Wednesday, December 25, 2013

More specifics on the week of Ashley's last transfer

Well, in a dramatics turn of events, I'm in Stamford, Connecticut!
Okay not so dramatic but still pretty dramatic. We got the call in
Saturday and I knew I would be moving. Silently wishing I wasn't going
too far, The Lord chose to send me to Connecticut. Earlier that night
we went out to eat with the elders and Diosfer. We ate at the diner
that has really good donuts! It was a fun chill night.

Sunday was tough! Everyone was pretty sad but wished me the best. In
sacrament meeting I played the piano for the last time. It was a
bitter sweet moment. That night me and sis dodson just got everything
ready to go. I packed a suitcase and started gathering all my hard
cover books together to send home.

Monday district meeting was good. We had a fun time! We were supposed
to be talking about rake plays about the 3 laws but instead we ended
up using the 10 points in dating scenario. It was so funny! I am
really going to miss those elders. Especially Elder Gamble. Maybe it
is because we served with each other for so long, but we just became
really good friends. :) They threw ivey a little funeral. He was
angry, or pretended to be angry about it. Oh Elder Ivey. (I wanted so
badly to give him a hug at transfers, but I was too chicken.
Homecoming for sure!) After we ate lunch we took a picture in the
mothers room at the church! I was shoved in the back corner with elder
Ivey. Hahaha too funny. We all walked out and Elder Powell, the elder,
said remember in the Book of Mormon where it talks about the wicked
traditions of their fathers? Hinting at to what we had just done.
Elder Wit Beck was just like, yeah I do remember that! Then we headed
to the train to do train caroling. Legit. The train conductor got mad
at us and made it so we couldn't get on the next cart! We wonky made
it from Kingsbridge to Tremont. But it was a good experience. That
night we went over to Suzy's house. She is so sweet! I am going to
miss going over there on Monday nights. We talked about courage with
her because she is starting her divorce papers. We got stuck in the
elevator again! For the last time. :)

Tuesday we went out to take my 5 packages to the post office and 75
dollars later they were sent home. Lame. We did laundry and so I had
all clean clothes and I was ready to go out and say "good-bye" to people. We literally started visiting people at like, 3 and didn't get home till
9:30!

We started out visiting Hermana Marta Santiago. Oh how I love her! I
am so happy that I got to teacher her and love her. We ate arroz,
abichuelas, and pollo for the last time. :( after that we went and saw
Cesaria Lopez. It was slushy outside and of course I had worn my long
skirt! It was wetttt! We got to Cesarias and she is watching Family
Feud. I ask for some water and she gives it to me and the next thing I
know I am waking up on her couch and sister dodson is just sitting
there. I was like, dude how long have we been here? She was like, I
don't know maybe a half hour? Creeper max came in and talked about how
cute you looked asleep. That scared me. He is a big time creeper.
Unbeknownst to me, Cesaria was making us another dinner,I was STUFFED.
Painfully stuffed. She brought out the heaping rice and and omelet of
salami and peppers and I was like, I can do this, I can do this, then
it took one bit and I was like, I can't do this. I poked around at
it, and then I just told Cesaria Hermana, no puedo! I asked for her to
box it for me and luckily she didn't seem too mad at me. After we
tried to go see the Pascuals but only the grandma, Georby and Stacy
were home. I said good bye to them and sis Dodson said she would be
back soon. Then we went to Sulenny's and met up with Jahaira there. I
am so glad I got to meet those girls too. They really helped me
understand my future with teaching a little more. I influenced them. I
touched their lives because I cared about them. I think that I can be
that way for even more students in the future as I peruse my
education. We took pictures then I headed home to finish shoving
things into my suitcase. All was well.

