Monday, November 25, 2013

HaPpY ThAnKsGiViNg! Letter for 11.25.13

This week has been a strange one!! I would love too just say, I HOPE EVERYONE HAS AN AWESOME THANKSGIVING! I will have so much to be thankful for! Here are a few things...

1. I have been blessed to have 3 amazing companions! Although I lost Sister Amanda Clark last transfer I was able to be companions with Sister Maranda and, wow, she is fantastic! I have THE BEST trainer in the world! And I only have 1 week left until I am done training !!!! :)

2. My second transfer calls will be happening this Saturday :) We will see what happens :) I feel like I might leave, but I don't really know what that is like so maybe I am just making that thought up.... ? :) I don't want to leave, but if the Lord wants me elsewhere then I shall leave :)

3. The best thing...............................3 months of hard work is going to pay off!!!! I WILL HAVE MY FIRST BAPTISM THIS SUNDAY AFTER CHURCH!!! It was supposed to be Saturday but yesterday church was canceled so she wasn't able to go to church...
Amy has accepted and has changed her life to live the standards God has set for her! It has been such a blessing to see her and her husband’s lives change! They have quit smoking and drinking coffee, they keep all the commandments, they pray as a couple, and as a family! They are just amazing! That is what I wanted! I just wanted to be able to bless families and there is a new blessed family!!!

4. I am so grateful for church in my life. Yesterday I wasn't able to attend church or do missionary work due to the mission being shut down and terrible weather! Saturday Sister Dunham was sick so we were in and out of the house and doing splits with the other sisters. Then on Sunday we found out the mission was going to be shut down for the day!!!!! WHO KNEW TEXAS COULD GET ICY AND COLD?!?!?! I DID NOT PREPARE FOR THAT!!!

5. I am so grateful for an amazing family. Being out here I realize how blessed I am. My family writes me pretty regularly. Some sisters never get written. My family supports me. They share their love, and I know my family prays for me. I know my family is being blessed!

6. I am grateful for the knowledge I am gaining! I am learning how to dissect and love reading the scriptures! I had no idea how much the scriptures were written for missionaries and what not! They aren't just full of stories-- they are written to change people’s lives, and they are changing mine :) My quad is going to look very used by the time I am done here :) It's going to be great!

7. I am grateful for these 18 months! I found something out this week. I found the true meaning to the phrase "idol hands are the devil’s workshop." This week we did exchanges with San Angelo sisters and there is one sister whose back has been KILLING HER, so she has gotten permission to rest inside for a while because she can hardly walk, let alone do the work. So I spent about 6 hours inside not doing anything missionary- related work-- and wow!!! The devil was trying to get in my head, but more in hers because she has been inside for nearly a week--- and wow! If you’re not constantly busy like PMG (Preach My Gospel) says, the devil WILL SIT AND WORK ON YOU AND IT'S ALL IN YOUR THOUGHTS! The "I'm not good enough” or whatever else-- man those thoughts kill missionaries!!! And I hope she isn't dying inside." But I am grateful I have a healthy body and mind to keep me going so the devil doesn't have time to get me!!!! It's awesome!
Anybody thinking about it-- prepare!! It's great!!!

I hope everyone has a great week!!! The church is true. Most importantly, I am so grateful for the gospel in my life. I have never gone a day in my life when I didn't know the truth and I didn't know my purpose in life :) This gospel is pure and amazing!!

Have a great Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!
With so much love :)

**** Oh, I forgot! I am having Thanksgiving meal with the Reynold’s family :) We don't get to proselyte, so that will be rough, but it will be fun. We plan to go visit a lot of single women in the ward so they will have company :)

I hope you eat lots of great fooooooodddd :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Allergies, Jesus, Funeral, P***, and MIRACLES!

Hello Family!

It's been another great week here in Brownwood, TX! Quite a bit has happened in the past week!

Before I begin-- transfer calls are November 30th, I sent another package home with 2 cd's full of pictures so that should get to you in a while... with the rest of last weeks letter :( I am sad that it didn’t get to you in time before today.... :(

So here is this week!

