Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Happy Halloween:)

Well Happy Halloween everyone! It's pretty strange that Halloween is on monday this year, because that means it's pretty much like p-day all day today!! We have p-day until 5, and then we have dinner, and then we have to be in our apartments by 6! So it's feeling pretty strange knowing not a lot of missionary work will be done today...
But the Hermanas and Sister Halliday and I have some pretty fun plans for once we are back at our pad, so it should be a pretty good day! 

This week has been really exciting! 
Our "eternal investigator" that I've been talking about has been making some AMAZING progress! On Monday, we had a lesson with him and brought a sister from the ward who thinks the same way he does, and so she was able to help explain to him how she feels the Holy Ghost, and he thinks that he feels it in the same way! Then on Tuesday we had another lesson where he was able to recognize the Holy Ghost right there! It was so amazing! He started tearing up and it was so great:) 
Then later in the week he asked up when the next baptism is that he can go to, so we sent him a list of the upcoming baptisms and he said he thinks that he needs to go to all of them!!!! So we are really happy about that! 

On Tuesday we also had the funniest DTM meeting I've ever had! 
We finished our trainings, and then we usually do a role play at the end. And this week, in honor of Halloween, we all had to take turns putting on these random costume pieces, and then street contacting each other! It was so funny we were all laughing the entire time, but it actually proved to be really useful when you see someone on the street that seems a little different, we had the confidence to start talking to them when we may have normally passed them!

On Wednesday I went on my first exchange as an STL! I went with Sister Rasmussen [a sister I came out with and am super tight with already] in her area, and it was such a blast! Then on Friday I went on another exchange with Sister shaffer in her area too! I loved getting to know her better too! I actually knew Sister shaffer from my first area when I was sharing the car with her! 
Anywho, I loved going on exchanges, and I'm really excited about getting to continue getting to know the sisters better as i do! :) 

On thrusday we and the Hermanas decided that we are going to start waking up at 6:00am to work out! We came up with this crazy plan to wake up at 6, go for a short run, stretch a little, and then play what we call "get-jacked uno" haha! :) We wrote down different workouts on uno cards and we shuffle them up and do as many as we can before 7:00! So far it has been going really great! Turns out working out can be a lot more fun that I had been making it in the past! :) 

Then on Saturday Shelby had a halloween party at her house, so we helped her clean and decorate a little before everyone came over:) We had to take up pretty quick, but it was fun to see the first few people that came! I love the members of this ward! They are so fun, and are really already like family:) 

That's all for this week folks! I love you all dearly, and hope you have lots of fun and stay safe tonight:) 
<3/Sister Dobyns

Funniest role play of my life! 

Exchanges with Sister Rasmussen! Love her so much! 

Living with the Hermanas is my favorite thing in the world! 

Halloween party with some of my favorite members:) 
Sadly, this is the least-blury picture they took... 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Fun, Miracles, and NO TIME TO TELL YOU ABOUT IT!

well I only have 7 minutes left of my e-mailing time this week, so i'm pretty much going to word vomit on you as quickly as i can.... 

Things that happened this week: 
1- Tender Mercy of the year when one of my favorite members of my new ward came to fhe last monday wearing a HAMILTON t-shirt! Wow, nothing could bond 2 people quicker than that. Needless to say we sang all of the appropriate parts of Hamilton the rest of the night..  such a tender mercy!!!
2- I gave my first training as an stl, and it went okay... I'm grateful i will have more opportunities to do better though... we were really rushed for time so it didn't quite go the way we had planned but it was okay:) 
3- we have started tracting like crazy! before this area I had done maybe 10 hours of tracting total, but now... I've doubled that number in 1 week haha 
still not as much as a lot of people, but we're getting up there!
Sister Halliday and I just both felt prompted that there is someone who is prepared that we are meant to find, so we are going til we find them! (And probably still going even after that) 
4- our investigator shaun brought a nonmember friends to his lesson this week, and now she wants to hear the lessons aswell! So we're really excited about that! Even though she is out of our area so we passed her off to the brentwood sisters:) 
5- Emanuel from carburn park is finally getting baptized this week! haha lots of confusion and drama, but i'm excited for him:) 

it has been another great week, so i'm super pumped for everything that is yet to come! 

