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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It Doesn't Snow Here - It Rains Ice !!!!  I Thought I Was Going To The South Where It Is Warm ???          

Ashley Irwin
Feb 23 at 10:58 AM
Hey everybody!  How are you guys doing?

This week, I didn't have tons and tons of spiritual experiences, but there are a couple.  There are also a couple of funny moments, and sad/happy moments.  So I'll include all of those as well!

Okay.  So let's see...

We went to Gastonia to meet up with the Elders and Sisters there.  We had planned a district activity that day.  So we went to meet up with them, then to Charlotte we went!  We went to the Premium Outlets in Charlotte!  I MISS SHOPPING SOOOO MUCH!  It was really fun, but more so because I could live vicariously through Sister M, who was going home on Saturday, so she could buy whatever she wanted to.  So we went to Nike first.  Because all of the Elders wanted new basketball shoes.  A couple of them were even contemplating buying shoes for over $120.  I don't understand why you would spend that much money on shoes that you are probably going to end up leaving here because they won't fit in your suitcase at the end of your mission.  But oh well, their choice, not mine.  We went to a few other stores, and then Sister M wanted me to go back to Nike to get these Purple High Tops that she wanted oh so badly.  They were really cute though.  And they were on sale!  So we went back to get them.  One of the stores we went in to had all of this superhero stuff and band merchandise, so Elder C wouldn't go in with us.  He said that it was a "Satanic Store".  So we went in to see what they had.  The majority of the stock was Batman, One Direction, Sherlock, Dr. Who, etc.  They even had a My Little Pony section.  Sister M and I wanted to get some jewelry.  She wanted this bracelet and a necklace.  I just wanted a bracelet.  But the necklace that she wanted came in a set of two, so I have the gold one and she has the silver one!  Awww PRESH!  It was really funny though.  We walked out of the store only to find Elder P and Elder C.  Elder C was giving us this look of pure and utter disgust!  It had to be the funniest thing I have ever seen because we literally did nothing wrong!  In fact, the bracelet she wanted happened to have a tree that looked similar to the tree of life on it.  LOL  When we got home, We tried to go buy Eggs, Milk, and Bread.  Now, the weather was really bad that day and they expected a snow storm.  I have NEVER seen those things FLY off the shelves faster than they did that day.  There was NOTHING!  We were forced to buy Reduced Sugar Almond Milk to get us by until the middle of the week.  Then, once we got home, we got a call saying that we couldn't drive anywhere for the next two days because the roads were too bad.  Figures... right?  haha  So we stayed in and worked on a couple of things we needed to catch up on in the apartment.  Oh, and when I say it "snowed", it didn't.  IT ICED!  There are little chunks of ice that fall from the sky.  And it hurts!  


We basically had to stay inside all day long.  We taught some Facebook lessons, We watched Johnny Lingo and The Phone Call, and basically had to catch up on studies because we couldn't walk or drive anywhere.  I had never felt so antsy!  Well... one other time I did.  When Sister B was sick in Pilot.  We couldn't do anything then either.  But anyways...!  The really funny thing that happened this day was, we had dinner with the M's that night.  We didn't really want to cancel it, because they are the closest ward members to us.  So we figured we could just walk.  We walked the two miles to their house in the snow.  It really wasn't that bad.  We even found a sign outside of Family Dollar that informed the public that they had bread in stock!  ;)  But when we got there, we were telling them about the sign and Sister M said, "By that, do you mean that you two WALKED HERE!?"  We nodded our heads, and Brother M looked at us and said, "YOU DOOFUSES!"  haha  Apparently they have gone on and on about it for days!  But it's okay.  Because we all had a good laugh about it.  That night, we got Transfer Calls.  We found out that both Sister B and I and the Shelby Elders were all staying in SHELBY!  WOOHOO!  But the Gastonia sisters got pulled, and two of the three elders in the Gastonia Elders' trio were leaving.  :(  BUT I GET TO STAY FOR THE BAPTISM!


We had district meeting in the morning.  This was a very spiritual district meeting because we left time for departing testimonies from Sister Meads and the rest of us.  Then we all wrote our testimonies down in our journals.  I do so encourage each of you to try this if you haven't already!  It is so neat to be able to write down my testimony of the gospel, and be able to look back on it at later points in my mission and later points in life.  I am so excited to see how it grows over the years and even over the course of my mission.  I will include some of it here:

"I have a testimony of this true and living gospel.  We are so blessed to know all of the things that we do because of our religious freedom.  There is no other way by which we can return to our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ than by studying about them each day and striving to do our very best to live the way that He would have us live and to accomplish the things that we want to, both in our lives and in the gospel.  I know for a fact that Joseph Smith is a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator.  I am so thankful for his willingness to act upon the impressions that he got at such a young age.  Because of his service, we are able to have the Book of Mormon and Prophets to lead us and guide us today."

On Thursday,

We were able to do weekly planning.  After that, we went to go help one of the youth in the ward, I M, start her family history.  We wanted to do this so that she could have some names to do the work for when she goes to the temple on the 14th.  But we ran in to hours and hours of issues.  Mom - I will send the issues we are running into in another email and maybe you will be able to help me work them out.  But we are convinced that this ward is going to do amazing things with Genealogy because the adversary is working his very hardest to make sure that we run into EVERY issue possible so that these people cannot get their work done.  But who said that a few confusions and issues are ever going to stop me?  I just need a little assistance from the two best genealogists that I know (Mom and Grandpa) because the family history consultant here hasn't done it in years and can't answer any of my questions.  But we WILL work this out.  Also, that night we had dinner with some of the recent converts in the ward. 


