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!