Sister Ashley Wilson

Nebraska Omaha Mission

11027 Martha St

Omaha, NE 68144

Monday, December 30, 2013

Well this week has been we STILL have no idea where we are gonna live.....they can't find a place anywhere for us to stay thats safe in Le Mars...So we are still with the L. But I LOVE it there. We just get to go on splits with the sister training leaders ALL the time! It's way cool! We get to learn and see alot. We basically just help them out in their area! It's so different than Le Mars though...we go and tract in downtown Sioux City which is super sketchy. Ha Me and Sister G went tracting after dinner once in downtown Sioux City and had a strong feeling to get in the car and leave. We don't know why still...but I am glad we followed that prompting. It's just a really poverty stricken area where theres a lot of different races such as blacks and hispanics....REALLY ghetto. But we did get to meet this guy named C and P who were really really nice and listened to our message. Also this girl named S. A couple of days ago we got to go and visit this lady. She is a MAJOR hoarder and lives in a trailer. It was disgusting in her house....she had like 10 cats and 5 dogs.....her house was COVERED in poop and lots of other was way cool tho cuz she fed us...SO sweet...she doesn't have the money to do that and her husband is currently fighting was cool to sit down and eat with them and bear testimony to them. Her husband is such a sweetheart. Then we cleaned her house and did service for about 3 hours. We got a WHOLE room completely cleaned out!!! It looked SO good!
Another lady we have met is Sister B. She is a hispanic lady in downtown Sioux city and me and Sister G went and talked to her. She has had SUCH a hard life....she was a prostitute....major herion addict...and really anything in the book she has done. But she is COMPLETELY changing her life around right now. It's amazing. I had a strong feeling to start talking to her about the blessings of the temple and the atonement...weird combination but AMAZING. She started sobbing and saying this is exactely what she needed to hear and that's what she wanted to strive for. I shared with her Alma 7:11-12 ( my fav scripture EVER) and she got up and came and hugged me and said that that scripture meant more to her than anything she had ever read. It was way cool:) As we were leaving she asked for me to come back but I didn't know because I didn't think I would be able to see her again because this isn't my area....and so I gave it to her and hopefully will be able to talk with her again:) Ah Amazing person. It just shows that you can' t judge anyone and that even those who have commited the worst of sins and have messed up in their lives...that there is ALWAYS hope and you can ALWAYS turn around. Thats what the Atonement is for. Second Chances. So it's been really hard because we haven't been in our area and can't really talk to our we have been texting and calling people and teaching lessons over the phone! Haha its interesting! BUT the most amazing thing happened on thursday!!! J SAID HE WANTED TO BE BAPTIZED!!!!!!!! INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were thinking D would be the one to get baptized but J WANTS TO NOW!!!! We are working on a date because he needs to be more clear with his drug problem and other situations.....but ITS GETTING SOMEWHERE! SO cool!:) We have taught amazing spiritual lessons over the phone with him and its just a really cool experience:) Please pray for him!!! We haven't really had a chance to talk to D since being out here in Sioux we pray to return back to Le Mars so we can go visit her and see where she is at with everything so PLEASE PRAY FOR HER too! On Friday I got to go with Sister V and teach a preparation for baptism lesson to M! AH SO COOL! We connected INSTANTLY. I bore strong testimony that I knew she was doing the right thing and would be so blessed for following through with this even though all of these things are hard right now....but to just stick it through and Heavenly Father would bless her.....anddddd.....She got baptized on Saturday!!!! Even though it was really close to her not.....Satan worked really hard and all these awful situations came up.....BUT SHE DID IT! She is baptized!!!!!!!:) So cool! haha she even asked me to sing a song at her baptism with the Sister Training leaders!!!! it was SO Sweet!:) I Loved it:) Amamzing experience!
Another cool the members we are living with (L) the husband isn't a we have had many amazing experiences where I have been able to share my testimony to him through dental talk! Haha! he is a Radiologist and we talk about that a lot cuz he likes hearing about the dental aspect of it! he is REALLY quiet and doesn't talk to anybody.....but he talks to me because we have that in common! So the Sister training leaders LOVE IT and help me come up with ways to teach to him:) It's way cool:) Well remember the W? The ones where the husband just got surgery and they have serious money issues? Well we have been calling her and talking to her everyday...and I finally finished my copy of my talk to her. I wrote it out to her and personalized it for her and bore my testimony to her through it. I really hope it will help her through this time. I prayed real hard that I would say the right things.....It was 10 pages long! I hope it will mean something to her.She bawled when i gave it to her. Well there has been SOOO many experiences adn things that have happened but I am out of time so I gotta go! But I want each and everyone of you to know how much I love you guys! I pray for you all every night. I also want you all to know that God has a plan for each and everyone of us specifically. He knows EXACTLY how we feel when we are havin a hard time. He puts us through these hard things in life even though he WEEPS because he knows its gonna hurt us......and it breaks his heart to see us, His child, hurt like that. BUT he loves us SO much that he sent his son Jesus Christ to descend below ALL heartache and pain so that he could know EXACTLY how to run to our aid through these challenging things. So that we wouldn't have to go through these challenges alone. and he gave us these challenges....because he knows that EVEN though IT HURTS and is scary....but that its EXACTLY what we need at that time in our lives...and that we will grow..and become closer to Him if we go through it. So he weeps alongside with us as we struggle...but he does it out of complete love because he knows that we will reach our potential because of it. Have a great week!!! LOVE YOU ALL!

Monday, December 23, 2013

So we are still at the condies....last night was our last night there...they let us stay till the day they move cuz we have no where to go! ha and funny enough...we STILL don't know where we are gonna live and we are moving in an we will see:) We will most likely go down to Sioux City and live with the sisters down there for a couple days till they figure something out! But we figure out if S (the 73 year old lady) gets the house today:) But if not...we will live in ghetto apartments up here most likely:) Idk it will all work out:) But I don't have an address so just send stuff to the mission home and I will get it:) But Ok so Christmas we are gonna be visiting investigators and members and a bunch of members said we can use their computers to talk to you! So around sometime after 3 MY TIME. I don't know what time that is your time....but I will call you first....and we can set everything up? I've heard that google something works better than Skype?
