Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Merry Christmas and a Happy Birthday too!

Well... This may have been one of the busiest weeks of my whole life!! 
Having a birthday 2 days before Christmas has never been convenient, but this year I think it was a little crazier than every other year of my life haha:) But it has been a really amazing week! We have truly seen many Christmas miracles! 

On Monday we got to go to a live nativity put on by the church every year. We met our investigator Alyssa there, and she had a really great time! And it was actually pretty warm out too! Afterwards we went to the church and got some hot chocolate, but there were a ton of ysa wards there for their fhe's too, so I got to see a lot of members from my last ward and that is always a blast:) 

This week we also drove out to a city in our area called Turner Valley, which I had never been too before! But turns out that it was way further away than I thought and it was a miracle we were able to find it since the sun had long gone down by the time we started leaving familiar territory! We met with a less active out there who was really sweet, and had the longest beard I have ever seen in person! He stroked it the whole time we were visiting with him! I thought it was a little funny:) But he was really nice and said we could come back whenever we were in turner valley again:) 

THEN! We had another miracle with a less active who we had been trying to contact for months! He was always just really flaky with setting up appointments, but then HE TEXT US! And asked if there was a time we could meet up! So we met up with him and brought 2 members of our elders quorum presidency Austin and Bryce, and it went SO great! He said he really wants to start coming back to church, and he really connected with the brothers we brought, and then he said that he would be at church on Sunday! AND THEN HE ACTUALLY CAME! Even though it was blizzarding outside and he lives 30 minutes away! It was an amazing miracle! And now we have an appointment to see him this week as well!:)

We met with another less active we have been trying to contact for a really long time this week too! We brought a sister in the ward who is preparing for a mission right now and again, we had an amazing lesson! He realized that he knew the brother of the member that we brought with us to the lesson and then went to church with them to the family ward this week since it was Christmas! And we are going to see him next week again when he gets home from his cabin:) 

AND! (The miracles just kept on rolling this week!!) 
We met with Sam, our recent convert, and invited him to bring his friend Henry to our lesson because he had brought him to church with him a few weeks ago and said he had really enjoyed it. So Sam agreed, and then showed up to the lesson with Henry AND another friend named Edi! So we got to teach all 3 of them! They had some great questions and it was even cooler to see Sam answer some of his friends concern by bearing his testimony. And both his friends agreed to meet with us and take the discussions! 

And just for good measure, one last miracle I'll share: 
We had a great day full of miracles and when we came home to plan for the next day we decided to call a random number in our phone that said Potential investigator next to it. Long story short, he answered, and agreed to meet with the sisters that are in his area up in the NW of Calgary. 

So just incase anyone is wondering if there really are people out there who are ready to be taught, and accept the gospel, the answer is YES! But I do know that it all happens in God's timing. And I am so grateful for an amazing companion who is so in tune with the spirit, and is so dedicated to the Lord. I know we have seen many miracles because of her amazing faith. 

Alright. So that was really just the beginning. . .

On Friday I turned 20 years old! Holy cow... I really can't believe it! But, it is true nonetheless. I woke up to all the sister in my apartment singing to me, and bringing me all my birthday packages and gifts! I opened them, and then they all ran and decorated our apartment with all the decorations my mom had included in my packages:) Then after our regular morning routine we had a lesson with Shaun who brought us Donairs to try for the first time! I thought it was pretty good, and they assured me that they are actually usually even better than the one I had gotten. 
Then we had a really sweet lesson with a less active we have met with pretty frequently over the phone! He had called because he was dealing with some really frustrating things. We talked him through some things and then bore our testimonies of our Savior and of His literal enabling power and how it can help him right now if he will choose to accept it. By the end of the lesson he read us some texts from the person that was causing some of the trauma and they had resolved things. It was so cool to realize that you can really "have a lesson" anywhere and any time. It didn't matter that it wasn't a traditional lesson setting. The spirit was there, and we were able to pray with him, and bear testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ. It was one of my favorite lessons I've ever had! :) 

Next we went to Costa Vida with a few of my absolute favorite sisters, and then we spent the rest of the evening making cookies, and writing christmas cards to some of our favorite members, and then we went NOEL CAROLING with some of the missionaries in our district:) (Yeah... That pun has been used a few too many times this season haha) One elder even beat boxed while we sang and it ended up sounds really really cool! :) 

Okay, Birthday check!
So Christmas Eve was a ridiculously crazy day!! We got to go to the baptism of one of the members in Sister Frandsen's last area. (Fun Fact: her last name was Mooreman haha) Sister Frandsen and Sister Blake sang an arrangement of He Sent His Son, and I accompanied them on the piano! 😬 But thankfully my lack of skills was made up for by their beautiful voices and it went really well:)
But Wait there's more!
After the baptism there was another family getting baptized from my old Shepard ward in that same stake! But before the baptisms, the parents had to get lawfully married! (They had been traditionally married back in Zimbabwe years ago) So they asked sister Blake and Sister Frandsen and I to perform some musical numbers in between the wedding and their baptisms while they were all changing into their suits!  SO! I got to play that same song for a second time with an additional song for sister Frandsen to sing, and Another song for Sister Blake to sing! I honestly thought I was going to die. But thankfully, Heavenly Father is so loving, and helped me to not detract from the spirit their voices brought too much. 
Then we spent the rest of the night at a members house with the family ward sisters as well and got to watch almost every missionary allowed movie they had! haha (because it wasn't a prosylting day). 

We woke up at 5:30 and opened all of our presents with the Hermanas we live with, and then drove straight out to Okotoks to have breakfast with a member and the family ward elders:) That was great, and then we left to go to church where 5 less actives came, AND one of our Potential Investigators!! 
After church we got to Skype our families! :) Which of course is the best Christmas present of all:) I was really happy to see eveyone and get to talk to them for a little bit. But I was even more grateful when afterwards I didn't feel homesick, but rather felt excited for the things that are going on in my mission, and knowing how much it blesses my family at home:) 
Then we had dinner with our bishop and his family, and they invited our 2 recent converts Tagen and Sam to join as well! So it turned out to be a really wonderful night! :) And we finished it off by going to bed early to make up a little bit for waking up so early:) 

Okay, and final story: Yesterday President Miles gave all the missionaries permission to watch an approved movie!! Hooray! So our whole zone got together and watched Finding Dory! And oh my goodness I LOVED IT! I miss movies and tv a lot haha so it was really fun to get all together and watch a really cute, funny movie together:) 

Okay, sorry I wrote a novel this week! But there is still so much I didn't even have time to include! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! And know that I love and miss you SO Much!   
Have a wonderful week! And thank you for all your letters, emails, and birthday & Christmas wishes!
Love, Sister Dobyns:) 

Birthday fun 

Noel Caroling out in the snow:) 

Traditional Christmas Pajamas on Christmas Eve! 

Merry Christmas! 

Skyping home to the Family:) <3 

Here are just a few more pictures from this week! :) 

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