Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Time is upon us

Kristen Owens
11:17 AM (38 minutes ago)

to me
Well hey there family,

This week was pretty good :) we found 3 more new investigators which was great! We met with a referral and his father (who we think is a preacher of another church...) it was a crazy lesson full of questions and we totally lost control...anyway, we are meeting with them again after the holidays and they still have lots of questions! Next time we will be more prepared :) it happens. We also had a little miracle. We were bummed because we none of our investigators could attend the Christmas Concert last night so we couldn't go either...we decided to knock on a few houses instead! :) yes! And the second house we knocked on we met this wonderful person named Cindy. She has been married for about a year and we started talking with her. She didn't seem too interested at first--she's catholic--but, then we just decided to keep teaching her as long as she would listen! First rule=teach as you find! We taught her about the Restoration and about receiving answers to prayers.. She accepted a Book of Mormon and we are going back on Saturday to teach her! She seems fairly open and interested. We really felt the spirit as we testified to her on the doorstep in the 20 degree weather (my face was about to fall off, I could hardly speak...). But, it was pretty amazing. We knew we had met her for a reason and we are excited to see what happens! I love all the tender mercies every day. God is aware of us and I have been learning that as we set goals with Him, He provides ways to accomplish them. Setting goals and working for them is a major skill I have been desperately trying to develop while being here. It takes a lot of faith and work and creativity, but He is willing to help us accomplish them if it is right :)

Transfers are this week and I am proud to say I get to stay in the "Promised Land" aka Medicine Lake with my awesome Companion Sister Taufer! 1/2 my mission in the same area--WHOO WHOO!!! The people here are amazing and wonderful :) I love it here. We are really hoping to see some progress with our investigators and get them to really commit to a date. I think I have been blessed with very prepared people here in our area as of late so when people don't commit right away and have this strong desire to be baptized, I don't know what to do! haha It's a learning experience. But, with faith and prayer and their faith and their prayers, I know God will give them an answer. We are shooting for some dates in January. And really trying to establish the expectations of baptizing every month. It is possible because our mission president has told us we can do it and he is inspired. It is from the Lord! He has faith in His missionaries and we have faith in the Spirit :) Thanks mom for your words about how the Holy Ghost loves us just as much as Christ and Heavenly Father. I have never really thought of it that way before. He wants to help us. He has the same goal and purpose. Cool!

I just want you (family) and you (friends) to know how grateful I am for your letters, packages, and prayers. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the Lord for blessing me with amazing people in my life. You all play such a huge part! I am so grateful for the fun packages from Becca, Wanda, the Gottfredsons, the parentals, ect. Seriously. THEY WERE SO FUN AND GREAT!!! I love getting the Christmas card letters from everyone (extended family, ward family, etc.) Thanks for all the support you give. I hope you know how much I love each one of you and how much each one of you has impacted my life.

So it sounds like we're having an epidemic of baby boys in the family! What is this! What happened to all the girls?!? Oh well, Priesthood holders in the making :) love it. It sounds like Makena and Hads are having fun together. Give them a big hug and kiss for me! I miss them so much! And I can't wait to have two nephews born in a few months! Crazy. I hope you accept them in their birthday suit mom haha Hadlee is hilarious. How does she even know that?! Tell the rest of the family not to have too much fun on Christmas without me actually being there, I may be able to skype! So if the boys or someone with some technological talents in the family has skype or knows how to do that send a little email our way :) it will be great. 45 minutes of pure joy! :) we aren't sure the details of when and such, we'll let you know :) when i say "we" i mean "I" sorry...I've had a companion for the past 7.5 months.

I love reading the letters from my friends! They seriously motivate me to be better. Britt and her little trainee! Em and her Spanish! Kim and her awesomeness! Shea and her faith! Heidi and her humor! Oh my goodness she seriously makes me laugh! And because of her we are now trying to do more creative finding through our members :) love it. She is my hero. Can't wait for her to get to Spain and get it done! :)

Okay, this letter is really long and my companion just turned to me and said, "I'm starving, I need food!" she eats a lot, except it just goes straight through her! And it sticks to my chin and hips like glue! Don't judge me when you see me next week...working out inside is much harder than outside. ha. ha. ha.

Anyway, I love you. I hope all is well. The Toolson's will be in my prayers. They are such an amazing family, holy moly. I love them. Tell all the extended family I love them and miss them. Merry Christmas.

Before I send this I just want you all to know the Atonement is real. I have never been homesick before until about a week ago. It was really hard to focus. But, my testimony of the Atonement has increased. My burdens have been lifted, I am no longer homesick and the work is moving right along! Christ is the center of everything. His birth, ministry, and Atonement should be central to everything we do in life. I know that everything that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I was thinking about how our ancestors who crossed the plains had to sacrifice so much and all for what? They would not have done that just for a thrill, but they did it because they had Christ and His sacrifice burned in their hearts. They knew this gospel was true. They knew it, and they were not going to let anyone or anything tell them otherwise. I KNOW this gospel is true. I KNOW Christ is my Savior, Redeemer, and the Son of God. I KNOW Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, called to restore Christ's church to this earth. I KNOW the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I KNOW God has a plan for us and we can return and live with Him and our families forever one day as we keep and cleave to our covenants. I KNOW this is the Lord's Church. It's all true isn't it? Then what else matters? I know all these things, and I know God knows I know it. And I will never deny it. The Spirit has testified to me time and time again of these gospel truths. Nothing will shake my testimony of this work. I love you and merry Christmas! I will talk with you next week! WHOO WHOO!

  Sister Owens

p.s. shout out to my wonderful trainer--Sister Randall--thanks for the letter! our letters crossed paths in the answered all my questions pretty much. I love you and hope I can be as good a missionary as you were! Thanks for all you taught me!


Kristen Owens
Dec 10 (7 days ago)

to me
Hey Family,
Sorry this letter is late and will probably be pretty short. So we had a HUGE snow storm--12 inches or so! And we could not drive anywhere yesterday or today so Sister Taufer and I walked to a members home to get a recording device for a special gift for Pres and Sis Clements.. On the way back we got to help a sweet old man shovel his driveway..HE was a member of the RLDS church--what are the odds--and he let us inside and we talked with his Lutheran wife and they were so sweet. They gave us rootbeer and it was a nice service opportunity :) They really were sweet. I loved it. We walked to the grocery store and back home and now we are writing letters on the Wilson's computer. So the last hour of church was cancelled yesterday :) it was pretty exciting! Yesterday we did lots of service shoveling snow and made some phone calls and such :) we have the best ward ever by the way. I love it here! Last week we found 5 new investigators who are looking really promising! WE are so excited to teach them and we have a referral from we are teaching this week as well. super cool! And some members have some friends they want us to meet! whoo whoo. it'll be a good week! And yes I LOVED ALL THE PACKAGES I receieved from you and Becca and Wanda and all the Christmas cards from the extended family are amazing :) I get more letters from extended family than i do my immediate family (hint hint brothers and sisters).
Christmas Conference was great! WE all wore ugly sweatesr and bought Presi and Sis Clements one as well :) it was cute :) we also watched October Sky and had some great trainings on Planning and Finding :) I loved it.
Our investigators are great... we don't have any date sets as of yet but this week we are really hoping to see some great miracles and get 3 to church on SUnday  (it got moved due to the weather)
I don't need anything really other than some thick tights...that might be nice. and some wool socks...its starting to get pretty cold! But, I am SOOO grateful for the nice warm coat and hats and everything you sent me :) they are coming in handy! And Brother and Sister Wilson just got called as mission presidents to an english speaking mission! So crazy! WE will miss them so very much! They leave in July... :( but they will be fabulous! I love them. They amaze me!
I love you family so very much! i love being a missionary at this time of the year. Christmas is no better time to truly serve and love those around me. We get to share messages of Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world! He is the reason for everything! There truly is no other greater calling than a missionary at this time of year. Man. I need to keep remembering that. I'm trying to think of some funny things that happened but nothing is really coming to mind... just if you could keep praying for our area and investigators to come unto Christ. And for us.. I love you all! You are amazing examples to me! I seriously could not have asked for a better family! You make me want to be better! I miss you a lot especially now, but I feel right at home here in Minnesota with the members and people :)  I really do love it here. Thanks for all you do! Keepp it up! I pray for you daily! I hope all is well! Partay on!
  Sister Owens
The Wilsons say hello :)
Sister Taufer is awesome and we are really getting along well :) The work is going! WE got a senior couple in the ward they are fabulous :) Send pics! :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Well helloooo!

