Tuesday, 10 June 2014

I Took Over Europe

This week was somewhat crazy and I feel like it was so long, but here's the run-down!

I got really really really sick and felt like I was going to die. Anyhow, I got lots of medication, as well as a Priesthood blessing, very kindly given to me by Elder Schmidt and Elder Schollars. I went to bed that night after hearing in my blessing that I needed to "take time to rest and recover" and was completely unconscious for 18 hours. Quite scary, but I felt much better afterwards! I guess it was just a bad cold, and now I feel much better! 

It's upside down, but Sister Harrison took a picture of me driving
(editor's note: I turned it the right way around)

Last Monday we played Risk with the Elders. It was so fun! They told us at the beginning not to take over Europe or Asia, because apparently that's too difficult, and what did we do? Sister Harrison took over Asia, and I took over Europe. Then we teamed up with Elder Schmidt and took over the world!

On Tuesday we taught a 12-year-old boy the Gospel of Jesus Christ...by relating it to Halo. That was quite the experience, and I will probably always think of Halo when someone talks about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
After District Meeting we had a KD-party (KD is mac and cheese) and we made the biggest pot of KD I have ever seen. It was insane. This week we are going to have a Perogie Party and it is going to be epic. I will send pictures next week!


We started volunteering at the Humane Society here. It's the SPCA, and on Tuesday we went over and got to play with the dogs and walk them and everything. The Elders had gone over there before and Elder Schmidt refused to show me the one room they had. Later I found out that it's the room they put the animals down in. So sad! I am grateful that Elder Schmidt knows me well enough to have kept me away. Anyhow, we really enjoyed our time with the dogs.

​My first time driving through the drive-thru

Because I was so sick this week, we got a text message on Friday morning telling us not to eat breakfast. A bit confusing, but about an hour after the text Elder Schollars and Elder Fratcher showed up at our door and THEY MADE US BREAKFAST! Soooo kind and thoughtful. Elder Fratcher said it was all Elder Schollars, but I am positive that he had something to do with it as well. We got so much food from other people this week that we didn't even have to buy groceries.

​We took a picture of a storm when we were on a reserve

Well, that was the sum-up of my week! I love you!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

'Yeah, we put the PA back in Party!!'

I don't really remember much of what happened at the beginning of the week, because we mostly just said goodbyes and they were sad.

Anyways, I drove the car down to Saskatoon, where we met with all the missionaries that were transferring and stayed there for about half an hour. Then Sister Haner drove the car down to Regina. We almost ran out of gas, but we made it to the temple just fine. We got to do a session with about fifty missionaries and it was amazing. Being in the temple made me realize that I NEED to make my goal of living of my Heavenly Father again the main focus of my life.

Anyhow, after the temple we drove to the Sunrise Sisters' apartment. They live in a house and it is so nice, BUT they only have hardwood floors and no carpet. So, for two nights I slept on a hardwood floor. I will never complain about my bed again. It was fine though, and it was quite the experience! I got to spend the day with them and it was interesting to teach in a tri-pan again. We had a lot of fun though, and I love Regina! I hope I get to serve there one day.

After Regina Sister Bronson and I drove back up to Saskatoon. She is my new Sister Training Leader along with Sister McPhee. When we got to Saskatoon...I got to see Elder Barba again! Except now he is Dan, because he was released. So weird seeing him without a name-tag!

I picked up Sister Harrison and we drove back to PA. I feel more confident driving now and I am glad that I am the designated driver. Cars don't scare me any more! Yay! Sister Harrison`s first night in PA was rather...weird, haha. One of our neighbours decided to leave their car radio on the ENTIRE night and it was playing super loud music. I fell asleep to Gangnam Style and Cotton Eye Joe. My favourite was when the announcer said 'Yeah, we put the PA back in Party!!'

We got to drive down to Saskatoon again on Sunday because of Stake Conference and it was so great. The broadcast was wonderful and we got to hear from Sister Linda K. Burton, Elder Holland and President Eyring. They really geared their talks towards the youth and talked a lot about how we need to reach out to less-active members. I learned a lot and it was fun seeing everyone again.

Sister Harrison is great and she is also a physio-therapist. Two nights ago she hooked my back up with electrical pads and shocked me. It was great.

I love you and I hope you have a great week!
See you later, hopefully! :)

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

There Are Bugs EVERYWHERE!

