Monday, September 26, 2016

Hi cute people :)

Another quick week out here in Studio City!
City Lights for miles and miles

Over looking my valley

A little glimpse into how these people roll: We were visiting with an old woman in the ward that is a little too fragile to make it to church. While we were over, she told us that a woman in the ward became super less active and every time she called she didn't have luck or she was "not home". So one day this 80+ year old woman decided to leave a message saying she was pretty much dying and being rushed to the hospital and she didn't now how much longer she'd live so she just wanted to hear this less actives voice... which was not true  hahahah....Just like Betty White on The Proposal.
Boy... what can ya do?

Woman's Conference was nothing short of amazing. It's always a joy to unite as latter day saint women and feel more abundantly of the strength and empowerment heavenly Father showers upon us. I feel really lucky to be a part of such a powerful force for good.

Sundays are my favorite.
I love being with my people at church.
There are so many young families and people poppin' out babies like it's the new trend, so we had 3 (boy) baby blessings.
OK, the mission has made me SO SOFT for family and babies, I cried in all 3 blessings haha.
I could just feel the insane amount of love. I am always touched by priesthood men and to watch those men circle around these babies with such great love. And I could also just feel a piece of how nervous and overwhelmed these fathers were to hold that infant in their arms. I believe it's because they are aware of what they hold. Not just a tiny fragile piece of life... but they hold the future. They hold the brother their current or future children. They hold future priesthood bearers of God's authority on the earth. They hold future missionaries, husbands, and dads. They hold Heavenly Fathers precious sons in their hands that He has entrusted them to raise up to be loved and to be nurtured and to grow in the gospel.
It's a neat thing.
But it was fast Sunday and while one of the dads was bearing his testimony he said: "and express my gratitude" but my hungry stomach and tired mind heard: "Panda Express, my gratitude", so my spiritual thoughts melted right there.

But man, I LOVE you beaut lads and ladies so so much! I know a lot of you, if not all of you, are going through some really tough times. I hope you remember you are in the hands of God. Just hold on a little longer! Things will be all right.
Stay cute and eat your fruits and veggies <3

xoxoxo, sis d

Monday, September 19, 2016

Hey loves happy Monday :)
Posterity Shot--My Hijas

So the other day my companion and I were knocking doors and came to a gate. A good amount of houses are gated, so we just flung the gate open and let ourselves in, like usual. We knocked on the door and immediately a guy answered and said "WHAT IS MY GATE DOING OPEN?"

And well, before I continue, there's a few big things to know about southern California: Traffic is wild at all hours of the day, people love "organic" and keeping to themselves, there aren't many yards and if there are it's fake grass, and... people LOVE THEIR DOGS.

This guy continued to say "There is a German Shepard on the premises... walk back to the gate and make no sudden movements". So we slowly but urgently walked back to the gate while holding ourselves back from punting his incredibly obnoxious chihuahua snapping at our ankles. Just as we made it to the sidewalk and finished sliding the gate shut, the German Shepard came running and barely didn't make it to us.
Ha, so I'm pretty sure all mailmen and missionaries have similar stories to this (if not worse) but I wanted to share it in comparison to a lesson I learned this week.

So lately I've been thinking a lot about decision making. Every day we make decisions- big or small- but I realize in these next few years of my life I'm going to have to make some big decisions.
It's scary. It's exciting.
But as I'm here in the safest environment to learning life lessons, I want to master decision making by the Spirit as much as I can.
So this is what I've felt, and help me out if I'm wrong.

-We have a desire. Or a goal.
-We live the gospel, keep the commandments, and put God FIRST
-We get to WORK! We do everything we can to reach that goal.
-Along the way:
     *When there is a fork in the road- Talk it over with God and LISTEN. I think we would feel a whole lot less lost and uncertain if we just took time to listen.
     *When there's an obstacle- We realize those obstacles are sometimes placed there by others, and sometimes by ourselves but each time we have the choice to either walk straight into it and resent it or climb on top of it to get a better view.
     *When there's sorrow, affliction, temptation- Remember we are in the hands of God. Remember the Lord knows everything we don't want anyone to know and loves us anyway. Remember we can quickly repent and get back on our way.
-Open our eyes to the blessings and possible routes God has provided that are actually far greater than what we imagined.
-Through it all give gratitude and pray unceasingly. For this task to reach our desires isn't just about the outcome, but more about the journey.

Alma 38:5
"And now... I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your TRUST in God as much as ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up the last day."

My thoughts stem from the words of Elder Holland in the Mormon message "Wrong Roads". He and his son reached a fork in the road and didn't know which one to choose. Jeffery invited his son to pray about it. They both felt the right fork... to find themselves at a dead end. His son was troubled as to why they felt so strongly to go down that road if it was wrong. The lesson is that sometimes Heavenly Father allow us to go down the wrong road a few hundred yards to a dead end so we can know with a sure knowledge and conviction that indeed that is the wrong road and the other one is right. Rather than driving down the correct road for miles and miles with uncertainty.

