Tuesday, August 1, 2017

How do I do this?!?!?

Well.... This is it! .... my last.... email...... 
I'm really not sure what you're supposed to say at this point... 
For all those wondering, yes, I'm excited to see my family and friends and utah and everything- But to be honest... I just don't realize how excited I am... haha But I know that will hit sooner than later:) 
But yeah, It's so hard to realize that my mission here in the Canada Calgary Mission is over. 
This has become my home and I am so incredibly grateful for every single experience I have had here. 
We found out Sunday night that Sister Melville is getting transferred out of our area. Yup... We're getting purged. When that happened I don't think I've ever felt such a gut-wrenching feeling come over so quickly. Sister Melville and I have worked so hard the last 2 transfers to turn this area around, and we have seen sooo many miracles as we have. We have gone from 1 investigator to 10 investigators with 2 on-date. I don't mean to so that in a boasting way. But it helps illustrate the enormous change that has taken place here. It's been really hard knowing that all those people that we love and are working so hard with will be left in the hand of missionaries that don't know them yet. But I know God has a plan, and elders serving here is part of that I guess. 
So we have been busier than we have time for the last couple of days. We have appointments through the roof, and now we have to try and get the area prepared for 2 new people to come in. But my goal in all of this is to give them the help and information I would have given my right arm for when I purged into Carburn Park with Sister Ence last year! 

So enough of that! 
It's been a good week! Full of lots of emotional ups and downs though. How do you say goodbye to the people and the place that has changed your life forever? It really is impossible. But I'm grateful that's it's not really goodbye. 

The 18 months of my life have been the greatest learning experience I have ever had. It's funny though.... I remember people always saying that "serving a mission was the hardest thing they've ever done." And that "If you don't want to go home by the end of your mission then you didn't work hard enough." And maybe those are all true things for them- but I have felt that serving my mission has been the easiest thing I have ever done. It has been the easiest because I know I have had the Savior right my side the whole way. Yes, there have been hard moments. But they were only moments. And I can testify that every single one of those moments have "work[ed] together for [my] good" in the end (D&C 98:3). And honestly, I could do this for the rest of my life. I think, for me anyway, when I really let the Lord be my partner in this work, and share the burden of everything I've gone though, it has given me unfailing, and unending desire to continue. I have gotten a glimpse at the joy that is really meant to come from enduring to the end. When you do it right, when you do it with the Savior, it really does become a joyful journey. Even in the midst of the very hardest moments. And that's what I"m taking with me when I go home. Trust the Savior. And when I say that, I don't mean just trust in the idea of a savior, and wish things will all turn out okay somehow in the end. I mean trust HIM. He is a real, and close friend. He is our brother. He loves YOU. Right here. Right now. And He knows what lies ahead of you on your journey. Please don't forget Him. Don't pass up the literal greatest ally you have, and ever could have in this life. Choose Him. Be on HIS team. Put Him FIRST in your life. The application of these things is what has changed me forever. And please- don't get me wrong. I am not perfect at doing this. Like I said, I've had hard moments on my mission. And most of them have been self-inflicted. Times when I have forgotten this very crucial lesson. But I love the Lord. I love my Father. And I am learning how to keep on trying. How to let Them pick me up a little bit sooner than I have in the past. 
I know the gospel is real. 
I know our loving older brother Jesus Christ came to this earth to live a perfect life. To set the perfect example for you. For me. And I know that it is because He could do that that He was worthy to suffer and die for my every mistake. Every rebellion. Every short-coming.
I loved Elder Robert C Gay's message in the ensign:
"May you understand that this is not a journey into the known but the unknown—it is a path of faith and integrity to the voice of the Holy Ghost that ultimately demands your sacrifice to be more than just good or less sinful but to become holy and consecrated.
In all of this my prayer is that each of you may find the strength to obey and repent as needed to live a life, dictated by the Spirit within, that bears witness that Jesus Christ is your priority."
As we make Christ our priority every thing else works out! I really does!
Maybe not in the way that the rest of the world would imagine as a "successful and happy life" would be, but we know better:) 

I love you all soo much! thank you for all the love and support and prayers you have given me over these last 18 months! You have made all the difference:) 
For those of you still serving, Keep up the great work! You are in my prayers! 
And for those of you home, I'll see you soon! 

My homecoming is going to be August 13th at 9:00am at 56 East 600 North Lindon Utah:)
And there will be details about when you can come by house on the facebook page my mom made:) Just FB message Carol Dobyns for the details if you would like to come by! I'd love to see you all:) 

Sister Dobyns 
Canada Calgary Mission❤ 

All the goodbye's

service project this week:) 

My favorite Girls! :) 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The World Turned Upside Down (for lethbridge)

Hi fans. 

We're keeping busy busy busy here in the good ol' Lethbridge! 
We've seen a lot of miracles this week as we have been able to get a hold of a few more less actives that have been MIA for a few months! 

