Monday, June 24, 2013

The Mission Training Fireside yesterday was awesome!

So, first things first:

My new missionary is absolutely amazing and I love her to death. She is one of the funniest people I've ever met in my life, besides me and Erika, of course. Her name is Hermana Ostler and she's from Billings, Montana and she went to BYU-I for a semester before her mission. She is so cool. We are being exactly obedient and I love it. We're actually on time. She's so easy to train. She makes me laugh so hard. Heavenly Father sent her to me. I've laughed so much. I'm so happy. As we were getting our new missionary picture taken together, Sister Hall (President's wife) was telling us all about how excited she was that we are companions and about how we're going to be just 2 peas in a pod and how amazing we're going to be together and I was just smiling thinking, "Yeah, okay, no pressure or anything!" hahaha! But we've been working our bums off. The other day we biked about 12 miles just contacting potentials that we met and tracking down referrals. Being a trainer is hard. I feel super inadequate for this job. But Hermana Ostler is such a champ. She loves her bike. She wanted to ride bikes, too. We are so alike, but different enough to keep it entertaining. She rapped missionary songs to me while we were riding down the road the other day. That was when I knew it was going to be a GREAT couple of transfers! 
So, we had a Zone Conference 2 days after transfer meeting and, holy. cow. It was amazing. We learned about the first missionaries out here in the desert. Sister Hall's great grandpa was the Mission President for this area way back when. Cool, huh? Runs in the fam. Anyway, he made the missionaries come out here without purse or script. That meant that they didn't have any money or a place to live. All they had was a suitcase that said LDS MISSIONARY and some copies of the Book of Mormon. They weren't allowed to ask for a place to live, and they weren't allowed to ask for food, but if someone offered, they could accept! But through their faith, and obedience they saw MIRACLES. They told us all about the history out here and I loved it. They were telling us about how President and Sister Hall love us so incredibly much and how they feel like they are sending their kids out on missions (to the other Mission)! Then we sang 'Carry On' (Hymn 255) President and Sister Hall and most of the missionaries in the room just started to weep when we got to the part that says "And we hear the desert singing: Carry on, carry on, carry on! Hills and vales and mountains ringing- carry on, carry on, carry on! Holding aloft our colors, We march in the glorious dawn. O youth of noble birthright, Carry on, carry on, carry on!" it was amazing. Then they asked me to give the closing prayer. It was really special. President and his family took pictures with all of us. He said he can't wait to be in the temple with all of us one day. President Hall and Elder Cropper talked a lot about mission reunions and how we need to go to them. The zone conference was amazing. 

That broadcast yesterday was awesome. I'm not going to lie, I was hoping they would extend girl's missions to two years but, alas, I was wrong. One miracle at a time, right? I found myself, and many of the Elders I was sitting by, in tears a few different times yesterday during the broadcast. It was so incredibly tender. I just love being a Missionary. It's so amazing. The videos that they kept showing just had me teary. I felt Heavenly Father's love so strong for His missionaries. 

A few of the things that I learned:

-He won't let us fail as we do the best we can

-When we act in faith, the Lord's blessings may be different than we expect, but they are ALWAYS BETTER than we've ever imagined. (see the first presidency message on the first page of Preach My Gospel)

-Missionary work is a rescue mission

-live so that you can abandon yourself, and script, but just follow the Spirit and let it flow

-The greatest teaching is done by a mother. The Priesthood holders think sometimes they have the power, but it doesn't compare to the power of a mother. -Boyd K. Packer aka- one of the greatest teachers of all time. Wasn't his message powerful?

Anyway I love being a missionary. It's so cool. Being a trainer is freakin' hard, but awesome. I am growing more than my new Missionary and President Hall told me that was going to happen! It's cool just watching it happen. I'm so thankful. I love you!
Hermana Dodge

Monday, June 17, 2013

President Hall asked me to Train!