Date: Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Subject: well helloooo!
To: carolyn owens <>

Hello Familia,

How goes it? The weather is good there huh? Well it's been pretty good here too! It hasn't snowed all week. It's been chilly, but not cold enough to snow :) thank goodness! But, it is raining outside right now. I love it here. The weather is great! I can't believe it's already DECEMBER! Where in the world has time gone???? I loved getting all the letters from the friends around the world--thanks mom, you are a champ! They all sound fantastic and make me want to be a better missionary. Seriously. Their letters come at good times :) They cheer me up--not that i'm not happy or anything. They just make me even more happy and excited to serve the Lord! The work here is good! We found 3 new investigators this week which we are excited for because not many of our investigators are really progressing.. but one of the came to church on Sunday! which was great because we really had been trying to get him there and finally he came and the ward was great and accepting and everything. We are hoping to find 3 more this week and get 3 to church on Sunday! Being a missionary is mind blowing. There is so much that goes into planning and preparing people for lessons, church, baptism and confirmation, retention efforts, etc. I never realized all the skills I lacked in setting goals and planning until I came on a mission--man from now on I want to set goals for life! They are great! President is really pushing 3 new investigators this week and 3 investigators to church on Sunday. Apparently 1 in every 6 people that attend church get baptized.. hence the push :) we are all trying to baptize monthly. President Clements is amazing. He has such a great vision and confidence in us as missionaries and in increasing the work in Minnesota. There is so much to do and so little time, but we know as we are obedient to his counsel, blessings will come and people will progress. We are really seeking the spirit this week--in everything we do. We have a Christmas Conference on Wednesday and we are excited for it :)

This past week we went on exchanges and Sister Taufer and I went to Dinkytown-aka- on campus with the sisters there. IT was a lot of fun. Basically they contact all day long! That is where my trainer served for about 9 months of her mission before coming to med lake. (I don't think she liked it very much...) but, we talked with so many people and we actually taught a lesson and invited someone to be baptized right outside on campus--she was a sweet chinese girl and it was so cool! then we had a lesson that night with someone and invited him to be baptized--he said yes! It was neat! I love being a missionary at times like that when the spirit is strong and you see people's faces light up when they understand things and it all makes sense! :) ah. the wonderful opportunity we have. Sometimes I think I take things too lightly and other times I take things too seriously. It's easy to get caught up in the little stresses and not to see the bigger picture of how we can help people continue to progress and grow in faith. But, when we really understand the importance of the work and when we are truly converted, talking with everyone and seeking to work becomes so much easier! I want to wear out my life in the service of God especially at this time as a missionary. Acting on those desires is sometimes much harder than you think, but prayer is real and God is aware. (i don't know if that made any sense...)

Anyway, man, everytime I write a letter home I can't help but be so happy and laughy! Sister Taufer is staring me down right now because I am taking too long writing you :) She loves waiting for me :) She's a go getter! and she's reading everything I am saying right now :) hahahahah muahhahaha I am going to keep writing just to bug her :) just kidding. anyway, be good, do good, pray good, serve good, AND CHOOSE THE RIGHT!  This week we got to do a little activity with the mia maid class. they were suppose to invite a friend to the activity and we were going to answer any questions they had and do a short thought. many of them invited friends but there ended up only being one nonmember there :) it was still good. we talked about prayer and how we are daughters of God. I am amazed at the strength of the youth! They are incredible people! oh boy.

I want each one of you to know, I KNOW this church is Christ's church. I know He lives and died for us. I know I can't make it back to God again without Him. I know Heavenly Father is in the details. I know He loves each one of us. I know the Plan of Salvation is true and real. I know we can be together forever as we strive to live the commandments and keep our covenants. I know there is no better place to be in than in the service of your fellowbeings and in the service of God. Sometimes I forget that. Christ is the only person that knows how we feel completely. He loves us fully and everything that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Anything that is unfair whether spiritually, physically, mentally, etc. We can become whole again. I know it because I need to become whole again every day. I know we all have gifts and abilities we are suppose to use to help build up others and His church and to prepare others for His coming. I love this work. I love being a missionary. There is no place I would rather be than on a mission serving the Lord. Thanks for all of your examples and love to me. I think of you often (but not enough to distract obviously;) I pray for you daily and I hope you know I am so proud of each one of you. I love you! :) Have a great week in Utah! Talk to you next week!

Thanks mom for the Christmas package and for all the packages in the past. You really know what I need :) And those bracelets you sent have now become our baptizing bracelets :) everytime we invite or baptize someone we put a bead on haha it's great! And transfers are in a few more weeks and I will most likely stay here again and finish Sister T's training unless for some reason she needs a different companion. But, half my mission in the same place=craziness! I do love it here though :) a change might be nice, however, I will go where He wants me to go. We still have work to do here I guess! :) LOVE YOU ALL! give the kiddoe's lots of love from me!

 Sister Owens


Date: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Subject: Gratitude
To: carolyn owens <>

Hello Family,

It sounds like it was a great thanksgiving! I'm not gonna lie, it was a little hard being with the Wilson's and their whole family :) it made me miss you (for the first time since leaving)! But, it was so nice of the Wilson's to let us barge in on their Thanksgiving meal with their family. They are so wonderful and so giving and loving. They do so much for us. This week was a bit rough as far as finding new investigators and none of them came to church! The little stinkers! However, this next week is looking up! It was fun to have Thanksgiving here and for the first time the snow actually stayed. It was super good weather in the morning and then by evening it was snowing! it's been a bit chilly ever since. Thanks for sending my big coat though mom! :) It is the best thing ever! And yes I bought some nice warm boots to go along with it. My companion hates the cold hahahahaha and she's here in Minnesota in the winter--super funny. She is so great though. She is super prepared and layers up!

The new counselor in the Mission Presidency knows the Renchers and I met him the other day. It was cool to make that connection. He is a really great guy. It's fun. The church world is so small. I always find random connections to people here. It's fun. So Makade is leaving on Wednesday! Crazy! That is going to be such a great experience for him--and he gets the warm weather too :) I am so excited for him! He will be a great missionary. I can't wait to hear his stories and experiences with the people there. He will love his mission.

I am learning so much since being on my mission. Especially this past week learning about gratitude. I have really been feeling like I've been in a bit of a slump and realized that by expressing gratitude, you are expressing faith. This week I have made it a goal to say a prayer of just gratitude each day. It really helps you see the positive blessings the Lord has given. I am so grateful for this time of year. I am so grateful for a wonderful family who is so willing to live the gospel. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a full time missionary. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. It's the hardest and best thing i have ever done. I am so grateful for a loving,patient, and kind Father in Heaven who knows us so well. I am so grateful for the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Where would we be without this wonderful message of hope, peace, and joy?!?! I am so grateful for the wonderful plan of salvation and the plan of happiness. I am especially grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ who makes it all possible for each one of us to overcome the effects of the fall--physically and spiritually. I could not do this alone. None of us could. How great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the whole earth!

Our investigators are doing good. We are really trying to set some dates and help them understand they do not need to know everything in order to be baptized, they just need to gain a testimony and continue to develop that faith. We have a missionary senior couple in the ward now and they are wonderful! We love them! They will help the ward so much. We are so excited to work with them.

If you could just keep us in your prayers extra hard this week, that would be great. We are really seeking to find those kingdom builders who will be ready and prepared to receive us. I love you so much! You have no idea the strength that I feel when I read your letters. :) They bring me so much happiness! :) It makes me want to work even harder to find those families that are searching! I love you. Keep being awesome and sharing the light of Christ with those around you. Tell lil' Carter HAPPY BIRTHDAY! He is the cutest! :) I love you all! Thanks for your awesome examples of love and dedication to this gospel.

Love, Sister Owens

Monday, November 19, 2012


From: Kristen Owens
Date: Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 11:21 AM
To: carolyn owens <>

Hey family,

Thanks for the sweet letter mom and the awesome package! I loved it! especially those cool bracelets--you better believe sister Taufer and I will be strutting those around ;) Well this past week was great. We had an interesting experience. We decided to stop by a less active lady in our ward and found out she had actually passed away about 6 months ago. We were a little shocked and decided to quickly make a note to update our ward list (haha) then we started talking with the man who was living there...then his girlfriend showed up and said, "hello Mormons." She had apparently lived in Utah for quite some time and lived with an LDS family and had gone to church and had lived in Provo, etc.... we are seeing her tomorrow night! Super cool. I guess the lady we thought lived there was an incredible missionary :) so that's kinda cool.