We also had our ward BBQ this week, and lots of people brought their nonmember friends, relatives, and neighbors! So we really loved that!! 

We met with Wassem and Nathaniel again this week- they are the 2 french investigators we picked up last week! And it was the neatest thing! We got there and they had invited 2 more of their friends to join our discussion!!
We had an awesome lesson and talked about the Plan of Salvation and God's plan for each of us. Nathaniel was just eating it up! He has the most sincere desire to do everything he can to be close to God! I live to teach people like him on my mission. It makes me sad to know they will only be here until August 10th before going back to Quebec! So our goal with them is to help them want to meet with missionaries in Quebec! And it's going well so far!! 

On Sunday the world turned upside down!! 
We had a multi-stake conference where they announced "substantial boundary changes" for all 4 stakes involved! And pretty much... every ward boundary changed in lethbridge and now all of the missionaries here don't know what to do with our lives! haha! They created 3 more wards, and completely flip-flopped everyone's boundaries! Thankfully, our wards changed the least of everyone's! But seriously, missionary work in lethbridge is a gong show right now, and will be until transfers when President can reorganize everything... SO that's Super fun!! 

I also had my departing interview with my mission president on Sunday
That was super terribly weird. But good:) He gave me lots of dating advice of all things.... haha But yeah. I am feeling a little bit better about going home each day:) Not really any better about leaving my mission though... I don't know if that even makes sense... but there it is! 

So I know I've talked a lot about this already, but guys-
Do you know how important studying the scriptures is??? 
I have seen serious study of the scriptures change lives completely, and positively. I have no doubt that regular scripture study will help us stay a float in this sinking world. The scriptures will never take away our struggles- but they will help us understand our struggles. The testimony President Monson shared in conference is a testimony I have for myself.  We must be in the scriptures every day. I know it is difficult to find the time, and keep the interest- but it is so crucial that we do! Yes, reading a little but each day is good. But we are meant to meaningfully study and apply the scriptures daily. PLEASE remember this! pray for a greater desire to study, and then prioritize your life. I've said it before but we are not meant to weave the gospel in and out of our lives. We are meant to weave our lives in and out of the gospel. We cannot spiritually mult-task our lives. This is so important. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God." When we put Christ and His gospel at the center of our lives, all other things will fall into their rightful place. Do not become causal in your discipleship of the Savior. Make the choice now to follow Him diligently the rest of your life. 
Be humble. Keep praying. Trust in God. Put Christ as the center of your life. 

Love you all so so much!
Sister Dobyns:) 

Selfie with Sister Miles<3

Waiting at the park for our investigator that never showed.... #missionlife 
Don't worry... it's only 98 degrees outside... 

We found a yellow wall...

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fire Fighters For a Day

It has been an extremely eventful week! So eventful, we even made the news!!! 

This week was my last zone conference! I still can't believe it! But it was definitely one for the books... We had an amazing conference, and then at the end, all the departing missionaries were bearing their testimonies. And about 3 minutes after I sat down, the brother who was installing our new Tiwi's ran in and told us the neighboring building was on fire, and they needed help getting people out!!! Immediately all 80 of us raced out of the church to help- but as soon as we got out and looked at the 4-story senior center blazing on fire we all had to take a second to catch out breath! I have never seen anything like it. We started running towards the building, the elders were flinging their suit coats off, and sisters were kicking off their shoes- we were all ready to go straight into the flames! But thankfully, a responsible policeman wrangled us in a little and gave us some jobs to do that would actually be beneficial... So some of us started escorting seniors out of the building, while others set up chairs in the church gym and passed out water bottles, and left over food from our lunch a few hours earlier. There were many elderly people who had pets with them, so me and another sister got bowls of water for them too. 
Needless to say we quickly cancelled all our appointments, and the 80 missionaries there all just went around and visit with those who were evacuated, and made sure they were taken care of. We let them borrow our phones to call loved ones, and helped them get to the washroom, and find their friends and family members. 
Anyway, here are a few little excerpts from news reports of that day:
“It’s nothing short of a miracle that there wasn’t a single person hurt in this fire," Richard Hildebrand, Lethbridge Fire Chief stated, “This sort of fire is a fire chief’s and a firefighter’s worst nightmare,”
It was a terrifying afternoon for almost 150 Lethbridge seniors who were forced to flee their burning retirement home on Tuesday.
As for the evacuation effort, the neighboring Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints played a crucial role in helping get residents to safety.
Evacuated residents were sheltered at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints next door and were provided with food, water and conversation.
“When these old people get displaced like that, they’re confused and really upset. So, our missionaries are just kind of settling them down, making them feel a little bit better; that things will be okay,” said Steve Miles, a mission president with the LDS Church.
But they didn’t just provide shelter.
“We have about 80 missionaries that are here and all 80 of them left and went over and helped the older folks as they came out of the building,” Miles said.
“Normally we don’t have this many missionaries here. Today happened to be one of those days that we did. All these missionaries are just young people and they’re here to help.”

