Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!!!

Ashley displaying some of her Christmas gifts

Hermana Rogers and the scarf she made!

I loved loved loved loved loved talking to everyone yesterday!! You all are so awesome, and I am so thankful for the support you all give me in my life!  

Life with Sister Rogers is pretty awesome. She is way cool. I am already learning so much from her! I hope that things continue to go smoothly and that we can be BFF's forever!! 

This Christmas was pretty chill! We woke up and opened presents then headed to the Bishops house to Skype our families! At the Bishops, his wife Batania made us a Dominican breakfast of Pernil and Mongu. Then we went home and made some cookies and took some naps. Then we headed to some friends for Christmas Dinner and to Skype again! It was hard to be away from home but it was really great to see them all via Skype! 

I hope that everything goes great these next few days of no school! Things will be starting up again with us too! There is work to do! 

I can't wait to hear where Grandma and Grandpa are going! Please let me know ASAP! 

I love you all so so so much!! Thank you for all your presents and candy!  :) 

Love, Hermana Lancaster

Ashley with Hermana Richardson and Elder Kerr

Ashley with Hermanas Richardson and Rogers

Ashley with Elder Kerr

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Transfers and Gratitude


Okay so much craziness has happened in these last few days. Today was transfers and on Sunday I thought that we, meaning Sister Taylor and I, were safe. But then on Sunday we got shot calls, they told us that Sister Taylor was being transferred to Yonkers. I was in shock. I thought for sure we would be together for these last 6 weeks of my training. But she had really known from the Thursday before when she went to a meeting up in Scarsdale. So basically she is becoming the A.S. Assistant Sister.

Guess who my new companion is? 
YOU ARE ALL GOING TO FREAK! The one and only......... 

SISTER ROGERS!!!!!  (we've been following her mission blog "" for several months before Ashley left) 
I know right? I am in a state of shock about that too! I am so excited to see how this goes. :) 

I have received many packages and I LOOOOOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!! Thank you so much Kristy for the awesome Christmas package!! I love opening a present everyday! and with the scripture it is so much more awesome! Lezlee, Oh my Heavens I am so thankful for my new watch! AHHH I love it! Holly I love the mittens and chocolate!! And the letters thank you all so much! I may not have time to write back but know how much I love you all! Julie I just got your package and haven't even opened it yet! Thank you so much! Mom I got your books and the clothes! Thank you so much! The green sweater will be super great! I haven't gotten any more yet...So let me know so I can make sure nothing gets lost! And Grandma I just got your letter! I haven't read it yet! But it looks good! 

This week has been pretty good! These last few days we have been saying goodbye to the folks Sister Taylor knew. But basically the investigator that we have a date for, well he isn't really living the way he needs too. Also, he was like in love with Sister Taylor so I hope we will be teaching him still. 

This past week with the shootings in Connecticut we have been able to talk to people about life after death. The area (Newtown) is in our mission, and there are families who have lost children in the wards there. It is so sad that these things happen. 
Jake happy birthday!!! I can't believe that you already have your permit! That is too crazy! It was fun to see the pictures of you guys!  Jake you are so tall!! Hopefully E grows some. ;) I know he will! Thanks for your letters you guys!! You are so sweet!! I have sent some birthday cards for you all! I hope you like them. 

I love you all so much! I feel of your prayers and I am so so so thankful for this amazing opportunity that I have to be able to be out here on a mission. I am learning so much about life and the gospel. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week!! I love you all so so so so much! Thank you all for your support! 

Love, Hermana Lancaster 
The following pictures are of the missionaries at transfers yesterday....

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Baptisms and English Class

Hola family and friends!

This week has flown by. And guess what...WE HAVE A BAPTISM DATE! And we almost have another one! One of our toughest investigators has agreed to Jan 5. He is working hard on coming to church and keeping the Word of Wisdom. He didn't smoke or drink but coffee is another story for all the peeps here. And our other investigator is really close to a date as well! She hasn't come to church yet so we are waiting till then. But she has also agreed to keep the Word of Wisdom! She has a little problem with her husband though..he doesn't like religion in general. I don't think that he even knows that we have been meeting with her. But we have, and she has become friends with the bishop's wife. Her name is Batania and she is awesome. Hahaha this next week we are going to teach her to make cookies from scratch. Hope that goes well...

