Today is a lovely, sunny day. I think it's about 25 or 30 degrees but with the sun it feels warmer. The snow is melting, the big streets are dry. Sister Archer and I went n got lunch with four of the elders from my district today at some buffet place that we all got coupons for, when we did service for the Iditarod, so we got free lunch. My favorite is when I got soft serve ice cream and drenched it in sprinkles like I have done my whole life when I go to buffet places. Ha.
So we have had a lovely week. On tuesday we met with a less active man no one in our ward council knows anything about, but he's met with missionaries before, it's just been over a year. He bought us lunch at Bear Mountain Grill and I got a mushroom swiss burger and it was delicious and I haven't had like a real hamburger in so long.
Oh, and then on Wednesday I got into my VERY FIRST car accident. Yep, a car accident, but don't worry guys, it was very minor. IF I ever manage to get a computer at this library with an SD drive OR IF I ever decide to remember my USB cord I will email pictures home.
Okay there was that one time in Laguna Beach when we were all in Trey's huge van and he turned right and a car kinda slid alongside his van and got its bumper torn off, but since it is such a big van and the impact was so mild and we all barely felt it I don't really think of it as a CAR ACCIDENT...
ANYWAYS, so we were up in Chugiak, the lil town north of Eagle River (our area covers half of Chugiak); we left dinner and we turned right and were driving up the hill, (it's a hilly, rural place, the roads are covered in packed snow) and up ahead of us a Jeep-ish lookin SUV came around the corner, lost control, and I watched it start sliding down the hill straight toward us, at a kind of diagonal, and it was like the scariest thing of my life, and I turned the car right and shut my eyes tight and hoped with my all heart and soul that they wouldn't hit us and then there was a big crash and, yep, they hit us. I opened my eyes, no visible damage, I looked at Sis Archer and she looked so distraught like she was about to cry and I put my hand on her arm and said, "Don't cry!" I don't know why I said that, I just think I wanted her not to lose control of herself or something. I saw the driver was a real young girl, she yelled somethin in dismay, the man who was the passenger got out and hurried toward our car to see if we were okay and I opened the door and I remember him reaching in and squeezing my shoulder, "Are you okay???" and all I was thinking was, "There is a man touching me!! Ahhh!!!" The things you get freaked out by when you are so not trying to focus on the opposite sex for a year and a half...
Anyway so all that happened was the driver headlight on our car got smashed, and there was a dent in the hood, and a few large cracks in the bumper. The man's bumper got cracked a bit too but that was barely anything. His daughter who was driving only had a learner's permit. The first thing we asked---he was very nice about it---was it would be great if we could not involve the police and if he could pay for it outta pocket cuz his insurance rate is already up high or something, I have no idea how any of this works. I was fascinating myself because I was trying to write down his info and my hand seemed to be shaking uncontrollably, even though my mind was very calm and I was being very cheerful (like always bahaha). I was like, in my head, "Oh look, cool, adrenaline!"
At the time our lil accident happened we were on our way to Anchorage to teach Miss World Traveler in her own home (which would be wonderful, we wouldn't have talkative members who try to take over the lesson there, yay!) and so we, after calling Elder Palmer who is in the mission office and he's in charge of all the cars, headed to Anchorage. And there was like, a snow storm halfway to Anchorage and we started driving in nearly whiteout conditions! I was like, seriously? As if I wasn't stressed enough? Now I can barely see the car ahead of me? WE LOVE ALASKA!!! (I really do, though, so just kidding.)
But Wednesday was a good day, we also taught Red Robin Manager and her lil sister has come to live with them and she asked to drop in on the lessons and so we picked up a new investigator. So that was cool. I will call her Red Robin's Lil Sister.
And then on Thursday we had training in Anchorage, and then Sister Archer had two MRI's for her back (cuz she had a minor back injury before the mish and since she's fallen on the ice so many times and aggravated it and they've been bothering her, and her legs have been going numb, the doctor ordered two MRI's for her). After the MRI's, I had a rehearsal with another musical elder to plan for a departing missionary "Miracle" fireside that's gonna take place on April 23rd. After that, we had a lesson in Anchorage at the behavioral treatment center with the 15-year-old daughter of the Stellar Mom (Stellar Mom is a recent convert, her son is autistic and her daughter is in the behavioral place, not for anything crazy, she just needs a lil help). That night we had a lesson with a referral and we taught her the 1st half of the restoration and picked up her and her boyfriend as new investigators; they are both in their 50s I would guess, and she is Filipino. A member from another ward referred her cuz he works with her, and we had the lesson at the members' house, and it was really nice. We have another lesson at the Filipino woman's house this Wednesday, and the member couple from the other ward are gonna be there as well. She didn't come to church this past Sunday though, AKA yesterday, so that is sad. But we shall see how the lesson goes.
We had another lesson that night with Red Robin Manager and we had a member from the ward come with us and you know that wonderful feeling of seeing a fellowshipper meet your investigators for the first time and they click? Yeah, it was great. Fellowshippers can be such a blessing. Or, in World Traveler's case, they can drive you insane. HAHAHAH. We had a great lesson with Red Robin Manager, and her Lil Sister told us that when she was reading the chapter we left with her, she was like totally picking it apart and "talking a hundred miles a minute" and we asked her if she felt the Spirit and then talked about how the clarity of mind that she felt was a manifestation of the spirit. It was really awesome. And then her husband, the Computer Guy, came home, and joined the lesson for a second after cracking a bunch of jokes with us and our fellowshipper about how he was already perfect (he was kidding, he's hilarious) and then with just the SMALLEST amount of pressure he gave the closing prayer and it was a wonderful prayer, and after it was over Red Robin Manager smiled at him so warmly and said, "I love you!" WHICH IS AWESOME, cuz sometimes they bicker, and DO YOU SEE how the gospel can bless people and help them have stronger relationships??? So hopefully we shall be able to put Red Robin Manager on date soon, and hopefully she will be able to figure out how to trust her other manager at work so she can actually come to church on Sunday...
On Friday we met with Miss Shy, the 13-year-old, and had a great lesson with her and her grandma, and our ward's young women's president was there. We taught her a quick lesson, started the plan of salvation with her, and then we talked about when she wants to get baptized, and set a date for May 11th! Man, I have not had the experience of seeing an investigator actually be able to set a date for their baptism in so long. I look back and wonder if I could have tried harder, and I just hope that Miss Shy's baptism happens without any conflict. Her baptism right now is set for the middle of my last transfer; I dunno if I'll be here or not. We will have to see what the Lord has in store for me. Miss Shy came to our ward with Grandma yesterday, so Sister Archer and I went to Sunday School with her (and intimidated the teacher, pssh) and then we went to Young Women's and it brought back lovely memories of going to Young Women's in Petersburg with Sweet 15 who is now 16 years old by the way and she and I write still, and her lil sister who is 13 (and is the Fashionista one) writes me as well, and so does this 10-year-old girl who is also a non-member girl and is friends with a girl in the branch---SHE writes me too and she's not even an investigator, and I just LOOOOVE my lovely friends in Petersburg. ANYWAYS. So, things are going so good, I love all the investigators here. I hope to work as hard as I can and make up for anything I wasn't able to do in the earlier parts of my mission. I love being a missionary and doing the Lord's work and seeing people's lives change and happiness, peace, and blessings come from their loving Father in Heaven.
I LOVE YOU ALL
Sister Ashbrook and the Alaskan Snowy Sunshine
P.S. Sister Archer got her MRI results, nothing is wrong with her, but the doctor is still concerned with her slow reflexes in her feet, and is sending her to a neurologist soon. Please keep her in your prayers.