Friday, February 7, 2014

A Recap of Ashley's last 3 Mission Weeks

Thursday, January 7th- we still didn't have our car. We had zone meeting in the
morning. It was really good! We are talking about the doctrine of
Christ again as we start the year, applying it to ourselves and to our
investigators. The STL's Sister's Keanini and Brog came down from
Danbury to visit with us. Oh yeah, so the night before we called up
the zone leaders because we were feeling some tension between
elder D and elder O and us. We were feeling really distant
from them. They had all gone down to the city that day and didn't even
tell us. We told the zone leaders how we felt and we set up a
meeting basically for all of us to sit down and chat. After lunch we
came back to the church with the STL's and went in to talk with them.
We really didn't want to make it a big deal but, it ended up being a
good venting session. Mostly it was between elder O and Sister
H. I just kind of told them how I felt about being distanced. We
got things worked out and now we are all going to communicate a lot
better. After the meeting I was just feeling like I needed to hug
everyone. It is like, the thing that "seals the deal." Hug and make up. It didn't go over very well with D and elder O...both were really weird about it. But elder Sato and elder Rutland, they were chill about it. Then I hugged sister's Keanini and Brog. It was a good way to end things. We went out to Hermana Roman's that night. The elders dropped us off. She had made us burritos and thought
that the elders were coming as well, but they didn't. She made us huge
burritos! She made one special for sister Hoyos, with no meat, and
placed it in front of her. Only within one bite, sister Hoyos knew
that it was wrong. She had mistakingly put the one with meat in front
of sister Hoyos! We got everything worked out but sister Hoyos didn't
look so good. We talked to Sister Roman's daughter Raquel a lot! She
told us about these shows that are on TLC, about the flds church and
people who have left it and that they are bashing the Mormon church
and how they talked to our missionaries and made them look stupid.
Lame =( But she bore her testimony to us and it was really nice. She
hasn't been to church in a long time. We left them with a prayer that
they would find the visa that her husband was looking for and then
went home with Sister Roman. It was a good day.

Friday- in the morning we still didn't have the car. Around 3 we went
to the. Molina's house for dinner. She is such a good cook! We shared some
Mormon messages with them.  Then we were about to leave and we got a call from the dealer that our car was ready!! We shouted for joy! We went down to the dealer and got her. Then we headed to Isabel's. We talked about life and how she was doing. We reviewed the gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet with her and she passed with flying colors. Then we came home and planned.

Saturday-  We had coordination and then planned some. We went to
Consuelo's house to have dinner with Elders Ordaz and Duvall. But
Elder Ordaz was on a split with Elder Longmore! It was chill. We had
yummy chicken with arroz como, amarillo and frijoles. Then Elder Ordaz
saw the sugar cane in the corner and started cutting it off piece by
piece. It was actually pretty good! You just cut it into little pieces
then suck and chew out the juice. Then you spit it out. Elder Longmore
said that he got a stomach ache the last time he ate it because he
swallowed it!

Sunday- after church we went to Hermana Elizabeth Vidals for burritos!
They were like fajitas. Her rice and beans are always super good. We
were there with elders Ordaz and Duvall and Hermanas Hansen and
Parkin. It is sometimes awkward when it is just us because they kinda
flirt... Hahaha. After we went to Isabel's house to talk with her
about how her week had been. She told us that the day before she
couldn't sleep and so she read the Book of Mormon! She said that she
looked at the clock and it said 4 am! She said she read in 2 Nephi 3
and received answers to questions about Joseph smith. I love it! She
is also reading the new Teachings of the Prophets book! She really
liked that too! She is gold. After we went and talked to Gladys. Her
house still smells like pee. And her German shepherd, Jessica, is
big and scary. We told her we would set up a time to come and help her
clean. We are hoping to set it up as an APF (Area Proselytizing focus)

Monday 13- we had district meeting at new Canaan. Elder Ordaz asked me
to share how I apply the doctrine of Christ in my life. In our white handbook it talks about the traits of leaders and basically outlines the doctrine of Christ. I said that as I have strived to live the doctrine of Christ on my mission these points have stuck out to me, and I have tried my hardest to emulate them. 