Alright well this week will be very short because we are beyond busy right now! But this week was AMAZING! We were able to meet a new investigator...M (the lady that the spirit completely directed us too....and started bawling when we talked to her) her husband answered the door cuz Marilyn wasn't home and we were able to bear testimony to him and give him a book of Mormon and we are goin back tonight to teach both of them! so cool cuz they are Lutheran!!:) Then we were able to meet with D with one of the members Sister A. It went SO good.....we bore testimony SO strong and explained the Restoration in great detail and explained so much more about our church and how it was the true church and the only way back to our heavenly father.....I committed her to pray and ask if this church was true and if she should get baptized into it. She said she would...with tears in her eyes.....IT WAS INSANE cuz she WAS a hard core catholic...and at first wanted nothing to do with us...but now she LOVES our message and is soakin it up! She bought us presents for Christmas and cried saying we have changed her life and brought her happiness she hasn't had in such a long time. Her parents died a year ago and she's been real alone (she never got married) so I bore strong testimony of how Christ's atonement can make all that is unfair with life be made right . She was bawling and it was such a powerful lesson. The spirit was SO strong....Sister A was crying and after the lesson hugged me and said miracles are starting to happen in Le Mars!!!! AHHh I LOVE IT! I LOVE missioniary work!!! SO MUCH! I never wanna leave!!! Then we had exchanges and got Ray (the old farmer and his son) to commit to read the book of Mormon and come to church!!!! They didn't come yesterday but called and said next week they would:) So we will see...but its huge progress with them!!!! Then we had zone conference which was AMAZING. President taught a powerful lesson on the Atonement....then we had a Christmas party with all the missionaries:) Then Brother and Sister W (ward mission leader).....Brother W surgery was a really bad and dangerous one...and hes not doin good....So we fasted for him yesterday and been prayin like crazy for him. Sister W has called and talked to me every night just bawling and venting cuz they don't have money to pay the surgery and they are gettin kicked out of their house. Their life is crazy right now///:( I finally am finishing my talk and testimony that she wanted and am givin that to her when she gets home from the hospital. I have prayed and really hope I said somethin that can help her through this hard time. Please keep them in your prayers. It was amazing cuz yesterday this less active family who wanted nothing to do with the church....the dad is an alchoholic and the home is a suicidal and all this stuff but we have been meetin with them and THEY CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY! The whole family! We sat by them and it was AMAZING so unexpected....but sorry this is all real fast and short and not makin sense but I have NO time. SO much other stuff happened but ii will have to share with you next week! LOVE AND MISS YOU ALL! and thanks for all you do!:) you are all in my prayers:)
Ashley is reunited with her MTC companions at Zone Conference!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hey Friends and Family!!!:) So this week has been absolutely crazy...haha the C's (members we are living with) are moving either a couple days before Christmas or after...its all a crazy situation so we don't really know.....We are probably moving out this week sometime....where too tho...we don't know. Haha yea so this huge deal is going down about taking us out of Le Mars....we are the only missionaires up here though and a LOT of people are getting upset about that.....The ward mission leader said we have had more success up here in Le Mars these past couple weeks than EVER before....and we HAVE to keep us up here....So after a long fight back and forth involving our mission and Sister K are for sure staying in Le Mars!!!:) Yay!! I love it here! Even though it is rough and hard up here!!! BUT I am moving houses so tell everyone to just send me letters and packages at my mission home for now until I found out whats gonna happen!!!:) THANK YOU! ok so I have seen some AMAZING miracles happen up here.....Ill just share a few experiences real fast!!! so we went and visited this family and its the SADDEST situation....their dad has just committed suicide and was a major alchoholic and beat them and now they just have the mom and 4 kids. They are way cute kids...but one of the little boys is Bi Polar and the 16 year old girl has tried to commit suicide a couple times.....Everyone stays clear of their family...its so sad..they are so lonely. But we went and visited and Sister K said that the 16 year old girl...NEVER talks to them when they had come over in the past. She locks herself in the room. She says she is athiest and hates the missionaries. Well we went over and were reading a chapter out of the book of Mormon with them when M (the 16 year old girl) walked in. I ended up striking up a conversation with her and we bonded instantly. It was cool. She showed me all her art she does and I started asking what they meant and she told me all these horrific sad things in her life and that's why she does her art that way. It was cool because we ended up getting into deep conversations and she opened up completely to me about her dad and how kids bullied her and shes tried to commit suicide cuz her Dad did. and so then I asked her if her way to vent was through art? and she was like "EXACTLY you understand me. Whenever I'm havin a hard day, I lose myself in my art. But teachers get mad at me cuz my art is SO dark and evil...but its my emotions..its who I am." We ended up getting in this deep conversation and I even bore my testimony to her and she listened and afterwards said, "I am so glad I met you...your actually a normal person...ha I can actually talk to you..thanks." It was AMAZING. Sister kent was SO excited! This was a huge breakthrough! I love that family. Everyone judges them and looks on them with disgust (the whole ward does) but if you get to know them, they have amazing hearts and are amazing people. They have just gone through hard things in their lives. It made me realize how God loves each and every one of matter what...and to never ever judge someone. Just get to know them...and you will find yourself absolutely loving them. I promise. Ok so another person we have been meeting with is L. I have talked about her before. She is the lady that is a heavy smoker and drinker. She has had a really rough life too. Both her parents died when she was 16 and her husband beat her and all this stuff. So now she is completely alone and just had back surgery so needs a lot of help and company. We have been goin over and cleanin her house. So the other day we went over and vacummed and then sat down and just started talkin to her. We had a strong prompting to sing "A childs prayer" to her. Which is weird cuz I HATE singing. But we did....and the spirit got there SO strong. She started bawling.......then afterwards I was full of the spirit...and I just started to pour my heart out to her. I will tell you that I personally didn't say a word to was ALL the Spirit. I just went off on how much God loves her....and started crying and bearing my testimony and testifying that God lovers her SOOO much and cares for her specifically and that as God's messengers we feel a bit of that love and its amazing just how much God loves was overwhelming. I talked about how God just wants to hear from her more than anything and wants to talk to her and comfort her and help her...all she needs to do is turn to him in prayer. I talked about how God will talk back to her and answer all the questions she has through the Book of Mormon. I seriously just talked and cried pouring my heart out the whole time...and the whole time L sat there bawling. I got her to commit to pray and read the