Monday, June 25, 2012

Off and running

From: Kristen Owens <>
Date: Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 11:18 AM
Subject: Re: Off and Running

Dear Family,

Wow, another week has flown by! It's so crazy how time works--there is so little of it! There is so much to do in a day and by the end of the day you feel like you didn't get it all done! Anyway, this week was another miraculous week.  It's getting more familiar (the whole being a missionary and such), but I still have a long way to go.  There are many ups and downs each week, but once again I seem to only remember the ups at the end of the day--it's awesome!

Last Monday was a fantastic day! We had a lesson planned that ended up falling through so we rescheduled with her..and THEN the rest of the night was completely by the Spirit. We decided to stop by a less active member and in the process met this wonderful lady with whom we sat down and taught her the restoration. She accepted a Book of Mormon and a return appointment. She is from Liberia and is super sweet. That was a miracle. Then we stopped by a few other people and ended up running into a person we had met before who asked if he could come to church and where it was and to call him to set up a time to go and teach him more (the sad thing is he didn't actually show up to church, but we are still working on it :) it was just cool that the Lord placed him in our path again. We met this Indian family whom we had been trying to meet randomly walking on the street and they said they'd be interested in coming to church to see how it is, etc. SWEET! It was just an overall great day :)

Tuesday was great as well we taught a lesson to a part member family and had the whole family there.  It was a spur of the moment but hopefully we broke a few barriers and will be able to teach them more and help get them sealed in the temple eventually :) whoo whoo!

We went on exchanges again this week and I stayed in the area again--scared out of my mind! We taught a great lesson though on Thursday to a lady we met earlier last week.  I was so nervous to teach without Sister Randall and so nervous to take the lead in starting out the lesson, but I had read earlier in PMG about how we need to have faith the Spirit will tell us what we need to say.  That's really where it all starts is with faith. I had been so worried about saying the wrong thing and not saying the right thing, but really it just comes down to preparing as best you can then putting your faith in the Spirit. The Spirit came so strong in the lesson we extended the baptismal invitation and she said yes! We will be teaching her again this week and hopefully be able to help her progress. She's reading the Book of Mormon and everything and was so accepting of everything. She said she felt so light after we left and read the Book of Mormon that night.  She is so great. 

We are still trying to find people to teach through tracting, but I'm finding more and more how important the members are in missionary work.  Referrals from the members is so important.  We are struggling with working with our members, but the ward is so great and so willing to help out at any moment. We are improving slowly but surely :) I was reading in PMG last night and all the sudden it hit me--the church is organized the way it is to lift, strengthen, and build up the kingdom of God in every part of the world.  The main focus is on missionary work and helping people progress in the gospel whether that's new members, less active members, active members, investigators, etc. If anything, being out here for a month has taught me how to be a better member missionary of the Church. I love it! :)

Our district leader organized a Blitz on Saturday for us and we got 5 new potential investigators from it so that was pretty amazing--the work is picking up and hopefully we'll be able to have people progress and be baptized in the next lil' bit. super exciting stuff! :)

Sunday was ward conference and it's focus was on testimony.  It was really neat and I gained a lot of understanding from it. Our testimonies can only increase or decrease but we need the foundation first built before anything--The Savior and His Atonement, The Restoration of the Gospel, His plan for us, and eternal families have been major foundations for my own.  We have been given so many ways in which we can continually increase our testimonies--scriptures, prayer, serving, prophets, temples, church, etc. Ah, it's just all so important! i love it.

Anyway, sounds like things are going well for everyone at home and it sounds like it's gonna be a busy week! Good luck in St. George momma! :) You should send some pics of the children when you go visit them in July as well as little kenna and hads--they are the best niece's in the world and i miss them. Tell them I love them!

I thought I would leave with a quick thought from today. I was reading in Alma 53 about the stripling warriors and their faith and trust in God.  It says they were "exceedingly valiant for who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted." They also "did not doubt [their] mothers knew it." Mom, I read that and thought of you.  I do not doubt one bit you know this gospel and church is true.  That brings me such comfort and increases my own faith in the truth.  I hope and pray I can be like them--true at all times with whatever thing God gives me.  Although missionary work can be scary at times and a little overwhelming, one thing I do know is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true.  This is His work.  We are on His errand therefore are entitled to His help.  That brings me so much peace and comfort.  In the Hymn "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" verses 6 and 7 hit me so strongly "He asked if I for him would die. The flesh was weak, my blood ran chill, but my free spirit cried, 'I will' Then in a moment to my view the stranger started from disguise. The tokens in his hands I knew; The Savior stood before mine eyes. He spake, and my poor name he named, 'Of me thou hast not been ashamed. These deeds shall thy memorial be, fear not, thou didst them unto me.'" Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ is a process, but oh how wonderful and merciful He is to us all. I'm also reminded of "Come, come ye saints" when it says " why should we mourn, or think our lot is hard? Tis not so, all is right. Why should we think to earn a great reward if we now shun the fight? Gird up your loins; fresh courage take. Our God will never us forsake; and soon we'll have a tale to tell--ALL IS WELL, ALL IS WELL."

