Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Hello friends and family!

I hope you all have had a great week! We have reached winter here! It
hasn't snowed yet but last night we had a pretty big storm! It is
beginning! I really do like winter in the city. Especially because I
am not a good snow driver. If I do get transferred this last cycle
upstate and have to drive, well, Heaven help me. ;) I haven't driven
for almost 15 months!

This past week has been pretty chill. We really focused on members
this past week to build trust and help teach them how to teach so that
we can help them be better member missionaries! It has been good to go
and visit the active members! Especially because they feed us. :) We
have been focusing on teaching them basically chapter 3 of Preach My
Gospel. When we all truly understand these themes, we can teach the
gospel simply and clearly.

So after p-day on Wednesday we went over to a members house. She is
Mexican and is so sweet! She always makes us yummy Mexican food. So we
sit down and she tells us she has molé for us and some soup. Then she
said the word mondongo. I knew I had heard that word before and I was
a little worried. From what I had heard it was either platanos or
stomach. Mofongo or mondongo. At first I didn't say anything, thinking
that the thought would slip from my mind and I would be able to chow
it down. Then Sis. Dodson started eating it and was like, what is
this? I was like, is most likely from a cow. So my
friends, we ate stomach soup. Okay I had a few bites. It was the
texture of chicken skin which I can't stand but, I couldn't leave that
place without trying it. Sis. Dodson was a lot braver than me!

On Thursday we had our last primary program practice! I play the piano for the
ward and offered my services to the primary back in August to play for
them in November. I thought for sure I would be transferred by now
but, alas, here I am! We practiced for an hour and just sang the songs
over and over and over again. There were only 4. La fe (faith), Con El
Salvador al lado (if the savior stood beside me), mi Padre Celestial
me ama (Heavenly Father loves me), and la oracion de un niño(A child's
prayer). It was such a good experience to work with them. We tried our
hardest to just help them have a good experience through all of it. I
am so thankful for all my primary teachers! Teaching the songs is so
hard! Props to all ya'll! :)

On Friday we went to the Reynosa's house. They are a less active
family in our ward. She is very sick with cancer. For the past 6 years
she has been fighting with it, which is also the same amount of time
she has been in the US. She is so strong! She has been such an amazing
example to me of strength and testimony through trials. I am so
thankful that I had the amazing opportunity to meet her.

After the Reynosa's we went to mutual at the YW presidents house. She
asked us to talk about the temple and fasting because they were going
to the temple to do baptisms the next day and invited us to fast with
them. We showed them the cover of the personal progress book and the
cover of the for the strength of the youth booklet. They both have a
picture of the salt lake temple on them. Coincidence, I think not! We
tried to help them understand that the temple is our goal. That the
temple is the place we should all be aiming for and that our decisions
now, will make or break us getting there. I have so much respect for
these girls. Life is so tough here! Good is evil and evil is good.
They have so much courage to stand up for what they believe!

Saturday was a crazy day! We had so much planned to do! It was
wonderful! We had correlation with our ward mission leader then at 12
we had a zone finding activity. Finding is when you find new people to
teach whether it be through tracting, contacting, basically just
talking to random people! My companion, being the artist she is, drew
a huge picture of the angel Moroni! Then we handed out chalk to people
to write down what they were thankful for on the ground around him. A
lot of people talked to us about the church and what we were doing.

Then it usually turns into talking about them. It is really so
interesting to just talk to people about their own lives. That is
something really cool I like about the mission, being able to just
talk to people about their lives! I think it is the history teacher in
me, I love hearing about people's lives. Even though it was cold
outside, this zone activity was so fun!

After the activity, the sisters in the other Spanish ward had a
baptism. We helped them teach a few lessons with him because they
didn't have a third female. His name is Joel. He is so awesome! It was
cool to witness him changing and seeing that the gospel was changing
him into the person he wanted to be. So awesome.

Later that night, we had a relief society baby shower for our relief
society president! She is so cute! She is having her first baby! It is
a girl! There were so many people at the party! It was kind of cool to
see so many members in one place outside of church! I love it. We just
chatted up with the members and they blasted bachata music. For those
of you who don't know what bachata is, google Prince Royce. I love
him. :)

Sunday was the primary program! It was so good! Hahaha I just love
those kids so much. They are so hilarious! They just scream the song
instead of singing. I love that I have gotten to stay in Concourse for
so long because I really did get to develop relationships with the
members here!

Later we went and visited a YW. She is having problems with posting
not good stuff on Facebook. I am so amazed by the world. We literally
are serving in Babylon. I think of all of the prophets who literally
cried because of the wickedness of the people and their love for them.
We have had much sorrow over a few investigators and members who are
choosing to use their agency badly. It it so hard to stay true to what
you believe in this city but, it is possible. I love the YW so much.
They have so much strength and are willing to stand up for what they
believe in.