We woke up on Wednesday, I was still in shock, and got ready. Luckily
the Lowell's could take my stuff for me! We got to Inwood and everyone
was like, oh my gosh, sister Lancaster I can't believe your leaving! I
told them all how I knew it was crazy! Elder Price, Duvall,
Chritchfield, and me are all headed up state. Duvall is in my
district! Elder Kerr is the new ap! Pretty crazy to see my boy grow up
like that. He is a good kid. As I got in the van to go upstate, still
things were so surreal. We drove and drove and drove. Then we got to
Ossining. When I walked in, everyone's reaction was like, whaaaat? It
was so funny. Sister Skinner was there and sister Richardson. We got
to hear the intros of the new missionaries again and get grilled again
about using Facebook to talk to our friends and families. Which is a
big no no. And I am guilty. Repentance is real! I met up with sister
Hoyos and we talked to peeps. I gave sister Skinner's baby my coat
because she didn't have one! I was never going to wear it again
anyways. Sister Hoyos told me we didn't have a car and that we would
have to ride with someone else and that my stuff would have to ride
with someone else too. So we put my stuff in Rutland and Sato's car
and headed to Norwalk with sister Barlow and sister Udy. Sister Udy is
from Idaho by Pocatello. She has an older sister who is the same age
as me, lives in rock springs, and is named ashley too! Crazy! The
drive home was longer than I thought it would be. We went straight to
the library and then waited for Gleason and Longmore to come pick us
up and take us to correlation at the church. We got home and I got to
some what unpack my stuff then we hit the sack hard!

Thursday was kinda crazy! We had a little singing practice for
Saturdays APF at 10:30. So we called Rutland and Sato to come and get
us. Luckily they live in Norwalk too! We sang some songs as best as we
could! But we were still sounding a little off. So we set up a choir
practice at new Canaan chapel Friday at 10:30. After our practice we
had Sisters Parkin and Hansen take us to get our car. We got in it and
tried to turn it on and it made a lot of clicky noises and the locks
started going crazy! We went back inside the firestone and told them
something is wrong. They kinda looked at us funny like we were 2
twenty year old girls who didn't know how to take care of their car.
Oh wait...;) Pedro jumped it for us and all was well! We haven't had
any problems since! We went to Hermana Roman's house for dinner that
night! She made us amazing arroz y abichuelas y ribs! We shared with
her and her grand kids a kids at Christmas video. They liked it. Then
Hermana Roman started telling us her life story. It was kind of scary.
She's had a hard time! But she is strong in the gospel. After, we went
to the church to practice the nativity thing for the ward Christmas
party Saturday. It was chill! We live pretty far from our church
though. We have to take the free way and it probably takes about 15-20
minutes.

Friday we went and practiced at the New Canaan church and we even
wheeled the piano outside to hear how our voices were. Hahaha it was
so funny! After we went to Costco for lunch with the zone. I still
can't believe how different it is up here. A member sat next to us at
Costco, sister Morgan walked in, and we saw another member in the
garage! So crazy! There are also Hispanics every where! You go to
Walmart, Costco, any big store and there they are. They look at my tag
and are kind of like, wait, that's my language. It is pretty cool. :)
I love it here now! There is only one thing that is not so great. The
fact that there is never any hot water for the shower. This is not
good. That is my favorite part of the day. And I just can't handle a
40 degree shower! It already cold outside!

Saturday I woke and my companion was throwing up.. Yeah so Saturday
was spent inside with my comp and unfortunately by the end of the day I
was throwing up too. We missed caroling with the zone and the ward
Christmas party but hey, we got more sleep! :) Sunday we did get
to go to church so that was good!

Church is backwards here! It is actually really good because it is
relief society when the English ward has sacrament then all the youth
classes are together, in English. We walked in and were volunteered to
be in the choir for sacrament meeting. It is kind of funny because
since sacrament meeting is last and no one is waiting for us to leave
we can go for as long as we want. Sometimes it isn't so easy to stay
awake. ;)

Monday is today! We have our p-day today to get us ready for Christmas
on Wednesday. It will hopefully be good! We spent the morning in a
short district meeting then broke off to lunch. Sister Hoyos and I
went home and scrubbed the bathroom. Now we are here at the church!

I am pretty excited to talk to y'all this Wednesday! I can't believe
it is this time again! Seems like yesterday we were trying to get this
all to work on Mother's Day!

In some other news, Hermana Reynoso that we visited in the BX passed
away this weekend. She was such a great example of strength to me. I
love her and I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to know her!
She is going to the DR to be buried. Her family could use your
prayers!

Have a very Merry Christmas! You guys are awesome!

Love you!!

Love, Hermana Lancaster

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Final Mission Transfer!

