Monday, August 29, 2016

Faith 8/29/16

This week was a slightly crazy week. We had a couple different things going on. I think the funniest moment was when we were on exchanges we were knocking doors. One guy answered the door and said he belonged to a realistic church. He said he doesn't believe in fantasy but only realism nothing fake. So we turned around and walked away. As we did so I looked at the grass and pondered for a moment. He had FAKE grass. I about died. I looked at my sister training leader and simply asked why does he have fake grass then? We both lost it. We laughed about it for the rest of the day. Then Saturday we spent the morning pulling invasive species...... Honestly couldn't tell you the difference between that and a weed. Oh well we helped someone else feel so happy. This week, as well, we got a brand new 2016 car! So, I feel pretty cool. For those of who know me, I am accident prone which is exactly what happened this week. We were getting out of our car to go knock doors and I smashed my finger in the door as I was closing it. Don't ask how and don't ask any questions it happened and it was painful.

I have to say the biggest miracle we saw this week was being able to contact some of our investigators. We had a couple people who hadn't been talking to us for a while but luckily this week we had luck in finding and talking to them. Hopefully this week we'll hear some good news that one of our investigators will be baptized the following week. We have so much potential and I am excited to see how some of them progress and begin to grow. Another cool miracle was we had correlation at our ward mission leader's restaurant and we talked to one of his mangers. Later that evening we were out knocking doors and knocked into his house. Afterwards we didn't think it was ironic but kind of funny.

One thing I realized this week with my faith has to do with hope. My companion and I read Moroni 7:41 which reads: "And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise."

After we read this she said hope is expectation. When she said that as we went to knock a less active's door and I realized how much hope and expectation I had in her opening the door. I realized how much faith I had in her opening the door. I realized that is our action everyday to act in faith to have someone open the door and talk to us. Everyday we take an act of faith to share the gospel with someone. We must have faith in Jesus Christ to continue moving forward. When we hit a rough patch where do we turn. Do we turn to the One who created us all or do we turn to things that in the future will leave you? I know when we have faith in Jesus Christ everything is possible. I have a strong testimony that my Savior lives and He loves us. I am grateful for the atonement to repent and to feel clean again! I know this church is true and Jesus Christ is the way back to our Heavenly Father! I love y'all and have a great week!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Week of Learning 8/22/16

So I am going to change my weekly emails a little bit. I think y'all get the idea that I am teaching and I am visiting people. I apologize now if I leave out any major details. But the time I get to preparation day it is hard for me to remember everything that happen and share the details. So I will give the general idea to what we did this week. This week we focused on visiting people we hadn't seen in a while. We did not to talk to everyone we had hoped to talk but we talked to a good majority of them. Then we had some time to do service and help out the branch members. We had to meeting the first was district meeting and we set our district goals for the transfer and they are a big goals but achievable. We will be stretched more than I realized. Then as well we had zone training meeting which was fun because we talked about using Facebook in a way to help hasten the work. We have already started seeing how much Facebook helps. It is so much easier to stay in contact with people and to post for family, friends, investigators and members can be uplifted and continue to feel the love of the Savior. This week Hermana Johnston and I have talked quite a bit on our capabilities and our talents. We have worked through some of the rougher patches of a mission together.

It has been interesting to see that at the beginning of the transfer I chose a Christ like attribute to improve on. I choose Faith. I felt like I had faith and I know my Savior lives. However I didn't think I put all of my trust into he Savior and giving him the reins to my life to guide and help me in everything I do. So I choose to develop faith a little more. Over the past couple of weeks I have had multiple things happen to test and stretch my faith. Everyone told me that you come on a mission to be stretched and molded back into what Heavenly Father wants you to be. I didn't feel until I was the one put in charge and responsible for someone else's mission. I am honored and humbled to be the one to do that for Hermana Johnston. I love her and I am grateful for this chance to train her and grow myself. However once I was put in charge I felt the weight of it and realized the extra burden I was carrying. This past week I have started to understand what it means to let the Savior carry your burdens and to help you through everything. I am learning faith more and more every week. I felt so spiritually stretched it almost hurts. However I wouldn't change that for the world. I love what I am doing and I love the people here in Hampton Bays and in general all of Long Island.