Sometimes Heavenly Father lets His ignorant little children into gated properties with protective German Shepherds so later on they don't throw open a gate to ferocious lions.
I'm grateful for a loving God that allows us to make decisions but is there beside us all along the way.

Love you !!! Keep praying and reading your scripys :,)
your girl sis chels d

My new Companion Sister Brown

Farewell to Sister Ipson

Monday, September 12, 2016

Hi friends!
Got to Golf on Pday!
I don't have much time today but things are going great. So here is my week IN PHOTOS!
I wish I could just bottle up all this JOY! I'm just so grateful. We gave missionary training at Zone Conference about how to set faith-filled goals. Goals are the desires of our heart and vision for what we want to accomplish. So "Where your heart is, there will your treasure be also."
I have a testimony of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon is truer than true!
Have a swell week beauts!
XO  Sister Dohner

A Sweet Treat!

Livin' on the Edge

We walked into 'Game Night' with some ward members

Sunday walk with these cute girls!

A hillside of stacked Cairns

Hogwarts is SO close to me!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Hello world!
This week was neat. NEAT things are happening! :)
Here are just a few.....
My brother Brian knew I wasn't sleeping well #inspired #godisinthedetails

 Famous Mama's and Papa's Pizzeria that all of Hollywood raves about!
(Disclaimer: this email is really long, sorry but like what can ya do)

So on Monday, our dinner cancelled due to a busy day. While we were eating at home, we received a knock on our door from one of our neighbors. He asked us if he could use a laptop or smart phone to log in to his iCloud account so he could message his roommate to let him in. Obviously we are the worst people to go to for that stuff!! But one of our members lives in the same apartment complex as us so we called him and he was home! While waiting for the member, our neighbor asked us if we were Mormon. He has a friend attending BYU. While talking with him, he asked us if there was a church near by and if he could go. He also asked us if there was a way to learn more... lol.
So we got his number and set up a time to meet. The next morning he knocked again on our door and said he had been talking to his friend on the phone last night all about the church and he said we had some kind of book he could read? hahahha. They're knocking on OUR door now so, what is life.

Wednesday we had a lesson with our investigator Julie. It was our second lesson but we really felt like we needed to recap the Restoration, mostly talking about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. She and her husband (who is a member) are getting their phD's in psychology so it's hecka scary to teach them haha. But she really broke down her walls. The spirit was really strong and then we asked, "Julie, what would it mean to you if you knew Joseph Smith was a prophet?" and without hesitation she said, "I would be converted!!"
She told us ever since we came she had been praying every single day and has been reading to find her answer. Man, she is SO prepared.
Sister Bosshardt and I taught J and got to be at his baptism!

Saturday JOSUE GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! He was someone I had taught in Northridge YSA and wowie. He asked me to give a talk at the baptism and then his dad (who is a recent convert) baptized him and MAN OH MAN my heart almost exploded. I seriously could not stop smiling and my body felt so full I thought I was going to burst.
He was BEAMING! This feeling is nothing riches can buy. No greater thing in the world. Words just cannot describe.

You know the gospel is an interesting thing because you can sift it down to the core basics enough for an 8 year old to understand, but each individual concept can be expounded beyond the most brilliant scholar's brain capacity to comprehend. I'm still working on the first principle of the gospel lol which is FAITH.
Faith is this intangible hope that drives people to DO.
The reason why I'm talking about this is because I re-read a fantastic talk this week called "But if not" by Dennis E Simmons and I think his thoughts are significant. (It's a similar concept to Bednar's talk "Accepting the Lord and His timing").
He talks about a level of faith that is beyond the hope that your desired outcome will come to pass, but a faith that as long as you're doing your part to keep the commandments, the outcome (God's will) is for the best. It's a level of faith that is COMPLETE trust in God, even if we don't fully understand.

You may have faith that if you work really hard in school, you will get an immediate desired job after you graduate.
You may have faith that the "perfect" person you are dating is the right and only one.
You may have faith that all the practice and sweat and hard work you put into your sport will result in a victory over your rival.
You may have faith that your family member will heal from this chronic illness...
but do we have the faith IF NOT?
"The Lord has given us agency, the right and the responsibility to decide. He tests us by allowing us to be challenged. He assures us that He will not suffer us to be tempted beyond our ability to withstand. But we must understand that great challenges make great men. We don’t seek tribulation, but if we respond in faith, the Lord strengthens us. The but if nots can become remarkable blessings. "

Having faith when things don't quite work out as we had planned are the precious moments that make up our conversion. I know this is true.

If you made it this far in my letter, you are a true fan and I love you so much :)
hahah Have the best week sweetie pies~

Sister Chels Dohner