Monday, October 24, 2016

10/24/16 8 Months Down and 24 More to Go, Right?

Well this week wasn't as exciting as the last week! We didn't meet any more apostles or get locked out of anywhere. This week we kept very busy. Most of the joy came from the whitty jokes my companion made each and everyday. Those are ones you would have to be here for them to know them. The exciting thing was yesterday the Zone Leaders had a baptism for a family they have been working on for the past 7-8 months! It was so exciting to see them so lit up in church and beaming
through out the baptism! It was exciting to see their excitement. Then I found out one of the members here is amazing at cakes! I told she can make my wedding cake she was already giving me ideas! I love her so much and she is from Texas! Then this morning we had a district activity and went for a hike in the woods. It was so much fun! I enjoyed the fall leaves and beautiful scenery!

This week one of the scriptures that stood out to me as I was reading the Book of Mormon I was reading in Alma 33:11: "And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions, for in thee is my joy; for thou hast turned thy judgments away from me, because of thy Son.  I know that God hears our prayers! In our times of hardness and difficulty he is there to listen to us and to help us through. I know as we live the gospel the Lord has laid before us our life is so much easier and our burdens are light. So that we can in Christ feel joy.  One of the things we talked about in church yesterdays is life isn't about "Me+more= Christ like". We are so much more but when we switch it to be "me+Christ=more" we can do all things. I know as we make Christ apart of our lives we will become the sons and daughters God has in plan for us! I love y'all have a great week!

Friday, October 14, 2016

10/11/16 Temple!!!!!

Well before I get into the exciting part of being at the temple I must talk about some of the exciting things that happened leading up to the temple. First we went to a member's house late Monday who super sweet and miracle said she would come out with us! It was so great to see her desire to come with us and share the gospel. Truly touched my heart! Then we had dinner at a member's house which sadly is something that doesn't happen often in this area. Anyways it was so nice to have a home cooked meal and enjoy a normal family home evening, on a Tuesday night. 

Then that night when we got home I looked at my companion to unlock the door so we could go into the apartment and she looked at me in terror. She LEFT THE KEYS INSIDE!!! So we sadly walk to the elder's apartment not too far from ours and wait outside their apartment for 30-40 minutes until they got home to let us in with the spare key. We decided that I will be keeping all the keys just so nothing happens! Wednesday in the morning I gave in and wanted a hair cut from a branch member who gives really good haircuts. So I texted him and he had an opening and I went for it. So I got a haircut.... Still trying to decide if I like it. You tell me. 

Friday may have been the next exciting day of the week. In the morning we worked with the people at the Senior Center learn how to use their technology. They are so cute, fun, and funny. I have my normal two people I work with. Each week the guy Jerry always claims me. Makes me feel good. I worked with them on how to use FaceTime. So fun to see them get so excited to use it. Then we worked with Elder Asplund and Elder Heiner on cleaning he church and getting it ready for a wedding!

We were considering how we were going to do some of it and Elder Asplund looked at me and said "Sister Ashford you are now district leader you get to make the decisions." Then Hermana Johnston looked at me and said, "Wow Sister you just got the priesthood and a lot of power!" We just laughed and for the rest of the day and Saturday when it came to the wedding I was district leader. Kinda fun! Anyways that night we had a lesson set up with a referral from the church for a bible. We went over and a different guy came out and said he wasn't home. So we go to talking and he is a Jamaican in the states to work. Most of the time I couldn't understand him one he was further away from me, two he had an accent, and three he was speaking quietly. Towards the end he asked if we want to come in and have some herb. One I didn't hear that and two I had no clue what he was talking about.  Well once we got in the car Hermana Johnston cleared some things up for me. The GUY WAS OFFERING US MARIJUANA!!!!! We then joked the rest of the night about how the only time we ever get offered drugs is by a Jamaican on our missions. Then we told Elder Asplund and Elder Heiner about it as well that we were going to pass them off to them for multiple reasons. We told them not to take any brownies from them.
Then the most exciting part of last week! We had a wedding! One of Elder Hardy and Elder Pena's investigator was living with a less active. So they got married so she can get baptized! The whole day was crazy between helping decorate the chapel. Then later helping Sister Sullivan and Corissa decorate the cake and the wedding itself. My feet were killing me! But I have to say the bride looked beautiful and the whole thing went great! Not to mention the food and cake were delicious! The whole was was pretty good. Then Sunday evening we had dinner at the primary president's house because yesterday was Canadian thanksgiving. The president is Canadian so she invited the whole
branch over for dinner! It was just like a thanksgiving feast! I was so full! I ate way too much food but it was worth it!

Then the temple!

This week I want to share a scripture that I found Sunday during my studies. It is in Alma 31:38 and it says: "And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith."

I like this scripture for many reasons. First we see we have two actions to do in order to have many blessings. The actions are pray and have faith. This week those two things are two things I have been
trying to work on much! To pray to my Father in Heaven with much love and sincere heart. As well acting in faith with everything the Lord has asked of me to do. The blessings are that he will provide for us spiritually as well as physically. He provide the physically things we need in order to survive in this life. As well he will give us the strength to endure many trials we face everyday. And the part I like the most is we will be swallowed up in the Joy of Christ. We will be encircled with the joy and the happiness of the gospel! I know that if we simple pray and look to Him for help he will guide us. I love y'all and have a great week! Like the hymn says don't forget to pray!

