Monday, August 29, 2016

Note from this Missionary Mom: DOUBLE DIGITS!! WE ARE AT 99 DAYS!!
Hello neat people that I love :)
Operation Gratitude service project

Sister Ipson One Year Mark

My District

Welcome back<3
 This week:We decided to focus this week on finding. We heard many miracles from missionaries spending a lot of effort into knocking, so we decided to try it out! We knocked for straight up 6 hrs one day and many more hours throughout the week!
I can honestly say I have never had so much opposition, hate, cursing, and rejection my whole mission!! haha...
Weighed down from the wickedness of the world, we were pretty tired and disappointed with the lack of fruit from our efforts.

BUT after sacrament, a member approached us. She told us she and a friend had gotten into a gospel discussion. She asked her about Joseph Smith and said while bearing her testimony about the First Vision, she got emotional and her friend got the chills! Her friend was astounded and asked to take the lessons!!
I was then reminded that there are many unseen efforts among us and I need to have better trust in God.

I've been thinking a lot about opposition. Elder Oaks gave a phenomenal talk this past conference titled "Opposition in All Things". Even though it's not always pleasant, I need to remember that opposition is essential in order to exercise our agency and to progress. We wouldn't know joy if we knew not misery. Opposition is a good thing.

But I also got thinking about how they say: "God will never give you anything you cannot handle" and that's usually used in regards to a negative connotation, but I think it's also relevant to positive things as well. For example, I don't think I would win the lottery tomorrow because God knows I wouldn't be able to handle it (of course there's exceptions, but generally I think this principle is fixed).
The same goes for all the little things in our lives. We have to be in the position to receive the blessings God is willing to grant us.
I think that's why we talk so much about "God's timing is perfect" and "God's way is always the best way" because by God's way and God's timing, we are transformed into the people that are in the position to receive His great blessings.

I know what matters to me matters to God and He is willing to grant us our righteous desires, but I'm also aware that sometimes He'll lead us on a path that we wouldn't even THINK about going on, to attain that righteous goal, because His way is the best way and sometimes it leads us not only to what we desired, but something MUCH better.
It is in these unknown paths He leads us on, in these hard to understand circumstances, and sometimes in the over-bearing opposition that is NECESSARY in order for us to be FIT for the next blessing and the next step closer to exaltation with our loving Father.

I am far from perfect. I am still being polished in the furnace of afflictions and humility every day haha, but I know as long as I am doing all I can to keep the commandments, I can conquer ANYTHING with the Lord.

I love you humans with all the loves in the world. Hope your week rocks as much as Thors abs :,)
Peace and Blessings,
Sis D

PS have more PATIENCE. Phenomenal Mormon message by Uchtdorf about patience and little kids with marshmellows lol...

Monday, August 22, 2016

Hey beautiful people via Utah!
Me and Sis Ipson

City Life

So I don't really feel like putting much thought into my writing this week because I am terribly sick and anything I say probably won't make sense (medicated) hahah.  
But this week was good nonetheless. I spent the beginning of the week with a bag of frozen broccoli on my knee from spraining my lateral ligament playing soccer.. hahaha. And then got railed with a cold. But life is still wonderful and we saw lots of miracles!!
-Our investigators are doing super! One hit up Utah this week and visited the Ogden and Salt Lake temples :,)
-We are seeing progress in the area and getting real close with the ward.
-Member referrals are plenteous.
-Saw a G-Wagon Limo. It was super monumental.
-Many soul-driven conversations.
-Good food, good weather, good people, good vibes, good life!!

I really love it out here. I feel incredibly blessed with the flood of tender moments these past 15 months.

Have a great week scoundrels and God bless :,)

-Sis. Chels D.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Hello Friends of America! Still reporting live from the beaut SoCal! :)
This week yielded much greatness.
Among the elongated drought of California, we've had a drought of work the past seven weeks. Still staying busy, but I could count the number of lessons we taught last transfer, with one hand. Ha.... rough life BUT God is so good to us and provided 3 new investigators this week! I truly believe there are millions of people prepared it's just a matter of us finding them!
Hiking the Hills

Palm Trees never get old

So along that topic, lately I've been thinking a lot about Choices.
I want to talk about not necessarily good and bad, black and white choices, but the many levels of good and mediocre.

Each one of us face so many choices each day, the small choices as well as the big ones can lead us on exponential amount of paths. I think there are many righteous routes each day that can lead us to similar outcomes it just depending on our little choices, it leads us to a specific trail.
For example, maybe there were three people today that were super ready to hear what I was going to say, but depending on my little choices throughout the day it lead me to the specific person I ran into. Similarly, these decisions that may seem minuscule shape who we are and our destinations. 
Whether it be who our spouse will be, what our career may be, where we'll live or who we'll become.... I don't think there's just ONE that is right and we just hope life takes us there, but rather it's through the choice we make and the walk of life we carry that will institute our arrival at A right destination.
(Disclaimer: I have made poor choices and I know I will make mistakes, but thank the high heavens perfection is not required.)