Stamford Connecticut Zone

Later that afternoon we went to visit a less active family. Gloria and Delvis are from Honduras! They are the cutest little family! They have a 4 month old baby. We got to know them and it was a really nice visit. After we had dinner with the other sisters at a members house! This member is from Peru, which is awesome because they cook some mean papas! Then we headed back to Norwalk to visit another less active named Carmen. When we walked in she was watching "caso cerrado" which is like Judge Judy. Everybody loves it
as well as novelas which are Latino soap operas. We talked to her a
little about how she is doing and she said that life was hard for her.
We talked about how sometimes The Lord cuts us down so that we can
become what he knows is best. She really liked it and said that she is
trying to be the best parent just like our Heavenly Father is the best
parent with us.

Tuesday 14- Tuesday morning we volunteered to do service for a ysa
member. He owns a few salons in new Canaan and let's be honest I was
hoping for some kind of hair care as a recompense for the service ;)
It was rainy and we were in pros but we knew we could still work hard.
Luckily there was a lot of cleaning that needed to be done so I went to
work with the broom. While we were there, there were a few others who
had come from the ysa ward to help. One started talking to us, his
name is John. He told us that he had just returned home a few months ago
from Oklahoma! I told him that I had a few friends who went there and
asked him if he knew Luke Frampton. He was like, "Oh no! Luke is my
homeboy!" I was like no way you know him! Next thing I know, they are
talking on the phone! So I got to say hello to Luke! And I got a DR.
Pepper! hahaha it was pretty fun. Later that night we went and saw
a less active named Eva. We have been visiting her every week to help
her feel the love of the ward. After we stopped by a members house,
the Molina's, and visited with them.

Wednesday 15- today was P-day. We woke up early and got all ready to
head down to the city by 8:30! Sister Barlow and Sister Udy went with
us. We stopped in Fordham! My old stomping grounds! We went to the old
pad and walked with sister Richardson and Sister Dodson to the church.
The whole Kingsbridge zone was going bowling so I got to see everyone!
It was so fun! Then we went downtown! We stopped and ate at Panera
bread then headed down 86th street to 5th ave. Then we walked down
along the park till 82nd where the Metropolitan Museum of Art is! We
saw all the cool stuff from the ancient south Americas and pasific
islands then we headed through some classical, Baroque, we saw a lot
of sculptures, then we headed to the modern art. I have a few artists
that I just adore. Really I love Rothko and Pollack they are so
interesting to study! But usually with modern art you must know a
little background about the artist, the time period, etc. It isn't
just art for arts sake it has significant meaning! Hahaha love it.
After we headed to the chapel at the temple. This is when my head
began to pound! I got such a. Bad. Headache. I couldn't even write my
mom an email. I even sat and talked with Elder Higbee for 10 minutes
and I couldn't even remember what he said the next day. It was
horrible because we were still so far away from home and we still had
correlation meeting. I just wanted to scream and to sleep. We got back up to
Fordham then onto the metro north in the nick of time! I slept all the
way to Connecticut. Then went to correlation. I am going to be honest
I couldn't hide how I was feeling. I felt like horrible. I was sure I was
going to throw up. I got the garbage can and everything. Everyone was
asking me what was wrong and I just kept saying, tengo un dolor de la
cabeza. Luckily we went first, so we could leave. We got home and I
went right to bed.