We are getting a new missionary couple here in our area and we are really excited about it! It should bring a boost of work :) They are going to help with our west African population mostly. I never remember things to write back home when I sit down and type....I should start making notes ahead of time.... Um....Our mission has been praying a lot and really seeing a lot of success. We are really trying to find those whom God has prepared in this area through much prayer and fasting. Our zone is praying and fasting this week to know who specifically we can invite to be baptized on a specific date. Faith is an interesting thing. We are trying to move from faith as a principle of action to faith as a principle of power. We are really trying to ask everyone we meet for referrals because many people are prepared.

Jaylen is going to Chile! Whoo whoo! :) cool! she'll be awesome!

So to answer your questions... I might need more money in my account....if possible...I didn't realize I had so little....and I can buy stamps here :) on p-days. and cards would be great! I am excited for Christmas! :) you can either put money in my account and I will just buy cards here or whatever is easiest for you :) today is not our p-day so we only have an hour and it's almost time to go! but, I just want to say we had Elder Gavarret from the seventy came and spoke to us at our mission conference. he was so great. I learned so much! Before hand we were suppose to prepare a five minute talk on how we have accepted the blessings of the atonement in our lives because he was going to choose a few of us to give it.....guess who had to speak! I was so nervous because we went through this line and met him and his wife and then Elder Gavarret told the person who was conducting which three people to speak... so they just called you out without time to collect yourself! haha I was nervous and I don't even know what I said.... I should have been more prepared actually because that morning before study I prepared a talk and kinda had a feeling I would have to speak....ah! But, it was a good experience. I need to learn preparation precedes power. Thanks for all of your prayers and all your examples. I love you so much and I am so grateful for my family. I am grateful to be apart of this great work and I know Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives. He really is. I know we can see miracles this week as we pray with faith and act on those promptings! Happy Thanksgiving! I love that Thanksgiving preps us for Christmas....being grateful for our Savior.

I love you,
 hope all is well,
 talk to you next week!
   Sister Owens

P.S. thanks for sending the letters of my friends. I was reading Alma 27 today and thought of them all when it says in vs. 17-18 how happy Ammon was to see his brethren! "Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness." He was so happy he fainted. :) I think that's how I want to be every day serving! fainting all the time! haha but, seriously. I love you, thanks again!

Monday, November 12, 2012


From: Kristen Owens <>
Date: Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Subject: Hiiii
To: carolyn owens <>

Hello my dearest family,

Okay, first things first: I have not yet purchased warm boots, however, we are going today so I will have them by tonight :) And good thing because the weather has dropped dramatically! Saturday was around 60 degrees and Sunday was FREEZING! And it snowed a little. But, not as much as Utah! :) And I am now wearing my warm coat--super great purchase! Thanks mom for everything, especially for that sweet email you sent. I am going to be more positive this week and optimistic. Our goal as a companionship is to really listen and obey all the promptings we receive. Thanks for that quote by President Monson.

Oh, my new companion is Sister Taufer--she's 29 and is a college graduate of Marketing. She is awesome! She is so well prepared and is already teaching me a lot about how to be a better missionary. She is probably going to be ready to train in 6 weeks I believe. She enjoys running, she likes reading, and she hates the cold (bad timing to come to Minnesota....) haha

Now for the baptisms.....T dawg and S dawg both got baptized and confirmed last weekend. And Brother J (one of my first baptisms) baptized S dawg and received the Melchizedek priesthood the next sunday morning and then confirmed S-dawg as well! :) It was such a neat experience. Brother J is incredible. And the spirit was so so strong in the meeting. I am so grateful to have been apart of it. They are both amazing men and will bring many others into the gospel through their examples. This gospel is true! I'm reminded of that every second! The Lord is really in the details of our lives.

this week we really need to find new investigators....really really bad....most of ours aren't really progressing or they just got baptized... soooo... it would be so great if you could specifically pray for that maybe.... I need your faith mom! You make so many things happen with your faith! :) give me some of it please! haha jk I am amazed at how everything starts with having Faith in Christ. I've noticed that phrase recently in the scriptures "faith in Christ." There is so much to that! I just want to study all day long sometimes.

anyway,we are having a mission conference this week and Elder Gavarret of the seventy is coming to speak to us! It should be really great and get us really excited for the work ahead. We are suppose to prepare a five minute talk on "how I have accepted the blessings of the Atonement in my life." He'll call three people to give that talk (eek...better be well prepared!) It should be really neat though I always look forward to these meetings because it gets you so pumped for missionary work.

so not much to report this week other than transfers and the upcoming miracles we will witness through our diligence and faith! This next week is going to be great! I just know it! :) I hope all is well at home. It sounds like it's good :)

Keep those stories coming of my cute nieces Makena and Hadlee! They are so hilarious I love them and miss them and can't wait to see them again--even the little bouncing baby boys :) ah cuties. Tell erebody hello and that it would be nice to hear from them every once in a while :) or every week even :) seriously family, do you exist???? jk

Okay, well I love you and as always, I know this is God's work. I know Christ lives and everything we do should revolve around him. This is my life goal: 2 Tim 4:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." That's what I want to say when I see Him again. I know the Atonement is real. It changes lives and is the only way we can be completely healed. Everything that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Christ. God has a plan for us. We need to help prepare the world for His coming! It is so urgent and vital that we do all in our power to spread this message. Seriously. The time is now :) keep up the good fight! Work hard and always remember "We are on the Winning team!" :)

I love you,
  Love, Sister Owens

Monday, November 5, 2012

Transfers and Holidays

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kristen Owens <>
Date: Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 10:31 AM
Subject: Transfers and Holidays
To: carolyn owens <>

Hello my dearest family,

It's been a carazy morning. First off, CONGRATS KAIT! That is so great! I actually was thinking about you this morning and I had that thought that you would go somewhere spanish speaking :) haha it was the spirit that told me. jk, but seriously congrats! You will love your mission! :) Well this morning we got a call from President Clements. He talked with Sister Mansfield and guess what?!? She's training! And She's whitewashing into an area in our zone called Elm Creek and Shingle Creek. There are two wards there and her and her companion will be helping mostly with the African immigrant population working with both wards :) She is pumped! I am so proud of her! She is such an amazing missionary :) She taught me so much these past two transfers. She really did. I feel much more confident in myself because of her and her amazing diligence and boldness. She's a rock star.

Then Sister Mansfield handed the phone over to me and President proceeded to tell me I will be training AGAIN. Oh man! I didn't learn what I was suppose to the first time I guess haha AH! I actually secretly prayed for this without knowing. I really felt bad a few weeks ago for not being a better trainer and helping Sister Mansfield as best I could (sometimes I just didn't know how to help her!), so I prayed and asked for forgiveness....I also prayed for a second chance...oops. But, I am really excited to train again. It's been a great experience and I learned a lot. I know I will learn much more these next two transfers as we work harder than before and help others come unto Christ through repentance. My new companion will be great! I can't wait! I am nervous, but I feel at peace about everything. Sister Mansfield is going to be great! I am so proud of her! :)

Anyway, we have two baptisms coming up this week! They both had their interviews and one of them needs a second one, but it has been amazing to see the change in both of them. They have both changed their lives in order to align them with God's will. They have repented and their hearts have truly come unto Christ. I am so excited to see them enter the waters of baptism. And Brother Jesse is baptizing one of them and he received the Melchezidek Priesthood as well!!! :) It has been so neat to watch him continue to progress in the Gospel! :) I am so lucky to have taught him and met him. Sister Randall will be so proud of him when she finds out :) So the cool thing is....We found brother jesse through a member who was recently baptized about 1.5 years ago. He invited jesse to church where sister randall and i set up a time to meet and now he's baptized and progressing in the gospel and is going to do baptisms this week in the temple. but, he was also with us when we found our current investigator S-dawg. And now he is getting baptized this week :) super cool. The original member told the Stake President the other day in Stake Conference that "I'm a grandpa!" haha I thought that was cute and funny. It was really neat to see Brother Jesse sustained though in Stake Conference. He is an incredible man. seriously incredible. His whole purpose and goal in life is to serve God. And he does it so well! I admire him so much!

