Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mother's Day

Hello one and all!!

This week was a pretty good week! We were trying really hard to knock more doors this week because we have so many referrals that sometimes we forget to knock doors. However this week we improved.

Monday was preparation day and we went shopping. The rest of the day was spent emailing home and enjoying hearing from my family. Then we had a family home evening with of the members. We played red rover. We related that to our family history and how the line can be broken when a person doesn't know of the gospel and we need to go the family history work for them. We talked about temples and how we can do the work for them in the temples. Then we were taking the member home who had come with us to the lesson. On way to her house Erika, the less active, texted. So I felt prompted to go and visit her. So I told my companion once we dropped off the member. Not surprisingly the member lived a street over from Erika. I know God put us there so we could go and talk to her. So we went to her house and surprised them. We gave them a short lesson on prayers and the blessings of prayers. Then went home for the night.

Tuesday we had a bunch of appointments but most of them fell through so we spent most of the day knocking doors and trying to find anyone who would listen to us. We did have dinner at a members home that night. She made us a small meal and we gave a short lesson on the Spirit. The cool thing about Tuesday was because we were knocking so many doors we started making our prayers specific. We would decide how many people we wanted to talk to and we would ask in our prayer for the opportunity to talk to that many people. It was cool to see the Lord help us. One of the times we prayed to talk to 3 people and we found three people to talk to. Then we found another two people after that. The Lord really blessed us when we were specific on our prayers.

Wednesday was another slow day. We knocked quite a few doors. The exciting part was the rain coming down on us so hard. We had decided to find a referral so we knocked the door and the referral wasn't there. However the person who answered the door said she was a member and had moved to the states about a year ago from Ecuador but didn't know where the church was so hasn't gone. So cool to see how God guided us right to her. We hope to work with her more. At the same time we were talking to her it started to rain really hard. We went to knock doors in this pouring rain. It was coming down hard!! We were so wet and nobody let us in, probably because we looked awful. Later that night on our way home Hermana Williams decided to have a companionship interview with the cars Tiwi (which is a device that makes sure we don't speed or drive recklessly). Tiwi likes to tell her to check her speed more often than not. So she had an interview with him and expressed her feelings on how she didn't like how he was treating her. The only thing is I wish I had recorded it.

Thursday we had a lesson with a referral we had. We committed her to baptism so next month hopefully we will have a couple baptisms. Then we had a zone training. President Reynolds asked them to teach us this new prime time find in a way to find new investigators. Then we had a good lesson on the Atonement alongside being missionaries. It put a new twist on missionary life and I am excited to work harder and better. Then we had weekly planning. Then we had a lesson and our recent convert Anguie came with us as a member present. We are working with her to come out with us often which is exciting because she is so cute! Then we did our prime time find and got some more potential investigators.

Friday was a simple day. We finished up our weekly planning and some other things. Then we went home and made some dessert for our ward activity. Then we went to the church. I meet the senior couple who were going to conduct the fireside. They are from TEXAS!!!! I met Texans!! We talked Texas for the next 20 minutes. My companion thought we were crazy!! Plus she asked them some of the Texas facts I told her to make sure I wasn't crazy! Anyways then we had the ward activity which was family history. The less actives Caitlin and Lindsey were there. It was cool to see Caitlin so excited to do her family history work! She was all into it! She has been soaking up the gospel ever sense she got her hands back on it. She loves everything about the gospel and it makes me have a deeper gratitude and love for the blessings the gospel gives me and my family.

Saturday we had service in the morning on Fire Island. We were moving grass from the open area to a fenced off area for a  endangered species of bird. I didn't get to see any of the birds but it was so much funto be in the sand and by the waves. Oh how my companion wanted to go swimming. It was so much fun! Then we had a couple different lessons. I did some of the Mom's hair in our ward because we had a Mother's Day activity that night. The priesthood hosted a Mother's Day activity for the moms. They decorated the gym so well! They had tables set up with red table cloth and the chairs had chair covers on them. There was a dance floor. They did a get to know you game and a game for the moms. The youth and then the primary sang for them and gave their moms flowers. Then the priesthood served everyone food. Which by the way was so good!! Then we had a dance. Well the Hispanic kind of dance. It was so much fun to dance and laugh with our investigators and less actives. We had so many less actives and investigators there it was great!!

Sunday was Mother's Day as y'all know. We only had church for an hour because apparently most of the ward in the past would only go for one hour then go home to celebrate Mother's Day. So bishop just said we will make it only an hour to save everyone the trouble. Then we went to a members house to try and talk to her cousin who is an investigator. However we spent most of the hour and a half waiting for her because she was busy. So we finally left so we could go to the church and skype our families!! Oh it was so good to hear and see my family!! We had a great time talking and laughing and having fun!! I just love my family. Then we had dinner at a less actives house. She always makes good food!! It was so cute Hermana Williams asked if she had any good news for us and she got all excited! She graduated from high school last week!! Mind you she is a grandma!! It was so cute to see how excited she was and the new possibilities she has open for her. We are so excited for her!!

