Monday, April 30, 2012

Got mah hair in Braids

Hola como estan??

How exciting Nicky is almost done with his mish? How exciting Candace is almost hitched? Life is cool, right? 

Man this swivel chair that I am sitting at is so low, I feel like a little kid. 

So, I have been in this area for over four months, hee hee. Man so my new companion Sister Rivera is soo delightful, we are like the same person. We were both obsessed with harry potter in high school, we both did musical theatre in high school, we both are musicians and she knows what it feels like just to be known as "the singing girl" cuz I know what it's like just to be known as "the piano girl"---where that's all people know about you and don't really bother to find out anything else, bahahah, ahhh, our life is so hard. We both like shopping in this way: figure out what you want beforehand, go in, get it, buy it, get out. HAHAHA. We laugh all the time and stare at each other as we say like the same thing, and then go, "Ahhh get outta my head! We're like the same!" We both tell stories all the time and go off on tangents and it's probably really bad cuz I don't have Sister Chan going, "Sister Ashbrook, you don't need to tell me all the background!" Bahahha so we stay up late TALKING and man am I TIRED. Sister Rivera is from Pocatello, Idaho, hee hee. And she wants to study music therapy. Yay. 

This week: 

Oh my word after transfers it was like 60 degrees, I almost died. It's gone down a lil bit since then, in the mornings when we get up it's like 40 degrees. Today we saw a cute lil squirrel. There are GULLS. I don't know what kind. Flying in the sky. They're not like the sea gulls back home; those ones are bigger and have gray on the backs of their wings. These ones are white and a lil bit smaller but their call reminds me of home and the beach and makes me have this weird urge to grab some school books and lay them over my head, on my way to class, like I did in high school to avoid getting pooped on. BAHAHAH. 

Barely any snow left. Everything is brown, except for the evergreens. They say that the green comes real suddenly, that you'll see a hint of it and then you'll wake up one morning and it'll be like, SHABAM, green everywhere. 

You should tell Christy to write me or something. Or come to the valley and go to Colony Ward which meets at 11 A.M. and come visit me. Hee hee. 

When we wake up at 6:30, the sun is already up, glowing like a blob of orange butter. At ten o'clock at night, it's twilight. I have to tell myself it's really pitch dark so that my body will relax when I lie in bed. BAHAHAHAHA. 

Sister Rivera and I are both sort of lukewarm about tracting, which is hilarious, which means we can grow to love it together. We have a goal to do at least half an hour of tracting every day. 
Today we FINALLY have a lesson planned for the Man Who Showed Up At Church. So apparently he went n got Triple A insurance in Anchorage and the lady that worked with him is a member, talked to him, and knew from her experience as a missionary that this man is golden---just WAITING to join the church--- and they got to talking about religion and everything and so this woman CALLS us and says "Are you teaching this man?" and I said, "Yes, but we haven't seen him in six weeks," and she said, "You need to go see him. I felt impressed to call you and tell you that." And i said, "That's probably because he's been on the back burner and we need to focus on him again, thank you so much for calling." She gave me his address and we went and stalked him for a bit and finally talked to him and he said he lost our number during his move to this new apartment, and we set up a lesson with him, and we are gonna see him tonight. 

On Saturday we had another lesson with The Woman In The Store, at her house again. She got to meet Sister Rivera for the first time. We brought a member of the church we thought she'd click with, but maybe she felt shy from all the new people and she seemed quite shy and not all the way open. Which is scary. I feel like our relationship with her is already fragile enough, which her husband being so Anti and so against her joining the church and her lack of commitment to the church because of her fear of upsetting her husband or anything coming between her and the people she loves and her own values. We need the spirit at her lessons sooo much. We can NOT do it alone. We keep trying to teach the Plan of Salvation but she has so many questions---she doesn't think it matters where we lived before we came to earth, and her husband's biggest problem (currently) and thus, her own concern, is that we believe Jesus and Satan are brothers. And I said, laughing, "Oh man well that goes back to our belief that we are all sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, including Lucifer, and we were all living with Heavenly Father before this life," and she laughed, it's all a big circle. "How can Satan be God's son when it clearly says in the bible that he is a fallen angel?" Well, it depends on your definition of angel. Is an angel a spirit who has not yet obtained a body? In that case, Satan is definitely a fallen angel, because he was never able to obtain a body. 