Well, on to my week.
President and Sister Thomas came to PA this week and President had interviews with us. We also had a member present with him and Sister Thomas and it was glorious. Jodie really loved meeting with them and when she prayed she even said "I am grateful that I got to meet the President and his wife." So cute! 
Diva is getting baptized on Saturday at seven, and we are really excited for that. She had her baptismal interview yesterday and she also tried on her jumpsuit. She looked so cute in it! I am so happy for her and I am so happy that her family is supporting her. Seeing her be baptized will really help them be active again. The bishop told me that just before their baptism they came to church for a year and didn't miss one Sunday. And they even got married, because they lived common-law before. 
I am still teaching myself to play the piano and I am getting better. Unfortunately I don't have much time to practise, but Sister Haner and I found a keyboard in the library that isn't being used, so we are going to ask someone from the bishopric if we can take it to our apartment.
Sister Haner and I went to help out at a yard sale this Saturday and it was so nice. The sun was shining and it was really nice to spend some time with the members who were hosting it. They are hilarious and Sister Haner and I even got some clothes for free. The members that we were with take in a bunch of Foster kids on a regular basis and they are such an example to me of Christ-Like service and selflessness. I have learned so much from them.  
Because the sun is shining and it is getting warmer there are bugs EVERYWHERE! We can't even go outside without walking through at least one swarm of mosquitoes. It is so bad and I really need to buy some bug repellent to spray on myself so that I can stay free from mosquito bites. The mosquitoes here are HUGE and I heard that it gets worse and that more bugs are coming. Woohoo! We need to buy a fly swat thingy this week.
We get transfer calls on Friday, so I will let you know what is happening and who my companion will be for the next six weeks. I am sad to see Sister Haner leave (she's been here for six months, so she's probably out), but I am excited for what the next transfer has in store for me.
We went on exchanges this past week and I got to serve with Sister McPhee for a day. It was so great! We really enjoyed it and we laughed so much. We got to teach quite a bit and I am grateful for the time that I got to spend with her again. We were able to talk about some things and about Brandon and I really gained a love and appreciation for her. I miss her already, but I am grateful that she will be coming up to PA again next transfer. Also, I will see her in Saskatoon when I drop Sister Haner off and pick up my new companion two days later, because this mission is so huge!
I sincerely hope that I will get along well with my new companion, because for some reason I feel like it is going to be a difficult transfer. Pray for me! Haha, I'll be fine, I'm just paranoid.
Anyways...today is my 6-Month Mark, which is crazy! I can't believe that I have already been out that long and it is incredible how time flies. President and Sister Thomas are confused about the fact that my MTC group apparently goes home a transfer early, so who knows, maybe I'll go home in June after all! We'll see.
Well, We are going out to a Thrift Store to buy ugly sweaters so we can take a district picture together. I will send it to you next week.
I hope that you have a wonderful week and that you all get healthy and stay safe!

Lots of love, Ashley

It was incredible!

Well, I got to skype home today, so I don't have very much to write about, but here are the notes that I took during Sacrament Meeting yesterday. It was incredible!
-"Motherhood" does not mean maternity. Every woman plays an important role in nurturing and raising children around her.
-Satan attacks mothers by making them feel inadequate. He knows that the hands that rock the cradle can rock his reign here on Earth.
-Mothers are the Lord's secret weapon
-Righteous women were endowed pre-mortally to be mothers
-Being a mother is a big responsibility, that is why we are foreordained 
I am so grateful for my incredible mother and all the life skills she has taught me. She is such an example and an inspiration to me! I am truly blessed to have her in my life.

It was so wonderful to see my family! I am so grateful for Heavenly Father's plan and the knowledge that I can be with my family forever. What a blessing!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

I want to tell you a story

We made transfer guesses...

May 2nd in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Well, on to my week!

It was good, as far as numbers go. We taught more than I have ever taught on my entire mission and it was glorious. We worked really hard, but sadly the mission numbers went down, so that sucks. President is really pushing for us to work hard, because this work is so important! Anyhow, Sister Haner and I are probably going to sit down again and figure out what we could be doing to be better. Tomorrow we get to drive down to Saskatoon to attend Zone Training Meeting, and it is going to be all about online proselyting, so hopefully we will be on Facebook soon after that! I am excited for it, because so many people always ask us if we have Facebook, and we always have to say "no". Anyhow, there are about 4 people for us to add and teach as soon as we are allowed to go online. Excitement!

We finally got to meet with one of the people we were working with again (after two weeks) and it was so great! She showed us this massive moose head that she has in her basement. It's so big! I didn't know that they get that big! She also has a bunch of really amazing Native art all over her home. I am now officially obsessed with Native art, and I can totally see me decorating my future home with it! We went into her computer room to show her a video and she had this wolf pelt on one of the dressers. So big! And fluffy and soft. And she came to church yesterday, which was so great! I love her.

This week we celebrated Sister Haner's year mark! She is now one year old! Time flies by so quickly, it is crazy. I have already almost been out for six months and I feel like I just got here. And when I hit my six month mark (which will be in two weeks) I only have ten and a half months left! Insanity!

