Monday, April 25, 2016

4/25/16--Two Months

Well, I have been out for two months now!! I can't believe how fast time is flying by! I need more time!! Anyways this week was a little crazy and we had a lot going on.

The exciting thing was we had a baptism!! Her name is Anguie and she is 16. She is from Honduras. She is super sweet and super kind!! She calls me Tia which is aunt in Spanish. The service was awesome. I played the piano and my companion sang her favorite song as a solo for her. It was super special and amazing!

This week I did a lot of study on humility. I am trying to humble myself and do the Lord's work. I reread the talk by Elder Snow called "Be Thou Humble" from this past general conference. What really stuck out to me was he quoted president Hunter saying "our genuine concern should be the for the success of others". I realized when I am more concerned about helping my investigators and helping my companion, I will learn and grow along side of them. I challenge you guys to looks for ways to help others and in turn I know the Lord will help you learn and grow along side of them! I am grateful for the chance to learn and grow with the people here in New York. I am humbled every time I teach, especially in Spanish. I realize how much I need to rely on the Lord every day and in everything. I love the Lord, He is my Savior. I love this gospel.

I hope y'all have a great week and don't forget the Lord in your life!

Hermana Ashford

Here's a little more from my letter:
So our baptism was way stressful. Baptism days are the most stressful day for the missionaries. We had to figure out the program and find a way to print them. Then for us the lights wouldn't turn on over the font so there were no lights turned on. On top of that I was playing the piano for the service so I was practicing and my companion sang her favorite song while I played the piano. So we were practicing that as well. Also we had weekly planing so we were planing lessons. Let's just say the day was crazy and stressful. However the service went great. Besides the lights and me messing up at the piano the whole thing went great!!

I got them matching shirts and put their names on the back!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

4/19/16--Second Week in the Field

Well I am still alive. This week was very interesting. So I didn't write yesterday because my companion is on a temple trip right now. So we are on exchanges at the mission office jn the city just hanging out. One of the missionary sets got lost trying to get to the mission office. Because we were not going to the temple we had to go meet up with them to bring the one on the set not going to the temple back to the office with us. It is kinda of confusing. She wanted us to get on the subway to be able to come meet up with her but we didn't know if we could.

We finally got permission and bought a one way ticket to get on the subway. Then we hoped on the train to go and find them. Once we found them we got off and the ones going to the temple jumped on. Then we headed back to the mission office. It was a big adventure. I am absolutely loving the mission and enjoying the work. I love the Lord and my Savior so much!! I love this church with all my heart!!! I love you guys!!

It was our investigators birthday so we baked the cake my mom send us and gave it to her for her birthday. We surprised her by going over. She said it was the first time she had a surprise anything in her life. It was so cute. Here is the picture from that.

Questions I asked;
Do you have anyone you are teaching?

We have four people with baptism dates. But they have all the lessons taught to them actually one of them gets baptized on Thursday!!! We are trying to find some more people to listen to us right now. We also work a lot with the less actives to get them to church.

Do members feed you?

yes some members feed us. We get fed periodically. If we have a lesson around meal time just expect them to feed whether lunch or dinner. Plus it is the Latino culture to always give you something before you leave. We mainly get water bottles so we usually have like three or four water bottles each in the car everyday. As soon as you finish one you see another member or other person and they give you a water bottle. We also get fruit sometimes or some other snack kind of food. The food we are feed is super good. Most of the people in this area are from Honduras, Dominican Republic, or El Salvador. The food they make is sooooo good.

Monday, April 11, 2016

4/11/16--First Week in New York

Well I am alive and well. I have made it through my first week in the field. I have to say at first it was a little over-whelming. There was a lot to learn and such little time but what I learned was that is a feeling I will have for this entire mission especially since it will be in Spanish.

However I love it here so much. First off I have carpet, a nice apartment and no bad smells everywhere. (Compared to the MTC). Second, because I just love these people already so much.

So I have a new companion who is awesome and is amazing!! Her name is Hermana Williams. She is from Utah Oregon and Florida. She claims Florida though. She is 19 and the most amazing person ever!! I love her so much. As well she has helped me so much with getting used to the mission and life here. She has helped me with my Spanish. I am so excited for the time I will have with her.

Well conference was awesome!! I think is the first time I didn't fall asleep watching conference. I really tried doing what president Erying encouraged us to do by praying before all the talks for me, the speaker, and everyone listening. I missed a few talks but overall it really helped me stay focused on learning something and giving my love and faith to the talk. I love all of the talks but I think the one that stuck the most with me is Elder Hollands talk because he talked about not being afraid of tomorrows. My district at the CCM all looked at each other and cried because we were all afraid of the tomorrow and leaving each other. We weren't ready for the tomorrow and saying goodbye. The same goes right now. Sometimes I get afraid of tomorrow and am not prepared for what awaits me the next day you never know until it comes. I feel like now I am not as afraid of tomorrow.

