I Love You. #alwaysforever #sodoesGod

Hi there ho there,

You know how everyone says it’s really hard to leave your mission? I think I’m starting to feel that a little bit. Goodbyes are the worst! But remember how I served in Colorado and it’s going to be the easiest thing in the world to come back and see everybody? Tender mercies.

Here are a few things I’ve learned:

1. The Atonement is real; it works for everybody and for everything.
2. The Priesthood is real. Therefore, marrying someone who holds the Priesthood is a priority.
3. Everyone makes mistakes. We’re all just riding this train together, so let’s help each other out along the way.
4. Families matter, and I want one.
5. Love is the essence of the Gospel.

Here are a few things I will miss:

1. The people, duh.
2. Sister Rod. And having a companion generally. I’m afraid to be alone! Nobody leave me alone when I get home.
3. Colorado skies. They are unrivaled.
4. Mission cars. Just kidding.
5. Colorado paraphernalia everywhere you look. This state has more pride than anywhere I’ve ever been in my life. And you guys know how much I value loyalty. So I like it a lot.
6. Everything about this place. I just love it here! I’m coming back. Mark my words.

Ah man. The church is true, everybody.

See you in like, two seconds.

I love you. #alwaysforever #sodoesGod

Sister Joslin

One More Week!

Hello to all of Sister Joslin’s blog readers. Sister Jen Joslin will return home from her mission one week from today! On Feb. 11th she will arrive at the Reno airport at 4:54 pm. Please come and welcome her home! She would love to see you all there! Please email Karen at kkcrdh@aol.com or message me on Facebook if you need more information. Thank you all for your support during her mission! What wonderful friends and family we have!

The Devil Made Me Do It

If there is one thing that my mission has made me love, it’s families. And kids. Especially when kids say funny things. Like when we were teaching 9-year-old Kodyn about the Priesthood. BroStratt said, “Kodyn, when a policeman pulls you over, who gives them the authority to do that?” Kodyn replied, “The Devil.” He’s probably right. This is even more appropriate because the mission office just called me like, 10 minutes ago, and told me I got a ticket. (Because they’re too cowardly to pull you over in Littelton, so they just take pictures of you and send you a bill in the mail). Anyway, sorry Mom. It was the Devil.
But seriously, families, friends, that’s what it’s all about. Life is all about human relationships. The Gospel is all about love! One of our friends here was talking about a quote that he saw once that said something along the lines of “My heart has been collecting friends for years. I’ve been keeping them close, and they keep me safe.” I think I butchered that, but you get the idea. And that’s how I feel! Everyone here in Denver, all my homies in Grand Junction, everyone back home, all of you! I just love everybody!
I love serving with my best friend! Sister Rod and I laugh more than I ever have in my life. We’re just happy, and we just laugh, and it feels so good. We laugh with each other, we laugh with our hilarious friends in the Cornerstone Park ward, we laugh with the people we teach. I love it.
Last Monday was one of the most light-hearted days of my life. We went on a walk along the canal, played in the Sabey’s backyard – including building a fire in their fire pit and jumping on the tramp. I did one of those things where you land on your knees and then do a little front-flip, which I know isn’t all that impressive but it was a big step for me! Conquering fears here.
Anyway, this has been a jumbled mess. I guess the point I’m trying to make is, hold your people close, because they matter the most. I love my people. I love you all. I’ll see you in like, two minutes.
Love,
Sister Joslin
with the Marshalls Justin and Kristin and kids

Best-Worst Day

Yesterday was the best-worst day of my mission/ life.

