Tuesday, June 27, 2017

6/26/17--What if you never went home?

So this week has been a little all over the place and has kept us on our toes. The new phones are still an adjustment. I do find myself missing my iPad and may be counting down the days until we can use both. I am grateful for the chance to be among the Lord's servants that He trusts enough to use the phones. Sometimes I question why He choose Samsungs and not iPhones, but I guess that isn't my choice.

As many of you know we went to the Brooklyn Bridge on Monday last week. What you don't know is that as soon as we were walking off the bridge it started to pour!!!! We meet up with a set of English elders on our way to the subway station. We were soaked from head to toe. It made such a good memory though and I really didn't care about being wet. We took a bunch of pictures. At one point there was a bunch of water falling off the side of one of the buildings and buckets of water were just falling from the roof. One of the elders was like I dare you to go stand under that waterfall. So Hermana Jofre and I jumped at the challenge and said hold our bags we are going in. So that really added to us being wet.

Wednesday we had a meeting for all the newbies and their trainers. My favorite part, like always, was when Sister Peterson, our mission nurse, got up and started talking about nutrition and the food pyramid and what we should be eating. Having sat through this meeting for the third time knew exactly what she was going to say. I started laughing before she got into the funny part. She quickly looked at me and told me to stop laughing. I looked everywhere but at her. I was trying so hard not to laugh. So what she said is, "we need to eat grains, chocolate, protein, chocolate, carbs, chocolate, meat, chocolate, fruits, chocolate, vegetables, chocolate, sweets and fatty foods and chocolate." So as you can see chocolate is very important in your diet. After the meeting we went to talk to her because I just love her. And why wouldn't want to talk to the chocolate queen? She was messing around with me and was like were you laughing I needed to say that with straight face and no thanks to you I almost didn't. I apologized and we just laughed it off. Then she looked at Hermana Jofre and told her that I always make her laugh. Good know someone thinks I am funny!!

Saturday night the elders had a baptism and had asked that I play the piano, which is no problem. However, while they were changing they wanted to just sing hymns until we got done. Uh fun fact about Sister Ashford--sight reading hymns is not a strength of her's. So just keep that in the back of your mind. One person asked to sing Battle Hymn Of The Republic. Uh I really don't know how to play that song. So after a tough introduction and a struggle through the first couple of measures one of the elder's looked back and gave the cut it off signal so I stopped playing and he just looked at me and laughed. As well Hermana Jofre was sitting next to me on the piano bench and she starting laughing. We just laughed as they sung. Afterwards he was like yeah it was better without the piano.

Then as for my spiritual thought for this week we had interviews and my mission President told me to start reflecting more on my mission. He asked me what my favorite section in Preach My Gospel is and said chapter 6 which is the Christlike attributes. He asked me which one and I said faith because that is what I have learned most on my mission. Looking back I see how much faith life and a mission takes. We wake each morning with the faith that God will guide us to those who are ready and have an open mind and heart to he gospel. I love what preach my gospel says about faith it says:

"When you have faith in Christ, you believe in Him as the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father in the Flesh. You accept Him as your Savior and Redeemer and follow His teachings. You believe that your sins can be forgiven through His Atonement. Faith in Him means that you trust Him and are confident that He loves you."

I know if we act in faith God will fill in our gaps and make us stronger than we knew we were. Have a great week!!! Love y'all!!!

Con Amor
Hermana Ashford

Pictures 1-5 Brooklyn Bridge
Pictures 6-7 #CityWide
Pictures 8-9 she threw us the key again
Picture 10 the reason for the title of my email
Picture 11 downtown picture
Picture 12 cool graffiti
Pictures 13- 15 that view though
Picture 16 and that is how many months I have served on my mission

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

6/19/17--New Way of Doing Missionary Work

So I apologize now if my email is super short there is two reasons for that. First, we got new Samsung Galaxy J3 phones and the screen is a lot smaller and so is the keyboard so it takes me a little longer to type things out. Second off we are going to the Brooklyn Bridge so I am trying to type this fast so I don't have to worry about it later. So yeah.

So this week was crazy we had a bunch of things happen and it was all over the place. So if this email seems all over the place I am sorry. So to start the week on Monday we did a bunch of look ups and no one was answering the doors so discouragement was upon us. However after doing a look up we walked out of the elevator and this lady was like are you sister missionaries from the church. And before she could say which church Hermana Jofre had already said yes. She was so cute! It turns out this lady is a less active and had been looking for missionaries for a little while now. It was sooooo cool to see her face light up at the answer to her prayer as we came off that elevator. We are super excited to teach her and help her come back to church and feel of her Heavenly Father's love again.

