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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It's Fun to Zone Out !!!

Ashley Irwin
Mar 23 at 12:07 PM
Hey y'all!  Hope your week has been amazing!  Because mine's been pretty great!

On Monday,

We were able to go hike Crowder's Mountain as a zone for zone activity.  It was so fun!  The only thing is, as Sister G put it, "Thank you hiking for reminding me that I am not in shape."  We got to the fork at the bottom of the mountain and it gave us two trails to take.  One that was slightly longer and not as exhausting or the other one that is very steep and treacherous.  Now, normally, being in the shape that I want to be in, I would be all in for the steep one.  But that day, our companionship almost died!  ;)  I hadn't really had any water, for lack of remembering, and my comps were really tired.  So was it exhausting?  Yes.  Was it soooo much fun and very exhilarating?  YES!  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  When we got to the top, it was a big party full of selfies, Sasquatch calls, dorky elders, adrenaline junkies, and tree climbing!  Best zone activity ever!  And of course the second best part was the walk down.  ;)

On Tuesday,

We were able to go help a member chop some wood again. That was both fulfilling and disgusting.    Fulfilling because again, we were able to provide them with something they either can't do for themselves, or don't have time to do.  Disgusting because probably a good 1/4 of the wood was infested with grubs!  Ewwwwww!  I had never seen one in real life.  I thought they were something Diseny made up for the movie the Lion King.  And my companions say that the summers in North Carolina are full of strange bugs who have no purpose and just plain freak you out.  I'm sooooo excited!  (In the most dramatic and sarcastic tone I can muster with the most outrageous eye roll ever !)  But after we got over that, we were able to chop most of the wood for him.  It took way longer than we expected though.  We were getting wood thrown at us, getting sunburned, and at risk for heat stroke.  So we stopped.  It was about 86 degrees outside that day.  But hey, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the mission?  Haha  I'm a dork.  But you love me!  ;)

On Wednesday

What I would like to share with you is actually what I learned from a member dinner that night.  The L's took us out to Chick-Fil-A.  We didn't think much of it, asking how their day went, etc.  but then she started to share her conversion story with us.  She said that she had been raised a Lutheran, but had attended the Catholic churches, Presbyterian churches, amongst many others.  Her parents rule was that she could choose whatever church she wanted to join when she turned 18.  And that is right around the time that the missionaries found her.  Isn't that amazing?  She said that for a little while, she wasn't sure about everything the church had to offer, but after she prayed and read about it, she knew it was true.  She and her husband got married and were insurance agents.  When he started to investigate the church, he REALLY wasn't sure about it.  But again, as soon as he came to know the truth for himself, he never looked back.  Since then, they have both held numerous callings in the church including bishop, relief society president, etc.  It's amazing what ones personal study and testimony of our Heavenly Father and the church can bring to your life.

On Thursday

We were able to go talk to the Bs' about doing family history and temple work.  They seem kind of excited, but it is harder for new members to grasp the topic of baptisms for the dead and temples in general.  The seemed to be looking at family history work from the worldly perspective.  You're just searching for names with no end result or accomplishment.  So we took Brother S with us and
he... "Put her on a bus."  He gave her this example: Imagine you are at this bus stop.  You go every morning to the same stop and wait for this bus to come.  When it arrives, you hop on with about 30 other
people.  You all take this bus ride to the same destination every single day.  As you are on the bus, you feel the bus come to a screeching halt.  You look out the front window, only to see a large brick wall that there is no way to get around.  So what do you do? 

The bus driver turns the bus around and takes you home.  You repeat this same journey over and over and over.  Until one day.  You come to that brick wall and someone comes onto the bus as it's stopped.  They call your name and ask you to follow them.  You exit the bus and go to the brick wall.  You ask, "why did you only call my name?"  The person responds, "because it is your time to move on."  They open this big door in the brick wall that you hadn't seen there before.  As you look through, you see your (husband, wife, brother, sister, child, cousin. Or whoever it might be) standing there with their arms outstretched. They say, "Come.  We have done your work and it is time for you to keep moving forward."
Isn't that example amazing?  It took me right back to grandpa's dream he had about genealogy that one time.  It just re-emphasizes the fact that it is of the upmost importance that we do this work for those who
do not have the opportunity or capability to do it themselves.

On Friday

We awoke at 5 am for mission conference.  We were really excited because Elder Kopischke of the 70 would be joining us that day.  That man is amazing!  I don't have all of my notes with me that I took this weekend, but there were many!  I think the main thing I learned from him was that there is something we can learn in every situation.  He kept asking, "What are you learning here?"  And then he would take comments from the audience.  It was amazing!  Plus he is German!  So win-win!  After mission conference, we went to a place called "Hwy 55" – it was us, the Mount Island Sisters, and like 30 elders!
It was soooooo much fun!  Pictures to come.

