Monday, April 15, 2013

Palmdale News

Hi. this letter is going to be super sporadic and not very fluid. Also, I'm awful at grammar and spelling in English now. Lets just go with it :)
Yes, I got the Toms and brownies and cards! Thank you so much! They are awesome! The brownies were delicious and we tried to make them last as long as possible so we cut them in half and only ate a little bit at a time :)
Mom: Make Codi Peterson and Dylan Gardner stand together and take a picture of them! Tell Lara and Codi I love them and I would LOVE to hear from them BOTH. 
So, lots of things to talk about. Ready? GO. 
Kristi might think this is cool- They have created a new thing called Sister Training Leaders or something like that! They are new leaders that work with the Zone Leaders and are specifically the conduit between sisters and president and they go on exchanges with other sisters and do training and stuff! So now, they don't have Zone Leadership Council with just the Zone Leaders! Now the Zone Leaders and the Sister Training Leaders go to a meeting with the President. It has a new name. I forgot what it was. I left my journal that has all of my notes from training in it at home! (dumb, I'm sorry. I'll repent and be better) So, that's cool! That is church-wide! This is a new thing for all Missions everywhere! :)
Also, speaking of, who was the first sister missionary? Can you look that up for me? Who was she? Where did she serve? Tell me about her!
Also, could you send me one or two good smoothie recipes? Maybe one involving oatmeal?
Also, just FYI, I rediscovered my love for Cheetos. Yeah. it's a blessing and a curse. I'm 9 years old again. I love it. Haha.
So, I get to help plan a wedding! Who would've thought that the first wedding I plan would NOT be my own? haha! Our investigators are getting married so that they can be baptized! It was awesome. I was kind of concerned about how they were going to react to our invitations but I trusted the Lord! Here is what I wrote President about it: "This week has been wonderful. We've seen many miracles. The one I'm really excited to tell you about is Teresa and Jessie. We've been teaching them and this week we had to find out if they were married or not. I was excited, but a tiny bit nervous because if they weren't married, they would have to get married before they could get baptized. So, when we got there Jessie wasn't home from work but we started to teach Teresa and her daughter! We taught her the 10 commandments and the law of chastity and she definitely understood everything and said she liked it a lot. So, we brought up marriage and how she needs to be married to be baptized and she actually really liked that! She said she doesn't feel good living with Jessie without being married and that they had plans to get married and they've wanted to for a while but they just always push it back. Well, then Jessie walked in from work and sat down and joined in. We kind of reviewed with him what we had talked about and started talking about the Law of Chastity with him, too! He was really receptive and open to it, as well! He liked it and Hermana Tavoian and I talked about the huge blessings that come with being married. We talked about how marriage will bring them closer together as a couple and how they will be able to go through trials and difficulties together when they have Jesus Christ as the center of their relationship. We talked about how when they grow closer to Christ they will grow together and they loved that! So, we asked them if they would get married to prepare to get baptized, cleared up some confusion and worries they had, and they said yes! Jessie is excited but he wants to make sure his wedding is nice and that they do everything "right" so, we decided to give them a little over a month. We set their baptism date as May 26 and they committed to getting married before then. We're going to teach their daughter, Adriana as well so that we can baptize them as a family! They're really excited, we're really excited, and I'm so thankful for the Spirit and the hand of the Lord in all of our lives. None of that could've happen if Heavenly Father hadn't softened their hearts and helped us have the Spirit. So, we get to help put on a wedding! We're getting the ward involved and so it will be interesting to see how everything plays out. It was a miracle for us!

So, needless to say, we're doing great here. I'm still trying to get used to everything and there are hard days, but I'm so happy to be here. There is nowhere I'd rather be! I love being a missionary and sharing the message of the Restoration with the people in this area. I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon and I'm reading it daily. Anyway, thank you so much for all you do for us and I hope you and your family are doing well!