Holy cow. I've been transfered to Stamford, Connecticut! I can already assure you that Connecticut is completely different than the Bronx!! 

We don't have a car right now which isn't fun. Especially because everything is so far away. It makes things more difficult because we are at the mercy of those who have a car and can give us a ride to get around. Sister Barlow is my roommate!


Ashley and Sister Barlow when they were companions this past summer
And she is 
training! It should be a great cycle. (There are 2 companionships in her new apartment) I heard our apartment is amazing. Like, we have a separate bathroom from the other sisters! Legit!

I can't believe my mom and dad already have my flight plans to go home! That is so weird! I am happy to be home so early in the day! (Ashley comes home Thursday, February 6th. Her flight lands at 2:10 pm) 

Oh yeah, guess who is the new AP? Elder Kerr! He will be awesome! Whenever I see him he is always like. I can't believe you are going home! Actually that is what everyone says. When I walked into upstate transfers everyone was like, "Lancaster what are you doing here?" Everyone thought I was going to stay in the Bronx, including me!

Well, Hermana Hoyos is my new companion, and she has already proven to be wonderful! I am so excited for this next cycle!!


Hermana Yesenia Hoyos, Ashley's new companion!
When I told other missionaries I was going to 
Stamford, they were like, "oh man I am so jealous!" The ward here really functions well. This will be a nice place to end my mission!

Love, ashley!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Baptisms and Friendships

Hey everyone!! 

So this past week was pretty cool!! 


On Thursday, we had a ward baptism. A lot of you have already seen the picture we took with Alexon. His Grandma is an active member and is just a hoot. I love them so much! We came early to the church to decorate with her and helped her set everything up. Balloons hanging from the ceiling, huge cake, you got it. It was really nice though. I love how much the Spirit testifies of the truth of baptism whether is is an 8 year old or and 80 year old. The Spirit testifies of truth! 


On Friday we got to go up to Ossining, New York for our Mission Christmas Devotional. 

video

It was so amazing! Some of the missionaries were asked to be in the choir and some were assigned special musical numbers. We have so many talented missionaries in our mission! Sister Morgan read us a Christmas story and we had a great dinner with all the missionaries. I love it. I never, ever thought about all the friends I would make on the mission. I can honestly say that I have at least 20 new friends for life thanks to my time serving here in NY. LOVE IT! We came home around 6 and went over to mutual at a Young Woman's house. We talked about friends and it was cool just to see how they are all friends despite the circumstances that surround them in this city. 






Saturday we went to the baptism of Gabriel and Fernando Lorenzo. They are 2 youth who really were prepared for this gospel! It was so cool to see them grow! 

Sunday we watched the Christmas devotional in the clerks office because the tv's weren't working in the other rooms! How amazing were those talks!? I love Sister Wixom's talk about seeing Christmas through children's eyes. How awesome is that!? If you haven't watched it, go watch it!! 


Monday was our District Leader Elder Gamble's birthday! He turned 20!! He has been such a great leader! I have served with him for 4 cycles now and he helps me out so much. We set up a surprise party at a members house the week before. She made us abichuelas and arroz y pollo and we feasted! It was an awesome time to spend together remembering why we are here on missions and how much this will help us in our future lives. After the dinner we all piled into the elevator, 8 missionaries and 1 ward mission leader, and tried to head from the basement floor to the 1st floor. let's just say it may have taken us 30 minutes to get out of that elevator. But we did it!! hahahhaaha

Tuesday we had a lesson with an investigator who recently returned from the DR! She has a lot of family members who are Mormon but doesn't really know that much about us. She has been to the church here and in the DR. She lives right next to a member so it is so amazing that she already has a friend!! That is something that is so important in missionary work. If you are going to help anyone become converted, give them a friend to help them along their way and they will grow strong! 

Today was a chill P-day yet again. IT IS MY FATHER'S BIRTHDAY! 
I love him so much!


Next week is transfers!!!!! And my brother Jacob's birthday! Sweet 16! I can honestly say I do not know whether I will stay or go. I am kind of freaking out considering I just received 2 big boxes i will have to transport with me if I do move! crazy! We shall see what the Lord has in store for us! 