We met with a less active who has a big problem with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil---no no not necessarily with that. Sorry. He has a big problem with the Garden of Eden being deemed PERFECT, cuz if THAT TREE is in the garden, then it makes the garden imperfect.

We met with another person who has a big problem with the Book of Mormon calling Jesus the Son of God and ALSO the very Eternal Father, and also that Adam and Eve were given two conflicting commandments: multiply and replenish the earth, and don't partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good n evil. How can they have babies when they don't know anything yet? They can't have babies remaining in their ignorant state, these two commandments conflict--and God would never do that, would He?

GEEZ LOUISE, all these little PROBLEMS WITH THE GOSPEL! With the last person, we stressed not trying to run before we can walk. THE BASICS of the gospel are what we need to focus on. If we get upset, confused, frustrated, we will harden our hearts and the spirit cannot work in us. Once we focus on the basics, the Spirit can testify to us that they are true. Once we have the Spirit, it gives to us understanding that we'd otherwise lack, making it possible to understand the more confusing, frustrating parts of the gospel in a non-frustrating way. The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, and all those sorts of things. 


I love being a missionary. I love being an instrument in the Lord's hands, and sitting on the couch in someone's house, smiling into their face as they relate to us their struggles with trying to quit smoking, and feeling peace as I tell them lovingly, "We are here to help you. We will help you quit smoking." 

I love smiling into my recent convert's face and reminding her of things she felt and told us about during her conversion, and seeing her face soften as she remembers. 

I love the members in this ward. We were at our relief society president's house and she said her dinner was ruined and she sent her son and her fiancee with us to buy us hamburgers at this lil hamburger joint. I am glad that place exists---it's quite good, lots of fun things like bacon and avocado and jalapenos and all that stuff. 

Church is busy. Lots of running around, making sure those four Mexican boys that are the cousins of someone in the single's ward, who all came up from Mexico to work for the summer, aren't gonna leave church early. Bribing a twelve-year-old boy with dum-dums to promise to go the Alaska state-wide scout encampment thing. Wondering where the heck the less actives who PROMISED me they'd go to church were, cuz they clearly were ABSENT. Making sure I give the little girls who love me lots of hugs---there's a few of them, they're very sweet, they find us after Sacrament is over and just sidle up waiting to be loved, in their beautiful Sunday dresses. Hee hee. 

Anyway, I love you all. You are an AMAZING family. 

Love, sister ashbrook

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Hi family I'm not getting transferred! But Sister Chan is going to  Fairbanks! I can't believe I'm losing her already but there are Chinese people up in Fairbanks, especially with the university there, apparently there is an Asian foreign exchange program thing. Anyway, so Sister Rivera is gonna be my new companion, I'm going to transfers tomorrow but she can't come to Anchorage til Wednesday so I'm going to the temple with Sister beesley after transfers and then playing with two sister missionaries in Anchorage, sleeping at the mission home, and then Wednesday i'll meet up with Sister Rivera and we'll drive back to Palmer. 

Did I ever tell you about how my easter was? I don't know if I did. Sister Chan and I dyed eggs. Tie-dye glitter eggs. I believe you are all incredibly jealous. She was glad I gave her "some American experience." That was before church. And then at church, the musical number got cancelled cuz they didn't realize it was that week, and I was sitting there thinking, hey wait there's gotta be SOME music on Easter, so I fandangled my way into getting them to announce I was gonna play a piano solo and I went up there and played a thought-up-on-the-spot arrangement of "I Stand All Amazed" that was probably very haphazard. And then we had a wonderful delicious Easter dinner with a family from our ward and there two daughters' families, and then we went to another house that was all quiet, the aftermath of THEIR party, and helped them eat what was left of their strawberry jello cake. And really it was a wonderful Easter. My mom mentioned the Blackwelders in an email to me and I have thought of that family several times this month and I want them to know I love, love, love the Blackwelders. 