Tuesday was our craziest day of the week. We helped our relief society move with the elders. Then we had a breakfast appointment with a member. Then we saw another less active member not soon after that. Then we had district meeting. Then from there ran to an appointment and ran to another one there after. We had like an hour for personal study and that was it. I love days like his because we work hard and come home tired and fall right to sleep then stay asleep all night and get a good nights rest.

Wednesday was a fun day. We had exchanges. Our sister training leaders are awesome. I am super happy they are out sister training leaders because I love them so much. The funny part was before we even got there. So when we left out apartment to go to their apartment it wasn't raining but as we traveled south what we didn't think would happen is be rain. So as soon as we walked out of the train and out of the subway station we did not expect rain. We didn't have our umbrellas or rain shoes. So we ran to the nearest story and Hermana Jofre bought a new umbrella. We awkwardly shared the umbrella until we got to their house. The funnier part is she left it at their house then after our meeting again on Friday after an appointment she had left it there too. So we are still working on getting her umbrella back.

Then to the exciting part of the week. Mega zone. So on Friday they switched our mission from tablets to Samsung Galaxy J3 phones. So now we only have the phone but it has data so we can use them where ever which comes in handy in the city. So this may be way my email might be a little shorter because it is a smaller screen and a smaller keyboard.

The end to our week was good we found two new investogators last night which was a great way to end our dry time of little investigators.

Oh the two funny sayigs from Hermana Jofre from this week
1)Grandpuncle- in reference to her great uncle
2) I have a bathroom in my bag.- she brought half the stuff from the bathroom with her to exchanges and left it there for the rest of the day

The attribute of Christ I choose to work on this transfer was hope. I love what preach my gospel says which is:

"Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. It is believing and expecting that something will occur. When you have hope, you work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for your good. Hope helps you conquer discouragement."

After the past couple of weeks of feeling frustrated that we didn't have investigators I have seen how the Lord has been testing my hope and faith in Him. I am realizing how hard it is to have hope and faith. I know that the Lord will keep His promises as long as we just out the trust in Him. I love y'all have a good week.

Con Amor
Hermana Ashford

1. Hermana Jofre testing her ankle
2. Ice cream from a good bakery
3. The black haired bun sister missionaries
4. The blondes
5. Exchanges
6. Mega zone
7. New phones
8. Ravioli pizza
9. Madre Mia- Hermana Williams
10. Life in the rain

Sunday, June 18, 2017

6/12/17--Sad and Unfortunate Week to Be Us

Well if you know my mom and I you know this saying but if you don't ask me or her and we can share the story. But basically this week was crazy and all over the place I am going to have to go through each day and talk a little about each day to make sure I don't leave anything out because so much happened. Plus just keep in mind there comes a point in the week that all the bad luck in the world feel on us. Thank goodness I have a companion who can laugh it out with me! We got a
pretty good ab workout in.

Monday- so today wasn't too crazy we ( I mean my companion) did a bunch of shopping so it was just a lot of running around. We visited a member family that we usually visit right before or right after the Elders. This time it was right after so they hung around for a little bit to make comments at us. Then at some point they all thought I was mad! But I wasn't. I still don't get how that story goes. Then he funny part was in the middle of eating dinner Hermana Jofre started laughing and looked and me and said it looks so funny that you are eating Hispanic food! You are so white and American and you are eating Hispanic food like a Hispanic. She finds it so funny that I am white and eat and act like a Hispanic. I guess that is what you get after living among them for the past 15 and half months. (That is gross. 15 and half months)

Tuesday- was most likely the most fun with the least amount of bad luck in the day. We first got a referral from we asume the temple square mission but once we got to district meeting we found out that one of the set of elders received the same referral so sadly we gave it to them because he is a guy so we really can't go over because it is a little hard. Then that night was when the party began! We went out to eat with a family that I love so much! Uhhh! We went to some like Korean place that makes really good fried chicken. We ate on like the second floor that looked over the first floor and there was games! So we played some games as we waited for food and talked and ate! It was so much fun! Then they took us to a Italian bakery for ice cream! Oh my goodness it was sooo good! Uhhh we want to go back so bad!

