11:02 AM (2 hours ago)
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!
P.S.S. I LOVE YOU