We are working hard to get the area members in on missionary work. Especially because after we help a person enter the ward we can't be with them every Sunday and stuff. Hopefully it should be even better within the next few months. 

English class is awesome. I love teaching it. Yesterday I taught the whole class. Like the whole duration of class. It was AWESOME! Preparation for the future? I think yes! Here is a photo of Hermana Taylor with Evelyn. She is the sweetest 6 year old whose dad is in our English class. She helps us teach.

It is definitely colder than when I first got here. It is like bone chilling cold. like way way way cold. But it is all good. I just get to wear a lot of layers. Which sometimes happens to be horrible when we go into peoples houses and it is burning hot. 

Well I hope that everyone has a great week! FELIZ CUMPLEANOS A MI PADRE! 46! That is pretty cool that you've lived that long! I love you so much and hope to hear from you soon!


Hermana Lancaster

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Getting ready for all of the new missionaries


This week has been one of great spiritual growth. We had a new missionary meeting on Thursday with President Morgan, and basically he told us that in Jan. Feb and Mar. with the number of missionaries leaving, we will be at 44 more missionaries than normal. Which means we will need more trainers. Which means that we will probably be training at the end of our being trained. I AM FREAKED. But, I know that whom the Lord calls, He qualifies. I still have 6 more weeks to get everything down. It is HARD. I've had to start answering the phone and, you think it is hard to talk face to face with someone speaking spanish, try talking to them on the phone. DIFICIL! But I am ready. If the Lord calls me, I will put on my big girl pants and be there for that new sister.

Then yesterday we had Elder Paul V. Johnson of the Seventy come and speak to us. He was touring the NY, NY North and South Missions. He spoke about being ready to be trainers also. He told us that by next summer instead of having 150 missionaries, we would have 250 missionaries. Which is a lot more! So we are all on our toes. We talked about being "High Yielding, Low Maintenance" missionaries. That we don't need a lot to keep going, and we put out a good amount of "product."

We went and did an APF, (area proselyting focus) on 110th and Columbia. We ran into some pretty crazy folks. It is a lot different than our area because there are really only English speakers and they are not very nice. We were doing the APF for the YSA (young single adult) sisters. And contacting people ages 20-30 is probably one of the HARDEST age groups to contact here. We were walking down the street and all the sudden this guy is walking next to me and I just had this thought "talk to him." He looked in the age range of 20-30 so I was just like, "Hey how are you doing?" and he was like, "Good how you doing?" We found out he is studying at Manhattan Music college and plays the piano. He was cool and knew some of the students who are from the YSA ward who play piano there! I have come to find that you just have to talk to people. Either they completely ignore you, or they say not interested, or they listen and really doesn't matter. Because I have been called to share with everyone this message of the restored gospel. It reminded me when mom said you just have to be bold. HOLLLAA! I really love it here. :)

It has gotten COLD. But it is cool. Mostly I just need to get more ear warmers and scarfs and gloves. Yay for Christmas though! The city is beautiful with all the lights!

I didn't get to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, but I got to see the floats a day before. It was not worth it. It was like cattle being herded through a tiny corral. We wanted to go to the Museum of Natural History but, that didn't happen because of the float preview.


Have a great week! Scripture of the week! Moroni 7: 33-34

And Christ hath said: aIf ye will have bfaith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is cexpedient in me.

34 And he hath said: aRepent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved.

con amor,

Hermana Lancaster
What we did today:

Decorated the Elder's apartment door for Christmas! Hollla!

Pictures of Ashley's first apartment in Inwood

(I like the use of a Raisin Bran box as a garbage can!)

Ashley at the Manhattan, NY Latter Day Saint Temple

Manhattan LDS Temple at night

Pictures of the Rockaways from last week. It was such a great experience.

When you are in the service of your fellow men (and women)...
 you are only in the service of your God

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ashley's account of service in the Rockaways and other great news.

