Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Dallas Letter 9/6/16

This week has been packed of crazy and amazing experiences. My Birthday was a normal missionary day except that I was able to drive and had an amazing dinner with the Hughes. There is a curse that when it's your birthday everything falls apart (investigators, emotionally, or physically) but that was not the case for me. The Hughes gave me a beautiful pair of ear rings for by birthday! Thank you so much for my Birthday package. I just got it a couple of hours ago. 
We are teaching a man name James Zrofsky who is the only non member in his family! He agreed to baptism and said the closing prayer. His prayer was so sincere that it made all of us cry especially his wife Sara. Prayer is a powerful tool that God gives us freely. Then Gary was confirmed this Sunday and even invited a friend to come to Church. The only thing was that he invited a return RM! He is practicing to be a member missionary. David Davis bared his testimony for the first time this Sunday during Sacrament meeting which touched me so hard. There just something about hearing your recent convert bare his testimony that hits right to your soul.

Sister Ogden

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Dallas Letter 8/29/16

The main focus of this email is on Gary. The reason was that we had the opportunity to celebrate his birthday and his baptism! For his Birthday, we had a birthday cake that Sister Wells bought and we set it up in his front yard. It was fun to sing to him and then shared a short message on the Book of Mormon while eating cake. The funniest part of the lesson was that sprinklers came on and covered us in water. I was the one  that was closer to the sprinklers, so I was completely soaked! 
Gary's baptism was amazing! He was looking so forward to his baptism that when he was baptized, He threw both of his arms up in triumph. He texted this to us after the baptism: "When that time comes and Heavenly Father calls me to join Him, I'm gonna pray and ask if I could meet you there when that time arrives.  You've made me a very happy man. I can't thank you enough. I will do all that I can to be the best Mormon I can be and make you proud of me" (Gary Bitterolf).
To help Gary prepare himself for his baptism he asked us what it means to "liken" the scriptures. We read a chapter with him from the Book of Mormon to show that each verse can apply to him right now. I was able to apply that lesson into my life yesterday by finding the scripture in 2 Nephi 29:8  "Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also."\
Sister Keith is from Canada and I am from USA which allows us to bare testimonies of "two nations". 

Sister Ogden


Dallas Letter 8/22/16

It was a very hot week which made being on a bike very fun. I got to swim in sunscreen everyday and said many prayers for Sister Keith to survive. We had to take many breaks since the heat did not settle very well with her even though I am the redhead. Besides finding [new investigators] we went to the Redlands temple and gave Gary a surprise! 
Every time I go to the temple, I feel my soul be refilled to go out and do His work. Missionary work is draining because we share our testimony with everyone we talk to, we leave part of our soul with them. I needed a refill so that I could handout more for the next 3 months! 
For Gary's surprise, we bought him some fruit herbal tea which made him very emotional. His Birthday isn't until this Tuesday but he really needed a cheer up that day. Plus the only tea he had was full of spices which reminded him of Halloween. Gary is a big teddy bear which makes it so much fun to teach him. He has his interview this Sunday and is all ready for his baptism on August 28!

Sister Ogden

Dallas Letter 8/19/16


Sorry that the email is be late but today is our Pday since we are going to the temple latter on! I AM SO EXCITED! I will try to tell you about last week but it's a blur....
For exchanges I went to Spanish Land in Perris with with Sister Babb. I learned that I could do better in my studies to prepare for my investigators. Sister Babb always finds a scripture for each one of them everyday. I have applied that and there has been two miracles with Gary. Gary loves his coffee and cigarettes but is willing to give that up for Christ. I gave him the two scriptures of 3 Nephi 27:13-14 and Philippians 4:13 which has helped him prepare for his baptism on August 28!
Gary is so elect! Sister Willis and I met Gary on the street right after he suffered two heart attacks. He was so sad and sickly when we first met him that it fills me with joy to see him so happy. I could only imagine how God feels for Gary.  
Then Sister Keith and I had so much fun at one of our dinners last week by playing Pie Face. It is a game where you have to pick a number to decided either you will be hit in the face with whip cream or not. Well I got all the bad luck and got hit with whip cream 6 times in a row. I wish I could send you the video but Sister Keith and I got ab's after laughing so hard.
I just want to end by saying thank you for your love and support! I feel it everyday and I hope you feel mine. Each of you have effected my life and now that effect is helping others in the Riverside Mission. The Davis family keep giving us texts of gratitude which reminds me that I must do the same for you! I love you guys and miss ya! 

