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Monday, April 18, 2016

Joseph Smith

Hey everybody!  How are you doing?  We have had an interesting week.  Here are some of the things that have happened.  You ready... set... go!!!

Experience #1
Do y'all remember my recent converts B and L?  Well, I was thinking about them this week.  I was remembering the experience that I told you a while ago about how B told us that I was sent to themat the right time.  And if it wasn't for me, they may not have joinedthe church.  Well, I think I forgot to tell you what happened lastweek.  When we were at stake conference, I saw them and just got totalk to them for a little while.  They said that they were doing great!  When stake conference started on Sunday, they had all the men being ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood stand up.  I was taking something down on my notepad, when all of the sudden I hear, "B B’s from the Shelby ward."  I looked over to where he was and he stood up and everyone sustained the ordination.  I was so humbled.  I was so glad that I was able to be the one that made the difference because of the inspiration that the prophets received because of the knowledge that Heavenly Father has.  I went up to him afterwards to congratulate him and he said, "All of this is thanks to you."  It really amazes me what Heavenly Father has planned for each of us and the way he inspires us to fulfill the plan that he has.

Experience #2
It was just a really inspired transfer meeting this time.  I just want to share some of the things that I took away from this meeting: President Alexander: Isn't this exciting? I don't know that there are many meetings in the church with such a spirit as is here right now.
D&C 31:3 "Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation. You shall declare the things which have been revealed to my servant, Joseph Smith, Jun.
You shall begin to preach from this time forth, yea, to reap in the field which is white already to be burned. Therefore, thrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven you, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your back, for the laborer is worthy of his hire." The way wheat was harvested was with a sickle.  They would have
to cut down the stocks of wheat.  The sheaves were gathered and placed upon the backs of the laborers as they carried them. "The sheaves were those who were baptized.  The garners are symbolic of the temples."
-Elder Bednar
We baptize people and we help them go to the temple.  "I am speaking before Sister H because in fast and testimony meeting, I usually have to listen to her and close the meeting after I am done.  I first felt the spirit when I was four years old.  I was standing with my dad, holding his hand with my little one as he was bearing his testimony.  I knew that Heavenly Father was there.  I know that the gospel is true.  I know that Joseph Smith saw that vision.  I know that Thomas S. Monson is our prophet and receives direct revelation.  And by that same prophet, each one of you have been called to preach the gospel to the world.  Sometimes, your mission is going to be hard.  And sometimes you will get discouraged.  He knows your heartaches.  He knows your problems.  He will bless you to get through those.  A lot of our challenges happen to make us grow.  Each of you are members of our family.  You have been adopted.  He is going to bless you, the harder you work." -Elder Hunt

There were tons of other things, but those men were the two that stood out to me most.  Sister H and Sister A were also my favorites, but theirs were really long.  I am truly excited for the things to come this transfer.

Experience #3
Earlier this week, my companion and I were trying to contact a media referral that we had tried to contact like, five time.  And surprise, surprise... She wasn't home.  But we decided to walk down her street and try to talk to people.  No one was really outside, so she had the inspiration to knock on someone's door.  This girl answered and asked
if we could come back in a couple of hours.  So we went and taught some other people and came back when we told her we would.  She answered and came out on the porch.  As we were teaching the Restoration, she started getting emotional and told us that this was the perfect time for us to come.  She had been going through a lot in
her life and really needs the teachings of the church right now.  She said that she really wants to learn and grow closer to the savior at this time!  She even accepted a baptismal date!  She is so solid!  It is so nice to be able to follow the spirit and go where Heavenly
Father needs us.

Experience #4
Sooooo... I have had some ingrown toenails lately.  I know.  Gross.  Sorry.  But anyways.  I had to go get surgery on them on Thursday.  It hurt so bad.  And I have a follow up appointment in two weeks.  But it was a horrible day full of pain, and numbness, and swelling, and other stuff.  Then we had to go get a prescription filled and the only thing that fit on my feet were socks.  Have you ever worn only socks on your
feet in Walmart?  Don't ever do it.  It's disgusting.  Haha. But anyways, I think they are getting better.  Honestly, not really sure. But I'll keep you updated.  Yay for dumb blocks in the road that Satan gives us to try to defeat us!  (Sarcastic tone of course)!  WE SHALL

Thank you so much for "splitting the team" and going to Sister Grace's  homecoming.  She emailed me today and said that she loves both of you so much!  That meant a lot to her.  I loved the picture that you took with her as well.  That makes me so happy.  And then a little weird because someday that will be me.  Nice to know the things that you wish she would have talked about.  Gives me a little hint as to what I
should talk about in mine.  ;)  But I'm sure she had some great things to say.  She had some miraculous experiences during her mission.  So I'm glad you enjoyed it.  Yes, I did expect her to say y'all a lot.  ;)  But it isn't that common for us to pick up a ton of southern words or phrases out here.  It's kind of funny.  I think I am going to incorporate more of it into my homecoming talk than that, but just to lighten the mood and such!  :)
I can't believe Jason is home.  That is so weird.  I keep hearing of missionaries that are going home and having a hard time readjusting to life.  So that kind of worries me.  Hopefully, I will just be more awkward than anything else.  But I'm sure that if I give the transition over to Heavenly Father, everything will be okay.  :)  Tell him I say hello back and that I will work hard till the end.

I love what the gentleman said after Sister Grace.  I have noticed that Sisters really do make a difference out here.  No matter what anyone says, there is a reason we are here.  There is a reason I am here.  I am here to bless people's lives that have been prepared for ME!  Like I said above, B and L came to the knowledge and practice of the truth because of one simple phrase that I said.  They were prepared for me.  I was called here for them, as well as others. It is amazing.  I really feel the strength and encouragement I receive from members all over the world praying for us, and praying for me.  I agree with what he said about the Elders being priests. ( Remember that elders were just Priest two months ago.  They’re title is not always reflective of their maturity or their age. Be patient with them. )  I have just come to realize that they really do act their age and sometimes, we just have to realize that they are being silly and move on.

I can't believe that Bethany can send her papers in 4 months from now.  That is crazy!  And I will be home in about 5 1/2 months from now.  I can't believe that time flies so fast.  But I have really seen blessings come to me and to all of you because of my mission.  It is amazing.

Soooo.  My new companion is... Wait for it... Sister P!  Yes.  I love her.  She is very opinionated, and very bold.  But I need the boldness.  We laugh constantly.  She's great!  The work is going great!  We saw so many miracles before the surgery and I am confident that we will continue seeing them.  There is one new elder in the
district that I have wanted to serve with forever.  Elder D. He opened Pilot Mountain after I closed it.  Then he closed it and Sister P opened it.  So we are talking about Pilot Mountain all the time.  Elder R hates it.  Haha  We are also teaching him to be more fun.  ;)  We only have one of the new elders in the zone.  The zone leaders are training Elder B  Let me know when that picture gets to his mom.  He was so happy about it.

I am sorry to hear about your phone screen.  That stinks.  I probably would have had the same reaction. Glad to hear everyone is doing well still.  Yeah.  I feel like the past three stake conferences have been the same.  But it's okay.  Like you said, it's nice to have time with friends and family.

Sister P is from Elko, Nevada.  She has five siblings.  She is super funny -and really great.  I am still getting to know her.  She goes home a transfer before me with elder Hutchinson though.

Thank you for sending me more Christmas things this year.  I loved them. 
Thank you for the encouraging words.  Know that I love you soooooo
much and am praying for you all every night.

Love you worth the pain coming from my two big toes.  Which is a lot.  ;)

Ash :)

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