I’ll just kind of gloss over the worst part.
Loooong story short, someone in our ward said some really mean things about us and to us. We had a conversation in the hallway at church yesterday that just ended terribly. I think I’m in danger of some ptsd. I’m just kidding. Well, sort of. But it was bad, and as soon as I walked away from him I just started sobbing. So Sister Rod and I spent the next two hours hysterically crying.
And now, I’m going to dig really deep into the best part. So buckle up.
This one goes out to the Strattons, the Sabeys, Kristin and Justin Marshall, Janelle and Matt Marshall, the Wynders, the Sigafi, Sister Hicks, Sister Justus, Sister Hover, Sister Hopkins, Sister Formisano, Brother Engle, and Bishop Snow. All of whom played a role in mending my broken heart and confirming my testimony of the Gospel.
I’ll use a numbered list to illustrate how all of the following people helped us out.
1. After the incident, we decided to go into Sister Sabey’s Sunday School class, which is all about handling stress. We walked in and were an absolute mess. Sister Sabey gave us a big hug, and Sister Stratton and Sister Hicks just held us in their arms and gave us tissues. Sister Justus gave us big hugs at the end of class and said the kindest things.
2. After class, Sister Sabey took us outside to talk about what had happened. While she was offering condolences, Kristin Marshall walked out of the building, surrounded by a halo of angelic light. She had heard the whole conversation in the hallway and had been looking for us to console us. Then Sister Sabey and Sister Marshall just took a walk with us around the building.
3. We finally went into relief society, where Sister Hover, Sister Hopkins, and Sister Formisano gave us hugs and expressed indignation on our behalf.
4. After church we went home, where the Sabeys fed us a delicious lunch and told us endearing stories about their family.
5. Then we went to Janelle and Matt Marshall’s house. She fed us cookies, he told us how annoyed he was about what happened, and their kids gave us the best hugs in the world. Then we just sat outside for awhile while their kids played and soaked up the sunshine.
6. Next we went to the Wynders, where she cried in our behalf, he told us to disregard everything the man had said to us, and then we all laughed hysterically about completely inappropriate things.
7. After the Wynders we had dinner with Kristin and Justin Marshall, our knights in shining armor. They weren’t signed up to feed us, but on Saturday, Justin woke up and knew we’d need them on Sunday, so they had plenty of food for us, and were ready for us to come. They fed us a delicious dinner, their cute girls gave us hugs, and they offered the perfect advice.
8. While we were at the Marshalls, Brother Stratton called. He told us that he had informed the bishop and high council about what had happened, and a member of the high council, Brother Engle, had gone over to this man’s house and asked him to apologize to us. Brother Stratton coached us through the whole situation, and gave us the most fatherly advice.
9. So the guy called to apologize, and while we were on the phone, Kristin Marshall was sitting next to us, ready to coach us on things to say.
10. We rounded off the night at the Sigafi, who offered us chocolate cake that we just couldn’t eat (we’d spent most of the day eating our feelings), and offered us true love and friendship.
So if you had asked me at about 11 am on Sunday, I would have told you it was the worst day of my mission. But if you had followed up with me at 9 pm, I would have told you it was the best day. The essence of the Gospel is love. Ask anyone. Ask Thomas S. Monson. Ask me. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so loved as I did yesterday. Heavenly Father knew we were going to be hit with some opposition, but he gave us the most beautiful people to help us through. He also inspired the bishopric to assign all of our sacrament speakers the topic of forgiveness yesterday. He just knew, ya know?
As another point of interest, I have never wanted to be married with kids as much as I did yesterday. All of those families just made up the perfect blend of love, and I just want to be and have a source of love like that someday. So, maybe my time will come.
And that’s (finally) all I’ve got to say about that.
I love you #alwaysforever #sodoesGod
Sister Joslin

