Monday, December 21, 2015

18 months in a nutshell

4 areas, 8 companions, 18 months. Quite the adventure. 

The past 7 months have been spent in Rock Springs, Wyoming, where everyone owns a truck and people actually wear blue jeans, cowboy boots, bolos and cowboy hats to church. During the winter time you have to plug your truck in at night to keep the diesel lines from freezing up. The previous 7 months were spent in my beloved Cottonwood stake where I was tried and tested, where the people loved the church or hated it. It was a well-off stake that was as humble as they come. A short 6 weeks previously I spent in the East Millcreek stake. Although time was short, the people were kind and I learned a lot. And of course my first 3 months of being a missionary was spent in the Parleys stake. The highlight of that was my wonderful trainer and the wonderful people who welcomed us as we whitewashed in. 

Sister Unrast, Sister Brown, Sister Talbert, Sister Britton, Sister Masih (twice!), Sister Carlson, Sister James and Sister Kennedy. 

There aren't words adequate to explain these past 18 months. My mission was the hardest thing I've ever done. It's also the most unexplainable. It is also the best decision that I could have made for my future. My mission has changed everything about me. It has made me love myself! It has converted me to the beautiful gospel of Jesus Christ! It has made me have an eternal perspective. It has given me so many life long friends. My mission has began my path of eternal discipleship. I finally feel like I am living my baptismal covenant to take Jesus' name upon me. I have learned that it is through obedience that I receive the choicest blessings and miracles. How can I ever thank my Mom, my Dad, Kamee, Elder Nathan Dodd or Nicole for supporting me? How can I ever thank my family and friends for supporting me, writing me and praying for me? How can I ever thank my Savior for his infinite sacrifice? How can I ever thank my Father in Heaven for supporting me in a decision I did not want to make? How did he know that I needed my mission? My convert, Mills, once had a dream that going on a mission saved my did she know? 

My dear brothers and sisters, my mission truly did save my life. I love my Heavenly Father and my Jesus. "O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!" (Alma 29:1). I came on my mission to cry repentance and I leave with no regrets. I know that my Savior suffered for me, died for me, and rose from the dead for me. This is the truth that I have shared for 18 months and that I will continue sharing for the rest of my life. The gospel is restored! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church, once again established on the earth preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and contains the fullness of the gospel. I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Last week!

This week was awesome! I was able to go on exchanges in Lyman. We had
an appointment set with this lady named Ha**ah. When we went by she
said that she just got her baby to bed so now wasn't a good time.
Turns out she is the sister of a lady we are teaching in Rock Springs.
As we made small talk on the porch she eventually said that we could
come in and we started talking to her. Her baby, Lu**s, has major
heart problems and has underwent many surgeries. Every time they have
a check up they find another surgery that he needs to have. Ha**ah
opened up and told us about how she blames God. She said that she
knows that God can't control other peoples actions but her baby was
born with a lot of health complications and that was because God made
him that way. We let her just talk and vent to us for about 10 minutes
or so. The Spirit was strong inside of me. I told her that L**as is
perfect. He has no flaws. He is one of God's choicest children. We on
the other hand are blessed with these beautiful children so that we
can learn. I don't remember exactly what the Spirit told me to say but
I remember that it was all the words that God needed Han**h to hear.
She started to cry.
Fast forward to my return to Rock Springs, We went to visit Ha**ah's
sister and she wasn't home but her mom was. We ended up talking to
their mom for an hour. After I mentioned going to Lyman earlier in the
week she talked about how she knew it was me! She opened up about what
a blessing I have been to her daughters. She said that H**nah had been
struggling a lot and that she posted on FB about the sister
missionaries coming over and being exactly what she needed and she
wrote about my comment of Lu**s being perfect. Apparently it was this
big FB thing. Anyways D**tiny and Ha**ah's mom talked about God
answering prayers.
Moral of this story is not to brag about me being helpful everywhere I is to illustrate that God works in mysterious ways. There are
no such things as coincidences and as we have the Spirit, Heavenly
Father can use us as tools in His hands.
I love this gospel! I love being a missionary!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Blessings and miracles!