Sister Ogden

Dallas Letter 8/8/16

There has been many tender mercies this week besides the baptism. The first one that happened was that we had smores for dessert after one of our dinners this week. I told Sister Keith that I really wanted smores and God answered my small prayer. Then I am grateful that I was able to last 10 months without being sunburned til this past Saturday. The back of my neck and arms are burnt.  At least my face was not. That would have been terrible to go to the baptism all sunburned.

Sister Keith is an amazing missionary! She is from Ottawa, Ontario Canada which she is greatly proud of. She acts like a proud Texan but for Canada. This week was her first time biking in a skirt which is a true accomplishment! Her last area was Hemet Valle Vista which was my first area out on the mission!  
David's baptism was beautiful and like last time, I had to speak on baptism again. I used the 2 Nephi 31:10 to tell David that he is answering the call "Follow thou me". He cried because I told him of the many times he answered the call by:
  • Telling Sister Petersen and I that Irma was home in the evenings.
  • He allowed us to teach his family and let them investigate the Church first.
  • Then surprising Sister Willis and I by joining the lesson on the 10 commandments, Law of Chastity, Word of Wisdom, and Tithing right before the girls baptism.
  •  Accepting the baptismal date of August 7!
  • Then today entering into the waters of baptism! 
We even had one of our investigator's Julio come to David's baptism! Today we received a text from David and I wanted to share it with you. "Good Morning Sisters, I just wanted to thank you all for the amazing job you did yesterday for my baptism. I woke up today in such a great mood. I owe it all to you lovely sisters for knocking on our door. Thank you so much. Brother Davis" (Brother David Davis). I am grateful that I was able to knock on the Davis' door.  Not because it led us to baptisms but because they have changed me for the better.     

Love Ya
Sister Ogden   

Dallas Letter 8/1/16

I first want to announce that today is the start of a new transfer and I am staying here! YES! However Sister Willis is leaving and my new companion is Sister Kieth. All I know is that she is from Canada and that this will be here first time on bike.
This week we were able to do service at the Orange Empire Railway Museum by making a volcanic seed pools. We made piles of dirt into volcanoes and planted seeds in them while making the hole into a pool. Super fun!      
David is all ready for his baptism this Sunday! He has been reading all the pamphlets we have given him so that he could be ready for his interview last week. He is so funny.  He even got to be a missionary at his work because his coworkers spied on him studying and even took the time to read with him. 
This Saturday, I totally felt like a hippie because we taught Gary on the grass by the lake again and I wore a flowery shirt. Then halfway through our lesson on the Plan of Salvation, a random lady joined in our circle with her dog. She interrupted us and  talked about how we need to center our lives on Him and asked me if I would pray for her right now. I did and once I finished the prayer, she left with her dog. Super weird! Gary came to church and loved it even though he left his glasses at home and couldn't read anything.
Spiritual thought of the week was on the Atonement. I love the Atonement and how it gives me the ability to become better. I definitely cannot do missionary work or anything without Christ. I love Elder Holland talk about missionary work and the Atonement which I highly suggest you listen to it. You guys should do it for FHE!

Family Note: We did listen it Elder Holland's and it was amazing!

Love Ya 
Sister Ogden  

Last time with Sister Willis (look like from the 90's)
Davis family door
Transfer Call Treat
Sister Young and I at the service with our volcano 

Dallas Letter 7/25/16

Hello everyone,
To start this week, we had multi-zones. The main theme of the meeting was on faith and how by improving our faith, we improve our service. I loved the training from President Mullen on how to have Faith to Baptize Converts by doing three main steps:

1. Rely on the Lord
      •Pray frequently personally & as companions
      •Ask for the enabling power
2. Exercise faith
      •Ask for help from others
      •Ask for blessings
3. Invite the spirit
      •Seek the Comforter
      •Respond to the promptings
It was also a sad multi-zone because Sister Roberts gave her going home testimony. Between Sister Roberts and the others, I let go a couple of tears. Sister Roberts has truly helped me to start this amazing journey and taught me how to share my testimony with others. I am eternally grateful for her example.
We picked up a new investigator named Gary. He reminds me of Uncle Troy a lot (look at the picture)! It was the most interesting Restoration lesson because we sat in the shade by the one lake in Menifee. It was such a new experience, that had to get a picture of our lesson. 
Then yesterday, the Davis family received the Holy Ghost! All of them wore their white dresses again which was cute. David told us this week "that he was grateful that we knocked on his door" which really hit me hard. As a missionary, I have knocked on many doors to either receive no answer or be told that they are not interested. So to hear him say thank you for something I do everyday was a surprise. It's a good thing I like surprises! 
President Uchtdorf – “Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.”
Sister Ogden

