Monday, December 29, 2014

"And a Happy New Year!"

Skype on Christmas Eve
Dear Family,

This Christmas has been the best Christmas ever! We had so many "Festavis miracles"! It was amazing. :) I was so happy to talk to all of you and see your beautiful faces! You are a great family. Did you know that? :) Well if you didn't now you do!
Christmas Day we had the special opportunity to go to Yokohama with a Ward member and her daughter, her friend from work, her good friend who loves the missionaries and her daughter (we will call her R-san to make this a shorter explanation.) and R-sans mother and friend. We were able to spend some good time with them. It was amazing and such a good experience for all of us. Christmas time is magical! And it snowed a little! Not much but just a small bit!
Later that night we went caroling as a district. It was an amazing experience. We saw so many miracles. :)

Here is one that my companion wrote down and sent to me:

" We were on the way to an investigator's home to carol to their family when Ashby-shimai spotted a house covered in Christmas lights. She thought they were too beautiful to ignore, so she stopped our group and went to ring the doorbell. The lady who answered through the kekko box was a little confused at first, but then came out to greet us. We were so excited she didn't reject us and that we might get the opportunity to sing. She was surprised to see such a large group of Americans at her doorstep, but wanted to hear us sing. In fact, she and her mom thought it was such a rare opportunity, that they asked if it would be alright to call their neighbors! Of course you can call your neighbors! As they went door to door, housing and bringing their friends to meet the missionaries, our district became more and more excited. We love caroling! Never did we imagine that knocking on the door of one house would allow us to share the true Spirit of Christmas with so many people. We could already feel the Spirit, we could tell the Lord was helping us with our caroling this night. It was the best feeling in the world. Over 10 people came out of their homes that night to hear us sing.
After a moment's decision, we decided to sing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing", then "Away in a Manger", then "Angels we Have Heard on High." Though we sang just fine, I couldn't tell if any of the songs had reached their hearts. So I spoke up and asked if anyone had a favorite Christmas song. To my surprise, an older man standing in front of me asked us to sing "Silent Night". No one had ever suggested a hymn before! The miracles continued to come forth... We were so excited and flipped to it in our hymn books. It turns out this man knew the first verse in English, so he asked us to sing the first verse in English and the rest in Japanese. So we did just that. During this song you could tell the Spirit was beginning to truly touch the hearts of these wonderful Japanese people. One lady was crying by the end of it. Another lady told us that our caroling was the best gift she had received this Christmas. Everyone was so happy & grateful, and many hearts were touched. It was such an incredible experience - especially for Daiya-san, an investigator who sang with us.

The Lord works in small and simple ways, touching the hearts of many.

For us, it was a true Christmas miracle."That story kind of sums up how Christmas was! We saw more miracles but it was that same feeling. Sharing the true feeling of Christmas we those around us. :) A Ward member also brought us a Christmas cake! :)
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful new year! This week is my year mark in Japan. It is so amazing to think back to a year ago New Year's Eve when I landed in Japan. I had no idea what this past year of my life would bring, but it has been the best, hardest, happiest, most rewarding year of my life and I wouldn't trade the testimony I have received for anything in the world. I know God loves us and knows who he wants us to become. Trust him and life will be beautiful. :)

Love you all!



Sunday, December 21, 2014

We wish a merry Christmas

Dear Family,

Did you know I love Christmas Time? I LOVE Christmas and all of the
Happiness that comes with this season! Christ is the reason for the season and doesn't that make it the best? :)

This week has been so wonderful. We have seen a lot of miracles and some changes in Hodogaya. :) Everything started on Monday night. That night we had an amazing dinner with the Saito family, who spoiled all of the missionaries and bought us this amazing traditional Japanese dinner. It was beautiful. The Elders sang a song for them and then they shared their conversion stories with us. The spirit was so strong  
in their home, and I just felt like I was at home. It was one of those times when you just say to yourself, "this is what it is all about." I have learned a lot about how to make a house a home from
that family. I am so grateful for their example. It reminds me a lot of my family and I love the feeling there. Anyway.... Monday night we got a call from the APs at about 9:45pm saying that there was an
emergency transfer happening and we would be getting another sister coming to be in the Hodogaya Ward. And guess who it is?!?! Sister Lambert my last companion that I served with in Fujisawa Ward!!!!! 
いいね。:) So we are now three! and the power of three is a true thing my friends. We are loving it. :)

Tuesday we had the best Zone Conference I have ever been to. The spirit was so strong. I love learning and that Zone Conference I learned so much and recognized a lot of how I have changed. Sister Wada spoke first and talked about what it means to have success and what would make our missions a success. She shared a video of returned missionaries sharing what had made their missions a success. All of the things mentioned in the video related to Jesus Christ. It was so amazing to see how these people had been changed because of Jesus Christ. It made me think about how I have been changed because of Jesus Christ. And because it is Christmas time, how the birth of
Jesus Christ changed my life and influenced me as a missionary specifically. Well it has changed everything and influenced every aspect of my life! But His influence has most effected my life in the
aspect of love. It has been in moments when I have felt love or shown love that I have been changed. Jesus Christ has shown me the perfect example of love and he offers me perfect love. Love has
changed and shaped who I am and everything I do. Like President Monson has said, "Love is the essence of the gospel." And I really understood that this week.

