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Monday, April 18, 2016

Jan 11 at 1:58 PM

Hey Family and Friends!  Hope everyone's week was simply fantastic!  Mine was.... slow.  It was bike week and a lot of the plans that we made just didn't end up happening.

We realized that we weren't focusing on nightly planning as much as we should have been.  We were also really stressed because they changed the referral system.  So now all of the referrals for the entire Mountain Island Ward, (which means all six missionaries), come to us and we are in charge of getting them to other missionaries in a decent amount of time so that the people who order things are still interested in getting the things they ordered by the time we contact them.  It's like a game almost.  But not...?  We got about 45 referrals in the last two weeks and they are proving to be very difficult to contact.   Then another thing that got in the way a lot was that we decided that we need to be doing better exercises in the mornings.  So I got up last Wednesday and did a super hard core leg workout that left me in serious pain for the next three days.  Still not quite over it. Sister P and I keep laughing because every time I sit down or get up, I sound like a really old lady.  haha  But here are at least some of the things that happened this week:

Experience #1

So this week it was unimaginably cold.  For somewhere with humidity, that is.  Of course I have endured negative temperatures before.  But I have never had to bike in them.  On Tuesday this week, we knew it was going to be about 30 degrees, with added humidity.  But we did have an appointment with a media referral from Church Headquarters who ordered a Bible.  When those come around, we don't mess around.  President Alexander always tells us, "Elders and Sisters -- When we get media referrals, that means that our brothers and sisters are exercising at least a particle of their faith by ordering something from the Church Websites."  So we were going to do anything we can to get there.  Well, we have an app on our iPads that we can use without wifi to get maps as to where we need to go, how to get there, and how long it will take us.  But it sometimes lies.  It told us that it was going to be about 3 miles to get there.  Easy enough bike ride for us because we bike all the time.  As we started out, we noticed that the route was going to be a little bit different.  We kept going and going and going.  Then we came to a huge hill and Sister P asked me to pull out the app and see how much longer we had.  It said that we were about 2.6 miles away.  Well, about 45 minutes later, we finally got there.  Luckily, she kept her appointment and was home.  We gave her the Bible that she ordered and we were able to introduce the Book of Mormon and the Restoration.  She is older and has a lot of doctor's  appointments, so she asked if we could call her and come in about a week or so.  It was really good.  So we got back on our bikes and we tried a couple of other people while we were in the area.  But no one could meet at that time.  So we decided to make the "few miles" journey back home for lunch.  (Considering it was almost 2:00 at this point).  When we made it finally made it home, we ate and headed up to the clubhouse to contact some more referrals.  I got on google maps just out of curiosity to see how long we actually went because we were sore, tired, and had windburn all over our faces and necks.  It turns out that our piece of junk app told us 3.6 miles one way, when it was actually 7.1.  So we unintentionally biked over 14 miles.  Well, that was fun.  But hey, I am getting more in shape and we got to teach a solid lesson.  So no real complaints.  Just fatigue.  ;)

Experience #2

On Thursday, we were about half way through with weekly planning and Sister P wanted to make
cookies.  Right when she was done and sat back down so we could finish, we got a knock on the door.  We were confused because the Elders hadn't told us that they were going to come over to get anything or to drop anything off.  I was on the phone with an investigator, so I wasn't really paying attention.  Sister P answered the door and I saw the shadow of someone with curly hair.  I was really confused at that point, and still on the phone. Once I hung up with who I was talking to, I walked over to see who it was because I figured either: -Elder D was wearing a wig or –It was the post lady coming to drop off a package.  I walked up to the door because Sister P was in complete shock.  I saw that one of her previous companions, Sister K had come to visit unexpectedly.  She was just talking to us for a minute and asked if we had already eaten lunch.  We hadn't, so she told us to get our stuff and she would take us somewhere.  Then the adventure happened.  We got our bags, got our shoes on and walked out to her car.  She pulled on the handle to get in, but it was locked.  She was driving her brother's car that only had one key.  She looked, and looked, and looked through her bag to find that one key.  Then she said, "How funny would it be if I locked it in the car.  I do that all the time."  Then Sister P looked in the window and saw the key sitting on the floor of the driver's seat.  We all just kind of laughed and then we called the elders to see if either of them knew how to break into a car.  They both did, but said that they would need a wire hanger.  So they brought one down and worked on getting into the car for about 10 minutes before we got inpatient and called the volunteer fire department down the street.  Three men pulled up in a fire truck and came with their supplies to get the door unlocked.  Sister K was so embarrassed.  We thought it was hilarious.  When they got the door undone, we were still laughing.  We said thank you to the kind volunteers (who we brought cookies to later) and they left.  Sister K looked at us and said, "Stop giggling and get in the car."  So what was supposed to be a quick visit and a lunch break turned into a good old adventure with someone we both now know and love.  We just visited with her and connected about past missionaries, current missionaries, school, family, etc.  It was really fun.  Then we came home and figured we better get to work for the rest of the day and then finish weekly planning the next day.  I just love and live for spontaneity.  It makes me happy.  And Sister P was really happy to see her.  So that is good.  :)

