Monday, August 5, 2013

Sister Training Leader- ME!

Wow,  so many CRAZY updates! THIS TRANSFER IS NUTS.


In a reply to last week's email to me, President Wilson said this,

"Sister Dodge you are an awesome missionary who really gets it.”

How nice is that?! He always replies to my emails and he doesn’t respond to everyone's emails every week but he always responds to mine! I think President Wilson likes me. When he called me (to call me to be a Sister Training Leader) we were about to say goodbye and I said, "Well, President, I'm excited! Is there anything else I can do for you?" and he said, "No, Sister Dodge. You just made my whole day!! I'll see you at transfer meeting!"

So,  I think he likes me. Lol. I sure hope so. I think he's a BOSS. I'm emailing him real fast and then I'll send you a juicy one, k?
Hermana Canto took us out to eat after our wonderful temple trip in Los Angeles and she took us through BEVERLY HILLS and we drove down/past Rodeo Drive and guess what? 

Hermana Ostler & Me.

I SAW THE LADY FROM BEVERLY HILLS HOUSEWIVES. NOT KIDDING. The blonde one. super skinny. She's crazy. It was awesome. I about died. I totally had my nose pressed up against the window. Hahaha

This is my email to President  Wilson today"

Hi President!

I feel like the last couple days have just been a blur, so I can just imagine what you're feeling right now! First off, I just want to thank you for this opportunity to serve as a Sister Training Leader. I'm excited to SERVE and LEARN. The past few days have been a blur, like I said, but really great.

For example, Saturday morning we were coming back from doing some service and we were walking from our car into our apartment and we passed a man taking a couch down the stairs! So, we offered to help him. The man's name is Joel and his wife is Cecilia and they have two daughters. They are just a wonderful family! So, it turns out they were moving out, and they just started. In fact, the couch we helped him move was the very first thing he was moving into his U-Haul! This whole thing is interesting because Joel and Cecilia moved in just 2 months ago and were staying in an apartment until they bought a house in Lancaster. When they moved IN we (Hermana Tavoian, Sister Peatross and Cottrell and I) helped them move ALL of their things IN, and now we (me, Hermana Ostler, Sisters Peatross and Filimoehala) were helping them move OUT! When they had moved in Joel told us about how he had hired people to help him move before but on one occasion the workers stole things from them and broke things, and on the other occasion the man they hired wasn't very nice and took lots of breaks and asked for food and did a horrible job. So, when he moved in he decided to just do it himself. Well, then the missionaries (us) walked by and offered to help. and we didn't just help with one or two things, we unloaded the entire truck! So when we helped them move out, we didn't just help him with the couch, we helped him move ALL of his things into the U-haul. It was a beautiful experience. At one point, he was helping Hermana Ostler carry a book case and he said "I think I need to change religions!" and she said something along the lines of "Yeah, me too!" and I was carrying something with Cecilia and she said "I was going to do all of this yesterday with my husband, but I got called into work, so we had to do it today!" and I said "Cecilia, I think God keeps putting us into your path for a reason! All of our experiences together have happened for a reason!" and she smiled widely and agreed. So, after we were done, they basically FORCED us to let them buy us a pizza and so we all ate on the floor of their empty home and we prayed before we ate, and then Joel started asking questions about our faith. We had the opportunity to share the first half of the Restoration with them and answer a lot of their questions. Then, I got their phone number and address and told them I was going to send it to the missionaries where they live in Lancaster so that they can help them unpack in their new house and that they could share more with them about our beliefs if they would like and they said yes! So, I sent all the info, and the Lancaster Spanish Elders were waiting with some of the members of their future ward to help them move into their new apartment. 

President. HOW COOL IS THAT?!?! Huge miracle. HUGE. I just thought you'd like to read that. The Lord is so great. Being a missionary is the greatest thing in the whole world. Sometimes I just take a step back and marvel at how much he leads and guides us and that his hand is in EVERYTHING!! Palmdale is great. I set up Hermana Ostler so her and her new missionary will hit the ground running. We did our weekly planning VERY specifically and in-depth. It was one of our best weekly planning sessions together! She's wonderful. She's going to do a great job. I'm excited for the things the Lord is going to start sending our way. I will be eternally grateful that I got to be a part of the Hastening of His work. Love y'all! See you in the morning!

What do you think about my new hair cut?

Okay. So, transfer CALLS came, and then transfer MEETING where we find out where we're going and stuff like that is TOMORROW. President already told me where I'm going. I'm going to be a Sister Training Leader over the Antelope Valley and I'll be serving in the Lancaster 2nd Spanish Ward. Today we have crazy amounts of stuff to do. We have to drive to Lancaster to pick up my bike because I had to get new pedals on it and get a tune up before I get transferred again. We have to get a car wash, wash clothes, pack, etc. Anyway,  this week was wonderful. I didn't write in my journal at all,  but I'll have a two hour drive to Bakersfield to catch up on that. 

