Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Miracles, miracles, miracles! I am so blessed to be a missionary. I
was able to see 3 beautiful baptisms that I had the opportunity to
participate in producing. Heavenly Father is so mindful of his
children; that was my lesson this week. All three of the baptisms were
of people at different points in their lives yet all made the decision
to follow their Savior Jesus Christ. There is no greater and rewarding
moment then seeing your sweet investigators, in whom you have invested
so much time and effort and prayers in their behalf, come out of the
water, clean! AHHHHHH SO COOL!
M***n was the first superstar baptism! She is the cutest little girl
and guess what?! I got to give the talk on baptism! Gosh I just love
J**e was our second baptism! He was a miracle. He NEEDED the gospel.
He came from a very difficult past but with the Atonement he is clean.
He was baptized and in typical mexican fashion, there was A TON of
food afterwards!!! Hahaaa. I love the Martinez family.
The last baptism (which was last night) was T*****a! T*****a was from
my last area in East Millcreek and she texted me this week and told me
about her baptism on Sunday (yesterday). She told me that I had a huge
part in her decision and that it would mean the world to her if I
could come...so I got permission and I was able to go! AHHHHH! Her
boyfriend came home from school and baptized her. It was incredible.
Her boyfriend came up to me afterwards and told me that she talks
about me all the time and he's pretty sure she loves me more than
him...hahhahaa! But it was incredible.
It is so rewarding to see the fruits of your efforts and to see these
sweet, choice children come unto their Father.

Well as a missionary, holidays are so much different. Thanksgiving
will consist of going around and visiting active member families and
eating. We have gotten so many offers to go over to peoples houses for
dinner...so don't worry, I'll have plenty of turkey! Hahaaa.
I hope everyone has a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!
I am grateful for a working body. I am grateful for a beautiful,
healthy family. I am grateful for wonderful supportive friends. I am
grateful for this beautiful earth. I am grateful for clothes! I am
grateful for chocolate. I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I
am grateful for my parents raising me in the gospel of Jesus Christ
but allowing me to choose for myself if it was right. I am grateful
for making the right decision. I am grateful for the comfort and
stability that the gospel provides me. I am grateful and so blessed to
be a missionary!
I love you! I hope you all know that. Have a happy week.


J***'S BAPTISM! "Gosh, I miss my Mexican's back home!!"

Happy baptism day! Hahahaaa

This is what Utah-ans call "the inversion"....it's what the rest of
the world calls really bad pollution.

Look what the Berthelson's sent me!!! How well does Karen know me?!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Two baptisms set for Saturday!

So this week has been crazy with J***'s baptism...so he is actually
going to be baptized this Saturday the 22nd. Don't ask why because no
one has time for that story! Hahaaa. But everything is great and J***
is wonderful! I just can't wait until their family is sealed!!!! AHHH!
M**** is the cutest thing ever. She is a little fashionista! Her dad
told us she had gotten dressed for church and was wearing leopard
print leggings, black boots, a long sparkly black shirt and a leather
jacket...she is 9!! Hahaaaa....they made her change! She is so excited
for her baptism on Saturday! I am super excited to see the outfit she
puts together!!!
We didn't get to see H**** (our 97 year old investigator) this week
because she had family visiting.
I promise we visit a lot more people but updating you on all of them
would take all day. So just know that I'm busy and being busy is the
best thing as a missionary! "Work, work, work. There is no
satisfactory substitute"!!
Yesterday we ate with a family and we were sharing a message about
having faith and the little boy said "Faith is believing in something
that you can't see" and the little girl said "like fairies"!
hahahahaaa. Never fear, I am never bored.
I should start writing down the funny things that happen  so my emails
aren't so boring!
This morning we saw a man running with his dog and he had the leash
and his coffee mug in the same hand and the dog jerked and the coffee
splashed out and all I could think of was the movie Ten Things I Hate
About You when the guy shouts "That was Costa Rican butthead!"
Obviously I am still working on having a missionary filter! Hahaaa
I am so blessed to be a missionary and to have such wonderful support.
I love you all so much!!! Have a great week.

I was so lucky this week to get even more birthday presents!
Thank you Amanda for my chocolate package all the way from England!!!!!

Thank you Nieslanik family for my card and scarf! You know how I love
scarves!!!! :)

Utah snowed last Saturday! First snow of the season!

Our first hot chocolate of the season! Hahaaa

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It's been a crazy week!

So this week has been CRAZY!
J*** is an investigator that when I first came into this area was
super busy so we couldn't meet until this past week. So Thursday we
had a lesson with him. And the first thing that he said was I have
good news and bad news...(that is never something you want to hear as
a missionary...except in this case! hahaa). So he told us the bad news
and then he told us to guess the good news...well to make this story
shorter...the good news was that HE DECIDED TO BE BAPTIZED!!!!!! And
they had asked him to pray about November 29th so we asked him about November 29th
and he asked if it could be sooner....HE IS GETTING
M**** is the sweetest thing since hoho's were invented! She is so
excited about her baptism! We went with her and her family to temple
square this past Friday! It was so spiritual and amazing. So M****'s
brother G**** who is 13 and who is coming back to church said
yesterday that he wants to go on a mission!!!!
We got to visit A** this week and she is still going to her psychic.
Hahahaa. She is a nut but she is going to try to come to church soon!
H**** is our sweet 97 year old investigator! Hahaa she is crazy and
sweet and she loves when we come over and read the Book of Mormon but
every time we ask her if she wants to be baptized she says "Oh hunny
don't push this" hahaha. She is adorable. She had a stroke last Sunday
but she is quickly recovering.