I love you all! Have a terrific week!
Love, Sister Dobyns! 

Sister Halliday cleaning up after me... She's a doll

Our fun apartment! 

Us at e-mails right now because i keep forgetting to take more pictures... 

Monday, October 17, 2016

It Finally Looks Like Canada!

WOW! What a week of miracles! 
First off, I LOVE this area! I love being in YSA still, and I really love all the amazing members of this ward:) I love my companion Sister Halliday, and I love all the missionaries in our zones! It is such a blessing to be where I am right now:) 

So last monday was Canadian Thanksgiving, so we got to go over for dinner at Shelby's house! (A sweet ysa sister we have been working with) It was so much fun! And they taught us how to make little turkey's out of candy! :) 

Tuesday night we had a really great miracle! It was 8:00pm and we didn't know what we should do with our last hour of the day because we didn't have any appointments- So we said a prayer, and then looked over the list of names we want to try and see that were in the area, and had 3 names stick out to us. We stopped by the first name, and found out the he has only been a member of the church for 2 years, and is less active now. But he was really nice, and set up a time for us to come back and visit with him! Then that took a lot longer than we thought, (And because we were out in okotoks, we had to drive for 30 minutes to get home) we didn't have time to see the other two people that stuck out to us. 
But we called the family ward missionaries that cover the guy were able to see to find out if they knew anything else about him, and also found out that those elders had been by the houses of the other two names that we had been impressed to see that night! It was so cool to just see that this really is God's work and we are all on the same team. I am so grateful that He leads us to where He knows we should be. It is never anything short of a miracle each time I recognize how involved He truly is in our every effort. 

On Thursday we got to have a lesson with our investigator Shaun. Shaun is Jewish, and has been taking the discussions from the missionaries for 8 years!! Crazy right?? He is an extremely intelligent guy, and literally knows more about the church than I do... So when we were preparing for his lesson I was really puzzled on what we could possibly share with him that has hasn't already heard a million times. He had asked to just read the Book of Mormon with us, because he finds that it is "a hard read." This coming from the man who could explain every passage in the Bible... So we read through the introduction and 1st chapter of 1 nephi with him, and explained/related them to him as we went. At the end of the lesson, Shaun said that his goal is to read the whole Book of Mormon (again) and then to "do the Moroni promise thing at the end." At that point I felt stronger than I ever have before to promise Shaun that if he will do that, he WILL receive the witness from the Holy Ghost that it is true in a way that we will recognize. He responded saying he didn't know if that will happen, to which I again felt so impressed to say "That's okay. I do." The spirit was so strong as I felt Heavenly Father's love for Shaun, and the importance of him coming to find the truth. 

The next mighty miracle we had this week was we were out in High River (Side note: we cover a part of Calgary sw, and then a bunch of stuff outside the city too. But the two main cities we visit outside of Calgary are Okotoks, and High River) for a dinner appointment, and yet again, the appointments we had set up out there fell through on us after we had dinner. But High River is a long ways away, and so we didn't want to just go home and put all those km's on or car for 1 member. So we called up the family ward missionaries again to ask if there were any ysa we should visit down there, and they gave us 3 names. The very first one we saw was named Denver. We just dropped by quick and met him, and set up a time to come back and get to know him better, and he said that we was planning on coming to the ward on sunday. And then he really did come! (That alone is a miracle because that almost never happens!) So we sat with him in Sunday School and got to know him a little more, afterwards, we had a member take him to priesthood. Then, as we were walking in to RS another member asked us how we got Denver to come today because he is "extremely less active." We had no idea! We were really excited after that for him coming to church, but then at the end of RS our ward missionary gave us our dinner calendar that they had passed around for us, and Denver signed up to have us over for dinner too!
We could not believe it! I have just been so amazed this week at the miracles big and small that are happening all around. I know that they have always been there, but I"m grateful my eyes have been much wider to all the amazing things Heavenly Father has got going on:) 

On Wednesday I got to go to my first MLC Meeting (Missionary Leadership Council). And that was pretty fun:) I got to meet a lot of other missionaries from around the mission:) And tomorrow I am going to do my first training as an STL, so wish me luck! :) 

So it was a really good week for me. I have been SO happy! The area transition has been so much easier than I thought it would, and Sister Halliday is so perfect and easy to get along and work with. I have nothing to worry about but the work! And that is going really amazing aswell, so I have a very grateful heart this week:) 

