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! :)

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