Fantastic Mr. Fox

This week was definitely our week. As evidenced by the fox that we saw in our neighborhood the other night. A true life fox. It was beautiful. I couldn’t help but stop the car in the middle of the road and call out to my new friend. You know that moment at the end of Fantastic Mr. Fox, where Mr. Fox is riding the motorcycle, and sees a wolf from afar, so he stops the motorcycle, calls out to the wolf, and they each pump their fists into the air? It was a lot like that.
The next night, if you can believe it, I saw a shiba inu named June Bug. So that just confirmed for me that this really was our week.
If there was any doubt after those two instances that this was our week, it was eliminated when I wore my Hawaiian shirt with starfish earrings. That just felt good.
And then we went on a bike ride for p-day, and things just kept getting better.
And today we’re going tracting on bikes, so I just know the goodness of last week is going to carry over into this week.
Here’s a spiritual story for you, in case you’re still questioning how good last week was.
We had zone conference on Thursday, so all of the sisters in our zone put together a musical number. We met on Tuesday and came up with a medley of hymns that we felt pretty decent about. Then we met on Wednesday to polish things up, and we invited our zone leaders to give us feedback. We showed them what we had, and it just felt a little anticlimactic. Things weren’t really fitting together. So we prayed for inspiration, and ended up changing the entire thing. The new edition was made up entirely of primary songs, and the progression of it sort of represented the Plan of Salvation. I haven’t felt the Spirit so strongly in awhile. It was pretty powerful.
Meanwhile, there was a group using the church’s gym for a volunteer program. We decided it would be nice to get some unbiased feedback, so we invited three of the volunteers to come listen. These were the three coolest high school boys I’ve ever met. And they looked like One Direction, which really played in their favor. None of them were members, but they came into the chapel, listened intently, and roared with applause when it was over (which was the most endearing thing in the world). Anyway, we ended up teaching them the first lesson, and they will now be meeting with missionaries in their respective areas.
And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Love you. #alwaysforever #sodoesGod
Sister Joslin
Yeah, it’s a thing…
 Matching X 2
Elder Brown from Idaho…he was in the MTC with us…we love him!
JA, Elder, JenLunch

Elder Bednar Had Me In Stitches:)

The two funniest people I have ever seen live: Jerry Seinfeld (we saw him, right Ma? I’m not making that up?), and David A. Bednar, Apostle of the Lord. I am not kidding. That man had me in stitches. Elder Bednar stopped off in Denver to instruct the DenCoSo and DenCoNo missions. He was engaging, inspiring, instructive – everything you’d hope for in a General Authority.

Also, here’s a piece of big news. We got to see J.R.!!!!!! We couldn’t stop talking about it, for days leading up to the event. We got a picture, but I look gross. But you can see it, I guess.

Here’s the other really positive thing that happened to me this week: Sister Caisey’s companion went home for medical reasons (not positive), so we got to kick it in a trio for a few days (positive), and I got to go to Clement Park for church yesterday (extremely positive)!!!! I love love love love love that place with my whole heart and soul. Literally every single person in that ward is a saint, ready to be translated.

Life is good. I’m still serving with Sister Rod, we have still matched every single Sunday for three transfers, people still think it’s cool. And that’s what really matters to me.

OneLove.

Sister Joslin

It Is Not My Time To Die

I had two things in mind to write about this week. Let’s see if anything else comes up along the way.

 FIRST. It is not my time to die. You know how I know? Because by all accounts and purposes I feel like I should have died on the way to Vail this week. Maybe that’s a little dramatic, but here’s what happened:
We left for a meeting in Vail at 5:30 AM on Friday. We rolled up to our meeting spot in our Toyota Corolla – full tank, brand new windshield wipers, ready to caravan over with a whole bunch of elders. While we were waiting to take off, some elders came up to our car and asked us to drive one of their Subarus. Now I’m all about the Sub, and those things can definitely handle the snow, but I was hesitant to drive someone else’s car. For good reason.
As soon as we made it to the foothills, getting ready to make our way onto the pass, things started getting rough. The roads were wet. So so wet. And it was dark. So so dark. The headlights? Not great. The windshield wipers? Far worse. I literally could not see anything. There was so much mud splashing on the windshield and I just could not get it off. I feared exceedingly and prayed fervently. I guess it worked out alright, because we’re still here. And as a point of interest, our drive home took literally twice as long as it normally does. Stop and go traffic the entire way. So it was a long day. But HF took care of us.
SECOND. I have a new purpose in life.
And I think someone will probably write a mystery novel about it one day.
The other day we were at King Soopers. While looking for my debit card, I found a key in my wallet. I have literally no idea where this key came from, or what it goes to, but I think the only thing to do is to dedicate my life to finding the door that this key will open.
THIRD. (A new one cropped up) This is actually the product of an old conversation that I’ve been meaning to write about but just haven’t gotten around to.
So you know how when we talk about sin, we sometimes describe it this way: “If you feel farther away from Heavenly Father, who moved? Not Him, He will never move away from us, we’re the ones putting distance between us.”
True, and beneficial for teaching certain points. But Sister Rod and I were having a conversation about this with some members that we love, a family called the Sigafi (pural of Sigafus), and we came to the conclusion that this imagery can be detrimental. It makes us feel that if we’ve been making mistakes, we’ve been putting distance between us and Heavenly Father. Then, if we decide to turn back, we might have a long way to walk before we’re close again. But I think the truth is, even if we’re walking away from Heavenly Father, He’s still close to us. Maybe He follows us. All I know is, the very second we take a step in the right direction: i.e., towards Him, He’s right there. Like, right there. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
OneLove.
Sister Joslin

