Alive and Kickin’

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dear all,

I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve written one of these.  Or maybe just two weeks???
Well, this is the part that I have to wrack my brains to remember what on earth has happened over the past couple weeks.
OH!  I went on exchanges and I got to ride a bike again!  Oh my goodness, it felt like coming home.  It was sunny, the breeze felt WONDERFUL and I felt like I had LIFE in me again.  So wonderful.  We also had dinner with a woman who loooooves the missionaries.  It almost seemed a little excessive.  But she’s the sweetest most innocent soul I’ve ever met.  She decided to french braid my hair and then give it a “poof” and THEN made the elders rate it on a scale of 1-10.  I’m pretty sure “beet red” just doesn’t do it justice in describing the complexion of my face at that moment.
Anyway, life is good!  It’s freaking me out, but it’s good.  8 weeks just …. just doesn’t sound right.
K, I love everyone!  I’m alive and kickin’.
Sis O’Donnell

What a weekend!

October 6, 2014

Hello Hello Hello Hello!!!!!

What a week.  What a weekend.  What a General Conference weekend!!  GAH!!!
So here’s the thing.  Our investigator Tim who totally said he would come to General Conference on Sunday morning ended up not showing.  So Sis. Clark and I drove straight to his apartment afterward and after a long conversation which involved him calling me a smart alec (I do cherish his words of endearment) he agreed to go to the last session.  He also admitted that if we hadn’t shown up at his door he probably wouldn’t have come.
And then he did!!!!  And he said afterwards, “I’m glad I came.  I was very impressed.” And the talk that we were worried he wouldn’t get anything out of ended up hitting home for him.  AND he wants to feed us dinner.  Dang.  AH!
Ya know…it’s the little things.  It really is.  Sis. Clark and I had fasted and prayed SO HARD that the people we invited to conference would come.  He is the only one who came and it was for the last session of conference.  One might say that it was a waste of a fast and our faith…but it wasn’t.  God’s ways are not our ways.  I trust Him.
That’s all folks!  Hope you have a wonderful week!  Mine is sure starting out wonderful 😀
Sis. O’Donnell

Power of Prayer

September 30, 2014

Dear all,

Hmmmm.  Whelp!  Transfers came and went, but my companion and I didn’t.  So we are still here!  Woot!! I love Sis. Clark.  She’s the best.  And this is her last transfer 😦 waaaahhh.
BUT!  Women’s Conference was amazing!!  How grateful am I to know that there are living prophets and apostles today who speak the word of God.  And that the spirit can testify of those things to anyone who really listens with both their ears and hearts.  Just like in the times of King Benjamin (from the Book of Mormon), we are not meant to “trifle” with their words but rather “hearken” to them.  I’m so excited!!!!
This week was great.  Sis. Clark and I have noticed that people have been SO unusually nice to us!  I mean, granted some people have been extra mean, but most have just gone out of their way to bless our lives.  The Lord is so good to us!
OH! Miracle!
So we had a lesson at dinner with an active member family.  We taught them about using Gospel words in their conversations with others in order to open doors.  The mother texted us and told us how she tried it with her friend and they had a great detailed discussion!  She was so excited!  Ah! It made us so happy.  Next step is to invite!
People work line upon line.  That’s for sure.
Also another miracel!! We have written down our investigators names and what they’re struggling with so that members can pray for them, just like people prayed for Alma the younger (also from the Book of Mormon).  Well, this last lesson with our investigator Tim who hasn’t prayed in YEARS because of his past, told us that he had gotten over the biggest obstacle with prayer!  His countenance was so different.  Cheerful  and hopeful.  It was a miracle. Hopefully he prays!!
Anyway, it’s been great 🙂
love you all!

Rise Up

September 22, 2014

Dear all!

Well, it seems in a lot of ways that the work is slowing down.. BUT!  The Lord always gives just enough for us to keep going. While the people I mentioned last week are kind of feeble and haven’t really gone anywhere  we had a WONDERFUL Family Home Evening with a family in our ward in which each family member presented part of the lesson (faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, endure to the end) and it was sooo great!  The Spirit was really there as this family worked together and taught each other Gospel truths.  It was precious.  We also have a gameplan to help the ward become more unified.  I’ve never understood until recently how ESSENTIAL it is to be unified.  So it’s great!
You know what is interesting though?  Sometimes I feel like the Lord really doesn’t necessarily comfort us in the way we want to. I believe He sometimes (particularily with me right now) basically says, “Yeah, it’s hard.  But I need you to be something else right now.  I need you to rise up and fulfill a greater portion of your potential.  Others need you right now.”  And it’s weird sometimes.  Maybe it’s just me, but I just feel like when the Lord says He will comfort us, He also means to not let us fall into a sense of self pity and to just get up and go to work and He will help us.
Confused?  Sorry.  It made sense in my head.
Also, transfers are next week.  What???? Yeah they are.  Stay tuned!
Love you all!!
Sister O’Donnell

I Believe in Miracles

September 15, 2014

Well hello there!