Zone Meeting 

President Mullen

Dallas Letter 7/18/16

This week was full of many blessings but the most important one was the Baptism. Irma, Aleah, Breanna, and Sarah were so beautiful in their white suits and after in their white dresses. I cried with David (the dad) while seeing them baptized. I truly felt the joy mentioned in DC 18: 15-16! I am eternally grateful that God allowed me to meet and teach the Davis family.  As you already know, I had to give the talk on baptism which was scary even though I teach it everyday. I swear that there is something in the microphone that sends fear into to your mind. Next week I will send my talk to you guys.
Love ya
Sister Ogden

Dallas Letter 7/11/16

To put words for this week is super hard but it was one of those week's where everything fell into our laps. We were able to find five investigators and that we were able to get everything ready for the baptisms this Sunday. The Davis family are so excited and asked me to speak at the baptism! It was a testimony builder for me to see them go into their interviews and come out glowing with joy. Once you are willing to change and come unto Christ, the light of Christ will grow more and more within you and shine to others! I have seen the change and I am not the only person that see it. David (the dad) told us that he wants to learn more because he sees the change in his family for the better. I hope that I also am able to shine the Light of Christ to everyone like the Davis family.
(the picture is of me sleeping when I was sick, Sister Willis like to mess with me when I am dead)
Love  ya
Sister Ogden

Dallas Letter 7/5/16

This week has been full of many different adventures. The first adventure was that both Sister Willis and I were in lock down for two days because we were sick. Luckily it was one day for me and not two. We were able to watch a lot of church movies those two days.  My favorite was Praise to the Man. Then the City of Menifee had their fourth of July fireworks and parade early which made it difficult to get anywhere even on bike. We had to walk in part of the parade which some of the members saw us and cheered "Sister Missionaries"! Then yesterday, as a zone we played chair soccer, had a watermelon contest, and we watched again the fireworks. In chair soccer I creamed everyone and even spent some time juggling. I got up to 28!  
The Davis family is progressing so much! They are excited for their baptism on July 17 and they are changing for the better. That is my favorite part of missionary work because I can see the light of Christ coming into their lives more fully. David (Dad of Davis family) is now willing to take the lessons after sitting in the last lesson. The last lesson was on the 10 Commandments with Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, and Tithing/ Fast offerings which the whole family including David committed to live it. This family has been so prepared and I am just lucky that God wants me to be part of this process.

Scripture: Mormon 5:21 "the Lord will remember the prayers of the righteous, which have been put up unto him for them" (them being investigators)

Sister Ogden 

Dallas Letter 6/27/16

Hello everyone,
   Update on Sister Willis! She is from Wyoming and she has been out six months. Yikes, I am the senior companion in age and being in the area. Sister Willis is a nerd like me on books and movies but she is not athletic. So biking with her has been fun. Speaking about bikes my bike thinks it's dying! It's nothing major just my kick stand keeps getting loose and touching my tire. So as of right now I am stand free! 

   The Davis family is doing amazing and they have accepted the baptismal date of July 24 but will soon change it to the 17th. The twins are going to girls camp which will be awesome!   We were able to find three new investigators who are Max, Chris, and Wayne. Max is a 11 year old boy who is part of a really less active family that we are working with. He is excited to be baptized but only in September since his younger brother will turn 8. Oh well, there is a lot of work to be done. Chris and Wayne were a referral from the Spanish Elders. After the lesson they said the we could come back and that the video was "so dope", meaning awesome. I think, based on the comment, that we really have to teach the Word of Wisdom. There is always clues that we as missionaries always seem to find to know how to help people. 

   The main lesson that I have learned this week is that God prepares us for the challenges we face. God does not put us here to fail but to succeed! He has helped me this week to overcome bike problems, changing of dates, and taking over the area. If you are struggling with anything stop and take it to the Lord and He will help.
Love ya

Sister Ogden

Can I just say thank you. The spiritual thought in your email is what I needed. This week has been rough because the Davis family keeps moving their date because of a wedding or that the brother they want to baptize them will be gone. Remember that God loves you and Christ goes before you.  The perfect love of Christ casteth out all fear.  Be bold and fearless and the Lord will bless you.  I need to remember and have faith. Both you and Mom always seem to know what to say to give me strength, comfort, or guidance. I love to see that goatee back even though it was gone for good reason.

Sister Ogden

This are Grahams from Ireland! Super cool Irish dinner with them

Action biking with Sister Willis

Not action for me but for her