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Monday, October 27, 2014

North Carolina Charlotte Mission - 
Oct 27 2014

Hey!  How are you guys?  I'm doing pretty well here in North Carolina.  This week was insane.  We started off on Monday by going to Walmart with the H family right after I emailed you.  Seriously, you guys would love them beyond imagination.  They are literally the funniest people I have ever met!  (Apart from our wonderful and crazy family of course!)  We had the best time!  She is crazy and funny enough without the rest of her family, but she decided to bring along her son, who is basically her other half, and it made it even better!  I don't think I could go for even 10 minutes without laughing at something that someone in that family said or did.  I told R and Sister H that they have to come out to California with me and go to Hollywood and Disneyland.  I can only imagine how fun that would be.

On Tuesday, we went to see our neighbor D M after we finished studying for that morning.  She and her mother are such sweethearts.  They are so funny.  I can't remember if I mentioned though, that her mother is 91 years old – just a little older than grandma. :)   We go over to sing her songs because even though her daughter is a Baptist, she is a member so we go to sing songs instead of teaching a lesson.  It gives her the biggest smile on her face and everything else that day seems to be worth it after that. 

We met a lady out in front of the Wine House while we were street contacting, and she asked if we were Jehovah’s Witness – we said no, we are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She gave us a glassy eyed stare and we realized she was probably a little tipsy.  It was followed up by this statement “Well if your Mormons I think I am going to need another glass of wine”. HAHAHAHA  We told her she didn’t and had a lovely conversation after that.  We had a ward activity that night, where we played Skittle bingo and did a great service project.  We filled up shoe boxes with toys, socks, toothbrushes etc and gave them to less fortunate children all over the world.  It was really cool.

We are working with an investigator – her name is C, tonight we are teaching her about the law of Chastity, so wish us luck and send prayers our way.   It is amazing how your senses are heightened on a mission and with the holy spirit you can quickly learn to read people and situations so that you know what is going on and what to do next.  I don’t know what to call it – some of the sisters call it being able to “read people”, but I call it being observant and using common sense, while also listening to what the Holy Ghost is telling you in a certain situation - which is pretty cool actually. 

(Sorry I'll make this brief.  I'm trying to condense a little bit.  I think I am going to write out each day as it happens for next week so that all I have to do is type it.)  Geez, I have never been so bad with time management.  Haha

So, fast forward to Friday at about dinner time.  We went to Sister L's house.  I was SOOOO HAPPY!  I swear she and Sister H are wonderful cooks and make really healthily food.  It was delicious.  We had grilled chicken and salad and rolls.  We had a few more appointments that night and I got one of the investigators that we have been working with FOREVER to commit to come to church for the primary program.   On Saturday, we finished studying and went to mow our next door neighbor’s lawn like we do on every Saturday. (Good Service Project)   Then we had lunch and went street contacting for a couple of hours.  Apart from meeting some very rude people from Lexington, we didn't meet many people that day.  We had dinner with the H's last night who are evidently related to the H’s (Different Last Names).  I have decided that everyone in the south is related some way or another.  hahaha  There are 4 families in our ward that aren't related to anyone.  Then we went to a Bonfire with the W's, but we could only stay an hour because we had more appointments.  It was fun though.  We had hotdogs, chips, doughnuts, etc.  Then we went to our appointments and went to bed.  

So Sunday we woke up and went to church, we finished church and went to choir.  Down here, our church invited all the local churches to an activity on the 5th where we sing 3 songs as a choir, and then each congregation gets to do the same. At the end of the evening we will all sing “Silent Night” together, look at nativities, and have refreshments.  I really like that because it displays unity in the community even though we don't belong to  the same religious groups.  The other churches are really excited!!! As excited as we are !!! After church, we went home, had lunch, went to an appointment - which by the way, they invited me to their temple sealing in 2016 because he is a new convert and they are working toward the temple. 
The work is progressing – I am really loving being here.  Til Next time – So Long Ya’ll

Thursday, October 23, 2014

 I Arrived in North Carolina

Hi everyone, I made it to Charlotte with 19 missionaries and all of our luggage.  We all piled in to the Mission van and headed for the Mission Home for a few days.We have a great group.  I am looking so forward to serving with all of these wonderful missionaries.

My first area is in the upper part of North Carolina.  After meeting the mission president and his wife, getting a few instructions, and making sure everything was in order we met our trainers.  My trainer's first words were prepare to go way up North.  I absolutely love my trainer Sister B - she is helping me to adjust to the mission, and become a successful missionary.

We live in a really nice area, and the neighbors, ward members and other missionaries are extremely friendly. They really mean it when they say Southern Hospitality.

This is what I can see from the area I am serving in.  It is beautiful here and I look forward to spending the next few months teaching the gospel in this area.  We have met some really wonderful families in our ward.  The town I am living in has that down home feeling - this is me at the general store.


I have only been here for a few days, so I will fill you in one our investigators and the work next week.  I am going to go and straighten up and clean now, do a little laundry and finish out P-day by going to the nearest Walmart which is not actually in the town we live.  So I'll update you next week -  Love Ashley

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

North Carolina Charlotte Mission 2014

We Arrived !!  We left the Provo MTC this morning at around 3:30 and arrived at the Salt Lake City airport early, and ready to go.  

