Sister Ashley Wilson

Nebraska Omaha Mission

11027 Martha St

Omaha, NE 68144

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hey Family!:) How was your week? I hope it was great!!:) I cant believe Kelsie leaves on her mission this week and that Alayna gets hers this week!!! Gosh sooo many changes!!! I am sooo proud of both of them! I cant wait to hear where Alayna is going and how Kelsie likes her first week in the MTC!!!:) Well this week has been good! We were able to find a couple new investigators!!! I love finding those who the Lord just leads you too!! We met this girl who is YSA age and had been praying to find a way to turn her life around!!! Thennn she met us that day:) Really cool:) Church is true:) We also had some AWESOME lessons with our Spanish investigators this week!!! Holy cow its soooo cool! teaching them has been such a priveledge because I have been able to recognize the spirit so much more and realize that it isn't me at all who does the teaching.....its all the spirit. Without the spirit...we wouldn't be able to teach them anything! literally!
Well we did have some not so good things happen this week.....but lots of tender mercies and miralces came from it as well.So there is YSA member who has been struggling really badly lately with a lot of things. We have been spending a lot of time with her tryin to help her out.....but....long story short, a lot of drama went down and she ended up attempting suicide. She was SO close. It was sooo scary. So Ill kinda briefly explain what I can.... She lives with 2 other members of the YSA. That day we had gone over and had lunch with her 2 roomates. We had felt really prompted to share Alma 14 and 15 with them. We had no idea why because its a super depressing chapter about the women and children burning in the fire, and Alma and Amulek not being able to save them. We ended up having a really powerful discussion about it. Well then the next morning we got a call from Luke telling us what had happened the night before. So apparently that morning (the morning we went to the apartment for lunch) she had left a suicide note with all her belongings on her bed...and left with a duffel bag. It got to be 11 at night and her roomates were worried about her. The whole YSA was havin a sleepover at their apartment that night. None of them had heard from her all day. They went in her room and found all this on her bed. Freaking out they called the cops. Long story short...the cops found her in the basement of her work JUST IN TIME. She is now getting help and she should be ok. Meanwhile... the whole YSA is all traumatized and havin a really hard time. After all this went down they went back to the apartment and were just horrified. They had been best friends with her their whole lives. One of them had remembered that we had read Alma 14 and 15 with them and decided to read it all together that night. They told us that when they were reading those chapters this overwhelming peace and comfort came across all of them. It answered all the questions they each were having and everything was ok They could see things with an eternal perspective. It provided clarity. It was also a really cool bonding experience for the YSA and they were able to each bear their testimony on it afterwards:) This was a huge testimony builder to me to just follow the spirit even when you have no idea why. God has a reason....He has it all planned out...and even if you have NO idea why....just act. Cuz He knows why. He is so aware of each of us....and what each of us needs....and we just need to trust in Him, and everything will be ok. I am so grateful for this gospel and the knowledge that it brings. I have no idea how people go through trials without it. Knoweldge brings power. It brings peace. I know that the Book of Mormon is Gods words. I know that as you read that book that it will bring a peace and comfort into your life that you can't find anywhere else. I know as you read it that it will bring clarity and direction into your life. I know that God speaks through that book. If any of you need answers, need peace, need direction, need clarity, or just need to feel loved, READ that book. I promise you that you will find what you are looking for. I love this church....and I am so grateful and honored to be able to be a member to have the priveldges that I do. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen. Have a great week family!! I Love you all sooo much!! Love, Sister Wilson:)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Hey Family!!! How has your week been? I hope you all had a great Valentines day!! I love and miss ya all sooo much!!:) Well we had a really good week!! Ahh so many miralces...I say that every week but its da truth!!!!! I just love being a missionary!!! soo sooo much!! But ok sooo we were gone out of our area a whole lot this week. We had zone trainings in North Platte and in Grand Island so we were on exchanges for a couple days with our sisters and had to train in those meetings! We were exhausted when we finally got home to Kearney. But everyone is just so amazing, we didn't even have to make appointments, our investigators texted us setting up appointments!!!! The work is progressing so much even though we aren't even here!!! God just makes miracles happen!:) Ok soooo the R family I was tellin ya bout last week....WOW. They came to church again this week!!!! They came to the Ward Valentines Party and we have had them over at a members house 2 different times this week!!! They are soo prepared!! They listen so intently to every word we say (probably cuz they cant understand my Spanish.......haha). Its just such a priveledge being able to teach them. So I will tell you about our lesson we had with them last. It was awesome. We followed up with the Restoration and then started talking about the Plan of Salvation. (Thanks to my Al pal