This past week our branch took a trip to Philadelphia to go to the temple open house. We left them with this quote which is what I want to leave with y'all. I wanted to share this quote from April 2016 General Conference by Elder Cook in titled "See Yourself in the temple":

"My challenge this morning is for each of us, wherever we live, to see ourselves in the temple. President Monson has stated: “Until you have entered the house of the Lord and have received all the blessings which await you there, you have not obtained everything the Church has to offer. The all-important and crowning blessings of membership in the Church are those blessings which we receive in the temples of God.”"

I give you the same challenge Elder Cook challenged this past April to see yourself in the temple in the future. I know that we each can receive the blessings of the temple. I know have seen the beauty of the inside and I felt the joy of the gospel. I love the temple. It is my favorite place on earth. If it was up to me I would spend every second there helping those on the other side. I know that each of you can strive to see the inside walls some day. The day my come sooner for some than others, but I know that we can feel the complete joy through finding ourselves within those walls as much as possible. I have a strong testimony that this church is true. I know the Savior lives and died for me and for each one of you. I love each and everyone of you. I hope you have a great week!

Con Amor
Hermana Ashford

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

8/15/16--New Week, New Adventures

Well, to be honest this week was a little crazy. Monday evening Hermana Bandeaux and I got our nails done by a member who does nails. It was super nice and relaxing. Then we did a couple look ups before the night was over.

Tuesday morning we got up and getting ready for transfers and we a got conference call saying transfers wouldn't be until that afternoon. Delta was apparently having some issues so some of the trainee's didn't get here until 5 in the morning. So everything was pushed back. So we did some stuff to get ready for transfers. We went to the city a little early and Sister Bandeaux and I met up with her parents so we had lunch with them. We walked to the office to meet my trainee! Her name is Hermana Johnston. She is from Willow creek California, a small town in Northern California. She is about two months older than me. After that we got pizza in Riverhead and then knocked some doors and spent most of the rest of the time introducing her to everyone.

Wednesday we had two meetings. First one was district meeting and the other one was correlation meeting plus there was traffic. Over all it was a crazy day. Then we did knocking and some look ups trying to find someone to listen to us.

Thursday we had weekly planning and planning everything for the baptism. Making sure everything was squared away for the baptism. Then we had dinner at the Martino's with Eddie and Blanca to get ready for the baptism. Then we went to visit a newer investigator. We taught the restoration and it was awesome. It was a very powerful lesson.

Friday we did service at the senior center. I just love teaching the older people how to use technology. They try so hard. Then we had some study time and watched some training videos for Hermana Johnston. We drove to East Hampton to see Eddie and get him ready for the next day.
Then we got a phone call from the zone leaders and they talked to us about getting Eddie to church because his mom couldn't take him. They calmly explained that if he didn't have a ride it was better he not get baptized. This created a big trial for me and my companion. So we started in on finding him a way to church.

Saturday was a whirlwind we did stuff to get ready for the baptism and everything else still trying to do missionary work. At the end of the day Eddie got baptized and the next day he got to church and got the Holy Ghost.

This week I learned to really rely on my Heavenly Father. When the times got rough I got on my knees. In the moments I couldn't take one step I took a step to kneeling and to praying to my Heavenly Father. So when life gets hard go to your knees and pray and talk to your Heavenly Father who wants to hear from you. I love y'all and have a great week.

Con amor
Hermana Ashford.

8/8/16--New Adventure

Well another week come and gone. Most importantly the last week of the transfer and Hermana Bandeaux's last week on her mission. Monday we went to the beach for a little bit after preparation day with the Martino's and their family. We had a mini lesson with their family and dinner then went to do some finding. We spent quite a bit of time trying figure out where Heavenly Father needed is to be. In the end we ended up at Jenn's house and talked to her. She is doing better and is slowly progressing to finding the hope of the gospel.