So, not many exciting things happened this week except our Chinese investigator came to Sacrament meeting (and she didn't understand a lick of it...) but, she came! :) And she said she was going to start coming more I think...we are excited to teach her more :)

Anywho, it's fun to see the work of the Lord rolling forth with all these new missionaries. It's going to be great to witness the work really take off in the next few months! I am so excited to see what great changes will happen and what miracles we will see. I love this area, and I am glad I get to stay here for at least half my mission! :) Can you believe that?! But, if I could make one request. Please continue to pray really really really hard for me and my new companion and this area. I still don't know what I am doing and I know it'll be hard but I know the Lord is in charge. I have learned so much about the power of faith since being on my mission. That's where everything starts. it doesn't mean it will be easy, it just means it will be possible. Please pray especially for our investigators this week. the week before the baptism is one of the hardest.... thanks for all you do! I feel your prayers every single day of my mission and multiple times a day actually. I am so proud to call you my family. I miss you like crazy and these next few holidays will be hard without you, but it will be so great to be able to come back right in time next year for them :) Keep doing what you are doing. you are all such great examples to friends, family, and neighbors. Keep sharing your testimony mom :) I love that about you, you have never doubted anything. Thanks for being a rock in my life. I look to you as my example of faith so much! I love you all! I will let you know how this next weekend is :) pray please really hard for S-dawg and T-dawg...especially T-dawg....

      Sister Owens

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kristen Owens
Date: Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Subject: Hiiiii
To: carolyn owens

Hello mi familia,

How goes it back in Utah? Did it snow there yet? It snowed here for the first time except it didn't stick :) it's just been super cold. And we have been bundling up! so mom....I forgot to tell sister Wilson to call you..... and I think she has already left.....I am so so sorry! But, I do know she is going back in a month or so to drop Brother Wilson off again...He is teaching at BYU again I think. I will let her know then for sure what's going to happen.

This week was pretty uneventful except we had a pretty cool tender mercy and miracle. We had a few minutes before an appointment and we quickly decided to stop by a less active member who we had never met with or heard about. She let us right in and we talked with her for a few minutes. We were able to go back a few days later and we read with her from the Book of Mormon. She said she just wanted to keep reading more! :) She also expressed how she wants to come back to church and wants to meet with the Bishop. We were so excited. I really felt like for the first time in a long time we were in the right place at the right time. The Lord knows His children. I just want to be an instrument in His hands so very badly. I want Him to trust me as much as I trust Him. It's hard sometimes not to get frustrated with your weaknesses (most times I feel like I'm doing nothing right! haha) but I was just reading in a talk today called Being a Consecrated Missionary and it talks about putting everything on the sacrificial alter, including your weaknesses. I guess I really need to rely on the Atonement more in order to do that. Really just give my weaknesses to Him and He can help me make them strengths. I have learned so much these past two transfers. Oh man, I feel so guilty though because I know I can be doing so much more and so much better. It's just hard to balance everything--seriously--that's the hardest thing for me. I just want people to accept the message automatically! haha but, that usually doesn't happen unless they are truly prepared (which is awesome). But, all in all missionary work is great. We are working with a few slowly progressing individuals and are really trying to find new investigators (if you want you can pray for us to find people who are ready). We are trying new things and working more with the ward and less active members. It should be pretty exciting this week.

Well, just letting you know, as I recently flipped through some pic pics, Sister Owens is getting a little chunky... just call me chunky fudge jr I guess ;) (that was for you mom and dad). It's too cold to go outside to exercise now so I feel like I don't get a good enough work out inside doing stairs...the jump rope is exciting though! :) I have determined to be better this week=more focused and diligent as ever. Really apply the counsel I receive and become a consecrated missionary! I hate feeling like I'm not doing all I can. It's dumb.

Transfers are next week==AH! but I think Sis. M and I will stay together one more or I'll stay here in the area...we hope at least. It's gonna be crazy! I can't believe it is almost November too! Holy Moly.

T dawg and S dawg are doing great. They are getting baptized next week on the 10th! They are awesome! Sister Mansfield and I pretty much teach all single men, it's pretty ridiculous and the elders in our ward teach pretty much all single women. It's super funny. Okay, I exaggerated, we teach women too. We really just want to find a family! oh man! that would be joyous! :) Well, the weather is dull but the work is exciting! I'm looking out the window at the dismal gray, but I really just want to go out and shout at all the people to come and listen! I was reading in that same talk this morning and it talked about a man who was called on a mission for about 25 years he served the church as a missionary in all different areas. he wrote in his journal that he desired to be serve in his hometown area so he could take care of his family, but he knew the Lord called him elsewhere. he said he desired to declare the gospel the rest of his life pretty much. I loved reading about his faith. He had his priorities straight, that's for sure. I can't imagine serving for that long and being away from your family for that long, except I do know the Lord provided for him and that his family was well taken care of. To serve the Lord is what we all promised to do--for the rest of our lives--to become dedicated servants. Will you please pray for me to have the faith this week to serve to the best of my ability? And I want you to know, I feel your prayers every day. I couldn't do this without you guys. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family who loves the Lord and knows the Plan. But, really. I am grateful everyday for you. I pray for you a lot as well. And I don't worry about you ever because I know you are well taken care of.

I'm listening to the song "FAITH IN EVERY FOOTSTEP" and I think it's my new favorite song. It gets me pumped to do some finding and teaching and baptizing and bringing people into the fold. This work is so great. Apparently our mission is going to increase by 100 missionaries in the next few months :) CRAZZZZZY. Ah. it's intense. There is so much work to do! Okay, I'm just blabbing on and on. I will stop.

so I miss you all and I love hearing stories about the lil' cuties. I miss them so much! I also love reading all the emails from my sibs, o wait, what emails? I don't get any! SHAAAAMMMMEEE! shame on you all. jk I know you have lives and are busy. But, a few words every now and then would be nice. I think Shea wins at being the best sib, he's written me more than once.....and mom and dad rock! Okay, so anyway.

Sister Mansfield and I are going to work our hardest this week! EVA! Bring on the miracles! :) the Lord is in charge! :) so, I am really trying to think of something to say that would be exciting, but I can't.....I love you all! keep being who you are. I truly know this work is great and needs the help of every member. don't be afraid to share the gospel in a natural and normal way, especially you peeps in Washington--you have a lot of opportunities to share this message--help the missionaries out please! Give them referrals. Help prepare your friends to hear the gospel by inviting them to church or FHE or other things :) The Lord needs YOU. Alright, I'm done. I am off to find a family. But, really quickly. I just want you to know that I do have a testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ. It is only through Him that we can change and become. His sacrifice and love for each one of His brothers and sisters makes me want to have more charity. He is center to everything. I know He lives and loves us. I know He suffered for us and I know He did it because He wants each one of us to return to Him again. I know this church is His church, back on the earth in it's fulness to help us obtain all the blessings and peace we can. and to protect us. I love being a missionary. It's humbling, frustrating, hard, wonderful, peaceful, fulfilling, and most especially, it's the best opportunity in the world. I love serving and representing my Savior.

I love you,
  sister owens

Monday, October 22, 2012

True Happiness

October 22, 2012

Dearest familia,

How goes it? Thanks for your letters and prayers :) I love reading about the goings ons of everyone especially the little ones. They are so great. I was laughing out loud picturing poor Lucas sweating bullets and Carter just smiling haha They are the cutest. And of course Makena performing boldly and perfectly her lines in the program :) And especially Hadlee doing her thing and entertaining the masses with her dancing and singing. I am so lucky to have such great nieces and nephews. The personalities of those two future nephews are going to be great! :) can't even wait for that.

This week was pretty good. We had a President's fireside last night which is a meeting where recent converts get up and share their testimonies and stories of how they came in contact with the church and their conversion. It's always so uplifting! We had three of our investigators there. Two of them are getting baptized on the 10th of November, but it has been truly amazing to see the change and their desire to repent and receive a remission of their sins. Especially one of them named T-dawg. he is from Liberia and has such a sincere desire to learn and receive forgiveness. He is incredible. We are excited for him to be baptized and continue to progress! He even signed up for the ward halloween party to help with the photo booth and he already took his picture for the ward directory haha he is so great.