OH! One last miracle, was on Saturday we had another city-wide ysa event where everyone went and did service projects at the church across the parking lot from the temple! And then rotated through baptisms and endowment sessions at the same time. It was a lot of fun because I got to see tons of my friends from carburn park ysa again:) But on top of that, we had 2 investigators come! (One of which is new!) Shaun came, and we were able to have a really cool lesson in the very front waiting room of the temple, and he absolutely LOVED that! He didn't stop smiling the entire time he was there! Then we also got to talk to Nick, A recent Convert in the ward's younger brother. His sister was baptized a little over a year ago, and actually left on her mission the week before I changed wards- but Nick came and we got to talk with him in the temple waiting room for a little while too, and he asked to have a lesson with us some time this week!
So we are super excited to start teaching him. When we asked him about his experience with the church, and with his sister serving a mission and all, he said that he used to think that he sister was crazy, and there was no way it's real. But then he started praying and coming to activities some times and said that he can feel a difference here. And he feel calm. 

So as you can see, there are miracles all around because God is so good, and so loving. and there are so many more that I know are coming this week!

Today I hope you to know how much Christ loves you. He is always there for you through it all, and is just waiting for you to open your eyes to His infinite love and mercy. I hope you see all the beautiful miracles that are going on all around you this week! And I love you all and hope you have a great fall break! :)
Sister Dobyns

Thanksgiving with Shelby:) 

Got to See my Baby at the temple activity! :) 

Alex from Carburn Park YSA! 

It's beginning to look a lot like... CANADA! 

Monday, October 10, 2016

So Much Change in Such Little Time

First of all, Shout out to my brother Hayden! 
Happy 22nd Birthday! I love you! 

Second of all, Happy Canadian Thanksgiving today!!!
Yeah, It feels really odd having thanksgiving before Halloween, but in Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving on the second mondayof october? Or at least I think that's the rule. Not entirely sure:) But yeah! Happy Thanksgiving! :) 

So there were some pretty exciting adjustments at transfers this last week! 
I have been asked to serve as a Sister Training Leader! (Or STL... I'll pretty much always call it that) So I get to go on exchanges with all the Sisters that we cover all the time! :) I'm excited for that, I think it will be really fun, and just the right amount of challenge that I was really hoping for this transfer! :D 
Now my new area is called the Priddus Valley YSA Ward! That's right! I'm still in YSA! I am so excited for that! I really loved serving ysa the last two transfers, so I'm happy I get to continue with the great experiences that come from serving around so many returned missionaries! (They're the best as coming to lessons and finding us people to teach). My Zone is called the Foothills Zone, but we also cover the sisters in the zone next to us Fish Creek Zone:)  
So where is the Foothills zone you may ask? 
Where else but in good old south west Calgary?? 
Yup! You read right... I'M STILL IN CALGARY! 
I don't think President is ever going to let me leave;) Haha which I am perfectly okay with, because I am loving every minute of it!! :) I served in the Northwest part of Calgary for 5 months, and then the Southeast part for almost 3 months, and now I'm here in the South West part, right smack in between my last 2 areas... literally just across the street of where my last area ended... I feel pretty lucky at the point in time, so I can't complain! :) 
My new companion's name is Sister Halliday! :) 
She has been out on her mission for 14 months, and is from Colorado. 
She is CRAZY sweet! Oh man, I absolutely ADORE her already! :)
We live in this cute townhouse with two other sisters as well! (The Hermanas) 
So pretty much our lives are just a party because they are also crazy adorable! :) 

So long story short ,my life is really good right now!
There were a lot of changes, but I am really feeling so blessed! 
I think President just keeps sending me to serve with the best sisters out here! 
Hopefully they're greatness with slowly start to rub off of me! haha! Fingers Crossed! 

So because I live SO CLOSE to my last area, President Miles gave me permission to go and see Emanuel's Baptism on Saturday! I was so stoked! But sadly, the baptism fell through 20 minutes before it was supposed to start:( Emanuel's grandma had an accident and they had to take her to the hospital! So his baptism has been postponed to next Saturday instead... 
It was a really complicated mess for a while trying to find out what was really going on, and Sister Ence was feeling pretty sad and frustrated, so I was really really grateful that I could be there to talk with her as it all unfolded. I'm not sure if I'll be able to go all the way back up for his real baptism next week though, so we'll see how it goes. 