McK**zie was baptized on Saturday!
There are so many blessings and miracles that I am able to witness on
my mission. I know that blessings and miracles come because of the
Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Atonement has been one of the things I
have studied most throughout my mission and the more I study it the
more I realize that it is the study of a life time. The love that
Jesus Christ has for each of us is a love that penetrates any sin that
keeps us from God. The love that Jesus Christ gives us is the joy,
feeling, and spirit of Christmas. There is a reason why Thanksgiving
comes before Christmas, it gets us in mood for the most wonderful time
of the year!

I love you all

Sister Kennedy and I!

M***nzie's baptism!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

We can be grateful!

"Everyone’s  situation  is  different,  and  the  details  of  each  life  are  unique. Nevertheless,  I  have learned  that  there  is  something  that  would  take  away the bitterness  that  may  come  into  our lives. There  is  one  thing  we  can  do  to  make life  sweeter,  more  joyful,  even  glorious. We  can  be  grateful! 
True  gratitude  is  an  expression  of  hope  and  testimony.  It  comes  from  acknowledging  that  we  do not  always  understand  the trials  of  life  but  trusting  that  one  day we  will. " -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Gratitude. Thanksgiving reminds us of it every year but we should be grateful EVERY DAY. In Alma 34:38 it says, "That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you." I know that as we live in thanksgiving daily we are happier. The joy that comes from recognizing blessings is humbling. I know as I look at my life and realize that the Lord has been watching over me I see Him in the hard days, in the good days, in the moments when I lose hope. In the story of the brother of Jared it says that the brother of Jared sees the hand of the Lord because of his exceeding faith. Likewise in the story of the ten lepers that are cleansed by Jesus only one comes back to say thank you. When he does the Lord says, "thy FAITH hath made thee whole"....isn't it interesting that he doesn't say that his gratitude has made him whole? Gratitude is a sign of faith. It is acknowledging that we have a loving Father in Heaven who is mindful of us and blesses us. 
I am thankful for the holiday season. I am thankful that at this time especially my heart reaches out in thanksgiving and love for the many blessings that I have been given. The greatest blessing of all is the gospel. It is the good news of Jesus Christ. It is the good news that I can be with my family forever. My family is of course one of my greatest blessings. I am thankful that I have been able to give 17 months to my Father in Heaven. I'm grateful for the change that I can see in myself. My mission has completely molded me into a better person, a person I actually want to be around. I have never felt the spirit so much. I am thankful every day for the people in my life that I need. I love being a missionary!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and eat lots of turkey! And take a nap for me ;)

At Jay**'s Baptism!

Sister Kennedy and I!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Tale of Three Trees

"The Tale of Three Trees" retold by Angela Elwell Hunt
"Once upon a mountaintop, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up. 

The first little tree looked up at the stars twinkling like diamonds above him. 'I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I will be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!'
The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on its way to the ocean. 'I want to be a strong sailing ship, I want to travel mighty waters and carry powerful kings. I will be the streets ship in the world!'
The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and busy women worked in a busy town. 'I don't want to leave this mountaintop at all, I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me they will raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world.'

Years passed. The rains came, the sun shone, and the little trees grew tall. 

One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain. 

The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, 'This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me.' With a swoop of his shining axe, the first tree fell. 
The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, 'this tree is strong. It is perfect for me.' With a swoop of his shining axe, the second tree fell. 
The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven. But the woodcutter never even looked up. 'Any kind of tree will do for me,' he muttered. With a swoop of his shining axe, the third tree fell. 

The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought him to a carpenters shop, but he busy carpenter was not thinking about treasure chests. Instead his work-worn hands fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals. The once-beautiful tree was not covered in gold or filled with treasure. He was coated in sawdust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals. 

The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took him to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ships were being made that day. Instead the once-strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat. Too small and too weak to sail an ocean or even a river, he was taken out to a little lake. Every day he brought in loads of dead, smelly fish. 

