Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New area challenges and blessings

Hello from the BX! 

I hope you all had a wonderful week!! This last week for me has been exciting!! We have a lot of area to cover! All is well here. The Bronx is well, the Bronx. My comp said that basically it feels like there are drug deals being done all around us. (hahhaha not even kidding.) 

Ashley and Hermana Skinner taking a picture with the camera in the computer at the public library

My new companion is Sister Skinner and she is BOSS. She is such a great missionary! She has only been here for 6 weeks but I feel like she has been here 6 months! Her drive to do the work is awesome! She is also so fashionable! hahahaha We get along great.

We have been visiting a lot of less actives and members trying to get to know the area better. My last area, Inwood was about 15 blocks. My new area is about 50 blocks. And the way things are laid out is completely different than Manhattan!  We don't live in our area, so when we leave at 2 we don't go home until 9. 

Today we went to the temple and it was so wonderful! I am so thankful that we have the opportunity to have a temple so close to us. We are truly blessed!! 

Something happened that I never thought would; someone asked me where I was from!!! THEY THOUGHT I SPOKE SPANISH NATIVLEY! Dreams do come true!! Everyone says I sound like I'm from Spain. I also never really thought I would be the companion that knew more spanish than the other. LEGITTTTT...this is insane. 

A scripture that we have been sharing with quite a bit of investigators is 2 Nephi 31:20. Which is one of my favorites. I love how it says, a perfect brightness of HOPE. Hope is what leads to faith, which leads to repentance, which leads to baptism, which leads to receiving the Holy Ghost, which leads to eternal life. LOVE IT! That's life. I love the scriptures so much. They are such good teachers in helping us understand what we are doing here. Especially the Book of Mormon. :) 

I hope all of you have a great week!! Love you lots!! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Greetings from the Bronx

(Side note: The Bronx is the only New York City borough with a Hispanic majority. At the 2010 Census, 53.5% of Bronx's population was of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin (they may be of any race). At the 2009 American Community Survey, Puerto Ricans represented 23.2% of the borough's population, Mexicans made 5.2%. In 2005, more than 200,000 Dominicans called the Bronx home, and in 2000 Dominicans made 14.5% of the Bronx population.)


I am now serving in the Bronx with Hermana Skinner who is from Seattle, Washington. She has only been here for 6 weeks! She is SO cute and I am very excited to be serving with her!! 

(I found a picture of Hermana Skinner on another sister missionary's blog.
She's the one in the middle with the glasses.)
We are going to be working in the Concourse Spanish Ward here at the Kingsbridge chapel. 

Back in Inwood, we are going to be having a baptism on Saturday!! I can't even believe I will miss it! But it will be so so great. Carmen is the best investigator I have had so far! I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to teach her. 

It keeps getting hotter and hotter! I can't even believe it! I wish that I could be in Antarctica!! I am not a fan of the heat. But, we shall endure! 

It is honestly so crazy to be changing everything. We received 18 new sister missionaries today and 33 total. We have already doubled the number of sisters in the mission since I got here! We have opened about 7 new areas since I got here! So crazy! I can't even believe 7 months have gone by. It is so so so crazy!! 

I don't have any pictures right now but I will get them for you soon! Next week for sure. 

I love you all so much! Thank you for your prayers and all the love that you send this way. I know that your prayers help me get through. I love ya'll!! 

Love, Hermana Lancaster

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hello from sunny NYC!

Hello from sunny NYC! 

It has been so crazy this past week!! It started in the 40's then the past 2 days it has been in the 70's! it is so crazy! I packed up my winter coat! I am a little scared to be hot and sweaty all the time but I know it will all be well. 

This past week we have been working with a recent convert to help her start the work for her mother who passed away 7 years ago. She is going to go to the temple tomorrow to do the baptism and confirmation for her mother! We are so excited for her!! She also has asked me and my companion to do the other temple work for her. :) I consider it a huge privilege! 

General Conference was the BOMB! I loved it so so so much. The talks that really stood out to me were the Prophets talk about obedience and then Elder Falabella's talk on Sunday afternoon. I loved the talk about obedience because it really opened my eyes to how much more happy we will be if we keep the commandments. I love it. I am sad that I haven't given eye to this sooner in my life, like in my teenage years. When our parents set rules we are to follow them because we have faith that they are going to love and protect us. When we keep those rules, like be home at 10:30, then we are opening the door to greater privileges. 

