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!

Monday, September 10, 2012

                                                 Sister Owens and Sister Randall
                                                                 Happy Group
                                                                New Converts
                                                Sister Mansfield and Sister Owens

The best is yet to come

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hey family,

So I didn't receive any information from any of you via email this about depressing! So I am going to assume all is well (?) if it's not I know you will tell me. This week was pretty uneventful other than lots of opposition, but Sunday was awesome. We had three investigators to church and found a new investigator that night! Sister Mansfield is a go getter and is not afraid of anything. She is teaching me so much! I honestly feel as though she is training me... but, seriously.  She is great! We had a lot of meetings this past week and they were all so great. We are focusing on teaching the principles of the gospel simply and intensely and I feel as though the Lord is preparing us for bigger things this week.  We are trying to stay diligent and obedient and trying to help bring others unto Christ.  Sometimes I feel as though I get caught up in the little things of missionary work such as the daily numbers and the stinky choices people make to reject the gospel message.  (boo.) But, I have to remember, this is His work, this is His time, and these are His children.  We are only here to serve and give our best effort in helping them realize and recognize their potential and help them come unto Christ. 

This letter will probably be short, since there is not much to respond to.... ha but, I love you all so very much.  I pray for you often and hope all is well there. We had a funny experience yesterday.  We were talking to this man who was outside as we were walking to go visit a less active member and we started talking and instantly recognized he was a little tipsy.... well, he asked us a lot of questions about the church and we gave him a pamphlet and Book of Mormon and taught a brief lesson to him and he was very open to listening, but he was not obviously in his right mind. He looked at me and said, "man you are totally getting sunburned." he then proceeded to take his hand and touch my face (pressing his finger on my forehead) to prove the color difference.  It completely shocked me! I think I took a few steps back! Ah! It was hilarious though! He was crazy. Funny story for the week.  Then we had a cool night where we were finding and decided to knock on this door. We started talking to this woman and Sister Mansfield asked if we would be able to come in for a few minutes and share our message.  She said yes and we were both in shock because no one ever tells us we can haha we went in and taught a brief lesson to her and are going back to teach her more. She has a desire to learn more about Christ and God in her life and how that can help her be happier. We really are thrilled! It was such a miracle and tender mercy! We are excited to go back and teach her!

Please pray for us.  I know you do, but those prayers really do help.  There is so much to be thankful for. I'm going to be honest, this past week was a bit discouraging, but we move on and keep going! The Lord is in charge and as we do our very best, good things will happen.  The work is progressing and we are doing our best to help the Lord. He has prepared people and we just need to be prepared to find them.  Thanks for all your amazing examples of love and support and diligent sacrifice and service.  I am so blessed to have such a supportive family.  When the going gets rough, the rough get going! Done.  Moving on! :) Life is great. At the end of the day I think to myself, "I have never been happier." Serving the Lord with all diligence of might, mind, heart, and strength is the most rewarding thing I've ever done.  I am so grateful to my Savior who makes up for all the things I lack. I have never felt the reality of the Atonement more in my day-to-day life than I have while being on my mission.  I could not do this without Him. ever. I do have a testimony of this work. I know this Church is true. I know God lives and loves each one of us.  I know because He loves us He sent His Son Jesus Christ to Atone for our sins, pains, weaknesses, sicknesses, and everything else we go through so that we could access His sacrifice and become clean again.  I know I can return and live with my family and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again one day if I hold out faithful to the end, repent daily, consistently renew my covenants, listen to the Spirit moment-by-moment, and endure with a steadfast hope in Christ.  There are good things to come.  We just need to remember the reality of His sacrifice each day.  I am so glad and privileged to be serving my Lord.  There is no greater calling in the church then to be set apart as a missionary.  Thanks for everything you have taught me, especially about who I am as a child of God.  There is so much hope in the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tell Grandpa and Grandma thank you so much for the love and support they have shown me.  I love them so much.  I love you Nathan, Cherise, Lucas, Carter--(btw, we met a man with a grandson named Carter who was Carter's age and I totally missed my nephew's sweet little voice!), Nadine, Shea, Makena, little babe, Megan, Colton, Hads, and Kris (eh, eh?), and Nicole, and Craig (I guess), and little babe (eh? eh? I'M KIDDING!).  And especially you Mom and Pops.  I hope to make you all proud.  You are da best!!!! :)

Enjoy your week of fall (before the real trials hit aka WINTER!) :) love you love you love you love you love you!

  Sister Owens

Monday, September 3, 2012


Kristen Owens
10:15 AM (1 hour ago)

to me

First things first, I'M GETTING A NEPHEW!! YAY!!! And second, mom thanks for that package of yumminess (i haven't gained enough weight as it is) and one of the drinks leaked so we the letter in it was soaked and I couldn't read it :( sorry...

But, this week was great! We have found quite a few new people to teach so we are trying to stay positive and help them :) It's all about LOVE.
We have had some pretty great tender mercies happen. Each day we have prayed to be able to teach a lesson to someone, we've been provided an opportunity and been able to teach them! AMAZING. and we got 4 new investigators this week by obeying counsel from our leaders! love it.

So I don't have much time, but we are having a ward Labor Day Activity and we are emailing in a members home and they are going so we don't want to use all their time... but this week was great! We are looking forward to next week and this weekend our ward is having another baptism for a man who is from Kenya. He is a pastor for his congregation and the Spanish Sisters started teaching him and he came to know it was true and is taking the gospel back to his people in Kenya! He is such an amazing man! How cool is that story? Can you say the next ensign article??? I can see it.

Taylor the Latte boy is a silly song mom. I guess I'll just have to marry a taylor and it can be our wedding song. :) yes! Anyway, I love this work, this gospel is true. He is in charge because I mess up 94U0308423993 times a day adn get in situations that I don't know how to handle and somehow it works out.  Sister Mansfield and I are so much a like it's ridiculous! We have lots of fun together and I feel like she's training me.  She's awesome.  We learn a lot everyday and have relied a lot on prayer.  O boy. lots of prayer and fasting.  We still have lots farther to go though. I am just amazed at how much the Lord expects of us and how much He sees our potential.  He truly sees us in terms of forever.  I am going to try to do that this week, see people's potential in who they can become :) LOVE. 

And yes Sister Henstrom (Bishops wife) is cousins with the Hiltons and saw them. Sister Henstrom is AMAZING! She is the sweeeeetest lady in the world! It's crazy.  We love them! This ward is seriously the best ward I could possibly be in.  I am scared of getting transferred out of the ward.... I don't want to! It's too good here! :) But, I gotta run. I love you a lot. I know Jesus Christ lives and loves each one of us. He carries our burdens and wants to help each of us make it back to Him and God and live with our Families forever. I love you family. Thanks for your prayers, I sincerely feel them every day of my life.  I love you I love you I love you! Keep working hard and sharing the gospel.  Everyone needs it so much! DO YOUR DUTY VALIANTLY! Be bold and loving in all things! 

I love you,
   Sister Owens