10/3/16 My companion died twice this week and we were saved through conference!

Hahaha so start my email I would like to explain that my companion is alive and well today in fact we went to the doctor's this morning and hopefully she will fully recover by the end of the week. So to explain her two deaths we must remind everyone that a mission is hard, stressful, Hard, Stressful, HARD, AND STRESSFUL. Over the past couple of weeks she saw random splotches of rashes appearing in random parts of her body. So we paid a visit to the doctor two weeks ago to find out she has psoriasis. Which is a itchy rash. Come to find out one of the causes is stress and we were asked if we could get rid of some stress, we just laughed. So when we got home from the doctors we did some relaxing exercises in order to lower some of her stress levels and help in some ways. I just couldn't but help to take a picture of her dying from stress. 

Then on Thursday night some of our stressors (aka the elders) decided it would be funny to pull a prank on the sweet sisters. Elder Pena and Elder Hardy offered us some candy. It looked like nerds so we went to try them. I was just going to suck on them but my companion choose otherwise and took a big bite. She in pain asked what it was! Laughing Elder Pena said it was a pepper of some kind. Seeing the pain my companion was in I quickly threw it out of my mouth I spent the next 5-10 min laughing at her with the Elders. So glad I didn't bite! Once home she drank more than half the milk. Later the Elders brought her a get well balloon and some we're sorry candy.  Overall it was a funny and interesting night! That is the story of how my companion died twice this week. We learned two lessens this week one that stress is bad and two don't trust the zone leaders with anything!

Other than my companion dying most of the week was spent trying to find people to talk to. As well we had many conferences! The first conference was Friday as a mega zone which was a ton of fun because I got to see many people I know! Main one my trainer, Hermana Williams, then Hermana Spencer, and some other mission friends I have made. As well you get to see president and sister Reynolds which is always fun! The conference was amazing I learned so much that I need to be better and can't wait to see he miracles that come from it. Then Saturday and Sunday we watched all of conference which was amazing. This time we really tried to prepare ourselves to get revelation for ourselves and our investigators. My goodness the gates of heaven were open upon us. The whole conferences we just felt like we were becoming so much better. I hope I can do a better job of applying the principles I learned into my life.

It was interesting to me as I watching conference I was looking for some of the common themes. The biggest one that stood out to me was the theme of joy. How as children of God we can feel the greatest Joy in the world as we come to know our Savior Jesus Christ. They taught many ways we can come to know our Savior. The three biggest ways that were said and mentioned multiple times is Sabbath day observance, repentance, and prayer. Over the past couple of weeks I have started to learn them all. I have started to see prayer as a true communication with God using all three parts of the Godhead to express my gratitude and desire for help. I felt more closer to my Savior as I have done that. The process of repentance is a great gift from God to help us be able to return to him some day and be able to stand blameless before him. Then to help each week have a fresh start and feel ready to battle another week we can go to church to partake of the sacrament and feel clean. I am grateful for my Savior and I love him and my God more than anyone else in the world. I know he died for me and he died for you! Come and partake of the fruit and never forget him!

Next week I will be going to the temple! So that means I will be emailing on Tuesday and may not have much time to email so if you don't hear much next week still know I love y'all and miss y'all! Have a great week!

Hermana Ashford

9/26/16 Getting Colder Day by Day

So yeah as you can see from my title it is starting to colder day by day. I am not all that excited. Most people keep laughing at me for it. I am not ready! Anyways this week has been an adventure. We have literally no investigators. No one wants to really listen to two sweet girls! So his week we did a lot of knocking doors and trying to find people who would like to talk to us or doing what is called look ups.  We have been working so hard to do this. 

Ohh we got a new elder in the district! Elder McConkie left and Elder Asplund got a new companion.
His new companion is Elder Heiner from St George Utah. He went to a performing arts school when he was younger so you can guess his personality very theatrical about some things. He is interesting.
However the first time we talked to him we couldn't understand how he said his name so we called him Elder Shiner for a day or so. As well this week we went to another Mass. This one was the funeral for Victor the husband of Maria. It was super cool. The miracle was we had parked at the church which is a little ways a way the walked to the Catholic Church. Well the service ended at 8:51 so we ran back to our car literally running.... Hermana Johnston almost lost her name tag but found it quickly. Her magnet had fallen down her shirt so she just attached her name tag at her belly and kept running. We got in our car at 8:55 and were home by 8:59. Tender mercies of the lord we made where we needed to be on time. So that is my fun story for the week! 

This week we watched the general women's conference and I thought it was amazing. It was so fun to seat with branch members and together hear he words of the apostles. I love this time of year and the chance we get to get a little spiritual feeding from our apostles and prophets. My favorite was afterwards I wrote down my thoughts and impressions on what I need to work on. I learned so much. I would in courage each of you as conference is coming up go in with a question and then afterwards review your notes and ponder. Ponder what is being said to you and how you can improve. I know that as we use this time to ponder and reflect the Lord will give us guidance on what we can do
to become better.

I wish I had more to tell but this week was pretty simple and slow! I love you all and have a great week!