The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard. 'What happened?' the once-tall tree wondered. 'All I ever wanted to do was stay on the mountaintop and point to God.'

 Many, many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. But one night golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box. 'I wish I could mak a cradle for him,' her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and sturdy wood. 'This manger is beautiful,' she said. And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world. 

One evening a tired traveler and his friend crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. He knew he did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and rain. The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, 'Peace.' The storm stopped as quickly a it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the King of heaven and earth. 

One Friday morning, he third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry, jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man's hands to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel. 

But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled beneath her, the third tree knew that God's love had changed everything. 
It made the first tree beautiful. 
It made the second tree strong. 
And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. "

I love this story. It tells me that the path and the goals that we establish for ourselves don't always work out the way that we want them to but God sees the full picture. He sees that we must experience opposition and heartache and despair in order to fully taste of the joy that comes when our righteous desires are fulfilled. I love this gospel! I have one month left of being a full time missionary and I will cherish it. The greatest gift to me is the gospel. 

Ka**en was baptized this past Saturday and confirmed yesterday. After church we got a text from Ka**en's mom telling us that she was ready to learn more about the church and to get baptized! The spirit is so good. 

Love you all! Have a great week. Remember: God loves you, Satan hates you. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Watch what you say!

Transfer news: Sister James is leaving and I am staying. That makes
this 4 companions, 5 transfers and 1 area. I don't know what's wrong
with me! Apparently I'm really hard to deal with. Hahahaaa. (Sucks for
my future transfers for him)

I've been learning a lot lately.
First lesson: Watch what you say and what you think. I was able to go
on exchanges this past week with a set of cute sisters. Whenever I go
on exchanges it is pretty much a 24 hour vent session. I'm grateful
that the sisters can feel open enough with me to open up to me and let
me know what's going on.The one that I went with is a "greenie" and is a
convert of a year and a half! She's super sweet and opened up to me
about a few comments that her companion had made to her that belittled
her and made her cry herself to sleep. I know you're thinking, well,
Sister Missionaries are pretty emotional so I'm sure she just read
into something and made a big deal out of nothing. Honestly the
comments that her companion made were so inappropriate and hurtful.
I'm a pretty chill person usually but I might possibly have freaked
out just a little. As I took a few deep dragon breaths (don't worry,
no fire came out) and relaxed just a little I realized that being
raised in the church sometimes gives us a prejudice. I think that we
spend a lot of whole lives being judged for being members our whole
lives and having people think that we don't have real testimonies that
one day we look at our lives and realize that we're judging everyone
else because we think that they are judging us. After the "greenie" told
me all the things that her companion had been saying I found myself
judging and saying mean things about her companion. COMPLETELY
INAPPROPRIATE! Satan has such an easy way of tempting all of us to
combat our hurt with hurting others.

Second lesson of the week: Modern day revelation is so real. To every
new revelation that the church receives, WE CAN RECEIVE REVELATION
THAT IT'S TRUE! You can ask God if it's true. This church was restored 
because Joseph Smith read "if any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God" 
and then what did he do? HE ASKED GOD! I know that God talks to his 
children. If you have a question you can ask him and he will answer. 
I know that to be true.

My Zone!

Thanks to Sister James for my birthday breakfast! :)


Silly Zone Pic!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Family: The GREATEST blessing!

This week was really good! Being a missionary is honestly the greatest
thing I could have done to better myself and to become converted to
the gospel. I will never regret this experience. The quote on the
church program yesterday said, "Being happy doesn't make you thankful,
being thankful makes you happy". As we go through our lives we can't
say, "Once I have this I will be happy" or "Once I'm done with this I
will be happy". We must be happy in all of our circumstances. We must
see the good in every day! As we are thankful we are happy. As we are
thankful, we recognize that Heavenly Father blesses us much more than
we deserve.

