Saturday, our whole zone had a "finding fest" where all you do all day
is tract and try to find new investigators. We all met up and had a
quick testimony meeting to get ourselves pumped up and then we went to
work! Our zone leaders motivated us even more by saying that the
companionship that finds the most investigators wins a handmade tray
of cinnamon rolls! (That is kind of unfair, because everyone knows
that it's so much easier for the Spanish program to find new
investigators, because the Hispanic people are usually super nice.)
Unfortunatel, Hna DeBry and I had a few appointments that we really
had to go to, but the whole rest of the day we were looking for new
people. And....at the very end of the day 8:30, we went to check up on
a potential and we met his whole family, so we got 7 new investigators
right at the very end! So ya, we won.
Also our streak is finally broken! We finally had one of our
investigators go to church with us yesterday! She is 15, her whole
family are investigators, but she was the only one that was able to
come. They are so awesome, they are going to get baptized! Oh, also
Saturday night we got a call from our first councilor of the ward and
he asked if I could give a talk the next day in sacrament meeting...so
ya, I wrote and gave a talk yesterday too, in Spanish.
Today we went to DC! Hna Quiñonez and Hna McDonanald (former DC South missionaries) came to visit a few of their friends, so a few of us
missionaries met up with them. We saw a little bit of the Air and
Space Museum. Fun day, but it is super hot today and we are worn out!
This week I have come to appreciate even more that I am lucky enough
to be in the Spanish program. We are so blessed! During our finding
fest we tried to talk to everyone, including "white" people, and it was
rough! They were really rude, and they wouldn't even take our card, let
alone talk to us! We have no problems talking to Hispanics, getting
their address and phone numbers, and going into their homes the first
time we meet them! I have major respect for the English program!
I also have started to read the Bible cover to cover and I just
finished Genesis and the story of "Joseph and the technicolor dream
coat" part. And I have really started to understand better that
EVERYTHING God does, will be for our benefit. God allowed Joseph to be
betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, and cast into prison for
13 years, all to save an entire nation! And, Joseph was totally
rewarded tenfold in the end. God gives us trials and weaknesses for
our benefit, everything he does will be for out good if we have faith
and trust in him.
"And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of
murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast
into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce
winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the
elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws
of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son,
that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy
good."- Doctrine and Covenants 122:7
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I
give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is
sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they
humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make
weak things become strong unto them."- Ether 12:27
Virginia rocks, life is good, I'm never going home.
Well, since I grew up right where Ashley is serving, I totally understand why she loves it! I loved growing up there, and have lots of friends who still live there!
Ashley teaches us great things each week! We all have trials and hardships--many are minor, but some can be quite extreme. God doesn't punish us with bad things that happen to us, but lets us learn and grow with the trials that come from consequences of our own choices, consequences of nature, and the consequences of other's choices. Sometimes He steps in and miracles occur, but most times, He lets us deal with our trials, and hopes we become stronger because of them, making us much greater than we were before the trial. He also hopes that we will ask Him for help in coping and dealing with our trials, and HE WILL HELP. We just have to be spiritually open minded on HOW He IS helping us.
Ashley is happy, loves her mission and companions, and is learning and growing by doing something hard herself!