The real miracle of it all is that we weren't even supposed to have our meeting that day, or at that building! Originally our conference was scheduled to be in Taber (another city about 40 minutes out) the following day! And all I really have to say about that is God knows His children, and He knows their needs before they even happen! I am so grateful for Heavenly Father's evident hand in this miraculous event, and for my mission president who followed the spirit and gathered all 80 of us in that building that day. 

And just as a side note of the other great things that happened this week:
~we picked up 4 new investigators...nbd
~1 of our ysa investigators is on date for July 29th
~we met with 2 Less actives that had completely fallen off the face of the earth for over a month
~and we got to sing 'If the Savior Stood Beside Me" at the edith cavell (a different seniors center) sacrament service, and it was hands down the most spiritual musical number I have ever been a part of in my life! 
~We played quidditch for fhe... haha 
~aaaand we made Canadian cookies:) 

Anyway, i don't have as much time as i'd like this week to write my e-mail, but here is a quote i found this week I really loved:) 
"All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our character, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God." -Orsen F Whitney
Put simply, I know this is true. 
God has great expectations of us all because He knows the great potential that is in each of us. He put it there. So please- follow that path, and do it His way. there is unimaginable happiness that comes when we do:) 

love you all so so much! 
have a good and safe week! 
Sister Dobyns

zone conference fire-


(Mine is the OCD one of the right...) 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Who Am I to Judge Another?

Hello All! 
It's been a hot week! But we survived! :) 
We have great news!!! MIKE GOT THE JOB!
Mike has been looking for work for quite some time, and last week he had an amazing experience where he felt the spirit prompt him to apply for this job, and then HE GOT IT! and he is SO excited about it! and we are SO excited for him too!!! Prayer works you guys!!! It really does!!! 

So this week we did a cool thing where we, as a mission, began a fast together on Thursday evening.  Throughout the fast we sought the Lord's direction on where to go to find people to teach. On Friday, between the hours of 2:00-5:00 each companionship in our mission was out talking with the people. It was a time for us to exercise our faith as a mission in talking to those the Lord puts into our path. We didn't find anyone new for us to start teaching right away, but it was an amazing experience overall! We got to talk to so many people, and we even offered a prayer with 5 of them! each time we were touched by the spirit and felt of God's love for them. We have heard about so many miracles throughout our mission that have come from this fast and find! 

This week I also went on my very last exchange ever! That was a super weird realization... 
We had a fun 4th of July dinner with some members, and had interviews with President and Sister Miles! As always, meeting with them was the highlight of my week:) 

When I think of the Savior, I often picture Him reaching out to comfort, heal, bless, and love. He loved the humble and the meek and walked among them, ministering to them and offering hope and salvation. Jesus Christ is out example of kindness. Christ did not just speak about love; He showed it each day of His life. He not only taught, but also showed us how to live the gospel.
During Christ's mortal life, He could have done what was logical and stuck with those who loved Him and were most like Him. But He didn't. Christ was interested in three kinds of people: the least, the last and the lost. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we commit to follow Him and His example. The divine nature within each of us is supposed to love, forgive, and give people a chance; however, the natural man within us is more inclined to judge, condemn, and be contentious. 
I'm sure we all remember President Uchtdorf's talk from 2012 where he said that the topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the Following: STOP IT! It's that simple. We simple have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thought and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. 
Miracles can happen, and will happen when there is kindness, respect, and love. Bitterness and animosity is not a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Ultimately we judge others because they are different than us in one regard or another. It is important to recognize that living with differences is a part of God's plan for us. We're never going to be the same. We're not always going to agree. And that's okay! there will always be different circumstances we can't control. But we can always choose how we respond. Jesus Christ is our teacher and helper in that regard. He, more that anyone else, understands what it's like to be opposed and oppressed, to love among opposites, and to respond to differing opinions of the day.  
So why is it that we are not supposed to judge? 
In Matthew 7 it explains "judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged." If the Lord uses His own criteria for judging, we are assured of a just, and merciful judgement. Are we confident enough with the criteria we use in judging others that we are willing to have the Lord judge us by our criteria rather than His? Do we want Him to judge us in the same way we judge others? If not, then perhaps we should be hesitant to criticize and condemn others. Seldom do we ever really see the true picture. We look at situations, at people, and see the topmost layer, an oversimplified, often deceiving layer. And we judge. On my mission I have had a chance to look behind the curtain of many struggling, and hurt children of God. It has hurt me to see the best efforts they put in completely looked over by those around them, and be judged for their uncontrollable and unfortunate circumstances. We always hear about this unseen "bigger picture" and yet, we think this is different. I do know, I do understand everything. But we are not the ones who took upon ourselves every sin, sorrow and pain in order to have the privilege of perfect empathy and perfect understanding. No, only the Savior truly knows. Only He understands. Only He see's the whole picture. 
We can never fully know the circumstances of someone else's life, their motives, or the state of their heart. The Lord's way will be to apply His perfect knowledge of each person's circumstances, motives, and actions thought their entire lives. 
We need to love as the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us. We need to love, be kind, avoid contention, be patient, reserve judgement for God, and forgive-- over and over again. As we pray in faith, he will help us to become more than we are, to see others as more than what they may appear to be, and to respect those who are different than we are and trust that maybe we can learn something from our fellow travelers in this world. Perhaps in knowing them we learn tolerance, empathy, compassion, patience, and ultimately how to love like God. 
I know that Jesus Christ is our perfect example. And I pray we can all strive to follow Him by choosing the higher road, choosing to love, to be kind, and to seek understanding. I know that as we pray for this help sincerely, we will receive it. 