Each choice brings experience. Each experience effects our character. Our character/who we are is what attracts opportunities. Opportunities, and choices within those opportunities, determine destiny.
"The door of history turns on small hinges and so do peoples lives..
"If we choose Christ, we will have made the correct choice." -Thomas S. Monson

"It is not meet that I [the Lord] should command in all things,.. men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves."

We are created by and in the image of the Almighty God of the Universe. Our limitations endless and our potential great. We must not let the blindness of mortality hinder the significance of choices and our profound potential-- but let us expound our minds to the eternities.

Xo I love you humans and I can feel the physical manifestation of your prayers.

-Sis. CDon

Monday, August 8, 2016

Hi Utah!

Wow God truly does answer prayers and change hearts.
This week was filled with heart softening blessings.

My NoHo Zone!

Here's a couple.
One night we decided to go post up at the Metro Station. The first lady we talked to was sitting alone waiting for her husband. We got talking to her for pretty much the rest of the night about her life and passions and desires. She opened up to us about how her son had died and how she and her husband have found faith in God through that trying time. Wow. There's no greater message to be able to share than the Plan of Salvation and that we will be with our loved ones again. It hits home for me every time.
But then something tender happened. This dude approached us that recognized me. I didn't recognize him at first-- looking rough and smoking a cigarette-- but then he told me his name. He was the nephew of an investigator family I had in Stevenson Ranch aka my first area! It doesn't sound big, but I loved this family so much. He updated me on their lives and said he was going to go to the military next week; so I literally just caught him before training to be on the front lines.

The past couple months I had been wondering if I really have been making that big of a difference on these peoples lives. We go out each day just hoping and praying to reach SOMEONE. To be an answer to SOMEONE'S prayers. And most of the time, you never really know.

I am still convinced these people have done a lot more good to me than I have to them. I still feel like I have a lot more to give. I forever will feel indebted.
But God has a subtle way of reassuring me that the effort we are giving, though it may seem small to us, is far greater than we can see.

You all are fab and I hope you believe that!
Stay cute and have a freaky week.
Peace and Blessings--
Sister Dohner

Monday, August 1, 2016

Bienvenido amigos! :)
This week was filled with milagros!
Our District
We got a COUCH!!

On Wednesday we had a lesson with our homie R...this dude is the one I mentioned a few weeks ago that just showed up to church wanting to learn about our beliefs. He's the truest. He started off the lesson saying something like, "So I heard about the word of wisdom. I was in a fraternity in college so I drank and smoked, is there any way I can come back from that?"
Haha uh ya!
He's super great and our member was so spot on and it was all around superb. And the week continued being sublime with person after person approaching US asking us to learn more. THIS NEVER HAPPENS. Wowie.
We went from mega door slams and not teaching ONE lesson last week to having these little miracles. Even if the people don't stick around, I love moments like this where God provides that little something to touch our hearts and keep us going.

So....... along those lines, TENDER MERCY OF MY LIFE:

Rewind 7 months. Around Christmas time me and my companion would visit this man named Bill. He's homeless. He would always be at the bus stop at 8:30 pm so we'd visit with him, listen to him, buy him McD's, and try to teach him about God's love. This went on for a while and we became close with Bill. But then he disappeared. I stayed in the area for six more months and never saw him. It was awful. Well Saturday we were going on a morning run AND GUESS WHO WE SAW AT THE BUS STOP IN STUDIO CITY? Homeless Bill !! He remembered me and we talked and he said he was wondering where I had been. Gosh I love that guy. He's so genuine and so great. We see a lot of homeless here in the city but this man's heart is so pure.

I ran into this quote the other day in my studies and I love it:
"Life is full of difficulties. Some minor and other of a more serious nature. There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and for all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such challenges, forgetting that the heavenly virtue of patience is required." -Monson
I feel like a lot of times, at least in my own life, I reach a point where I feel like I'm ready for the next step, the next opportunity, the next challenge, but I just feel stuck.
I think part of faith in Jesus Christ is doing all you can to live the gospel and trusting that wherever you are in life is exactly where God wants you. I think it's all about trusting that God knows what we need when we need it. I'm learning gratitude for the good things now and patience in good things to come.

I love you babes more than greek.
Happy week and Happy Birthday Harry Potter :,)
xoxoxo, sis d