Thursday 16- woke up still with a strong headache. The same one. I tried to
work out and get ready but I wasn't doing well. We called the elders,
Sato and Rutland, and asked if they'd give me a blessing. It was so
amazing to just feel of God's love in that little time. I am so
thankful for the the priesthood. It is an amazing blessing and
something that I want to always have in my home. With in an hour, I
was feeling so much better. Later we met up with our district leader
Elder Ordaz and Elder Duvall. We are both working here in Norwalk so
we are going through the ward list to make sure everyone is accounted
for. It is going pretty well! It makes me so sad though to see all
these people who have now moved and no one knows where they are! I
find myself praying for them that they will be brought back to The
Lord. After we went to Hermana Romans. We ate some enchiladas, and they were so so so spicy.

Friday 17- We had coordination today. Coordination is when we get
together as a district outside of district meeting and talk
specifically about the ward, our investigators, and other stuff. It
just really really helps with communication between us as
missionaries. After I practiced a song that I am going to play at ward
conference. Then we went to a birthday party for our investigator!! Isabel has so many member friends it is kind of insane. She has G, (who we all think she should marry;)), Consuelo, Gerbert. Y muchas mas! We had some yummy soup and rice. Which I love! I love soupy rice. Then we just chatted. It was so amazing because we just talked about the gospel for like 2 hours! Her sister in law was there and was listening to our conversation. As we were getting ready to leave something inside me was just like, give her a Book of Mormon. I
was really hesitant. But as we left I said, here is the book we've
been talking about. You should read it and find out for yourself if it
is true! She was really hesitant and our investigator kind of looked
at us like we were crazy! But she took it. Seed planted? I hope so!

Saturday 18- My sister Allie is 19 today!! How crazy is that? Really I think it
is going to be so weird seeing her and being like, wow, Allie is all
grown up! I can't even wrap my head around the fact she is graduated
from high school still! We headed out early this morning because we
had a breakfast appointment! Obispo Mena invited us over to have
breakfast at his house in Greenwich. They are super awesome. They have
a daughter serving in the Charlotte, NC mission. All of us
missionaries were there as well as Chris who is going to be leaving
for Buenas Aries muy pronto. We talked about missionary work and the
bishop thanked us for all our hard work. It was also a kind of
farewell thing for me, Sister Parkin, and Elder Ordaz. We all, bore
our testimonies and it was great. Then bishop asked us to speak the
next day for sacrament meeting. Oh wonderful. The perks of being a

Unfortunately, the ward thinks we are spiritual geniuses,
but in reality we aren't. I was asked to share my thoughts about my mission
and sister missionaries. Not too difficult. Afterwards we returned home and
studied for a while. Then headed out for lunch at a members! Hermana
Vidal is bomb. She makes bomb Mexican food.  There were quite a few of
us missionaries over there and it was a little squished but the food
was still tasty. Then we talked about Moroni 10:32. About coming unto
Christ so that we can become perfected in Him. One of the sisters has
been going through a really hard time. As we talked about the
scripture, she continued to be negative and put herself down for the
things she had done. She served a mission and has been trying to come
back into activity. It has been hard for her because of the influence
Saran has had on her. Members will often say to her, oh look the
ex-missionary is finally at church. Little stupid things like that.
They discourage her and she falls. That has been a big problem I have
seen on my mission. I believe when those trials come, if satan can get
it into our head that, yes I am horrible, we will fall. I have seen
it. It is part of the reason I want to help these less actives so much
because as they keep their baptismal covenants, they can receive that
extra power to triumph over Satan! I am thankful for the knowledge I
have of the power I have received to overcome the devil and receive
the power of God. After that, I practiced my song again for the choir
and then wrote my missionary experience. I based it off each of my
companions and the things that I have learned from them.