We went from there to the Atlanta Airport for a layover and then arrived at the North Carolina Charlotte Mission home later that afternoon. There are 19 of us in all that arrived today 10 sisters and 9 elders.   On your mark, get set - let's GO!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

This Week Has Been A Crazy Roller Coaster

This week has been a CRAZY emotional roller coaster.  My district is awesome!!!  We have four elders and four sisters.  The sisters are going to my mission (North Carolina, Charlotte).  And the elders are going to Washington, Tacoma.  The elders include:  Elder Ivie (District Leader), Elder Doying, Elder Stansfield, and Elder Jafek.  The sisters include: ME, Sister Blaylock, Sister Holmes, (Sister Training Leaders), and my comp Sister Messegee.  We have a lot of fun together.  Our conversations are soooo funny.  We take walks to the temple all the time and have very spiritual experiences in class together.  They are great!  

The food here is so-so at best.  It takes a while to get used to the blandness of it all.  It is not bad food.  It just has little to no flavor.  Although, the cafeteria does have it's advantages.  I met an elder from Australia one day this week and I met an elder from, (of all places), ENGLAND!  I've seen him twice.  His name is Elder Scoors and he is really funny.  The first time I met him, my companion said, "Hey Sister Irwin!  He's from England!  You'll like that!"  So I quickly flipped around and said, "No way!  That's so cool!"  I was kind of confused because he was all of the sudden taken aback.  He replied with "Wait, you didn't even ask me to talk yet.  How can you say it's cool if you haven't heard my accent."  To which I giggled and said, "It doesn't matter!  I love England!  The accent is just an added bonus I suppose..."  He laughed and we talked about where we were going (North Carolina and France) and that was that.  Then a couple of days later I ran into him in the cafeteria and said hello.  He again looked confused and said, "I'm sorry, I associate meeting people by place not by face."  I told him that we had met a couple of days ago in the cafeteria and he quickly remembered.   It's funny that the Lord put us in that place at the same time.  Because the cafeteria is HUGE!  Maybe he just knew that I needed to meet someone from my favorite place on the planet!  (Other than Disneyland, duh)!  

Our teachers are awesome!  They include Sister Sabey (Our main teacher), Sister Pack (Our other main teacher), Brother Farrales, Brother Bishop, Sister Rassmusen, and Sister Hoyes.  But sometimes teachers will just walk in if they have no class to teach and they are bored.  That is what happened with Sister Hoyes.  Our investigators are interesting.  We have one that my companion relates to a lot more, and one that I relate to a lot more.  Although, the one that my companion relates to a lot more only compliments me on my outfits and makeup choices.   I almost cried in our lesson yesterday because it went so well and we could feel the spirit so much.  I always forget that it is actually Sister Sabey acting as one of her investigators that she met on her mission.  It doesn't even occur to me.  This week has been an emotional roller coaster like I said before, but my Branch President and District are so amazing, that usually homesickness only lasts for a part of the day, if at all.  

Although, for anyone who knows how clumsy I am, this week has been no let down.  Let alone the homesickness, we were out playing kickball yesterday and the ball came straight for me, nailed me in the head, and that put it in perfect position for Sister Holmes to catch the ball and get the other team an out.  haha  But at the end of the game, I was chasing the ball and I had to run really fast because the kickball field is downhill for some stupid reason, and I stepped wrong, rolled, and sprained my ankle.  But oh well, no blood and no broken bones.  I am working with physical therapy at the MTC to get it all fixed up.  I may have to wear a soft brace on my ankle for the first couple of weeks in North Carolina, but I can walk!  So no worries as far as I'm concerned.  Apart from the pain, which I would gladly do without. 

 I went to the temple this morning and was feeling really homesick.  I said a prayer to Heavenly Father to give me someone, anyone, who I had a personal relationship with so that I could get a big hug and be told that it was okay!  I knew it was a long shot and probably wouldn't happen.  But while we were waiting for the elders to change after the session, in walks my sweet neighbor Arlee Angel who is like a second grandmother to me.  I instantly knew that my prayer had been answered.  I walked up to her and gave her a big hug and started bawling my eyes out.  She is such a sweetheart!  She gave me some encouraging words and told me that her husband was just coming in and that I should say hi, but I replied that I had to get to the cafeteria.  So I hugged her goodbye and went on my way after telling her to say hello to my parents and sisters for me.  Then when I was down in the cafeteria of the temple, in walks her sweet husband Al.  He gave me some more encouraging words and hugs!  You know?  The Lord works in mysterious ways.  He knew I needed someone that moment, and he sent me those two Angels (no pun intended) to comfort me when I was feeling low.  I love this Gospel and I know that Heavenly Father is there for me.  It may be hard, but this is where I am supposed to be and who I am supposed to be helping.  And who knows?  Maybe this year and a half will fly by and I won't want to leave.  (Just kidding!!!)  This is just another place that I can add to my travel roster with the added benefit of saving peoples lives and making them eternally happy!  The work is hastening!  I must go, but I leave for North Carolina on Monday morning at 3:30!  (Shoot me now!)  ;)  See you next week!  :) :) :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hello Everyone -

We dropped off Ashley this morning at the MTC.  She was greeted by Sister Carr who is her Escort for today.  She was bright and bubbly and looked like she would take good care of Ashley while she got settled in.

We decided to take family pictures last night at the new Payson, Utah Temple.  It was beautiful !!  We are anxiously waiting for its open house and dedication.

We love Ashley and are very proud of the choice she has made to serve the Lord.  She has been called to the Charlotte North Carolina Mission and we look forward to her being there and serving the Lord for the next 18 Months.

Ashley -
We Love you Lots sweetheart - Enjoy Serving in Lottie