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Monday, September 21, 2015

My New Comp After Transfers !!  Love Her !!


Letter from Aug 24 2015

Soooo this week was a complete and total roller coaster.  That is for sure!  So let us just start with last Monday.  Shall we?

Experience #1
So on Monday, we had a zone activity planned.  They told us to be there at about 1:30 in the afternoon and we were planning to have a kickball game and a barbecue.  Well, our member who was coming to get

us came about a half an hour late and needed to go get gas, so we showed up in Greensboro about an hour late.  When we showed up, we went down to the field we were supposed to be on and we saw only elders.  So we asked what was going on and they said that one set of elders had gotten lost and gone to Reidsville.  And the sisters who had come from Greensboro had their member drive them all the way to Reidsville and back down to Greensboro.  So that put us at about 3:30 without food and no real games going on.  So the sisters finally show up and they had all the food.  So the first thing we did was cook it up and eat because we were all starving.  By the time we finished, it was about 4:30 and people had to start leaving to get back to their areas.  So it was pretty much the most anticlimactic zone activity I have ever been to.  But at least I got to visit with people in my zone.  It was fun in that respect.  Plus watching some elders wipe out on a bungee cord.  Lol ;)

Experience #2
We got to go to a member's house for lunch on Tuesday and had a very nice visit with her.  But the really funny/special part of the day was going to see a less-active member with Sister E.  After lunch, she took us in her van down to North Carolina.  We helped her get to the street that we were supposed to turn on, and she got super scared because it was a dirt road.  We got about half way down the road and then it lead into a group of trees.  So the member stopped dead and wouldn't go any further.  She called the less-active and asked where she lived and she told her to keep going further, but the member was convinced that she had gotten lost.  So we went all the way back up the dirt road only to come all the way back down and convince her to go into the trees to find her house.  She finally did and we had a great visit with her where we felt inspired to share "Mountains to Climb."  She told us about some struggles that she has been going through and we told her that it all comes down to faith.  I felt really inspired to say, "Faith is one of the hardest things to gain, and the easiest things to lose."  She was really touched by that because it seemed to apply to her perfectly.  We are now just hoping that she will be able to speak with her family about the things that she would like to do in her life, and see how compliant they will be with her desires.  But it was a really good lesson.

Experience #3
Wednesday we were able to get on Facebook and share a video/teach a lesson on Facebook.  Sister H found this amazing Mormon Message this week called "O Remember Remember."  It is by President Eyring and he talks all about how we need to be recognizing the little blessings in our day to day lives and pick out the message that Heavenly Father wants us to know or learn.  We shared it with her and most of the time she answers by saying something like, "nice" or "good."  But she responded this time by saying, "Wow.  That one was powerful!"  We finally got through to her!  I got her to come to church twice already and now she is actually listening to and internalizing that the missionaries teach her?  It's amazing how Heavenly Father really helps us in this work, soften the hearts of his children so that they know exactly what it is that they are supposed to be doing.  It was really special.  I thought I was going to fall out of my chair when she didn't respond with a one-word answer.

Experience #4
Also on Wednesday, we had to move out of our house.  All day long.  It was so hard.  Sister T came over that morning to help us load all of our suitcases, food, and boxes into her car and ours and head over there.  We felt awful though because our front steps were so steep and they had to move the couch, beds, dressers, etc up them.  A member even came to get us on Thursday this week and when we opened the front door she said, "Sisters.  You didn't tell me you had to be a mountain goat to get to your front steps."  But we just had enough time by the time everything was in the apartment to wash my hair, because it was so humid and I was working so hard that my hair was practically sweat soaked, and head for coordination meeting at the church.  I will send some pictures next week if I can.  But that is something that took up a majority of our week.  No doubt.

Experience #5
On Thursday, we walked from our new apartment down to memorial drove and back up.  Probably around 2 miles if I had to guess.  But we figured that since we drive down there all the time and see tons of people, that it would be a great finding technique.  But unfortunately, we chose one of the hottest days of the week to go street contacting and there was barely anyone outside.  And if there was anyone, then they just wanted to walk right by us without a second thought.  So we walked back and went to do Facebook and some other contacting before we had to go back for Sister M to pick us up for dinner.  Then we went out with her after dinner to go see someone that the elders had been trying to contact to see if we would have any better.  We did contact her, but she was busy at the moment.  Then we looked at our watches and freaked out a little bit because we realized that we were going to have about half an hour to get our car cleaned, and get back to plan for the next day.  So we asked if Sister M if she would take us home so that we could get the car and get it washed.  We finished at about 8:58 and we had just missed a call from President Alexander.  He was just saying that he would love to meet with us after zone conference the next day.

Experience #6
Which leads me to my next experience.  We had zone conference on Friday.  The two trainings that stood out most to me were President Alexander's training about the Book of Mormon and the Bible.  He gave us ways to use both of them together.  He pointed out that since we are serving in the Bible Belt, this mission has developed a fear of using the Bible in our teaching.  And he isn't wrong.  It can be scary when you come to those people who have grown up eating, drinking, sleeping, and living the Bible.  But his training sunk deep into our hearts and I am going to try harder to use both of them instead of just the Book of Mormon.  In Danville, two members in the last week have told us that the Bible is the "what" and the Book of Mormon is the "how."  I thought that was inspirational.  Sister Alexander trained on Hymns and Primary Songs and the power that they have to influence our lives and our teaching.  She told us to study the hymnal.  That was interesting to me because I had never really heard of anyone doing that.  But she showed us hers and how it is highlighted, marked, and cross-referenced.  It was truly enlightening.  Then President and Sister Alexander sang us a primary song and I could just feel the love that they have for each of us so strongly.  I will have to tell you more about it another time.  But after the meeting, President Alexander met with me first and asked me a few questions and asked if he could have us stay for another half an hour or so.  Then he wanted to talk to Sister H.  Then he asked us to take a seat and wait for him to show us something.  Then he pulled the assistants into the room.  I knew exactly what he was going to do.  There was going to be an emergency transfer in the middle of the transfer.  He pulled me back in and informed me that I would be transferred from Danville on Saturday.  That gave me one night to pack and get down to Greensboro the next day.  I asked why and he said that there were some struggling sisters in the Charlotte area and that I would be returning to the Gastonia stake to finish training Sister L.  So the rest of that day was packing, then we woke up and traveled to meet the Alexander's with the Sister Training Leaders.