I would love to share my testimony and express to my amazing brother
how much happiness he brings me. Throughout my life Nathan has been
there to be someone to laugh with; someone I could always turn to when
I needed to have fun or if I just needed someone to listen to. Sadly I
can't ever claim that he was just the support and the comfort that I
needed but he was that to so many other people. (This is beginning to
sound more like a eulogy...) Heavenly Father loves each of us and
knows that as we serve others we grow. Thus missions are essential to
so many people. Heavenly Father gives us spiritual gifts that are
meant to help others. Nathan honestly has the gift of others being
attracted to his spirit. On his mission he is going to be able to
bless so many because of the amazing gifts that he has. As the spirit
works through him, he is going to change, and grow and change others.
I am so pleased with my brother and the young man he has become. He
will do amazing things in the Anaheim, California mission. Good Luck
Elder Dodd

I love you all, have a great week!

Monday, October 26, 2015

The refiners fire

 This week was pretty crazy and full of traveling and not missionary
work. We were able to go down to Salt Lake and go to the temple and
then to zone conference the next day. Lots of spiritual smacks in the
face! My favorite kind of revelation to receive is the kind that I
recognize I need and then apply.
At the training they talked about the refiners fire and when a gold
smith is refining gold he has to watch the gold which is very
uncomfortable for the refiner because of the extreme heat in which
gold must be purified. As the gold smith watches the gold he can see
the gold become soft, then the impurities melt away and then the dirt
rises to the top of the pool of liquid gold. Once the dirt rises the
gold smith knows that the gold is ready to be taken from the extreme
heat and molded.
This beautiful analogy reminded me we cannot become all we have the
potential to become without being in uncomfortable circumstances,
without erasing the impurities we have in our lives and without
getting rid of the dirt that keeps us from living with God. It isn't
easy for our gold smith to watch us go through the refiners fire.
Instead he watches us to know exactly when we must come from the fire.
I'm grateful for the gospel. I love my Savior and Redeemer.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The greatest message

Sorry that I didn't write last week! I just completely forgot.
Obviously I'm getting to the end of my mission because my bad memory
is coming back.
This past week was super good!! We got 2 new investigators and they
both agreed to be baptized on November 7th!!! Can you say delayed
birthday present?! It's going to be so good. Ka**en is 9 and he is
adorable! He just kept saying that he wants baptized because Jesus
Christ was baptized. His Dad is a member but not active in the church
and his mom is not a member. His grandma is awesome though and takes
him to church after she finishes working. The key to successful
activity of kids in the church is the support they have from their
parents or other adults they trust.
Then McK**zie is 9 and recently got a blessing from the elders and she
told them she wanted to be baptized! Her 3 older siblings are all
baptized and the mom is a member but isn't active. She isn't crazy
about the church but is supporting the kids in their decision to go to
church and in Mc**nzie's decision to be baptized.
The Lord is constantly preparing people's hearts to receive the
message of Jesus Christ. The fact that we can be saved to live with
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and our families is the greatest news
that we can give. The fact that the pain and the hardship and the
guilt that we experience in our lives can all be erased. What greater
message is there?! I love every day of being a missionary. Some days
are hard and I think it would be easier not to be a missionary but
every day is full of miracles that make me realize how amazing He is.
Sometimes I don't realize until my head hits the pillow but the
realization always comes. There is nothing greater than sharing this
message with those that I come to love here in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
I love you all! Have a great week.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I got a greenie!