Peterson I used the visual aid thing she sent me and man it helped SOO much!!!) It was real spiritual and they asked a ton of inspired questions that the spirit was able to just testify through us over and over again. Ah it was awesome. Then towards the end we invited them to be baptized. They stopped and looked at eachother with tears in their eyes....then asked if we could all kneel down together and pray to know if this was the right thing. (yup....they are amazing) So we all knelt down and held hands and they prayed and asked God if it was the right thing for them to do. The spirit filled the whole room. We all just sat there...In heaven...pretty sure;) and then they stood up and looked at eachother and said yes they would shoot to be baptized on March 7th:) :):):) Gosh I cant even tell you how amazing it is to see what this gospel does to people. Their whole countenances just change!!! Its amazing how willing and close people are to the spirit and that they recognize this is from God, and will do anything to come closer to Him. It really strengthens my testimony each time. I just know this is Gods true church, and that every principle in it is there for a reason and brings us closer to Him if we just will choose to live it. Anyways, a lot of other great things are happening!!! E's cousin told us this week she wants to be baptized as well!! haha but shes not progressing as well as we would like her too. haha.....we are kinda worried its cuz she likes our branch mission leader L. Haha. He's 23 and comes on team ups with us to see her cuz hes the branch mission leader right?? Well the past 2 times hes come with us....She gets real distracted and doesn't really pay attention to the lesson. So we booted L and told him he cant come anymore haha hopefully things will move forward with her and she can feel the spirit and not be distracted;) haha gosh. Well this week I decided I was going to focus my studies on how I can change my heart. Then the topic we got asked to train on in zone trainings was how the Book of Mormon changes our heart:) Haha answer to prayer? heck yes. But in the way I wanted it to be answered? HECK Nope!! haha but God sure knows what we need most, and He also knows the way we need to learn things best:) So in Mosiah 5:2 it talks about how a change of heart is that you don't desire to do evil, and want to do good continually. Well its not necessarily that I want to do evil....haha but I just don't feel like my heart and my intentions are always in the right place. A change of heart is a process of perfecting our motivations and intentions. So that's exactly what I need to do, but how does one go about changing their heart? Well basically what I believe it comes down too is that a changed heart is one that does everything out of a pure intention to show their love to Christ. When every decision, every thought, every action, is made to show your love for Him, your heart is changed. Its perfected. Well how the heck do we get to that point where all we do is out of love for Christ?? well really its the simple things. The quest for a "change of heart" begins with a sincere desire. It comes through the quiet influence of the Holy Ghost. It doesn't come all at once, it will continually be changing through experiences that we have in life. Our heart changes as our willingness to serve increases, it changes as we make decisions to keep commandments, it changes as we serve others, as we pray and align our will to Gods, as we study the scriptures and apply what they teach into our own lives, and as we attend church and hear others testimonies. Evidence of our heart changing is when we walk away from things with a determination to try a little harder to be better. That's not so bad!!! I can handle that;) haha I just know that as we try and purify our inmost parts of our heart that we can feel Gods love so much more personal and real. That we can feel true Joy in our lives, and that we can look forward with faith in knowing we are trying our best to become more like our loving Savior and Best friend.:) In the end, where our heart is, is really all that matters. Our hearts are what the Lord looks on, its what we will be judged on one day, and I just really want my heart to be in the right place. If your hearts in the right place, then everything else just follows suit.:) I love you all so much and know that if we just take the time to read the BOM daily for even just a couple minutes, that it has the power to change our heart. A quote I love says, "The Book of Mormon is our handbook of instructions as we travel the pathway from bad to good to better and strive to have our hearts change" I say these things in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ, Amen:) Have a great week!!!:) Love, Sister Wilson:)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hey Family!!!:) How has your week been?? Dare bear! HAPPY BIRHTDAY!!! ew your 17. That's old. Hope you liked the video of me and the YSA singing to you!!:) just know...I DID remember your birthday! Well this week was crazy!! haha I always say that but this time FO REAL. So Tuesday we had exchanges with some of our sisters and a member from the Stake Presidency called me and asked if I would give a training in this priesthood training meeting they were havin that night. He said that all the Stake Presidency, all the bishops, high group leaders, elders quorums presidents, etc would be there and we would be the only we could train then leave. And it would be broadcasted to everywhere. I got real scared. I didn't even have my companion!!! Sooooo poor Sister C had to do it with me!!! haha which was ironic cuz her goal for that exchange was to "eliminate all fear" haha God sure helped us accomplish that goal!!:) It ended up turning out really good:) We knew it was inspired for us to do it, and we were able to teach by the spirit and not be