
Both of the recent converts in our ward bore their testimonies yesterday!! And we are SOO happy about that:) One has been having some struggles lately with his testimony, but has been doing much better lately- and then the other gets really nervous in front of a lot of people, but she just really felt like it was time for her to share her testimony with everyone:) 

In our district meeting on Tuesday we talked about it means to be a successful missionary and how we can recognize that success in ourselves. My favorite thought was you can know that God is pleased with you when you can feel the spirit working within you. There have been moments when I really wonder if Heavenly Father is proud of me, or even just content with my service as His missionary- But I love that we can know God is pleased with us when we feel the spirit working within us:) I have really been able to notice that lately. And I want to work hard to keep that with me each day. When it comes to my mission right now, I just love it!! :) And I don't ever want it to end!!! I know this is the prime time of my mission, so I'm really focusing on giving it all that I can every day:) I want to give God all that I am and just have total trust in His support and timing. And I know as we do this, God will bless us for our efforts and intent:) 
But I also know that this applies to everyone! Not just missionaries! :)
We can know that our efforts are enough, and that our lives are in order with God's will as we have the spirit with us more consistently. I know that God loves each one of us, and wants us to be happy. That happiness comes as we learn about and apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our daily lives.

I hope everyone got the chance to watch the Christmas devotional last night! And if you didn't, I would strongly encourage you to find the time to watch it online in the upcoming week :) I loved the messages that were shared and hope we can all focus on their invitations to us all to remember the Christ is the reason for the season:) 

Over all it's been a great week!!! I love the Christmas season and the kindness that comes along with it:) 
I love you all, 
I am thinking about and praying for you this Christmas season! :)
Please stay safe and warm!! :)
Sister Dobyns:) 

Just some more weekly planning pictures... 

Exchanges with Sister Shaffer:) 

If you look freakishly closely you can see Jimmy. The mouse that is currently surviving off my food and warm home.
I really want to kill Jimmy this week. 

Trying not to freeze to death! :) 

Monday, November 28, 2016

It's the most wonderful time of the year! :D

What a week! 
It has been such a fun, and exhausting week!!! 

On Monday we got all together as a zone and had a bonfire with hot dogs and peach cobbler! Wow, it was such a fun time:) we just went to a park near our house, and all hung out in the freezing cold for a few hours:)
It was definitely one of my top pdays ever! :) 

Then on Tuesday we got together as a district before our district meeting and had breakfast together! We made crepes and everyone brought things to have with them, and it was a total blast! :) 

The reason why we did all of those fun things is because this week was transfers again!! Sister Halliday has been transferred down to Taber for her last 2 transfers in the mission. I'm so sad to see her go. I love her so so much, and am really disappointed we only got to be companions for a transfer:( 
But now I am with Sister Frandsen! Hooray! I love her a ton too! haha:)
We served around each other already when I was in the east, and were super tight, so when we found out we were going to be companions we both partied hard! :)
She is an amazing friend, and missionary and I know we are going to see so many miracles together! :D 

This week has been so cool because I have really just been able to see exactly how key the Savior is in literally everything we do. As Sister Frandsen met with people this weekend, it was amazing to see that Christ was the answer to every question, and every concern. I am so grateful for my Savior and for His perfect understanding of my life, and yours. And the love that He is ALWAYS offering to give us if we will only humble ourselves and accept His grace and mercy. 

Please remember. Whatever you are currently going through. Big or Small. Hard or Easy. Good or Bad. Please Please Remember that It all comes back to the Savior. It all comes back to Christ. I know that as we look for ways to remember Him, and use His Atonement in our lives every day we will see miracles in ourselves. Christ is the only way to happiness and peace. He is the only way to growth and progression. And He is the only way Home again. 

I want to invite each one of you to look up the Christmas Message the church released this week, and doing something about it each day. I am so grateful for this Christmas season when we are reminded of Christ so often, and all are striving to be a little more like Him. 