Wednesday- we had helped a member go grocery shopping and she bought us food. She leaves close to our house so we ran home to drop the food off so it didn't go bad! Hermana Jofre left her bag because it was hurting her shoulder and I accidentally left my keys to the apartment on the counter. If you catch my drift we locked ourselves outside our apartment.... Plus as soon as we left Hermana Jofre left her name tag so that was when we noticed we didn't have keys. So we played it off cool we made it the rest of the night. We got home and had a small panic attack because we didn't know how we would get in. Gratefully one of our neighbors buzzed us in then we carded into our apartment.
The whole process wasn't to bad but it gave me a little stress!

Thursday- so mind you I have had a cold all week. I woke up hearing double. Through my right ear which is the ear I went home for I heard perfectly fine. In my left hear I heard everything again but in a higher pitch! It was crazy and annoying. So off to the doctor's we go! Along the way a member was driving by and waved to us! It was cool! So at the doctor's we find out that I have an ear infection and now I have to take horse pills for the next ten days. Uhh gross! Then on our way to the church we were trying to do some contacting so I had my companion give this guy a card and while she did that I gave a lady a card and got off the train. When I turned around I saw Hermana Jofre still handing out her card. Right when she turned around the doors of the train closed on her. We got separated! Ahhhh! It felt so weird to be without another half of me right next to me! So I got on the next train and got up to her at he next station. We reunited like old friends who haven't seen each other in a long time! She had called the elders because she forgot what to do. So funny! Poor thing they were laughing at her....

Friday- was the most physically exhausting day of the week. In the morning we ran something from one member's house to another member's house then ran to our appointment. Then when we meet up with the elders to get new metro cards from them at the church they told us they had forgotten to go and pick up their food from a member. So they asked that we go and pick it up for them. We did so with happy hearts! So it took us 40-45 minutes to get to the member's house which is normal. Then it took us 2 and half hours to get back to the church! We had waited for 45-60 minutes for one of the trains and it still never came. So we left to take the buss back to the church. We waited for each bus. Then we missed our stop so we had to take another train! Uhhh overall it was a hot mess. Not to mention it was pretty hot outside, hotter than it has been since I have been back so I got a nice sun burn. Then right when we were like 10 steps away from the church building my bag broke. The shoulder strap just broke. So I had to get rid of that bag and start using my other bag the next day.

Saturday- the morning started off alright although it was a little warm so lots of sweating. Then while we were at home we had a bunch of flies in our apartment so I closed all the doors to contain them in
one room so that we could kill them! However the door to our study room and my closet for some reason had a key lock on it. I not knowing that it was lock or where the key was had shut the door. So when I went to open it to get something it didn't open! I started to panic just a little bit! I tried carding in and using bobby pins and trying just about anything without breaking anything to get in the room. We struggled for like 30-45 minutes. I finally gave up and called the elders. They tried telling me how to do it and it didn't work. Mind you I can't leave because I don't have shoes because they are in that room that is locked and we have an appointment coming up soon. So we are in a biggish hurry. So we asked the elders if they can come over and try somethings while we go to our appointment. So while they head over I shove my size 7-7.5 feet into Hermana Jofre's size 6 shoes and run to a shoe story to buy new shoes so that I don't break her shoes. So I get new shoes we run home let the elders into the apartment and leave. We go to our lesson and come back. They elder's called and had said they after an hour of trying to card and bobby pin into the room gave up and broke the handle and got into the room.

Sunday- the most peaceful day of the entire week! It was cool after feeling stress and frustration all week as soon as I partook of the sacrament I instantly felt filled with the spirit and filled with the
love our Heavenly Father! It was a sweet moment to the end of a crazy week! Then to had to the craziness of the week when we were walking to the train last night from our appointment about 3-5 people hit on us. We felt extremely uncomfortable and were super happy and excited to get home.

So this week we have been asked a couple times that if we have a living prophet what is he saying to us. It made me realize the importance of knowing what our living prophet is saying to us. I already basically knew what he had said in this past conference but I wanted to reread what he told us. This part from his talk "The power of the Book of Mormon" in which he says:

"This morning I speak about the power of the Book of Mormon and the critical need we have as members of this Church [and everyone] to study, ponder, and apply its teachings in our lives."

Hermana Jofre and I have decided to read the entire Book of Mormon in Spanish in the 12 weeks we are together. As we read we focus and mark the verses or phrases that stand out to us the love God has for us as His children. I am loving rereading the words of our Heavenly Father and looking for His love. Each day I can find multiple verses and phrases of Him pouring our His love onto us and His desire to bless us. I have seen over and over again on my mission that as we study the Book of Mormon with a desire to change and a desire to become better we will change and find the ways to have a better life from the Book of Mormon. I know that we have a living prophet and what he says is
there to help us! I love y'all and have a great week!