nervous!!! It was an awesome experience, one that I will never forget:) Another amazing miracle was we found this Spanish family who is SUPER prepared to hear the gospel!!! Sister L and another sister found them street contacting and gave them a BOM on exchanges...but couldn't talk to them cuz they only speak spanish!!! So the next day, me and Sister Lutz went over and were able to teach them the restoration!!! (the best we could) We watched the Restoration video in Spanish so that helped a whole lot!!:) But her husband came home while we were watching it and was upset askin us what we were selling their family. We explained (in the best Spanish we could) that we were just missionaries and hear to share a message about Christ with them. He sat down watched the movie, and heard us testify afterwards of the Book of Mormon. THEN A MIRACLE HAPPENED...ya ready??? He started tearing up.....big old Mexican man,.....started to cry and said "I been lookin how to bring my family closer to God....and God just told me He's answering my prayer." :):):):):) we gave him a BOM and testified like crazy. He asked us where our church was and promised to come on sunday. They invited us to come on Saturday to teach us more before church. (remember this is all in this whole experience is a flippin miracle!!!) We came back on Saturday and they had read some of the BOM, had questions, and we tried to answer them. The spirit was sooo strongly there!!! We weren't able to get a Spanish speaker to come with us so we prayed like crazy all would go well and it did!!! At the end of the lesson, they followed us to church so they could know where the church was exactly:) haha then the next day, the Dad came to church!!!!! HE LOVED IT!!! he was raving about it afterwards and sooo excited to go back and bring his family!! we had a ward member translate for him the whole time and now today we are eating dinner with this ward members family and their whole family!!!:) It is sooo cool being able to teach a whole family who don't know anything about Christ!!!!:) It is such a priveledge!!! And to be able to teach them in Spanish!!!
Ok sooo cool thing about that!!! I got a blessing the other night because my throat has not been likin me so much!! And in the blessing he said that I have been blessed with the gift of tongues to share the gospel!!!! and that it would continue to increase!!! HOW COOL IS THAT??? Its been such a miracle cuz we have no Spanish missionaires up here but we are finding soo many prepared Hispanics!!! Our ward mission plans goal is to have a Spanish group here by the end of next transfer!! I am soo excited!!:) and so grateful Heavenly Father is helpin me be apart of this!! Sooooo many other miralces happened this week....we were in Omaha for a missionary leadership training meetings and we had 2 exchanges this week so we weren't in our area a whole lot, but the Lord blessed us with so many lessons when we were here, and with sooo many cool miralces. Another cool thing was, on exchanges in Grand island, we were teachin this investigator and her boyfriend and he was just being really rude. He was just yelling and throwing all sorts of Anti at me and this missionary who is still pretty new...(only been out a couple months) He was yelling at us and tellin us we were liars and didn't know anything and askin all these crazy questions....and it was cool cuz we were able to be so calm and the spirit told me exactly what to tell this man to leave us alone:) Afterwards we actually had a good lesson with the girl again:) haha hopefully she dumps this dude. He aint cool.
Well I cant even begin to tell you guys how much my testimony continues to strengthen each day. I just am so priveledged to be learning SOO much!!!:) I feel like my brain is just gonna explode from so much knowledge! But all that the gospel really comes down to is the basics. All the knowledge in the world...just backs up the basics. So we just learn the basics,....stick with the basics, and throughout our lives just learn more about the basics to help you have a stronger testimony of that specific principle!! One basic that truly is the most powerful principle we can ever learn is Prayer. We need to stop and think and truly understand that when we pray, we are talking to GOD. To our creator, to the creator of all, the One who comprehends and understands all, the One who is the master of everything. When we truly understand that, and that we are talking to HIM, then our prayers might change a bit. We might begin to realize what a priveledge and blessing it is to pray. We need to also understand that even though He is the most powerful being, the most perfect being, and the One who is in control of all, He is also our LOVING, Father. He is our Dad. When we understand that He loves us as His own. We are his own. When we truly comprehened that He loves us sooo much more than we could possibly comprehend, then our prayers will also change. They will be more meaningful, more close and personal, they will bring miracles. We need to understand that we can depend on prayer to get through anything. We have the priveledge of reaching out and tapping in to this unseen power, which no man can do by himself. "Prayer will open doors, prayer will remove barriers, prayer will ease pressures, prayer will give inner peace and comfort during times of stress and difficulty. There is no place for fear among those who place their trust In God and who do not hesitate to humble themselves in seeking diving guidance through prayer." (I don't know where this quote came from....haha) Prayer BRINGS MIRACLES. Theres a poem that I love, it says, "I know not by what methods rare, But this I know God answers prayer, I know that He has given His word, wich tells me prayer is always heard, and will be ansered, soon or late, And so I pray and calmly wait, I know not if the blessing sought will come in