After we went to a members house to talk about the Book of Mormon. It
was awesome because the members less active grandson was there too and
he was really into it! It is really hard because a lot of kids
grandparents are active but their parents are inactive. It's really
hard to see that, especially when the kids want to come to church.
Sometimes it motivates the parents to reactivate themselves but
sometimes it doesn't. We left him with the commitment to read the Book
of Mormon and to come to church on Sunday and he was like, "you'll see
me there!" It is cool to see the youth grow.

Monday we went to a recent converts house, Marta Santiago. I love her
so much. She is another one of the ladies that I am so happy I got to
meet in my life. She is probably 70 and was baptized last year. She is
going to take the temple prep classes in January! This next week she
is going to get her temple recommend so we can go down to the temple
and do confirmations with her. It has been so amazing to see her grow.
She was so prepared for this gospel and now only wants her family to
be able to enjoy it.
After we visited Marta, we went to another members for dinner with the
elders. Her name is Susie. Her husband just left to Peru for the
winter and she is here by herself! She is so awesome and a very strong
member. She leads me every Sunday as the ward music director!

Tuesday was the International Day of Merengue! If you don't know what
that is Google it! You will want to get up and dance though, so be
warned! We met up with Ceyline. She is a teacher of the 12-15 year
olds in Sunday school. At first she was having a hard time with them
because she doesn't speak much English but she said that now it is
much better. She is only 25 so when we get together it is always fun.
She knows the gospel really well too so when we get together it is
always a good spiritual experience.

Then we had an APF, which is an "area proselyting focus." We gave out
free hot chocolate and pamphlets. It is pretty cool how fast all the
Book of Mormon's and pamphlets go when you tell people they are free.
I am also a strong believer that even if we don't explain much about
the book, if they have it in their home, it has power. Isn't that
amazing? I just love that The Lord places people in our paths to get
the information they need to make the choice to change and follow the
gospel of Jesus Christ.

I can't believe that my time is coming to an end here in New York.
My time serving The Lord  is coming to an end. It is so crazy how
fast time has seemed to fly! I am so thankful for this opportunity to
be here. To have had this experience that has changed my life forever.
I am so thankful to all of my family and friends and people I don't
even know for their support. I can feel your prayers. I know Heavenly
Father is aware of His missionaries and their families.

I love you all so much! Thank you so much for everything you do for
this work! Keep being strong! Remember that we all have to take part
in this work. All of you know someone who is not a member of the
church. Share your testimony, share your example, share up the love
that you have for your Savior! Actions often speak louder than words.
:) Remember to share through Facebook! We can reach the four corners
of the earth with Facebook!

I love you all!

Love, Hermana Lancaster

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Your Once Upon A Time Is Now!

Today I was studying about the Plan of Salvation and my studies ended up at this amazing talk by President Uchtdorf. 

"We all search for happiness, and we all try to find our own “happily ever after.” The truth is, God knows how to get there! And He has created a map for you; He knows the way. He is your beloved Heavenly Father, who seeks your good, your happiness. He desires with all the love of a perfect and pure Father that you reach your supernal destination. The map is available to all. It gives explicit directions of what to do and where to go to everyone who is striving to come unto Christ and “stand as [a witness] of God at all times and in all things, and in all places.” All you have to do is trust your Heavenly Father. Trust Him enough to follow His plan."

It has been the most amazing experience to help others find the map of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Not only have I been able to help others, but I have even been able to help myself understand more clearly the map Heavenly Father has for me.

How has following your map helped you understand and trust Heavenly Father? I invite you all to read this amazing talk and share it with someone who comes to your mind while reading it. I know that the Spirit can help you share the gospel in ways only you can.  

Happily Ever After

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Using I-Pads to help with missionary work

Helllllo everyone! 

First and foremost, I apologize for not writing last week. After transfers I got a huge headache and we went home to sleep it off. We ended up staying home till 3 and then we only had 3 hours to do everything else we needed to do for p-day. Mannnn sometimes p-days are the most stressful of all the days. 

Nothing really exciting happened that last week. BUT this week something amazing happened! 

We now have iPads!!!! It has been so amazing to start using them. For those of you that have served missions, you may know of the pain of lugging around the 5+ lb. area book full of contacts. Now, the area book is on the iPad. Everything is on the iPad. You leave a lesson and are waiting for the train, just enter into their progress record what happened, what commitments were extended, and your next appointment. BOOM! All I gotta say is that I am so jealous for my sister and brothers because when they go on missions they will get to start out using them! 

This past week we had stake conference. It was AMAZING! We have the most amazing stake president. We had the privilege to ride metro north up to New Rochelle, for the adult session on Saturday night. 

