Monday, June 29, 2015

Crazy week!

This week was crazy! My head has been going in circles since I came to
Rock Springs and Heavenly Father always knows what I need. On Thursday
morning we got to drive down to Salt Lake to go to the temple and for
zone conference. We made arrangements to stay with members in my last
area (the Forsbergs!). On Thursday Sister Forsberg took us to
Johnniebeefs (the Chicago hot dog place in SL), then I got to go see
Mi**s! It was so good to see her and she invited herself to eat dinner
with us that evening! Then we got to help the Forsbergs get their
house ready for their son to come home from his mission (TODAY!).
Then, per Sister Carlson's request, we had Zupas for dinner. M**ls had
the chance to unload everything that has been going on and that has
been stressful for her. It was a testimony builder that this church is
so true because the devil is working so hard on M**ls to get her to
turn away from the church. In my Dad's letter this week he mentioned
that he thinks I was moved out of the Cottonwood stake so that Mi**s
would have an opportunity to learn, grow, and be able to stand on her
own two feet. I am so thankful that the Lord has a plan for each of
us. Although it is quite frustrating that I am so unsure at what his
plan is for me I know that He gives us line upon line, precept on
precept. The Lord will let us know in His timing what we need to know.
As I went to the Jordan River temple on Thursday night I felt peace
that I have not felt in a long time. The stress of mission life and
the stress of life in general seemed to disappear. As I sat in my
white clothing and was reflecting on all of the feelings that I had
been experiencing I just felt an overwhelming spirit come over me and
it told me that everything was  going to be fine. I am so grateful for
the spirit. I am grateful for my family and the love and the support
that they give me while I am crazy and freaking out. I am grateful
most of all for a loving Father that is in Heaven that watches over
each one of His children and at times when the world seems to be
taking over our lives HE steps in.
I love this gospel! I love being a missionary. And I am grateful for
maple bacon doughnuts.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I hope that all the hard working daddy's had a good Father's day
yesterday. As I sat in church and listened to the talks on fathers it
made me realize how truly blessed I am. I have a great dad (and I have
a great mom) I have amazing uncles. I have 2 amazing grandfathers. I
have had great examples of men that honor their priesthood and that
have great respect for women and for their family. I am grateful most
of all for the greatest father, my Father in Heaven.
I**sh was not baptized on Saturday. He feels like he isn't ready and
that his testimony isn't where it should be. He agreed to go through
the lessons with us to build his testimony!
This week was slower. We didn't add any new investigators but we were
able to have lots of good quality lessons.
A*y is the best! This past week we had a lesson with A*y and her
husband and his 3 kids were in town from Minnesota. Towards the end of
the lesson we heard an ice cream truck and N**hi JUMPED up and said
"AN ICE CREAM TRUCK?! A*y can I get ice cream please please please
please" Then he skipped to the ice cream truck and we all got ice
cream. HAhaaahaa. I am sure you had to be there to fully appreciate a
40+ year old man jumping up and begging his wife to let him get ice
cream from the ice cream truck!
In our district meeting this past week my district leader, Elder
Thompson, gave a training on developing Christ-like attributes. I
decided that I would work on developing greater faith. I know that
having faith in our Savior will lead us to having greater happiness
and greater trust in God and in his timing.
I love you all!

For those of you that would like to write me, my new address is:

Sister Lauren Dodd
180 Pollux Drive
Rock Springs, WY 82901

I cut my hair!!!

We love crazy pics!

District hike from a few weeks ago!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Great things happening!