just the way I thought But leave my prayers with Him alone, whose will is wiser than my own, assured that He will grant my quest, or send some answer far more blest." -Eliza M Hickok I just know that if we try to understand our relationship with our Heavenly Father better, that our prayers will improve soo much more and we will be able to see more miralces in our lives, and feel the comfort and peace of knowing how we are never alone. That we have the most powerful being as our loving Father and best friend. There is no knowledge greater than knowing that. Knowing that can change your life.:) I love you all soo much and cant thank you enough for your love and support!! And remember that satan tries to limit our prayers, cuz he knows our prayers limit him!!! I LOVE YOU!! Have a great week! Love, Sister Wilson:)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Hey Family!!:) How are you doing?:) Have you been gettin lots of snow there? How was the super bowl? haha man.....that was real hard to find anyone to teach!!! it better had been worth it dangit!!!:) Well this week was good for us! more miralces!!! andddd we got tons of snow!:) at the beginning of the week it was, no lies, 70 degrees!!! now its -14 wind chill and FREEZING!!! the weather here is insane. ok sooo I have no time this week so this will be a super short email, but Ill just hurry and share 2 cool experiences that happened. 1. Sooo we got a referral from church headquarters and so we went and contacted it the other day. It was on the college campus so we couldn't get in, without being let in. We were super bummed cuz we didn't get a number for her...just her address. So we were real sad cuz there was no way we would be able to contact her ever. Well we were about to leave and this girl that we knew walked by!!! We asked her if she could let us in and if she knew how we could contact this girl where it would be legal and not be breaking any trespassing rules at the college haha....she said "Oh that's my neighbor, Ill go with you!" soooo we all went and contacted her!! she was super open to listening!! her best friend was a Mormon and went on a mission and she is the one who referred her to church headquarters. :) She is super prepared and really interested in taking the discussions:) She already had a BOM and had loved it but had lost it so we gave her another one:) We are so excited to be working with her:) It was really cool that God took that situation into his hands and made it all work out so that we could contact her:) 2. We also had the opportunity to go and teach our investigators who only speak Spanish this week!!! We brought our ward mission leaders wife and man it was such a powerful lesson!!!! The spirit was soo strong!!!! Its so cool cuz we are both able to understand the whole lesson and whats going on....but I just cant speak back to them!! But at the end Sister V asked me to bear my testimony the best I could in I did. (They have been teaching me Spanish so I could try) So I tried to bear my testimony...haha it was super rough....I stumbled through all of it and didn't speak it right....but the spirit was there. That's all that matters. After I finished, S looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said "Gracias". (yes I actually did understand that part) After the lesson, Sister V told me that after I bore my simple testimony that S said to her that she really believed this could be true...she felt something and felt it everytime we came over and just wanted to learn more. It was sooo cool. It was such a testimony to me that if we just try...and open our mouths,....that even though we may not say the right things, or make no sense at all really.....He can change our weak attempts to miracles. He can have the spirit work through our feeble attempts. God can make us, his weak servants, into His strong disciples.
I have learned so much throughout my entire mission just how involved the Lord is in each of our lives! He is always there, blessing us, his children, with tender mercies. Elder Bednar once said, "The lord's tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ." I think its so important that we truly take the time to notice the tender mercies the Lord blesses us with. It will help us feel of His love for us more strongly, and also help us just be happier in this life. We just need to recognize what tender mercies are, and then we will recognize just how much the Lord is involved in our lives. One of the ways the Savior comes to each of us is through tender mercies. Elder Bednar explained more about tender mercies....he said, "For instance, as we face challenges and test in our lives, the gift of faith and sense of personal confidence that reaches beyond our own capacity are two examples of the tender mercies of the Lord. Repentance and forgiveness of sins and peace of conscience are example of tender mercies. The persistence and the fortitude that enable us to press forward with cheerfulness through physical limitations and spiritual difficulties are examples of the tender mercies of the Lord." "The simpleness, the sweetness, and the constancy of the tender mercies of the Lord will do much to forify and protect us in the trouble times in which we do now and will yet live." We need to realize that tender mercies do not occur randomly or by coincidence. So how do we invoke tender mercies in our lives? By faithfullness, by obedience, and by our humility. These are what invite tender mercies into our lives. They are available to ALL OF US, even those of us who don't feel worthy of them. We are all Gods children, and he loves each of us, therefore He will give each of us His tender mercies:) I know this to be true because I have seen sooo many in my life, even at times where I haven't felt worthy of them. I love you family!!! Have a great week!!! and notice the tender mercies!!:) Love, Sister Wilson:)