Yesterday we got to go over to the Yawney's home, which is always so great. I love being there, they have the cutest kids ever! Brother Yawney was away, so the Elders came over to bring Sister Yawney and her two little sons the sacrament. They brought Nevin with them and afterwards Nevin ended up playing with the boys for over an hour. It was so funny! They were screaming because they were laughing so much. Sister Haner and I laughed pretty much the entire time. Today Thomas (who is 3) came up to me and said "Come sit with me!" so we went over to the fireplace and sat down. Then he said "I want to tell you a story." He then proceeded to tell me a story about a monkey...unfortunately I didn't understand very much. So cute! The Yawney's are fantastic. They always invite our investigators over for dinner so that they can fellowship them and help them feel comfortable. They ALWAYS have us over for dinner/lunch and they just support us in any other way that they can. When I grow up I want to be just like the Yawneys. Seriously, so great. 

Not much else happened that I can report on. We really just worked our little feet off. We found three new investigators. One of them lives on a reserve, so we will have to figure something out for her, because we don't have the K's to drive out there all the time. We also set a solid baptismal date for May 24th, so we are really excited for that!

I love being a missionary! It is seriously just the best thing ever. 'It's the coldest, hardest, toughest and the best!' I am excited to see you next week!!!

Love, Ashley

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

If This Were The Work of Man, It Would Fail

On Sunday there was a sentence that really stuck out to me in Relief Society. It's from the Joseph Fielding Smith manual and it is "If this were the work of man, it would fail, but it is the Lord's work, and He does not fail." That is so true! Firstly, it shows just how much we need to rely on the Lord as missionaries, for without Him we cannot have success! And secondly, this work is not failing! That means that it most definitely is true, as it is the Lord's work. So great!

Elder Schmidt also gave a really good talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday and said something that opened my eyes. He talked about Christlike attributes (and seeing as I have been praying for more charity and patience, I payed special attention) and said that when we pray for Christlike attributes, Heavenly Father will give us experiences that will help us develop those attributes. So if I pray for patience, He isn't just going to bless me with more patience. He will give me an experience that will make me need to have an increase of patience, which will help me develop that particular attribute. The same with charity. I was so grateful for his talk, because it was very inspiring and motivational.

We also found five new investigators this week! The Lord truly does bless us when we trust Him completely and work our hardest (even though I was really sick and was convinced that I had bronchitis). Five of the people we are working with also came to church and they loved it! The ward was fantastic and reached out to them by introducing themselves and talking to them. I can't imagine anything worse than going to church for the first time and being ignored.

Jodie came to Young Women's this Wednesday and she really enjoyed it. They built little temple replicas out of rice crispy treats and she did such a good job! She has been making so much progress and I am so proud of her. I am also so grateful that she gets support from the people that live in her home.  This week she said something so funny. She was watching a movie with her boyfriend and he touched her leg...so she smacked it away and said "Don't touch me like that, it's inappropriate and Jesus will be mad at you!" She is the best and I love her.
I learned to sew on a sewing machine on Thursday. Sister Haner taught me and it was so much fun!

The place we volunteer at on Thursdays is kind of like a thrift shop with a quilting store for people with mental disabilities and illnesses. There was this one guy who saw Sister Haner and I and yelled "I love you!" from across the room. So sweet. It's good to know that somebody loves me. There was also a new guy in the quilting room and when we walked in he said "you must be the prettiest girls in PA!" He then proceeded to be rather creepy (but sweet) for the entire time that he was there. It was funny.

I think the greatest thing that happened this week was that Corbin was baptised. Elder Schmidt and I got to skype in to Brandon to watch the baptism and it was wonderful. It was so fantastic to see him again and of course I cried like a baby. I got to see his sister, Bailey, again, I got to see Amber, Jocelyn, Michelle Palmer, bishop Palmer, Elsie Palmer, the Walker family, Sister Day, Elder Hindes, Elder Camarena, Elder Warren and my Mexican brother, Elder Barba. It was the best thing ever. I am so happy that Corbin was finally able to get baptised. He is such a great example to me and to everyone around him. It was such a blessing to have been able to spend three months teaching him and I am so grateful for all the times that he made me laugh and smile. He gets the Aaronic Priesthood soon and I am so excited for him! Agh, I love that kid.

Anyhow, that was my week. I hope that things are great over there and I love you! Have a good week!
Oh, and I totally won a bible bash on Saturday. Elder Ballard told Nevin (one of the YSA here) while he was still in the MTC that "We don't Bible bash, but when we do, we win!"

It was so funny. This guy asked if I believed that Christ will come to Earth as a spirit, because that is what he believed. I said no, He has a resurrected body. In the book of John we read that Christ appeared to His disciples after His resurrection and they thought He was a ghost, so to prove to them that He had a body of flesh and bone, He ate fish and honey in front of them. 

The guy didn't say anything after that. Sister Haner was very proud of me.

Alrighty, that is all! 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

"Don't find excuses, find the Saviour!"