book of mormon and I promised her if she would go to the BOM with a question in mind..that God WILL answer her through the BOM. It was cool.....cuz how could I promise that? I didn't. God DID. Mom, Dad, he USED me that night. I caught a glimpse of how much he loves L and that love was overwhelming. That's how he feels about all of us. He loves each and everyone one of us THAT much. Ah it was amazing to actually feel like just a mouthpiece for the Lord. I gave my whole self to him and promised as we walked in her house that I would to whatever he wanted me too if he would just lead me. and HE DID. IT wasn't me talking to L....I promise. I myself wouldn't have said the things I was soooo bold but it worked out perfectly. and she commmited to EVERYTHING. ahhh amazing:) Then she begged me after to not leave....the feeling with me was the best feeling shes ever had she said. We explained what that feeling was amazing. then afterwards Sister K said that she has been out here for 8 months....and has NEVER felt the spirit so strong as she did in there. She said she felt prompted to not say anything and just let me do the whole thing....and now she knows why:) it was sooo cool! Heavenly father used ME!:) I want him to always be able to use me like that:) Anyways..... Then the next day we ended up goin back and moving her bed (from surgery) into her room and setting up her Christmas tree and decorating her house. She was sooo happy because she hated Christmas cuz she was so alone....but now was feeling the spirit of Christmas:) I have never seen her SO happy! She was dancing and singing and then after wards we had hot chocolate and sang hymns and read from the bOM:) She is totally loving it:) I love it!!!!! Then she gave me a scarf she made me!!!!! haah for helping her cut back on cigarettes!!!:) Ill send a picture!!!:) Alright so then on Sunday I got to give my talk. I talked on the Atonement and hard times...cuz a lot of people are having major hard times out here right now. It was way cool giving a talk as a missionary.....I didn't actually have to write a talk...I kinda just talked. Ha it was cool:) didn't think I could do that:) but afterwards....Sister W...(the cutest old couple ever) came up to me bawling and hugging me saying that that talk was EXACTLY what she needed to hear.....then all of the other members came up and said stuff like that too...ha saying it was the most amazing talk they have heard in a was weird cuz I just basically bore my testimony the whole time. Then the Stake president came up to me and said "Now I know why everyone's makin it a big deal for the missionaries to stay in Le Mars....You are the reason. With a testimony like wonder people in Le Mars are actually responding to you. You are something were sent here for a reason. you are the angel of Le mars." It Ha I cried.....that was the sweetest thing ever.....then after church Sister W ended up pouring out her heart and telling us all these horrible things going on. They are going bankrupt and losing absolutely everything they have.....she sobbed and sobbed and didn't know what to do....I just hugged her and promised her it was all going to work out...the Lord had a plan. and She asked if I could give her a copy of my today im gonna write her my testimony down and give it to her and write her a letter.....gosh I love her so much. PLEASE keep them in your prayers. They are the sweetest old couple EVER. and DO SO MUCH for the missionaries and ward!!!!! WE NEED THEM. We have no idea where we are gonna live but we are moving this week. All of the apartments and stuff up here are way too dangerous for Sister missionaires to live in so President won't let us....but I know the Lord is gonna find a way somehow because we are MEANT to be up here right now. S (this 73 year old member who is AMAZING. Seriously an angel sent from heaven...she's basically just like grandma ruth) is thinking of buying a small house so that we can live there with her!!!!! SERIOUSLY the members out here are AMAZING! there are 5 families that are members up here and they would do ANYTHING to keep the missionaries up here. It's soooo sweet!!! So we will see what happens:) But I LOVE You all and pray for you EVERY single day:) Thanks for all the support and Love I get from each of you and the prayers that you say for me:) I really do feel them and can't thank you enough!!!:) I LOVE YOU ALL!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hey Family!!!! I just want you all to know how much I love and miss you guys! I pray about you all every single prayer (which is like 90 times a day as a missionary) and think about you all often! I am so grateful for you guys and really took for granted how special each and everyone of you are. I really have the most amazing parents possible. You guys have always been such great example to me and have loved me and made me into the person I am today. Thank you so much. Thank you for the for the amazing life you gave me. I seriously am so blessed to have such a loving atmosphere. I took that for granted. Ha being out here in Le Mars has really opened my eyes...So me and Sister Kent are the ONLY missionaires up here in Le Mars. The closest missionaires are an hour away in Sioux City. Ha its real hard up here.....everyone is real strong in their religion and don't ever wanna change. President warned us this was the hardest area in our mission. Ha its crazy but I love it. Other than the fact that we get the door slammed in our faces ALL the time and yelled at...(even got threatened to be shot if we didn't leave the porch!!! hahaha) oh and the weather is in the negatives ALL day every day....haha with a -25 wind chill....shoot me. haha I WILL die here. but I ABSOLUTELY love it here! We have met some amazing people and I've already had amazing experiences. I wanna share some of them with you, Hopefully it will make sense..
As part of missionary service up in Le Mars weve had the privelidge of serving with some amazing women at Christian needs. (food and clothing pantry for the needy) Through this service we've become friends with these women of other faiths and have truly become welcomed into this community. One example is with P. While discussin service oppurtunities in Le Mars she sent us to her friend D. D had just had back surgery and needed help around the house. Our first night there we found she needed the gospel in her life and began to teach her. Through D we met I. I, D, and P are all involved with the Methodist church. I became excited with the idea to have us teach their women's group about our beliefs and we were SO excited about that! but a couple days passed and we hadn't heard anything but we continued to serve and teach D. During this time our investigator J(who works for this same Methodist church) told us she no longer wanted to meet with us anymore. None of these things seemed to connect until a few days ago...when we saw our investigator Ju. Amazingly enough we found out Ju attends the same Methodist womens group as the other women we mentioned. What she told us, explained everything. That same night that we first visited D, the rest of the women were in a meeting with their pastor. I brought up the idea of having us come and teach and Ju was excited that others knew and loved us as well. To her surprise, the Pastor freaked out and rudely refused. That bothered Ju and she then explained that we were wonderful girls who were sacrificing a year and a half of their lives to teach and help others and that it would be exciting to learn about another church. The pastors only response was that we (Mormons) did not believe that Jesus Christ was the only begotten son of God and the discussion ended there. Ju asked us about that and we told her that we did believe that he was the only begotten son and she shook her head in agreement saying that she knew her pastor was wrong. We are so grateful to know that our service has touched hearts and even though church leaders are against us, the people here are beginning to accept our message and love us and even stand up for us!