On Saturday

Before stake conference, we were able to meet and teach a woman named R by offering to help her with yard work.  She wasn't too happy with the idea of us getting all dirty in our skirts, but she did stop to talk to us.  The best part about this lesson, is that I have really been working hard on letting the spirit talk through me instead of me planning out what I am going to say.  I could really feel the spirit strong during  this lesson.  I could tell that what we were saying was exactly what she needed to hear and how she needed to hear it.  I was very pleased.  Even though she couldn't seem to wrap her mind around the idea that we need a prophet, in her view "Jesus was enough and his mission is already complete,".  We could tell we had planted a seed and that someday, she will want to know more. We did invite her to General Conference though.  So maybe she will show up and be amazed by what the prophet has to say.  Speaking of which, have you guys been working on inviting people to watch General Conference as well?  I know in Utah, there aren't many people that don't already watch it, but there has to be someone for you to invite to watch it.  So be on the lookout.  Also, the church's new Easter video initiative comes out on the 28th.  So be ready to share that with everyone!  Share it on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc!  Get some positivity on the Internet!  The world so desperately needs it!

On Sunday

We were able to go to stake conference with Elder Kopischke. He was there to reorganize our stake presidency.  That means that president P is no longer our stake president. :(  Boo! But that's okay, because we are so excited to see how President H will do things.  The one thing that stuck out to me though, is how both of them shared their testimonies with the stake yesterday and both of them shared the same message:

"Brothers and sisters.  I have said it before and I will say it again. If you want to have successful families, businesses, etc, you must do the following three things:

- Read the scriptures daily
- Pray Daily
- Hold weekly family home evening"

It was just amazing to me that by doing those little things that the Lord expects of us, he will bless us beyond measure.  It was also amazing that two men that have been called by God, said almost the
exact same thing, without consulting each other first.  It is just another witness that the times and the people may change, but the message of God stays the same today, tomorrow, and forever.  :)

I am so excited to hear that Elder B will be joining us here in the great NCCM soon!  He is going to love it!  Tell me if there is anything that I can help him with in the way of information, packing, etc.  because you know... I'm on the "inside" and stuff!  ;).   Maybe one of my friends will even train him!  We will have to see!  It'll be so fun!  Tell him to bring (or buy here) bug spray!  The summer bugs don't seem like much fun!  Speaking of which, what do you want me to buy for bug spray?  Since I have decided that it is going to be my perfume this summer, I need something good.  I need something that will repel ticks, chiggers, and mosquitos especially.  So if you could get me information on that, it would be great!

It sounds like y'all have been keeping busy!  I'm glad to hear it! Caitlyn wrote me and said, "We're lucky to get 1 or 2 family dinners a week."  I was thinking about it, that really isn't any different than any other summer we have ever had, and I wouldn't change it for the world!  I love being busy when he spring and summer roll around.  It's better than sitting at home all day!  That's for sure!

I am so excited to hear more about the cultural celebration!  So please keep me updated as that moves forward.  Have you told me yet what my sisters are going to be doing in the program?  If not, let me
Know.  I hope you have fun over spring break.  Me I am enjoying exploring new parts of North Carolina.  I have been taking note of what things I want to bring y'all back to see.  So look forward to that! ;)

The praying for my investigators had been helping.  We are continuously finding new people to teach.  The main problem we are facing right now is people who want to CONTINUE learning.  We don't
have anyone with a date right now, and no one is progressing.  But... We have some amazing people, with tons of potential and we are hoping that changes in the next week or two.

I haven't gotten a chance to read the talk by President Uchtdorf yet, but you can be sure I will.  I love that man.

I CAN NOT BELIEVE THAT TRAVIS AND CIARAH ARE ENGAGED!  HOW DID HE PROPOSE?  IS HE GOING TO GET MARRIED WITHOUT LINDSAY?  Like... What!? I am so happy for them!  I am also so excited to hear the news about Paul and Aubrey.  You'll have to keep me updated on that!  Also, let me know when Greg and Danielle's baby comes.  If they don't let me know first... ;)  Well, I'd better get going.  I am going to go mini-golfing with my comps and the elders I suppose.  At this golf course in Shelby we have never even heard of.  Wish me luck!

Love you guys so so so so much!  Even more than I love this Reese's Cup that a member just made us!  And that's a lot! Hugs and loves from North Carolina!


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