Monday, June 6, 2016

This week was really exciting, and full of many ups and downs for me. 

On Tuesday we had a zone training meeting instead of our usual district meeting, and it sort of went horribly.
The Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders started the meeting off by telling us our zone had the least amount of new investigators in the mission this transfer, and that was unacceptable. And I'll be totally honest, after they said that there was no coming back. Everybody kinda checked out and didn't really care what else was being said because the whole meeting seemed to be focused on our key indicator numbers (which is the number of new investigators, lessons taught to investigators, or referrals received and contacted). It became a very frustrating meeting for everyone as we continually listened to how we need to be getting higher numbers, etc. 
When one sister expressed that she sometimes felt frustrated when they come home after working hard all day and they count their numbers and have all 0's. Even though they talked to lots of people, had lessons with less actives, did service for members or the community, it seems like nothing was accomplished with their day. 
This is something I think all missionaries have experienced before. The unfortunate answer our leaders gave this sister was to try and count other things that happen in the day, like the number of people contacted on the street, or how many pass along card they are able to pass out. At this point in the meeting I just wanted to scream STOP COUNTING! I so strongly believe that as missionaries, our job isn't about getting numbers. Yes, we have key indicators for a great and inspired purpose- BUT I believe they should never cause us to lose sight of the bigger picture. Our job as missionaries is to invite and help people come closer to our Savior Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father. And there are so many ways that we were able to do that that will never count as a number at the end of the day. 
Needless to say, we all left the meeting pretty upset and irritated. But after Sister Allard and I got home to have lunch we were able to talk about how we feel we are doing as servants of the Lord, and where we want our focus to be on. We set goals for placed to improve, and also swore we would never get to caught up in our numbers that we forget about the people they represent. I love missionary work. I love having this opportunity to help people find greater happiness in their lives. Helping and serving them in the way they need with always be a bigger priority to me than "helping and serving" them in the way that "counts."
While the meeting started out as a huge struggle for our zone it has been neat to be able to talk to most of them throughout the week in some way about how they feel about it, and all coming to the consensus that our job is to love the people we serve in the ways they stand in need of, and in the way the Savior would have loved and served them if He were here. So the moral of this rant is not that I am mad at my zone, or leaders- so try not to walk away thinking that- but rather, it is that I am here to teach, serve, and love people. Not numbers. And I am grateful to have really discovered that so early in my mission. 

On thursday we had a meeting with all the missionaries in the North about Ward Councils. It was an interesting meeting, and hopefully helpful to some missionaries, but all it really seemed to cover was what they were, and how we should be helping them. It was a great refresher, but was really basic information that I was able to figure out really quickly as we attended those meetings every other week. 

On Friday we had a really cool activity with the ward. It was called "Bring an Ancestor to Dinner." We had people sign up to attend, and then everyone was assigned to a different member's house to go to and have a nice meal, and basically talk about our ancestors and get people excited about doing family history! My parents sent me a lot of amazing stories I was able to share with everyone, and it was amazing to see how excited people got when they were telling about their families. 
After the dinner we were picked up by our Sister Training Leaders and went on exchanges again. I went to the Bow Valley ward with Sister Blaser, and Sister Allard stayed in 17th with Sister Trimble. But I was actually also with one more sister from the Arbor Lake ward. Her companion went home a week early for a friend's wedding, so she was assigned to be in a trio with the Bow Valley sisters until transfers this Thursday! So that was a SUPER different experience! It was really fun being with both sisters, they're both really cute and sweet girls I got along with really well, but just being in a group of 3 was pretty wonky. Whenever we were in a lesson I never really said much because the other sisters were really on the ball, and kinda fighting over who was going to talk next, and the direction the lesson would take. So I sat pretty quietly when we were with investigators or less actives. But I was able to really learn a lot from each of them. I think everyone teaches in such different styles so it's always neat to be able to see what works for other missionaries. 

On Sunday we had our regular fast and testimony meeting, and Andy bore his testimony for the first time!
It was a really exciting moment, but you could tell he was really unhappy with how it went because, like everyone else, he couldn't remember what he had planned to say until he sat back down. But we assured him of how well it went, and then after church Andy was able to take the sacrament to a brother who is home-bound right now.
After that we met up with Tina and her daughter Marina and went for the longest walk she has been able to go on since her crash! Every time we see her we go a little farther than before. It's' been nothing less than a miracle to watch her recovery come along so well. 

This week we took lots of pictures with the people we are teaching because transfers are this Thursday! 
We don't know what is going to happen with Sister Allard and I yet, but the odds are pretty high that she will be transferred somewhere else, and I will stay here and get a new companion. I am really devastated that she is probably leaving me. It's crazy how close you can get with someone after being around them literally 24/7 for 14 weeks. If she is transferred, we will have served together for 99 days. How incomplete is that! Gah! You all know how OCD I can be, and I am pretty upset we don't get one extra day... 
Anyway! Not the important part obviously. 
So I'll let you know how things end up next week!
We will be getting a call on Tuesday night and then if one of us is leaving that will be Thursday morning. I seriously wish we had more time than that, but it is what it is right?
President sent out an e-mail this week that talked all about charity and loving our companions no matter what- and that only makes me a little nervous for what's in store for me this week... 
But whatever happens I know it will be for the best! I love the Lord and I know He will always be my companion even as my companions here come and go. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week and are enjoying the beautiful summer vacation!
I love you!
Sister Dobyns

Gorgeous Hike with Tina Yesterday! 

The Michelsen's

Our humble Gospel Principles class

Sister Radwan (She's moving to Orem this month!)

George & Marnie

The Karnas Family

...When the camera fell off the railing

Kathryn and her daughter Emma Lee! 

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