My Zone Loves Sports - And Messing Around
Letter From Ashley Sept 21 2015
Hey you guys! How has your week been? Mines been pretty great! Here are some things I did:
We went over to Sister M's again this week. We were there to talk to her about temples. She says that there are a few things that she is going to need help with or going to need to do before she can go through the temple. We decided to sing "I like to see the temple" with her and her son and it was beautiful. He is three years old and loves to sing right along with us. Then it was hard to grab his attention again after that, so we started to sing, "A child's prayer." But things happen sometimes that detract from the spirit. All of the sudden, her son started choking on the carrots he was eating. She was frantically trying to help him and make him cough it up while we just looked at each other like, "Do we keep singing or....?" He finally stopped choking just as we finished singing. Then, he decided it was appropriate to throw up all over himself and the carpet. We told her we would help her clean up while she went to clean him up. She was really embarrassed, but we told her it was fine and just got back to the lesson. It was an interesting start for sure, but the lesson itself was actually really great! We had her think back to when she went to the temple for baptisms for the dead. We asked her what she remembered and what she felt. The spirit was so strong as she was telling us of her experience. We showed her the "blessings of the temple" video and promised her that she could feel those same feelings in greater abundance if she will do the things necessary to get her temple recommend and receive her endowment. She seemed pretty happy by the end of it. :)
We finally got to go to J and E's house this week. They are recent converts that sisters before Sister L found. They have been crazy busy lately and we haven't had an opportunity to go see them because of their schedules. But we finally got to go this week. We decided to go on the one day we were on bikes. So we pulled up and put our bikes in the driveway. But just as we did so, their dad was pulling out and asked if we could move them. We told him we could and put them down on the front curb. We went in and started teaching them the new member lesson about keeping the ten commandments and keeping the Sabbath day holy. As we were about 3/4 into the lesson, Sister L leans to me and says, "We forgot to chain up the bikes." I told her we would wrap it up soon and that everything would be fine. It was an amazing lesson and the girls shared their testimonies on the importance of going to church and the blessings it can bring to our lives. We wrapped up the lesson and walked outside. Sister L looked out the front door and said, "The Bikes Are Gone!" My eyes got really wide and I said, "You've got to be kidding me." We walked outside and it seems as though that is all that I could say. Frustrated, we looked at the girls and said, "Well, I guess we are walking home. We will see you girls later." They looked really sad and disappointed. We started walking home and dialed the phone to our vehicle/bikes coordinator. We talked to him about what happened and he gave us instruction to call the police and file a report. Just as I hung up the phone, Sister L looked at me and said, "Wait! Maybe it's in the garage!" I looked at her like, "Yeah right!" But we did turn back just to make sure. When we got back to their house, we saw the girls on their front porch. We asked what they were doing. They replied, "We were plotting how to confront the people that stole your bikes. But we have to be careful. Because they might have a gun." We told them to check the garage and see if their father put them in there. They ran inside to check and they came running out screaming and opening the garage door saying, "It's here! It's here!" No joke when I say that was one of the scariest moments of my mission thus far!
One day this week, we had to bike all day long. So we spent 45 minutes biking to this appointment. We get there and pulled up into her driveway. She swung open the door holding this ginormous bag of popcorn. She said, "Come in girls." We walked in and did How to Begin Teaching and said an opening prayer. We taught a very spirit-filled restoration lesson and you could tell she was feeling the spirit. But unfortunately, she said, "Baptist isn’t for me" at the end of the lesson. Unfortunate, yes. But I just wanted to share it because she was eating this huge bag of popcorn the whole time and chomping her jaw. It was so hard to focus, but I thought it was really funny :)
We went to this returning member's house this week named Sister H. She is the one that basically wants us to teach her "how to be a Mormon." So we decided it would be best to start with the missionary discussions. She has a very inquisitive mind and has lots of questions. So what should have been a half an hour lesson took about an hour and a half. There are some things that she isn't used to and has her mind set on certain things, so we have our work cut out for us. It was funny too, because she said on Sunday that one of her (incidental) main purposes in life right now are to "confuse the missionaries" and to learn "how to be a Mormon. I compare it to a kid with a candy jar. She is just learning so much that she really doesn't remember from the first time she took the discussions. In order to help her learn better, we offered to come over a different time in the week to watch the Joseph Smith movie with her that goes into greater detail. It was so inspiring as we watched the movie, because her eyes were filled with wonder and amazement as she was watching this movie. She had her eyes glued to the screen. So many questions came from it and we spent almost two hours over there between dinner, the movie, and a Q&A. It was super fun though. I feel so blessed that we have the opportunity to help this amazing woman learn about the gospel.