-Hermana Dodge
So, we are STOKED. 
Also, I experienced my first sandstorm this week! That was awesome! In Texas, ya know how you can see thunderstorms rolling in from miles away? It's like a wall of dark gray clouds? Yeah, Sandstorms are just like that, except light gray/tan because it's just a wall of sand coming. It was SUPER windy. 
Oh, and by the way, we get to Skype our families on Mothers Day and Christmas!! :) No big deal! Hahaha! Also, I noticed this Sunday that sometimes I stick out like a sore thumb in my congregation. Hna Tavoian has a darker complexion and so she kinda fits in, but I just stick out! I love it! It's so fun! So, apparently President Hinckley said that if anyone reads the Book of Mormon in another language, they will be fluent in that language. Can you research and find that for me? I would love to see a talk or something or a quote on that, because I'm BANKING on that! lol. 
So, this week we had Zone Conference! It was awesome! We had the Lancaster Zone with us, and there are Korean Elders in the Lancaster Zone. So, there is one Elder named, Elder Kim. He comments a lot and sings really loud, and he is the definition of a tenor. So, I noticed him singing and then after conference he came and found me and said, "Sister, what is your name!?!" and I said, "Hi! I'm Hermana Dodge. Nice to meet you!" and he said, "Oh yes it is very nice to meet you too. You have an amaaazing voice, Sister. You sound beautiful! Have you ever taken any voice lessons?"  I proceeded to tell him a little bit about my vocal background and he said, "Wow, I'm classically trained, too! I was trained to sing Opera!" Anyway, I talked to him about that too and he said we need to tell President Hall that we need to sing together! I just smiled and said, "Okay!" It was just so funny and random. I was sick last week and so I know I didn't sound my best, but Elder Kim sure thought I sounded alright! LOL.
So, last but not least. Last night we were visiting some potential investigators before we went home, and we were going to see this guy named Frederico and his wife Erika (yeah, her name is Erika. I almost cried and hugged her when she introduced herself) but that's not the point! Anyway, we went over and when we were walking we passed this apartment that we had contacted (or "knocked") the week before. We had contacted this guy who was watching us out his window for just a couple seconds as we knocked on his neighbors door. So, I smiled and waved and we saved his house for last. Well we knocked and he opened the door,  we shared a really short message and asked when we could come back and talk more and he said come by sometime in the evening this week, my baby is crying so I need to go and we said ok and left. We went back that week and nobody was home so we left a card with our number and a message on it. When we were visiting Erika and Frederico (who live around the corner) I just really felt like we needed to stop by, so I thought... Okay, after Frederico we will. So, we went over there and the wife (or girlfriend, or something) answers the door holding the baby boy (who is precious) and says, "Come in come in!" We go in and sit down and she tells us her name is Ruby (such a pretty name) and the tells us she's a member! So we asked her about her background and she began to tell us that she was baptized when she was younger. She went to girls camp, and even went to the temple and did baptisms for the dead! She said she loves the church and the gospel is so beautiful and that although she attends the Catholic church with her husband, her heart has always been with our church. So, her husband was upstairs taking care of the children and he didn't come down to listen, but Ruby and her daughter listened very intently. We shared the restoration with her and left her 2 copies of El Libro de Mormon and 2 pamphlets about the restoration, one in English and one in Spanish, and we scheduled a follow up appointment for this week. it was amazing. Seriously... it was a miracle. She said she has always hoped that little by little her husband would come around to hearing the gospel and that he is shy but she really wants this for her family. She said her cousin is actually preparing to go on a mission right now and her siblings are members too! We felt so guided by the Holy Ghost to go and talk to them that night. I am so grateful. I am honestly so happy that we had this experience. The Spirit was there in our lesson and we felt so much peace in their home. She was just lost for a little while but the Lord has perfect timing. Ruby and her family needs the gospel and we're going to work with her and her family. Ruby said she saw our card that we left and asked her husband if he knew what that was and who left it and she said she told him that it was actually a card from the real church and that missionaries left it for them! She said she was so happy! :)
Gosh, the time is gone...I guess I'll leave you with this: I love being a missionary. I love wearing this badge everyday. It's weird because I remember looking up to the missionaries as a little girl and I remember writing Kristi all the time and it's just so awesome that I get to be a missionary now! I love the Book of Mormon. I read it everyday. It changes lives, it brings peace when you feel like you can't find it anywhere else. It brings a joy that you can't get from anything else. We have a Heavenly Father who loves us so much. I love the people here. I love California. People can say what they want, but I love California! The Lord is "exalting His valleys" Isaiah 40:4
I love y'all. I love you mom. I love you so much. I'm sending you copies of my journal entries from this week. 
P.S. Can you tell everyone I said hi! I love you!

1 comment:

  1. This made me so, so, so happy! I love that the work is going so well for you, Cassi! Your testimony of the gospel and of missionary work, particularly in this email, strengthen mine, and I am so thankful to know you, girl! Keep it up!