So yes - I am training.  And she is great!  She is 20 years old, she is from Wasilla, Alaska, has gone to BYU-Idaho for two years before her mission, and has been out for about two and a half months.  We get along splendidly.  She is a convert to the church and has such a strong testimony.  She does talk a lot, which has actually been better for me than the last couple of companions.  Because I talk a lot.  And instead of horrible silences in the car, we always have something, no matter how random, to talk about.

My new area is in the Mountain Island Ward.  That means I am officially in Charlotte.  Our area does have some things to do, thank you mom for sending those to me, but we don't have downtown or anything with Panthers Stadium or anything.  But we now have some ideas of fun things to do - thanks mom.  If you find any more things that we could possibly do, please let us know.  But you're right.  I  did not expect your prayers to find investigators to result in a new area with a new companion, but I am looking forward to what we can accomplish here.  We have reset our goal as a companionship and are looking forward to it!  Thinking, praying, and focusing on it every minute of the day!  It WILL happen!  Whether this area, or others, or all!  (Typically, I prefer all.  But whatever the Lord has in store is what shall be done).

Glad to hear that dad is still busy.  As long as he doesn't overwork himself.  But he won't.  He's smart and knows what he needs to do.  I can't believe Bethany put off packing till now.  I would die!  It took me weeks to get everything ready.  It's nice that she is so close though.  I didn't have that luxury to start off with.  ;)

Sister L thought it was cool that you are going on a cruise to Alaska.  Because she is from Wasilla, Alaska and is excited to see how you like it.  So all of you will for sure have to let me know.  It will be a treat for you though.  And think about it.  You're missing events, but spending time with your parents.  I'm missing events, but spending time with the Lord and my brothers and sisters.  It's all for a good cause.  ;) 

Kind of sad to hear that Emily switched to the other school to be honest.  I was really hoping she would get into it at Diamond Fork with the drama or arts programs there.  It is a really good school and I was so happy that one of my little sisters wanted to go there.  But like you said, her choice.  I just hope that she is happy wherever she ends up going.  But you know, you know what is best as well.  Just work together and include the Lord, and everything will work out.  Glad to hear that Cait is doing so well, also.  How is she liking soccer?  Is school and everything working out.  I knew that you wouldn't completely cut out genealogy.  You just have so much passion for it!  And that is a good thing.  So keep doing it, with moderation enough to accomplish other things as well.  I am excited to hear how camp stuff is working out.  Maybe I can even come and help you out next summer at camp.  Depending on what I end up doing with work and school and stuff.  I am so glad that you are still enjoying working in the temple.  I am missing it so much.  I can't wait to go with you when you get home.  And it's good to stay busy. Keeps your heart going and stuff... ;)

It's so crazy to hear what everyone in the family has been up to.  I had no idea that Kevin even wanted to become a cop.  That's great! Thank you so much for the updates on everyone.  They are much appreciated and I love every time I get to hear new things.  So if you can, keep 'em coming.  ;)

The standards night sounded great.  It almost sounded similar to a training that Sister Craven gave about our testimonies and the Book of Mormon.  I found it interesting that he said, "Doubt your doubts, before you doubt your testimony."  Because Sister L has been quoting President Uchtdorf's quote, "Doubt your doubts, before you doubt your faith" for the past few days.  I just love the whole concept behind that.  Glad you had such an edifying experience come out of it.

Basically, so far I am trying to teach her that you can set big goals like wanting to baptize ten people in an area WITHOUT stressing out about it.  I told her, "We may not even know them yet.  But Heavenly Father will lead them to us or us to them."  Hopefully that goal wasn't too overwhelming.  But as long as we are doing what we are supposed to and involving the Lord, everything will work out according to His will.  I know that for sure!  I just want to do what my trainer did for me.  Which was, help her grow without embarrassment.  Meaning, encourage her and gently offer instruction and correction when needed.  But she is great.  There are just a few things she can relax about.  But that comes with time as well.  :)  I did tell her that there is a possibility she will train on her mission.  She says she doesn't want to, but I know that she would be a great trainer if that is what Heavenly Father needed her to do.  She hasn't been feeling well because of a headache the past couple of days and she is just getting over pneumonia.  So hopefully all the stress will go away so she can start feeling better.

We are focusing a lot on expanding our vision and the vision of the other missionaries.  Because right now, it isn't looking like we are going to hit the goal for baptisms as a mission this year.  We are still like 300 behind or something.  So something needs to change in how we are viewing our potential.  Hopefully I get the chance to change that.

Thank you for the words of encouragement.  They really help.  And if you find fun things like you sent me last week, this week, send them my way.  I loved them!  I will continue to do the best that I personally can with the help of my Savior and I know that we will start and continue to see great things come about in this area.  I sure got the Lord's message to me this week.  And now I am going to act on it.

I am going to play hard and work hard!  That's for sure!  
I love you all soooooo much!  I love you to the ends of Heaven and back!  <3

Ash :)

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