Monday, September 26, 2016

Mad, Frantic, e-mail!

Okay, I spent a little too much time today e-mailing friends individually... so this week's email is going to be super lame.. sorry about that:P But I'm suuuper grateful for all my wonderful friends and that they even took the time to write me, so it's a happy trade this week:) 

So this was a really great week! :) 
On monday Sister Ence and I went to the Zoo! I'm sure I will include many pictures... :) That was super fun and random haha:) But we decided we wanted to get out more and do fun things:) 
Then on Thursday we had the amazing opportunity to go to the TEMPLE! hooray! I hadn't been in like 4 months!!! So I was very happy to be back:) 
We watched the RS Broadcast on Saturday which was SO AMAZING! I can't wait to get a copy of the talks because I loved them SOO much!!! If you haven't had the chance to watch it yet, DO IT! I loved every minute of it:) :) 

Sister Ence and I got 2 new investigators that we're really excited about, and have Emanuel's baptism coming up soon! (Honestly, I'll most like be transferred a few days before he is baptized, so that's a little sad, but we're excited for him none the less! :) )
There are really great things happening here, and I am SOO excited for conference this weekend! Oh man, It's better than Christmas, let me tell you! 

One thing that I have taken great comfort in these past few weeks is the story of Christ calling Peter and the other apostles to come and follow Him. He didn't care who they were, or what imperfections they had. He simply bade them to come and change. To come, and learn and grow through the gospel and sharing it with others. It's pretty evident throughout the scriptures that Peter was a pretty impulsive guy (i.e. chopping off that one guy's ear when arresting Christ). But even through his imperfections, he was a great teacher, and amazing disciple of Jesus Christ. As long as one is willing to "come and change," they are good enough to be on the Lord's errand and serve Him. I know so many of us feel inadequate in some way. Whether that is in our calling in the church, or role in the home, or assignment at work, we can be enough. Through the grace of our Savior and the empowering blessing of the Atonement, we can do all things. 
I have had the phrase "You can do hard things" pop into my mind several times this week, and I know that it is true. We can all do the impossible when we are willing to humble ourselves and simple Come to, and Change in Christ. 

Once again,
I love you ever so dearly!
I pray for you, 
I'm grateful for you!
And I hope you have an uplifting, and spiritual experience this weekend as we have the opportunity to hear from our wonderful prophet and apostles. 

Love, Sister Dobyns:) 
The Calgary Zoo! :) 

The Zoo in the fall is actually SUPER beautiful! :) Loved it! :) 

A candid picture Sister Ence caught... haha The Bats really creeped me out!

Good Advice... 

I don't know why, but this picture makes me laugh for days! :) 

Our Temple Trip! :)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Slurpee's... Chili... and a Shiny New Car;)

This has been a busy week! :) 

Every year the church sponsors a city-wide food drive for the food banks here in Calgary, and every stake is assigned to run it in their boundaries. So on monday we ran around passing out bags and flyers for the food drive for like 2 hours!! And then on Saturday we spent another 3 hours driving around and picking the bags of food up that people set out on their porches! :) It was SO fun! We went with a couple in our wards bishopric, the Fairbanks (remember the name- i love them), and were able to get A LOT done! Then on Sunday they announced that the food drive collected over 200,000 kg of food!! I couldn't believe how generous people were even with the economy being really poor right now in Alberta. 

This week we also had our Zone Conference! :) 
That was a ton of fun especially because... WE GOT A NEW CAR!
And when I say new... I mean... NEW! Like, there were only 40 km on the car when we got it because that's how far it took to get to us from the dealership! NEW NEW NEW NEW NEW!  
It's a 2016 Nissan Rogue, and I have never felt this spoiled before in my life! (which is saying something...) It's been a HUGE blessing, especially because now we have a way of listening to music in the car! haha! Our other car apparently was one of the very oldest cars in the mission, so when the mission bought some new cars, we got one! Talk about moving up the food chain! :) 
We love it, and are soooo grateful for it! We joke about how it's the nicest car either of us will be driving for quite some time now... 

Also, Zone Conference was a totally nerve wrecking experience because Sister Miles asked me to be the accompanist for the meeting!  It's funny. No matter how many times you tell people you can't play piano... no body ever believes you... 
But thanks to the ultimate grace of my Father in Heaven I was able to play the songs they chose! Not only that, but was also able to accompany a musical number that we picked 20 minutes before the meeting started!! I definitely give all the credit of being able to pull that off to my very loving Heavenly Father! WHoo! 

