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Monday, April 18, 2016

So this week's email is going to be a little different.  There wasn't much that happened at the beginning of the week.  So I found some little experiences that I could write about, then some big ones.  So here we go.........

Experience #1
So... I'm pretty sure I have never told you this.  But we call jay-walkers something specific here in Charlotte.  But I'll get to that in a minute.  The relief society president texted us and asked about a sister in the ward.  We hadn't been working with her, but we told her that we would go check on her because ... Member trust.  Plus, she was at church.  So anyway, we put her address into the GPS and realized that it was really far away.  And because of mileage restrictions, (or in other words, as Sister G used to put it, limitations on the Lord's work), there was no way we could make the trip.  So we texted one of the youth and asked if she would like to come with us.  She said she would, because she is planning on going on a mission herself.  So she picked us up, we went to a potential appointment that we had set up, and the lady wasn't there.  So we decided to go to this member's house.  We hadn't realized, however, that her address was where it was.  It should have occurred to us that it was off of Freedom Drive.  So that obviously meant we were headed to the ghetto.  YAY FOR THE GHETTO!  As we were going down there, there were some SUPER sketchy people out.  The girl that brought us out... Bless her heart... Kept looking around and saying, "Well this is a fun area."  I wanted to literally laugh out loud simply because of the awkwardness and sketchiness of the situation.  As we approached the street we needed to turn on, there were a bunch of thugs gathered on the street, and a BUNCH of jay-walkers.  All of the sudden, Sister P and I turn to each other and say, "CHARLOTTE SHUFFLERS!!!!" The girl looked super confused and we had to explain that one of the assistants to the president when we both came out had nicknamed it that because when they jay-walk, they shuffle their feet like they don't know where they are going.  Then we all watched one super closely and it's true.  They just stand there shuffling their feet like... "Do I go now?  How about now?"  It's hilarious!

Experience #2
We were walking home one night this week and Sister Pulley noticed a guy at the bus station near our apartment complex.  She wanted to go talk to him, so we headed that way.  Neither of us knew how to start the conversation because we said hello and he just looked at us weird and responded, "Hi."  Plus he had ear buds in, so that makes everything awkward anyway.  But we walked past him and we were just looking at each other with expressions of, "What do we do?" written all over our face.  Sister P stopped and asked him if we could ask him a question.  He looked puzzled, but said we could.  She asked if we could show him a short, two-minute video about Jesus Christ.  So we showed him "Because He Lives."  He said he really liked it, and if it had been a movies he probably would have gone to see it.  So we started talking about his family, his faith, etc. and then on a random note, he said that he would like to read the Bible more, but he always seems to lose his.  I happened to be holding a Bible and a Book of Mormon because president always asks us to.  It had occurred to me already that I was going to give him the Bible.  But I could just feel Sister P's gaze fixed on me.  I looked over and she was looking at me, then at the bible, then at me, then the bible.  She did that about three times and I really felt like yelling, "CALM DOWN!  I KNOW I AM GOING TO GIVE HIM THE BIBLE!  YOU ARE GIVING ME ANXIETY!!!!" haha  It was sooooo funny.  Yes, I ended up giving him the bible and we got a return appointment, that he wasn't home for.  Lol

Experience #3
So yesterday we went to go to the return appointment with the guy at the bus stop, but he wasn't home.  So we decided to walk down the street.  It really isn't a thing to go door to door anymore.  So we were looking for the houses with vans.  Because minivans mean families obviously.  But Sister P saw a house with like 30 gnomes outside, so we went to knock on that one.  Because we were like, "GNOMES!  WE MUST KNOCK THAT ONE!!!"  The woman answered the door and invited us right in.  We asked her how her faith in Jesus Christ started, and she responded, "You mean, how did I become a Mormon?"  The best part was, when she said that, Sister P immediately thought, "Oh my gosh. She is a hidden member."  (Members that aren't on the roll, but that we randomly run into).  I immediately thought, "Oh my gosh!  She is so golden.  She wants to be baptized!"  haha  But after we kept talking to her, we found out that she was baptized when she was 8 and she just hasn't been for a few years.  She said one of her family members are really sick and the elders had just met her last week as well and they were supposed to give her a blessing.  So we set up an appointment with her to come back, and the elders are going to come the same night to give her a blessing.  Talk about a miracle!!!

Experience #4
We had zone conference and zone meeting this week.  Zone conference was all about the sacrament

It was an amazing conference.  Zone meeting was about unity.  I did a training on the doctrine of Christ.  I can attach that in a different email.  But other than that, it was a week of finding, finding, and more finding!  So, you know how I told you I got hit in the head with a basketball last week? Yeah. I got a concussion. But no need to fear I got a blessing and everything should be fine. Unless another elder hit me in the head with a basketball like almost happened five minutes ago.  Because we have some not so bright elders in our district. ;)

So, was it direction from the mission office that you were supposed to have it there by the 1st December? Really, all I want for Christmas is cute clothes that would last me another three months, chocolate orange, and whatever else you feel so inclined to send me. If I have more time, I can email you a list of everything I would actually want next week when I can think more about it. I would love it if I could come directly to me though that would be more fun than having to wait for it. I think Sister P's family is going to send her stuff, but it would be fine if you sent her a few things in mine as well.   Transfers this next time are going to be on December 8.  President Alexander follows roughly the same schedule, but it's not exactly the same. So we still have a few weeks before the transfer, but it will come up quicker than we think.

I would also love more wooden plaque magnets because those were so creative and everyone loved them. Sister P and I decided that since we're in Charlotte, we could use 100 of them. There will be lots of people that we can give them to, as opposed to when I was in Pilot Mountain. ;)

I think sometimes I would take having nothing to do over how tired we both are. But I'm glad that you are keeping yourself busy, because that's important when my sisters are at school.  My toes are fine.  They hurt a little bit, but I'm going to ask him about that at the follow up appointment tomorrow. I think it's really funny that they called the house phone when I told them to call the cell phone first.  The work is fine we are just working on finding a bunch of investigators because we aren't really teaching anyone right now, but we're doing a few unconventional methods that should reward us in a long run.  Continue the prayers that we will find people because I know that God has been preparing them here. And I do think that methods like caroling in handing out the magnets will help us at this time of year especially. I did explain the goal of 10 to Sister P, it is something that we are working towards. We are just focusing on finding families in order to obtain that goal. I don't know if it will be done by the end of the year , but I'm having faith that it will, and if it's not then I will work on it toward the beginning of the year as well.

I really like Jason's perspective of the hands and how we are literally instruments in Heavenly Father's hands. It sounds like he learned a lot on his mission and had some really amazing experiences.  We are really working on finding service opportunities locally and while we are out proselyting as well. That way, we can get the name of the church out and help people and influence their lives. I like that goal as well. That could be something that I work on that I haven't paid much attention to throughout my mission.

Glad to see that everyone is still doing well and everyone looks super happy. I'm glad that you were still working in the temple and having life-changing experiences there as well. I am so glad to hear that the doctor’s appointment went well. I literally look forward to that news every year and I am so glad that it was positive this year as well.  You should go to LA for Thanksgiving.  It's OK that you don't go to Disney this time you can just go to downtown Disney because it will be … Free.   I'm super excited to hear that they're building Harry Potter World at California's location though.

Thank you for the loving encouraging words. I love you all so much and I hope that you have an amazing week.

I love you the amount of inches tall that the Charlotte Malls Santa displays this year. I win.  Because it's huge. And it's themed like Shrek.

Ash :)

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