Please remember how much you are loved. and how infinitely important you are in the sight of God. Each one of you is an inspiration to me everyday of the person I hope to become. I have learned amazing things from each of your examples, and pray you will continue to be the beautiful light to the world that you are. 
Never give up hope. 
Never give up God. 
Pray to know what you can do to remember our Savior Jesus Christ just a little more, and a little better each day. 

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week and this most wonderful time of the year!

Sister Dobyns:) 

Sister Halliday at transfers! 

our Fun Bonfire:) 

The sweet sisters in my zone:) 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Transfers Already??

Oh man! I can't believe transfers are this week again!! Even though we had a 7 week transfer it still managed to fly by all too quickly!! I guess that is thanks to my amazing companion Sister Halliday making every day enjoyable:) We don't officially know anything about transfers yet, but odds are she's leaving me:( So I'm really bummed about that! I'm always so sad when It's time to leave a companion, But I have also really loved each new one I get, so I know whatever happens will work out:) 

So this week we had some really great lessons with our Investigator:) We talked out all of the concerns that he had last weekend on tuesday, and well, after all having a good cry together, he was excited to keep meeting with 
us! He was able to come to stake conference saturday night and sunday! President Miles spoke Saturdaynight and said some really amazing things I was glad he was able to hear! 

We had house inspections this week, which is always really... fun haha:) 

We also had 2 exchanges this week! I went with Hermana Amaller on wednesday, and with Sister Dewsnup on Friday! Those were both really fun! I'm really grateful to be an STL just so I can get to know so many really cute sisters:) 

Random tender mercy of the week- Our investigator signed up on our dinner calendar to feed us one night, and so we went with another sister of the Ward to Boston Pizza, and when we got there He said that he invited 2 more mormon friends of his. THen walked in 2 members of my Carburn park ward!! So I got to drill them on how all the people we were teaching are, and that was super awesome:) 

And last little blurb for the week: After Stake Conference yesterday we had another lesson with our investigator, and we invited a member of our ward who helped him resolve some of his concerns last weekend, and then also invited 2 elders from another ward who were are the church for the conference. That wasn't a very normal thing to do, but Sister Halliday felt like that who we needed to bring. 
Then as we discussed The Gospel of Jesus Christ, it was soo cool to see how things played out, and there were little things that each person that came added to the lesson. As we were preparing the lesson, SIster Halliday and I discussed not emphasizing baptism as much as we usually would this time because we felt he was getting a little frustrated by that. But then as we talked, and taught about the Gospel, the conversation just naturally flowed to a beautiful point where we had one of the best talks about baptism i've ever had! He didn't agree to baptism yet still, but we talked about some really good things that he is thinking about this week, and i'm excited to hear what he thinks about it this upcoming week:)

Things are going great here:) I love every day! I can't say that enough!  
Being a missionary is the greatest thing you could ever do! man, I love it!! !:) 

Thank you for all the love and support!
Have a wonderful week!
Sister Dobyns:) 
Exchanges with Sister Dewsnup! 

All the selfies with SIster Halliday:)

Exchanges with Hermana Amaller

Sister Halliday really enjoying her fruity pebbles from the states! (Thanks mom!) 

Pday at the Remmingtons! SO MUCH FUN! :) 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Give it all to Him

This was... one of the single hardest weeks of my mission. 
Now I don't mean to worry anyone, because things are going great now! And I can only tell you that 11 November 2016 was the hardest day of my mission because it's over now, and life is well. I have learned to trust God so much more than I have before this week. 
Okay, now just remember, I have had a very wonderful, cushy mission, so saying it was the worst day and week doesn't mean much in comparison to anyone else. I recognize, and am grateful that I haven't had many hardships in my mission yet. 