Tuesday we drove to the city for Sister Bandeaux to have her departing interview with President Reynolds. So I spent some time just hanging out at the mission office waiting. I did look at the arrival list for this week to see who will be coming in. Then we took a nice long drive back to the other end of the island. It is a nice two hour drive from area to the mission office. Then we did some knocking and referral look ups. Nothing too exciting happened. Then we ended with a quick lesson with Eddy getting him ready for our lesson the next day with his dad.

Wednesday was the first day to start eating out with members for Hermana Bandeaux's last week in the field. First up was with Sister Sullivan and she took us to 7 eleven to have sandwiches. Then we
headed to Marco's for correlation meeting. I am super excited we are trying to do a 40 day fast with the branch to help hasten the work and get the branch excited for missionary work. Then we had a quick lesson with Shelia on forgiveness. Then we did some knocking and the moment we have all been waiting for. We had a lesson with Eddy's dad to talk about Eddy getting baptized. We had been put on hold for a moment because he said no the first time and we were hoping to get it now. Low and behold fasting and praying really does work. God provided and soften Eddy's heart. Kinda of. He basically said it is Eddy's life and he can do what he wants. His opinion is no but he doesn't care what
Eddy does. So we got the permission and started making plans for a baptism.

Thursday wasn't all that exciting. We were planing for the baptism and talking back and forth with our branch president. Then we had dinner at the De Silvia's house. Now that was a party. They are from São Paulo Brazil. Sadly the south mission so not Michael's mission. Sad moment. But they feed us dinner which was really good!! As well the conversation was super funny. Then Brother De Silva scared me which wasn't fun. Then he came out with a drum from Brazil playing it and singing to us. It was so fun and funny. They are a cute family. Their kids are in Brazil visiting family so it should be even more fun next time we go over.

Friday we volunteered at the senior center teaching the senior citizens how to use technology. The only guy there ended up teaching us about player pianos and maker pianos. It was super cool. Then we had weekly planing which was more of an adventure this time. Hermana Bandeaux wasn't all about planing because she wasn't going to be here this week. So she spent some time shooting me in the head with either her marshmallow shooter thanks mom, or her nerf gun. So yeah that happened. Then we had a branch good bye party for Hermana Bandeaux. One of the members brought us sushi and a carrot cake. Super nice. Then came the call. We were driving home from doing some findings and the phone started ringing. I reach for it and it is president Reynolds calling. Hermana Bandeaux starts laughing. First thing president says to me is, "It sounds like your companion is having as much fun as I am". So yeah, I got called to be a trainer. So excited and nervous all at the same time.

Saturday we had to go back to the city for a meeting for all of the new trainers. I got to see a lot of friends and learn how I am going to train. Actually they didn't really talked about training but more
on being the best missionary. Then once we got back to Hampton Bays we had a quick lesson with a less active YW named Madelyn. Then we went out to dinner with Jefferson. He is a member of the branch presidency on the Spanish side. So we had a good dinner with him at a restaurant here in town. Then we went to the elder's baptism they were having.

Sunday was a relaxed kind of day. We had church then did a bunch of knocking to make up for some days this week. Then Hermana Bandeaux did some packing and that was about it.

So in one of my studies this past week I came across this little quote from the November 1995 ensign talk called, "Patience- A Heavenly Virtue". In it says:

"Let the scriptures be your guide, and you will never find yourself traveling the road to nowhere."

I know there has been times in my life where I felt like I was traveling the road to nowhere. I couldn't see what I needed to do. I knew I had to be better in so many ways but I didn't know how to do that. So far one of he biggest things I have learned on my mission is to open my scriptures and just read. You can learn something new every time you read them. You find a new little virtue or nugget of knowledge every time you pick them up to read. So if you are feeling a little lost or need a little strength to fight the battles of life I would encourage you to open of the scriptures and read. Search them, study them, and most importantly apply them. I know that God can talk to us through our scriptures. I am grateful for the chance to dedicate a year and half to my Savior Jesus Christ. I love y'all have a great week!