Hola Familia!! Como Estais? Estoy bien! Trabajando mucho duro. Todas los dias. 

okay, that's enough Spanish for now. 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I can say that it was sad that I wasn't doing what I normally would for Thanksgiving but it was so great to share the thanks I had for the people who were serving us. We had our "lunch" Thanksgiving dinner at the Giffords. The fire alarm only went off a few times! Haha well something overflowed in the oven and there was a lot of smoke. But it was really good!! By-the-way, she had her baby Sunday! So they have a 2 year old named Elizabeth and a 1 year old named Katlyn and then a brand new baby boy! She is really awesome with them. Our job before the dinner was ready was to keep the girls preoccupied which proved to be a pretty complicated task. But all in all it was great! Then we went to our next "dinner" Thanksgiving. She told us she was going to be making Chili but her dad was in town so we had the china out! It was very fancy and VERY good. They have the CUTEST little girl who just had her first birthday. I swear, she is the happiest baby I have EVER met. She just sits and smiles. Her name is Lillan. Even though I wasn't with my family I still felt all of your love! Thank you all for your examples and for your love! 

On Friday we got to go do service in the Rockaways! It was probably the most humbling thing that I have experienced besides going to the Dominican Republic. These peoples homes are completely destroyed. The first woman's home we went in had water 4 feet high. We had to cut the walls up to 6 feet, tear out the insulation, the floor, and the cabinets. The homeowner was SO nice and so thankful. We basically gutted her whole house. The second home we went to only had 4 of us working on it; the group leader, another sister from a ward and me and Hermana Taylor. We tore out their whole basement. Luckily it was pretty small but it was in worse condition then the first because everything was still soaking wet. The sheet rock was just crumbling when we took it out, and luckily they had Styrofoam insulation so we didn't have to tear out soaking fiber glass. They were so thankful! The third house we went to was in a lot different situation in that nothing had been removed from the house even though the water had come up into the home about 3 feet. She had us take out all the stuff from her cabinents and everything was moldy, but she wouldn't let us throw it away. So we had to clean everything in freezing cold bleach water. Really we were just there to do whatever they told us to do, and we tried to do our best. I am so thankful for this experience because it has really helped me to be able to see how blessed we our in our church.We are taught to be prepared and also to help one another out when times are hard. There were people from all over, members and non-members, who have come to help. When we pulled up to the station there were licence plates from Washington, Iowa, and Pennsylvania. It is AMAZING the work that is being done but there is SO much devastation still. Keep them in your prayers. 

We were walking down the street on Saturday. We were about done for the night, it was like 8:50 so we were headed back to the apartment when we heard, "mormonas, mormonas!" and usually that never happens. It was a father and a son who have just moved here one week ago from Santiago, D.R. The son is a baptized member of the church! and has the Aaronic priesthood! The dad is still working stuff out but has a desire to be baptized. It was so crazy though because basically all of our appointments for that night had fallen through, and we ended up in a completely different place than we should have been at that moment. It is so amazing to see Heavenly Father work through us to help His children. I know that I will never feel as useful as I do right now while I am serving the Lord. 

We started teaching one of the members goddaughters. She is 12 and really loves coming to church and YW. But it has been a challenge for me to figure out how to teach her.  But as I study the gospel topics, it becomes easier because in reality this gospel is so simple that even children can understand it. It is amazing.   
We have also had a first lesson with a family we found while tracting. They have 3 children a first grader, a pre-schooler and a 2 year old. They are from the D.R. and are pretty religious. We have taught them the Restoration on the first visit! We were talking about how after Christ died the world fell into apostasy and how whenever the world falls into apostasy, God calls someone to be a prophet and they said, "yeah, that makes sense." Basically our jaws dropped because when people hear that they usually go off on how in the bible it says there won't be any more prophets. But I think that they are understanding that the gospel isn't complicated. We invited them to read the Book of Mormon together, and pray as a family each night. We can only meet with them once a week so we hope all will go well.

We (my companion and I) have another investigator who is really tough. His family is Pentacostal and he knows EVERYTHING about the bible. We will try to be teaching him something and then he will pick out one of the words we said and go off on some biblical tangent. It is tough but luckily we have a member who is pretty good at all things Pentacostal so we call her up often. Except yesterday we had a little tussle when Hermana Agular (another sister missionary) brought up baptisms for the dead to our investigator's mother, who is a seious Pentacostal. (She has only sat in on a few lessons.) When she brought that up our eyes just got big and we were like, nooooooooo. Pentacostals believe that you gain your own salvation here on earth; which is great, but that anyone who dies without the gospel or baptism, is lost and God will decide their fate. We showed her that in 1 Cor. 15:29 it talks about baptisms for the dead.