We have had many opportunities to do service for people this week. It has given me an opportunity to show more love for those I am serving. I don't have time to share all of the great experiences we
had, but one that I will remember for the rest of my life happened on Friday. We had the opportunity Friday to Visit a Rest home and sing for the people there. We went with a non-member Lady how loves the church and the missionaries, but is against going to church. She is funny, but we love her. We got there earlier and had the chance to talk to a lot if the residence. Oh how much I miss going every Sunday to sing at the old folks home in AF!!!!!! It was so fun to talk to those people!  They love foreigners! It was so great. :) we sang a few songs and the power of three carried us through. The spirit was so strong and it felt so good to testify to those there through song. After one of the workers there asked us where our church is and we were able to invite her to come to church. She is from the Philippines and was so grateful that we came to sing. It was the best day ever! Those old people are so cute and just like the old people in America, just a little shorter and they speak a different language. But it totally was a tender mercy from God to be able to do that at Christmas time.

Saturday we had the Ward Christmas party and it was so amazing! We had 15 non-members there and 3 less actives. It was a miracle. The Ward was so happy and they did such a great job fellow shipping all those came. Everyone had a great time. At the end we were able to sing a song as missionaries and testify of the savior and the importance of 

Christmas. :) I love Christmas!

I am  so excited to hear all of you and see your faces this week!
Until Christmas....well Christmas eve...

I love you!


Our Christmas tree.

Our apartment and Christmas decorations. :) yeah for Christmas lights!!! :)

The cake a sister in the Ward made for the Ward Christmas party. :)
cool right?!?

Monday, December 15, 2014

The miracle of the Atonement

Dear Family,
So this week has been a little different than other weeks. I got sick.... Bummer
! But it is okay. I am doing a lot better now. But because I was sick I learned a lot about the importance of following the spirit and the power that the spirit has. When we have the spirit with us we can do all things that are required of us.

Thursday we had MLC. It was amazing as always. Filled with the spirit and inspired messages. The theme was the talk from Priesthood session titled, "Lord is it I?
That talk has so many amazing things from it. If you haven't, please go read it. It is a really good self evaluation talk. It helps to you take a step back and see the bigger picture.

Because I have been sick this week we had to stay in for a day or two and I had a lot of time to sleep but also think. I thought a lot about what I have learned on my mission so far and how I have changed. It is amazing to see the progress I have made in this past year and all the things I still would like to see some improvements on. The miracle though is to see the way the atonement of Jesus Christ has influenced and changed me. It is a miracle to see the atonement work in the lives of those around you. I have seen so many people change in small and big ways because of the atonement, but it is almost a bigger miracle to see how it can completely change yourself. It is a miracle because
it has changed me in just the tiniest of ways here and there, which in a year have made a huge difference in how I think or act. I am so grateful for the gift of the atonement and the power that it can have in our lives, to change is in ways we didn't even see were possible. It is beautiful. It is true. Christ made it possible and he is the Gift this Christmas season. If you haven't seen the churches "He is the Gift" Video yet go watch. So amazing!

Oh a funnier note. The spirit guides us in funny ways. The other day we were walking down the street and we see this golden candy wrapper flying in the wind. We had been housing earlier and had no success at all. No one would even open the door. So I thought in my head, "okay let's follow this wrapper and see if the spirit will guide us to someone!" So we were laughing and following this wrapper. It finally stopped in front of an apartment building. We picked up and threw it in the wind to see if it would keep going and it didn't. So we looked at the building. Picked a door and knocked. The lady opened the door and we shared a message about Jesus Christ and Christmas. It was amazing!!!!!! She didn't have too much interest but we invited her to church and the Christmas party and she said she would come if she had time. Maybe she didn't accept our message yet, but the spirit was guiding us to those that would receive even just 5 min of our message.
Happy day! :)

I love you! Have a great week!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Shinkansen and the Disappearing Mountain; Folks it is the little reminders of Gods love that Really matter in life. :)