Tuesday we had Zone conference with San Anglo Zone (I am in the Abaline zone). So we were in San Angelo. Sister Augustin came up to me and said "Hey, yesterday an elder was asking about you" and I said, "Would that Elder happen to be Nater Thompson?" She responded, “Yes, but then she said "I had to think who you were so I asked if you were the one with pretty curly hair?" Nate said....... “No she has thick strait hair....." needless to say they got it figured out!!! My friends never saw natural curly hair :) lol!!!! And I have gone back to straitening it :) lol!!!

I was so spiritually fed at zone conference... The scriptures really are all about missionary work… end of story!!!!!! It was amazing we went though a chapter and dissected how Alma teaches and how we should teach--- it was awesome!!!

Wednesday was a strange, strange day. lol!! We have been working a lot on reactivation and such, so we go over to do service quite frequently! So, we went over to the Dovall’s. Sister Dovall is a member. She is on her 6th marriage and he is not a member :) Anyway, so usually when we go over there, Lynn, the husband, always leaves… but this time, for some reason, he didn't... So we were talking-- then out of the blue, he grabs Sister Dunham’s palm and starts reading it... (IT IS A VERY COMMON THING TO BE JUDGED AS A MISSIONARY, THEY TRY TO GUESS WHAT YOU WERE LIKE WHEN YOU WERE HOME AND WHAT NOT AND HOW WE ARE AS MISSIONARIES) So he is judging us-- he tells Sister Dunham that she is a very reserved person and has a very long life line. (Mind you, I am giving the very condensed version because we were there for nearly 2 hours). Then Sister Clark is the party crazy girl (That is how I would judge her). And here is mine… and he was soooooooo right (And we can safely say I am his favorite :) He said I “have a VERY, VERY long life line. Around the age of 50-60 something dramatic is going to change in my life!  I have a huge, huge heart and a very contagious smile. He said, “your heart-- it so big and you want to help everybody, and when people don't appreciate, or won’t accept your help your heart just aches. Well, don't let that ache drag your smile down because people need your smile. People need it. “It was amazing to have a non-member tell me things that my setting apart blessing had said. He was sooooo right though. I want to help everybody. People here in Brownwood live in very, very humble circumstances. They are broken, broken people. They have little money and the majority of them live in filth. It is sooo sad.

Speaking of living in filth.... I know the bed but (bug) story is everyone’s favorite… so here is an addition to that story. We felt we needed to go back to Brother Elm’s house (the bed bug house)... We haven't been back since that dramatic time! So, we get there and he proceeds to tell us that the exterminator wouldn't come help him because his house was too dirty, and that if he wanted to get it exterminated he would have to clean it and put all of his clothes in bags. Well, he is in a wheelchair so he can't do it. So I march up to him (putting my big girl panties on) and ask, “Well, what needs to be done first?”

We set up an appointment to come back. Friday night we went back with the other sisters and begin working. So this man has lived in his house for 20 years, and I am safely going to say I doubt his house has been vacuumed in 20 years. We took garbage bags and threw soooooooo much stuff away. It was soooo nasty! There were shoes that hadn't been worn in years, so there were webs all over them and nasty, nasty!! Then we had to clean out his drawers... and we found is porn stash :( Broke our hearts. It's so sad to see a member of the church fall into such horrible temptation and be lost in a filthy world :( We didn’t ask permission, but we just scooped and threw everything away. We didn't look-- just got it out of that house.

There were also very strange items in that house. So when we got everything out of the room we moved a dresser, and there were probably 3 inches of dust under that thing... I asked him if he had a vacuum. He said, “No.” So we went to our house to get ours. We had to empty the bag 5 times because it was full.... WE HAVN'T EVEN EMPTIED IT ONCE AT OUR HOUSE. It was very sad.

Moral of the story is… I would like to challenge everybody this week to find a less-active that needs help and help them. Ask them how you can serve. Do something good for somebody! I am very grateful I was raised in a clean home and that I know how to clean.

My poor companions this week :( both of them are EXTREMELY allergic to cats and EVERYBODY IN BROWNWOOD HAS HOARDS OF CATS! So, as we have been serving others they have been dieing. They never once have complained. Their poor eyes get so red and they can't breathe, but they know what needs to be done and they do it :)
I love my companions!

Also, do you remember when I told y’all about a member that has seen Jesus? I hope I told you bout that.... Well, apparently the other sisters took him to their lesson and this investigator was like, “Sometimes I can smell my mom’s perfume...” Then this member was like "And when you get close to Jesus you can smell him. I smell him all the time..." ............................................................................................................
AHHHHHHHHH!!!! BROTHER---- WHAT THE CRAP?? YOU’RE CRAZY!!! Needless to say, we aren't going to be taking him to any lessons..........
This place is weird.....