So we are teaching a referral from the elders. Her name is J and she is the daughter of two of their recent converts. She didn't want the elders to teach her and she really wasn't open to baptism before now. But as we went to teach her for the first time this week, she was really interested and involved in the lesson. And what was really sweet was that when we told her that her father will be receiving the priesthood that Jesus Christ restored through Joseph Smith, and that he would have the power to baptize her, she got really excited and said, "Wait. Daddy can baptize me?" We nodded and she got the biggest smile on her face that I had ever seen. She asked if she had to be baptized that day, and obviously we said no. But she did say that she wanted to be baptized. We are so excited and we know that through fervent prayer and working with her constantly, we will be able to bring this amazing family together through the ordinances and covenants that they are making. And hopefully, they will be able to make it to the temple together next year to be sealed for time and all eternity. Speaking of which...
Sister L and I showed up for Gospel Principles this week and it ended up that we had to teach the lesson again because they have not yet called a gospel principles teacher. The lesson was on "The Family Can Be Eternal". It was such a neat experience for me to be able to bear my testimony and to teach for a solid hour about one of the things of the gospel, if not the most important thing, that means the most to me. It was so sweet to feel of those feelings and love for my family and reminding myself of the truth that our families can all be together forever. It was just really special and I wanted to share it with you.
I am doing okay. I think I was headed quickly toward a sinus infection. But through prayer and a blessing today from the elders, I should be on the way to speedy recovery. So I will be doing better. And I was able to work off the nerves from almost getting hit by a car on the way to the church today. So I'm doing better. :) Sister L is doing well. Struggling a little with adjusting to missionary life and the habits. But hey, that’s normal. We got three new missionaries in our district because Elder H, Sister C, and Elder G left. So now we have Sister O (who I came out with), Elder S (who I served with in Danville), and Elder J (new missionary). We got two Elder Jackson's this transfer. One is from Payson and one is from Idaho. So we figure that the one from Payson is who's mom you met. But they are about to change this coming Sunday because they are changing the stake boundaries. So I will keep you updated if any of the changes affect me or my district.
I am having a wonderful time. My district is fun, but they are very competitive. So playing sports is fun. But I am trying to get them working together on missionary work. It is a process. I can't believe the time has flown by this fast. Next Thursday is my one-year mark. I can't believe that! I am just going to work, work, work until the very end. There is too much work to be done to worry about anything else.
The Ward is going through a lot with boundary changes and everything. But slowly, we are getting there. I don't know how open they are with it. But we can definitely talk to the bishop and the ward mission leader as soon as we can. Just waiting for the right moment. Because then we can have the most success with it. But we can start bringing it up with members while we are at dinners and appointments and things. :) Thank you so much for all the advice and family history tools that you sent me. It will really help. I am going to go over and study the document and read what it says in Preach My Gospel. Then we can see what would be most effective with the people in this area. I love it! I am so excited! Thank you!
For P-Day, we came up to get a blessing from the elders and also played some basketball and chair soccer. It's super fun!
Thanks for the family pictures! I love seeing how everyone is doing.
I would love some candy! Obviously! ;) But I love getting anything from y'all. So just surprise me. :)
I haven’ t received an email from Em yet. But I would love to. I have not received one from Beth either. I did from Caitlyn.
I would love snacks from China. I would also love some more Toms. They would just need to be one or two sizes bigger than last time because those ones could barely fit on my foot. But I do love toms. I just don't need any out here in the field because I can't really wear them without destroying them. But I would love whatever he brings back. It can just wait for me at home. Is that okay?
It's okay that there isn't much to write about. I just hope you and Gma and Gpa Irwin didn't get pneumonia. Are you all doing well? I hope so. Even though I have been sick, I haven't really been staying in. It drives me nuts. But I have been taking the occasional nap if I am too run down. Don't worry. Tell me how the FHC and the Temple are going. Still enjoying them?
Well... I think that may be all for this week. I love you guys to the moon and back, to the sun and back, to North Carolina and back, to the moon and back, to Alaska and back, and to the eternities and back!
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!