Experience #3

We got home from biking to a couple of potential appointments this week and we were DRENCHED because it had been raining for about 2 hours.  We had scheduled to go to a recent convert's house with the relief society president, but he cancelled on us last minute.  So we decided that we would take her with us to see a couple of the referrals that we have gotten.  We dried off, changed our clothes, and walked out to meet her.  We told her that plans had changed and she said that she would love to take us to see some referrals.  So we drive to see the first one who had ordered a Book of Mormon (few and far in between), and she said, "I am just going to wait in the car so that we don't overwhelm her at the door."  We both just kind of looked at each other and said okay.  But then we got out of the car and we said, "That isn't the point in having you come out with us.  Don't get me wrong, we were grateful for the ride, but we wanted her to come and teach with us."  Maybe that's how they did it in her mission, I don't know.  But the first referral wasn't home so we gave it to the man who answered the door.  We assume that he was her husband.  But who knows. Then we went to another referrals house who had ordered a Bible.  She let us right in and told us how she came in contact with the website, why she ordered it etc.  She let us know about her religious background, her faith in Christ, etc.  She has been through a pretty rough time in her life and we tied it back to prayer.  Prayer is one of the things she used most to get her out of those situations.  I was able to share my favorite scripture, Alma 37:36-37 with her and she was interested in the Book of Mormon.  We explained what it was and how we got it and that the Book of Mormon ties back to the message that we share with people, the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ.  She was interested in hearing more.  We aren't sure how interested, but interested nonetheless.  So we have an appointment to go back and see her on Thursday while Sister P and Sister L are here on exchanges.  I will be in Mooresville with Sister W again, so I will let you know how that goes next week.  :)  So just pray, if you can, for a woman named F - that her interest in the gospel will grow and that she will be open to hearing the truths that we share.

Experience #4

We were waiting for a phone call from Sister Al last night while we were in the car because she wanted to ask me if I would sing for a musical number on Thursday.  But it hadn't come time for that call yet.  So we decided to call a referral from the Matthews Sisters, C.  This poor woman.  She has lost many, many people in her life since July and is having a very difficult time coping with it.  One of her loved ones that she has lost is her husband.  So she is now in a very tough situation having to take on his business, pay the bills, raise their daughter, etc.  We were both on the verge of tears as she was talking to us because of how much she is struggling.  I was able to assure her that her Heavenly Father knew of her and her struggles.  He knows what she needs at this time to be able to function and get through this next year.  He knows how she feels and he has his arms outstretched to help her.  She thanked us so much for our generosity and our willingness to serve and help her.  She said that she has an LDS friend from Utah that has encouraged her to get out and serve others to take her mind off of it, but she can't see herself helping anyone else right now until she can get herself in the right place.  I empathize with this woman because of her kindness and her desire to just make everything right.  We told her that sometimes, it's okay to be sad.  It is okay to feel that loss.  And it is okay to only take care of yourself for a little while.  We offered to have her get a blessing from the Elders to see if that will help and we are hoping that we can continue to meet with her as the other sisters had been so that we can help her through this.  I testified of eternal families and told her that she would definitely be with her loved ones again.  I was sure of it.  There is nothing that can stand in the way of that love and those relationships if we will but turn to our Father in Heaven and accomplish the things that are according to His will, He can indeed bless us with all that He has.  Will you guys send special prayers to Heaven for this woman?  She really needs them.  She really needs divine help at this point and we are hoping that we can be Heavenly Father's hands in that way.

Thanks for the news on the Royal Baby coming soon – and I will actually be home this time.

Let me know how everything goes.  And I will talk to you super soon!

Love you to England and back!

Ash :)

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