Then remember JACK AND AMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CRAP YOU DON'T, BECAUSE YOU HAVEN'T GOTTEN MY LETTER YET!!! WELL, I AM JUST GOING TO SKIP AHEAD! They are the most solid people in the world! I wish y’all could meet them! We went over to their house and they were like, “Guess what?!?!.... We haven't smoked in 6 days. We are quitting coffee (we didn't even talk to them about the W.O.W. very much). And Amy had taken her facial piercing out! WE SAID NOTHING ABOUT THAT- Bottom line..... This is what the church does for people. We, as missionaries, aren't here to drag people to the waters. We are supposed to find people ready to sprint by themselves!!! They are doing everything by themselves, and with God, it is just amazing!! I can't explain it!!!

Sad thing though. We found out that jack is on parole and will be for the next 4 years--- so we don't know if he'll be able to be baptized with Amy on the 30th. I AM GOING TO HAVE A REAL- REAL BAPTISM! But, we called President Augustin and he said to get all the information about it and he will pray about it and if he feels good about it he'll send it to President Monson to give the final say. I KNOW JACK IS READY. THAT MAN AND HIS WIFE ARE SOOOOOOO READY! THEY READ THE SCRIPTURES--- TOGETHER THEY PRAY TOGETHER--- THEY TALK ABOUT US ALLLLLL THE TIME!! HE IS READY.

I don't think he'll be baptized with Amy, but i know it won't take him 4 years to get to be baptized before then :) And I will come back for that day… and when they go to the temple!!! I don't care when!!!!! I am here to bring families to the gospel!!! They are amazing!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Then worst part of my letter...... I am going to rant a little more about how everybody needs to learn to play the piano....... so here is my story....

Once upon a time there was a missionary. Her name was Sister Dawes. She is a missionary in a ward that has 1 member that can play the piano. So, when that member is busy, Sister Dawes has to fill in..... Well, Monday morning at 10 a.m. there was a funeral for a lady in the ward and the pianist had to work.... and the family needed a piano player...... so guess who was asked???...... SISTER DAWES. Moral of the story is... this morning I played for a funeral.....................................and boy...............I regret not practicing....................... more now than ever ........................!

Have a great day!
The End.

So there was my lovely story:) I am sorry this letter is so scattered... and maybe those that are not mom shouldn't read it until she proofs it because, quite frankly, I spell wrong and don't punctuate because I am trying to get everything I want down before my hour is up!!

Love y’all much!

Have a great week :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Missionary Letter 11.11.13

Hello Friends and Family,
       This week has been one of the best weeks yet! So, this letter will be a little longer. I might not have enough time to type it all so I might leave ya at a cliff hanger, and I'll have to write mom a letter and she can type it into the blog!

        I hope mom and dad got my pictures and were able to upload those to the blog??? I haven't heard? In fact I haven't gotten any responses about what I wrote home about last week :) Hope all is well :)

       So nothing spectacular happened on Monday- regular P-Day :)
Tuesday- we went to Blanket, TX:) There should be a picture with me and my comps in front of that sign. :) It's a really nasty little town. There are a million grasshoppers EVERYWHERE! Some alive-- lots dead on the road... real gross….
          Something else about TX.... everyone has Cats and Dogs... Well, Blanket people have hoards of cats and dogs.... like YUCK!!! So it smells BAD--- like animal poop everywhere! However, remember like my 3rd week out we went to Blanket? We met a lady named Celia?
     Well, the first time we met her she really didn't want to talk to us... :/ But Sister Dunham worked her magic and we were invited back. So a few weeks later we went back and taught her the restoration and left her 3 Nephi 11 to read. She then told us she was going to be out of town for nearly a month. So we didn't go back until Tuesday. And soo--- as she saw us she said (in a very sad voice), "I thought Y’all forgot about me.".... Let's just say those are words missionaries NEVER want to hear!!!! So we assured her we hadn't and that we pray for her often. She told us she had read the chapter we assigned and she said she didn’t understand it, so we went ---and it turned out she read 3 Nephi 10... that would make sense why she didn't understand it. :) So we told her to read 11 this time :)--- but--- SHE DID READ! AND THAT, IN AND OF ITSELF, IS A BLESSING!
     So we taught her the plan of salvation. We opened her mind to thinking a lot… It's amazing how some people don't really ponder on where we came from and where we are going. Her mind was just a little ball and we opened it up to a whole lot of possibilities :) 
     *** The church is so wise in using pictures to teach the plan of salvation and what not! It helps soooo much! If you’re going on a mission, before you go, make yourself cut-outs of the Plan of Salvation and laminate them because you use them all the time :) We aren't sure what Celia is going to do, but we pray always that her mind is opening. She is a firm Baptist :) And she is older--- so it's hard to teach older people with firm beliefs :)