This week was great! I'm training a greenie! Her name is Sister James and she
is from Glendale, Arizona and she knows THE BERTHELSONS!!!!!!!! She is
so ready to do the work which is a much needed change because I've
always had companions that have been dying down. She is obedient to
most things I tell her and she studies Preach My Gospel which is a
blessing! I think this transfer will be so good and also a lot of

Conference....I feel like I can write forever about the revelation
that I received from it but obviously that wouldn't be the things that
everyone else got from conference. I really liked Elder Hales talk and
Elder Renlund's testimony. I feel like there is always something that
Heavenly Father knows that I need to hear from someone else. I am
making decisions that will help me when I get home but it's so hard. I
feel like everything in my mission has prepared me for life after my
mission....I know you're all thinking, "Sister Dodd, shut up, you
still have 2.5 months left". I KNOW! In a blessing I got it said that
I needed to figure out my post mission life and that I need to be
humble and accept help from others. Being humble is the test of my
life time. I feel like I recognize my constant need of my Savior's
help and my need for the Spirit and for Heavenly Father but
recognizing that they help me through others is hard. I don't like
feeling like an inconvenience to others and I just feel like I can do
everything by myself. Heavenly Father wants to help us but also
recognizes that as he sends others to help us they are blessed because
they are able to serve and we are blessed. In seeking service we must
also allow others to serve us.

I love you all, have a great week!!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Yesterday in testimony meeting the Bishop shared something that I
loved. He said, "If you squeeze an orange what do you expect to come
out? Orange juice right? When life gets hard and it starts to squeeze
you what you are filled with will come out. If you are filled with
love, then love will come out; if you are filled with gratitude,
gratitude will come out; if you are filled with anger, anger will come
out; if you are filled with hatred, hatred will come out. Hard times
come and how we respond to those hard times is a direct result of how
we spend our time"
I am so grateful for the lessons that I have been learning. I got
called to train a new missionary on top of being a Sister Training
Leader. I realize that what I am filled with is about to be squeezed
out! The stress of life hits us at different times but I know the Lord
is giving me a lot of responsibility because he wants me to work hard
at the end of my mission. I am grateful for the experiences that I've
had so far and the many more to come. My district leader is staying as
well and training a new missionary. I am excited to see what is said
at General Conference this weekend! EVERYONE WATCH GENERAL 

CONFERENCE! It's going to be so good.
I love you all!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

This week was good!

Lately I have been hearing a lot about the 3-fold mission of the
church: proclaiming the gospel, perfecting the saints, and redeeming
the dead. I feel like at a different part of our lives we are involved
with each part of this. The desire to be involved in perfecting the
saints, redeeming the dead and proclaiming the gospel begins with our
own conversion. Recognizing the amazing gift that we have and then
desiring to share it comes to each of us through our recognition that
this is truly the Lord's church and we are privileged to know the
steps to get back to live with God and with our families. I'm grateful
that as I am experiencing the "proclaiming the gospel" part of the
3-fold mission of the church. I'm grateful that a huge focus during my
time in YW was spent redeeming the dead. I have a feeling that I am
not done with my role in redeeming the dead but right now I'm just
focusing on my mission! 3 months left of prime proselyting. I have a
feeling that these will be both the longest and the shortest 3 months
of my mission! Hahahaa. I know that I keep mentioning the priesthood
blessing that I got a month ago but it was so insightful. It told me
that I needed to start making plans to go home but also that the Lord
was proud of the service that I had given and that I should continue
to work hard! I love being a missionary!!!

This week has been good for us. We've been teaching more than I was
with Sister Carlson. I know that the Lord is helping us a lot! We got
3 new investigators this week! We had a couple of awesome lessons with
our investigators and Sister Masih and I have been getting along
really well. I really am happy.

General Conference is coming up and I am so excited! It is amazing to
me that we have a prophet, a man who talks with God, that will be
speaking to us. To have the communication with God open again to men
on earth is one of God's many manifestations that he loves us. As we
take our questions to God He answers them through conference. Listen
and take notes. Let God know what you need and he will give it to you.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

3 more months!

