Monday, March 14, 2016

What a wild week! 
So Sister Allard and I only get our car every other week. And we had the car the day I got to my new area, so I really had no idea how amazing it is when you have a car. It just seemed normal, and expected to me. But this last week.... I have truly learned to count my many blessings! Namely, OUR CAR! We have been taking the Bus/Train since last Tuesday morning, and don't get it again until tomorrow night after zone conference! 
So last tuesday, Sister Allard and I were going to go visit one of our less-active members that struggles with depression, but we didn't show up to her apartment until 2 hours after we had originally planned! So the struggle has been quite real as we try to navigate the bus system, and unfailingly get on the wrong bus almost every single time... So then we have to get off the bus, and we wait for a different bus to come that is going the other direction. But every time we have done that, we have to wait for about 30 minutes, and then the same bus that we had gotten off of pulls up, and the driver laughs at us as we awkwardly climb back onto their bus... Then after a few minutes we get back off, and just walk the rest of the way, which usually takes about 40 minutes to do... 
Anyway! It's been pretty nuts! Needless to say I can't wait until tomorrow night! 

Good news! I still love my companion! Haha so no need to worry mom! She is still the best companion and trainer I could have ever hoped for! Honestly, there is not a single thing that she does that could bother me... she is perfect. It's a little intimidating actually... But no, I love her so so much, and am grateful for her every single day! 
Also, mom will probably be glad to hear that the speed limits ("Maximums" in Canada) are SOOO slow! In a school zone, you drive the equivalent of 15 mph. Which doesn't seem too bad, but in Canada, or atleast my area, there are school zones EVERYWHERE! And they are longer distances, and they are from 7am to 9pm, instead of "when lights are flashing" 
So I can basically run as fast as we are usually driving... 
The fastest I have ever driven is equal to 60mph, so again, even on the fastest part of the freeway... life is slower here. And that's totally good as a missionary. We're never in a big hurry when we have the car, so all is well. Just letting you know that the roads are really safe here. Not to mention the Robo Cops... 
There are cameras on almost every street that can detect when you are going over the speed limit. They are always on, and they just snap a picture of your car, and license plate. You don't even know anything happened until you get a ticket in the mail one day for several hundreds of dollars. 
You learn not to ever speed really quickly after that! (That has never happened to me- But other missionaries have told me all about the horrors of that moment.) 

ESL is still great! I love getting to meet all sorts of new people there every week! We even had a woman from china, and her daughter come to sacrament meeting with us this week! So that is really cool! Unfortunetly she's not in our ward so we can't teach her, but I think the Elders that speak mandrain are looking into them! 

A LOT of our time as missionaries is spent just doing service. So we mostly just help people clean... We have basically done it all, and it's only been a week. I have helped clean, and set up a new apartment at a women's shelter; I have helped organize boxes in a horders home; I have vacuumed up bags and bags and bags of animal hair from a womans stairs; I have helped box up things for someone moving out of our ward; and we've done a lot of visiting people who just need a friend.  
It's been a really great experience. It's true what they say- When you serve someone, you really grow to love them very quickly! 

So this week has been a really amazing week for us! We have had a lot of problems, but have somehow made it out on top of everything anyway! I know that is because Heavenly Father knows how much we love him, and how hard we are trying to serve him with all our Hearts, Might, Mind, and Strength! 
Sister Allard has not felt too good this week. She has been getting migraines on and off  that just get worse until she lays down and sleeps for a while. 

That has left me with a lot of Personal Study time in our apartment. 
I have spent a lot of that time just reading the Book of Mormon again! I read 100 pages in just 2 days! So I have really been able to see how the stories really all flow together. I am trying to finish the whole book by Easter! So I will have read it in 15 days! The rest of my mission got the challenge to read the Book of Mormon by Easter back at Christmas, so this is my mad rush to join in on the challenge! So wish me luck! 