This week was great...it was my birthday! Do you know how many
birthday packages and letters and phonecalls I got?! SO MANY!
Thank you to my Mom, Dad, Nathan, Boo, Kamee, Sarah, Grandma Davis,
Grandma and Papa Dodd, Aunt Karen and Uncle Brad and Justin, Aunt Pat,
Sister Unrast, Elder and Sister Wilcox, my dunkin babies, and all
those who wrote or emailed me. I had a great week full of surprises!
THANK YOU to everyone.
Also this week I walked into a members home and he looked at my
nametag and said "Nice to meet you Sister Dodo" HAHAHAAAHAA Then he
looked at it again and said "Wait...is that how you say it?" And I
corrected him and he was embarrassed...well that turned out to be
STEVE NELSON the chellist from The Piano Guys. CRAZY! He was so nice
and he apologized and his wife gave us some cds! hahaaa.
And we taught M****'s family about the Plan of Salvation a little
while ago and when we were over at their house G**** was sitting on a
basketball and commented on how it hurt his butt and his dad said
"sitting on a basketball is the seating in the telestial kingdom"
It was a great week. I love being a missionary. I am so blessed to
have such a wonderful support system of friends and family. You all
make me feel like the most important missionary of all time.
Also...this week marks me being on a mission for 5 months! 13 to go :)
All of my love, Sister Lauren Dodd

Thanks Grandma Davis! 

Sarah's birthday package to me with all of her candy puns! Haha so cute!

Classic Sister Dodd selfie! 

Thanks to Kam for my "birthday in a box!"

Thanks to my family for my 21 birthday presents!

Me in birthday shock!

Sister Talbert drowning in my birthday balloons! Hahahaa

M****'s family (the M*****'s) at temple square...super bad picture quality sorry!

Me and my cute companion Sister Talbert!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Loving my new area!

So I was transferred to the Cottonwood Stake so I am still in good ol
Salt Lake City! But I am in a different zone than before so I will be
working around different missionaries. My new companion is Sister
Kayla Talbert. She is from San Antonio Texas and she is super cute and
nice. We get along VERY well! She is quieter so I talk way more than I
should but she is a great listener and we both had hard times last
transfer so we are excited to be together!! I think we were friends in
the pre-existence just like Sister Unrast and I!!
So we are working with a lot of people here! Here are a few of the main ones:
M**** is a little 9-year old! (Insert joke about sister missionaries
baptizing the 9 year olds!) And she was on date to be baptized on the
6th of December but when I got here and met her Sister Talbert and I
both felt like she should be baptized sooner. So we prayed about it
and asked her a few days ago if she would be baptized on November 22nd
and she and her parents agreed!!! AHHH! She is so cute. Her parents
and older brother are less-active and they are all working on going to
H******* is a sweet less-active that has had a crazy past and we are
going to start teaching her the lessons and help her gain a testimony.
A** is another less-active whose husband (but now they're seperated)
is against the church is working on coming back to church as well.
J*** is a sweet investigator. His wife and him were recently married
and have 1 son together, another on the way and she has 2 from a
previous marriage. The wife and her 2 sons are all baptized and J***
is taking the lessons. But he doesn't feel a desire to be baptized.
This week for Halloween we had a mission-wide activity. We got to go
to the Salt Lake City temple and do an endowment session as a mission!
It was the coolest thing to see everyone dressed in white. It reminded
me of what heaven will look like (except obviously much bigger and my
family will be there!!) Then we got done around 7:30 and went back to
the mission office for chili dinner and a talent show...long story
short, we didn't get home until 11:00!!!!!!!!!!!!! For those of you
who don't know, this is very late for a missionary. So we are still
recouping from our late night! Hahaa but daylight savings did give us
an extra hour of sleep yesterday so hallelujah!
Life is crazy but so  worth it. Even thought I was transferred again I
know that this is where I am supposed to be. I love this area and the
people here. I love being a missionary and constantly having the
spirit work through me. This gospel has blessed my life more than
anything else. I hope everyone I love has a great week and that you
read the scriptures and pray to your Father in Heaven. He loves you
and wants to help you. I LOVE YOU ALL! Have a great week :)

Love, Sister Lauren Dodd

For those wanting to send packages or letters for this area please send them to the mission home address:

Sister Lauren Ashley Dodd 
Utah Salt Lake City East Mission 
3487 S 1300 E West Entrance 
Salt Lake City, Utah 84106

Sister Brown and I had toasts to our transfer. We would take turns
saying something we were grateful for. I had chocolate milk and she
had San Pellegrino (which reminded me of Nathan!!)

Sister Can, Sister Stout, Sister Brown and I went to birthday lunch on
Tuesday afternoon right before transfers!

We went to the F*******'s (the sweetest members) house for a Halloween
themed dinner and we had soup in pumpkin-looking bread bowls, goblin
toes (barbeque wienies), vampire teeth (apples with almond pieces),
witches fingers (carrots with almonds), and salad and these were the
cute desserts!