Love you all so much! 
Be safe this week, and enjoy the heat! 
Sister Dobyns:) 

So sorry, but I kinda totally spaced on taking pictures this week:P 
Forgive me! 
(That's 104 degrees Fahrenheit!) I heard it even got to 45! Which is 113!!! Where's the lake when you need it?!?!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Faith to Never Leave Him

Happy Canada Day & Happy 4th of July Everyone! 

It has been a super fun and eventful week!! 

Last Tuesday Sister Melville and I were able to go to Waterton with our wonderful housing inspectors the Parkinson's! We hiked bear's hump, and oh my goodness it was so beautiful!
I was so excited a practically ran to the top! (Taking many many breaks to let the others catch up haha) But it was honestly so breath taking! And once we made it up to the top there were tons of little chipmunks that just crawled onto your lap, and would eat out of your hand! It was so precious! Then we got hot dogs, and ice cream, and went by a waterfall, and headed home again! We got home and raced to our evening appointments, and were super tired by the end of the night! 

We also had an awesome youth activity this week where we played missionary jeopardy, and asked the youth what some questions were that their friends have asked them and would like help answering. After discussing a few of their questions and how to respond to their friends, we grabbed some snacks, and just had an open Q&A for anything they think we could help with or answer for them:) It was honestly so awesome! The youth were so responsive, and excited as they were able to practice answering the real questions they face every day. I really admire them and their desires to share the gospel, and help their friends understand more about what we believe! 

And of course Saturday was a blast! Canada turned 150 this year!! 
We spent all day on our feet pretty much! We helped out with the food bank and served hamburgers for 5 hours! and then we went over to another park and met up with Maegan! We looked for little service opportunities all throughout our day, and just had a good time! it was super hot all day but was really fun:) and today we are celebrating the 4th of July with our zone!
So this week I have been thinking a lot about enduring to the end. Go figure right? 
But as I studied I came across the story in John 6 where Christ is teaching his disciples, and many of them find the things that Christ is asking of them to be too difficult, and make the most heart-breaking decision of their lives. It says:
66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
As we follow the Savior we will, without a doubt, face challenges, adversity, and be asked to give up many things. None of us are exempt from the necessity of facing these trials. We will all at one time or another come to place where we must ask ourselves "will [I] go also away?" In fact, many of us face that question every day. 
But I know that is is enormously important for us to respond the same way Peter did when he said:
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
Christ is the only with answers. We must choose to face our individual challenges with faith in Him, and in our Father's plan. When we do, our afflictions become that of a refiners fire, and we find our conversion deepened, and have drawn nearer to our Savior than before. But when we approach our hardship without faith, and without the aid of our Savior, those same trials can cloud of view, weaken our resolve, and drive us in the opposite direction of where true peace and happiness can be found. And from the only One who is able to save, and help us. 
Throughout my mission I have seen and felt the heartbreak that comes when one slips away from that straight and narrow path. I'm sure many of us have. There may even be some of us that are slipping away right now without even realizing it. I invite every single one us to evaluate where we are on that path, and which direction we tend to be moving in. 
So how do we remain true to the Savior and His gospel? How do we develop this faith and strength to never leave Him? True and fervent prayer, diligent study of the scriptures, faithful church attendance, regular temple attendance, and compassionate service. You know the answers. You have probably been taught them your whole life. So what will you decide to do the next time you are faced with a difficult challenge and the question arises "will ye also go away?" 
I know it is not easy. Trust me... I know. I have learned that lesson many many times in the 17 months alone. But I know that there is no better path to walk, or road to weather than that of the discipleship of Jesus Christ. So make that choice. Decide today to trust the Savior with your full heart, and mind, and energy and strength no matter what comes. 