I might just copy and paste my notes... :) 

Ashley's notes from Stake Conference:

Stake Conference 16 Noviembre 2013 

Share the gospel in a natural and normal way! Look to your Heavenly Father for experiences to share the gospel! Instruments in the Lord's hands. Called to be successful. We can be successful if we do as The Lord wills! 

Sister mortensen: Missionary work means loving others. Helping them feel Heavenly Fathers love! 

Determined not to let the flame go out. We have the responsibility to fan others flames! We do this through showing others love. Let others know that they have been an answer to your prayers! Render music. Know others by name. Shows that you care about them. Isaiah 49. Serve others and serve with others. We are all very far from home. We are far from our heavenly home. The plan of salvation is based on us loving each other. That is how we are going to make it all home. Joy can be made full, just be kind and loving. We will remember the people we told The Lord we would take care of. 

Sister Morgan: your voice becomes as His. Your hands, His hands. Your calling is to bless lives. 

Sister missionaries, quote by pres. Hinckley about sister missionaries. LOVE IT! Mothers of the stripling warriors. 

President Morgan: John 13:34-35 by this all men shall know that you are His disciples. Love one another. 

Things we an do to hasten the work. 25 ideas on how to be a good member missionaries. That we might find urgency in finding those whom need the gospel. :) 

Member of presidency: the temple is for imperfect people who need to strengthen their weakness. 
The temple is the greatest tool in recent convert retention! Do all we can do to get these members to the TEMPLE! 

Set block for recent converts to go to the temple! On Saturdays. 

President Taylor: corrupting influence. Pride that brings corrupted souls. Unleavened bread of sincerity  and truth. Glitz of the great and spacious building. One foot in, one foot out. 

Deny yourself of all ungodliness. Elder McConkie, your own testimony needs to be strong. We need to be better. Holier. Cleaner. So that the spirit can flow through us without impediment. 

Our best tool to go to the TEMPLE! Endowed with power from on high! Our covenants will make us strong. Them shall they be gods. They continue. They shall be Gods because they have all power and the angels are subject to them. Amazing. We have the power that makes us Gods. We need to live worthy of this power. 

Observe the principle of modesty. Much more about our state of mind than our clothes. Modest is not hottest, Modest is godly. Quit sitting on the fence. WE CAN'T QUIT. WE CAN'T GIVE UP. 

Man is god in embryo. It is not okay to be ungodly. We are children of God! 

Sunday Spanish session:

Como pueda vivir mas cerca del espiritu. 
Ora que su espousal tiene un buen dia. 

La oracion. El lo quiso me hace reflecionar un poco. 

Semeritano. Hay muchas claces de personas. Que clase de personas somos? Estamos mirando por maneras en que podemos ayudar? 1 nephi 30(13):27 
Visitamos a las personas para que ellos saben que tienen alguen en que pueden depender. 
Alma 32 la fe a una semilla. La arbol de la fe en su corazon. Vs 37, mostramos lo, nutrirlo, para que echa raiz(root). Dará fruto. Estamos juntos en eso. Diligente. Puede caer facilmente, tenemos que nutrirlo y cuidarlo cada dia. 

Presidente de los hombres jovenes. 

La estoria de Alma el menor. 

La mision es clave. 

Sister temple worker: central park people watching comparisons. Row boat needs to be balanced. Are we so focuses on the world that we can' t see the things of the savior in the world. Correct rowing technique. 
 Derepente - suddenly crashing, do we need to back up? DC 109: 8 organize ourselves so that our lives can be balanced. Do what ever is necessary for us to go to the temple. 

Brother temple worker: when one does not go to the temple, one is suseptable to tje temptations of satanas. Si todavía no ha recibido las ordenanzas del templo, HAGANLAS! Use your temple recommend! Bendiciones vana venir. Wen we go to the temple we descover who much we need these blessings of salvarion as we help others to recieve them as well. 

Hno. domonicano en el presidencía quevas apartarnos del mundo. 110:7-9 no profana la santa casa del señor. 

Boyd l packer: we can see in a new way. Learn how to solve problems in a new way. Verdadera intención. Realmente necesitan. Los rostros de las personas dentro el templo eran diferentes de los afuera. 

El ha preparado un lugar por nosotros. 

Presidente Taylor: 
 No hemos terminados todavía.

Stake conference fireside: 

Sister Nielson: how important it is to choose the right person. Jacob 2:17 be familiar with all! 

Familiar-family. Our choice is if we do it with or without the Savior. 

Elder Nielson(exclamation point): 82,370 missionaries. 

D&C 50:22,23,24 when is your perfect day? Have you had a few perfect days? 

Hastening the work! Prophecy of Daniel is being fulfilled. 

President Hinckley talking with mike wallas 
Define ourselves and to not let others define us. -Ballard 
Book of Mormon became the number one play on broadway.
I am a Mormon campaign. New York, London. 
Rick perry saying we were a cult. 