Irish's baptism got rescheduled for this upcoming Saturday.
We added a new family of investigators this week! Their last name is
Portillo, which made me crave a hot dog! We knocked on their door and
got invited into their home and the dad, Ma**in, speaks some English,
the mom, Yes**ia, doesn't speak any English, and the sons, Chri**ian
and A**el, speak English and Spanish. Ma**in told us about how he had
had some doctrinal concerns in the last church that they attended and
that were taking a break until they found a new church. Ma**in also
talked about God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and how they all
want us to live together with them. He talked about how they believe
that the only way to get to God is through Jesus Christ and that he
heard that Mormons worship the prophet Mormon. It was so amazing
because the things that he asked about and the told us that they
believed were exactly the message that we share. We were able to
testify that God loves them, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses
families, and that prophets teach us what God would have us follow and
that we respect prophets but we don't worship them. It was so amazing
to see how prepared this sweet family was. They don't have Spanish
speaking missionaries in Wyoming so we will have to bring a translator
next time we go! He told us that they do things as a family and the
two sons are going out of town to visit family and so we will have a
lesson with them in a few weeks! Stay tuned...
A*y B**er is one of our investigators. Her husband is a member who is
starting to come back to church. They are in their 30's and they are
so fun to be around. The funny part of this whole thing is that the
missionaries tried stopping by and teaching A*y a year ago but they
got chased away. Okay, it isn't funny that they got chased away but it
is God's plan that A*y needed an extra year to prepare to take the
lessons. It just proves to me that people are always being prepared
for the next steps in their lives. It is amazing to look at the
spiritual progression that A*y is making. I know that I am here to
help her and that she is here to help me. I grow so much from teaching
others about the gospel. I feel like I take away so much more than
those that I teach. I am constantly learning and growing and finding
out my dependence on my Father in Heaven.
Also I hit my year mark this week. I have officially been a missionary
for a year. A whole year of my life, gone, in the service of my fellow
brothers and sisters. I keep hearing that the last 6 months are the
most spiritual and also fly by the fastest. Time sure does fly when
you're having fun! I am loving my mission and I will continue to serve
with all of my heart, mind and strength. There is nothing that I could
have done with this past year that would have eternally changed me as
my mission has. I love you all! Have a great week.

Monday, June 8, 2015

One year down!

Well this past week we picked up 5 new investigators!!! Freaking Wyoming.
We got a referral from our district leader and we went to contact the
girl that lived there, A**x. A**x is in her 20's and her and her
fiance, Mic**el, have 3 little kids! When we went we found A**x's
mother-in-law, Sh**on. Sh**on is having a lot of health concerns and
she is looking for a church to go to. We offered to get some
priesthood holders over and for them to give Sh**on a blessing. Sh**on
was receptive and when we came later that day with priesthood holders
to give her a blessing we met Sh**on's son, Mi**ael and his fiance
A**x. They all agreed to learn more about the church! We went later in
the week and all 3 of them were at home and Michael's dad, V**ce, was
visiting. We taught all of them the Restoration and we gave them each
Book of Mormons! It was one of the coolest experiences ever to see
this whole family who has been prepared to receive the message of the
Then yesterday while I was greeting in church a little boy came up to
me and said "Hi my name is Da**an and I am 9 years old and I want to
be baptized." Da**an's family has moved around a lot and now that they
are settled in here the parents are letting him be baptized. The Lord
rewards us when we are obedient.
Yesterday in one of our wards we had the chance to teach a Sunday
School class. The lesson was on baptism. Halfway through the lesson a
man said, "I was baptized at 12 and I have been living the past 30+
years in sin. If I can only be baptized once how do I get washed clean
again?" I sat back and let members of the class make their comments
and answer his questions. Everyone in the small class that answered
had a different suggestion on what he could do. It was so amazing to
hear the experiences and advice that was given. I had the opportunity
to have the closing remark and with the spirit guiding me I testified
of the sacrament and of repentance. I know that the Lord allows us to
renew our baptismal covenants every week because He knows that we will
make mistakes, in fact, we will make a lot of mistakes! I am so
grateful for the Atonement!
I love you all! Have a great week!

Monday, June 1, 2015

I got transferred to Rock Springs, Wyoming!!!! Crazy. I am in my
trainer's (Sister Unrast's) old area. She is a legend here. She is
also moving up to one of my wards in 2 will be just like
old times! I cover 2 wards here. That may seem like a lot to some
people but compared to my track record of 7 wards for the past 7
months I am so happy with just 2 wards. I am companions with Sister
Kodi Carlson from Westchester County, New York. She loves music and
movies and she is so fun.
We have picked up THREE new investigators in the 6 days that I've been
here on top of our 15+ investigators that we already had. I am
freaking out. The people in Wyoming are so humble and kind. EVERYONE
has let us into their homes. I am so blessed here. I live with a
member but she is gone a lot so Sister Carlson and I pretty much have
a house to ourselves.
It was SO hard to leave the Cottonwood stake (my last area). At
transfer meeting when I hugged Sister Masih both of us just cried
hysterically. I had been through so mjuch and grown so much in that
stake that I felt like I was leaving a part of my heart there. I still
feel like a part of me is in Illinois, and a part is in the Cottonwood
stake and the rest of me is in the middle of Wyoming. I love being a
missionary even with the goodbyes and the rejection. I know that
Heavenly Father has a plan for me and right now that plan is to be in
Rock Springs and to help the people here. I love you all. I love this
gospel and I love my Lord and Savior.