Monday, March 25, 2013


So I sent a picture to Mom and Dad from Sister Archer's computer, it's of the road conditions, I've never been so scared in my entire life. HAHAHA. So, Alaska is all, "PSYCH! Winter is still here." Mom sent me the Barson family letter and everyone is complaining about the snow and grey cold winter and how they just got more snow to cover up all the grey stuff and I'm like nodding my head, "Yeah, yeah, I feel ya" and then it crossed my mind that 18 months ago I would have had no way to relate. California doesn't quite get this weather. My pet peeve is when ice builds up on your windshield wipers---AS you're driving --- AFTER you already picked it all off --- and now all of a sudden you can't see cuz there's a wet streak across the windshield that ain't getting wiped away and you're freaking out cuz you can only faintly see the car in front of you and then WHOOPS there's a giant snow plow that's casting snow twenty feet into the air and the cloud of snow flows through the air everywhere----in TWO SECONDS EVERYTHING disappears, and who knows if you're driving in a straight line? Then a pick-up truck is on the left of you, one of those trucks with the plow attached to the front, and you had no idea there was a lane there, you thought YOU were in the fast line. Yeah, that's what it was like driving to Anchorage today. You think President Beesley would text everybody and tell us to stay home!

Anyway. So we picked up a new investigator, the awesome black lady, I'd tell you her name but I try not to tell their names, but let me just tell you it's AWESOME, I will call her the World Traveler, cuz she has traveled the world, she says the map is getting smaller, and she grew up in Mississippi and had NO IDEA three years ago she'd EVER go to Alaska, but Alaska is one of the few places she's never been. She was in the Air Force at one point. Has 3 children. Her job is in the education department on base. She showed up at church cuz she works on base with a member who found out the World Traveler was going to all sorts of churches. So the member called her sister, who goes to OUR ward, and the World Traveler showed up at church last Sunday. We had a lesson with her on Friday at the house of the sister. It was a very interesting lesson because the members we had there lived at the house we were having the lesson at so we couldn't necessarily avoid them but BOY do they have a lot to say, about ALL SORTS OF STUFF....but the World Traveler can follow the conversation ,and she doesn't let a lotta things go over her head, or overwhelm her, so in a weird way it totally works for her. She came to church again yesterday and is just the sweetest loving person everywhere. She calls everyone "Miss" before she says the name. I love it. She has barely heard of anything about our church! Not joseph smith, nothing! I hardly believe her but maybe she has spent too much time in Europe and places and isn't around all the media or whatever that throws misinformation about our church all around the place. Her only question was about the difference between a church and a temple.

UNFORTUNATELY she lives in Anchorage and can't stay our investigator forever but soon we'll find out who her real missionaries are and we'll have a lesson with the 4 of us and her.

Not much else has happened, we had transfer meeting on Tuesday, lots of awesome missionaries went home and I shall miss them very much.

We had another lesson with the Computer Guy and his wife, the Red Robin Manager...she's great. She's funny, two lessons ago she said she doesn't pray that often, mostly when she needs something. Her husband suggested she could always pray for the things she is grateful for. She looked down for a second, then said, "Thank you for this table." And we all cracked up. Well she finally prayed Wednesday night and it was such a nice prayer. She works every Sunday to babysit another manager there cuz he does things in interesting ways and so we were hoping at least the Computer Guy would actually come to church with the kids but he didn't. is very very hard to come back to church after a long time.

The Counselor is doing good, she is planning on starting to go to Temple Prep next Sunday.

Mrs. Blind is doing good, pluggin away, battling frustration and discouragement and taking it one day at a time.

I love you all---Sister Archer was sick yesterday so I spent 5 hours at my desk studying the last week of the Savior's life (working from the Harmony of the Gospels) and reading in my old study journals. Something I was taught once in a district meeting---when we contact people, teach them, tract into them--it's not about our message, it's about the Atonement. We all need it. They do too.

I love you

Sister Ashbrook

Monday, March 18, 2013


Hi so this week was fun, but crazy. Tuesday we had language training in Anchorage, where all the language missionaries get together to have study, and since I'm semi-fluent in Spanish I go, and Sister Archer is now learning Spanish while she's there. The Tongans and Samoans have been planning missionary firesides so they do that while they are there. We visited the Woman Who Woke up Blind or Mrs. Blind or whatever I call her, she's doing good, sitting up in her chair and stuff. She needs someone there to take care of her especially now her disabled bro flew back down to California, and her hubby is going outta town in a few weeks. Well, the Counselor, a semi-recent convert, has started taking care of her everyday from 9-1:30 pm which is AWESOME cuz she needs a lil bit of income especially now she and her husband are really actually gonna go through a divorce and her life is falling apart.