SO, last night, we went over to a family's house and the wife came out and said we'd have to do the lesson outside cuz her husband was sick and sleeping and she didn't want to wake him up. We'd brought two lil girls with us, like 12 years old and 9 or 10, one of them was in this woman's primary class and we totally brought them so they could tell her how much they missed her and wanted to see her at church. We LOVE this family and they are just going through lots of difficult times and so it's hard to get to church. Anyway, so it was slightly chilly and we had these two lil girls but it was okay, we busted out some camp chairs and sat around in front of the house and two of the boys who lived there came out through the basement door--to SMOKE--and saw us, and were like, "Oh!" And they were sent to get us blankets so we wouldn't get cold--they brought us some random coats and sweatshirts, worked perfectly--and we said, "Hah, it feels like we're camping, we just need a fire now," and those two boys were like, "Hmm okay" and busted out their lil axes and went n chopped some wood for us and had a fire going in five minutes.  Right beside their front steps. And then one was like, "We need some hot dogs," and soon they were sharpening hot dog sticks outta wood and we were roasting hot dogs. We had a wonderful lesson. The lil girls enjoyed it very much. True Alaskan experience. 

It's been a good week, I'm sad to see Sister Chan go, but the new sister studied opera before the mish and we'll have great musical times together. I am happy to stay in this area another transfer---the Woman In The Store invited us to her HOUSE for a lesson, makin headway, I feel like she is really starting to trust us. She doesn't live in our area! What the heck. But her store is in our area. We found her cuz a member of the church went in her store one day, realized what great morals and values she had, referred her to the elders in his ward, who referred her to the zone leaders so they could figure out which area her store was in, found out it was ours, and that's how we got her. Anyway, she is wonderful, she read Alma 36 becuase she has a hard time forgiving herself and we wanted to teach her about forgiveness. She also thought even if you repented, God would still bring up your sins at Judgment Day, and we taught her that when we truly repent, God actually forgives and then forgets your sins. I love this gospel, what an amazing thing to teach to somebody. 

We lost our cell phone at her house but had no idea where it was for the rest of that day and not until the morning did the Woman In The Store text our members' phone--the members we live with/next to, cuz we'd texted HER from THEIR phone, and said she found our phone, or at least her husband did, under their couch when the 6:30 alarm went off that morning. AHHH, Sister Chan and I felt so bad, that's an early alarm! But our many prayers were answered cuz it's a scary thing to lose the phone, especially when it's not really ours, and especially when it's our link to the missionary world. We're supposed to text our district leader that we're home every night, but we couldn't. They live with the Lentzes, whose house I will be skyping from come Mother's day, so I called that family from our members' phone, and said, "Um, could you go tell the elders who are living in your front yard [in the little shack] that we are home? Thanks!" Hahaha. 

That same Lentz family fed us a greenie dinner on Saturday cuz neither Sister Chan nor I had ever had one, bahhaha. THey'd totally dyed the eggs green and we had egg burritos, with green tortillas, and a green salad, and kiwis, and all these green things, and they gave us green pineapple cake for desert. It was lovely. 

Anyway I must run, I love you all.
-Sister Smashbrook

p.s. Good luck to daddy at upcoming OCMCO concert 
p.p.s. i like your motto at the family history center, mommy. "help the patrons first" always good
p.p.p.s. Hope laura dalton is feeling okay, preggo woman!
p.p.p.p.s. Hope laura my SEESTER is doing splendidly in her new house!
p.p.p.p.p.s. Good luck to sister hawkins in the MTC!!!!! 
p.p.p.p.p.p.s. And mommy the pics you sent me were beautiful, small though, so I couldn't read the writing on the one, but they were very nice thank you so much. Hopefully I'll be able to develop some today and send some. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lazy day today

Hola como estas. Hahaha. I met with some of the Spanish elders recently and we had Spanish language study. It was lovely, I realized how little I know Spanish and how awesome these elders are that learn Spanish and are fluent by the end of two years. That was a fun day---last Friday----we were down in Anchorage. We first stopped in Eagle River so that Sister Chan could teach one of her Chinese investigators. Then we went to Anchorage and I had Spanish language study and practiced some music with Elder Knudsen. Then we went and picked up, from an Oriental massage place, a Chinese woman who Sister Chan taught and she got baptized last year, and we went and had dinner with another of Sister Chan's Chinese investigators. She cooked a lovely meal and part of it was Russian dish cuz she lived in northern China right on the border of Russia or something. I love meeting these sweet women from this different culture, people are so interesting and so beautiful.
No one came to church yesterday which is sad, oh well. Not even any of our less actives, except for a Chinese woman and she is awesome and we always leave with our hands full of food every time we go see her. It is traditional when you pay a visit to Chinese that they will always offer you water. One time she asked and I was all, "no no, it's okay," and Sister Chan murmured to me, "Actually, it is very polite to say yes," so I say yes every time now. Also, in China they offer hot water a lot, it is supposed to help you stay young. When we visited Sister Chan's Chinese investigator in Eagle River, she gave us hot water, so now I know Sister Chan's words are true. She also poked Sister Chan and said, in Chinese, that she needs to lose weight. Sister Chan says they are very open about this issue in China. We have been trying sooo hard lately to lose wait----we run around the Adams' house ten times every morning...well, mostly every morning. And we have all these grand goals of eating smaller portions and NOT eating seconds at members' homes when we go for dinner. Hahaha. 

