Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

 It was so much fun to talk to you at Christmas! :) Oh my goodness--seeing you all there (besides Nadine and Makena :() felt so natural and normal! I thought I would be bawling the whole time, but it only happened at the end when I saw dad's face (of all people, dad made me cry..jk) Anyway, I miss you guys and love you a lot. Thanks for being so fun and happy! 40 minutes flew by!

So funny story this week, we were eating dinner with some wonderful members and their son was in town. He sneakily took a pic of Sis T and I and posted it to facebook and asked "does anyone know them?" (apparently he does this with all the missionaries he meets. Well Kade Smith knew him and he actually worked with Kade and Nate out in chicago selling alarms. ha it was a funny connection. he talked to kade on the phone a few minutes so that was fun. Thanks Kade for responding! :)

We had an amazing miracle this week!!! Oh man, it's good. So when I was a young missionary (...about 5 months ago...) serving with Sister Randall, we did a lot of tracting. Well one day we found this random street with about 3 houses on it. We had some great conversations with the few doors we knocked on and we felt really good about it. But, after that night, we couldn't ever find the street on the map again! It was so frustrating because we wanted to go back and try again. Well the whole time since I've been here, I have been searching for that street. One day Sister Taufer and I picked an area to go tracting in. When we were driving down this one road, I looked to the side and saw a "no outlet" sign and a small road--Larch Ln. BAM--found it! So we made a note to self to go back to that street. Last week we did and knocked on the one door that I remember feeling really good about. We met a man named Tim. He looked sooo burdened down and depressed. He mentioned how we were the second set of "religious" people to knock on his door (darn those Jehovah Witnesses), so it must be a sign or something. We talked to him about prayer and God's love for him and made a return appointment the following week. On Thursday we met with him and one of our members was so good to drive over and come with us even though the roads were crazy icy. The lesson was a little crazy (he had a friend over who had met with missionaries before...didn't believe the book of Mormon,etc.) but we ended up teaching about prayer again and our lovely joint teacher expressed to him that God loves him. Then at the end of the lesson we had him say the prayer. We all knelt down and for the first time in a very long time he prayed. He had been losing his faith in God due to recent events and he expressed how bad his life had been growing up without good parents, etc. But, he still prayed. It was a very sincere, heartfelt prayer. He had been use to recited, memorized prayers, but we explained how to pray and he did it! Our joint teacher was in tears, she had felt the spirit so strongly in his prayer. We invited him to church, he wasn't super solid about it. By the time we left, you could see a huge change in his character--those burdens had been lifted. We called him Saturday to see if he would make it on Sunday, he said he'd try--we offered rides, he could follow us, etc--finally he just said call him in the morning to wake him up. So we did, no answer... and we called 3 times....ha. We get to church and are patiently waiting for our investigators and Tim walks in! Our joint teacher talked to him after and he said he really enjoyed the youth talk about friends. he had to leave after sacrament meeting but he said next week he'd stay. and he was smiling so big! He loved it. He told our fellowshipper that he was going to bring his two kids next time too! :) MIRACLE. and we had 3 new investigators and 3 investigators to church! whoo! :) 3+3=1 (President Clements math :)

This past week was great. It really was. We have a few progressing investigators, but no official date sets yet. We have strong vibes it's coming though :) baptize in January! The people here are so great! Our members are so involved in missionary work. They love it and want to share with their friends. We just need to be trusting missionaries so they will see they can trust their friends with us. I have been humbled this week--sometimes I feel like I am not getting any better at becoming a missionary. I often think to myself "why are you on the same shore, doing the same thing..." blah. So we are trying new things! we talked to our ward mission leader about doing a little activity for our investigators. we are planning something on the 5th of Feb--missionary movie night. We show a short clip from a church movie, have a recent convert share a 5 minute testimony, say a prayer, have food and fellowship time ;) it will be great!

We are excited to connect better with the ward. they really are amazing. The work is hastening on! There will be so many new missionaries here next transfer and we have to be better than we were before! I am the lead sister this transfer and must conduct exchanges (ah!) I don't have any idea what I'm doing, but that's okay. He knows whats best I suppose. The sisters here in the mission are AMAZING! Seriously though. they motivate me and help me so much. I love it here. I love the people. I love the work. The gospel is true, it blesses families, prophets are real, Christ lived a perfect life, atoned for us, and died for us, His church has been restored in it's fulness, the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and prayer works! The Holy Ghost is real! I know this is His church. I love you all! I hope you have a fabulous New Year's day! Go Resolutions! :) no regrets either!

  sister owens

p.s. i forgot to send a card to Brittany (I'm HORRIBLE!) But, tomorrow I'll send it off.
p.s.s. can't wait to meet those lil' ones in our family soon!

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