Well yesterday for my studies I read a talk from the Liahona. It was called "Come What May and Love it!" He says, "As we look for humor, seek for the eternal perspective, understand the principle of compensation, and draw near to our Heavenly Father, we can endure hardship and trial. We can say, as did my mother, “Come what may, and love it.”" I know from my life and here on a mission when we do these things we truly can find so much more good in our lives. I know that when we look for the positive and the good in everyday we will find more blessings everyday that God has given us!! I love this gospel and my Heavenly Father! I know my Savior lives and that he loves each and everyone of us!! I love y'all and I hope y'all have a good week!

Hermana Ashford

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Week of Wonders

Monday we played soccer with a less active named Yanci. She from El Salvador and she teaches soccer to kids. She watched conference and it really hit her hard that she needs to be coming back to church so she is really trying to spend time with us and learn from us. So we played soccer with her, the elders and another less active named Chelsea. I don't know much about her we haven't worked that much with her.

Anyways the game was fun. I fell a couple times because I can't play soccer. I have a bruise and scratches on my leg now but I am good. Then, we had family home evening with the Artola family which is the family of the girl who got baptized last week. Her whole family is members. They became members a few years ago but the girl Anguie was still living in Honduras with her grandma so when she came to America everything was different. Her family wanted to join the church. It took some time for her to come around to the idea of the church. But now she is baptized. So we did a three legged race thing but all four kids were tied together. They had to work together to walk across the lawn. We were trying teach them to work together so that they can work together to prepare for the temple to be sealed together forever. The lesson went alright.

Then we went to a members home the Fuentes. Hermana Fuentes invited her cousin to start taking the lessons. She is accepting them quite well. Her husband was in on the lesson as well. We taught the plan of salvation. They accepted i--well he did sometimes give bible scriptures talking the opposite of us. Luckily we had the Fuentes present to help us.

Tuesday for lunch you would be proud I made tutor tot casserole!! I used chicken instead of pork chops but it still turned out pretty good! We had district meeting which was fun. Then we drove to fire island to try and find an investigator but it turns out they gave us the wrong address so we don't know where they live. Anyways so we went over these bridges to no mans land. We saw waves and sand and beach it was awesome. Well we ended up going to some federal reserves and trying to go somewhere we shouldn't. So we turned around and headed back to the island and gave up. Then we looked up some different people but no one answered the doors. We did some more knocking on referrals doors after dinner but no one answered any of them. Then we knocked a couple doors around our investigators house. We then had a lesson with our investigators Mynor and Lourdes. We talked about family history and had them start their pedigree chart in a pamphlet. Although there was tension in the air and the spirit told both us to change the topic. The power behind the spirit to guide to say theright things to help them with their challenges. The spirit was so strong I was so amazed at how it was guiding us. It was the most I felt the spirit being here in the field. After the lesson we went home.

Wednesday we had training at the mission office. We got a ride from Hermana Spencer and her companion from the area over from us. We took our hour drive to the city for training. It was so good to see everyone from the CMM from my district. We all about cried seeing everyone. First we had a spiritual lesson by president Reynolds and the assists to the president. They were really good and I personally learned so much I need to do. Then we had lunch and we had the chance to talk as a district. We didn't get a picture of all of us but I do have some of the girls. Anyways then we had some health training and some car safety training. Some more training for the mission.

I got a package from my mom!!! Thank you so much for everything!! My companion loves everything you send her!! Then we headed back to our area to get to work. We hit traffic so it took longer than normal. Which isactually normal here in New York. We then had a lesson with a less-active family. The mom talked to us a couple weeks ago saying she wants her daughters to go to church more. So we started teaching them the lessons and inviting them to all the activities. They have come to most of them. Their names are Erika, Caitlin, and Lindsey. They are super fun and nice. We get to work with them half English and the other half Spanish. They all speak both. The daughter prefers English but the mom grew up going to a Spanish ward in queens so she knows allthe churchy words in Spanish. So it ends up being this half and half thing. Then we went to Yanci's house again. We were supposed to make a cake for a members birthday but something happened and we couldn't. So she ended up feeding us and we gave her a short lesson.

Thursday we had our weekly planing. Which usually takes up most of the afternoon. Then we did some knocking but no really has been answering the door this week. So it ended up being mostly looking for anyone to talk to us. Then we had a lesson that night with our investigators Lourdes and Mynor. They are improving and progressing.

