Hey thanks for the pictures, I love them! How fun to see everybody, and Jessica looks totally different. Her hair is growing! What the heck. I wish we were at Aimee Marsh's house, then I could attach some photos today, but it doesn't work here at the church, for some reason. Lily, you'd like Aimee, I've decided you two should be friends.
Hey, I forgot to tell you, Mom n Dad, about getting your letter at zone conference! After we went on the big muddy trek to the lil spit of land that stuck out into the ocean, we came back and had a wonderful testimony meeting, and the zone leaders went last, and ended their testimonies with, "And to close this zone conference, we thought we'd all get you something really special. We had a lot of fun calling your parents this week, and here, we have for each of you a letter from your parents.." And they started handing out letters to everybody. We all silently took them, totally stunned, I saw a few elders get tears in their eyes, and even my vision got a lil blurry. and we all sat their holding these envelopes in our hands, with the orangey firelight dancing on all of our faces, while everyone got theirs. I opened mine when I got home and I loved it. Thank you so much, Mommy and Daddy!
WELL, this has been a fun week. We somehow recovered from going to Kake and Juneau and everything and somehow we didn't feel tired the next couple of days as we did missionary work, I think the Lord was blessing us.
Mom, that is cool that you had that emergency preparedness class. You said about 20 to 25 people showed up. hahha. I've adjusted to Petersburg numbers. That sounds so huge! That's like, half the branch! (Cuz the branch president, who by the way is hilarious, told us it's not about 30 people at church every sunday---if everyone who usually comes, comes, it's 45-50 people). Anyway, hahhaa. We had our fireside Friday night, and it was basically the branch pres and his wife, the branch mission leader, the young women's pres, 4 young women, and our investigator, Mr. Mormon.org Card Man (the one who got his hands on a mormon.org card and called the sisters...fyi that's called a "self referral."). It was really nice, we listened to a compelling testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, two young women shared their favorite book of mormon story, including Sweet Fifteen who's not even a member, and so did the branch pres and Sister Pete-pete, and then the girls sang Book of Mormon stories (the version Sis Rivera and I sang in the fireside that yall watched back in July). It was great. Then we had banana splits.
We had a lesson with Mr. Mormon.org Card Guy and he is really starting to understnad the role of prophets and eveyrthing, from that fireside he learned that we need prophets, it doesn't just stop with Moses. We invited him to be baptized once he learned for himself that this church really is true, he said yes.
We also had a lesson with Miss Walking Into Town, the one who is nineteen and pregnant and smokes pot and wants to change her life. We taught about what Christ did when he was on the earth, we taught about how the church became corrupted after he died and that is why we have so many churches and versions of the Bible today, and we taught about Joseph Smith being called as a new prophet to restore the fulness of the everlasting gospel in these last days. When we tuahgt about how Christ suffered in the garden and on the cross, Miss Walking Into Town really got it. When we read in Luke that his sweat was as great drops of blood falling to the ground, she siad, "Gross." Hahha. Cuz it really is! Can you imagine bleeding that much? But in the grove of olive trees where olives are pressed for their oil, Jesus was pressed under the weight of all that is unfair in the world, and the blood was pressed out of him. We asked HER if she would baptized once she learned for herself that this was all true, and she said, "possibly," hahaha, with her funny characteristic smile. The next day was the fireside, she wasn't able to come, but she texted and said she'd read the chapters we'd asked her to, and even prayed, and said she felt GOOD.
WE ARE SO EXCITED WE DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO DO.
AND THEN, Saturday, we had an appointment with a Puerto Rican family. THere is a ten-yr-old girl in the branch who told us after dinner one day to go visit her friend, so we did, and set up an appt with her father to come teach them about Jesus Christ. Before we were able to meet with them, this ten-year-old girl brought this friend to church! Then we met with them, they are a sweet family, we taught them briefly about the restoration and got Mr. Puerto Rican Dad to pray, which was huge, cuz he believes in God but not the church and his Puerto Rican Wife has been tryin to drag him to church for years and he won't go. We picked up the whole family---four of them---as investigators. The next day, Miss Puerto Rican Daughter and Mr. Puerto Rican Son, who is 12, came to church!! We are so excited. I have wanted to start teaching a whole family my whole mission.
I love Hispanics. They are so warm and inviting and full of laughter.
And, SIster Johnson is coming back to her cabin tomorrow, so we are moving to the branch pres's house to live in the separate apartment above the garage, we'll be packing up everythign in about an hour or so. It usually takes us about two and a half hours to move. Pretty fun.
Well, it's been a good week, the elderly lady who's been in the hospital who we visit every day is doing better, she's still in medical but not in critical care (as opposed to going back to her residence in Long Term Care which is just down the other hallway) and for the past two days, for the first time in two weeks or so, she's outta the hospital gown and in REAL CLOTHES.
I love all of you, I hope everything is going well. I hope my bro Danny and my new sister-in-law Tiana are soooo happy! Congratulations on your marriage.
GOSPEL IS TRUE! I know with all my heart that God loves each of us. In the name of....just kidding.
Love, Sister Ashbrook
Did I ever tell you about the time Sister Brown and I got home one cold January night? We got outta our Jeep and saw that the snow was soooo deep. The Adams had been outta town and they were supposed to get home the next day. We felt bad we hadn't been shoveling---when they got home they'd have two feet of snow to drive through! So we thought, hey, the snow is real fluffy, it'll only take a second to shovel them a path! So we grabbed the shovels and she started over by their door and I went across to where the narrow part of the driveway started up the slight incline. Well, I shoveled for about three seconds and then I heard some crackling and snow-scuffling and stuff and I looked to the left and saw a young moose creeping up the hillside in the midst of the trees. I was all, "Aww." And then I heard to the RIGHT---where the land sloped down---some BIGGER cracklings and snow-scuffling and was like, "HOLY COW THAT'S THE MAMA MOOSE" and grabbed the shovel and SPRINTED back to Sister Brown, "Get in the car get in the car," I cried, looking back and seeing the Mama Moose lope up onto the driveway right to the place where I had just been, she was all starin me down and stuff. Sister Brown scrambled back into our Jeep, whose name is Taloolah, and we huddled inside, crouched on the seats, TERRIFIED, and tried to take pictures. HAHAHAH.
DON'T COME BETWEEN A MAMA AND HER BABIES.
Don't worry Dad, I won't kill myself chasing after bears.