I love my Savior and Father more than anything else in this life. 
I know our Father's plan is perfect. 
And I know it is only because of our Savior that we can continue on this plan even when we fall short 100x a day. 
The gospel is true. It is the only thing that will bring true happiness and change into our lives. 
I've seen in myself, and in many people that I love on my mission, and I can not deny the power that has come into my life as I have done all I can to serve and follow my Savior. 
Please choose to stay with Him. 
I love you all dearly and wish you wonderful week! 
~Sister Dobyns:)
Lunch break from serving hamburgers for hours! 

Cute Backyard

Beautiful Waterton! 

Canadian Pride! 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ups and Downs but mostly ups!

AH! we're running to waterton this week so I don't have much time, but I have so much to say!!! Here it goes...

We survived transfers week with no changes! Hoorah!! :) 
And Tuesday night we had an amazing miracle!
All of our appointments set us up, or cancelled, (classic missionary problem...) and we were trying to decide what the best thing for us to do would be. Thankfully we had lots of options, but we really wanted to follow the spirit and do what was best. 
When everything cancels like that, I always feel like it is because there is somewhere else that the Lord knows we need to be! The trick is just making sure I actually get myself there! 
So after a little bit of frustration because we felt like we weren't getting any direction, we decided to drop by a media referral that we received a few weeks ago. 
[Back story:] okay so a few weeks ago we got a media referral for an investigator and a less active husband moving into our area THAT DAY, and they needed help. So we of course rushed over to help, but found no one at the address we were given. And the phone number we had wasn't working! We tried stopping by several times after that with no luck. 
Okay, so when we pulled up to the house, again it looked like no one was home, but before we could go to the door, we got a phone call from our zone leaders for transfer calls! So we were on the phone for a few minutes, and when we got off, we looked up and there was a moving truck backing into the drive way! So we jumped out of our car and helped them move into their house 2 weeks after we were told they were moving!!! MIRACLE!!! So we helped them move, and set up a time to come back and help some more and start teaching Stephanie, the investigator! So we are super pumped for that! I know that was where the Lord knew we needed to be, and I'm so grateful that He led us there even when we felt like we weren't getting any direction. Sometimes we can't wait to be told what to do. We just have to do what we know is good, and trust that if that's wrong, He'll redirect you. 

So I think I mentioned this before, but our President has asked us to park our cars once a week and walk or ride our bikes. So this week while we were biking we saw an ice cream truck! and just had to embrace our inner child and chase him down... haha we talked to him for a while and told him what we do as missionaries, and he even took a pass along card! It was awesome! Then Sister Melville almost died trying to hold her ice cream and bike at the same time, but saved it at the last minute! 

We had a pass off lesson with our investigator Mikyla and her Less active mom Gwen. It went really well, and I know the elders will see a lot of miracles with them as we already have! It's always sad when you can't keep working with someone, but I know they're going to do great! :) 

In our family Ward Council this week we got the sweetest compliment I have ever received from our primary president. We were about to leave because we had to head to our other ward, and she just told everybody how great she thought we were and said "If you have ever had any friends you thought about inviting to meet with the missionaries, Now is the time to do it while these sisters are her" and just kept saying so many sweet things. We left just so humbled and grateful for her kindness. it was in that moment that I really knew that all of the hard work it's been to turn this area around has been worth it:) 

And then our investigator Mike and his wife Kathy had us over for dinner and told us that if we were ever in any kind of danger or sketch situation, to RUN to his house and BANG on the door and he promised we wouldn't have any problems any more... 
haha so that was super awesome. It sounds kinda scary, but honestly it was one of the most tender moments of my mission. They are so incredible, and I am so grateful we get to teach and work with them so frequently:) 

Anywho! that's all that I have time for today!
I love you all do much and wish you the absolute best this week!
Don't forget to do the little things everyday!
They bring so much happiness I PROMISE!!!

~Sister Dobyns:) 
Re-living our childhoods! 

Saying goodbye to Gwen and her family!

Shout out to Maegan - love her. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Love of Our Father

Happy Tuesday everybody:) 
It's been an exciting week as usual:) 
We were able to pick up a new ysa investigator names Austin!
He has been coming to church for the past month or so, but wasn't interested in meeting with us until last sunday he reached out to us and asked if we could meet this week!
And so we met up with him and his best friend who is a returning less active, and taught the first discussion. 
It was so amazing to teach Austin. He is so ready to receive the gospel! 
Just 2 months ago Austin described himself as a "strict atheist." and now, he has been coming to church for weeks, and his friend has told us he's seen Austin reading from the Book of Mormon several times since our last meeting! And at the end of our first lesson, he agreed to be baptized when he comes to know the church is true!!! So he is praying about the Book of Mormon, and thinking of July 22nd for his baptism!!! 
We will be meeting with him again this week, and we're excited to hear what his thoughts are! 