I always think of things throughout the week that I will add in my emails home, but then I don't remember when I'm writing them haha ooops. But, this past week was good. Missionary work is always good. We are trying to be more creative in our finding efforts and President wrote a letter all about that so all we have to do is take his counsel and all will work out! :) lovely.

In a few weeks I'll have already been out a third of my mission! Call it crazy, but it is going by supa fast! I can't even believe it. I feel like I am so weak in so many areas and there is so much to do but not enough time. Ah! But, I love this area, I can't imagine leaving it. I hope I don't get transferred next transfer.... it scares me... I do think I'm getting too comfortable where I am at though so that makes me think some change is coming... I need to continually stretch myself in order to progress. The Lord is doing so much for us right now though. I was thinking about how incredible it is that He trusts little girls and boys to preach His gospel. And then I realized, it is not us that does anything, it's the Spirit. We just work to have the Spirit and the Spirit does the converting. How cool is that?! Thanks for your thoughts about Elder Bednar's talk on conversion. I love that too. A testimony is knowing something is true and conversion is continually being true to what you know. There are so many less active members who have testimonies but are not living in accordance with those testimonies. It's a little frustrating sometimes. I guess I don't understand it completely. Then I think about my own life and think, what am I not being continually true to? It's probably so frustrating for Heavenly Father to watch each of His kids not living in accordance with what they know. I have some repenting to do and some major changing to do. Oh boy.

So, you asked about Sister Mansfield. I will tell you. Sister Mansfield is AWESOME. She is such a rockstar. She is so bold and has so much courage (which is the opposite of my timid and shy personality). She just acts and does things even though it'll be hard and she is scared to do it. She loves sports especially volleyball. She is very athletic (except she doesn't like running in the morning haha so we do other things) She has a hilarious personality and always makes me laugh. She has a great laugh and is very open and friendly with people. She is pretty blunt and bold. I love it though, because I need to learn how to be more bold. She is definitely passing me up on being a good missionary. She came already trained and ready to work. I am so grateful for her as a companion. We are similar is some things, but complete opposites in others. It has been a learning experience to say the least haha She is so great though. Her birthday is April 28th which makes me 9 days older than her (and I act like I'm 10 years younger...probably..) She has one older brother getting married next month and a younger sister and brother. Her dad is a dentist. She has great teeth and a great smile (naturally..) I admire her a lot and am so grateful for her example. She has such a strong testimony and desire to serve and teach with power and authority. (I'm sure she gets bugged by me quite frequently, but we work it out ;) Sometimes I feel like she's training me! again! haha This experience has been the best stretching and growing experience. I am so grateful for Heavenly Father for allowing us to serve together and for allowing me this refining time. Oh man! I gotta get back to work! There is so much to do! This week my focus is service. Constant service. Taking it one step at a time.

Alright, I love you family. and consider this your follow up--HOW ARE THE FAMILY MISSION PLANS GOING??? And the missionary experiences? It does take work to prepare yourself for those experiences and I know you do so much already, but I promise the blessings are endless when you put Him first and serve. Keep up the good work and go forth and serve. Share what you know to be true! Everyone needs this message! :)

I love you a lot. And I think of you often! Keep being awesome.

  Sister Owens

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Atonement

The Atonement

Kristen Owens
11:01 AM (1 hour ago)

to me
Hey Family,

How's everyone doing??? How's the weather for you there? This week has been pretty exciting :) we set a date with one of our investigators and he is doing awesome. He is truly prepared for this message. We had a few investigators kinda drop off, but we are hoping to find more this week :) So I totally forgot to tell you the most amazing news! We had Gladys Knight and the Saints United Voices Choir here last week and Sister Mansfield and I got to help out with it. It was amazing! They sang so many beautiful songs! Sister Knight has a BEAUTIFUL voice! Holy Moly! It was incredible. Our members could only come if they brought a non member so it was fun. We had a few investigators there too and they loved it. It was mostly for the African American community and it was incredibly beneficial. They sang a rendition of "I am a child of God" and I want that song so bad! AH! Go buy their CD! You will love it! So something that is awesome that comes from the presentation is people fill out request cards where they will have a gift basket delivered to them of a Book of Mormon, a sample CD, and a Restoration DVD and guess who delivers them? "Ask the Missionaries, they can help you!" Yup, the missionaries do! So we got a few request cards (2 from investigators we are already teaching, and one from a less active member, and one from another person we didn't know). But, we went to deliver it to the lady we didn't know and come to find out her husband was a potential Sister Randall and I found a while back. We pulled up to the house and I told Sister Mansfield, "Hey, that's Benny's house." And she said, "That's where Sara lives!" Ironic--nope! So we gave her the most precious gifts you can give and have an appointment with her tomorrow night! We are super pumped. Gladys and her husband bore their testimonies and shared their stories about how they became members and they were bold about it too! :) some of the members from our ward brought friends and said, "Man, she was bold," I think it kinda shocked some of them. But, that's how it is :) This gospel is true, the church is true, and the Book is true. Who doesn't want truth?!?! I find it so interesting here that many of the Africans we meet have such negative misconceptions about the church. A lot of people think we worship Joseph Smith and stuff. Crazies. We are feeling urgency here in the mission and I have a renewed energy to work even harder. I am not holding anything back this week. I am putting all my laziness on the table. I am consecrating every thought to this work! There is so much to do and more people to find!

This morning I just want to share an experience I had, probably more for my benefit so I can look back at this letter and remember this experience...these are basically my journal entries.  So I have been feeling super overwhelmed, like heavy with who knows what...failure probably.. jk But, honestly I was just feeling low--promise I am doing so much better now thanks to all your prayers and faith :) I decided to sincerely pray and seek guidance and answers to my questions. After I prayed, I was directed to a talk given by Elder Holland about the Atonement. It really was a wake up call. It was exactly what I needed to here. I was overwhelmed with gratitude again for my Savior and realized I had been missing the mark. I had been looking beyond the mark like those silly people in Moses' time who wouldn't look because it was too easy. I had not been focusing on the Atonement like I should have. I had been worried about other things--missionary things--but little things that probably don't really matter in the end. It put things into perspective for me. My whole purpose as a missionary is to help people develop faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure. Those first two steps are so crucial--faith in Jesus Christ AND His Atonement, and repentance. How can I expect my investigators to take those first two steps if I myself am not? Why would I expect this work to be easy, when it most definitely wasn't easy for Him? Salvation is not easy. It's quite hard! haha But, it is possible only through the Savior. I love reading in the Book of Mormon of all those scriptures about the Atonement. He truly is the only way, it is only through His grace, merits, and mercy that we can return and receive such joy as we have never experienced before! As I was reminded of this most important event in history, I came to recognize the love that He has for us. When we focus on the Atonement, all other things fall into place. That's my goal this week--think about, ponder, and share the Atonement of Christ. Share of His love and mercy and service. He paid the ultimate price out of His love for each one of His children, even me a small insignificant being. He loves me. And it is because of that love that I am here. I know, without a doubt, my Savior lives. He lives. He loves every person I come in contact with. My Heavenly Father lives and loves them as well. He desires so very badly to see them return to Him again. My heart is seriously so full right now! Ah! This gospel is true! It's true! IT'S true! IT'S TRUE!!! Go and share it with people around you! Pray for missionary opportunities and do it! Something that the families do in our ward is they write down what we call "Family Mission Plans." On those family mission plans they write certain goals they want to accomplish such as "pray for missionary opportunities" "invite a friend over for FHE" "invite a friend to church" "share a Book of Mormon" and other ideas such as reactivation efforts and such. These family mission plans are awesome. I encourage you to make one. Each one of you--Mom and dad, Nate and Cherise, Shea and Nadine, Colton and Megan, Nicole and Craig. Seriously do it--you will be surprised as you write them down and focus on them. The Lord will provide a way to help you in your missionary efforts. Think about why you love the Gospel and why it is so important to you, then seek to share it with someone. But, most importantly, be a good example of service and Christlike living. I know as you write down these family mission plans and missionary efforts, the Lord will use you as His instruments. Will each of you make a family mission plan? ( I'm going to pretend I hear you say "Yes, we will") I promise you as you do this, blessings will come to you in ways you can't imagine. You will have the Spirit more with you and your families will be blessed :) Don't be afraid to open your mouths! Actually, lets make it a goal together--we will open our mouths and talk with everyone about the gospel (I know it's different for you, but seriously, don't be afraid, be sensitive of course, but don't be afraid :) And next week I will follow up with you on your missionary efforts--if you wrote a family mission plan and if you've had any missionary opportunities :) and it doesn't matter if the invitation is turned down by your friends or neighbors, what matters is you extended the invitation :) so keep it up! I love it! Look at me, being a missionary and extending invitations, committing, and I will follow up (its something I am working on doing better here in the mission field).