Oh man. It's like 50 degrees. Well, between 40 and 50. There is NO MORE SNOW right in front of our little cottage, there used to be so much. 

Sister Chan gave a lovely talk on Sunday. I accompanied a musical number. It was a good Sunday. 

I have big plans to write like, 15 letters today. I want to write Lily and Anne and Mom n Dad. And Lori and Bishop Lark. and Tara and Samara. And Amber Jepson. SO HOPEFULLY, I will get these letters written and sealed and beautified by either today or I'll drop em off at the post office tomorrow after the musk ox farm. Janelle, who works at the musk ox farm, has a dream of naming this next batch of lil musk ox babies, that are gonna be born soon, after the name brands of candy and chocolate bars but others who work at the farm disagree. One man, Mark, put it this way, "Do you really think a musk ox named SKITTLES pounding across the savannah will strike fear into people's hearts?" I think it would be LOVELY. I'm Team Janelle but Mark said if I get every Mormon in southern Alaska to donate $25 to the nonprofit that runs the musk ox farm, he'll allow the babies to be named after chocolate and candy. I'll pray.

We had a lovely lesson with the Woman In The Store. She is such a wonderful woman. She wants so badly for her children to have good values and standards. She even got emotional as we gave her encouragement and reassurance that she is more spiritual than many people we knew and was doing a wonderful job---the member we took with us really was the one who said all the lovely things, she being a mother herself you know, and talking about how her daughter started at 14 years old saying "I hate you" and went off partying and drinking, but what is she doing now? She's active in the church. And what helped her was, according to this daughter, the constant and calm love of her mother. Every time she shot an "I hate you" at her she got an "I love you" back from her mother. 

We also had a lesson with the Woman With Two Kids. One of those kids, the daughter, has been studying from the LDS edition of the King James bible, which is cool. This woman's problem is that the Book of Mormon is kinda weird...she's grown up with and loves the Bible. We can understand how the Book of Mormon can seem weird. And invasive. But we say, hey you already know the Bible is true. Why we emphasize the Book of Mormon so much is because a person needs to put as much work into finding out if it is true than they did with the Bible--they have to, essentialy, make up for years of not ever hearing about the Book of Mormon. And what is cool about the Book of Mormom is if you truly read it and study it, you'll find it goes with the Bible, and that it carries with it the same spirit that the Bible does, and you'll realize, hey this is the word of God. 

Speaking of the Book of Mormon, I've been reading in the war chapters of Alma lately. Captain Moroni is a stud. I know that everyone knows that. But he blows my mind all the time. And guys, there is humor in the Book of Mormon. May I please share? 

So Ammoron, the leader of the Lamanites (the bad army), wrote an epistle ( a letter) to Moroni, Moroni writes back, and is trying to negotiate an exchange of prisoners. Moroni is all, if you don't repent and withdraw, you're gonna be visited with death .And then in ALma 54:11 Moroni says, "but behold, it supposeth me that I talk to you in vain; or it supposeth me that thou art a child of hell;" and goes on and goes on but SERIOUSLY, it just made me laugh out loud. Moroni's this young upstart chief commander and he's all writing to this formidable Lamanite king dude and he's like "well I just suppose you're a child of hell so it might be useless talking to you." hahahaha. 

AND THEN, they go to a city that's been overtaken by Lamanites. ANd they get all the Lamanite guards drunk with wine. And then they could sneak weapons in during the nighttime to all the Nephite prisoners that were within the walls of the city, and then they surround the city. So when the Lamanites woke up, they had armed and vicious Nephites within and armed and vicious Nephites without, and in Alma 55:23 the Lamanites deicded "that it was not expedient that they should fight with the Nephites" and I'm all like, YA THINK?? 

