Monday, July 25, 2016

HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIIIIIIDE.....(of Calgary)

Hello folks!
I have been transferred to the other side of Calgary! I was in the west for the last 5 months, and now I will spend at least the next 3 month in the South East side! East Calgary is kind of known as the "ghetto" part of the mission, so I was a little shocked to find out this is where I'll be training my new companion Sister Ence! The good news is that she is absolutely adorable!! She's from Utah, and was at snow college for a year before coming out. She is a complete natural at sharing the gospel! Honestly! I feel like she is training me, rather than the other way around! I feel soo blessed to be able to be her companion and learn from her everyday:) 

Backing up a little bit, Last Monday my zone went to the Olympic park to go luging! That was a total blast! It was just like being back in Park City! We loved it!
Then on Tuesday we had our last District Meeting where Sister Blake and I performed a song we wrote about our zone to the Cup Song which was super fun! I'm going to miss singing with Sister Blake all the time! She is so talented it blows my mind! 

Then on Wednesday morning we all got together as a zone and had a zone breakfast and signed each other's bye-bye books, and that was really fun:) 
I actually found out that 2 other missionaries from my last zone will be in my new zone too! So the 3 of us are sticking together! Sister Earnhardt, my Sister Training Leader, and Elder Harris, a pretty quite, yet hilarious elder:) ALSO! Sister Atkinson (My MTC companion) is in my new zone! So we will get to hang out with each other again this transfer! 

Anywho! This has been a pretty slow first couple of days just like you'd expect it to be purging in. We've been doing our best getting a hold of everyone, but our Ward Mission Leader just moved to a different ward, and most of our bishopric is out of town, as well as our Elders Quorum President. So it's been a little tough filling all of the hours in the day. But because we both want to do everything we can to pick up this area and show the lord our diligence so we have spent a lot of time street contacting, and tracting! 
Fun Fact: We are in a YSA ward so we cover the entire Stake! That means, we will never run out of houses to knock on! haha! :) 
But yeah! Sister Ence is AMAZING! :)  She bears powerful testimony of Christ at every opportunity, and has the most amazing cheerful attitude despite the first few strange days she's had as a missionary. 
We are excited for things to settle down and our ward to come back to Calgary so we can meet them and start working with them. And until then we are doing everything we can to find our own work! 

I hope you all are having a great summer and are getting way more tan than I am! 
Always remember how much I love you!
Love, 
Sister Dobyns:) 
5 Months old! :) 

#Westisbest! I'm going to miss these wonderful people!!! 

MY BABY!!!! Sister Ence! (her personality is even cuter than she is if that's even possible!)


Saying goodbye to my best friend! I 💛 Sister Blake!!! 

Monday, July 18, 2016

5 Months Old and Pregnant!
Okay clarification because I realize that could be a very poorly interpreted title... 
In "Mission Lingo" Pregnant means that you will be training a new missionary! And then when you are together, they are your "baby." SO! Yes! I am going to be a mission mom! 
Last Wednesday President Miles called me on the phone and told me he had 2 new assignments for me this transfer. 1- To train a new missionary and 2- To do it in a new area! I was caught a little off guard by both of these things, but of course happily accepted the assignment.:) I have since spent a lot of time on my knees praying for extra strength to be able to be the best missionary I can be, especially as I help train a new missionary. 
To tell you the truth, I am completely terrified of training a new missionary in an area I have never been in! I am supposed to be the one that has all the answers to all the questions she will have, and am suppose to know what we should be doing everyday, but I still don't even know WHERE I'm going! let alone anything about it, or the people there! But I know that this will be an amazing opportunity for me to truly learn to rely on the Lord and strive to follow the promptings of the spirit in everything I do. While I am super nervous, I am more excited than anything. I know Heavenly Father sees the potential in me and my new companion to be able to accomplish miracles together, so I am just putting my confidence in Him, and trying to forget myself in it all.

