Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Email #1 Continued

Looks like Melissa sent the whole version of her previous email today. 

"DID YOU NOT GET THE WHOLE THING?? This is from last p-day. I will write more later today when I am at laundry. I mean I will write my actual letter then"

So i am sitting here in the laundry room at the MTC typing as fast as I can cuz there is timer thing up there. Anyway. Currently I am feeling like I have been here forever.
- It is really cold here
- I wish I had some boots but I let my family ship them to Alaska which is cool but still my ankles get cold and I am scared it is really gonna snow here
- So I wanna buy like those small boots that are called milano on but I am trying to restrain myself
My companion's name is Sister Peterson and she is from springville, utah. Everyone is from utah. THeir families dropped them off at the MTC. haha sigh. It's lovely but I am a little glad I didn't have to go through that emotional separation right before I marched into the MTC and was taken to my classroom.
My district is 6-b. We are pretty cool. Whoever gave me that advice though, about being patient with elders, was inspired. It is crazy sometimes being in a room full of six other 19 and 20 year olds but we are growing together and getting to know each other and supporting each other, except for when the elders are making fun of me for laughing so much, they just have to START making a funny face at me and I start laughing. Or when Sister Peterson and I have to leave the classroom during personal study time because Elder Gardner is telling me I sing like a black woman and Elder Noxon is putting "sister missionary proverbs" on my desk and so we leave. And then we come back an hour later, having happily studied, and there are two pens in the ceiling, stuck tip first, and we just LOOK at the elders and are like "ELDERS!" and then our branch president who has as much charisma as a man can get and silvery white hair IMPECCABLY in place who can command the seas to calm (I mean...get the elders to listen) is coming down the hall and Elder Gardner has to jump as high as he can as fast as he can and get the pens outta the ceiling, and then giggle at the holes there, and then B.P. is in the room to lead district meeting and we are SILENT. And RESPECTFUL.
Our branch president is pretty amazing. He told us an amazing story about listening to the spirit, when he was in London years ago on HIS mission he & his companion forgot to get directions to this place where they were supposed to drop off some film strip at 5. In a panic, they prayed and apologized to the Lord for neglecting to prepared, and his companion asked that the directions be told to Elder Myers (my branch president). So they started driving and impressions started coming into Elder Myers' mind and they were taken into a forest with back roads and little side streets they'd never seen before. A picture of a roundabout and a pub came into his mind and 2 minutes later they rounded a curve and he saw the pub and he started to cry. He got an impression where to turn and they turned, and down the street was the man they were supposed to meet, in the middle of the street tapping his watch impatiently, and they were able to drop off the film strip on time. He told us that we should not doubt the impressions we get from the Holy Ghost. And that people are NOT making this up.
I am so happy here. There is so much peace around us (sometimes not IN us but whatevs that is what stress management is for). That is why I laugh so much. I am happy! I pretty much have forgotten my old life. Hahah just kidding. But really they keep you so busy here. You have no time to think about family or friends back home. You cross my mind often, don't get me wrong. But I am trying so hard to be focused here as well.
I love my flannel pjs that remind me of dad.
I love all my skirts.I haven't worn the wool one yet; I think I would be too hot.
My shoes are comfy. My feet never hurt. Yay for not having clunky sister missionary shoes.
I go to the GYM (i kinda have to it's in the schedule). And we go on the ellipticals or however they are spelled.
THank you mama for going through my stuff and getting the info about my shots. Hopefully it will all work out. And thank you Anne for going through all the papers in my piano room. I am sorry I never finished cleaning everything up.
We have to teach our teachers, Brother Woolf and Brother Bradley, as if they are investigators. And we have lesson plans but they say "Teach to the investigators' NEEDS. And listen to the spirit." So it is not just "follow the outline" it is "pray and listen and if THEY don't feel the SPirit then they will never believe what you are telling them and you sometimes have to teach one person one thing and another person another thing." I never knew how much I would have to rely on the Spirit. You basically don't get anywhere without the spirit.
I get it now, how MUCH you have to listen to the gentle, subtle promptings of the Holy Ghost. And it is everywhere here because we are all missionaries and were set apart and given that blessing to give us the power and potential to be the best missionary we can be. And sometimes I feel like "many people won't listen to this message. Or they do but then they eventually reject it." I have a hard time having enough faith that EVERYONE needs to have that chance to be baptized but I liked what I learned the other day. It's not about building the numbers in this church. It is about giving every child of that Heavenly Father, who loves them, a chance to experience the Atonement of Jesus Christ. THeir burdens and guilt and confusion can be lifted and they can feel their Savior's love and eventually enter the Celestial Kingdom. Missionary work is about teaching people who their Daddy is.
And EVERYTHING MUST BE APPLIED TO OUR PURPOSE. Lemme tell you. EVERYTHING. In class. "How does THIS how does THAT how does THIS how does THAT apply to our purpose?"
WHich invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end.
Sister Ashbrook
My MTC address is
Sister Melissa Jean Ashbrook
MTC Mailbox # 113
AK-ANC 1219
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793
p.s. i love the letters i've already gotten. I feel so loved. I love everything.

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