This week I hit my 15 months of being on a mission. I feel like every
day that passes my spirit grows stronger but my flesh grows weaker.
Hahahahaa. That was my "intelligent" way of saying that I'm tired all
the time. When I got a blessing a few weeks ago it said that "The
Lord's work is tiring and now that the work is being hastened the Lord
will expect more and you". That was Him saying, "Sister Dodd, I know
you're tired but get over yourself!" I am so grateful that I have a
calling that allows me to work hard and to have such pleasure from
seeing the fruits of my labors. Callings provide us with blessings.
There was a talk given yesterday in church from a returned missionary
and his topic was "Bloom where you are planted". He talked about
examples from his mission of bishops and ward mission leaders that
served faithfully and exemplified their callings and ones who didn't and 

how much happier the ward was when they exemplified their
callings. He shared exerpts from Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk "Life Where
You Stand". One of my favorite was,
"You may feel that there are others who are more capable or more
experienced who could fulfill your callings and assignments better
than you can, but the Lord gave you your responsibilities for a
reason. There may be people and hearts only you can reach and touch.
Perhaps no one else could do it in quite the same way.
Our Heavenly Father asks that we represent Him in the noble work of
reaching out and blessing the lives of His children. He asks us to
stand firm with the power of the priesthood in our hearts and souls
and give the calling we have at this moment our best efforts."
I thought that was beautiful. We receive callings because the Prophet
can't do everything by himself and we each have special qualities and
characteristics that others need. Being a full-time missionary is a
calling. You are set apart from the world and asked to labor in other
parts of the world to help save our brothers and sisters. If you think
about callings given in a ward they are not much different except it
isn't a 24/7 duty and you aren't asked to leave your home. Callings are 
given from God and I have come to a firm knowledge of that on my
I am grateful for my companion. I am grateful for my opportunity to be 
a missionary. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fear not!

This past week I had the opportunity to share with our zone of missionaries a message with the topic "Fear not". 
I started with asking the cute sisters in my zone what they're fearing and they said: Fear of not knowing what to say, fear of going home from your mission with regrets, fear of being bold, fear of losing the people you learn to love, fear of talking to people,  fear of Brussels sprouts, fear of disappointing your parents, fear of asking people to be baptized, fear of not progressing, fear of not being all that God wants you to be, fear of not strengthening your testimony as much as you could, fear of getting people on date and then losing them. 
I was able to open up with these fears and tell them that it is okay to fear. There are so many examples from the scriptures of people being afraid and angels coming to comfort them. 
I used the New Testament for examples from the scriptures of "fear not":
🔸Joseph and Mary were espoused to be married and Joseph found out that his fiancé was pregnant by someone other than him. An angel appeared to Joseph and said, "fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 1:20)
🔸When Mary Magdalene went 3 days after Jesus' death to anoint his body she couldn't find his body in the tomb. An angel came and told her, "Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified." (Matthew 28:5)
🔸Zacharias and Elisabeth were old and had never had a child. As Zacharias went to the temple to perform the labors of being a priest an angel appeared to him and said, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John." (Luke 1:13)
🔸One of the greatest stories ever told was the birth of Jesus. There were shepards that were told of His birth by an angel that said, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11)
🔸when the apostles were called they were fearful to leave their nets, they feared leaving what they knew and what they loved, Jesus told them, "Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men." (Luke 5:10)
🔸In Revelation John quotes Jesus saying, "Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen." (Revelation 1:17-18)
I then was able to share on of my favorite stories from the New Testament which is Jesus washing His apostles feet. 
-John 13:
"5 After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen"

We truly are not alone in this life. Especially after the past couple of weeks I have realized that Heavenly Father is so aware of each of us and the struggles, trials, and situations that we are in. He has suffered us to go through these things because he loves us. We came to earth to become like God and we surely cannot do that unless we are out through things that make us grow and develop and become perfect even as our Father who is in Heaven is perfect. I love this gospel and I love being a missionary. May we each develop faith greater than our fears. 

Dam**n got baptized!! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Some weeks are harder than others!