We went early in the morning to help the T's unload a box truck.  After we had unloaded all of it, we were cold and very, very dirty.  We were planning on going home to eat and change before we were going to go finding and teaching.  But, we had noticed that we had a missed call from the Zone Leaders.  We called them back and he was asking us if our baptism was still set for Saturday, how we were doing, etc.  Then he said, "Did you sisters get a ride for your new companion to Shelby after Transfers today?"  We were like, "WAIT... WHAT?"  We were totally scrambling.  We had to set up the extra bed that we had in our apartment, go to habitat to get a desk, set up the apartment, and get a ride for her by 4:00!  That was insane!
BUT I'M IN A TRIO NOW!  It's me, Sister B, and sister G!  She is super sweet!  She is from Lehi, Utah.  We all teach together so well!  And we get along splendidly.  I will be able to answer more questions if you have any later today or on Monday!  :)


We had two baptisms that morning!  B and L B’s got baptized!  They were so happy and so excited to finally be able to enter the waters of baptism and receive all of the blessings that we had been telling them about.  The really spiritual part of the baptism, other than seeing the beautiful smiles on their faces, was Sister P's "Welcome to Relief Society" for L.  She said that while she watched them be baptized, she could almost see the faces of Jesus Christ and John the Baptist while she was watching them.  She said this was a true testimony to her and everyone else at the baptism, that we are all truly following the example of the Lord Jesus Christ by entering into the Waters of Baptism and taking upon us, His name.  I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to find, teach, and assist in baptizing these two wonderful children of God our Eternal Father.  I love them with all my heart!  They are always going to be my friends and my converts.  They always tell us how much we mean to them, and I wouldn't trade that for the world!


Was a day of getting more comfortable in a trio.  In church, we were able to friendship lots of members, Sister G got to know a lot of people, and we got to know how well we get along together.  After church, we all watched Johnny Lingo while eating lunch.  (Because Sister Grace has never seen it).  Then we were able to go teach two lessons.  When we were teaching a man named T yesterday, he said that he thinks we might be someone that God sent to him, and that he needed to listen to us.  Although we weren't able to teach the entire restoration, we were able to teach him about the Book of Mormon, and he accepted the invitation to read it and to pray about it.  One thing I learned from Sister G yesterday, (because she has a lot of mission knowledge - being out ten months and all), was that if we mess up in lessons and don't deliver the message in the way that we wanted to, maybe it's because that is the way that the investigators or the less-actives needed to hear it.  Interesting... right?  I had never thought about it that way.

Other than that, I am pretty good.  I have had a couple of moments where I have been homesick this week, but I say moments because they were brief.  I do miss you guys tons, but I wouldn't trade the work that I am doing at this time, for these people, for anything in the world.  It's amazing!

The weather is pretty weird.  At the beginning of the week, we were having ice storms and it was 2-6 degrees.  But the past couple of days it has been around 57-60.  We even went for a run this morning.  Granted, mine was a walk/jog because my foot started hurting.  But I'll take it.  I am glad I am a little more south than I was in my last area though.  According to pictures, they got dumped on and it's super cold!  ;)

Sister B is a lot better.  I think she was just getting a little worried about transfers.  But we are all good now and we adore Sister G!  And the California family will be glad to hear that, she is an ANGELS FAN!  :)

I got Sister Burrows to send you a friend request on Facebook and she says that she will send you her new phone number if you want it.  :)

I am glad to hear that Elder Standefer's homecoming went so well.  I will definitely tell MawMaw that the elders say hello.  We actually went over to eat with her last night.  MawMaw's real name is S M.  She is Brother M's Mother.  Bishop S is doing well, but can you guys please pray for their daughter.  She has been in and out of the hospital her whole pregnancy and had to go to the ER again yesterday because of a serious migraine, and since she can't take anything due to the pregnancy, she could use a lot of prayers.  The girls they were talking about are the W's.  I have mentioned their grandmother Sister M before.  And yes, they still live here.

I am still in Shelby, so please keep sending letters and packages to the same address.  And go ahead and send the vitamins as well (with the apartment number) in the next couple of days.  I am out of the main one already, so I would greatly appreciate it.

YES!  Tell Bethany to email me with pictures of Sweethearts so I can see everything!  I am glad that the little ones are doing well.  And I am glad that Cait can play soccer again this year.  She was doing so well last year!  DON'T BE AFRAID TO GET IN THERE BABE!  The genealogy is doing well, I don't know if there is anything you can help with right now, but I did mention that you are willing to.  So if they ask for your number, I'll give it to them. 

What kind of dancing did you and dad do at the Sweethearts dance?
You're right!  The zoo was soooo fun!

I have had an interesting week.  It has been a lot of cleaning, preparing, and rearranging, but it has been good.  I missed you guys a little more this week, but I notice that it happens around every transfer meeting that I get a little bit homesick.  So oh well.  Satan didn't really mess with us or with our investigators before the baptism other than that though, so that's always good!

I am doing great and I will let you guys know if I need anything!  I love you lots and lots and lots and lots!  Loves and Hugs from NC!


P.S.  I am off to play Settlers of Catan with the elders.  Wish us luck?  ;)

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