I love you all so much! thank you for all that you do!! Keep going strong! 


con mucho amor, 

Hermana Lancaster

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving Week Recap

Hey y'all!

I hope this past week has been awesome! I hope everybody got some
pumpkin pie! Because I sure only got one. :( it is definitely my
favorite! :)

This past Thursday was Thanksgiving! We had weekly planning that day
so we were at the church for the majority of the morning. That is
where we have wifi. The youth came up and played basketball with the
elders and it was nice. Later that night we met with the members who
live below us for dinner! They are in the English ward. They are from
Sierra Leone! That is in Africa! They are so sweet! Let's just say I
was not expecting spicy food, but it was spicy! They kept saying how
much they loved spicy food! Even the baby was eating the same food as
me and I was like, man I am a wimp! We had cous cous (spicy),
ribs (spicy), and turkey! :) It was so fun to be with them. They are
the cutest family! Their daughter even wakes up at 6 to go to seminary
everyday!




On Friday we met up with the Tifa family! I love them so much! Wilson
made us awesome elastic bracelets and we watched spiritual crocodiles.
For those of you who haven't seen the seminary video, it is a classic.
We asked them about what kinds of spiritual crocodiles they have in
their lives, their answers were really good, they talked about how
judging others can be a spiritual crocodile! I love it! Those kids are
legit.

On Saturday, I was asked to sing in a quartet of a baptism! We sang
away in a manger! It was really awesome. I love that song. It was also
cool to be at an English baptism! Usually we sing, pray, and just do
everything in Spanish so it was pretty cool. 




Later that night we went and talked with Sulenny about an awesome article in the New Era! It is by Elder Holland about the Second Coming! I posted a link to it on Facebook if y'all wanna check it out! 

Preparing for the Second Coming

In the article he talks about strengthening Gods kingdom on the earth before The Lord comes. It was just what Sulenny needed to hear. It is amazing when The Lord knows just what we need to talk about with everyone. That is something that has been so awesome to see as a missionary!

Sunday was fast Sunday. I'm not going to lie, it's been a little while
since I have fasted. I have gotten really sick when I have, and
usually at members houses. Not good. But I fasted and felt AMAZING! I
loved it. And then during sacrament meeting I found an amazing hymn
that was what I needed during my fast. 


Hymn Number 139 (In Fasting We Approach Thee)

1. In fasting we approach thee here

And pray thy Spirit from above

Will cleanse our hearts, cast out our fear,

And fill our hunger with thy love.

2. Thru this small sacrifice, may we

Recall that strength and life each day

Are sacred blessings sent from thee--

Fill us with gratitude, we pray.

3. And may our fast fill us with care

For all thy children now in need.

May we from our abundance share,

Thy sheep to bless, thy lambs to feed.

4. This fast, dear Father, sanctify--

Our faith and trust in thee increase.

As we commune and testify,

May we be filled with joy and peace.

I love how it talks about being filled. Aren't the words just so
awesome?! I love it.

Monday we had Zone Meeting. We talked about using the iPads and online
proselyting. Sister Dodson gave an awesome discussion on using the
Internet and blogs and stuff. We are learning! It is cool being a
guinea pig but I am excited for the future missionaries who get the
best from this. It will be legit!

Tuesday we had an APF which means area proselyting focus. We were in
our area this week and had a pretty legit idea. We got a huge box and
wrapped it like a present then we cut up strips of paper to have
people write what they would give Christ for Christmas! We got to talk
with a lot more people than we usually do, and it was just awesome to
see people get excited about Christmas and not just presents. One kid
did write that he would give Him a Xbox. Hahaha!

Today was a chill p-day. We got done everything we needed to! Yay!
This Friday is our mission CHRISTmas devotional! We get to go upstate!
It will be the farthest I have ever been upstate! It is called
Ossining. I think. I love Christmas!

I hope you all have an awesome week! Make sure and read the friend,
there are cute things to do everyday with your family! We are working
on a little something too. Keep an eye out on Facebook! Just remember
to share posts you like! That way the gospel spreads to more people!
Love it!

Love you!

Love, Hermana Lancaster




Laughing with her muscles giving out


"Pray" on the subway


Setting up Christmas at Suzy's