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.
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