Besides that huge announcement, It was a pretty boring week:P It's been storming like crazy up here, which seems to put everyone in a "I'd-rather-watch-a-movie" kind of mood... But we made the most of it! 
Last P-day one of the YSA sisters members came to the Stake Center and brought their puppy! Between my family getting a new puppy last week and several other members in our ward getting puppies or talking about puppies, I felt really puppy-sick! As in, I just wanted to hold him for the rest of my life. I have decided that the mission should have a dozen or so "therapy puppies" and whenever missionaries are having a bum week, they can come and play with a puppy for an hour. I think that would solve a lot of anxieties out here:) 
We also played glow in the dark volleyball, which was really awesome! We all wore glowsticks everywhere, and then had a glow in the dark ball, so it was super fun! :) Sadly it didn't photography very well though, so i don't have any pictures:( 

On Sunday Sister Blake and I got to sing in church! That was really fun as always. We're pretty sad we're leaving each other so quickly though because that was the only musical number we were able to do together. But what can you do? :) Yesterday was also my 5 month mark! It scares me every month to see how quick my mission is flying. 
My mission has been such a blessing for me. I have learned so much, and been filled with so much gratitude for all of the amazing blessings I have in my life right now. 
I love Sister Blake. When I first started this transfer I had this overwhelming feeling that Sister Blake and I were just the left over missionaries that got stuck together because there wasn't anyone else for us. As we struggled the first week to try and understand each other, it really felt like it was me against the world. It seemed like nobody thought that we would be able to succeed together. 
My mission president call us one night to check in on us and our area, I thought it was because he was afraid that we might have already lost it by then, and were calling to see how bad the damage was. I could not fathom the fact that we had been put together by inspiration. I understand now that I could not have been more wrong. 
I love Sister Blake. Truly love her. And not just a grin-and-bear-it kind of love. I have been blessed with genuine, Christ-like love for her and all that she does. 
This transfer I decided to work on Charity as my Christ-like attribute. 
I know that I am a tough person to love. I have a lot of really rough edges, and make a lot of annoying mistakes on a highly frequent basis. But despite knowing that, I have always had a sense of entitlement where I have thought people should still be good to ME. Nice to ME. Because they don't have any idea how much I am trying to do better, and should assume I'm doing everything I can. Then if people don't treat me the way I feel like they should, I don't treat them as well as I know I should. I don't turn the other cheek, I sink to the level I think they are at. I have always known that this was wrong, and I should still try to do what Christ would do, but because I could never get over the feeling of 'that's not fair,' and so I would make the wrong choice anyway.
Unfortunately, it has taken me far too long to come to a sense of humility, love, and understanding. 
But these past several weeks I have been able to see more changes in myself than I would have ever thought possible a few months ago. I have learned to be patient, rather than easily provoked. I have learned to be charitable, rather than being "fair." And I have learned how to truly be humble, and faithful as I rely on my Savior and His Atonement to help me make these changes. 
I have recently discovered that because of the Atonement, these changes are not just surface level, but instead, they are changes in my very nature. How incomprehensible my gratitude is for my Savior Jesus Christ, and loving Heavenly Father. 
As I have earnestly prayed for help in changing my heart, and then becoming humble enough to let Him help me grow, I have seen a great change in myself. 
I am a tough person to love. But I know that my Father in Heaven sees me for who I can become. I am so grateful that He has not given up on me. It has taken me so long to finally get a glimpse at the true happiness that He has in store for me if I will only accept it. I am starting to recognize 'the light' people talk about when they see someone who has the gospel of Jesus Christ in their life. And I am starting to see it in myself as I make room for Him in my heart, and in my thoughts, and in every word I say. 
I love this work. And the chance I have to share my own personal testimony of His hand in my life. 
I have gained such a strong testimony that the companions we have, and the areas we serve in are inspired from Heavenly Father. I am grateful for my president for listening to the spirit and allowing me the opportunity to be exactly where I needed to be, and with the exact people I needed to be around to have this 'mighty change of heart.' 
I love my mission, and look forward to the continued growth I get to make here as I work diligently to serve as Christ would serve, and love and Christ would love, and be as Christ would be. 