I am just going to make this entry a gratitude entry because I've been
complaining so much lately.
I am so grateful for the gospel. I see the difference that it has made
and has been making in my life. I don't think that I will claim my
mission as the best 18 months of my life but they definitely are the
best 18 months for my life. Every month, every day is changing me
faster than anything I ever could have done at home. I am grateful for
the priesthood power and the fact that I can get a blessing at any
time. I am especially grateful for this during stressful weeks. I am
grateful for hard weeks. Throughout the scriptures and our lives their
is proof that we would not know the good is we never experience the
bad. President Andrus told me this week that "If missions were easy
Heavenly Father would be setting you up for an unfair reality". I am
grateful for wisdom and knowledge and experience. I am grateful for my
body. I am grateful for my family. 18 months seems so short compared
to eternity. I am grateful for my Savior and that I am able to use the
Atonement every day. I am grateful for baptism and the covenants we
make with Heavenly Father. I am grateful that every promise that I
make with Heavenly Father he provides me with so many blessings. I am
grateful for the car that I am driving and for the phone we have. I am
grateful for technology and though it can provide many distractions it
also provides so much convenience and assistance. I am grateful that I
can be a missionary and have this time to convert myself to the
greatest blessing in my life.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Surprise! Sister Masih and I are companions again! I guess we didn't
learn enough when we were together last time..
Another good week of being a missionary!
D**ian set the date of September 5th to be baptized!! Whoop whoop!
We picked up 2 new investigators, De**iny and Sk**er. Neither of them
have strong religious background but both are willing and excited to
learn. Their neighbors that they hang out with a lot are two returned
missionaries who started reading the Book of Mormon with them. It is
the greatest blessing to see when people are being prepared by the
Lord. There truly is no such thing as coincidences. As a missionary I
feel like the Brother of Jared; every day I can see the Lords finger
as he performs miracles in my area.
A*y is doing awesome! She is loving learning more about the gospel
through the new member lessons. Every time we have a lesson she talks
about going to the temple in a year to be sealed to N**hi!
Now for the hard part about this week. Sh**on is a less-active lady in
our area that is home bound and has intense diabetes. The sister
missionaries for the past two years have visited Sharon twice a week
and read scriptures to her.  Tuesday night at 9:00 I got a call from
Sh**on's phone and it was her daughter S**rry. She asked if I could
get someone over to the hospital to give Sh**on a blessing because she
was dying. I called some priesthood holders and they said that they
would get over there right away. On Wednesday afternoon we headed up
to the hospital to see Sh**on. We walked into her room and I greeted
everyone and looked at Sh**on laying in the hospital bed with an
oxygen mask over her mouth. Sh**ry told me that she was unconscious
and they were just waiting for Sh**on to decide to let go. Her
granddaughter looked at me and asked if I would say a prayer? So I
blubbered through a prayer thanking Heavenly Father for S**ron being
in all of our lives. Then some more family came with food for them to
eat and they asked me if I would sit and hold Sh**on's hand while they
quickly ate. As I did all I could think was, "I hate this. I hate
getting attached only to see people die. I hate hospital rooms, I hate
ugly hospital gowns, I hate nurses coming in every 10 minutes, I hate
funerals, I hate saying goodbye. I hate seeing people that I love
leave me. I hate this!" Then, because Ron and Denise Dodd are my
parents, I started to cry and not just a few tears drop down my cheek
but all the waterworks. I started truly thinking about the Plan of
Salvation and the knowledge that I HAVE that I will see those that I
love again. I know that this sounds cliche but I don't know what I
would do without this knowledge that I can be with my family again. My
family is not just my immediate family but all of my brothers and
sisters on this earth that I have come to love. I am so grateful that
as I sat holding Sha**n's hand and looking at her I could hear her
laugh. I could feel her presence. She was there and she was promising
everyone in that room that she would always be with them. As I left
her family all hugged me and told me that she loved me and that she
loved telling them about her visits with us and how happy we made her.
Although I am not deaths biggest fan I know with every part of me that
this life is not the end, that those who pass on have a work to do
somewhere else and that their spirits can always be with us when we
need them.
I am grateful for the gospel and the opportunity I have to be a missionary!

Funny highlight of the week:
Sister Masih:"Man, Gordan B. Hinckley's getting old"
me: "Gordan B. Hinckley is dead"
Sister Masih: "REALLY?!"