Sorry I just spilled my soul to you all...I won't mind of you just skimmed this whole letter it is really long... haha  But, everyday I see the hand of God.  We see miracles when we are diligent and obedient to Him and when we are doing our best to stay focused and listening to the Spirit.  Pray for us this week please, we have set big goals and want these people to come unto Christ.  We are expecting miracles this week in the work.  I love you all and am so grateful for your examples to me.  Keep up the good work! I am well taken care of and couldn't ask for better circumstances.  Love you!

 Sister Owens

P.s this past week as we were tracting we ran into a bunch of geese ( a flock I suppose is the right phrase) but right when we were about to walk by them a coyote came out of nowhere and chased them down! It was in the middle of a neighborhood too! it was crazy! my life flashed before me eyes and it was as close to death as I've ever been. Just kidding it wasn't that dramatic but it was still cool to watch. I think all the geese survived. Anyway, Love you! Have a great week!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"It's okay, I'm already voting for him"

From: Kristen Owens <>
Date: Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Subject: "It's okay, I'm already voting for him"

Helloooo all ya'll,

How's everyone doing back in the good ole heat in Utah? or wherever you are... It has been very humid here recently--good for my skin, bad for my acne ridden face (jk it's not that bad), but sometimes I feel like I'm drinking water just by breathing. I love it. This past week was pretty exciting--there's always ups and downs--but I seem to only remember the ups! So that's good :)

I had quite a few first this week--First Restoration lesson taught (success...), First exchange, first time leading the area, first time having someone make fun of my missionary shoes, and first time speaking in church (surprise!) I'll start from the beginning: We taught Martha again this week and taught her the restoration and gave her a BoM in French and she seemed pretty excited :) it was great. I love talking with people.  Second: we went on exchanges and Sister Randall left the area for me to lead for 24 hours--talk about stress! but, it all went well, we only had one appointment :( and then tracted for a while and other things missionaries do, but it was fun to get to know a different sister missionary.  I was very stressed at first though, not gonna lie.  Then, this one day, Sister Randall and I were knockin doors and this guy opened the door and said "Aren't you usually boys in suits and ties?" and I said, "Yes, but there are girls that do it too and we definitely sport a different wardrobe." ha.ha. I'm so funny. Then he said, "Ya, the boys have suits and you just have..." (as he looks at our shoes--both Sister Randall and I had decided to wear our clunkers that day) "weird looking shoes." then he closed the door and we laughed so very hard the rest of the night! Ouch right? needless to say, I will still be wearing those shoes for comfort the rest of my mission :)

This other door we knocked on was great as well and therefore I have entitled my email after this wonderfully funny man.  We knocked on the door, a man answers, takes one look at us and says, "It's okay, I'm already voting for him." haha we started laughing and he started laughing and said, "bet you never heard that one before!" ya, it was great! Most people here are voting for Mitt apparently...

So yesterday morning we got a phone call at 6:34am from the bishop and he told us one of the speakers was very sick and asked if we could fill in--on Father's day! and I'm still so tender feely with the whole being away from family haha PERFECT. So we spoke at church and sister randall did an excellent job and I filled in the last 7 minutes with probably a few words, a few tears, and my testimony. I really gotta work on speaking in public. anyway, it was pretty exciting stuff :) I love the priesthood though and have come to realize how blessed I have been to have a worthy priesthood holder in my home my whole life.  Thanks dad for being who you are and doing what you do.  You have been a great example to me of how to become like Christ.  I love you.