And so the Lamanites think, later on in more battles, that it might be cool to try and poison the Nephites with sneaky wine, let's take this whole wine thing one step further they are thinking. And they also tried surrounding Nephite cities during the night. Like, hey let's take a leaf outta the Nephites' book. Which is hilarious. Alma 55:30. And then, the Nephites just have their Lamanite prisoners test the wine, cuz as it says in Alma 55:32, "if their wine would poison a Lamanite, it would also poison a Nephite." HAHAHAH. Yeah that's true. Sorry, I shouldn't laugh at people being poisoned. 

And the last thing I'll share that I thought was funny was when Ammoron sent an epistle to Helaman, a Nephite captain, and was all, "Hey if you give us back our prisoners, I'll give you the city Antiparah." And Helaman's like, "Hey no thanks, I'm pretty we're strong enough we can just take the city of Antiparah by force." Alma 57:1-2. hahahaha. And then when Helaman and his threatening army got near to the city of Antiparah, all the people there got scared and just fled, and the city fell into Helaman's hand without the shedding of blood. Alma 57:4. 

 the gospel is true and I love it. I love working and not getting lazy and I love keeping to our schedule that we made prayerfully the night before. I love being a missionary. I know the Book of Mormon is a true record and I know that Jesus Christ loves us and wants us to learn and grow and go through life to be better people in the end. I love my family and everyone in this ward that I am serving in. 

Kay bye, 

p.s. thanks for the easter package and everything and thanks for keeping me updated on the family, mommy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Getting a Haircut Today

Hello everybody, your daughter is talking to you from Alaska. We went n visited some less actives up on this street that went up a hill in the woods with trees and the snow is melting but the gravelly ground is squishy and we weren't sure which house, the one set back in the trees on the right, or the one overlooking a bluff on the left--we parked in the middle. And walking up the driveway with the trees towering overhead (okay they aren't nearly as tall as the trees in California) with the snow (sort of) gone, it reminded me of camping up in the mountains with Daddy and Nelsons  And I thought, okay wow I can really feel why people love Alaska. Of course I already love it but I just felt so OUTSIDE for some reason, so much closer to nature. It was like I felt a bit of the soul of Alaska or something, I dunno.
Mommy, I loved this paragraph in your email: " I saw how good Greggie is doing on potty - he runs in without reminders and sits on the "Cars" potty, then dumps in the big potty and flushes - is very proud of himself!  It works better with nothing on under the shirt, so that's how he was a lot of the afternoon - pretty funny and cute.  He was very interested in the flower planting, got to water everything after with the hose, did a good job, also carefully watered the balls on the grass, the cement border, the tree stump, and then had a little accident and walked over to water the flowers that way. (Probably because he had "Cars" underpants on outside, messed up his routine.)  I didn't laugh out loud.  Jessica let me hold her for quite a while, we sat and watched Lily work - she wanted to, said it felt like the plants would be her own that way - it's nice to work in the dirt.  Jessica was happy to watch everything going on, and smiled at me sometimes - just a little smile.  But she laughs at things, too, especially Greggie, he's the coolest big brother. "

Hah, i bet you DID laugh out loud. Okay okay okay, I trust you.

So the crazy Elder Johnson that served here for 10 months and was all I ever heard about when I got here in December INVADED OUR AREA (he's allowed, now that he is Assistant to the pres) and we taught a couple lessons with him and his companion last Thursday, to two investigators, The Mom With Two Kids, and the Basketball Guy. He was like, "We're gonna teach these people. Is there anyone else who you are struggling to meet with that I can help you with?" Hahhaa. Cuz the Mom With Two Kids and the Basketball Guy were both good investigators when he left, and sort of dwindled maybe a lil bit with the consecutive elders, anyway when Sister Brown and I got here, we saw both of them several times but were NEVER able to actually get a LESSON with them. 

Consensus: They love Elder Johnson, and we are not Elder Johnson. 

But, we picked up the Mom and Her Two Kids and the Basketball Guy as investigators so we got 4 new investigators last week, which was cool. Hahhaha. It really was a good week and we are super grateful to E. Johnson, he and his companion even took us around a neighborhood after and drove in front of us in THEIR jeep compass and we drove behind in OUR jeep compass and with all of us on speaker phone and using his hand to point out the window he was like, "See this house? Solid former investigator. Go visit them. See that house? Can't remember their name. Good people. See that house? He was a former--he's really cool--he'll probly be drunk when he answers the door, go visit him. That house--less active member--what's her name? Go visit her." While sister chan rapidly wrote down every address in her planner as fast as she could. "This whole street is GREAT for tracting," we were told. "I suggest you just tract the whole street." 