4 sisters burr

Cool Things

A few cool things happened this week:
1. I got to meet my niece. Via Google Hangout. Her name is Ellen.
2. We had a Christmas Eve Eve party with one of our favorite families – the Wynders. Their home is very Anthropology-esque, which makes it really easy to feel the Spirit there.
3. I got sick and lost 10 lbs.
4. Our investigators, Lynn, Rylee (12), and Kenna (10), gave us the best Christmas gifts of our lives. Rylee and Kenna painted us pictures of our favorite animals. I will have them hanging in my house for the rest of my life.
5. Tristan came to church. He is the coolest kid I’ve ever met in my life. He’ll be the President of the United States one day. And he looked great in a suit and tie.
6. People generally were just downright kind to us. We have some good people around here.
OneLove.
Sister Joslin
 fox paintings
mustache group mustaches

Peace and Blessings

This week we had Sisters Conference, for which we made ornaments and wrote notes for President and Sister Murdock. Sister Murdock’s mom passed away this week, so we all sort of leapt into action. We went over to deliver the ornaments and the notes just before Sister Murdock flew to Utah for the funeral, and then we all commenced taking over Sister Murdock’s role in putting together their annual Christmas open house. We ran errands, cooked, cleaned, etc. It was nice being able to do something for the Murdocks. They do so much for us. Turns out service really is a great way to feel the Spirit.

Throughout this whole process, however, I came down with a bad cold. I guess that’s alright, considering I really haven’t been sick my entire mission, but it still wasn’t/ isn’t my favorite thing.

Christmas is this week. I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas season, filled with the joy of our Savior’s birth and His incredible gift.

If there’s one thing I know, it’s that life is all about change. Hopefully change for the better. Only change for the better is really tough when we’re on our own. Like, really, really, tough. But Jesus Christ came to the earth so that we could be saved by Grace and changed by Grace. And that’s the Gospel for you.

Peace and blessings. Merry Christmas.

Sister Joslin

Best Moment Contender

This Saturday we had a contender for the best moment of my entire life.
The setting: Ward Christmas Breakfast.
The players: Janelle Marshall, her angelic mother, and our dear families back home.
The scenario: Breakfast had just wrapped up; the kids had completed the nativity; and it was time to meet Santa. Sis Rod and I were just going to get some OJ, when Janelle came up to us and said, “You have to get a picture with Santa!” So she took our cameras and encouraged us to go join the kiddos in line.
As we approached Santa Claus (Brother Merrill), I noticed a couple of presents behind his chair, including a stocking that looked a lot like my own. Sister Rod and I joked that it must have been Brother Merrill that broke into the mission office and stole all of the missionaries’ Christmas presents (because that really happened). But really we just figured they were a couple of props.
Finally, our turn came to take a picture with Santa. We saw Janelle standing front and center, smiling and waving and ready with camera in hand. We knelt down and smiled, and were a little confused when Brother Whetton got on stage
and in our picture. Before we knew it, he was handing us the presents from behind Santa’s chair. Turns out, it really was my stocking.
I have literally never felt more surprised and more loved.
Here’s how it happened: Janelle’s mom still lives in Reno, but came out to Denver for a baptism. Before she left, she got in touch with our moms, and offered to bring a couple of surprises for us.
There are so many good people in the world. I just happen to have a disproportionate percentage of them in my life.
Love you all. Happy Christmas.
Sis Jos
Santa surprise…
with Santasurprise gifts
Christmas card photo shoot…
PJ's
antlers
PJ's 3
PJ's 4
 Merry Christmas Everyone!