**Mom Input: I cried when I read this! Ashley is so mature and I'm so proud of her!
"So last wednesday, Elder A. went home, he had some things that he needs to work out and then he will try to come back in 9 months, so now it is just me, H Evans, and Elder Randall going to DC together. When (ElderA.) told us he was going home, it really made us all remember how much of a privilege it is to be a missionary. We cant take it for granted, because you never know when it could end. And we have to make the most of the little time we do have. On sunday we dedicate our whole day to God, but as missionaries we dedicate everyday for 18 months to God, so instead of thinking what do I want to do with my time, we need to think, what should i be doing with God's time.
Elliotts mom is just the cutest! She send me a Valentine package with chocolates. (H Evans also got another whole package of oreos, so we are set with those.) I put on my Valentine pillowcase and we also were given extra blankets for our beds because it is so cold at nigt, but the blankets are purple so our room looks very valentinish. Oh, and I made valentine cards for everyone in out district, they are pretty cute, they have the scripture in then that says love one another. I finished the pinata and we are busting it open today because this is some of our peoples last p day. I am so excited!!! but also sad, i worked so hard on it. haha.
Oh so out of all the Hermanas in the CCM, one of the leaders decided to make us ushers for Relief Society, so now i cant sit with elliott, and i have to force people to sit in the front row! And the girls that were the ushers before us, took the job way too seriously! they made us take a vow of the Usher and it was super weird.
I dont know if you remember me talking about how our fake investigator Griss is actually based off of a real person that in real life just barely decided to get baptized, but anyway we will get to teach the real Griss sometime this week because she doesnt have a date set for her baptism...we will change that. It is super cool, our first real person!!! im nervous, but really excited to meet her.
This sunday we got to watch Meet the Mormons!!! it was the best, and H Evans hadnt seen it before. I love that movie because it doenst force any religion down your throught, it actually almost doesnt talk about the religion at all, it basically focuses on how the church shapes our lifes and who we are. And apperently the missionary in that movie was in H Evanss boyfriends ward.
I am super nervous to go to DC for the same reasons i was nervous to go to the CCM, all the unknowns. but if i have done it before, i can do it again. It is just so nice in the CCM because the food is made for you, the people arent real so you cant mess anybody up, and everyone is nice. The real world is scary! But I am excited to leave and finally wear my warm weather cloths. LOVE YOU ALL!!! Make sure you have family home evening as often as you can."
Ashley also mentioned that we have to be Christlike, not just talk about being Christlike. In reference to the Elder who went home and to a good friend who came home due to health issues, Ashley wrote:
"Thats what im talking about in the real world! Its scary! But at least in the safty bubbly of the CCM i love being a missionary. Make sure Jake feels loved and supported, sometimes people tend to think less of missionaries that come home early. H Evans was telling me about her home ward and how she didnt like it because everyone judged her and her family. I am so grateful for my home ward and all the love that everyone has shown me. Within the culture of the church sometimes people have the attitude that they are better than non members, but the the gospel that it the opposite of what it teaches. We have to love everyone!!! Jesus was nice and respectful to the sinners and outcasts, if we say we are trying to be like Christ, we have to act that way too. I am so grateful for how well I was raised by righteous parents and a loving ward, because i know that is why i am who i am today. I am so glad that I was nice, accepting and able to be friends with Natalie even if others didnt think she was making the best choices. You will never regret being kind. I think about Natalie a lot and what kind of missionary work she is doing right now. I also have thought about my twin sibblings that were never born, I wonder if that was all the body they needed, or if they are somewhere else in the world right now. Either way, I cant wait to meet them."
Wow! I may have to quote my own daughter some day in a future talk! She has grown and learned so much.
Ashley finished her homemade piñata and they are having the "party" today to say goodbye to some that are leaving this week and before her district leaves next week! Can't wait for the photos next week.