Sunday 19- I got to talk at church today! I will send a copy of my
talk. It is in Spanish so the translation might be a little funky but
basically, it was about the 3 most important things I learned on my
mission. Everyone loved it. I love it. I don't want to sound prideful
or, anything but I will be like Ammon and boast of my God. I love my
mission and everything that I have learned. I hope that the things I
have learned can help others! And when all the members told me how
great my talk was it was because the Spirit had carried the message to
heir hearts. They knew it was true! People told me that! LEGIT! After
church on Sunday we went to Hermana Baltizar's. She is a hoot! Really
though she is hilarious. Nunca faltamos la Inca Cola. We never don't
have Inca Cola which is a drink from Peru. I think it tastes like
bubblegum. I really like it! I am hoping I can find it in Utah! She
also always makes us pineapple smoothies. :) we met a returning less
active we didn't even know! Hermanas Mendoza! She is so cute and nice!
She is from Venezuela and told us she would make arepas for us!!
Sister Tifa from the BX made them for us once they are bomb. I will
have to make them when I get home! Afterwards we went over to our
investigator Isabel's house because she had had her baptismal
interview and needed to talk to the bishop about some stuff. I was worried. I was like, "How could I not have prepared her well enough for this?" The baptism is on Saturday and we talked to president Morgan and he said that she could still get baptized then. We went over to see how she was doing and talked to her about everything. We tried to explain a little more about repentance and the role confession has in it's steps. She is still super awesome. Really though she is bomb.

Monday 20- we had district meeting at Stamford. We got there and an
returned missionary was visiting with his family. I had known him for a
little. It kind of freaked me out and reminded me that I was going
home soon. When I opened Facebook, I saw that someone I followed (to
post cute quotes with my posts) had posted a cute quote of ME! My own
words! My muscles totally gave out. Hahaha everyone laughed, with me
of course. ;) 

We had a pretty legit meeting about love and the role it
plays in living the gospel of Christ. After we headed back to church so I could continue practicing my song. Then we went to visit a recently reactivated member. Her name is Luz. The elders found her because they started teaching her boyfriend! Kinda crazy! She has 6 month old twins! They are the sweetest things ever! They are so chunky and so smiley! We talked a little about how
life was and watched a movie about how Christ is our mediator with the
Father. She is awesome and is soon to be marrying the investigator!
Afterwards we headed back to Norwalk and visited the Molina's! They
are always bomb. She told us there was going to be a storm in the
morning and we were not too worried about it.

Tuesday 21- storm is supposed to come in at noon. We were a little
worried but headed out for our lunch appointment at noon. It had
already started snowing and the roads were starting to be bad. We ate
lunch and as we were about to leave, we got the text, we were grounded
until further notice. We headed home. It was around 2. We set up the
movie player and watched the testaments, Together Forever, and the D & C Seminary videos with sister Barlow and sister Udy. 

Wednesday 22- we were supposed to go to the temple at 11 with all the
missionaries who are going home but they canceled it. Last night I
called Elder Kerr to make sure I could still go to my play. The roads
were still horrible so he said don't drive down here, but instead to get on the train at Stamford and go down to the city. So we set off. We met up with Sister Richardson, Dodson, Mccurdy, and fletcher and headed down. Hoyos, Dodson, and Fletcher got the go ahead for the temple so or dropped them off at 59th and we headed down to 42nd. We were kinda starving and it was only noon. We had a little over an hour to spare and we were in time square. The only problem, it was probably 20 degrees with a -20 degree wind chill. It. Was. Freezing. We hopped from building to building. We went into the Hard Rock Cafe and saw some pretty cool stuff that they had there. Hahaha sister mccurdy saw all the liquor bottles and was like, doesn't it just make you want to
drink? Hahaha sister mccurdy is so original it is insane. I definitely
won't forget her. We found a McDonalds, literally the cheapest place
below 82nd street, and got some lunch. We ran into some really nice
old ladies from Princton, New Jersey. They came that morning with a
group to go and see Kinky Boots. I think it is like mama Mia where all
the music is by the same artist. I think it is Cindy Lauper? We talked
to them about life, introduced ourselves as the Mormons. Told them
that the play "The Book of Mormon" was completely making fun of us and told them to look out for the boys in white shirts and ties in NJ. :) then we headed for PHANTOM! On the way I bought some souvenir stuff so that I didn't feel