But really being on a mission has helped me realize how great a blessing the Book of Mormon is. Because EVERYONE interpruts the bible differently, and it is really hard to try and make someone think differently than what they have learned their whole life from the word of God. So I am very thankful for the clarity that the Book of Mormon brings to the Bible. Because without it, I know that we would be lost.

Sunday we had an investigator come to church without us even knowing she was coming! Her son is a member and has been having a hard time. When I saw her come in my heart just stopped! I am definitely beginning to love the people here more and more.

Haha speaking of loving the people, the members of our ward are awesome. They ALWAYS want to feed us which is great! but it just means I need to work-out that much harder in the morning. We always "besito" the sisters in the ward.... and guess what I got? My first man besito! yes, I did. and Elder Wilsher said my face went bright red. I was so shocked, and I didn't know what to do! hahaha we had a talk with him about how sister missionaries can only do that with sisters. fyi - "besitos" are cheek kisses.

My hna. Taylor went to the Newsies on broadway today! So I am here with the other sister missionaries in our district. Sister Johnson from Arizona and Sister Maldarizzi from Milan, Italy. They are way fun. and guess where we are going today for p-day!?!?! THE TEMPLE! I am so excited. I have heard such great things about the temple here.

It was Hna. Taylor's birthday on Thursday last week! She is 24! She is so awesome. And guess what I just heard!? In March we are getting 30 new missionaries in a transfer and 11 are sisters. and some of them are 19. AHHH freaking out. and kind of scared. I hardly know the subway system and the streets in our area. I am trying hard but it is so different than Utah unfortunately. But I have faith that whom the Lord calls, he qualifies. THAT'S ME!

I love you all so very very much! I hope that you have a wonderful week and that it doesn't snow too much for you all. :)


con amor,
Hermana Lancaster   

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

More Pics from P-Day.


I Am Thankful!


Oh mi familia. I miss you all. Especially right now! But, I'll stay strong.

I love you all! And I am so thankful for your letters! Don't stop! You can e-mail or write me! I love them!

So the weeks have started to go by fast! Which is good because I really was having a hard time getting into things... but, all is well!

This last week we had some fun times! Especially at this one lunch appointment. So... I ate something that I have never eaten before. COWTAIL! Like seriously, she brought it out and Hermana Taylor and I looked at each other like, "well here goes nothing." We didn't know what it was until we looked up when we got home. Lets just say, fatty/chewy. yum?.

So on Sunday, we had our primary program for the English ward and a mingle afterward and guess who I saw!? Reagan! From "Hairdresser on Fire” & "Reagan's blob" She told me I had nice hair. HOLLAAA!

So I would love love love Cherie Call's Christmas CD! If you could burn it for me and send it to me before Christmas:) :):) I love you for it. We listen to the same CD's over and over. I just would love some music change. (Side note from Mom, I actually have that exact CD and I was already planning on sending it to her. Inspiration I guess!)

It is Thanksgiving tomorrow! I just want all of you to know how thankful I am for you and your amazing examples in my life!! I am so thankful for this opportunity to serve the Lord. I am so thankful for Jesus Christ and for the amazing, infinite atonement that He has given me. I am so thankful for the family that I have! I am so thankful for the country that I live in and for the people who help protect it. I am thankful for a living prophet who leads us and guides us in the way that the Lord wants.

We are teaching a new family! We found them tracting and they were way receptive. We taught them about The Restoration first thing and they were like "Wow that makes sense!" it was so amazing. I'm so excited for them! However, I am finding that people have a hard time giving up life styles and comfort to join the church. I know it is hard and tough, but I know that the Lord is aware of them!

Well, this p-day, we were going to the MET but right now we are at the Museum of Natural History! Holla! We  saw this amazing exhibit where this artist creates living rooms or bed rooms around pieces of art! Like all over the world! They took this statue that is like 60 feet tall, built a living room around it! AMAZING!

Okay I love you all! We have 2 Thanksgiving appointments. yikes. but i will eat slow! The wife of our first appointment had her first 2 babies at Orem Community Hospital! and she said she LOVED it! She is afraid to deliver the next one in NY. She is due next week. hahahah we all hope that she doesn't go into labor while we are there. :) Then in the evening we have an appointment with a Spanish member and she is making us chili!



Friday, November 16, 2012