sorry this is such a random long letter. The weather here is great actually! it's beautiful and I need to take more pictures because the leaves are gorgeous! I'll send some next week! It's pretty warm :) it rained for the first time in a few months last week and it was nice--yes I wore my coat and then I left my coat at a members home... whoops. So now I can't find my black coat, or my bright coat, but I do have my brown coat :) it's nice :) and I will get the other two back asap so no worries :) I struggle with remembering things sometimes.... But, I am planning on buying boots at target this day ("this day?" really?) i mean, today. They will probably be just nice fall boots, nothing heavy duty. Apparently it's not suppose to be super snowy this winter so I don't want to buy boots if it's not going to snow! But, would you mind seeing how much money I have in my account? thanks :)

Also, Sister Wilson is coming to Utah to pick Brother Wilson up at the end of the month so if you would like to send anything with her feel free :) I am trying to think of some things I might need.... maybe another beanie. I bought gloves and I have plenty of scarves..... hmmmm.... would you mind actually sending some CD's with Church music? They have to be hymns. I have been listening to the same Motab CD (Called to Serve) for the past 6 months.... love it, but new music would be nice :) And just send me some of your love :) and faith :) that's all I need ;) Thanks for sending my awesome friends' letters in the mail! I love reading them! They are all so amazing! I am so proud to call them my friends! Britt sounds great! And Em does too! And Heidi sounds like she's ready to take over the world! I love it! And I'm super pumped for Kait and Jay! They are going to be amazing missionaries! Oh my goodness they are! :) maybe they will be lucky enough to get called here :) probably not though... But, we'll see :) I can't wait to here where they will get called!

Thanks family for making me so very happy! I absolutely love you and desire to make you proud! Thanks for all your prayers and love, I would not be able to do it without you! And Happy late birthdays to Cherise, Colby, Grandma, and all the others I'm forgetting! And happy anniversary Nate and Cherise--you're getting old! Just kiddin. But, seriously. Where does time go?

so sometimes I just want to keep typing because I miss you all so much and can just see your faces as you read this....I'm trying to think of something that might throw you off guard but can't really at the moment. actually here is a funny story. A while back Sister M and I were finding and we started talking to this man who was a little tipsy... at first he was fine, but the alcohol really started to set in after a few minutes... he touched my face and stuff because he said, "wow, you are getting sunburned,etc" and it really freaked me out... i believe I wrote about him previously. Well we were stopping by a former investigator who wasn't home so we decided to knock on some doors around the apartment. we knocked on one door and someone said "come in!" (who does that?) and we opened the door and it was him! He was just making kabobs, no big deal. It was the weirdest thing! but, it made for a good story.. Nothing really came of it other than a lighthearted walk down memory lane. maybe he'll read the Book of Mormon we gave him down the road and seek to change his life--who knows! :) But, seriously, I feel as though I've tracted every street here and met every person in this area at least once. it's fun to go to the store and see a person you met previously--they avert their eyes and such :) haha it's really funny. But, I love them all! They are all nice, God fearing people, full of charity :) I couldn't ask to be in a better place here in Minnesota. I am here for a reason and I will do my best to fulfill my purpose. I love you family! Thanks for all you do! Hope all is well! Keep up the good work and keep being awesome! Remember I love you! The work shall go forth and He needs your help to accomplish His purposes! BEEEE PREPARED!

  Sister Owens

p.s. sorry i'm so weird.... i get in these weird moods when I write you emails....
p.s.s. I will pray for Caden this week for sure.

Monday, October 8, 2012


Kristen Owens
11:18 AM (54 minutes ago)

to me
Hullo Family,

The weather is getting a bit chilly.... and I "misplaced" my lighter jacket so thanks for the down comforter coat you sent! :) It's coming in handy! :) The leaves are BEAUTIFUL here! It's gorgeous!

Okay, so 18 and 19 now!!!! Whoo-whoo! I wish that revelation came two years earlier :) That is going to be so neat! I entitled this letter "Urgency" because after conference, that is exactly how I feel. The Lord needs all of us to be anxiously engaged in a good cause, to give all of His children the opportunity to accept this message. We need to all be completely immersed in the gospel and His work. That doesn't necessarily mean live a life as a missionary because that would be impossible. I think it simply means to lift where you stand. Do your duty and act. I know I have and will continue to repent of my laziness and all those things that are keeping me from being truly consecrated, dedicating my life to the Lord's service. I look at all the Apostles and the Prophet and leaders of the church who have truly given their whole lives to serving the Lord. I want to be like that! That is what this work is all about! Learning, living, and loving the Gospel. Oh boy, it gets me so excited to be a missionary. We watched General Conference at the church and members homes. The members here are so great. I was reading in the Book of Mormon about Ammon and a verse popped out at me that said, "...I desire to dwell among this people for a time; yea, and perhaps until the day I die." Yup, those are the feelings I have about Medicine Lake. I love it here. The people are so great, and the members are even better! We are really striving to build trust with them and get them more involved in missionary work. The recent converts are awesome! And we set a date with a man named....Jamal :) hehe. He is set for november 3rd! We hope all goes well. We are teaching quite a few people right now that seem sincere and promising so we are excited. The Lord is preparing people everywhere--especially Liberians ;) Oh the joy of being a missionary. I decided the week is super stressful, but by Mondays, I have forgotten all the stress and just feel happy! I think it's cuz I get to talk with you all :) "talk" meaning email. Time is going by too quickly. Urgency.

There is not much to report this week other than life is good! Missionary work is amazing! I love it here! I love my companion, my area, my ward, etc. etc. There is just some urgency to doing the Lord's work and doing it well. I am diving in this week to serving those around me. I am sick of being selfish and therefore have decided to repent and move on!

General Conference was amazing. There are always so many incites to gain. Elder Holland's talk blew my mind and I loved President Monson's as well. Sometimes I assume the life of a Prophet is easy in the sense that they are so in tune with the Spirit and direct revelation from God that He must just tell them exactly what to do and they do it--easy. False. They have to apply the principles of asking, seeking, and knocking as well plus they are in charge of preparing the world for Christ's second coming. That's a heavy burden to bear. I am so grateful for a prophet of God on the earth today with His apostles and leaders to guide us. They are men, but they are humble followers and seekers of Christ with a special calling to witness of Christ to the world. How awesome is that!?!

So, family, how are things going? Thanks Shea and Nadine for those adorable pictures and letters from your family! I hung a few pics of Hads and Makena up on my mirror to remind me to be happy :) They are the cutest girls in the world. Give them a big hug for me will you? And Carter!?! What?! That kid is so big all of a sudden! When did that happen?!? Give Him and Lucas a hug from me too. I miss you all so much! But, every Monday I am reminded how lucky I am and how blessed I am to be a member of such a great family. Then that motivates me to work even harder to help those around me so they can be sealed to their families as well! Ah! Urgency. Well, I don't remember if I was going to say anything special in this email.....other than I pray for you and I love you and hope all is well.

And can I close with my testimony? Is that lame? I just want you all to know that I know this is the true church. I know it because I have prayed and asked and seeked and knocked and I have felt the Spirit testify to me time and time again the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the fulness of the gospel with Christ at its head. I know there is a God. He is a God of miracles and love and has provided us with a plan in order for us to obtain all the happiness He has. I know central to His plan is Christ. I know each one of us are given the choice to choose eternal life or captivity and it is only by choosing Christ that we can receive never ending joy. I know the Priesthood power is on the earth and I know I can be with you forever as I live, truly live the gospel and keep my covenants. I know Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and through him the Book of Mormon was translated by the power of God. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I will never deny that witness I receive every time I read it. I know it teaches us how we can return and live with God again. I know God loves each one of us. He expects us to live what we know to be true. He expects us to keep His commandments so He can bless us. I know we all make mistakes (believe me, I know this), but I also know, Christ makes all the difference. He covers the demands of justice through His grace and mercy. I can overcome my inadequacies by relying wholly on His mercy. I promise to do my best to carry this message to the people here. Everyone deserves to know the truth and how they can truly truly truly be happy. I love this gospel. I am so grateful for a loving Savior. The Atonement covers all. I say these things, in the name of my Savior, Redeemer, and Friend, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Thanks for being examples of the believers! I love you!