After we met with J we went and had dinner up in Strubel (which is a really small town of about 15 people total haha) at a members house the Rs. They are way nice! She just had her 3rd baby IN HER HOUSE this week and fed us a couple days later....CRAZY haha. We ate where she just had her baby...ew weird thought. haha anyways then we left there and were gonna go visit S (the old lady who is SO funny and amazing) We pulled up in the parking lot and then we kinda just sat there and Sister K said she felt sad. We couldn't figure out what was wrong so we were about to get out of the car but then I felt really weird. Like something was then I told Sister K and we got back in the car and I asked if we could pray. So we said a prayer and then after looked through the list of investigators deciding if there was somewhere else we needed to be. This referrals name (R) popped up to both of us. Which was super weird because he is a single man and that's all we know. So we were scared to go and knock on his door at night. But we felt really good about it so we started driving over there. The second we started driving, I felt immediately better. I felt REALLY good. It was werid. Once we got there it was dark and we couldn't see the house numbers so we couldn't figure out which house was his. We both saw this one house and agreed that we needed to go and knock on that door. So we prayed and walked up to it, The whole time I was walking up to it I felt SO good. I felt like I wasn't even was so surreal. Then we got up to the house and realized it wasn't Rs house.....but we knew this was where we needed to be. So we knocked and this 50 year old lady answered. We introduced ourselves and she said she had a church and loved it and didn't want to hear what we had to say. We then introduced the Book Of Mormon and she got interested. We then both testified of the Book of Mormon with all our hearts and the spirit got SO strong. I had this overwhelming feeling of absolute love for I had known her forever. It was amazing. Then I challenged her to read the B.O.M and promised her that she would know it was true and that it would bring her the happiness she was looking for. It was so bold...I was terrified...but it felt so right. Then she took it and promised she would read it and asked if we could come back after she rad it next week! ha she is gonna read it in a week! We said of course and we were about to leave when Sister K said, "I know this is weird but can we just hug you?" and she said, "I was just gonna ask you the same thing." So she hugged us both SO SO tight and started crying and said, "Thank you. Thank you. Just thank you." Then we left her with our number and we are goin back next week! It was AMAZING. The sprit completely led us there. She completely changed from not wanting to hear a word from us to crying at the end and thanking us and to not only committing to read the B.O.M but to read the whole thing in a week? haha amazing. Then after we felt SO good. We decided the best thing was to drive home so we could go tell the Condie's then on the way home I had a feeling we should stop and see one of our investigators L. Sister K thought that was an amazing idea and so we did. L is a 40 year old lady who drinks and smokes like crazy...but LOVES us more than anything. Ha she loves talking with us and bein around us but doesn't want to hear 1 word about the B.O.M or she glares at you and gets upset and kicks us out. So we stopped by and asked if there was anything we could do. We did all her dishes and had a strong feeling that we should tell her about our experiences with Marilyn that just happened...and then I had a feeling we should testify of the B.O.M. which was really scary because she HATES us talking about it. So after the dishes we went in and asked if she would turn the TV off and if we could tell her about something really cool that happened that day. She agreed and we told her. She actually was really interested and thought it was amazing. Ha then we tied in how we were here for a purpose and we know its to bring her the peace and happiness she has been looking for and that happiness is found in the B.O.M. We testified so strongly of the B.O.M. and then I commited her to read it. She said she would and she felt something. IT WAS AMAZING. There have been tons and tons of miracles everyday, and it would take me ALL day to tell you so I'll just tell you one more real ya know how the spirit guided us to M but we were gonna go see R? Well we decided to finally go see was cool. He was SO eccited to see us and told us how he had been prahin and how he was Lutheran but he just knows theres something else out there that will make him feel whole. We gave him a B.O.M. and he was so excited and we got into a really deep conversation and he was crying and we bore testimony REAL strong. He really wants the truth and is loving and eating up everything we say! I can't wait to see what happens with him. Oh an one other thing...ya know L? The one that drinks and smokes like crazy and finally commited to read the B.O.M.? well now I got her makin a deal with me! haha instead of smoking a cigarette, whenever she feels tempted, she makes another scarf(she LOVES making them) and its ACTUALLY working she said! haha I love her! Sister K is amazing at how well the people are responding to me. She always jokes around saying, "Well if Sister Wilson commits someone to do it, then they actually do it." haha so the whole ward jokes around with me for that. I love it. I love all the people here so much. I can't imagine my life without this experience. Ive already learned so much and its only been 2 weeks!!! WEll don't get me wrong...ha ive only told you the good struff that's happened...theres been tons of bad...but you just cant let it get ya down...and keep on goin. One thing that's been hard lately is the C (G and M) members we live with...are moving the end of December.It all happened really fast. We are SO sad. They are like our grandparents. G makes us this huge home made breakfast every sunday and is always calling and checking up on us in this weather. Its so hard but its the right thing for them to do. The problem is...we have no idea where we are going to live. Theres no where to live up here. Theres only 6 members and they are too poor to house us.. The only place would be these ghetto apartments but they don't want to put us I have no idea whats gonna happen....we will see. The lord will find a way:) Well I gotta get off soon..sorry this is so long but I want to leave all of you with some scriptures that have stood out to me and I have loved recentely! So yall better read em! haha ok in 1 nephi 21:14-16 it talks about how God has engraven us on the palms of his hand. That's so powerful..He will NEVER forget about us EVER. So never feel alone, because I promise you that you have God on your side...and who better than him? We need to remember that God has organized our jouney through life to be a test of our all up to us if we turn to him to help us develop a charater he would be proud of. In 2 timothy 4:5-7 it talks about how to endure our afflictions and at the end of vs 7 it is such a powerful statement. He says, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." I want to be able to say this when I die. Its so powerful. He knew that he had done all he could and was content with the way he lives his life..Do we feel this way about our life? Have we given our all? I love that. We need to develop our character in a way where we can say yes to all that. Then in 1 Nephi 21:5 at then end of that verse it says "yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength." I want to be glorious in the eyes of the Lord and rely wholly upon him to be my strength. I am so grateful for this gospel in