Monday, January 21, 2013

Temperature is dropping

From: Kristen Owens
Date: Mon, Jan 21, 2013 at 11:25 AM
Subject: Temperature is dropping
To: carolyn owens

Hello My dear family,

Well Sister Taufer and I woke up and found out it is -4 degrees outside :) so it's getting pretty chilly here and should be cold the next few weeks--so no, it is no longer balmy and beautiful haha it's freezing. But, we still love it! So I thought I would start by answering your questions because I feel like I never do. So, the senior couple in Crystal and Medicine Lake wards do a lot. They work with all the West Africans and are helping them continue to progress to the temple and preparing them to receive endowments and helping them with any other needs. They are great. They work with less actives and recent converts and are doing a lot with understanding the visa requirements for them. They are a great couple and do so much for us! We love them. They are really amazing people. Second, transfers are next week so in exactly one week we will find out if we are staying or leaving. I dunno what'll happen. There is only one sister coming out this transfer and then next transfer there will be 17! I think I already told you that. Anyway, I will be happy to stay here :) But, wherever He needs me to be is where I will be the most happy. 

So last week was awesome! We had our 12 year old investigator come to church with his less active mom and nonmember brother! That was pretty neat. :) And we had two other people we are teaching come to church as well. Brother Banquandoe bore his testimony in church and Sister Banquandoe did a few weeks ago. Odelle is adorable. I love them and can't wait for them to be sealed! And, we had an incredible miracle last night. We were planning on going to the fireside, but our investigator backed out last minute and we ended up leaving. We had planned on doing some knocking in some apartment buildings that we had been meaning to go to for a while and hadn't ever been able to get there. So we got there and we prayed. Then we chose an apartment building and we prayed again. Then we got to the door and it was locked so we prayed again and right as Sister Taufer finished praying a person walked out and we walked in :) Then we chose a few numbers that felt good and we prayed again. We knocked on the first one and taught a brief restoration to a YSA who seemed not too interested. Then we knocked on the next one and talked with a sweet woman from Liberia. She let us in and we ended up sharing a lesson on the Restoration and invited her to be baptized and to pray and read and she said she would. We also invited her sister to join us in the lesson and they both sat down with us so both of them are going to read and pray about it and we are going back! From this experience, I was amazed as we exercised our faith and acted upon it how the Lord led us to sincere seekers of truth. We had been praying to be able to reach our goal of 3 new investigators and we only had one until last night. It felt so good to talk with the Lord in prayer and let Him know our desires and goals and then to say to Him "Thy will be done", but at least making ourselves available as dedicated diligent servants in His hands. I truly have felt this past transfer has been a trial of my faith. Yesterday was an answer to many prayers. I truly saw the hand of God in our lives--it's every day. He knows what is best for us.

We had the opportunity to go on exchanges with the Shingle Creek Sisters this week aka Sister Mansfield and Sister Tani--I was with Sister Tani. She is a convert (only one in her family) and she is amazing. I learned so much from her! I was reading in Alma chapter 15-17 today and realized how much Amulek had to give up--fortune, friends, family. Sometimes that is how our investigators are. They have to make so many changes in their lives to live the gospel. And how much it helped Amulek to have a friend like Alma by his side. Everyone needs a friend in the church. It makes a major difference! 

This transfer has taught me A LOT! I have had so many things to learn! First, patience...Second, faith....Third, power of obedience. and Fourth, repentance and forgiveness. The Lord is so merciful. I am recommitted to work hard, love, be obedient, and exercise my faith! Holy cow! Being a missionary is training for life! I hope I am becoming who He wants me to become. I have been reflecting recently on the past 9 months and am going to set some goals for the next 9 months. Sometimes I don't feel a change, but other times I look back and recognize how I have changed. It's crazy the refining process of a mission. Anyway, enough about me. 

The investigators are coming along :) slowly but surely. We aren't teaching a lot of Africans right now, but we are teaching some great individuals. The members here are fantastic and do so much for us! It's truly incredible to be a part of this work. We've had some great spiritual experiences and if I have learned anything this past transfer it is to be committed! Keep all my commitments and covenants for FOREVER. I hope in the next 9 months I can say I have learned even more and become who He needs me to become. I love being a missionary. The work is going forth. There is always so much to learn. I have loved my companions and Medicine Lake ward. I looked around last Sunday and realized how much I love these people! They truly are like family! Every single one of them! I don't want to leave! But, change might be a good thing. So many mixed feelings :) haha 

Alright, times up! I love you all and am so glad to hear things are going well! I look forward to meeting my 2 nephews soon! And btw, what are the names of these babes gonna be?!?! I need to know these things! Thanks to Shea for writing me a letter in the mail :) bonus points for you--you'll definitely get a gift from me when I return! ;) I loved it! Makena makes me laugh so hard. Give them all hugs and kisses for me. I LOVE YOU! Thanks for your great examples to me! I couldn't do this without you! 

  Sister Owens

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