In retrospection, it wasn't all that bad of a week! :) 
We had our Zone training meetings which both went really well:) 
We were able to see 2 new less actives, and 2 more less actives that we have been trying to get a hold of since I got here! And we got our flu shots! :) 

So what made this week so difficult you may ask? 
Well, as it turned out, in a 72 hour time frame everyone we have been working with, or trying to work with either (1) Dropped us, (2) Cancelled all appointments with us, or (3) had some sort of major challenge, or trial occur that set them back a ton! 
Now this isn't actually the first time I've had a week like this on my mission. 
But for some reason, this week it was simply particularly hard to focus on the bright side, and keep moving forward. 
I have always been the missionary who doesn't let much get me down, and if it does, I don't stay down very long (I know, hard to believe for those who knew me pre-mission). But this week, for whatever reason, each person that walked away, or slammed the door, or gave up on the gospel felt so personal. And after blow, after blow, after blow, I felt like I had reached the bottom of pit that was slowly burying me alive. 
But like i said before- Things are going great now! Truly great. 
I am grateful for the lessons that I have learned earlier in my mission that I feel were preparation for this last week. Even in the midst of despair I knew that everything was going to work out. I knew that even though I didn't understand why so many bad things were happening all at once, I did know that Heavenly Father had a plan for me, and each one of the people we had been working with. 
I studied hard the Atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ and relied heavily on the comforting, and enabling power of it. I read over the talk Missionary Work and the Atonement by Elder Holland and took great comfort in his explanation of why missionary work can be so hard sometimes. 
After many heartfelt prayers, I was finally able to get past the slump I was in and rededicate myself to working hard and knowing that we would be led to the people that we are meant to be working with right now. 
It's amazing how quickly things turned around once I stopped letting myself dwell on how hard I thought things were. 
Surprisingly enough- Our investigator who had dropped us, came to church on Sunday and told us he would like to meet with us multiple times this week. A recent convert who had told us he needed to take time away from the church, also came to church, and even brought his nonmember friend with him. And we have been able to fill our very empty upcoming week with lots of positive appointments! 
In short, almost every thing that happened that I saw as a great trial or disappointment, has completely been turned around! 
I am grateful to have had the trails we did this week because like I said, I feel like I have learned so much from it. I'm especially grateful for Sister Halliday this week. She was such a blessing to me as she did her best to have enough faith and positivity for the both of us! 
It seems as though last week was just a little bit of test for me to see how I would handle everything falling apart, and then as soon as I was humble and willing enough to turn my heart and trust over to the Lord, everything resolved itself again. 
I know that is not usually the case with our trials, so I feel blessed things were able to get better so quickly:) 

I love my Savior, and my Father in Heaven. I am so grateful for their careful hand in all that goes on in my life. I love my mission, and am so happy with all the experiences I get to have here. and all the growth that comes along with it. 

i hope you all have a great week and really try to remember to turn everything over to the Lord. Take a step back, recognize where your own pride may be holding you back, and let it all go to the Savior. He will take care of you. I can promise you as His representative that your life WILL improve as you sincerely give it all to Him, and walk away. 
I love you!! And most importantly They love you even more!
-Sister Dobyns

(Sorry I forgot my camera again... I'll send pics next week I promise) 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Let the Holy Spirit Guide

Halloween was really fun! We all carved mini watermelons instead of pumpkins because they were all sold out by the time we got there, but it was a ton of fun! :) 
After p-day was over, we went back to our apartment because we didn't have a dinner and ate pizza with the hermanas and got to hang out the rest of the night:) It was pretty fun! :) 

On Tuesday we had interviews with our mission president which I always look forward to! :) I love President Miles and am astonished at how much he does for all of us in this mission! Later in the day we were doing some drop by's before our dinner appointment at 5:30, and as we were praying before knocking on the last door we had planned before heading to dinner I had this feeling that this was not where we were supposed to be. When Sister Halliday finished the prayer and she looked at me and said "I feel like you just got revelation." And I told her what I thought. She asked if we were in danger and I didn't think that was the case- I just knew there was somewhere else we were supposed to be. So we quickly ran and knocked on the door anyway, because I really wasn't sure what we should be doing instead, but no one answered. So we jumped back in the car and it was time to head to dinner. But as we started driving I started telling Sister Halliday to turn on certain streets, and next thing we know we were parked on a street and there were 4 houses on the other side of the street. I told Sister Halliday it was one of these 4 we needed to see right now. So we prayed again, and went and knocked the doors. The first 2 were very typical tracting experiences, One said they had their own church, and the other said they have mormon friends so if they're ever curious they'll talk to them. It was past 5:30 at that point and we were late for our dinner, but we knocked on the next door anyway. An English woman came to the door and we told her we were missionaries and asked about her religion and everything, and she told us they were brand new to the neighborhood and had just moved in yesterday! They belong to the Church of England, but that's not in Canada so they don't currently have a church. Then she said that she would be interested in learning what the differences were between her church and mormons, so we set up a time to come back and teach her!! We couldn't stop smiling from ear to ear after that! We went to our dinner after that, and they had been running behind anyway and pulled up to the restaurant at the same time as us!! 
That was such an amazing experience that I know I will remember for the rest of my life. I am so grateful for the amazing blessing of the spirit and the opportunity I have as a missionary to truly be led to the path that Christ would have walked. 