Con Amor
Hermana Ashford

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

8/1/16--Facebook is Back! 8/1/16

Well another week full of adventures. Monday was a normal preparing day. We spent the day at the Martino's house so we could have wifi. While there they asked us to make banana bread for them and they said we could make some for ourselves as well. So we made bread and just relaxed. Then we went to look up a referral from a member and he was home!! We had a great lesson about the Plan of Salvation! We went to the member's house and told them about what happened! They were super excited that we got in and talked to them.

Tuesday we had district meeting and we went and visited our investigator Jenn. She is really beginning to progress. She is beginning to see the hope of the gospel which is awesome!! Then we
talked to a person we had knocked into on Sunday. We went back and talked her. She had done some research so it was an interesting conversations. Then we took Nina to go look for some more YW but no luck. We had dinner at the Martino's with Eddy and Blanca. We set up for Eddy to be baptized next week.  Yeah!

Wednesday we basically spent the day doing look ups and knocking doors. We had a lesson with Eddy trying to prepare him for baptism. There is a couple of speed blocks but we are putting faith in God that he will make things happen as long as it is His will.

Thursday we had weekly planning. All of the lessons we had planned fell through so we felt like there was something else we were supposed to be doing so we prayed. We prayed to know where to go. So I felt like we had to pay a visit to our mission leader. We called him and he said we could meet him and his restaurant in 15-20 min. He owns a Italian restaurant where everything is imported from Italy. It is a five star restaurant and has been in New York Times. We get there and he comes to tell us he was having a hard time and was praying for some help and then three minutes later we called him. It was a huge miracle. Plus he gave us some food!! He gave us octopus, lobster salad, and eggplant with crab. So good!

Friday we spent the day in Plainview at a training for getting Facebook back! Speaking of which we, as missionaries, can use Facebook but only to keep in contact with our investigators and less active's.
You can email me through here if you want to talk to me! Then we had a lesson with Eddy that night.

Saturday we had a mini lesson with a less active YW. So much fun! Then we had a combined branch activity with the branch right next to us. It was a Pioneer Day activity. We played pioneer games and had a dinner. Then a mini lesson with Eddy and the YM president.

Sunday we had church which was fun. In the third hour we had to translate for the Spanish side through headsets. So it took us a while to get that going. Then half way through you hear elder Peña who was translating say I have no idea what he is saying. Our teacher is from Brazil so his English is really broken and hard to understand. So he gave up passed it on to his companion who did the same thing and passed it on to my companion who then passed it back to Elder Peña.  Then after church we picked up Nina again and tried again to find YW but no luck. We dropped her off and started for home and realized we had somewhere else to go so to turn around Hermana Bandeaux turned down a dirt road. It was more of a sandy road. We found a spot that was big enough to turn around and we got stuck. Hermana Bandeaux got us stuck in the sand. I had to get out and figure out if we could get out. Luckily we didn't have to do much to get out but it took a couple minutes. We had a lesson with a less active and headed to East Hampton to knock doors and have a lesson with Eddy. He wasn't home at first. But, as we started to pull away he pulled up in the car with his dad. We have been needing to talk to his dad so was a miracle and prefect timing. We set up an appointment with him for this week.

This week I have done a lot of study on missionary work. I am starting to see how important missionary work is and how we can be missionaries on a mission and member missionaries. My scripture is Mormon 9:22

"For behold, thus said Jesus Christ, the Son of God, unto his disciples who should tarry, yea, and also to all his disciples, in the hearing of the multitude: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;"

We have been called by Jesus Christ to preach the gospel to all the world! I am loving this calling and the chance to share he greatest blessing in my life to the people in New York. I encourage each of you
to use the tools you have to share this gospel and message with your friends. I know this gospel has the fullness and we can really live with our Father in Heaven again! I love y'all!  Have a great week!

Con Amor
Hermana Ashford