Well now I am here in New York. The mission president (President Reynolds) and his wife are the cutest!! Also they are super nice!! I love them so much already!!

I am serving in a branch in Brentwood. We cover most of the area because we are looking for the Spanish speakers. We cover like three or four small towns. We have a car so that we can get to all of the areas. So far I am doing alright. I haven't done terrible bad yet. We have knocked quite of few doors and talked to quite a few people. I really need to work on Spanish. I thought it was going to be ok because I might have been able to understand them when they talk to me but hahaha nope. I don't talk that much and kinda keep quiet during lessons. Sometimes. I am getting better at saying something during the lesson.

Here is my testimony for you guys in Spanish. I will give it it first in English for you English folks. I have a simple testimony. But I am very excited to be here in New York and to serve a mission for God. I know that God sent me here to New York for a reason. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father and he has a lot of love for all of the people, his children. I know that Jesus Christ is the son of God and atoned for our sins. I know that through Jesus Christ we can live with our families forever.

Mi testimonio Es..... Tengo un simple testimonio. Perro soy muy emocionada estoy en Nueve York también servicio una misión para Dios. Yo sé que Dios envió me a Nueve York por un razón. Yo sé que Dios es nuestras amoroso

Padre Celestial y él tiene muchísimo amor por todos personas, su hijos. Yo sé que Jesu Cristo es un hijo de Dios y expiada por nuestros pecados. Yo sé que por medio de Jesu Cristo nosotros podemos vivir con nuestras familias para siempre.

I miss y'all so much!!!! I hope you guys have a great week and enjoy your adventures. ¡Les quiero!

Mucho amor,

Hermana Ashford

Monday, April 4, 2016

Headed to New York

Today Kelsey left the MTC in Mexico City and flew to Atlanta and then to New York to really start her adventure as a missionary.

While in the Atlanta airport she found a guy wearing a BYU-Idaho shirt. She started talking to him and he asked if she wanted to use his phone to call home. The other missionaries were doing the same thing.

I was just boarding a plane in Salt Lake to come home. Crazy front of me in line was a man who we started talking to. His niece had just returned from the same mission, where Kelsey is headed, and a girl in the family that he home teaches just got called to the same mission. The man in front of this man turned around and told us that he was just released last July as the mission president from that way!! Heavenly Father is amazing!! He said it was the best mission because it is so small in distance and all the missionaries see each other often and get to know each other and become great friends. I told the men that I was waiting for a call from her but I didn't think it was going to happen.

Right as I sat in my seat my phone rang. Perfect timing!! So we talking for 10 minutes while the plane was boarding. It was so fun! When the plane landed I had these pictures from the guy who let Kelsey use his phone!! THANK YOU BYU-IDAHO guy!! You made this momma so happy!!!

3/30/16--Almost Done

Well last week in the CCM. I have loved it here!! I have learned so much about myself and Spanish and the gospel and I love it!!! I have enjoyed every second of working and practicing. I love the language so much. Sometimes it is hard to speak it because I still have to translate and work the sentence out in my head. We have gotten better at speaking it. This week I am going to talk about some funny stories that keep us moving forward.

Sunday in the morning, because it was Easter, we watched a broadcast from Provo and had a devotional by Elder Ballard. He talked on the Savior and His role in our lives. Then, in the afternoon, we watched a prerecorded devotional from Provo from a couple years ago by Elder Scott. Now the funny part is his opening remarks were, "I think I died and went to Heaven". For those of you who may not know, he passed away at the end of last year. Now when he made this comment we didn't know if we should laugh or not. Finally one person laughed and then we all did. It was such an ironic comment and funny it was great. Then he went on to give a fantastic talk about the power of prayer.

Monday this week we went outside to work on some Spanish, We like to go outside to practice grammar stuff because we get sick of the classroom. Anyways, one of the Elders was trying to talk to bird. Then our teacher looked at him and told in Spanish that the bird doesn't speak English it is a Mexican bird. It was so funny!! We laughed for a good five minutes about it. He then tried yelling at it in Spanish.

My last funny story for the day has to do with me. So every Tuesday is devotional night. They try to get the people who are leaving the next week to lead the music, play the piano, or say a prayer. I offered to lead the music, something I am good at, right. Well, the closing song was "Onward Christian Soldiers" in Spanish. We started the song going well. We hit the chorus and the Latinos took off singing so fast!! It was crazy!! Like they were going too fast not holding out any of the longer notes. The pianist and I tried to slow them down but no one was listening or watching. It was so bad!! I was so embarrassed. Afterwards of the people in the CCM presidency came up to us and said that was crazy and that we did a great job. Then my district leader said jokingly that I was a disgrace and a dishonor to the district!! It was so funny!! I couldn't breathe I was laughing so hard!! Anyways my companion said it was the funniest thing that happened this past 6 weeks because I didn't know what to do and everyone was singing to fast in a language I am still learning. Anyways, it was an adventure I will never forget!!

I hope you all have a good week and enjoy my funny moments!! I love you all!!

Hermana Ashford