We went back later this week and were able to teach Her and her 15 year old daughter the first lesson, and they said they would read and pray!! We are SO excited for them! We are passing them off to the Family Ward Elders this week, and can't wait to hear all about their progress! Keep them in your prayers! (Nicola and Coran) 

On Wednesday I got to drive down to Lethbridge for our MLC meeting! That was really fun, but always reminds me how much I really really love the city and am grateful to be serving here haha:) 
THe meeting was really great and we will be doing our trainings on it in our zones tomorrow! :) 

Then on Friday we had exchanges with the Pinecreek Sisters which was super fun too! They are really sweet sisters so it was a really great day and I was able to learn a lot from their examples:) 

And on Saturday we got SUSHI! [as our "halloween package" haha]
And I also enjoy that more than I should:) 

All in all it's been an amazing week! Sadly, I'm our of time already, but I love you all hope you enjoy this upcoming week!

Sister Dobyns:) 



Halloween Night, Pizza with the Hermanas! 

Straightening H. Amaller's Hair! 

Weekly Planning on the porch! 

This is 1 example of what our meals are looking like nowadays #nutritionplan

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Happy Halloween:)

Well Happy Halloween everyone! It's pretty strange that Halloween is on monday this year, because that means it's pretty much like p-day all day today!! We have p-day until 5, and then we have dinner, and then we have to be in our apartments by 6! So it's feeling pretty strange knowing not a lot of missionary work will be done today...
But the Hermanas and Sister Halliday and I have some pretty fun plans for once we are back at our pad, so it should be a pretty good day! 

This week has been really exciting! 
Our "eternal investigator" that I've been talking about has been making some AMAZING progress! On Monday, we had a lesson with him and brought a sister from the ward who thinks the same way he does, and so she was able to help explain to him how she feels the Holy Ghost, and he thinks that he feels it in the same way! Then on Tuesday we had another lesson where he was able to recognize the Holy Ghost right there! It was so amazing! He started tearing up and it was so great:) 
Then later in the week he asked up when the next baptism is that he can go to, so we sent him a list of the upcoming baptisms and he said he thinks that he needs to go to all of them!!!! So we are really happy about that! 

On Tuesday we also had the funniest DTM meeting I've ever had! 
We finished our trainings, and then we usually do a role play at the end. And this week, in honor of Halloween, we all had to take turns putting on these random costume pieces, and then street contacting each other! It was so funny we were all laughing the entire time, but it actually proved to be really useful when you see someone on the street that seems a little different, we had the confidence to start talking to them when we may have normally passed them!

On Wednesday I went on my first exchange as an STL! I went with Sister Rasmussen [a sister I came out with and am super tight with already] in her area, and it was such a blast! Then on Friday I went on another exchange with Sister shaffer in her area too! I loved getting to know her better too! I actually knew Sister shaffer from my first area when I was sharing the car with her! 
Anywho, I loved going on exchanges, and I'm really excited about getting to continue getting to know the sisters better as i do! :) 

On thrusday we and the Hermanas decided that we are going to start waking up at 6:00am to work out! We came up with this crazy plan to wake up at 6, go for a short run, stretch a little, and then play what we call "get-jacked uno" haha! :) We wrote down different workouts on uno cards and we shuffle them up and do as many as we can before 7:00! So far it has been going really great! Turns out working out can be a lot more fun that I had been making it in the past! :) 

Then on Saturday Shelby had a halloween party at her house, so we helped her clean and decorate a little before everyone came over:) We had to take up pretty quick, but it was fun to see the first few people that came! I love the members of this ward! They are so fun, and are really already like family:) 

That's all for this week folks! I love you all dearly, and hope you have lots of fun and stay safe tonight:) 
<3/Sister Dobyns

Funniest role play of my life! 