I've got a long ways to go before I make it to where I need to be, but I am grateful for the chance I've had to look back and see how far I've come. 

To all those that feel like they want to do better, I would encourage you to spend time in the scriptures. Study out the life of our Savior Jesus Christ, and pray for the humility to be able to make deep and lasting changes. I know that as you do this with all sincerity, youWILL start to make those changes. And that I can promise you because I have witnesses it in my own life. It is never too late, you are never too far gone. You won't always see the progress you're making, but when you look back you will see it's made a world of a difference in your life. 
I love you all pray for your safety everyday - Physical and spiritual. Keep on doing the things that will help strengthen your spirit. We are on this earth to make these changes and experience this growth, so please don't waste this time. It is so precious. 
I hope you have a wonderful week! I can't say I love you enough! 
I love you!
Sister Dobyns

I am going to miss this girl so much! <3

One of the many hail storms we've had this week! 

Hail the size of marbles! It was actually pretty painful! 

Our last pancake breakfast! At a cute retirement home! :)

Monday, July 11, 2016

*Okay so first off, I'm really sorry this e-mail didn't get sent... I guess I just forgot to push send somehow? I am still alive, so don't worry:) I realized I forgot to actually send the e-mail about 40 minutes after I signed off, but I wasn't allowed to use a computer for any more time that day, sooo yeah. Sorry again *


Well this is it! It is officially STAMPEDE!
When I first got my call to the Canada Calgary mission, the first thing I read about it online was about "The Stampede." So for those of you who don't know what that is, it's a big, 10-day rodeo festival thing where everyone in the whole city dresses up like cowboys and goes to the Stampede where they have parades, rodeo shows, cowboy themed competitions, and other things like that. It's a really big deal. 
And as part of the festivities, the entire city hold these free, community pancake breakfasts every. single. day. 
And as missionaries, these large gatherings of people is gold! 
While Sister Blake and I have only personally attended 2 pancake breakfasts so far, missionaries throughout the city have been all over them! On Saturday we helped serve the pancakes at one of the community breakfasts for a few hours, and then we went straight to the breakfast being held at our church building for a few more hours! It was a really fun experience except for the fact that I was starving to death and I don't like pancakes or sausage... haha! But somehow I survived;)  It was really great being able to be out in the community where people could see our name tags, and then there were actually several non-members that showed up at the church's breakfast as well! 
As of right now we have one more breakfast that we are planning on going to, and then I won't have to look at pancakes for a whole year! (hopefully... haha) 

Oh! And last week for the fourth of July, we had gotten all together as a zone and again at our stake center. We were hoping to have a fun BBQ at a park near by, but then it was storming like crazy, so those plans got rained out. That's when our Zone Leaders totally surprised all of us with the most amazing thing ever! We walked into the church gym and they had set up a projector looking at the ceiling with a video of fireworks playing! We turned off all the lights and laid on the floor at watched a 10 minute video of fire works. I know, that sounds crazy lame, but i promise it wasn't! The funny thing is, I never really enjoyed watching fireworks at home much, but something about not being in America on it's birthday made the desire increase 10 fold to celebrate it! 

This week was also really exciting because we found 3 NEW INVESTIGATORS! Oh man, I am so excited about that, and grateful for Heavenly Father's help in finding them. Sister Blake and I have been praying to be able to find more people to teach because we only had 1 investigator the week before! So now we are teaching an older man names Badhassah - who is from Ethiopia, Nancy - who is from India, and Solomon & his wife Anna - who are also from Ethiopia! 
I have to say, I LOVE the diversity that is here in Calgary. I was laughing when I realized that all the people I have been teaching didn't learn English as their first languages! We taught Andy, who spoke Korean; Tyler, who used sign language; Nadia & Jonas, who spoke French; and now Nancy, who speaks Gujarati; Solomon & Anna & Badhassah who all speak Oromo! SO! It's been quite the challenge! 

So yeah! Things are looking up!
We have had tons of service opportunities this week! So we've been able to keep really busy!
That's all for today!
It's been a great week, and I'm SO grateful for all the miracles that have been in my life this week! :) 

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer vacation!  And know that I love and miss you and pray for you every single day! 