  Sister Owens 

Monday, October 1, 2012


Kristen Owens
11:06 AM (6 hours ago)

to me
Mom and Family,

I know!!! JAZZER came to my Sacrament meeting!?!? I was seriously in shock and I wanted to cry, but I held back the tears. She looked so good and it was such a tender mercy to see her. The whole cross-country track team from UVU came, so that was fun. And it was the primary program, which was sooo cute! I love how simple the gospel is and how it makes sense to even little kids. They did such a great job. I LOVED it. And that last picture was sent by a member... we made jewelry at her house and she decided to take a picture and send it to you... so she's not a secret spy that made your phone collapse, she's the sweetest lady in the world! Anyway, I really feel like I have all these connections with people here... or the weirdest things always happen. I see a lot of random people I know, or a lot of people know people I know, etc. Small world.

And on Sunday we had our Sierra Leone investigators son with us. He is ten and is the best behaved kid in the world. We also had a part member family as well come :) their grandson is not a member and is 9 and their daughter who is 11 hadn't been to church for a long time, but they both came! :) It's super exciting. I like teaching kids more than adults... ha go figure (good thing I taught nursery in the Singles Ward! Maybe I am just not meant to act or be my age...I'm a true kid at heart) It was a good Sunday though. We had another investigator come to church who we should be able to set a date with this week for November :) whoo whoo :) We are super pumped to see people progress. I love sharing the gospel and teaching about Christ!

Last night, we had both of our appointments fall through so we decided to find. Now that it is dark outside at 7:30, people generally get pretty annoyed when you knock on their door--they think it's much later than it is, it's pretty funny :) But, one door we knocked on we got to teach the Restoration to a man who is a Bible teacher. We talked to him for quite some time about the Trinity and the Godhead and it really opened my eyes to how important having a prophet on the earth and the Book of Mormon is to understanding true doctrine. He was having a hard time accepting the Godhead as three separate beings because to him, growing up with that belief in the trinity his whole life, to have someone tell him otherwise is a big deal.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to read, ponder, and pray with faith about it. hopefully he does! That experience was in my mind because I remember testifying most importantly of my Savior and the reality of repentance and forgiveness. It reminded me again of why I am here. Not to just tell people these things, but to truly help them truly understand the role of Christ in their lives and how they can receive forgiveness and a remission for their sins. We talked about the baptismal covenant and what that means. How essential that is for us to keep throughout the remainder of our lives. It's frustrating sometimes because I feel like I understand these concepts, but can't teach them simply or clearly which means I really don't understand them! ah! It's a work in progress though.

So you are doing a biggest loser contest huh? Maybe I should join you....actually I don't know if I'd be able to give up my Nutella and pretzels.... it's the best coping mechanism for me so far... how sad is that?! And yes, I will probably come home 500 pounds heavier than what I left, but don't judge me please. It's amazing that you are starting that now before Halloween--all that yummy goodness you'll have to pass up! Crazy. I admire you for it though, don't get me wrong. You can do it! And I'm gonna guess the biggest loser will be.....not Shea (unless he loses bone and jealous), maybe I shouldn't guess, I feel like I'd offend someone haha but, you all will be healthy and skinny! :) that's my guess! You can do it!

And Makade got his call! To Tampa! Whoo Whoo! Runs in the family I guess! He'll love it there I'm sure :) And I really can't even picture Megan and Nadine with little bellies and 16 weeks seems really soon! Is it that soon!?!? Sometimes time is weird and I feel like It's been so long, but not really.

Elder Bednar said he would take a Book of Mormon and focus on one topic such as the Atonement, or Charity, or something like that and mark it accordingly... I guess he has a library full of copies of the Book of Mormon with his studies in them. I think that is so amazing! I tried doing that while being out here, but I seem to lose focus pretty easily... I love the Book of Mormon. It's so powerful. 

Thanks for the package with grandma's funeral program in it and the book and the coat! I am getting nervous for the winter, but the weather has been so pleasant here for now :) the leaves are great!!!!! It's beautiful. I want to live here in the future I think and do a bunch of outdoorsy things like biking and such :) it's great. Um...what else is there to say.. we are teaching a girl named Raquel (thats not really her name, but pretend) and she has no concept of God or Jesus Christ and she is Caucasian... which is not normal for around these parts. She is great though and agreed to be baptized on November 10th... right after transfers--hope i stay here! We are also teaching a liberian man whom we should be able to set a date with this week as well. He is sincere and our recent convert Brother Jesse is being an amazing friend and fellowshipper--sometimes I think Brother Jesse knows more about the gospel than I do! He reads from Preach my Gospel too :) he basically taught the lesson for us last time haha Anyway. He's great. Our Sierra Leone investigators are doing okay... we haven't been able to make much progress with them... they are both really busy, but he said he wants to be baptized so we'll see... We love them so much though! And it will happen :) it might just take some time :) which there is never enough of!

Speaking of time... I gotta run! Sorry if I bored you with too much unimportant details, I just love spilling my thoughts to you all. Thanks for all your prayers and sacrifices for the Gospel. Seriously, I am amazed at how much people give of their time, gifts, and talents to building up the kingdom of God. Keep up the good work! Oh, btw, I loved the Relief Society Broadcast! It was amazing about the Atonement and keeping our covenants! So great! :) I love you a lot! I think of you often and pray for you daily. I promise to give my very best to this work, no matter what happens, I will never give up, I will love the people, and I will always be obedient. If there is anything I can do for any of you please let me know. Tell the family hi! and Tell President Gottfredson I loved the email and advice, it came at a good time :) This refining process is slow, but it's amazing. I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves me enough to cut me down at times so He can make me into whatever it is He needs me to be. I am learning a lot, I never knew I knew so little. There is so much more to the Gospel than I could have ever imagined!

I love you! I'll stop talking now, talk to you next week! :)

   sister owens

p.s. tell Shea and Nadine and Makena, thanks for the package! I loved the Mamba's and ate them right up! And I especially loved the letters! Can't wait to meet my two new nephews! :) (holding kids seems like such a dream! I feel like it'll never happen!)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Charity never Faileth

Kristen Owens
11:04 AM (52 minutes ago)

to me

Monday Monday Monday :) Thanks for writing me TWO letters this week! :) Bonus! loved it :) Your letters were sweet and I loved hearing about Grandma's funeral.  I'm glad most of the family could have come for it. It sounds like everything is going well. I hope you you are doing okay too.  Tell everyone I love them and miss them. And give all of them hugs!

I was so happy to open my email and see my two FAVORITE brothers emailed me! Thanks Shea and Nate! (ahem...colton...ahem...nikki.
..) just kidding, I know you are busy with your own lives and such. I just miss you! You all mean everything to me I hope you know that. I could not do this without such a strong support behind me. I admire each one of you for the talents and gifts you have cultivated and possess.  You do great things everyday and are great examples to those around you. Keep it up! I want to be half the person you all are one day!

This week was great!!! We taught a lot and we had 4 investigators come to church! Things are really starting to take off. We are going to try and set a few baptismal dates this week with a few of our investigators and we are working with a family from Sierra leone we've been trying to set a date with. Their son who is 10 came to church on Sunday and loved it! (granted, we had a "linger longer" afterwards so I think he really enjoyed the food).  But, one of our investigators apparently stood up in Elders Quorum and said he is really considering being baptized into the church. So that's cool. We've taught him once.... and we are meeting with him this week and of course we'll re-extend the invitation and set a date! whoo whoo. We also have been teaching (2 lessons so far) a girl who is Caucasian (which is new from all the Liberians) who hasn't been to church since she was 6 and had no concept of Christ or God. It was a whole new experience because most people here know Christ and such. She came to church and is very open to the whole experience. She agreed to be baptized, so we'll try to set a date this next time :) being bold and such 

Transfers are this week and Sister Mansfield and I are staying here in Medicine Lake a little longer. The Elders (zone leaders) are staying in Medicine Lake too! One of them has been here I think two transfers longer than I have (that is a long time in one area--like 7 months).  I hope I can stay that long in this area though :) it's beautiful and we love the people here! We are hoping to see a few baptisms in the next month! That's our goal! The Lord will consecrate our efforts as we love and teach and support the people here. It's going to be a great transfer! Thanks for all of your prayers and love and support! Seriously, this work needs all the help it can get from EVERYONE.