On Wednesday we had ZLC (zone leader counsel + sister trainers per the mish pres handbook) and I got there early cuz Sister Beesley told me to so I can help plan/practice for the Samoan fireside this Sunday, well when Sis Archer and I got there no one was there excpet for the housekeeper, the Beesleys were still driving back from Soldotna and I called Elder Knudsen and he had no idea we were supposed to practice and he was all, "Well, you're welcome to come to the family history center right now, my district is going" and I was like, "I think I'm gonna write a song." So I did, for zone conference that Friday. Our new training plan is Peace, Be Sill with John 14:27 (which has been one of my most fave scriptrues since high school) as THE scripture for it, so I wrote a song incorporating that.

Today, before we came to do emails, we drove to the mish home cuz SIster Beesley wanted to record it for the next mission CD. I love SIster beesley. I was singing something trying to try somethign out and she just started LAUGHING and then apologized profusely and said, "I'm sorry, it just sounded so FRANTIC..." and I said, 'Don't worry, SIster Beesley, my self-esteem is not linked to the way I sing," and she said, "Oh good, why don't you run through your song a few times and get all comfortable and try to find something that you like" HAHAHAHAH. I love her. I really do!

After ZLC that night we had dinner with the Computer Guy and his wife!!! And their two lil kids!!! The Computer Guy's wife is a manager at red robin. So, Red Robin Woman is awesome, she made the most AMAZING clam chowder I have ever had in my whole life. It involves whipping cream...and dill...and thyme. She's awesome. We asked her what her expectations are for meeting with missionaries and she said, "Just that I don't  think you're a cult." HAHAH we laughed so hard. We started teaching, I did most of the talking cuz we hadn't role played the lesson, (that's my fault) and Sister Archer would like say one sentence and then look back at me, and I was like, oh goodness, why isn't she talking. Don't worry, we will try and role play the lessson before hand from now on. At ZLC pres called them simulations. Anyway, Red Robin Woman is great BUT they didn't come to church on Sunday and I am so sad!!

Zone conference was fun, but long....

Samoan fireside was awesome. I wish I had Miriam with me! Ruth and Chuck, I am learning so much about the Samoan culture!

I love you all. Break-up season I think is here, everything is starting to melt, it's just taking a while cuz it freezes over night then warms up during the day.

LOOOOVE, Sister Ashbrook

Monday, March 11, 2013


at a gas station. during the few days of 40 degree weather, this is the ice melting away

alaska at night
me and Otis & Diane

I have like sooo much time

So, I have a LOT of time now as opposed to last week where I had thirty minutes left when I finally got around to emailing....

and now i don't know what to do with myself.

Well, I went on exchanges with Sister Bullen on Tuesday, and we saw a lot of people up in Wasilla and Palmer area, which was exciting for her cuz she said it was the busiest she had ever been on her whole mission (haha, she's in her second transfer). First we went and tried the Woman In the Store at her house. She opened the door and said, "You threw me for a fluke!" Hahaha. She had dyed her hair a pretty dark color and it's crazy going back to an area for the first time in over half a year, you see everything almost the same but there are these little changes everywhere that totally surprise you. She was doing good but had no time to talk cuz she had (randomly) called into work that day (she now works for juvenile probation, no more store for her) and was trying to catch up on homework. She asked if I could come back up to Palmer on like, a  Saturday, and I said I'd sure try, and we shared a scripture and had a prayer with her. She hasn't been taught since I left and there have been a couple of tensions in her marriage she said but everything is okay right now.

Man a lot of people have tension in their marriage and tell the missionaries all about it. Not that I mind. I just don't know how to help them! Just turn to the Savior, that's all I can say. And counsel with yer bishop if you've got one.

We went and saw Charlene, the woman who got baptized while I was there, the only baptism I've had so far, except for that ten-year-old girl that Sister Rivera and I helped the Pioneer Peak elders teach while I was in Palmer. Anyways. Charlene is doing sooo good. Going to temple prep classes, trying to get over a couple of things, her kids are making interesting choices so that is tough, but she's got a calling in her new ward (she moved, see) and she is gonna be working with the singles people age 31 and up. She just seems so happy. She's started reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning.

So that was exciting.

Then we went to go see an elderly woman in Sister Bullen's area that got moved to a senior citizen place now in MY old area and we got there and they told us she's in the hospital. She had pneumonia but looks like she's getting better. So, we started driving to the hospital to see her. Well, after this elderly woman we had planned to go see this young girl, about 12, who'd gotten baptized about 2 years ago and was the daughter of a less active, and she likes to draw anime stuff, so I will call her Miss Anime. I asked Sister Bullen if we should go see the elderly woman in the hospital now or go see Miss Anime, since she lived so close. Sister Bullen thought for a sec and then said, "Let's go see Miss Anime." So we did, she's doing good, we shared a quick thought with her, gave her a big hug. Then we drove to the hospital and we walked into the lobby and GUESS who I saw. Hahha. I saw Otis Marsh!!! From Petersburg! Just strolling along! Hahah my heck. I stopped in my tracks and was like, "Otis! What are you doing here?"

And he looked at me, all Otis like, all matter-of-fact, and said, "Diane's in the hospital!"