We also met with Meagan twice this week!
That was awesome of course:) We love her:)
She is doing well. Not totally sure she's interested in joining the church, but is still willing to meet with us, so we can't complain, and we haven't given up yet:) 

One of our dinner appointments this week invited their non-member co-worker to join us, and then we had the first discussion with her afterwards! she's not in our area, but she wants to keep meeting with missionaries!!! #Tendermerciesallaround

We got to hear from Sister McConkie this week at a youth fireside she came to!! That was really exciting:) We didn't get to meet her afterwards, but we enjoyed her message, and the yw in our ward were really excited about it:) 

Our lesson with Mike was wonderful too!
We met in the home of some different members than we usually meet with, and it was so cool! They have known Mike for 5 years, and are his wife's home teachers. Brother Pierson was the one that gave mike the blessing that changed his life, and then later gave his dad a blessings! We talked a lot about he potential Mike has, and he was in tears most of the evening. He kept asking us, and himself "why me?"

I found that question very interesting, and I think it is one that we have all asked ourselves at one time or another. I know I asked myself that very question when I felt I needed to serve a mission. But I am so incredibly grateful for a Father in Heaven who knows each of our worth, and our potentials. 
It has been so fitting to have this on my mind this week, with Father's day on Sunday. 

Shout out to my dad (a.k.a. best earthy father around!) And an even bigger shout out to my Heavenly Father. I think about all of the amazing things my dad has done for me, and how much love and support I feel from him, and then I try to imagine what my Heavenly Father's love and support much be like! 
In 3 Nephi 14 it says: 
7 Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
8 For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

And I know that is true. Heavenly Father will answer our prayers. I have no doubt about it. 
But we must be patient in our answers, and humble, and willing to adapt to the plans Heavenly Father has in store for each of us. I can promise they are better for us in the grand scheme of things than anything we could plan or hope for ourselves. 

Here is a super awesome mormon message that sums up everything I've been thinking about better than I can in the last short minutes I have left to e-mail today:) 

Anyway! I have to run!
But I hope you have a wonderful week of miracles!
 Don't forget to pray for missionary opportunities in all that you do!
“After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel.”
-Jospeh Smith

~Sister Dobyns

Our upstairs neighbor brought us down fresh cinnamon buns when we were weekly planning! 

Last zone picture this morning before a few elders get picked up to head for the airport! 

Sister Melville and I with our less active's sweet daughter (she usually looks much happier than this... haha) 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Launch out into the Deep

Would you expect anything less than a busy week jammed full of miracles...?:) 

To no surprise, miraculous things keep on happening! 
It's hard to believe how much this area has turned around since my first week here. 
It is truly incredible. 

So bullet points: 

  • Mike(investigator): He is doing great! He has started setting his own commitments at the end of the lesson!!! This week he wants to read a whole chapter in the Book of Mormon before we come! And we just went on and on last lesson about how he knows that he will understand more and more and grow closer to God as he reads and studies the Book of Mormon.
    We are so excited for him!!! 
  • Maegan(investigator): Amazing as ever:) We had dinner with her on thursday at the piggy back poutinery, and that was super good!! We also taught her the restoration, and she said she would crack it open this week! so fingers crossed for that! :) Then she came with us on saturday to help with the food drive! We were sorting all the food that was coming in, and it was seriously the biggest mad house ever for like 3 straight hours! We sort 70,000lbs of food! hooray! 
  • Gwen & Mikyla(less active mom and investigator daughter): CAME TO CHURCH! wow that was awesome:) We also met with then this week and taught the restoration. It was really neat because Gwen's husband kept coming in and out of the lesson, and one time he asked us a question about "the baptism of the spirit" and when we answered him he got tears in his eyes and just said "well answered." and walked out of the room again!
    So we're hoping to pick him up as an investigator this week too:) 
  • Austin(Potential Investigator): He is a friend of a less active we have been working with weekly since I got here. And Austin has been coming to church with him for the last month or so- but wasn't really interested in meeting with us when we asked.
    BUT! this week after church he sent us a text asking to meet up sometime this week and teach him the lessons!!! AAAAHHHH! So we're really pumped for that:) 
  • Church was frantic as always, but wonderful:) we've accepted the fact that we will always be teaching like 2 lessons a week at church now. But it's been really awesome:) 
  • And the ward is seriously on fire!!! They are giving us referrals left and right! We have had to pass pretty much all of them off to other missionaries so far because they're not in our area, but the members are doing so great!!! We have an dinner appointment with some members this friday who are bringing their friend who wants to learn more about the church, and are planning on having a discussion right afterwards, so that is super awesome too! 

So the moral of the story is God is amazing, and the work is great right now:) 

But today I mostly wanted to follow up with everyone about the challenge that I mentioned last week:) About reading Elder Oaks talk and praying to know what your role is, in Heavenly Father's plan to carry the gospel to all of the world. And to do so with a commitment to act on the impressions you receive. 