Anyway, we met a few great people this week who we will be teaching this week so slowly our teaching pool is increasing which is really good! Heavenly Father has blessed us a lot for our efforts.  It's incredible to see how mindful He really is of every missionary, every member, every person, and every ward.  We just have to put forth the work and do all we can to be obedient and He will lead us to the people whom He has prepared.  I am still learning so so SO much. I feel like sometimes I don't know anything or how to be a missionary, but I have to remember this life is a refining process and it does not come all at once.  This week I've really tried to focus on the why behind coming on a mission for me.  I have recognized the love I have for the gospel and the amazing changes it makes in me and the changes I've seen it make in others.  Love truly is the reason for it all.  Every single person I meet is going through some struggle in their life and what we have, they need. The gospel is for everyone.  But, I've also recognized and continue to recognize (cuz it's hard for me to do) that people have their agency.  God has prepared hearts for us and even after we teach and testify, people still have their agency to choose whether they want to live it or not.  God is merciful and loving and will do all He can for us.  He is so willing to answer sincere prayers and wants to bless us.  The gospel really is so simple, yet it is hard to live it sometimes in a world that is so crazy! But, it is possible.  So many blessings come from living the gospel, I think I've taken it for granted my whole life.  Striving to learn and understand the Atonement in my study has helped me a lot and I still have a long way to go, but I know the love for the people around me and my Heavenly Father will increase as I study and gain a deeper conviction and understanding of the gospel.  I hope all of you are sharing the gospel at all times.  Invite others to come unto Christ in every interaction even if it's just through your example.  Live it. 

I love you and am so grateful to know so many wonderful people in this world. I feel so blessed to have so many strong friends and family members around me.  Keep up the good work and don't ever forget how important you are to your Heavenly Father and Savior.  Have a great week!

  Sister Owens

P.S. Mom, Emily told me about your exciting water fight and I imagined the whole thing in my head and thought, "typical" haha I love you! Tell Emily Hi and wish Anna Banana a Happy Birthday for me! I need her address!!! LOVE YOU

Monday, June 11, 2012

Week 3 of being a real missionary

From: Kristen Owens <>
Date: Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Hola Familia,

So this week was pretty incredible.  It's been pretty hard to find new investigators to teach, but Sister Randall has been amazing at being diligent and obedient.  We've met with a lot of members and less active members and have been tracting a lot.  But, several things happened this week.  For the first time on my mission while tracting, someone asked us to come back! Dun Dun DUUUUN. I was pretty much in shock on the doorstep haha But, we are going back this week to teach them so pray for that will ya? We also went to an appointment and got there a few minutes early so we got out of the car and started talking with this man.  He is from Ukraine and speaks Russian and Ukrainian so we offered to teach him english and we set up an appointment to come back to meet him and his wife. He was a sweet old man :)

I have been called to serve in Minnesota, but boy do I feel like I'm in a different country every day.  It is so diverse here! We meet so many people from Africa, Russia, Europe, etc. it's really fun.  Here is the miracle of the week/probably my whole mission:
Sister Randall and I were going to a dinner appointment on Saturday night at a member's house.  We had tried calling and calling but no one answered all day or the day before, but we decided to show up anyway. No one ended up being home so we talked to the neighbor that was outside and she said she would tell them we stopped by, etc.  As we were walking away, a family across the street called us over.  We walked over and the daughter said her mom wanted to talk with us so we sat down with this sweet lady named Martha and started sharing a message.  Basically she asked us to teach her what we knew.  She is from Togo Africa and is here for about six months visiting.  She speaks very little english and mostly french.  She said she told her family she couldn't go with them to the park because she felt she needed to talk with us and knew we were servants of God.  She is the SWEETEST lady ever! we sat down and taught her the plan of salvation.  It was hard to make things super simple but she understood what we had to share.  We asked if she would like to learn more and if we could come back and she said YES!  She told us as we were talking with her "I am talking with God right now." She knew we were servants of God and said she was looking for truth.  Hiii, that's our calling! GOLDEN. So we invited her to come to church and she did! It was pretty cool though because in Gospel Doctrine class she sat next to a brother in our ward and he knew french so he ended up translating the whole class for her and also went to relief society with her to translate as well haha it was sweet! We found several other members speak french too so that was fun.  She rode home with the sister we are living with and had told her that even if she couldn't understand the language, she could feel it.  She loved it.  It was so incredible! and she is totally coming next week! :) We are really excited to work with her although the language may be a barrier but we have several willing members so thats great! It was such a neat experience. I am humbled to be a servant of God, He really is preparing hearts everywhere. I'm trying so hard to be a consecrated missionary and I get so frustrated with myself at times because I'm not perfect-ha, will i ever be?- but I know He knows my heart and the hearts of my investigators and the people here. 

