From: Kristen Owens <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Subject: Alma 37:33-35
To: carolyn owens <firstname.lastname@example.org>
How is everything in Utah/Washington treating you? Thank you so much for the letters and pictures Cherise! Tell the boys I love them a lot! They made my week! I loved them :) I miss you all so so much! Would you mind sending me your address by chance so I can send a lil' something your way? Any exciting news happening this month to any of you? Do you remember that you have a little sister who loves you thousands of miles away? k good. Cuz you do, and she misses each one of you like craaaazy. Glad we got that established.
So I hope everything is going well there. The summer is almost over which is so weird--we are now entering the fall! Well, actually it's still hot here but things have definitely cooled down. I'm not melting like a Popsicle anymore :) But, the work is going good. We taught quite a few new people this week and things are great. I have come to find out I have many weaknesses in teaching...but I do appreciate your thoughts mom on never suppress a generous thought--if it invites to do good, it is usually from the Spirit. Sometimes I feel like I am not improving one bit at anything...then I realize that is false. And it's funny because I think right when we start to feel comfortable is when God decides to give us something to stretch and refine and polish us a little bit more... I kinda feel like that's how next transfer is going to be. I'm excited, but nervous. Sister Randall gets to see her family in 8 days--yes, I am very much jealous (I'll repent later for that..just kidding.) I'm so excited for her. It's been really neat to see how much her mission has changed her and all that she has learned. She is a great missionary and the Lord has been able to use her as an instrument to bring many souls unto Christ. She has such a deep understanding of doctrine and the Atonement. I'm amazed at how much she knows. When I come home I want to be able to say my understanding and love for the Atonement has increased ten fold if not more. Christ really is the center of everything. As we put Him and our Father first in our lives, everything else seems to fall into place. We come to understand why we are here and the importance of living the Gospel. We come to know, feel, and see the love of God in our lives. Every time we exercise our faith, He blesses us for it, even if we have to be patient and diligent and endure.
We have three amazing people getting baptized this week! They are doing great and we hope all goes well. That means the opposition is about to kick up so we have been trying to get our members involved as much as possible here--every day! Daily contact. And the members have been so good--they invite them over for dinner and FHE and come with us to teach them and boy do they make a difference. You should all go joint teaching with the missionaries more often. Trust me, they need your help :) I know nothing and the members thoughts really make a difference. To see the influence of the gospel in their lives has really impacted me. They are really amazing people. They know the things they need to do to make a difference in their lives. They have a desire to serve God the rest of their lives and build up the Church and such. It's so amazing to watch. We had a less active member of the ward recently come back and he actually received the Melchezidek Priesthood on Sunday. How awesome is that?! The Atonement is real. God has given us so many tools to come closer to Him and so many ways to partake of the Spirit. Thank you dad for always being there when I needed a blessing. Thank you for being worthy to give me those blessings of healing and comfort. I have seen so many blessings come from the priesthood in our home and am so grateful for a righteous family. Mom, I was reminded this week of your amazing example of strength and faith when you were going through treatments a few years ago. I often reflect on that experience and was reminded of the sweet memory of when we were sitting on the couch and you said something about death and dying. I remember it so clearly because when you mentioned it, the spirit hit me so strongly and I KNEW everything would be okay. I KNEW I would see my family again in the next life because of the blessings of the temple. I can never forget that witness. The Plan of Happiness is real. Heavenly Father loves us and so He sent His Son, the ultimate example of love and joy. Even though Christ suffered and descended below all things, I know He still found joy in serving and loving the people. I was reading in 3 Ne about when He visits the people and teaches them and tells them to pray while He goes to pray on His own. When He comes back, they did continue to pray without ceasing and His "countenance did smile upon them..." I love that imagery. Seeing Christ smile :) Smiling because you are obeying His counsel and He loves YOU. We have a boy with down syndrome in our ward who is the sweetest boy in the world. He bore His testimony yesterday and repeated many times, "Jesus Christ loves YOU." and "Joseph Smith loves YOU." Those phrases almost made me cry. He was so sweet as he bore his firm witness of the love of Christ. But, I loved how he emphasized YOU. you could just tell He knew. It was a very tender sweet moment.
K so now that I have drone on and on....This week is going to be great--difficult--but great! Thanks for your prayers and love I really do appreciate all the letters and support. Missionary work is AMAZING! I am learning a lot and sometimes it gets hard to keep an eternal perspective, but the Lord never ceases to be there for me and lift me up through the Atonement. I also have a firm belief that we have help on the other side of the veil. It's incredible to feel and know that so many people we meet on the streets have family and friends who are waiting to accept the gospel in the Spirit world and you can just see them working on the people here on earth. (That sounds weird, but I know we have help from both sides of the veil). Thanks again for all you do. I am excited to write to you next week and tell you all about this amazingly awesome fantastic fabulous week coming up! I love you once again more than words can say :)
Love, Sister Owens
P.S. I received half of a letter in the mail this week from my dear sweet cousin Kenzie... I only got the front of the envelope though.. the rest was lost in mail! haha isn't that funny??? So tell her thank you, I'm sure the words of the letter will lift and inspire someone else that reads it. I'm sad I didn't have the chance to! :( But I love you Kenz! Thanks for thinking of me and I will write you back asap :)
P.S.S. tell your sister KELSEY SUE to write me a stinkin letter so I have her address!!! please :) LOVE YOU!