We have also had lessons with several of our investigators this week, and actually got a new investigator yesterday! I am REALLY excited about him, because he is my first investigator I have gotten to teach from the beginning! 
His name is Andy, he is 18yrs old, and is a senior in High School. 
His dad served a mission in Korea, and then went back to korea and married his mom. They moved to Canada before Andy was born, and were active members until he was about to turn 8 yrs old! He doesn't know or remember why, but they just stopped going to church. And now both his parents are living in korea again, and he's here living on his own! He doesn't remember really anything about the gospel, but he said that he remembers that he just used to feel happier, and better about life, and he wants that feeling back, so he thought he should try coming to church again!! So there is a boy in our ward who is also a senior in HS and (side track: he is going to be an AMAZING missionary! He is so natural about sharing the gospel, it's so incredible!) he invited him to come to our ward, and he came! This Sunday of all weeks! When you loose an hour of sleep! That is just one proof to me that he is really ready to hear this message! 
We originally thought that he had already been baptized because a member from our ward remembers his family from when they came to church, and remembered him being around 8 years old, but at one point, somebody asked him about when he was baptized, and how much of it he remembers and he said that he never was! So we got really excited about his interest in the church again.  He came to our Sunday School class that we go to, and after the class we set up a time to see him later that night! 
The first lesson went amazing! We talked about the plan of salvation because in Sunday School we were talking about the millennium, and he seemed pretty confused.. So we just focused on the Savior, His Atonement, and God's love and plan for us. He took it all in SO well, and we set up another time to meet with him this week! So hopefully the next lesson goes just as well!! :)

Oh! And the other day we were just going to drop by one of our investigators houses because the last time the sisters were there they didn't set up a return appointment for some reason... So we just popped by around 7:30pm, (Her name is Nadia, and she is from Haiti!) and she just let us come in! She has 4 kids. A 2yr old girl, 4yr old girl, 6yr old boy, and 8 yr old boy! 
When we walked in, the 2yr old was sitting in a little chair getting her hair braided into corn rows by a family friend. She was bawling at the top of her lungs. 
Sister Allard and I sat on the couch awkwardly for awhile and just watched the madness unfold. The 2 boys had been there at the door, but then left upstairs or something after we came in. The 4yr old had her hair done already, and was just running around, while we just sat and watched the poor 2 year old cry, and beg for her to stop. 
At one point, Nadia kinda started "singing" to her, to help her calm down, but she was having none of that! Then Sister Allard was like "Oh, Sister Dobyns is really good at singing!" And I just sat there awkwardly, and was like... uh... sure... not really... It was just a really weird thing and time to say that I thought. Nadia and her friend pretended to be interested by that for about half a second, and then turned their attention back to the girl. (They also spoke french, so all the kids names were french and I don't know how to spell them... ) 
After about 2 minutes, the thought just kept running through my head "sing! Sing to this girl to help calm her down!" I dismissed the thought because I felt like that would be really weird! I had never even met these people before tonight, I wasn't about to try and console her daughter - I felt like that would come across as me thinking I could help her daughter better than her or something. 
Then the scripture in D&C popped into my head about God giving us talents for the benefit of this children. 
That made me feel pretty bad, so I got up off the couch, and knelt down infront of the little girl. I took her hands, and just started singing really quietly. 
The friend scoffed at me, and told me that it wouldn't help, but I just kept looking at the little girl and singing. By the second verse of my smash hit "somewhere over the rainbow" she stopped crying, and was just staring at me with the most intense eyes. 
After that, I started singing primary songs, and church hymns. 
Nadia had the biggest smile on her face when I started singing Nearer my God to Thee. She said "I know this one!" And started singing along with me in french!
So the friend was able to finish her hair, and the girl was totally happy the rest of the night! 
We were able to show Nadia and her kids one of the really powerful videos about Christ, and end the night with her and her husband that came in later, promising to come to the broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing the Messiah on Easter! 
I am so grateful for the gifts that Heavenly Father has given each one of us. No matter what your gift is, I promise He will use it to help bless others. So don't think that you know better than He does. I know most of us think that for some crazy reason that WE'RE the exception. And our talents aren't really good enough to help someone. But you're wrong. No matter what it is. No matter how developed it is. And even if you aren't sure What it is. Heavenly Father will use it to bless the life of another one of His children. So don't shrug off a prompting when you get one. Be bold, and listen to what Heavenly Father is trying to tell you. I promise you that as you listen to , and ACT on the promptings you recieve, you will start to see the bigger picture. you will understand your role in Heavenly Father's plan. And you will become more comfortable doing anything and everything He asks you to do. 

I love you all, and think about you every single day!
I hope you all have a wonderful week, full of acting on the promptings you receive, no matter how little, big, strange, or random they may seem. 

Sister Dobyns

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This is Nadia's 2yr old before they finished her hair! 

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Taking the Train to the far reaches of Bow Valley!

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The most intense Planning session in Missionary History! 

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This is when we had been walking around in circles for 40 minutes... 

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Waiting for our first bus ride! (The smiles of innocence..)

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