Now Otis is the father of the branch president in PSG who we lived with. Otis is the guy who got the wolf and his wife, Diane, called and was like, "Otis has got a dead wolf, if you wanna come see it!" in this sweet voice and Sister Hatfield and I stepped on the gas and booked it to their house. When Otis signed in my Alaska journal, he wrote, simply, "To the only girls interested in skinning wolves, Love Otis Marsh." Hahhaa.

Anyways. So Diane was in the hospital, nothing toooo serious, she got some bladder problems and they flew up here, they've got a son in Palmer. We went up and saw Diane and she was so excited to see me, waving her hands around and I of course started crying, not REALLY crying, but I kept having to wipe at my eyes, and I just love them. I just couldn't stop telling them "I just love you guys!" I'm a wreck. I might as well just up and move to Petersburg. I've never fallen so in love with an entire town before.

So that was so cool. SIster Bullen is so inspired to know that we needa go see Miss Anime BEFORE the hospital. If we'd walked into the hospital two minutes different than when we did, i have no idea if we'd have seen Otis. But I am so glad I got to see them.

We went and saw another woman, Sister Carley, Sister Brown and I started meeting with her when she was less active about a year ago, and by the time I left Palmer area I saw her give up lots of things and start going to church again. After I went to Petersburg I heard she got back to the temple. Well, it was so good to see her. She's been to the temple three times now. I asked her how long it had been since she'd been active and temple-worthy. She said since 1988. Oh my heck she's just so great. We barely did anything when I was serving there, we just met with her consistently once a week for months, and she made all those changes. I just love her! She's amazing!

We went to the church to meet with another less active, a guy in his 20s, in contrast he has not made any changes and still does not know WHY he needs God. It was hard to see him. He was very happy to see me and I was very happy to see him but I left that night still thinking about him and the next morning I was still bothered and sad. But I read Moroni 10 (and finished the Book of Mormon) in my personal study and read about how we've all been given gifts of the Spirit and Moroni pleads with us not to deny these gifts. And I understood that this kid has got his free will to accept or deny that God is there and wants to help us and I have done my part, I have told him straight up that the reason why he needs God in his life is because the only way he'll be able to happy and at peace after this life is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, otherwise he'll be lost. Sure, God will reward him a little bit cuz this kid is a pretty good person, likes to help others, all this stuff, but God has so much more he wants to give us, and that is eternal life---and peace. Well, he said, "I'll take the little bit," all brightly and grinning. Oh gosh. Hhahaha. Well, I told him he will always be my friend and I'll support him in whatever choice he makes, and he said, "Thank you." So, maybe one day he'll change his mind, but we'll see.


So that was Tuesday. It was exciting. I saw other people I loved at the church that night cuz people from Colony ward were there doing activities and stuff. And I saw the Gilmores for like 5 seconds, just stopped by the house and hugged them cuz we had to drive back to Eagle River.

Speaking of Eagle River, my area is doing good. We picked up a new investigator, a 13-year-old girl I will call Miss Shy, cuz she says she is "painfully shy." Hhaha. She's a former investigator, met with missionaries before, her dad is a less active. It's been a long time since she's met with missionaries--we are the first sisters she said. We've been meaning to go see her and then someone from the Meadow Creek ward actually referred her to us so we thought, "Okay, Heavenly Father is trying to tell us something." So we drove to the house and her grandma came out, she had a dog.

"She's not here," the grandma said. "Come back tomorrow, she'll be on spring break."

"Okay," we said, surprised. We came back the next day, turns out her grandma is a member, sort of active, also in the Meadow Creek ward. She let us in and we met Miss Shy and asked her if she'd like to be taught again and asked if her dad would have any problem with it (he won't they said) and we started teaching her, invited her to church, she said she was "painfully shy" and didn't have anything to wear. Grandma said, "I'll buy you a skirt and some shoes." And so we went to the Meadow Creek ward yesterday and Grandma took Miss Shy to church! And Miss Shy brought a friend from school. "I brought her to help me be less shy," she said. Hhaha. So we are excited to start teaching her.

Things are good. I love being a missionary. Hopefully I can keep it up till the end of my life, yeah?

I love you all,
Sister Ashbrook

Monday, March 4, 2013

Goin on Exchanges Tonight


So yeah, I'm going on exchanges tonight with my MTC companion's trainee, Sister Bullen. THey're serving up in Wasilla right now and I'm gonna go up to Wasilla and hopefully see some of the LA's and maybe a coupla the investigators that I loved teaching when I was there. I am excited!

I probably won't have much time to write cuz the man sitting next to me started talking to me and we talked for like twenty minutes, he's a cool dude, he's a hitchhiker, but now i have no time. I will write a handwritten letter :)

Things are good, we have a lesson set up with Mr. Computer Guy and his wife for next week, we are so excited. Training Sister Archer is good, we did a fun activity in comp study, where we role played and she could only ask me questions to find out my concern, and she discovered how hard that can be! Hhaha.


Love you all.