The problem they have seems to be going away. You can still tell it is there but they are working together and better. It was a member present lesson and the bishop's wife came with us. She is always a big help because they are like best friends so they seem to open up more when she is around.

Friday we had exchanges!! Super exciting and I learned so much!! So we went to Plainview which is where the sister training leaders are. When we first got there we had lunch with them. Then we went to a 94 year old lady's house. I think she is a member but I am not quite sure about that one. We sang her some hymns and talked with her and her son. It reminded me of seating around grandma singing and laughing and having a good time. It was a neat experience. It is funny Elder Brown my district leader from the CCM is in my district so I see him all thetime. I saw him at this thing and we talked about how the past two days were. Anyways then I went out with one of the sister training leaders and Hermana Williams went out with the other one. I went out with Sister Robinson first. She is super nice and super sweet. They cover the YSA wars in our stake so we were mainly trying to find young single adults. I learned a lot from her. Plus whenever we meet Spanish speakers only I could talk because she doesn't know Spanish. It helped me become a little more confident in speaking Spanish. Interesting thing was when we went to go home for dinner we were going down a street and there was this parked car and a guy standing outside of it with his door open. All of the sudden his pants were on the ground and he was only in his underwear because he was changing his pants in the middle of the street. Sister Robinson and I were in shock!!

Then we went back to their place and had dinner. After dinner I went out with the other one Sister Urizar. She is from Guatemala. So she speaks Spanish fluently but she has been learning English here on the mission. Apparently everyone thinks I have really good Spanish. Also everyone has told her this. So the first thing she tells me is to speak Spanish because she wants to hear for herself how could my Spanish is. She quite impressed. So I am kinda known in our zone as the one with really good Spanish. I don't know how only the Lord has helped me. Anyways she also wanted me to teach her how to French braid. I am known for my hairstyles as well.

Saturday we got up to go to a blood drive. Hermana Williams was going to donate but her iron was too low so we left. Then we went home and started looking for referrals. We knocked one door and they weren't home. There was a boy in the yard nextdoor. So we went over and talked to him. We asked if anyone in his family would be interested in learning about Jesus. He said his Grandma would be. So he went and got his grandma for us to talk to. We started talking with her and teaching the restoration. First off it was really hard to keep her focused but then we got to the first vision. She got all excited and told us she has a question for but first she had to get some lettuce from inside. So she goes inside and gets this small piece of lettuce. She backs out and shows it to us. On it looks like there is a cross on a hill she then asked is what does it mean. So it looked like an old piece of lettuce and you know how it turns brown the older it gets well the old part looked like a cross on a hill. We tried just saying it was so great so good recognize God in her life and moving on. It took us a while before we could leave.

Finally we left and knocked some more doors. We had a couple of lessons one which looks like they will be progressing but they are kids of a members sister. Right now they want to be baptized but the mom won't let them. So after all these lessons we get in the car and Hermana Williams looks at me and says oh no my zipper looks like I am getting too fat for my clothes. It was pretty funny. It took a while to get her out of the skirt. Then wevisited a less active. Then we went to the young women's fundraiser for girls camp.

They had a dinner and auction. It went extremely well. Apparently one of the young women's leader owns an Elmo, Easter bunny, Minnie Mouse, and Mickey Mouse costume. So Hermana Williams, our recent convert Anguie, our less active Lindsey, and I dressed up as these characters and danced around and tried to get the kids to dance with us. It was super hot but super fun!!! You will have to guess which one I am!!

Sunday was amazing we had an investigator randomly show up. So her name is Kelly and she has two kids. Hermana Williams and her old companion had found them and started working with them. The kids had come once then they stopped coming. We don't know why but we recently tried talking to them again. We tried visiting them a couple different times this week. The mom Kelly didn't have work so she decided to come to church to surprise us. We were so happy to see her. It was the first time she had come to church. She loved it. Also I had gotten a slip to pay fast offering and she asked what it was for so we explained tithing and fast offerings and she said she wanted to pay tithing. She did!! She paid some tithing and she isn't a member or even have a baptism date. We hope to work with her more. Then we went to a members house to have dinner forgetting we had dinner with a different member. So we had two dinners. Let's just say I am still full from it.

Today has been a good day so far we went and cleaned our clothes. Then we went to old navy because sister Williams wanted more clothes to make her feel better. I got a skirt and top that are matching so I can wear them together as a dress or separate. It is awesome!! Then to target to get some food!! That is my week!!

This week I have been studying on many different things. But today I studied on repentance. I like this verse in Moroni 7:33-34: And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me. And he hath said: Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved.

I have been relying a lot on this power I receive when I repent and feel the burden lifted off of me! I love my savior and I am grateful he atoned for my sins and I have the chance to live with my family forever. I love this gospel so much!! Have a great week!!

I love you all!Love, Sister Ashford