And then he and his comp, Elder Flynn, went to see a less active at Institute cuz E. Flynn used to serve in this area but in the YSA ward and they decided this less active really needed to see US so we got a phone call that same evening, "Hey, we set up a lesson for you Monday at 12 o'clock," and we were like "OH MY WORD, you two CANNOT LEAVE THIS AREA, can you?!" just kidding just kidding, we were like, "AWESOME! Thank you sooo much." We really are grateful! I love being a missionary! I love all the other missionaries and how we all work together and we all have the same goals and how we all support each other, and how we are battling on the front lines for the souls of men. Most people are looking for the truth and just don't know where to find it. The world out there is oppressive and dark and deceiving. This gospel brings light and happiness into people's lives. It's what Heavenly Father desires for ALL of us. 

We've done service like every day this week. We're kind of exhausted. We've cleaned houses----I am an expert kitty box cleaner. One time the kitty box hadn't been changed in MONTHS and it was half dried out kitty poopies and half litter that was ALL contaminated with kitty pee and I took the top off, and you know all that stuff turns into ammonia after all, I got hit in the face with FUMES. And then we cleaned another house that hadn't been cleaned in about a year and the bedrooms are three feet thick in laundry and dog poop. You get a sense of people's lives when you come into their homes and dig through the history. People do NOT have perfect lives. That kid in school who has behavioral problems and always is seeking attention and doesn't have much of an anchor in his life is suffering from the pains of a divorce and seeing his home ripped apart, no longer happy family, and his house at home smells and his room hasn't been cleaned in months and there are messes behind every closed door. Who wants to come home and be happy when it isn't peaceful, clean, and bright? Where does this kid go with his life? Where does he find his stability? The dogs have no stability, they've ripped up every pillow so as you're shaking clothes off the floor, down feathers and bits of stuffing are floating around in the air and there is a dog pee stain on the shirt and dried up dog poop on the ground and then you see a Barbie doll, forgotten underneath a McDonalds bag that we don't dare open before throwing away. And if you go to church with that kid and wonder why the heck is white shirt doesn't look completely white and starched clean, it's all grungy and he hasn't gotten a hair cut in months, and he is slightly obnoxious and tells dirty jokes, he must be BAD BAD kid, let's ignore him, well then you don't understand that he is LOST. And no matter where the kid turns, will he be shunned or will someone finally show him that they think he is a real person? Just because you are happy at home, does it mean that kid doesn't deserve to be loved by somebody? 

I think what I am learning most on my mission is that the gospel is really not designed to help the happy, the successful, the brilliant, the lucky, the smart, the beautiful. 

I think it's designed so that the happy, the successful, the brilliant, the lucky, the smart, and the beautiful can go on and help others who are depressed, broken, beaten, lost, and confused, and those who feel ugly and stupid and worthless. 

Easter is about Jesus Christ being raised from the dead so that all might live again and we are out here trying to bring the light that He brings into these people's lives. As my companion likes to say, "I would not fly from Hong Kong all the way to Alaska if I did not know the gospel was true." 

The world is deceiving. But seriously, when you reject the gospel, what are you hoping to find out there? Is there happiness? Will the things of the world fix that boy's broken heart that has been damaged by divorce and an unstable home? Will it give the depressed woman who doesn't change her kitty litter box hope and energy and peace that lasts through all the trials of life? We had a lesson in relief society where sister chan and another sister were asked to catch a whole bunch of bubbles being blown about by a fan. Going after things in the world is like catching bubbles--that have already disappeared. (It's from the George Albert Smith book.) The world will disappear, and what will someone be left with that has turned away from the everlasting light of the gospel? Nothing. And as Jeffrey R. Holland ended his talk last weekend, Don't delay. It's getting late. 

I love you all
Sister Ashbrook the Sassy

Monday, April 2, 2012

dingai is "why" in cantonese, i think

hellloooo family.