559 times Jesus Christ is referenced in the Book of Mormon. 
ARTICLES of Faith march 1, 1842. Our beliefs! Wentworth letter. 

I loved president Taylor's talk from Saturday night. He talked a lot about the temple garment and how we are gods in embryo. How amazing! It was such a great spiritual edification. 

Something that I have been wanting to share but haven't yet is the song I was reading 2 Sundays ago. It is hymn #169. As now we take the sacrament. 

  1. 1. As now we take the sacrament,
    Our thoughts are turned to thee,
    Thou Son of God, who lived for us,
    Then died on Calvary.
    We contemplate thy lasting grace,
    Thy boundless charity;
    To us the gift of life was giv'n
    For all eternity.
  2. 2. As now our minds review the past,
    We know we must repent;
    The way to thee is righteousness--
    The way thy life was spent.
    Forgiveness is a gift from thee
    We seek with pure intent.
    With hands now pledged to do thy work,
    We take the sacrament.
  3. 3. As now we praise thy name with song,
    The blessings of this day
    Will linger in our thankful hearts,
    And silently we pray
    For courage to accept thy will,
    To listen and obey.
    We love thee, Lord; our hearts are full.
    We'll walk thy chosen way.
  4. Text: Lee Tom Perry, b. 1951. (c) 1985 IRI
    Music: Daniel Lyman Carter, b. 1955. (c) 1985 IRI
This song is a great reminder of our baptismal covenants and how we can live the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love it so much!! 

Keep being strong everyone!! Remember that when we share the gospel, especially through Facebook, we are reaching hundreds of people at a time!! This is hastening the work and you all are very much a part of it. 

Love you all so much!! 

Love, Hermana Lancaster 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Where's Ash?

Well, the Bronx loves Ashley! She's still there, and loving it. She didn't get an email off to me yesterday because she had a horrible headache, but she's doing better. I guess we'll get the details next week?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Happy Halloween & a week of play by play


Transfers is next week. yeahhh these past 6 weeks started off a little rough but now, they are flying right by. In all reality, I have no idea what will happen this next cycle. I thought for sure I would be out of this area by now! And now I don't want to leave it! My mother pointed out to me that I am in my last 3 months. CRAZY! I really can't believe it! It has been such and amazing amazing experience here. I love it! 

Thursday was Halloween!! I hope ya'll had fun! Here in the BX we go from shop to shop getting candy en vez de going door to door. And you are in by 7:30 because after 7:30, you don't want to be outside. Our president told us we were to be in by 5pm. I am pretty sure we weren't a minute late. We bought some oreos and listened to Lindsay Sterlings new album. It was a pretty chill night. That morning we went to a training meeting for Hermana Dodson. She is awesome. We all had lunch and talked about the Doctrine of Christ, how to teach with folletos (pamphlets)  and then the good ol' "Lock your Heart" talk. :) 

Friday we met with Hna. Willis from Connecticut! She came bearing good tidings of great groceries, and that was so amazing. We also met with our investigator Candy! She is so sweet! It really is amazing to watch the process of an investigator gaining light and knowledge, and feeling the Holy Ghost testifying! 

Saturday I got to go on a split with Hermana Stringam from Kingsbridge Spanish district. She is a sister training leader! I stayed in my area and Sister Dodson went with Sister Cole to their area. We went over to visit some less actives and actually got an amazing investigator lesson with a member present! Holla!! Then we went for some Wendy's frosty's to celebrate. :) 

Sunday was a great Fast Sunday. In our ward, after Sacrament, before they start testimonies, the members all rush up to the front to have the opportunity to bear their testimony. There is never a silence! That night we went out and tried to visit 5 members. 4 were home, and we had 3 lessons. It was legit. Heavenly Father definitely is leading and guiding us! 

Monday we went to visit some part member families. We are really working hard with them because they have an instant friend! We love going and visiting them and it is amazing to see them come into the fold or return and keep their covenants. 

Yesterday we went out with Jahaira after helping the new senior couple move into the McNairy's old pad. They are going to be in the English ward. :( They are the Powell's and they are from Las Vegas, Nevada. We went to Sulenny's with Jahaira and had a great lesson with them. I love these youth! They make me feel like this is the reason I am here. I just want to help them to get to their full potential so bad! We are going to really focus on the temple with them, as well as family history work, baptisms for the dead, worthiness, and eventually endowment and sealing in the temple! I LOVE IT! 

We shared an amazing talk with them from April 2012 Young Womens General Broadcast, Seek Learning, you have work to do   So good! 

I love you all so much! Thank you for all you do for me! I can feel the power of your prayers! Have an amazing week! Remember to put your armor on EVERYDAY! 

Love you!! 

Love, Hermana Lancaster