So, surprise! President Hall just called me and asked me to be a trainer! Saturday night I found out I'm going to stay here in Esperanza and Hermana Tavoian is leaving. So, that means I'll be in the newly created Bakersfield Mission with President Wilson! and then President called and Hermana Tavoian answered and said hello, I'm actually calling to talk to Hermana Dodge! And then he asked me, "Will you be a trainer? Will you be exactly obedient? And will you fulfill the 12-week program?" and I said, "Yes, of course!" Then he gave me some more information. I'm going to transfer meeting tomorrow to pick up my new trainee and to drop off Hermana Tavoian!

It is so evident to me that I needed to be in the Bakersfield Mission. Think about it:

When I sent in my mission papers, the Bakersfield Mission had not been created yet. So, Heavenly Father must have wanted to me to go to San Fernando because He knew that's how I would get to Bakersfield. So, then, I remember getting the letter from President in the mail that talked about all the different Spanish areas in the mission. (aka- a ton) and one was called Esperanza (aka- the area I'm in right now) and I knew Esperanza meant "hope" in Spanish and I remember sitting on the couch in the living room and thinking, "Oh I want to go there! I'm going to need a little esperanza!" and then... I got sent here. THEN, I remember right when I heard that the mission was being split I thought, "That is why I'm here... I'm going there". Also, I only had a month in between when I got my call and when I reported to the MTC (Mission Training Center in Provo, UT). That is almost unheard of for missionaries at the time that I submitted my papers because of that huge wave of missionaries. People had to wait months to enter the MTC, because the MTC was PACKED. All the missionaries in my District in the MTC had submitted their papers way before I did! The Lord needed me out in the field, and he needed me TRAINED so that I could hit the ground running and be ready to help open this new mission with President Wilson. He needed me to be ready so that I can be an asset to my new Mission President. I'm going to see miracles. I was bummed for a grand total of 5 minutes because President Hall is awesome and the valley is cool. But then... the Spirit just hit me and was like, "You need to become what Heavenly Father wants you to become and is planning on you becoming. Stop worrying about yourself and step up to the plate!" and then I got called as a Trainer. lol. It is awesome.
Prep-Day at the church.
I love being a missionary. We are seeing miracles out here in the desert. Please send me Erika's birthday so I can make sure to not miss it.  I need you to look it up on FaceBook or something and let me know when it is! Please send back the SD card that I sent you with everything on it. Don't worry about my birthday. To be honest, I forgot about it until last night because Sister Peatross's birthday is today and I realized my birthday is in a month. I'm fine. I have everything I need :)
I'll let you know if I need anything! I love you a whole bunch. Life is so good. Hermana Tavoian and I have been having a lot more fun this week which is awesome. We've been working really hard. Life is good! I'll only be on for 10 more minutes because I'm writing to President! I love you!

We went to lunch with some GREAT members
Back- Sis's Scaife, Fish & Peatross
Middle- Sister's Cottrell, Tavoian, & Hermana Dodge
Front- Wendy & Trevor Bird
Hermana Cassi Dodge

Monday, June 3, 2013

Other Interested Church Members

Hi Everyone!

Here is a little excerpt from our email from President Hall this week:

~If you ever wanted to know what the MTC experience is like for Mission Presidents, this is your chance. They will be broadcasting a special session from this year's seminar for New Mission Presidents live on Sunday, June 23rd, 2013 at 4pm (mountain time). The following is a letter from the First Presidency.

"Ward and Stake council members, their spouses, full-time missionaries, and other interested Church members are invited to participate in a special session of the Seminar for New Mission Presidents entitled, "The Work of Salvation," which will be broadcast from the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah. (time above). The program will be subsequently rebroadcast to many areas of the world. President Thomas S Monson, President Boyd K Packer, and members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will share messages about missionary work and conversion. Where necessary, we ask local leaders to adjust scheduled worship services so that members are able to participate in the live broadcast of this historical event."

Pres Hall continues; All full-time missionaries are invited (and required) to attend this broadcast. I would also talk this up to your wards, and branches. All ward council members should attend, but invite EVERYONE to attend (note "other interested Church members"- shouldn't everyone be interested in missionary work?). This will be a very important and memorable broadcast related to this great hastening of the work that is taking place today! ~