my life and really have no idea where I would be without it. It is my everything. You have everything and you are mad whole with it. In Jacob 2:8 it says that the word of God is the "word that healeth the wounded soul" It is so true. Whenever you are havin a hard time, turn to the word of god and I promise in it you will find rest and the peace and happiness you were looking for. I want you all to know how grateful I am for the letters! it means SOOO much to get a letter! Please keep seding them! they really make my day you have no idea. Thank you all for the love and support and the prayers...I really feel them. and I pray for you all EVERy single day! Love you all and talk to you next week!!!:)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hey Family!!!!! I love and miss every single one of you like CRAZY! Wow this week has been crazy.....ha its been super tough but I am pushin through. I don't have much time so I am just gonna tell you about my week! So on Wednesday we flew here and I was able to call you guys. That was amazing....I loved hearing all your voices and also to be able to pray with you guys over the phone was so comforting. Thank you for that Dad. Well after our flight we went to the mission home and just did orientation and met everyone, had interviews with the mission president, then we went to the motel at like 6 and had time to just chill and go to sleep early cuz we only had 1 hour of sleep the night before. I was able to share a room with Sister M and Sister S so that was wayyy fun! Then the next day was Thanksgiving!!!:) We woke up and got ready, had companionship study and then the mission president and counselors came and picked us up in vans and took us to the mission home. We ate lunch and then had a devotional downstairs from the mission president, and wife and the assistants. Then we got in the cars and drove up to the trail center. We got a tour around the center. I LOVED the memorial room. The spirit there was so strong. You could see the temple through the windows in there. It was special. Then after the tour we went up to the cemetery and then to the temple and took pictures. Then we went back to the visitors center in the basement and that is where we had Thanksgiving,. All the missionaries came there and the couple missionaries and we had dinner and a little devotional thing. It was cool. Then after we went into the theatre room and had a testimony meeting with the new missionaries. The spirit there was so strong. Then after the testimonies we got our first assignments......wanna know where I am?? haha well I have been in Iowa for the past couple of days!!!:) I am in a little town called Le Mars. It is TINY. haha we are the only missionaries in this town so its cool. Everyone knows us. I'll tell you more about it then we went back to the motel and that night said goodbye to our district. That was SO sad. I have made some of my very best friends in the MTC. Then the next day we had transfers at 8 in the morning and I met my new companion Sister K.
Sister K is awesome! I like her!! She is a super hard worker and VERY obedient. So that's good! I am being trained really well:) I am so grateful for her. We drove 2 hours up to Le Mars and unpacked and then jumped straight into weekly planning. That took 3 hours...haha then this less active lady who is seriously EXACTLY like S came and picked us up to go to dinner with this old lady named S who is the SWEETEST person alive. We went to this small town diner, where everybody knows everyone, and had dinner! Then we came back home and did some tracting but no one answered.....then we went over to the B's house. They are members and the most amazing nicest people you will ever meet. They remind me exactly like our family. They have a boy named J who is 15, then R who is 9 and E who is 6. I love that family. They make me feel like home. Ha I was fighting back tears that whole night...I miss you guys a lot....ha to be honest that night was rough.....This place is cold and I felt really alone cuz I didn't know anyone....but I have never prayed harder and Heavenly Father REALLY has lifted me up and carried me through. It's amazing the strength I feel. He really is right next to me through all of this, helping me when I am weak. It's the most amazing feeling in the world. Then Saturday came and we woke up at 6:30, worked out (Yes I am pumping hard core logs..yes LOGS....we are in the middle of we do what we can...haha )Then had study time all morning..(which is seriously my favorite....The mission president challenged us to read 30 mins in the book of Mormon every day...and WOW I am learning so much) Then we had lunch and I had a hard time again.....ha it's real rough out here. You gotta rely completely on the Lord....there is no other way to do it. So I am happy I have had rough times cuz it reminds me who is here for me when no one else is....and my relationship with my Heavenly Father has strengthened SO much. I can honestly say HE is my best friend. It's an amazing feeling:) Then we went and visited this old guy named R. He lives out on a farm in the middle of nowhere! His property is AMAZING. I love it....He is an investigator and I absolutely LOVE HIM. His wife and grandson were there and they are all complete rednecks. Haha we went and moved a ton of logs and trees all over his property that had been knocked down because of tornados into a huge pile so he could burn them. We did this for about 2 hours.....then we went and sat on their porch and had brownies and pop:) We were all laughin so hard and we got along great!!! I bore my testimony to them and then we said a prayer....R asked me to pray....and then after said that was the most amazing prayer hes ever heard:) It was cool.....then we left and after Sister K told me that was amazing how much R opened up to me and that I connected with that family and said more than she ever has to them for months. It was AMAZING. Ok so to make you understand somethin....there are 6 families in Le Mars who are Mormon. Everyone else is a different religion. There are TONS of different churches here. Ha the mission president told me this was the hardest area in our mission......and that is the truth. Everyone is SO set in their religion. Sooo....After R's we went and met our investigator J at the ice cream parlor. It was cool we got into deep conversation about him and long story short....his family is all different religions...and he just got out of a super bad addiction to drugs....and he wanted to know more about our church. The sisters had been teaching him before but he dropped them and wanted to meet one more time....IT WENT AMAZING. I connected with him so well and we talked for awhile and I got him to commit to going to church AND to read the book of Mormon! He said he would.....Me and Sister K were super surprised...but didn't think he actually would.....well what do you know...HE CAME TO CHURCH! it went amazing...I'll tell ya about it in a min....anyways then after J we went and met L. She is a hard core smoker and drinker and her house is disgusting....haha but we went and cleaned her house for a couple of hours and then just sat and talked to her....haha we also connected SO good. We laughed and joked and she taught me how to make scarves and is gonna make me one:) Then we taught her the Restoration and challenged her to read the book of Mormon...we will see how that goes...Then we left and went to the trailer park and met the L. Oh gosh.....that place was disgusting. There was legit RATS in the house.....its a complete dump....she had cats and food and stuff smelled horrible...but she is a nice lady and we just talked forever....We were able to pray and read a bit of the scriptures but she just doesn't stop talking...ha so then we left...but