I hope it has gone well so far. I know that we don't always see those miracles happen over night though, so don't give up too easily. 
I was reading in Luke 5 this week, and it reminded me of what we sometimes do as member missionaries. 
Sometimes, we try really hard to be a good member missionary- and we just aren't getting the results we desire, or have been told will come. But I promise there is more for you to do. 

1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon [Jesus] to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing. 

And that's how it ends right? 
Simon Peter says, well, you know, we already tried Jesus.
And nothing came of it. 
We did our part. 
We're done.

He continues: 

5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
6 And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

Can you see the connection? 
We do not get to decide when it's time to call quits. 
When we think we've done enough. 
We must give all of our efforts, and when Christ asks us to try again. WE DO IT. 
And that is when the miracles take place. 
That is when we metaphorically catch so many fish that we cannot even fit them all in our boat and the next. 

Please please please Brothers and Sisters. 
Cast your nets in again. and again. and again.  
You will be blessed for every effort you exert. 

You are in the middle of a miracle. 
Don't close the book before you see the happy blessings that come in the end. 

I love you all! 
And pray for you every day!
Stay strong. 
God Bless. 
And don't forget to launch out into the deep this week and let your nets down. 
Sister Dobyns:) 

Awkward selfies as we always forget to take normal people pictures... 

That moments when your favorite dress shinks in the wash, and you panic and create this contraption to stretch it back out! (there is 6lbs in hanging in the slip we tied in a knot to add some pressure) haha

Grabbing Poutine with Maegan:)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Miracles have not ceased!

Wow, I might have to start writing in bullet point form more regularly.... We are just seeing SOO many miracles that I am anxious to tell you all about!! What an awesome problem to have... so many miracles I don't have time to write about then all! :D 

Last Monday we went to a park with our zone and made campfire dinners, and it was awesome!:D
On Tuesday we had our big move!! And holy cow that was so exhausting!!! But our new place is suuuper nice! And we are (Very slowly) getting all unpacked and settled in:) 
Okay, So just some quick miracles: 
  • One of my members (Actually my last Calgary ysa bishop's mom!) called us over to give her a Book of Mormon, and help her highlight some parts she felt would help her friend so she could give it to her! 
  • We had a hiding less-active contact us and ask to meet, and now we are teaching her 2 unbaptized children as well as her! 
  • Our investigator Mike, actually read from the Book of Mormon! And his home teachers gave his dad a blessing! 
  • We were running to a dinner appointment, and their next door neighbor (a member also) was sitting outside and called us over to give us a referral! 
  • We started meeting with a new investigator who is married to a less active. It started out as him rattling off all his problems with the church, but his heart quickly softened as we were able to resolve all his concerns simply and quickly! 
  • A former Investigator we had no idea existed called us out of the blue and asked to start meeting with us again! 
  • Our new ysa investigator came out to fhe and met a bunch of new people:) 
We also finally arranged a way to go on splits on sunday so we can attend ALL of our meetings! And it worked out really well! On Saturday we had a "family fun run" that we had several less actives, and non-members out to, and had a great time, and got my first sunburn for the year! 
We went on exchanges.
Starting riding our bikes once a week. 
Almost got blown away while riding them... 
and started volunteering at the local food bank!

Okay! *deep breath* 
So I just wanted to invite you guys to follow the example of my amazing wards here, and pray to know what it is that Heavenly Father would have you do in your life to share this amazing gospel! 

In that talk by Elder Oaks he mentions 3 things ALL members can, and should be doing! I have witnessed miracles as members have taken this challenge seriously. 
The 3 and final point he makes is this:Inline image 5
This is not a passive or idol work.
And we each have a vital role to play. 
I would encourage each of you to take the time to pray to ask God what your role is. I know that as you do so with this commitment to act, you WILL receive guidance, and opportunities. But we do not get to choose what they look like. So please. Act on the inspiration you receive. Whatever it may be. I know you will be happier as you, and God will be pleased with your efforts. 

I love you all infinitely! And hope you have another awesome week of summer! 
I know that this work is true, and God wants the whole earth to have that blessing. So let's get to work. 
Sister Dobyns:) 

My Yummy Campfire Dinner! 

Our PACKED car moving to our new place! :D 

Family Fun Run! 