Con Amor
Hermana Ashford

Picture 1: cute selfie of Hermana Jofre and I
Picture 2-8: out to eat with Dasha, Shadae, and Ana Martinez
Picture 9: the chair at our door so no one would come in.
Picture 10: crazy looking strawberry
Picture 11: another cute selfie
Picture 12: a member tossed us down the key so she wouldn't have to come down
Picture 13: another member wrote us notes on the plates covering our food!
Picture 14: our poor door!

6/5/17--Baby Steps

Well I am alive and well and living. This week was a little crazy but not as crazy as the week before. For those of you who may have noticed I sent my weekly on Monday but it didn't arrive until Tuesday because I didn't have wifi for a little while on Monday due to some unfortunate events that happen to my companion that will remain unmentioned. Any which way last Monday was a party and slightly crazy! We visited three members and went to a Zone BBQ activity at our stake president's house. Super fun!

Then transfers happened. First we went to a member's house early Tuesday morning. Then Hermana CastaƱeda packed really fast in order to allow some Hermanas to take her luggage for us. What we ended up doing was throwing her 60 pounds suitcase down the stairs cause we were struggling to get it down the stairs. So yeah some crashing and heaving were done. Then we traveled to transfers. Which we spent like 20-30 minutes waiting for them to tell us who our new companions are!

So my new companion is Hermana Jofre she is from Miami Florida but grew up in Southern California. Although her mom is from Honduras and her dad is from Guatemala. She is super short she comes up to right below my shoulders. She is the sweetest person ever! As well she never lets a smile fall from her face! She is so caring which has been very helpful these past couple of days as I have had a cold.

Uhh as for exciting stories there isn't much to tell. When talking to a member this week we discovered that Hermana Jofre knows her cousin because she lives in her home ward! Crazy how small the Mormon world is! Other than that is has been watching my little greenie take her first steps into missionary work. She knocked her first door, she taught her first lessons, she went to church as a missionary, rode the trains for the first time, and now first preparation day as a missionary! They grow up so fast!! Uhhhh....

As well we have a less active who has had a couple different fears about coming to church so we were trying to think on how to help be comfortable with church. We decided she would come visit the church on a non church day with us and just spend time in the church building. She came and it took a couple minutes to help her relax and get settled in but once we did she said she felt surprisingly comfortable in the church! It was awesome to watch her take some baby steps into using the atonement to help her heal from the fears she had.

This week I read in a talked called "Gathering the Family of God" by President Erying from this last General Conference. Before he gets into talking about family history work he mentions and I quote:

"Because He loves us with the love of a perfect Father, He wants us to progress and advance and become like Him. He ordained a plan by which we would come to earth, in families, and have experiences that would prepare us to return to Him and live as He lives."

Then he proceeds to talk about family history work and finding those of our past. To me this part stood out to me because I thought about how our family can help us become better people not only our current family but our ancestors as well. Recently there has been a big push for helping members, less actives, and recent converts to do their family history work. As I read this talk and thought about family history work I also thought about the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 128:15 which says:

"15 And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers--that they without us cannot be made perfect--neither can we without our dead be made perfect."

So from both the talk and this scripture we learn that family history work makes us better people and become more like Christ. To me the biggest Christlike attribute that stood out to me was humility because in the process of doing family history work you don't think of yourself as you do it but you focus on the people you are trying to find. I realized many other ways in which family history can help us become better people but I want y'all to think of why family history work could make you a better person and if you want send me and email of what you think. I know that as we seek our kindred dead we will become like our Savior. My favorite feeling lately has been to help some of the less actives as they excitedly find some family names so they can take them to the temple. I know our Heavenly Father wants us to help everyone around us including our ancestors.

Sorry my weekly doesn't have as many exciting stories... I love y'all and have a great first week of summer vacation for some of y'all!

Con Amor
Hermana Ashford

Picture 1: first day picture
Picture 2: what elder's do on a train when there is no one else.
Picture 3: I don't know if you can see it but it is police men on horses
Picture 4: Linery a member!
Picture 5: waiting on the bus
Picture 6: when your friend sends you his famous cookies
Picture 7: Playing the slap game.
Picture 8: Scarlet ps sorry my companion's face is blurry we didn't
any good ones because she was laughing the whole time.
Picture 9-11: when your companion offers to do your hair.
Picture 12: no one loves us. We were the only ones on the train
Picture 13: what happens when a college graduation happens.