Speaking of Sister Ence, we picked up her baby(new missionary) on Wednesday and go to spend a whole day together before transfers, so that was really fun! Her name is Sister Hatch, and she is Super Cute! So i'm really excited for all the miracles they're going to see in the next few months! :) 

At transfers I got to see a few sister I love before they went home!! So that was really great:) And I also got to see Sister Blake again! Oh yeah, Sister Blake is now serving as an STL in my last zone where I just left, so I just missed her! That's a bummer, but now I get to see her every month when we have our MLC meetings! (Meeting for the STL's, and Zone Leaders)

AND! (Sorry, so much random information) Sister Halliday and I just picked up a new investigator named... you got it! Emmanuel. So that makes 4 Emanuel's that I have taught.... haha Gotta love it! 

But yeah, we don't have much time today because of Thanksgiving, 
I am grateful for a Savior and Redeemer who makes it possible for me to be thankful for everything else that I have. I am thankful to be a missionary at this time, and I am thankful to have so many wonderful people in my life that show me the type of person that I hope to become. I am thankful for all the snow we are getting, and i'm especially thankful for my winter coat. 

I love you I love you I love you!
Have a wonderful week!
Sister Dobyns:) 
Me, Sister Halliday, and the SNOW! :D 

Monday, October 3, 2016

What A Day To Be Alive!

Okay, Can we just take a minute and talk about how AMAZING conference was this weekend??? 
I mean WOW! 
I was blown away by the power of the messages that were given. 
There was so much emphasis on Missionary Work, and simply knowing the Doctrine of Christ! 
Ah! I loved it! 
I loved how much there was an emphasis on hastening the Lord's work, and what members can be doing now to help share the gospel with those around them!
I found this quote about 2 months ago, and since then I have heard it SO many times! It was even used in Conference twice! It's by President Thomas S Monson. 

Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him. He has prepared the means for us to share the gospel in a multitude of ways, and He will assist us in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill His work."

Remember that okay?:D It's so hard to even talk about conference as a missionary because I can't sufficiently put into words how much I loved it in the short period of time I have to e-mail!! But my invitation to everyone is to set a realistic goal for yourself related to conference. Don't let the amazing experience of this weekend just pass by without letting it have an effect on your life in a powerful away. My the decision to change something in your life because of the inspiring guidance we have been given.
I loved the thought of taking on thing that is keeping us from being more like Christ to the sacrament altar each week, and giving it over to the Lord. 
That is my goal because of conference this fall. I think there is such power in truly giving away all our sins to know our Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ. And I mean truly KNOW Him -which we also learned about. 

So Transfers are this week! And Sister Ence got a training call last week! So that means I'm officially being booted Thursday morning to the great unknown! haha:)
I am really looking forward to transfers. I was feeling really nervous after last week when we found out Sister Ence would be training, and I would be leaving, but since then I have had an amazing experience with the spirit, and I know that whatever happens on Thursday is truly Heavenly Father's will for me. I am so grateful to have a Father in Heaven who loves me enough to send me where I need to be, and with who I need to be with- rather than putting me where I think I want to be. I am so excited for this upcoming transfer and all that I am going to be able learn and become.But  wherever I get transferred next is most likely where I'll be for Christmas! So that's kinda exciting:) 
( Part of me is hoping I go to the South, because I hear they spoil the missionaries down there;) )

Anyway. I'm excited for her. She is completely qualified to be a trainer. She's pretty much been training me this whole time anyway. But she's been really nervous about it I think. 
So this Saturday our investigator is getting baptized!! I am so excited that he has finally made it! Yes, of course I am a little sad I will be missing the program, but nothing can take away from how amazing it has been to see him progress in his testimony of the Savior. And I know it will be a really great thing for Sister Ence's brand new companion to be able to experience the spirit of a baptism on her very first weekend in the Canada! :) 

So yeah! Sorry my e-mails have been so short and lame lately.... But I've got to run again! I will do my best to start writing more again:) 
I love you! I hope you have a good week! 
With all the love in the entire world, 
Sister Dobyns:)