Wednesday was the best day of my life :)
     I told y'all last week that I was going to be given the opportunity to attend the temple this week :) Well, I did and it was amazing. We started the day off at 9:30 where all of my district met at the church so we could caravan to Lubbock! It was so much fun! We blasted church music and had dance wars with the Elders as we played leapfrog on the road..(Maybe not the safest), but the drivers weren't participating :) We had a ton of fun!
     Then the temple! Yes, the temple! Oh, how blessed we are to enter the house of the lord as often as time allows, and as often as we want. This was the best experience I had at the temple :) I prayed the whole time. I prayed for the person I was serving. I prayed for my investigators, my companions, my family, friends. And I prayed that I would be able to recognize the Spirit and take it with me as I left (because I wasn't feeling the Spirit as much as I would have liked). And let me tell you!!! That was the best temple experience ever!!
      As I prayed, I could feel the Spirit swell in my heart and I felt little foot prints prance against my heart (That didn’t happen, like not a weird thing). I just knew the Spirit was there, and I couldn't deny the feelings I had. At that time I knew I could never deny what I had felt. I knew the church was true and that ultimately my goal as a missionary is to find those elect ready to make covenants so they could enter the House of the Lord and be together with their families forever.
     The church is true. You'll also remember how my companionship started at square one again this week... Well, later that night we were lower than square one because Heather texted us and told us she decided to take a break from us coming over because she needs to sort out her feelings and that she would contact us when she was ready. I wasn't too heartbroken because I know one day she will accept it. She will. And I feel like it will be soon. She just isn't ready to commit.... I think....
     I continue to pray for her :) I am not the same missionary that entered the temple. I am more dedicated and more ready to work than I ever was before. I am loving the work, and I am not trying to convince myself of the love anymore :) I really do love this work!.

     Thursday we drove back to Brownwood not knowing where to start (because we were starting over). We went to go try a less-active. We were able to see him and we set up another appointment with him :) Then we remembered that the NW sisters had given us a referral, and so we went to go try to find them.... :) Cliff Hanger :)

 I'll write about more of my experiences this week because blessings have been poured upon us sisters :)   

I just want to say before I go: If you are thinking about serving a mission… do it!!! If nothing else, your love for the Book of Mormon will grow and you'll be truly converted. My scripture reading will never be the same as it was :) I actually have a love for the Book of Mormon. I'll write more about that as well. :)

     The church is true, the book is blue, and Jesus is a Mormon :) ha ha ha :)
I am doing great! As happy as I can be :)
I hope y’all can have missionary experiences this week and that you’re praying for opportunities :)

With so much love,
The "new" and improved Sister Dawes :)

Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week #8 11.4.13

Hello everyone,

First family.... I AM SORRY YOUR LETTER DIDN'T GET THERE! I sent a letter home and on Thursday it got returned to me so I was upset about that all weekend and I didn't have time to get it fixed and sent out so Thursday something should be coming home. :( sorry.

If anyone has recipes that take little time to cook and few ingredients please send them out here! We buy crap food and I am tired of it :) So please, please, please. However, can ya send them through snail mail… Not email?