Our new bestie Maegan! 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Never Be Weary of Good Works

Wow there are so so SO many things that happened this week that I could honestly take hours to write about! BUT unfortunately I do not have time for that! So here is my BRIEF sum up! (Keep in mind this is the brief version) 

  • Love of my life Kaylan Bae McKelvie came to visit from Calgary!! Oh man, words literally cannot describe how happy I was to see her<3 We grabbed lunch with her and Stuart and then when our dinner cancelled, we grabbed dinner with them! :D And as if the gift of seeing my best friend wasn't enough, she invited her non-member friend from lethbridge to dinner with us too! Who we are now planning on teaching!!:D plentiful miracles! 
  • We did service for our Investigator Mike and his wife Kathy! We helped them with some yard work and plant their garden- And when Mike went inside for a minute to make some lemonade, Kathy told us that Mike is making so much progress, and explained to his dad was a priesthood blessing was this week, and shared his amazing story, and asked if he would want one!!! WHAT?? so awesome!!! 
  • We had Zone Conference and it was soo incredible! I felt the spirit so strongly the whole way through, and it just excited me even more to be a good missionary! I loved it so much! And while we were there they made a few announcements:
    1- P-day will now be held on TUESDAY starting next week! That will be a little weird of an adjustment, but not too big of a deal- so just a heads up when I don't e-mail next monday, I'm not dead. Just wait til tueday haha:)
    2- Our mission will finally be getting the infamous Teewee boxes in July! (So grateful I'll only be around for a month of those!)
    3- Once a week we will be required to park our cars and walk or bike for the day! We are super pumped about that one!:D We've been looking for an excuse to ride our bikes more so it should be good! 
  • We had a dinner appointment that was super awesome! The couple was so excited about missionary work, and coming out with us and things! And we have seen so many other members start to feel the same way! :D Hooray! 
  • We went to the yw activity and got to meet lots of the girls that don't come out to church. And once they had talked with us for a little they realized how normal we are, and agreed to see us again!:D 
  • We had a lesson with a recent convert out on the grass in front of the church, and right as we were saying the closing prayer it started to trickle a little bit. But as soon as we started walking towards our cars it just started down pouring!!! #perfecttimiming! Mini miracles all around! 
  • We met with our new ward mission leader, and assistant ward mission leader, and they are SO amazing! They have already helped us out sooo much! i know there are going to be so many miracles in this ward because of them! 
  • We had an amazing lesson with Mike again! And talked about all the miracles that he has seen in his lifetime, and how that has been God working with him. He agreed to give God at least 1 minute of every day- and then to build on that once he begins to recognize God answering him. And believe it or not that was such a miraculous commitment for him to make! 
  • We went to the food bank to fill out a volunteer form and the lady that was helping us with it starting asking us questions about what we do as missionaries, and what Mormons can and can't do- It was so amazing! We didn't even have to keep the conversation going because she was just so excited to ask us more questions! Then she had to run because someone called for her, but we are going to see her again next week when we start volunteering there weekly! 
  • We went to a ysa variety show and Maegan came and met a bunch of members of our ward, and made a lot of friends!! So that is SUPER exciting because now she wants to come out to more activities! Huzzah! 
  • We helped with a move for a few hours- and it was suuuper hot! But it went pretty quick so that was good:) 
  • We packed up our entire lives! because we are moving tomorrow!!! YAY! But wow... who knew it takes so much STUFF just to survive... 
  • We went to the mall for dinner and ran into sooo many members! i love it when they come up to us and visit for a while. Instead of having dinner by ourselves we were able to meet 3 different couples that were just visiting lethbridge for the day- So cool!
  • We also wrote our talks for sunday! 
Sunday: Man oh man alive, what a day! 
  • Long story short... we were RUNNING! a million miles an hour from 8:00-5:00
  • We had our coordination meeting in our family ward, and ran straight to our ysa ward council. we left that early to make it to our family ward council, which we left early to make it to our ysa sacrament meeting. we left early from ysa sunday school to make it to family ward sacrament, where we both spoke on member missionary work (sister melville did AMAZING) and then we had several members come up to us afterwards and give us referrals!!! They also asked us to sing in sacrament meeting soon, and kept telling us over and over how much they loved us and were excited to work with us!!!! SO WONDERFUL! Wow! While we were in sunday school we got a text from the ym pres asking if we could teach the lesson today so we did that, and it went great! and then we couldn't get out of the church building for an hour after church got out because so many members wanted to talk to us about things they need help with or would like! Seriously guys it was the most jammed packed 8 hours of my life!!! My brain never stopped running the entire time! So we came home and took a 20 minute breather instead of having our lunch earlier in the day, and then went back out for the rest of the night- 
  • Then when we looked back over our dinner calendar we realized we had 3 different less actives we have been trying to meet with sign up to feed us!!! 

....Phew! okay, I think that's just about everything! So as you can see, the miracles literally never end when you are working hard and doing what you should! 
I am so so grateful to be here at this time and to be here with Sister Melville! It has felt so good to be able to just work really really hard again after struggling for a few weeks. 
I love being a missionary more than anything else I have ever done! 
I am so incredibly grateful for this opportunity that I have, and the time that I have left to keep working hard! 
I love you all! i hope you are doing well! 
please let me know if there's ever anything I can do for you! 
have a great week!!! :D 
Sister Dobyns

Our whole lives are packed up sitting in our family room right now CANT WAIT TO MOVE! 

Us when we remembered that we never take any pictures! 

Shout out to my Bae! Kaylan Mckelvie! Love of my life! best day of my life!