it was cool...Sister K told me that she was amazed at how well I was getting along with people and she was jealous about how much they already love me and are practically begging for me to come made me feel so much better especially cuz I have been feeling so inadequate. Ok so Sunday....To get to church it takes about an hour to get there. Ha Le Mars is a small town in the middle of nowhere and the closest city is Sioux City. So we left at about 10 (after our studies and stuff) and went and had Ward coordination meeting where we met with the sisters and elders in our mission and the ward mission leader Brother W. HE IS THE BEST. He is SO funny and the most redneck guy ever. Everyone here is.....I love it:) (ha they all say warshing....instead of washing...) And then after we were done with that we had about an hour to just hang at church cuz we can't go back we went and studied in a classroom and me and Sister K got into a deep conversation about Jared (Ashley's brother)....It was amazing. I feel him here SO close all the time. I love it......:) Then we went to Sacrament meeting and J WAS THERE!:) He got a ride with one of the members we had asked to get him and he actually came:) It was fast Sunday so I decided to get up and bear my testimony to kinda introduce myself and it was cool...after EVERYONE came up and talked to me:) Then the bishop came up and thanked me so much for bearing my testimony and how I had such a strong testimony and asked if I would give a 15 min talk in 2 weeks. YEA. SHOOT ME. Ha so then literally 5 mins later...the Relief Society President asked to give a 5 min talk on Saturday for the ward Christmas party....haha yayyyy....I love talks....ha oh well the Lord will help me:) Then after Sarcament meeting we went to Gospel Principles class and 2 of our investigators came (including J) and it was awesome! So after church we came home and at 6 went to the B for dinner. It was awesome! I feel SO at home there...The little boys and me are best friends:) ha the 6 year old CRIED when we left last night. I love them:) Well SO much more has happened but running out of time.....but I just want you all to know that I know without a doubt this is the one and true church. It is the one and only way that we can find completely peace and happiness. I know that God is there watching over EVERY single one of us. He knows EXACTLY what we are going through, and EXACTLY how we feel, and promises to carry and help us through it, if we just turn to him. We have to rely and depend on HIM alone...and he WILL help you, and so much more. I have had probably one of the hardest weeks of my life...ha its scary being in a complete new place....with complete new people....and away from the people you love the most.....It's so hard....and I worry about and miss my family more than you can even imagine....but I know that the Lord needs me here for a reason.. and will watch over and protect me and my family. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary. It is the most amazing feelin in the world to be able to serve and love people and give them all of you. I have never been happier when I am with these people. It's amazing how much I instantly love them...and how their happiness is the one thing I want most in this life right now. I just want them to be able to live the gospel and see the peace and happiness and comfort it brings in a world where everything is so hard and scary. IF you live the gospel and follow all it teaches...then you WILL be blessed! Well I love you all and pray for you EVERY single night!!! Have a great week and talk to you next week:)
Oh I forgot to mention I am living with some members named The C. I just met them last night cuz they have been in Idaho and THEY ARE AMAZING! I love them so much already!!! But here is my address so WRITE ME LETTERS PLEASE! I can only email my family every week and only email friends once a month! SO PLEASE WRITE ME INSTEAD! it is.... 1205 1st Ave SW Le Mars IA 51031

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 26, 2013

Hey Family!!! Gosh I miss you guys! I hope you all got my letters I wrote you? I sent each of you a personal letter last week! I hope you all got them!:) Mom.....Thank you SOOO much for the packages of cookies....haha everyone in my district LOVES them! We ate every single one of them! Thank you Thank you! Thank you for the letters and dear elders. You have no idea how much they mean to me. I reread them over and over. Can you tell Grandma Ruth thanks SOO much for sending another package! IT means the world to me! She is SO sweet! My whole district loves when Grandma Ruth sends packages! Ha we all share it:) We ALL LOVE HER! haha and Thank Grandma and Grandpa Leifson for the cinnamon rolls and candy and MOST OF ALL THE MINTS! I LOVE LOVE LOVE mints! haha its all I can have because we cant have gum! Thank her SOOO much for the letters! They meant so much to me! I about cried when she said she wanted to help me pack...ha I wish she could! I LOVE HER! and tell Grandpa that I obey his advice ALL the time and it helps so much:) It always makes me smile:) haha I miss and love him like crazy. Also Tell Linda thank you so much for the packages and letters!!!! They are sooooo sweet! It means so much that I have such loving and supporting family. I LOVE YOU LINDA!!! Gosh and thank grandma and grandpa Wilson for all the letters and postcards!!! It serioiusly makes me feel so much better to recieve mail and packages because I remember that I am not forgotten and you guys still love and remember me! haha please don't forget me;) THANK EVERYONE FOR ALL THEY HAVE DONE FOR ME! It means the world. And Mom, I love and miss you and Dad and the boys more than you could ever imagine....Please let them know how much I love them...and how much I honestly miss you guys. I pray soooooo hard for each and everyone of you every night. Please never forget how much I love you guys and miss you guys and can't wait to see you guys again:) Make good choices.....Seriously. haha:) LOVE YOU GUYS!
Alright, well this week was good!!! Ha so my companions.....yes BOTH of them...have had colds..(Yes just a cold) but because of their colds they have legit stayed in bed ALL WEEK. Missed every single class and devotional and EVERYTHING. So I have made a transfer companionship with Sister M and S. But then Sister M got really sick....and Sister S wanted to stay back and sleep...but I have dragged her around with me cuz I don't wanna miss ANYTHING. We are only here for 2 weeks....I wanna make the most of my MTC experience! So after much effort and and Sister S havent missed a single class or ANYTHING:) ha yayyy! I did it! :) I have learned SOOOOOO MUCH! I am so glad I haven't missed anything. I feel so bad for all my companions and all they missed out on! Alright so earlier this week we were teaching our TRC investigator. Her name is W....the first time we taught her (last week) It went AWFUL. The spirit wasn't there AT ALL and Sister T and Sister B were just using logic and not applying anything to her so she completely shut down and didn't talk. I also didn't say anything the whole lesson. But then this week Sister M and me, totally opened her up. IT WAS AMAZING. We just completely taught by the spirit. I have no idea exactly what I even said....but she teared up at the end and said she would commit to praying that night. That was a huge deal because she didn't beleive in God or anything. It was cool.....So that was our last night teaching her...and we found out that she was a real actual investigator!!!! For TRC they usually have people act it out....but our teacher said every once in awhile they use real people who are wondering about what we as missionaires do...and she was one of them! It was AMAZING! I am sooo happy I met her.