Thanks for that scripture "Perfect love casteth out all fear" I love that phrase. We talked this morning about being more lovingly bold (it's a constant battle). We seem to beat around the bush a lot I think and so we are trying to be more direct with the message we share and being more transparent. If people are prepared to hear the message they won't shrink from it, but they will accept it. But, it does come down to loving the people enough to be bold about it. They need this! I don't want them to suffer! Mosiah 28:3. This week we're totally going forth and serving and doing His work. I'm so excited! Thanks for pumping me up for missionary work! Seriously. I LOVE THIS! AND I LOVE YOU TOO!

The Lord really does know our potential and strengths. I'm grateful for this challenge and opportunity to learn and grow and be refined a little more so I can be shaped into the person He needs me to be. I love in Isaiah 64:8 how it says, "But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we are all the work of thy hand." He created us, He is our father, He is the master potter. We must be humble and willing to allow Him to shape us to what He knows we can become. It takes a lifetime, but I am truly grateful for these opportunities He gives us.

I know this work is true. I know I can be with my family forever. I know the experiences we have today prepare us for the experiences we'll have in the future. He is stretching us, but, He will never break us. I know Heavenly Father knows each one of His children and loves them. We are all brothers and sisters and all deserve to know the truth. I know Jesus Christ is my Savior, my Redeemer, and the Son of God. I know He chose to suffer for us out of His "loving kindness towards the children of men" (YOU and ME). We can find joy in this life. It's not just about enduring, but about enjoying too :) Living the gospel and keeping our covenants is the only way to be truly happy and experience all that He needs us to experience so we may be prepared and ready to meet Him again. I want to live with no regrets and be able to hear Him say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." Sometimes I picture myself being received into the Kingdom and being able to give my Savior a hug. What a joyous day! I know that Grandma was able to do that too. It brings a huge smile to my face! :) :) :)

Anyway, before I bore you with my heartfelt thoughts.... I love you and pray for you and hope you know all is well. Keep doing what you are doing. I will write you next week! :) And remember CHARITY NEVER FAILETH.

  Sister Owens (It's getting weird writing my first name...)

Monday, September 17, 2012

New Nephews News!

Kristen Owens
11:02 AM (2 hours ago)

to me
Mother (and family),

I think I'll just start addressing my emails to mom, because she is the only person I ever get emails from! (hint hint nate, shea, colton, nicole, even you paps but you have good reasons)

This past week was good! We had a few miracles and found a few new investigators to teach so the pool is replenishing :) We are excited for this upcoming week, it should be great as long as we are planning and doing our best with faith, love, obedience, and work. We are really trying to become consecrated missionaries! (every conscious thought, word, and actions dedicated to the work of the Lord). 

Mom, I'm sorry it was such a stinky week. Work will get better, just pray for extra strength and go forth and do :) that's what helps me.... Tell Maurie Hullo! I miss her face! and Timberline better be great this year! I wish we could be there to help coach! Thanks for sending all those emails from the amigas. I really appreciate reading them. I love how different every mission is, but how the message and the work is the same. My friends are amazing! The Lord better be preparing some pretty great men for them. just sayin.

Is Lucas old enough to run cross-country? what? He's like five right? crazy kid. I miss all my lovely nieces and nephews so much! I can't believe we'll be getting two more nephews! Hadlee and Makena will make great sisters. Nicole and Craig, we'll be needing some girls in the family soon as well so get on that will you? Twins perhaps? joking joking.

I heard about the BYU v. Utah game!!! AH! So sad! I about died! WE WERE SO CLOSE! Those lame Utah fans.... poor BYU. Next year I guess. Well, the weather is starting to turn I think and it's only the middle of September. I am thinking I'll need my winter stuff in October sometime probably.  I can't believe transfers are next week already! My guess is I'll stay here for another transfer and then Sister Mansfield will stay in the area and I'll go somewhere else. But, before that ever happens, we are going to baptize some people and teach them how they can be sealed together with their families forever! We are teaching a couple (traditionally married in Africa, but not legally) and we are trying to set a date for October 27 with them because they have to get married first as well.  But, they are a sweet couple. We are excited for that and are praying for miracles to bring them from faith unto true repentance as we teach with power and authority (meaning by the Spirit and in a lovingly bold way). 

We had a Sisters Conference this past week at the mission home and oh my goodness it was so refreshing! We were able to be girls again! There are 24 sisters in the mission and every single one of them are amazing. It was so nice to be able to relate to them and talk about similar things and just laugh and get to know them. I want to serve with all of them so very badly! But, that would mean President would have to let me stay for an extra 10 transfers or so... so basically another year. It could happen. Don't be surprised. Time is flying by too fast though. When you are totally zoned in on the work, the next thing you know a transfer has gone by! I think when you are busy it really goes fast. So we are going to quit being so busy... just kidding. The work is picking up and we are excited about that. The Lord places prepared people in the path of His prepared servants (thanks mom!) and I truly know that is true. He also shapes the backs to bear the burdens placed upon it. We can do all things with His help.  If anything, I have learned how to rely on the Lord and learned just how much He cares about every individual person I meet. When people reject this message I often say to myself, "I'll teach it to you in the next life." That may be a sad thing though, but it gives me hope :)

So in training this past week we studied how to teach the Plan of Salvation. What an amazing plan God has for us centered on Christ and His Atonement. I am so grateful for the love and knowledge I have of His love for each one of His children.  This morning Sister Clements called and told me about Grandma. I kinda had a feeling it was coming, but after reading your letter about her birthday party I figured it would be a few more weeks at least. But, as we talked I felt so much peace.  I am reminded of my setting apart blessing that mentions grandma and grandpa being called to be missionaries with me in Minnesota and how grateful I am that grandma Dodds gets to join the forces.  I can just imagine her being so happy! I know Heavenly Father has accepted her sacrifices and her life and is taking good care of her.  I also know she is doing her best to share the gospel with those on the other side as well as preparing hearts to hear it here on earth.  Grandma was always a wonderful example of love and service. I can just see her wrinkling her nose and saying "Remember grandma loves you" as you walk out the door. I'll always remember Grandma Dodds love.  After receiving that phone call I knelt down in prayer and offered up a simple question of if the Plan of Salvation is really true, if I really will see her again. I want to testify that I know it's true. My heart was full of the spirit. I felt so at peace, I felt so much warmth, and I will always remember that moment. I've never lost anyone that close to me before, but truly I am so grateful for this message of the gospel. I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ who makes it possible for us to return back to our Heavenly Father and live with our families forever. I am so grateful for the Priesthood power to bind families for eternity. I know if we are committed to Christ and keep our covenants, we will have those blessings for eternity and live in never-ending happiness. What more could we ask for?!?! I am going to go forth this week and testify boldly of the reality of this plan to others and serve and love all those people around me just like Grandma would. 

I love you all and pray for each one of you daily. Never forget the work of the Lord. Mom, keep praying for those opportunities to share the gospel, and act on that faith. I promise God will provide you with many chances to share what you know to be true.  Keep your head up! We can do this! Keep an eternal perspective! I will not waste this time He has given me to serve with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength.  Once again, I know this church is true. Everyone needs what we have to offer. Christ lives and loves each one of us. He is my Savior, my advocate, my Redeemer, and my friend. We are children of God with the potential to become like Him. I can't wait to see you family again, but I know this is where I'm suppose to be. Keep being disciples of Christ. The Atonement really changes our hearts and prepares us to live with God again.  I JUST LOVE THIS GOSPEL! I kinda want to shout that out loud in the library right now! (That's one of my dreams, to be able to stand on a street corner and just start preaching to people--but I think in today's world that would be considered a little weird...I also want to teach and baptize a Jew (my peeps) and a Preacher; those are probably selfish desires though so it may not happen, but we'll see :)
Anyway, this is getting way too long and we have got to get out of here. I love you again and will talk to you next week! :) keep smiling and don't forget "Grandma loves you!"

   Sista Owens aka Chewy, Redface, Kristen, your favorite child, your favorite sibling, etc. etc.

P.S. family, seriously, write me back please!