Ah man...don't tell me about all the delicious food...I miss it! But...we get fed a lot here and the members take good care of us. We had two dinner appointments this weekend so we did not go hungry! Plus, this wonderful lady in the ward (her name is Sister McKay and she reminds me A LOT of you) went out and bought us groceries, so we don't even have to go shopping this week. So nice! I almost cried. I am glad that Thor has good friends and that he is doing well! He is so great and I talk about him ALL the time. Pretty much everyone here knows that I have an amazing brother named Thor and they all want to meet him! He's famous in the Canada Winnipeg Mission :D
Well...I don't know what to do for JJ anymore.. I know that Satan works particularly hard on the Youth of the church. By destroying the Youth he destroys the future of the church. I am so grateful to know that he will NEVER succeed at that. There are so many great youth and they keep getting more and more! I don't know what else you could do for him either...and I don't think that he would appreciate or take my advice. So sad. I have learned that foul moods need to be ignored, not acknowledged! They need to be greeted with cheerfulness and charity. Super hard, I know, but I learned that that's the only thing that works. Grumpiness is like yeast...it needs to be fed. So if you try to always be in a good mood around him and just ignore his bad mood (not him) I hope that things will get better for him! I guess he has identified with being the black sheep of the family and thinks that he isn't getting out of that role...well, no black sheep can live in the presence of God! I know that that isn't how the scripture goes...but I think it fits. Anyhow, enough about JJ. Please just let me know if there is anything I can do to help you and Papa. There was a guest speaker here this Sunday. She said something in her talk that I really liked. She said, after talking about how we all make mistakes "don't find excuses, find the Saviour!" 

This week was really great, we taught quite a bit and found three new investigators! I am so happy that the work her in PA is finally starting to pick up again. It was really rough for a while and that was quite discouraging, but after much prayer and consideration, Sister Haner and I worked out what we need to change/do to see more success. Sister Thomas helped a lot with that in Melfort last week when she told us that we need to focus more on developing Christlike attributes. I have really been concentrating on Charity, Humility and Patience, but mostly charity. It is something that I really struggle with and I hope that some day I will finally have developed more of it.
Oh...someone got shot last week in our part of town...the police didn't find the murderer until about two days later, so we did not go into any sketchy parts of the city and we didn't stay out after dark. I am glad that they found him and that he is in jail now! 
I was on a reservation this week for a dinner appointment. It was so great! This lady's home is FULL of Native art and dream catchers and a MASSIVE buffalo head on the wall. Buffaloes are huge! Eric took a picture of me with it and I asked him to send it to you, so I hope you got it! I love being in this mission. I love the Native culture and I feel so ignorant because I hardly know anything, but I hope to learn more!
Friday we drove down to Saskatoon to go meet with all the missionaries there and pick up the two Sisters that we had the privilege of driving down to Regina with. They were so great and it was fun to chat with them. They are in our Zone, but they are serving in Saskatoon. I was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited to finally arrive in Regina because we got to see everyone! The mission has never gathered together before, because it is so huge, and it truly was an historic moment. I got to see Sister Bennett and Sister Ashton-Korn again. I got to see Sister Day, Elder Allred and Elder Barba! It was so great! A lot of jumping up and down as well as hugging went on. Of course I only hugged the Sisters.
I got to see Elder Barba again!
Well, on to meeting the Apostle. IT WAS INCREDIBLE! we all gathered in the chapel and as soon as he entered the church building you could just feel a change. Then he walked into the room and we all stood...so powerful! It was fantastic. Elder Christofferson is so funny! He made so many jokes and we laughed so much. He spent the majority of the time answering our questions. Then at the end he said that he wanted us to write in our journals for our posterity to read that these words came out of his mouth: I know that Jesus Christ lives!" It was so powerful. We got to go up and shake his hand and introduce ourselves. So special. President Thomas said in his weekly email to us all that Elder Christofferson said that he had never before been in the presence of a more dignified group of missionaries. Again, I am so grateful to be a part of this mission! I am convinced that we have the best Mission President ever. I know that I have said that before, but I just have to say it over and over because I constantly get reminded just how blessed I am with him and Sister Thomas.
Elder Christofferson told us that the Prophet said he loves us. He then proceeded to bless us with so many things. He blessed us that we would have greater power in teaching, that we would find answers to our prayers, that we would learn more things from the scriptures, that our teaching would be as powerful as the missionaries of old, that we would have strong testimonies, that we would feel a deep sense of joy and peace in the work and that we would know that the Lord approves of us. With all that I cannot fail!
Please watch the "Because of Him" video on the front page of LDS.org. You can also look it up on the YouTube page of Mormonchannel. It is so good and it really puts everything into perspective! Also, the music is excellent! I love it! 
I hope that you have a great week and I love you!
P.S. On the way back to PA we saw a wolf! 

The Canada Winnipeg Mission
Bye bye Elder Jordan!