Exchanges with Sister Rasmussen! Love her so much! 

Living with the Hermanas is my favorite thing in the world! 

Halloween party with some of my favorite members:) 
Sadly, this is the least-blury picture they took... 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Fun, Miracles, and NO TIME TO TELL YOU ABOUT IT!

well I only have 7 minutes left of my e-mailing time this week, so i'm pretty much going to word vomit on you as quickly as i can.... 

Things that happened this week: 
1- Tender Mercy of the year when one of my favorite members of my new ward came to fhe last monday wearing a HAMILTON t-shirt! Wow, nothing could bond 2 people quicker than that. Needless to say we sang all of the appropriate parts of Hamilton the rest of the night..  such a tender mercy!!!
2- I gave my first training as an stl, and it went okay... I'm grateful i will have more opportunities to do better though... we were really rushed for time so it didn't quite go the way we had planned but it was okay:) 
3- we have started tracting like crazy! before this area I had done maybe 10 hours of tracting total, but now... I've doubled that number in 1 week haha 
still not as much as a lot of people, but we're getting up there!
Sister Halliday and I just both felt prompted that there is someone who is prepared that we are meant to find, so we are going til we find them! (And probably still going even after that) 
4- our investigator shaun brought a nonmember friends to his lesson this week, and now she wants to hear the lessons aswell! So we're really excited about that! Even though she is out of our area so we passed her off to the brentwood sisters:) 
5- Emanuel from carburn park is finally getting baptized this week! haha lots of confusion and drama, but i'm excited for him:) 

it has been another great week, so i'm super pumped for everything that is yet to come! 

I love you all! Have a terrific week!
Love, Sister Dobyns! 

Sister Halliday cleaning up after me... She's a doll

Our fun apartment! 

Us at e-mails right now because i keep forgetting to take more pictures... 

Monday, October 17, 2016

It Finally Looks Like Canada!

WOW! What a week of miracles! 
First off, I LOVE this area! I love being in YSA still, and I really love all the amazing members of this ward:) I love my companion Sister Halliday, and I love all the missionaries in our zones! It is such a blessing to be where I am right now:) 

So last monday was Canadian Thanksgiving, so we got to go over for dinner at Shelby's house! (A sweet ysa sister we have been working with) It was so much fun! And they taught us how to make little turkey's out of candy! :) 

Tuesday night we had a really great miracle! It was 8:00pm and we didn't know what we should do with our last hour of the day because we didn't have any appointments- So we said a prayer, and then looked over the list of names we want to try and see that were in the area, and had 3 names stick out to us. We stopped by the first name, and found out the he has only been a member of the church for 2 years, and is less active now. But he was really nice, and set up a time for us to come back and visit with him! Then that took a lot longer than we thought, (And because we were out in okotoks, we had to drive for 30 minutes to get home) we didn't have time to see the other two people that stuck out to us. 
But we called the family ward missionaries that cover the guy were able to see to find out if they knew anything else about him, and also found out that those elders had been by the houses of the other two names that we had been impressed to see that night! It was so cool to just see that this really is God's work and we are all on the same team. I am so grateful that He leads us to where He knows we should be. It is never anything short of a miracle each time I recognize how involved He truly is in our every effort. 