This week I tried to study love and the Atonement.  I learned so much.  I can feel my own faith growing in the power of the Atonement. I need it every single day.  This gospel is simply beautiful and beautifully simple.  It's hard to teach it sometimes to people who have never heard of anything, but when the Spirit is there, it's there and makes all the difference.  I'm learning so much, I feel like I should know more than I do, but I know it'll come with experience.  I'm trying to live every minute up.  Anyway, the Lord is guiding this work. I love the members here and the people here.  Without the members in missionary work, we can never be successful as a church.  Try hard to prayerfully consider someone you think needs to hear a message of truth and hope and love.  Share your testimonies and don't be afraid to invite others to come to church or activities.  Be natural about it :) Sometimes we don't realize what we have been given as members of His church.  We have the truth that so many people are looking for.  WE have the peace and the joy and the only way to be happy.  Share it with others, even if they don't accept it. 

I'M SO EXCITED I'M GOING TO BE AN AUNT!!! :) And he/she better be named after me ;) I can't wait to meet the little tyke.  CONGRATS SHEA AND NADINE AND MAKENA!

Time is going by so quickly.  I can't believe I've been gone over a month now. AH! I am still getting use to everything and learning how to do it times I get nervous and don't know if I can, but then I think of all of you family and get motivated by your examples.  If you did it, I can too! I have nothing to complain about, Heavenly Father is watching over me and this area.  I love it here, I really do :)

Tell Heidi congrats!!! That really is soo exciting! :) She'll be an awesome missionary! :) And the Wadsworths! that is so fun! :) I'm so happy they got a girl and that they surprised Patrick haha I can't believe he is home already--crazy how fast time flies! Hope all is well over there. 

I miss you all and love you a lot. Thanks for all the letters you wrote me! :) 'bout made me break down and cry right here in the library :) (notice how i said library and not liberia hehe) but i kept myself together don't worry. 

I hope you all have a great week! :) And I hope the summer is going well!
I LOVE YOU! talk to you soon,

  Sister Owens

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dear Family


SOO I hope everything is going well there...I did not receive a letter from you this week...not very common...very confused. But, I hope you are doing well.  Thank you for being such a great family. I feel very blessed to be a part of such a loving, dedicated family and I miss you all.  Tell Grandma and Grandpa I love them very much and hope they are doing better...How is everything going???

This past week was pretty neat.  I taught my first lesson (whoo whoo) and we had a few other lessons as well.  An amazing miracle happened! On Sunday we had a zone fast for miracles to occur this coming week in our zone.  We are teaching a couple right now who had been meeting with the previous sisters but who they were going to drop because they were not progressing... well we decided to give them a try and we met with them on Friday and taught them Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, but we also moved their baptismal date back a week because they hadn't really been keeping their commitments.  John wanted to know more about Joseph Smith and so we planned to show them the Restoration video on Sunday night.  He came to church and when we went back to meet with them he asked why we moved his date...he was looking forward to being baptized on the 16th of June and he said he knew Joseph Smith is a prophet and he really wants to be baptized! my companion and I were in shock! haha but, they are planning on being baptized in two weeks! We have to teach them a few more lessons concerning the commandments and also just see where they are in terms of readiness, but they are so willing! Diana is 8 months pregnant too so we are trying to work with her and helping her see why church is so important.  She's a little more hesitant on baptism so we are going to try to resolve her concerns about it. But it's been such an amazing miracle. They are so good! Heavenly Father knows exactly where and what we need to be and do.  At church we got a new bishop so a lot of people bore their testimonies who were involved in the old and new bishopric. they all bore testimony of joseph smith and the current prophets... its was awesome! I'm so glad John was there because he mentioned all the testimonies that were born and how he knew joseph smith was a true prophet because of it!

Holy cow. So people here are so happy :) haha it's hard to really find people tracting but its possible.  We are really striving to build up a good teaching pool, but especially working with the members and helping them invite people to listen and come to activities and such.  Tell Nathan HAPPY BIRTHDAY and I love him! I'd also really appreciate a letter or two from the family.... yup.

So the DMV issue thing I need to figure out-I think you need to go to the DMV and have them send me a copy of my driving record where I will then sign it and send it back or something then fax it to the mission home... Could you maybe go there and explain to them the situation... sorry its so annoying. I don't have to drive for about 4 more weeks but ya...

Mom, I hope you are doing well. I love you a lot and miss you a lot, but I hope life is okay there :) I hope you are enjoying time with shea and nadine and kenna and all the rest of the family :) tell them hello! Remember we get to be together forever and ever if we are good :) whoo whoo! keep striving to become.  Thanks for teaching me hard work and faith in every footstep. I can't thank you enough.  I love you with all of my being and hope you know how awesome of a mother you are. 

Keep moving forward! :)

   Sister Owens

(Just a note so you all don't think I am a lame mom.  I did send a letter, but I sent it to the wrong email address.  O.K.  I guess I am a lame mom!!)