Love, Sister Dobyns


ps
I lost my camera this week, and didn't find it until Saturday so I don't have many pictures this week:P 

Painting service at the Ranchlands Community Center during exchanges with Sister Earnhardt! :) 


Sister Blake and I bought matching night gowns 😆 Because that's how close we are ;) 

Monday, July 4, 2016

What a week! 

We had a lot of really fun, great experiences this week! :D 
On Tuesday we had our Zone Training Meeting at the chapel next to the temple, so we could all be near it and dream about being able to go inside:) 

On Wednesday we went to a Retirement home and gave a little devotional for a dozen or so people, and that was really neat! There were a few LDS people there, but everyone was really involved and having fun! Sister Blake and I sang a song for them, and at the end everyone sang amazing grace! It was the cutest thing ever! :) 

On Friday it was CANADA DAY! So that was really fun! Strangely enough Canada Day isn't nearly as big of a deal in Canada as the 4th of July is in the States, so it was interesting trying to fill our days as missionaries.
It's a big enough deal that everyone leaves, and no one is home or wants to have an appointment with you, but it' s not big enough that there are parades or parties going on everywhere where we could do some contacting. All the fun stuff that happens is strictly all downtown, which is not in our zone, so we couldn't go. 

Our oh so creative solution to the problem, was to have a lemonade stand! You heard me, a lemonade stand! Apparently Sister Blake has done a couple of them in her mission already, so she was the leader of it all. 
Basically we made a TON of lemonade and wrote 'Mormon.org' on all of the cups and had pass along cards, pamphlets, and books of Mormon sitting on our table. We set up by the McMahon Stadium where they were about to have a game so we were able to talk to a lot of people! It was really cool! Except for the part where a large group of people wouldn't take the lemonade because they thought we had spiked it.... Explaining that we are missionaries and don't even drink didn't seem to make anyone feel better about taking some haha. 
But as you can tell from all the pictures we were all decked out in our Canadian colors, and having a great time:) hopefully some of the people we talked to, and saw will be a little more willing to listen to the missionaries when they come knocking on their doors someday:) 

Because of the holiday President Miles asked us to go straight home after our dinner appointments. Oddly enough we've only had 2 dinner appointments this week, so we just grabbed some food and went home. It was a really weird feeling just sitting home for several extra hours than normal at night. But it was great to be able to write some letters, and make some plans for our upcoming week:) 

On Saturday we went to a member's house in our Zone Leaders ward to help out with some service. All we knew going into it was we were helping them with their green house. Once we got there we realized how much bigger of a task it was than we thought. Almost our whole zone was there helping out for several hours! And it was pretty hard work! lots of shoveling and raking dirt endlessly. I even got a pretty impressive sunburn on my neck/back! Haha:) But thankfully it's not so bad that it hurts much. 

But yeah! it's been a really fun week! We've had some really great lessons with our ward members, and are really trying to get them more involved in the work! 
We love it here! 
I can't believe this transfer is already half way through! 
I'm crazy thankful for Sister Blake! She makes me laugh so hard every single day! It's pretty unbelievable to think we've only known each other for 3 weeks! 

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering... The postal system has gone on strike up here, so no mail for a while :P they have no idea how long it will last, so that's really fun! But life goes on i guess, haha Just part of the Canadian experience I'm told. :) 

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful 4th of July, and great week overall! :D I hope you all can find little ways to serve the people around you everyday. Remember, we are here to become more like our Father and Savior, and the only way to become something is by working at it and practicing every day!

Love, 
Sister Dobyns 

PS Shout out to my un-biological, newly married brother! I love you Grant and hope you and Julie have the most amazing lives together!:D <3<3<3
VERY sunny day at the Temple! 

Make fun all you want, I love my girls! :) 

Our Lemonade Stand! :) 

"Happy Canada Day! Would you like some Lemonade? ...No, there isn't any alcohol in it..."

Happy Happy Canada Day! :D #4monthscanadian