So this week was fun and stressful and miraculous and exhausting and by Sunday Sis. Clark and I were only carried through because of the strength of the Lord.  We were BEAT!
But we found a family to teach!! OH they are so precious!  There are four girls, the oldest being 11 and they soooo want to come to church and get back into religion and the mom, Jennifer is basically already a member…she just has to get baptized, ya know?  It was so great!
Also, there was a huge guy with no shirt, lots of tatoos, smoking a cigarette and reading a book.  The sister I was with at the time had hesitations about talking to him, and I myself was slightly uneasy about talking to him at night…but we did!  And guess what?  He was reading a book about Revelations! Hahahah he told us how he had turned his life around and his family was getting back into religion and all sorts of things.  HE said his cigarettes was the last nasty habit he had to let go of!  AW man, he was so cool!  We will be seeing him tonight! 😀
Also, I just want to say that I believe in miracles.  They happen!  This is the Lord’s church, so of course they happen!  It’s all about faith which comes from personal righteousness.  And how the Lord blesses His righteous children so that they can help His other children who are struggling.  I just love this gospel!
Going to the temple tomorrow!  Ah!! So excited!!!!!
Sis O’Donnell

Streams to Rivers!

September 8, 2014

Hey there!!

So today for P Day we had the brilliant idea to go hiking this morning while it was nice and cloudy.  I repeat. Nice and cloudy.
So we did!!
Then cloudy turned into misty and then misty turned into light rain and then light rain turned into pelting rain!  Hahaha it was quite the adventure coming out of that canyon with the water rushing down as deep as our ankles and having to cross streams that turned very quickly into almost rivers.  But we made it out alive.  So that’s good.  It was way fun.  However, I’m 100% adapted to Arizona weather.  When it was all humid all the missionaries were so excited for the light rain and I was like…heh.  No thanks!  I’ll take the sun and the heat.  But the thunder and lightning is something that is essential to my well being so Heavenly Father knew exactly where to send me 🙂
Anyway.  You know what’s cool?  Is that the Lord truly does bless us when we pray for charity.  Even if we already feel like we love everyone…we can still pray for it and He will grant us that gift.  Why wouldn’t He?  Doesn’t He want us to love HIs children?  The answer is yes.  And I have found that in my own life.
Work wise they are about the same, but my companion and I’s resolve is much stronger.  And that’s just how it goes sometimes.  Sometimes nothing happens…and then we work harder…then nothing happens again…so we just keep working harder!  AH!  I love the Gospel!!!!!!!!!!

He Can Use Even Me

September 2, 2014

Dear all,

Well,  this week was crazy.
So first, we went on exchanges so I left my area to be with another sister, whilst her companion came to my area taking my place.  That very night, my companion and three other sisters who were on their way to get a knee brace got T-boned and totaled the car.  Results?  A shaken up, bruised, sore companion, and no car for the past week.  We don’t even have bikes haha.  So basically it’s been a lot of calling around for rides, prioritizing, and learning even more how to manage stress hahaha…not sure that I’m 100% good with that but hey!  I’m on the Lord’s errand so it’ll all work out.  We’ve also had some struggling sisters that we’ve had to help out a lot so it makes for a nice and hectic week 😀  We all have those don’t we?
Anyway, I’m just so grateful for the Atonement because I personally am not cut out for all of this.  Yet I know that through the Grace of Jesus Christ, He can use even me.
I guess you might be wondering about some of the people we’re working with.
Well the second day I got here we met Michael.  Super golden, came to church, loved it, loves the Book of Mormon, loves everything about the Church, especially repentance and baptism.  He wanted it so badly!!!  Then his family came into town and told him they don’t like Mormons so he kind of dropped us like an egg from a tall chicken.  So sad!  But hopefully we meet with him again.
We meet with a lot of Less Actives too who have the sincere desire to come back to church.  They are all such beautiful people.
You know what’s nuts?? How many single moms are in this ward.  There are soooooo many.  My heart goes out to any and all single parents.  They are truly the most admirable people that I see.
Anyway, love you all!
Sis O’Donnell