Yesterday we had ward conference, and our investigator who is scheduled to be baptized this Sunday never showed up!  I was really really disappointed by that and started to get a little down on myself, which I really try to avoid because I know I'm doing my best. But, nonetheless, I found myself feeling frustrated and discouraged by it. It hung over me the rest of the day even as we were able to meet up with our investigator later and find out why he didn't come, and then had a lesson with him. 
But at the end of the day, as Sister Ence and I were filling out our key indicators and discussing the day, I had the realization of how many things I was able to learned from our meetings, and how well our lesson went with Emanuel after church, and how sweet the members were who had us over for dinner. I was filled with gratitude as I could feel the pessimism melt away, and the joy of counting my blessing come back into my life. It's so amazing to me that all it takes to be happy in life is simple gratitude and acknowledgement of the Lord's hand in our lives. 
I am so grateful for a Savior who can always turn what seems like a bad day into a an amazing one. 
It's been a good week and I know we'll keep seeing miracles as we focus on the good, and never let the imperfections of life get us down. 
It's my prayer that you will all do the same! 
Much love, 
Sister Dobyns:) 
p.s. Follow @alexwilliams on insta 
(I promised I would include that haha) 

Washing our old car before turning it in! 

Helping out with the food drive! 

7 Months Old, 11 Left to go! (get it? ... cuz it's 7/11? 😆)
I waited 6 months to take this picture haha! :) 

Our Brand New Beautiful Car! :) 

I'm running out of poster ideas... so Sister Ence made this ADORABLE one for me!! :) 

Monday, September 12, 2016

"Angels Sent Just For Me"

Another good week for us in East Calgary! :) 

So we live in the part of Calgary known as "the ghetto," which, is pretty comical because turns out Canadian Ghettos are nothing like US Ghettos haha:) But anyway! Because it's "the Ghetto" there is A LOT of diversity here:) And we live super close to a main street that's called "International Avenue!" And there are TONS of different restaurants and things that Sister Ence and I have been a little too afraid to try haha. But this week we did!! We went to a Vietnamese place with some members and tried Pho for the first time! It was very different, but pretty good! :)

We had a lot of roller-coaster experiences with some less-actives too! haha:) We have been working with this great less active who was pretty much just reactivating himself, but then also has A LOT of questions!! And last week he skipped out of church early, and so we text him to make sure he was doing alright and set up a time to see him again. Then we we met up a few days later our lesson didn't go anywhere near how we had planned.... He was really frustrated because he felt like God wasn't real since he hadn't gotten an answer to his prayers yet. In the end, he basically dropped us and told us that he wasn't going to continue with this church thing anymore. 
We were so devastated to see him go because we could tell how badly he wanted an answer and a place to turn, and he was walking about from the one place he was going to get that. 
But then only a few hours later he sent us a text telling us thank you for all that we have done for him, and that he was praying after our meeting and he thinks that he might have felt god!! That was such an amazing feeling! Whew! So he came to church again this week, and says he's still working through things, but isn't giving up just yet:) 

We also started teaching several new people this week between new investigators and new less actives, it's been really awesome! :) 

And for the first time in my entire mission I got to teach a lesson to someone we had just met!! Whoo! That was pretty exciting! We were trying to get a hold of a less active in our family ward, and after we had knocked on the door, the lady across the way comes out of her house and yells at us telling us that we have the wrong house. We told her who we were looking for and she said that they haven't lived there in years. So naturally we walked over to her as she was explaining the situation. So then we told her that we are missionaries, and asked if she'd be interested in a message about Jesus Christ and how we have found strength in our lives through Him, and she actually said yes!!!
Okay well... her exact words were "...yeah sure I'll listen to your message. I'm drinking so I'll listen." But we ran with it! haha! :) 
She led us into her house and she had another friend sitting on the couch in the front room. She continued to tell us that they were both going through a hard time right now so they could use all the help they can get. So we started to teach them the restoration, but when we got to "The Gospel Blesses Families" you could tell they both seemed really upset. So we stopped and they told us that they have both recently had children pass away. One in a fire, and another in a ATV accident. We then listened to them for a while and then stopped and decided to teach them about the plan of salvation and how much God loves them and is aware of the pain they are feeling, but that there is a way to replace that pain with peace. They were really receptive to the message, but we weren't able to teach the full lesson because of some other people showing up. But they thanked us for the message and told us how much we really helped them. And they just kept calling us "their angels." "Their angels that God sent just for them." That was one of the most humbling experiences that I have ever. We are hopeful to see them again and finish teaching them about God's plan for them. 
But missionary work is such an amazing opportunity. I don't think there is a better feeling than someone telling you that you are their angel sent from God for them. This is why I decided to serve a mission! To help uplift and bless God's children in any way that I can. I'm so grateful to be the instrument in His hands in bringing peace and love those to all His children. 