like I was leaving NY without any. We hooked up, with some elders and
went inside! A lot more people were there than I thought! Elders,
Hurtado, Fragiacomo, Hall, Gonzalez, Plojalk, and elder Agular were
there as well. Sister Richardson and I sat next to each other and got
ready! It was literally so amazing. I had to restrain myself from
singing out loud. After the show, sister Mccurdy was trying to talk
her way backstage! I was like, ummm no! We took a group picture and
she was off. We did get to meet Christine! She was in a hurry but we
told her she did great. Then we tried to hook back up with our
companions who were uptown. On the way we walked past a Crumbs bakery
and I was like, heck, you only live in NYC once, so I bought two. :) A
little more expensive than cupcake chic. We headed back up to Kingsbridge with the other sisters and emailed a little at my old pad. (Which has wifi) Bomb. Then got on the train around 7. It was a long day. We missed correlation but had a great conversation on the train with a drunk man. He kept trying to make sense but it just wasn't happening. He kept trying to ask us if he could marry us too. I'm pretty sure his name was Jamal. Hahaha ohhh the experiences.

Thursday 23- we planned then went to the library to finish looking at
the ward list to find lost less actives. We finished! We started
talking a little to Isabel about how she was doing and then we headed
to the chapel. We thought there was a baptism so we were excited but
when we got there, basically no one was there! We went inside and
there were all these cleaning people. They told us that they didn't
know what we were talking about, there was no baptism. Hahah opps! So
we just helped them clean and I practiced my song some more. We talked
more with Isabel and a less active via Facebook! It is pretty cool how
we have all this technology!

Friday 24- The temple trip was rescheduled for the "dying" (leaving) missionaries to today! We met up with sister Parkin, Hansen, Keanini, and Brog and then split up. Sisters Parkin, Keanini, and I all drove down to
Scarsdale to the mission home. It was the second time I had been there
in my whole mission! We headed down to the temple for the early
afternoon session. The drive down from Scarsdale was a lot shorter
than thought it would be! It only took about 30-40 minutes! On the
way we saw a group of people taking pictures in front of a building,
we were like, what is there to see over there? Sister Morgan told us
that is where John Lennon was shot! I was like, dang! I saw that
building!  The temple was amazing as it always is. 

Afterwards, President Seeley of the temple presidency, talked to us about
consecration. It was different in that, for the past 6 months we have been focusing on consecrating ourselves, he was speaking of really consecrating our things and our money to The Lord. Which is good, I feel like sometimes, I forget we need to do that too. :) President Morgan then spoke to us about the temple. How when we are home, when we go to the temple, it will be a time of remembrance of all that happened here on our missions. He also reminded us that the Lord always comes to His temple. He comes and inspects every piece of it. That we were literally walking where the Savior walks in His holy
house. Afterwards we went to lunch! We walked down a block or so to a
restaurant called, The Smith Now, any restaurant in Lincoln Square is pricey, I knew that, but I didn't know how pricey. $17 for a cheeseburger with fries. Woooooow. It was amazingly good! As we got in the car to head home, I could feel a headache coming on, as well as the food coma. I passed out and the next thing I knew I was in
Scarsdale. We headed back to Stamford and then headed home. My head
was pounding. Buttttttt, let's just say I have figured out some
triggers! I have to exercise and eat breakfast in the mornings and I
can't eat very much sugar. Hmmmm, interesting no? I am trying a lot
harder to be better with that.