I loved general conference. I have a terrible memory and forget everything I hear once I hear it, so I took scrupulous notes, causing Sister Chan several times to stare at my swiftly-moving pen in amazement several times....but I can't remember which was my favorite talk or which parts I liked best, my notes are at home. Okay okay, I do remember I liked Elder Koelliker's talk about love and missionary work, and about the two missionaries and the big guy that answered the door and said "Didn't I tell you never to come back here again?" and the big guy watched through the window as the missionaries walked away, fully expecting them just to laugh it off or something, but the more-experienced missionary put his arm 'round the less-experienced missionary to comfort him, and that expression of love and care between them softened his heart, and he felt the love of Christ, and opened the door and called them back. 

We watched sunday general conference at the Gilmores' and George With the Beard (Brother Gilmore) watched the whole thing with us and did not even fall asleep and I made everyone egg burritos and gave them pineapple upside down cake that our ward mission leader sent us home with. It was lovely. 

Sister Chan got most of conference but would have loved to listen to it in Cantonese but the internet wasn't working. Sighh. 

Hahhaa... Anne is emailing me back right now. It's like chatting .bahahaha. 

We saw Our Glorified Hoarder Investigator...she still has a few problems. She wants to be a prophet and wants to know why women don't hold the priesthood. It is hard for her to agree with us but I think she likes Sister Chan a lot and said she could see our point of view better now but still said she disagrees.

Charlene our Recent Convert is doing quite well, she is lovely, has lots of kids in her daycare now, though it's very tiring. Brother Weed from the bishopric is her home teacher and he goes with us to her lessons and the way he teaches works very well for her. Charlene likes her concerns resolved, and attention and care taken to explain, and to understand...and she even gave us a suggestion!!! Use more scriptures as we teach. Hahhahah, I feel ashamed. 

We saw The Woman In the Store and resolved her question about the three kingdoms of glory, which she plain disagreed with. She saw it as condemning, she would NEVER be able to make it to the celestial kingdom, she would never have en seen as a competition. Sister Chan very quickly explained God does not compare us. He knows us and loves us and knows what we are capable of. She mentioned getting to heaven seemed like crossing things off a checklist. I said that following the gospel is just following what has always been taught, through prophets throughout history, ever since Adam. God has already laid out for us what we must do--we just gotta keep his commandments. It's funny cuz I thought she'd take the 3 degrees of glory the other way, that it is ridiculous we believe people who still don't repent still get a degree of glory and she just saw herself as never being good enough to get to heaven. We love her. She was so peaceful and accepting by the end of our visit. 

We had zone conference and Sister Chan and I taught "Finding Joy in our companionship." We wrote a song for it, called "Find the Joy." It's pretty amazing. Sister Beesley recorded it for us that night. Hopefully it'll be on the next CD. Hahaha. The rest of zone conference was very good, we got pizza. Okay, I swear I can remember things OTHER than the food. Our new theme is the good shepherd and so I am gonna try and write a song about following Jesus Christ...our zone leaders and assistants to the pres taught fun little segments n stuff. I love being a missionary, one of the pluses is how we can uplift each other and learn from other missionaries, and see elders stepping up and teaching and being rockstars.

It's about 40 degrees these days. It is break-up time. Some roads are so slushy that if I didn't control the steering wheel, it would bounce back n forth like a ping pong ball as the Jeep struggled to stay straight. Yay for 4-wheel drive. Haha. AND THE PUDDLES. Oh man Sister Chan and I were about to turn right from the frontage road onto the highway. We saw a small SUV coming the opposite direction on the frontage road, not even that fast, through a puddle and the splashes of water on either side of him were taller than the car. "Sister Chan, we are going through that RIGHT NOW." She took a video from inside even though I really wanted her to do it from the outside but she protested, saying she'd get wet. PSSSH. 

Over the mountains, at 6:30 in the morning, are streaks of warm golden glow. I can see the way down the ladder without having to turn the lights on. When it is about 6pm, it looks about 3 pm. Oh maaaan, guys. 

Okay, I would looooove to see rinda. Or christy. Which one? I think since it's a distant cousin and not even related by blood it would be okay, but I can still obviously ask the Beesleys. Keep me posted.

I am scared I might get transfered at the end of this one, pray I will not, I love sister chan....okay I will do whatever the Lord wants. 

LOVE You! Love studying the last week of the Savior's life. You get a sense of his culture at that time, of jerusalem. Soo cool.

Mom signed her email so cool this week but I have no time to go and copy and paste it here, so just prepare, world, NEVER to be satisfied cuz you WILL ALWAYS be wondering what it is. 

Shout out to Maia. I love you, write me a letter.

sister melissa jean