So on was in field orientation....and everyone was sick. So me and Sister S went and it was cool! We just did all these different workshops and classes teaching us how to be a more effective missionary. Ha my district President pulled me aside and said how proud he was of me for coming to every single thing and not missing anything even tho I was just as sick as my companions:) It made me feel good that I was doin the right thing:) Then that night,....Sister T was havin a really rough night. She was yelling at everyone and having a mental breakdown...So I took her out in the hall and sat her on the couch and asked what was goin on. She ended up telling me that her Dad had passed away from cancer a year ago that day and she was havin a really rough time. NO ONE had any idea that her Dad had died or anyting! She is so closed off and keeps it all in. We ended up havin this super deep conversation about it...It was cool. She actually opened up to me....and I was able to just comfort her and help her through that moment. It was really cool. She is such a sweet girl and I love her with all my heart. Its been a little difficult having all my companions sick because every day we have to teach a new investigator....but since me and Sister S are the only sisters here....we have had to teach DOUBLE the investigators. haha its been WAY cool though! We have had the opportunity to get double the experience! I'VE LOVED IT! :) I have been able to grow a TON. Ha don't get me was super hard and frustrating at first because we had NO time to prepare anything,...we would just have to go in and roll with it. But we have just made sure we are full of the spirit all day and focused and the lessons usually go AMAZING. We had this old couple come in who were less active and just wanted to meet with us. They didn't feel welcome or loved in their ward because all their kids have done drugs or just messed up in their lives. They felt judged and not needed. They just wanted to talk with us.....SO IT WENT UNREAL. They were from Tennessee and had the SWEETEST accent. We became absolute BEST FRIENDS. Ha the grandma and me were laughing and crying and I bore my testimony SO strong that SHE specifically was sooo important and needed. I just went on and how people will judge and not follow Christ's example....but this is Christ's church and that's not what he would teach. She just needs to look past all the imperfect people and do her best with handling people and the Lord would bless her and be so proud of her. We need to just rely on the Lord and do what He would have us do.....who cares what anybody else does or says or thinks. HE IS ALL THAT MATTERS. They committed to go to church this Sunday and she asked for my email to continue writing me!!! My district President said that was fine:) It was unreal:) I am going to continue bearing testimony to her throughout my mission and keep her strong in the church.
So this week we had a new district come in. There is this one girl named Sister D! She is from Germany and has become my BEST FRIEND. I absolutely LOVE HER. She came from Frankfurt and she knew Nick!!! He came and ate dinner with her family every once and awhile! It was cool! I asked if she knew Josh but she didn't :(
I am actually really sad I am leaving the MTC. I LOVE IT HERE! I have made seriously AMAZING FRIENDS. ALL the elders are like my brothers. We have all made such amazing friendships here...and most of them are from UTAH so we are gonna party when we get home!!!! We all cried last night cuz we all had to say goodbye:( No worries I WILL CALL YOU! and our whole district is going to Omaha so we are all flying together! I AM SOOO HAPPY! They are my best friends:) and we actually fly to Minneapolis....have a 3 hour layover and then to Omaha! ha its ridiculous...but oh well:) more time with my district:) We get to stay in the mission home till Friday then we get our new companions and all that Friday:)
A ton more experiences have happened this week but I am running out of there is a few:) but I just wanted to leave my testimony with all of you saying that I KNOW without a single doubt that this church is true. I know that at times life can be hard....and things don't always go the way we want them too, or the way we expect. But if we just TURN OUTWARD.....everything else seems easier. When the natural man would turn in, the Savior would turn out. That's what we NEED to do. Forget ourselves. Think of someone else. When you are going through something hard....or in a bad mood...FORGET YOURSELF. I promise you will feel better. In every single instance, in every situation, no matter the circumstance....JUST TURN OUT. When you lose yourself in others and obtain a character like'll find yourself. and not only that...but you'll find yourself happy. So turn away from being selfish and, get over yourself and get out of the way, and TURN OUTWARD. Another thing we need to keep in mind....a testimony just isn't enough. We need to be truly CONVERTED. If you are truly converted to the Lord...(not just the church...but to THE LORD) then when people let you down or turn away from won't affect you. YOU ARE CONVERTED TO THE LORD. Not the imperfect people that say they have a testimony.....Don't let someone else bring you down. Who cares....the Lord is the only person you should be worried about. and He will NEVER bring you down. So BE HAPPY:) Just make your life according to God's will and then you have nothing to be scared about or worried about:) I find that so comforting. Nothing else matters but our relationship with God.:) Sorry I just went off there...haha I just LOVE having that makes life easier and better:) Well I LOVE YOU all and miss you all! You are all in my prayers every night and I am SO grateful for the amazing examples you are to me. All of you have impacted me in my life. I LOVE YOU! and have a great week!:)

Friday, November 22, 2013

November 19, 2013

MOM!!!! and family! Oh my heck I miss you soooo much!!!! I want you to know how much I love you! Ok first off...I am so sorry I have been SO busy and have no time AT ALL to write any letters! But today I have some time so I will make sure to write you and Dad and all the boys an actual letter! I don't have much time on here so sorry if it isn't too long. I wanted to thank you guys SOOOO much for all the dear elders and packages and letters! You have nooo idea how much it means to me! Even tho I cant respond to them because I am super busy, every night I get so excited to go home and read those letters! They seriously make me feel so much better and I look SO forward to them! Mom, thank you soooo much for writing me every single day. You have no idea how much comfort it brings to me to be able to read something from you every night, Please continue to do so. Dad and boys, thank you SO much for also sending me emails! IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY to hear from you! Gosh I miss you all SOOO MUCH! but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but here. Mom, please tell Grandma Ruth thank you SO much for the package! Haha my whole district ate the cake and LOVED all the food! and please tell Linda, and Kristine LaMay and Grandma and Grandpa Leifson and Maren and Skye and Katie and Emily and Andrew thank you sooo much for the letters! Alright, Well this first week has definitely been crazy and a full on rollercoaster. Ha Not gonna lie it's been real hard. But at the same time, its been beyond AMAZING! I have learned so much and my testimony has grown SO much. The first couple of days here were actually pretty good....I felt at peace and wasn't homesick or anything. I missed you guys, but was beginning to love it here. I ended up being in a 3 some companionship is....DIFFERENT. Most definitely though, I LOVE them. I have truly come to love them and am really gonna miss them when we leave. They are amazing girls and I learn so much from them:) They truly have amazing testimonies and we teach really well together. We all have different characteristics that make when we teach, work SO well.
