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Monday, April 18, 2016

Fall Festival 2015

Hey everybody.  I hope you had a fun and not-too-scary Halloween this weekend.  Wanna know some things I did?  Take a gander:

Experience #1
This week it has been raining A LOT!!!  We tried to go see an investigator that we met about a month ago who has been super flaky lately.  Surprise, surprise... He wasn't home.  So we went down the street to knock on his neighbor's door.  She answered the door, we introduced ourselves, and she let us in by the reasoning that "we looked cold."  We sat down and talked to her for a minute to get to know her and she asked what the major difference between our church and any other church is.  I told her that was a wonderful question and that we would love to answer that question for her by the message that we share.  She agreed, we started with a prayer, and taught a powerful restoration with a lot of side track questions that she had throughout. By the end of the appointment, we had a return appointment and we had brought up the topic of baptism for her to think about. She also said she would think about coming to church with us, when she had not been to church in many, many years.  It was amazing to see how the spirit had touched her heart in a way that we couldn't have done so by ourselves. We have a return appointment with her on Tuesday and she is really excited to hear more about the gospel. It just shows me that heavenly father truly does lead us to the people who are ready to hear the gospel.  Please pray that she will continue to want to learn more and be interested in what we have to say.

Experience #2
So we went on exchanges this week, and we would've had a lot of success, except for the fact that the sister training leader lost our phone. So we pretty much spent the entire exchange looking for our phone so that it wouldn't be lost the rest of the day. It was exhausting. We were able to teach a couple of people, but nothing too exciting.  It was a lot of setting up return appointments or getting doors slammed in our face. I pretty much felt reproved the entire time.  She just pushes too hard.  When people don't want to listen, they don't want to listen.  It is not worth pushing them so far as to the point they yell at you because you won't leave them alone.  That's basically what I learned on this exchange.  Not much, but hey.  You can't have a good exchange every time.

Experience #3
I finally have a funny moment for y'all.  So we had coordination meeting this week. Our ward mission leader said that he wasn't going to be able to make it so we decided to hold it on our own. After the meeting was done, Elder C took Elder D's rose gold watch. He tried it on and he wanted to keep it.  Elder D demanded that he give it back.  He was taking it off and he said, "Man it's tight." Elder R was confused and said, "Like, physically too tight?  Or like.... (While throwing a gang sign) it's tight, bro."  We laughed so hard we could barely breathe.  Silly little white boy.  We have pretty much decided they three quarters of our mission are "white girls." Most of us like leggings, Nutella, Apple products, music, Starbucks, etc.  It is super funny!

Experience #4
When we were helping out with the fall festival this week, we were in charge of greeting people.  Brother H, our new ward clerk pulled up with his family and I mistook him for the past Alexandriana ward's bishop.  So I went up to the car and said, "Hi Bishop M!"  He got this weird look on his face and his wife started hysterically laughing.  She said, "Haha He wishes he was bishop M!"  I was so embarrassed!  I am such a doof sometimes!  Haha

Experience #5
We had the mission home fireside last night.  Apart from the fact that no one that was supposed to show up with us, it was a beyond amazing message.  Here is what stood out to me most from President Alexander: The main purpose of the Book of Mormon is to convince everyone of Christ.  It is then to be a testament that the bible is true.We want to read a little more, but I want to give you a challenge.  Let's say that this is a college class and you are given an assignment.  You are to write a book about the ancient people of Tebet.  It is going to start 2,200 years before Christ and go until 400 years after his life. Why Tebet?  Well, you don't know about ancient Tebet any more than Joseph Smith knew about ancient America.  At the date of publication, you cannot be over 23.  You have to have spent most of your life in farming communities.  You cannot have had more than three years of official schooling.  To do your research, you cannot have anything looking into the future.  You can use a scribe, but can't pay him.

You have to make two copies of everything.  It had to be over 300,000 words in length.  You must describe the religious, social, economic, cultural, judicial practices, cooking habits, clothing descriptions, etc of two major groups in society.  It has to have 50 war chapters. 70 with gospel doctrine.  50 containing visions.  20 containing Christ
ministering to the people.  280 new names they have never been heard before.  They must have different literary types.  It must be proper for terms to be used in their original language.  You must lead the gospel of Jesus Christ and testify that this book is the word of God and another testament of Jesus Christ.  Then you must invite scholars
to translate this into their own language.  Since you claim that you are just the translator, you have to change writing styles quite often.  24 to show that there were different writers.  Archeological evidence must continually evidence the truths of what you have spoken. The bible must back up everything in your book.  You then must find
three well-respected witnesses that will sign a testimony saying that they have seen an angel, the voice of God has witnessed that this is truly his word, and inspired of him.  They must never disavow their witness throughout their lives.  Its origin must continue to stand as the only plausible explanation.  Then you must put a promise in the
back that people must read it, pray and ask if it is true, and ponder on their feelings.  They must be able to come closer to God by simple living by its teachings and knowing that it and the bible are true. You must have no monetary gain.  Thousands must experience extreme hardships because of your claims.  You must agree to a lifetime of persecution and at the age of 38, willingly give your life as a martyr
for the book which you have written.  This includes being run out of two homes, being arrested, thrown in jail, hiding the gold plates, and receiving constant threats upon your life.  You then have to talk a friend into mortgaging his farm to get the money to print all of these books.  And all of this must be done in the time frame of 65 days.
Doesn't that just give you so much respect for Joseph Smith and what he did for us and the church?  It was amazing!

Happy Halloween !!!  So to the fun parts - I got to carve pumpkins with my district.  It was really fun. Everyone but the Huntersville elders came.  It was all our idea.  But it's no big deal.  ;)

I am emailing and playing basketball at the church with my district for P-Day.  I love
my new companion!  Sister P and I are constantly laughing!  We love each other so much!  We have like no investigators right now except for R.  So maybe you could pray that we get more.  The weather is SUPER rainy!  Like, flood rainy!  I don't know about a mild winter until we can get past the rain.  ;)  The mission is not doing well baptism wise.  But sister P and I were talking about it. Most of the baptisms the mission got while president Craven was here and even before, are now less-active.  So we think that we are getting less now because most of the baptisms from this year are completely active.  We think we are focusing more on the quality of the investigator.  Whether they are going to stay in the church or not. Now we just have to find large quantities of quality investigators. ;) But I am still holding tight to the 10 people that you talked about as well as the blessing I got saying that I was going to help many people into the waters of baptism.

I love you all the way to the North Pole and back because all the Christmas decorations in Charlotte are up already!

Ash :) <3

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