On Thursday we got to have a lesson with our investigator Shaun. Shaun is Jewish, and has been taking the discussions from the missionaries for 8 years!! Crazy right?? He is an extremely intelligent guy, and literally knows more about the church than I do... So when we were preparing for his lesson I was really puzzled on what we could possibly share with him that has hasn't already heard a million times. He had asked to just read the Book of Mormon with us, because he finds that it is "a hard read." This coming from the man who could explain every passage in the Bible... So we read through the introduction and 1st chapter of 1 nephi with him, and explained/related them to him as we went. At the end of the lesson, Shaun said that his goal is to read the whole Book of Mormon (again) and then to "do the Moroni promise thing at the end." At that point I felt stronger than I ever have before to promise Shaun that if he will do that, he WILL receive the witness from the Holy Ghost that it is true in a way that we will recognize. He responded saying he didn't know if that will happen, to which I again felt so impressed to say "That's okay. I do." The spirit was so strong as I felt Heavenly Father's love for Shaun, and the importance of him coming to find the truth. 

The next mighty miracle we had this week was we were out in High River (Side note: we cover a part of Calgary sw, and then a bunch of stuff outside the city too. But the two main cities we visit outside of Calgary are Okotoks, and High River) for a dinner appointment, and yet again, the appointments we had set up out there fell through on us after we had dinner. But High River is a long ways away, and so we didn't want to just go home and put all those km's on or car for 1 member. So we called up the family ward missionaries again to ask if there were any ysa we should visit down there, and they gave us 3 names. The very first one we saw was named Denver. We just dropped by quick and met him, and set up a time to come back and get to know him better, and he said that we was planning on coming to the ward on sunday. And then he really did come! (That alone is a miracle because that almost never happens!) So we sat with him in Sunday School and got to know him a little more, afterwards, we had a member take him to priesthood. Then, as we were walking in to RS another member asked us how we got Denver to come today because he is "extremely less active." We had no idea! We were really excited after that for him coming to church, but then at the end of RS our ward missionary gave us our dinner calendar that they had passed around for us, and Denver signed up to have us over for dinner too!
We could not believe it! I have just been so amazed this week at the miracles big and small that are happening all around. I know that they have always been there, but I"m grateful my eyes have been much wider to all the amazing things Heavenly Father has got going on:) 

On Wednesday I got to go to my first MLC Meeting (Missionary Leadership Council). And that was pretty fun:) I got to meet a lot of other missionaries from around the mission:) And tomorrow I am going to do my first training as an STL, so wish me luck! :) 

So it was a really good week for me. I have been SO happy! The area transition has been so much easier than I thought it would, and Sister Halliday is so perfect and easy to get along and work with. I have nothing to worry about but the work! And that is going really amazing aswell, so I have a very grateful heart this week:) 

OH! One last miracle, was on Saturday we had another city-wide ysa event where everyone went and did service projects at the church across the parking lot from the temple! And then rotated through baptisms and endowment sessions at the same time. It was a lot of fun because I got to see tons of my friends from carburn park ysa again:) But on top of that, we had 2 investigators come! (One of which is new!) Shaun came, and we were able to have a really cool lesson in the very front waiting room of the temple, and he absolutely LOVED that! He didn't stop smiling the entire time he was there! Then we also got to talk to Nick, A recent Convert in the ward's younger brother. His sister was baptized a little over a year ago, and actually left on her mission the week before I changed wards- but Nick came and we got to talk with him in the temple waiting room for a little while too, and he asked to have a lesson with us some time this week!
So we are super excited to start teaching him. When we asked him about his experience with the church, and with his sister serving a mission and all, he said that he used to think that he sister was crazy, and there was no way it's real. But then he started praying and coming to activities some times and said that he can feel a difference here. And he feel calm. 

So as you can see, there are miracles all around because God is so good, and so loving. and there are so many more that I know are coming this week!

Today I hope you to know how much Christ loves you. He is always there for you through it all, and is just waiting for you to open your eyes to His infinite love and mercy. I hope you see all the beautiful miracles that are going on all around you this week! And I love you all and hope you have a great fall break! :)
Sister Dobyns

Thanksgiving with Shelby:) 

Got to See my Baby at the temple activity! :) 

Alex from Carburn Park YSA! 

It's beginning to look a lot like... CANADA!