Then yesterday for church we had a city wide Sacrament meeting! That was pretty cool because I got to see Andy again, and some other sisters in YSA throughout the city:) 
In the meeting we got to hear from the Calgary Temple President and his wife. That was a really neat experience. Then there was a YSA broadcast by Elder Cook later that night that was also really amazing! I loved everything that the speakers said yesterday, but this morning when I was going back over my notes I really realized that most of what I wrote down weren't actually things that were said. I am so grateful for that. For the blessing of personal revelation. Sister Ence and I have decided that we are going to go to the temple this week or next week finally. It's been sooo long! Almost 4 months since I've been able to go! 4 Months too long, I can tell you that! That is one of the biggest challenges we have as missionaries. But I know, I just need to be grateful that I get to go at all! :) 

Anywho! It has been a wonderfully lovely week! :) I love my mission:) 
I have really learned how important it is to draw nearer to my Savior every single day. And honestly, there are some days where I don't know how I can give anymore than I have. I feel a little exhausted and inadequate, but as I have continued trying to grow, and really studying the atonement, I have been blown away at how every time I feel like I've hit a ceiling, Heavenly Father raises it for me- allowing even more growth to take place:) 

I hope you have a great week! And see many miracles!
Love you!
Sister Dobyns:) 

3-leg for a day while Sister Stash's trainers (our STL's had a meeting in the south)

Sunflowers are really big up here:) 

Trying to figure out how to eat Pho... 

Monday, September 5, 2016

New Transfer:)

It was Transfers week again this week! 
Thankfully I get to stay with Sister Ence, but we did find out that this is only going to be a 5-week transfer! I'm trying not to sad, but I honestly just feel a little jipped of my last week with Sister Ence! haha! I just have to focus on the amazing blessing it's been to be with her these last 6, and next 5 weeks! :) 
I have been so blessed when it comes to my companions, but the down side of that is I never want to say goodbye to them!! But I'm grateful that's my only complaint:) 

Side Note: Happy Late Anniversary to my parents! :) 9/3/93 Thank goodness it's a catchy date, because I almost forgot it:P Sorry! But I love you both! Thanks for ya know, giving my life and everything I know:) 

So we had a pretty good week, but I think it was really just in preparation for how amazing this upcoming week is going to be!! :) We got a new investigator this week, and have appointments with 2 possible investigators that seem really solid! So we're super psyched for that! :) We were expected several investigators at church this week, but sadly, because of the long weekend they all ended up with other plans:P 

It's starting to get a little chilly already! Which is pretty normal for September, but it's still so hard to accept since we never got much of a summer up here! Summer came early and it lasted 2 weeks! haha! 

Yesterday in Sunday School I taught a lesson on Charity, and that was pretty neat. I have learned so much about charity since coming on my mission so every time I really get to reflect on it all I feel so grateful. Just a little thought that I loved was that we truly have to become charitable, and not just seem charitable. Like it says in 1 Cor. 13, we can give everything that we have away, including our own lives- but unless we have sincere love and intention, it profiteth us nothing. So that leads to the question of How Do I Become Charitable? What I have found it that studying the Saviors life, and following His perfect example, has helped me so much. It has helped me better understand the way Christ truly would act in any situation. Also, like Moroni teaches, praying to our Father in Heaven with all the energy of our soul. I could go on a very long tangent on that thought alone, but this is something I've really come to understand as well. I don't think I ever fully experienced what that felt like until my mission. But I have been able to see the strength  that I have been given and lasting change in my life as I continue to pray with all the energy of my soul. Another thing we can do is to learn to love our selves. In Matthew Christ teaches we must love our Heavenly Father, and love our neighbor as ourselves. I think this is a really important concept. To remember that we are God's children, and He loves us infinitely. Just as it's important to treat all those around us like they are God's children, we need to remember that so are we. And our Father wants us to be kind and charitable to ourselves as well. Now don't take this too far. We must also learn to have humility and remember our Father loves all those around us just as much as He loves us. So we can't ever put ourselves above another. But as we do those things (Study the Savior's life, Pray with all the energy of our souls, love ourselves, and have humility) we will grow in Charity which is the highest, noblest, and strongest kind of love. 
So this is my challenge to you this week! Above all things, strive for fervent charity:)

I love you all! And hope you have a great week at work, school, your mission, or whatever else you may be doing! :)

Sister Dobyns

Together Again! (Did I ever mention that Sister Atkinson was in my zone here?) 
3 Leg for the day when her comp was at a meeting for new trainers this transfer

Good morning Canada... It's soo cold in the mornings already:P

Picnic with the new Zone! 

Christmas in September<3 Also diabetes in September...
#500AmericanOreos (Canadian oreos are super gross in case anyone was wondering...)