Monday, August 20, 2012

Snapea Crisps!

I'm trying not to eat so much so I haven't yet eaten lunch, I'll eat it later, so that I don't eat dinner, cuz we don't have a dinner appt tonight. So I'm eating a lot of Snapea Crisps cuz I'm starving. Yeah.


Thank you for sending me the facebook happy birthdays, mommy, they showed up great in the email. Haha.

Did Greggie get the present I sent him??? Disregard I said he was four, he clearly just turned three, didn't he. SIGHHH.

We are back at the cabin and I love it, it's gorgeous, we might be moving again in a week, we are deciding with our awesome Ward Mission Leader tonight. Haha. Today it's not CLEAR but it's not TOO cloudy or foggy, and so the sun is shining through the thin cloud layer, so it's bright outside but not too warm (too warm is about 70 degrees). The water isn't sparkling as much as it does on clear sunny days, but it's still beautiful.

Mommy, I would always love thousands of groovy colored pens. Hey if I send you money will you send me a 5-star notebook? What's the brand called? I dunno, I just know it's big enough to glue 81/2"x11" papers into it, which is what I do all the time, I'm almost done with my (oh is it called nine star?) 5-subject notebook and I don't know if there are these types of notebooks here, I will try and look today, I haven't seen any yet but I don't think I tried the upstairs of TU (the trading union). hee hee.

Well, this week was good, Mommy, the lil girl you asked about is a 6-year-old in the branch who says the most hilarious things. Such as, "I've been hyperventic all day." And when her mom asked her, "Can you pass the bowl the mashed potatoes?" she responded, "Although it's empty?" and her mom affirmed, "Although it is." SHE USES WORDS LIKE ALTHOUGH, isn't that awesome?

Oh my heck so on Tuesday, it was crazy hot (like maybe over 70 degrees, that's crazy hot) and we were walking around one of the neighborhoods, the trailer court on 4th and 5th street...and the lil street inbetween 4th and 5th that everyone calls 4 1/2. We saw a woman approaching with a lil granddaughter, the woman was carrying some groceries. From far away I couldn't tell if she was native or Hispanic. We got nearer, I could see she was Hispanic, I asked her in Spanish if we could help her carry her things, she let us, asked if we spoke Spanish, I said a little. We chatted a lil bit as we walked her to her house, she is from Calisto, Mexico. We had just finished having a short visit with El Colombiano on the street, sitting on the benches next to the library and reading El Libro de Mormon with him and talking about who Moroni was and where the hill Cummorah was and stuff. So my Spanish was all warmed up and I was happy that I could understand her as we walked to her house. I knew we needed to at least try and share the gospel with her so in my head I figured out how to say it in Spanish and then I asked her if we could come back and share a message of Jesus Christ with her. I was planning on finding another Spanish speaker before coming back. Well, La Mujer de Calisto bid us come in right then and who are we to say no? I can't be upset someone is inviting us in! That rarely happens! We were tracting yesterday and a nice woman opened the door and said in a jolly voice, "Come in!" and sister pete and I were shocked. Course the woman went to the Bible Church, which rumor has it bashes Mormons from the pulpit, but we're now not sure if that's true cuz the Jolly Woman was very nice to us, and told she knew whose hands she was in, and who her Maker was, but she wasn't interested in learning more, but she was very nice. We had a nice chat in her entry. ANYWAY.

So we go inside the house of La Mujer de Calisto; the lil girl is actually her great-granddaughter. This lil girl shows us her room that has a bed in it, several toys, and a TV and excitedly asks us if it's okay to watch TV. Soon we're sitting on the couch talking with La Mujer de Calisto, everything is going well. I steered the convo to the gospel, La Mujer is Catolica, (Catholic) but she has a Mormon daughter and she's been to Mormon church before and she liked it. The problem is, she cannot read, in English OR Spanish. She doesn't speak any English for that matter. So she's never been able to really study the Book of Mormon. I couldn't tell if she said she had met with missionaries before. I miss a lot of what people say sometimes, especially if it's Spanish. Speaking of missing a lot, I shared a verse in El LIbro de Mormon (sis pete happened to have one in her back pack) and it was about prayer, and suddenly La Mujer launched into a story. Since it wasn't basic conversational spanish I started to lose the line of the story and just sat there, praying for the gift of tongues to descend and ring comprehension into my ears. AND THEN THE WORST Mujer paused. She had a very faraway look in her eyes, and they got shiny with tears. We all sat in silence for a bit, and I prayed all the harder for the gift of tongues. la Mujer wiped her eyes, and kept going. I think she was talking about a time in school, something about letters on a page. I'm not sure. It was very difficult, not to know what she was saying, and I started feeling discouraged. And guilty, what if she asked me a question and I didn't know what she was talking about and she realized that, and she probably would feel foolish. She mentioned something about a doctor, and pointed to the back of her head and said something about her brain.