We also have been given orders from our mission president to clean up the area "book," and review all of the progress of the we were both going to be getting transferred! Luckily, we have already been working on this since sister e got here!! I feel so good about it now. That if I do leave, the area is in good hands and they know what to do. 

I love this area of Inwood so so so much! It is for sure going to be my favorite area on my mission. ;) 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! 

I posted some pictures from conference and the last week. 

Yes, a bird pooped on me

Ashley with Hermana's Campbell and Evangelista
AP Elder Hutchins

Ashley and Hermana Campbell

Ashley and Hermana Lavaki

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter and Conference


This past week has FLOWN! Good Heavens I swear it was just last Wednesday. SCARY! 

This last week was super great! I hope that you all got to feel of the amazing spirit that Easter brings. Here in New York, with so many other churches around, everyone is celebrating Holy Week. A lot of people asked us what we do to celebrate Holy Week and we simply tell them, We believe every week is Holy Week. "We are always looking to be disciples of Christ." A lot of people really just don't understand what that means and others devote 3 days a week to going to church. We get a great variation of people around these parts. 

On Thursday we had Zone Conference. It is always so fun because we get to go downtown to the chapel at the temple. President talked a lot about teaching lessons with not a lot of fluff. But direct and straight forward. I'm not going to lie, after the conference I was feeling pretty down. I didn't seem to be doing anything right and I was just frustrated with myself. Luckily my companion is awesome and we were able to have a great chat about applying what we learn in the trainings to the Spanish program because I am not going to lie, it is completely different than the English program. Also, funny story about the conference, we were watching video's about driving safely, and lo and behold, Elder Chase Larsen was in one of them! I was like, I know him! It was pretty funny. He also served in New York but more western. 

Saturday we had 2 baptisms for the Spanish ward. One for an 8 year old boy and the other for an investigator of the Elders. It was crazy! There were so many people there! And someone forgot they were baking a pizza, and so inbetween the changing of clothes/bearing of testimonies, the fire alarm went off. We all thought someone had pulled it and then we all smelled smoke and started to panic. Luckily it was just burnt pizza. :) 

Saturday was also my mothers birthday! She is SO great! She has been an amazing example to me all of my life of going for what you want. She helped me decide a long time ago that if I wanted to go on a mission, the time was then to prepare. I am thankful to her everyday for this AMAZING experience I am able to have. 

Sunday was Easter! I woke up to candy sent to me from my wonderful aunt Julie and my family. It was a little weird not searching for an Easter basket. ;) In sacrament meeting Sister Evangelista sang a song! Haha I love to sing in the Spanish ward because everyone tells you how lovely it sounded. Where as in the English ward, there are opera singers. I don't think I ever will be singing there. We had a great dinner at the Giffords house and I even made cake balls! Strawberry cake with vanilla icing dipped in white chocolate. A special Easter treat. :) 

Tuesday we had a great district unity game. We called it the humble game. It is where everyone says what they like about everyone. Hahaha we are working on really working together in our ward and things have been a little weird lately so this really helped us realize that we all have strengths and weaknesses and that we need to work together to help this ward be great. 

Today we went to TARGET! I hate that it is fifteen minutes away but out of our area. The next closest target/store with decent prices, is down on 116th. Mostly it just isn't fun because they are out of our area and we can only leave 2 times a cycle. But, it was so fun looking at all the spring clothes! There are a few dresses that I have my eye on! I can't wait for the weather to warm up a little! 

Sister Noll sent me a letter! She updated me on her family as well as Ryan. Tell her thank you so much!

I can't wait for this weekend! We are going to be able to hear from our prophet! One of the questions that I like to ask people is, If Moses was on the earth would you listen to what he had to say? Usually the answer is of course! Then I get the privilege of testifying that I know that God has a prophet here on earth today. That Jesus Christ is the head of our church and that He directs it through His prophets, seers, and revelators in our day. How amazing is this knowledge we have! I invite you all to pray to know that this is Christ's church upon the earth and that President Thomas S. Monson is our prophet, the mouthpiece of God here on the earth today. I know that the Spirit will testify to you of this truth. 

I love this gospel so much. I can't believe how much I have learned in the last 6 months that have changed my life forever. I am so thankful for this amazing opportunity to preach the gospel to the people here in New York and also for the refining of self for me and my future. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week and a wonderful experience listening to the servants of the Lord!! 

Love you all!! 

Love, Hermana Lancaster