COOL AWESOME NEWS!!! A few weeks ago we were told exciting news that we were going to be allowed to go to the temple soon. (We weren't allowed to go, we are the first Texas Lubbock missionaries that get to go) Well, my district’s time is THIS WEDNESDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YIPPEE!! I AM SOOOO EXCITED!!! I NEED IT SOOO MUCH! I will tell you more about that as time goes on. :)

***** Word to those wanting to grow up and serve missions..... LEARN TO PLAY THE PIANO. I might say that in every letter. Let's just say.... I should have listened to mom and learned. We only have 2 ladies in the ward that play the piano. 1 lady can't stay for all of church (health), and the other is primary president so is always in primary..... bottom line.... Sister Dawes plays the piano in R.S......... and let’s just say........... CRAP!!! I regret not practicing and learning.... maybe in the next 16 months I will learn how to play.... I wish I had a piano in my apartment... I mean I wouldn't have much time to practice, but it would be nice :)

I hope ya'll had a good Halloween :) Thursday my companionship and I went to Abilene to say with the YSA sisters! We had sooo much fun. We weren't able to work past 6:00 so we went to the other Abilee sister’s house until 8:30 and had a fun party where again.... my animal impersonations and Fiona were shown :) They really are a hit :) Then went back to the YSA sister’s house and slept the night. The next morning sister Dunham and Luke (YSA ABALINE SISTER ) went to Lubbock for MLC missionary leadership counsel. So I worked with Sister Ethington and Sister Amanda Clark (former companion)! We had some amazing lessons that day! The first lesson I was with sister Clark- we taught the restoration to Matthew... This was the first time they had a lesson with him so we saw him and he had done some research and while we were teaching HE WAS TAKING NOTES!!!!! HE WAS SOOOO LISTENING AND SOO JUST.... AHHHH--- SOLID!! I WISH I COULD STAY AND SEE IF HE GETS BAPTIZED!! He is sooo awesome! The next lesson was with a girl named Kimmie. Apparently one day she was feeling like there was more to life than what her church teaches, so she was on Facebook and saw a ad… went to that… found a church house and a time… and CAME TO CHURCH BY HERSELF!!! WHAT THE CRAP?!?!? THAT NEVER HAPPENS!!! SO, I was able to teach her with Sister Ethington the Plan of Salvation. She had AMAZING questions! She is soooo solid as well!!!! I hope all goes well with her! Then Sister Ethington and I went to go teach a lady named Ashley. She was stellar as well! She and a few friends came and just soaked in everything that we were saying! She is just amazing!!
Anyway, that was the great things that happen in Abilene....

Here is the progress of Brownwood...
1. We had an investigator named Bill, he wasn't keeping commitments so prayerfully we dropped him.
2. We had an investigator named Monica- she wasn't keeping appointments or commitments, so luckily we ran into her and we asked her if she even wanted us so come back and she said not right now. So prayerfully we dropped her.
3. Amanda (she came to church a few weeks ago)- told us she got a part- time job and doesn't have time to see us anymore. So basically we were dropped.
4. And the saddest of all.... Chris- so here is the deal. He was doing AMAZING. He was feeling the spirit and seeing God’s hand in answering questions he had. Then…. his “baby mamma” told him that if he continued to meet with us then she wouldn't let him see his daughter and we weren't going to do that!! So.... he dropped us....
5. We haven't been able to meet with Heather at all this week...... So we don't know what’s going on with her.
6. We haven't been able to catch Maria once in the past 2 1/2 almost 3 weeks-- so we don't know what’s up with her.
-------------------------------------- Bottom Line--------------------------------------------We are down to Square 1---- starting all over again. But this time we are going to focus more efforts on helping build the ward up.

I haven't seen this yet because I am still new. However, I have heard that you have to hit rock bottom… then people will be bursting from everywhere.... I hope that is the case because we are at rock bottom of our teaching pool :)

The most amazing thing though,--- when people drop us we are sad that they have chosen not to follow Christ’s path, but after we know they aren't interested, we don't feel down and let ourselves mope. We just smile, laugh and keep going!! WE ARE TRYING TO FIND THE ELECT! It's amazing :)

I am going to give everyone a challenge-
1. Make contact with the missionaries in your area and GO OUT WITH THEM! BE A MEMBER PRESENT! Let them know you’re willing to come to lessons with them. Let them know you love the gospel and you’re willing to support them in bringing people to the gospel. Give them 1 referral this week :)
Then write me about your missionary experience!

I love the gospel! I love my mission president and his wife. They are people called of God to protect, lead and guide me while I serve the Lord. I Love my companions- we laugh all day every day! Never get angry at one another!
Even though missions are hard, soon enough we will see the fruits of our labors :)


                                            BECAUSE I AM A MISSIONARY
Is today a great day for you???


SiStEr DaWeS!!!