When she was finished, I bore my testimony that Christ can help us through our difficult times. We had a closing prayer, I asked her if we could come back, and she said we were always welcome, and she loved our company, and gave us big hugs.

We've gone back once, we read the intro of the BofM to her in Spanish. Sister Pete says she thinks we should teach her how to read using the BofM. I think that'd be AWESOME.

So, sometimes we don't get the gift of tongues, and we just hope and pray that it's okay that we didn't understand, the Holy Spirit is the real teacher anyway. I have all the sympathy in the world for foreign-language missionaries now.

WELL, we had a lesson with the sweet 15-year-old girl. The branch president told us yesterday that she is the best example of a young woman that we have in the branch. We met with her whole family. The sweet 15-year-old girl has a quad, she reads her book of mormon every day, she went to youth conf and girl's camp in juneau, she emails mormon friends on a regular basis, she has LDS Easy Piano Solos sitting on her piano, she plays the hymns every week in Young Women's at church, she is working on personal progress, and she made her mom sew her a jacket for her prom dress because she was worried it was too low and her mom said it wasn't THAT low but she insisted. I know things need to happen at their own pace, and I know that we can't get everything we want, but I really see the sweet 15-year-old girl get baptized, and her whole family too. There is an anti-mormon aunt, the branch president told us, and there may have been some bad examples of members in the past coming home from missions and going atheist that the mother of this family has seen and she doesn't want her daughters to make such a big decision until they're 18, so the sweet 15-year-old has to wait til she's 18, apparently. We haven't talked openly about it in a lesson with them, hopefully we can soon.

The sweet 15-year-old girl and her Fashionista 13-year-old sister (who also went to girl's camp) came to church yesterday (Fashionista 13 slept through sacrament but came to YW's and that was her third time to a row! Ever since girl's camp. It obviously gave her a boost and has been coming to church ever since). A third investigator was at church today, he works at the Cannery. He never has met with us since I have been here, but Sister Pete and the sister missionary that was here before me started teaching him. The way he found them was pretty cool. His friend was given a card by the sisters when they went walking up and down Main Street one night. The friend gave The Cannery Worker the card, and something unheard of happened---The Cannery Worker wanted to learn more and called the sisters up! Okay it's not THAT unheard of. Anyways. So they taught him but then, I guess, fishing got crazy and they kept all the cannery workers pretty busy, sometimes til 10 at night, so we haven't been able to meet with him, though I met him on the street once. He called us Saturday though and said he had the next day off, could we find him a ride to church? HECK YES WE COULD.

Been reading in Leviticus lately. I find I can use the things I study in the Bible, it's really cool, like I was able to share what I learned in Leviticus 11 (i think?) in Relief Society yesterday, and when I was studying Exodus a part of it was really cool to share with my recent convert back in Palmer, so even though I studythe Bible during lunch and stuff and not during personal study cuz it's more selfish study and not specifically for people we're teaching, I am learning a lot of useful stuff that I can use. THANK YOU, STUDY GUIDE.


Sister Pete asked me once, "Do you think the prophet and apostles, like, text each other? Like, 'hey, will you give the article in the next Ensign?' "

We have been getting unexpected second dinners lately, one dinner was with the Muslims, whom I love. They fed us these things for dessert, things made out of dough, semi circle pouches full of cinnamon and walnuts, that they dip in boiled sugar, cuz they're apparently "quite plain" without them.

BUT THESE SECOND DINNERS MAKE ME GAIN WEIGHT, I've gained like fifteen pounds and have this STOMACH that is coming out of NOWHERE. So, we need to save on miles but I'm happy we're walking more, we feel like "real missionaries."

Other than getting scandalous texts from one of our potentials, who texts us in gangster talk, and texts us all day, in the morning he texts us Good Morning, and then later he texts us Beautiful Day Out, and wants to know if we believe in marriage, and then texts us wanting to know if we wanna get married, and then laughs and says he's just joking....we call our district leader a lot, asking for advice. Our district leader is on Prince of Wales island, in a town called Craig. Two other elders in our district are in Ketchikan, two others are in Wrangell. our zone leaders are in Juneau. There are four sets of elders in Whitehorse (yukon territory, aka canada), and two elders in Sitka, and two elders in Scagway, who are also in our zone.

I love being a missionary! Even when it's hard. Even when things don't come easy, like the gift of tongues. I love the people here, I love the branch here, and i love my God. I think that is a really good reason for doing a lot of things we do. Why do we do the things we do? Because we love our God. I know that I love my God, and I want to be the best missionary because it is what He wants me to be. I know that we can pray for any of our weaknesses to be strengthened and He will help us. I love the people in this area, just read 1 Thessalonians 2 today, it is Paul fleeing but writing a letter to the people he loved and preached to. I want to be like Paul.

Sister Ashbrook

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