Monday, July 2, 2012

AWKWARD MOMENT #999 OF MY MISSION (#999 out of 76489573847)

July 2, 2012

Hello my lovely family,

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!! :) Our Bishop was in American Fork traveling the other day and said it's crazy with everything burning over there! He said it was under control, but I'm sad to hear people have lost their homes....yikes I hope they put out the fires soon... That's so crazy the weather is wacky...Ya so Wednesday is our P-day this week from 2pm-9pm so that'll be exciting but in the morning we will be finding souls who are prepared to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I hope you figure out some fun plans for the fourth though! :) party it up with grateful hearts!  I love remembering the foundation of our country and how the Lord prepared America for the Restoration of the Gospel in its fulness.  It's amazing!!!

Mom, Thank you for that package--it was THE BEST! I loved every part of it and Sister Randall and I especially enjoyed the tootsie stuff :) we ate the food in like 3 seconds probably...don't judge. This is Sister Randall's last transfer here :( :( :( ah! I don't know what I'm going to do when she leaves and goes home (to Illinois and then to Utah for LDS Business College). I told her you would probably want to feed her dinner or at least see her and help her when she moves to Utah :) Sister Randall just laughed at me--but little does she know how well taken care of she will be with you around mom :) I know you will want to meet her! She's so great! She is very knowledgeable and does so many things right.  It's been amazing to be her trainee, I learn from her every day! Transfers are this week but Sister Randall and I are staying here! WHOO! It has gone by so so so fast! Holy Cow. I'm in shock.  And I don't have the exact address of where we are staying so you may have to just send the thank you and package to the mission home.... sorry :( but they are the best people I can live with. They seriously are so sweet! Thanks for being so thoughtful all the time. 

The Story of the youth and the temple made me tear up--good job--that is so amazing and sweet.  The Youth of the church are so strong and incredible, we've actually been given counsel to get the youth involved more in missionary work here, which is a brilliant idea! They are so willing to share and invite their friends to learn more. You and dad are so blessed to be able to serve with them and I know you make a difference in their lives.  Thanks for being such great examples. 

So as you can see by the title of my email this week--AWKWARD MOMENTS.  I never knew how many awkward moments you can have as a missionary until you are actually a missionary.  It's so fun! So many times a day there are those awkward pauses in conversations or just awkward things happen with dogs or pets or kids haha oh man, it makes being a missionary so enjoyable. Good thing I'm awkward already! I say the dumbest things sometimes--bahahaha.

Anyway, this week was one of those weeks where everyone and their dog (yes, everyone has a dog here) decided to cancel on us--even people we were planning on doing service for! haha Sister Randall and I learned our lesson of planning back ups to our schedule.  But, although it was a little frustrating at times, the Lord blessed us with a lot this week.  We found one new investigator, and had 2 member referrals, one of which looks very promising. It's been fun to get to know so many people here.  We are all in different walks of life and facing different challenges, but no matter what the Gospel of Jesus Christ applies to everyone. Even ourselves as a missionary.  We have to live it in order to teach it and I fail every day at least 8989358 times, but knowing my Savior understands and knowing He loves me enough to say "it's okay, do better tomorrow" humbles my heart and makes me want to be better.  Heavenly Father is so merciful to each of us and I think it's easy to get caught up in the distractions of the world, but I really appreciate what you said mom about "As we look Heavenward, we inevitably learn about our responsibility to look outward." It's been hard for me to overcome these feelings of inadequacy in teaching and planning, and being a missionary, but it truly does not matter as long as I'm doing all I can to be obedient and loving the people I serve.  Every time I pray for love in my heart for these people, He grants it to me.  Ah, I always just feel so happy! Being a missionary is probably one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I have been blessed more than I can ever imagine. 

Speaking of your youth service trip, this week has been amazing to watch as the ward has pitched in to serve some of our investigators. They are from Liberia and she just had a baby--their first child, and they were getting kicked out of their apartment and had nowhere to go and everything was just so sad! But, the Relief Society and ward really pitched in and helped in providing baby stuff and serving them and helping them find places to live and everything.  The members are what makes missionary work happen.  Wherever you are I encourage you to go out with the missionaries and share the gospel with your friends--it comes better from you than the missionaries.  The service the ward members gave truly softened our investigators hearts. She has opened up to us so much more and she said my baby is going to church and they both want to be baptized (they did before but everything was so crazy with their situation) and are so excited.  We are looking forward to teaching them more this week and helping them work towards baptism.  The Liberian community is huge here and all of them have open hearts.  They believe so easily I love teaching them! I think things will really start to take off here with their willingness to share the gospel with their friends--it's gonna be awesome!

So, this week I figured out I have a pride issue--gonna work on that haha It's so hard because I am so independent! bah! But, don't worry, the Lord is refining me and polishing me a little bit more to be a better missionary :) it's great!

Sister Randall and I are working hard each day and although she leaves in 6 weeks, we told each other we would work the hardest we ever have and live every day in the mission like it was our last--which means constant effort, diligence, and obedience, and love of course.  I'm trying to make this last transfer the best transfer for her--you know, help her go out with a bang and help her see how much she has blessed this mission!

Good news--I also get to drive this week! Wish me luck! I haven't driven in about two months! crazy! We also whipped out the bikes this week for the first time and we conveniently chose one of the hottest days yet--96 degrees with 110% humidity (at least thats what it felt like to me) You just sweat like nobody's business here it's great! On the up side, my skin is super moist :) on the down side, my skin is super moist (meaning zits on the face) but, I wouldn't trade it for the world.  The members and people here are so nice and kind and we often have people offer us water breaks while tracting sometimes :) it's great!

I love this work. Although I am weak and have a long way to go, the Lord makes up for it and shows us miracles according to our faith.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. Joseph Smith is a true prophet. The Gospel changes people and helps us prepare to meet God.  The only way to have true happiness in this life and eternal happiness in the life to come is through accepting Christ and actively living the principles of the gospel.  I'm so grateful for a prophet on the earth today and I know He is a man called of God to lead the world.  I know I can live with you (family) forever if I keep my covenants and live according to His will.  I know He loves and knows every person individually. I know the Savior suffered for each one of us and there is nothing He can not understand (2 Ne 9:20).  The hardest thing to see here is people not willing to live the gospel once they know it's true--sometimes I want to take people's agency away! haha not really, but kinda... I can only imagine the frustration that Heavenly Father feels when I do the same thing and don't do according to His will....eeek. I love you all and am so grateful for the influence, love and support you give and continue to give each day.  Keep being a force for good---be the kind of person that when you get up in the morning Satan says "Oh no, he/she is up!" TAKE THAT.


I love you,  
     Sister Owens

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