First miracle is what I already wrote you about helping Cecilia and Joel move out of their house. 

Our trip to the temple was so great. We went with some Spanish members so I got to experience it all in Spanish and I sat there marveling at the miracles in my life. Sitting there with such gratitude in my heart, that I am here at this time serving the Lord on a full-time mission is the BEST thing I could be doing. I love the mission. I am so thankful to be here. It was awesome.

Hermana Ostler and I at The LA Temple Visitors Center

After we went to the temple, Hermana Canto took us out to eat after so we got to see the REAL Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. It is GORGEOUS. We passed Rodeo drive and I about fell out of the car. Needless to say, my face was plastered onto the window. It was gorgeous. The weather was fantastic. 

Did I mention that I chopped off my hair so that's fun! I like it and it's MUCH cooler.

Oh, just send me those shirts from Down East and I'll be good. Remember that money you gave me for shopping for my birthday? Yeah. I never actually went shopping, because we never had the time. But I would like to go to old navy and buy a button down blouse or two today before our transfer meeting tomorrow where I get officially called. I don't know though. Money drives me nuts. I hate it. I feel like I'm spending too much so I don't want to get anything. One thing Kristi WAS right about- you wear your clothes OUT. The clothes you leave with are NOT the clothes you come home with... fa sho. I wore out a few shirts and a couple skirts so the closets starting to dwindle a bit.. lol. But I'm good! I just think I should buy a nice button down blouse or something like that for the meeting tomorrow. I keep washing my Toms and they wash like a charm but are getting a bit worn out. LOL.

Okay anyway, sorry for the randomness. 
That is Kenneth Moroni Garcia. Except in Spanish it's pronounced 'More-oh-knee', which I think is so cool. He's such a good little kid. He LOVED me. He loved coming in the door when we would be over eating dinner and yelling "MISIONERAS!!!!!!!!!" I learned  how to yell at my kids in spanish from his angel of a mother. :)

President said that I'm going to be paired with one of the Sister Training Leaders from the Ventura Mission, so she's had a little experience already and she's super excited to serve with me and she's a "very dedicated missionary" according to President so, yeah. should be good!

I've learned a lot about just teaching people when you find them. Not asking "do you have time for us to share a message with you?" and dumb stuff like that. I just start talking to these people. Anything and everything they say will highlight a part of the gospel that we can share. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for EVERYONE. Everyone is different, everyone comes from different walks of life and everyone has different challenges. But there is one answer for everyone, and that is Jesus Christ and His Atonement. It's so beautiful. I love it. I love being a missionary. Being a missionary is the greatest thing in the whole world. Everything in my entire life has led me here. It's so fantastic.
OH! And...

This is what a Sister Training Leader does, according to the press-release:

“Each mission in the Church will organize a mission leadership council that will include both elder (male) and sister (female) as missionary leaders. The new mission leadership council will consist of the mission president and his wife, assistants to the president, zone leaders and sister training leaders — a newly created role.

"We are very excited about the new mission leadership council and this role for sister missionaries,” said Elder David F. Evans, executive director of the Missionary Department. “It will be a blessing to both missions and missionaries throughout the world, and better employ the remarkable faith, talents and abilities of all missionaries."

The role of sister training leader has been created as more female missionaries serve in missions around the world. Sister training leaders will be responsible for the training and welfare of female missionaries assigned to them and will be members of and participate in, the new mission leadership council. Assistants to the president and zone leaders will also participate in the council, and those roles will remain unchanged. Missions will continue to be organized by zones and districts, with district leaders being responsible for baptismal interviews, but the mission leadership council will replace the zone leader council.

Sister training leaders will continue to proselytise and will also spend time each week training and evaluating the needs of female missionaries. They will report directly to the mission president on the needs of sister missionaries. Additionally, the wives of mission presidents are now being asked to play an enhanced role in training and caring for sister missionaries, subject to their individual and family circumstances.”

 "So, I'll be doing that. And, just so everyone knows, I called the creating of Sister Training Leaders IN THE MTC BEFORE ANY OF THIS HAPPENED. I thought in the MTC: Man, they're going to HAVE to come out with Sister Leadership positions to help all the new sisters. And BOOM… they did. Isn’t it wonderful how the Spirit works and testifies to our hearts?
Seriously, right as you get comfortable with something, Heavenly Father throws you a curveball. And I LOVE IT.

Well, That is all I have time for this week. I love you. I am doing GREAT! I am excited about my new area, companion, and calling. I am growing and learning every day.

I love Y'all!

Hermana Dodge
Some of my favorite Elders

Me with Pres. and Sister Hall and their family.

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