My district is AMAZING. They are soooo fun. My favorite is Sister M. She is polynesian and has literally become my best friend. We are so much alike and just make this experience fun. The elders are all really fun too! We all get along great! It's soooo nice. I am so grateful to have met these amazing people. Alright, I can't even tell you how much I have already learned. This truly is an amazing experience and the best decision I ever made. Not gonna lie there are times when I wonder what I got myself into....but then I ALWAYS come out on top and know this was the best decision. It's been really frustrating at we have investigators that come from around Provo who actually are investigators. Yesterday we taught this girl and it was AWEFUL. We started teaching her about how God is her loving Heavenly Father and how to pray and how it was a 2 way communication...she pulled out some stones and put on all these weird stones to "make sure the devil stays away when we summon him". She was an energy healer and didn't like "talking to ourself" Then she shut down and didn't talk the rest of the time. We would ask her anything to get her talking again but....not happening. Ha so we left....but I did ask her if we could come one more time and she accepted!!! So we are preparing real hard to see if we can actually do something for her. Pray it works out.
The rest of the week has just been classes and workshops. It's a lot like EFY. I like it A LOT. I learn so much and my testimony grows more and more every day. Yesterday was by far my hardest day. I kinda crashed when that investigator went so bad....I got really discouraged and everyone in my district was as well. I was praying real hard to just be able to feel comforted and continue on and keep doing my best. Me and Sister M and the elders were in this huge volleyball tournament. I had to miss it because my companion was sick and we had to go to the doctors. :( but Then later in class time, Brother C decided to switch his lesson to "How to cope with stress" cuz everyone was so down. IT was an amazing lesson and helped all of us. Proud to say I haven't cried once while being here:) haha instead every girl here has had mental breakdowns and I am the one to comfort and help them. Ha whenever one starts having a mental breakdown in class....the teachers come and get me and I help comfort them:) I like it:) ha I'm kinda the mom here:) Well I'm running out of time....sorry we don't have like any time on computers....but I would just like to leave my testimony with you that I know without a single doubt that this church is true. There is NO denying it. I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can each return with him again. I am so grateful for the sacrifice He that he could know exactly how to comfort us and lift our burdens. I know he knows each of us individually, and LOVES each of us individually and really is there in EVERY aspect of our lives. If we make Him our best friend, we can do anything:) When times get hard, just remember that Jesus Christ knows exactly how you are feeling and TURN to him. HE WILL help you through it. Just trust him :) I love each and every one of you and sorry this email is all over the place and not making sense!!! PS. Our flight leaves Wednesday morning at 6 AM! so we have to meet the travel agents at 2:30 am!!!! I will die that night.:( I LOVE YOU GUYS!!! and write you letters today:) One thing I forgot to tell you!!!! Sister Leifson and me have met each other every night and been able to talk!! It has been AMAZING!!!! :) And at Relief Society we were able to sit with each other the whole time:) it has been soo comforting!! I also have seen Mason McDonald a couple of times:) and I have seen a bunch of people from school!:)
Ashley and her second cousin, Linzi

November 14, 2013

Dear Mom, Dad & Family, I want you guys to know how much I love and miss you. Thank you for your prayers and support. I really can feel it. Please, please keep praying for me. I am in a 3 some companionship. So that's different. I know I can learn from them. I know the Lord gave me them for a reason. I will love them and learn from them. Well this, without a doubt, is one of the hardest things I've ever done but it's also rewarding. Already I've learned so much. Every hour is jam packed with stuff that really helps you teach better and be a better missionary. Already we've taught investigators and had many teaching experiences. Ha I'm not scared at all to bear my testimony and participate anymore. It's cool when l really focus then the homesickness goes away. I have two companions. They are sweet girls with strong testimonies. In our district there is a Polynesian Sister named Sister M. I LOVE her! We get along good. Ha there's 5 sisters in our district. Sister M. and I get along great. We all sleep in the same room so that's nice. Except my companions snore sooo loud! Ha, I didn't sleep at all last night! Just please pray for me!
I saw Linzi for a second! Ha, she waved to me through a window. She's companions with a girl I knew in High School!! I also saw Mason McDonald! That was such a comfort! I've also seen Ryan Morin's mom here and Levi Fisca (a kid from school). It's always comforting to see familiar faces. Well, in our zone we are with another district but they are all elders. So just us 5 sisters but it's fun! I really do like it here. I am learning lots and its only been 2 days! I found out my P day is on Tuesdays while I'm at the MTC so I'll email you guys then. I want you to know I pray for you guys every day and love you miss you all. Tell the boys that I love and miss them and to make good choices :) I know without a doubt this church is true and have learned so much while preparing. I have honestly seen and felt God's love for us. He always comforts me when this gets too hard and lonely. I've also felt his love for those who are searching for the gospel. It's amazing, you feel that love for them when you forget everything else and focus on them and their needs. I've felt that with those investigators who came in. I just can't wait to actually get to Nebraska and get to work!!
I still know I have a lot to learn. I'm feeling more confident after every class. Ha the classes are my favorite part! Surprising, I know! But they aren't boring at ALL!! I know if I just give this my all, and never give up and rely on the Lord, I'll get through the hard trying moments here. I just need to lose myself. Ha, it's a whole other world here. It's kinda scary because you forget about your life completely... but I never forget about you guys! I love you all soooo much and am so grateful to have so much love and support and prayers from you guys and also to have had such amazing examples as parents. You guys are AMAZING! I love you! And Mom, you are my hero. I want you to know that. I want to be just like you. Dad, thank you for such an amazing example of a worthy priesthood holder. I want to marry someone exactly like you. And boys... I love and miss each and every one of you more than you could imagine... Just please know that this mission thing is hard...and gonna kick your butt... so start preparing now!! Seriously, make the Lord your best friend or else you won't be able to do this! Also want you to know how AMAZING being a missionary is!! You feel the power you have and things come into your head so fast and you are able to speak your testimony so much clearer. I can't wait to actually go to Nebraska! I've been here 2 days and learned a ton! ha I can't imagine what lies ahead. This is the best decision I ever made, even tho at times I wonder what I got myself into! haha I LOVE YOU guys but I gotta go so I'll talk to you guys on Tuesday! :) LOVE YOU! Sister Wilson :)