Saturday 25- Isabel was interviewed and can get baptized today!!!
Hallelujah! We had interviews at Scarsdale today. So we got to drive
down again. I got to drive! It was also President Morgans birthday! We
all signed a jersey for him and pitched in to buy him a new suit. :)
with 270 missionaries it isn't that hard. We had a training on posting
inspired posts on Facebook. In my interview with Pres, he asked me
what I was going to take away from this experience. I thought about
it, and told him that I had now understood the "why" of life. I understood my personal purpose here on the earth. That I was to live the doctrine of Christ and help others along the way, until we all get there. I am excited to continue on I the next step of life, but I am afraid! I just know that I can trust in The Lord, and I can ask Him for help along the way. We all went to the mall in Scarsdale after interviews. They have a Nordstrom! I was as tempted, but resisted. We came home and changed into non-pros to go and clean the
font for Isabel's baptism that night. I scrubbed and scrubbed and
scrubbed. It is white tile and I just really wanted it to be nice for
Isabel! Then we had the baptism! She asked me to speak, and the other
girl who was getting baptized asked her boyfriend to speak. So he
talked about baptism and I talked about the Holy Ghost. It was kinda
weird because a lot of people were there who didn't speak English, I
felt really bad but we didn't have time to translate talks and they
both spoke mostly Spanish so I just talked in Spanish. When I am in
Spanish mode it is difficult for me to switch over to English mode. It was pretty bomb and the stake president, president Checkers was there as well.

Sunday 26- we had ward conference today! I got to play my piece! It
went pretty well. We asked the bishop to confirm Isabel, but he defered to the stake president to do it. I mean it was great and all but the stake president only speaks English and Isabel really only speaks Spanish. We asked her afterwards if she understood and she said that he spoke slow enough that she understood most of it. I talked with him and he said that he just hoped she understood it. The Spirit was there and well, now she has the Holy Ghost!! Later that night we went over to Isabel's and she was just so happy! Then she
started asking us questions like, so when can I get my patriarchal blessing? When can I go to the temple? Then she told us about how the
day of her baptism she talked to a lady at work about the gospel and
the lady totally bashed her. She told us that, that is exactly why she
didn't feel comfortable in other churches. She said "I respect her so
she should respect me. But really nothing can shake me, I never want
to be less active. I want to be firm." We just looked at each other and were like, holy crap, she is boss!!!

Monday 27- I had my last district meeting at New Canaan. Weird. I also
had my last Costco hotdog in Norwalk. It is still so surreal! After we
went to the library to Facebook. Then we headed out and looked up less
actives. We went to the familia Abreu, they are Dominican! They are
one of the first Dominicans I have met here in Norwalk! The mom really
didn't want anything to do with us. I tried to pull my charm, but to no
avail. Not even the fact that I had been to her home land, el capital,
made her stay and talk to us. She left to the other room and we talked
with her 14 year old daughter and her 6 year old son. They were so
sweet. After we went to look up another less active family. Unfortunately, we couldn't find parking anywhere that didn't cost money :( so we decided to plan a little better the next time we went to see them and ended up going to the Molina's. They are awesome. We had hot chocolate and old licorice. I thought of my mom because she always opens peeps and licorice and all that stuff and leaves it out on purpose, so it can get hard! Hahaha!

Tuesday 28- the elders texted us in the morning and asked us if we
wanted to do service. We didn't have really anything planned or solidified
so we said sure. We showed up to help a members niece move around
12:45 and we got done around 5:30. It was crazy! But it went a lot
faster with all the hands we had and we were able to get them out and
into their new pad in the same day. Afterward a we went home and
changed and ate some dinner, we had to be quick because we were
teaching English class at 7:30 and traffic is kinda crazy here. Hahaha
only one person showed up to English class but really it was great, we
were able to focus on her and her specific needs really well! She is an
investigator of the other sisters and has been to the church before in
Guatemala. When she moved here she stopped going and when she met the
sisters, she had just started a new job as a nanny for a Jewish family
which makes it impossible for her to come to church because it is their
'Saturday'. She said she has learned a lot of phrases in the time she
has taught, but there were little things she wanted to learn how to
say. Luckily, sister Hoyos speaks non-gospel Spanish! We were able to
help her and she was the sweetest lady ever! On a side note, the
blowdryer that I have had for over 18 months now, has passed on. It
has been actually very reliable seeing as I used it about every day!

May she rest in peace.

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