Dear family,

This week I have been thinking about how wonderful God really is. How wonderful the belief in God is. I Love God. I Love that I have the knowledge that God is there and that he loves all of his children. I really felt that this week. I had a little bit of a missionary present this last week. One of those moments that just smacks you in the face on why you are where you are doing what you are doing. It was a great moment. I will get it it in a second....first about the week. :)

Oh where to begin..... :)
On Monday we went to Yokohama! It was so fun! We went to landmark tower and saw the Ferris wheel again. いいね。
Tuesday we taught two less actives. Those visits were so great!!!! One sister has been having a really hard time applying the gospel to her life. She says she believes it all but she rarely acts on that belief. (Aka reading the Book of Mormon, coming to church, etc.) The bishop asked us to teach her all of the lessons again and with the help of her visiting teachers we had a great lesson on Tuesday. And she has been reading the Book of Mormon this week!!!!!! In Japan there are SO many less active members!!!!! There could be 400 people in a ward but only 100 or so come to church. But it is a great experience working with less actives. I love it!
Our other visit was to help a less active clean out her house a little. She has a lot of stuff!!! Mom...... You would hate and love cleaning her house....haha :) but she got rid of a good pile of stuff which felt so good. She has been coming to church these past couple weeks and I think that is really helping her. It is amazing what the spirit can do for people!

Wednesday while we were street contacting we looked up and there it is..... Mt. Fuji!!!! We have titled it the disappearing mountain. And it always pops up out of now where right when you need to smile. :) But really. I think we have seen it almost everyday this week and it has been a great week! :) God loves us or something? :) haha :)

Thursday while we were searching for a less actives house we were walking along a huge wall with barbed wire fencing. Then we feel the ground start to shake and this thing passes by going a million billion miles an hour. Wow!!!!!!! Guess what?!?!?  We live just down the rode from the bullet train!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shinkansen! It is the coolest thing ever! We just kept laughing everytime it passed us. :) It is so fast!!!! So cool!!! It is the little things sometimes that just make you smile because you didn't think those things were really a real thing, but they are! And they are fast! We finally were able to find the address. Come to find out it was the wrong house, but the lady that lived there was so nice and let us talk to her for a while about
church. :) I love nice people.

Friday we taught this cute lady that loves the church and the missionaries. She makes me so happy. Unfortunately she won't find the time to really learn about the church or come to church. She just loves how our message makes her feel. Why don't people see the
connection..... I don't know!

Saturday and Sunday were the best days ever!!!!! We had Stake Conference. :) It was a my pay day as a missionary. I got to go back to Shonandai and see people from Fujisawa Ward and some of the people I taught there! It was such a good experience. Sunday was amazing. One of my old investigators was singing in the stake choir and it was so good to see her. She has been coming to church every week almost. She has some concerns as far as religion goes but it is okay. We all learn "line upon line" right. While the temple president was speaking I had this very distinct impression that I should talk to one of the elders old investigators after the meeting and ask him if he would be interested in taking lessons again. After all of the meetings I was able to talk to him and ask him what his favorite part of the meeting was. E answered that the temple presidents talk. We talked about the temple presidents conversion story for a little and then the spirit just took over the conversation. It was such a cool experience. In the end I asked if wanted to get baptized and E said he did. It was amazing! I few months ago I had a very similar conversation with him and he said he didn't want to get baptized. He has changed so much. He has read almost all of the scriptures including the D&C and now is reading the gospel principles book. He wants to finish reading all that he can before he gets baptized again. The elders them came over and we were all talking together. At that point my campion looked at me because it was getting time for us to go so I looked at E and told him. "E I know you are going to get baptized. And when you get baptized I want to be there! By the way I leave next May to go back to America, so you better read fast!" He looked at me a laughed, but shock my hand. I know the elders in that area will be able to help him
a lot. It was such a good experience to just hear him say he wanted to get baptized. I wish you knew how much of a miracle this is!!!! Haha :) just a few months ago he has no desire. It is amazing the change that can come over people through reading the Book of Mormon. I love
being a missionary and I love the Book of Mormon! :)

Well I hope you all have a happy week. Share the goodness that this season has to offer. Be kinder, more loving, more ready to serve those in need. :) everyone is in need of something and you can be the one to meet that need this Christmas season. :) open your eyes and serve! 

Thank you for all of your love. I love you so much!


Mtn. Fuji!! :) and the temple.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Happy December :)

Dear Family,

"It's the most wonderful time of the year!!", "Christmas is coming the geese are getting fat!", "it's Christmas! It's Christmas!".

If you cannot tell from the above phrases I am a little excited for Christmas! I am SO excited for this time of year! It is going to be the best Christmas ever! I am so grateful for all the happiness that comes from Christmas time and Christ's birth. :)

We had a great thanksgiving week! I ate 3 thanksgiving dinners. One on Monday with some members and her friends who have both lived in America, one on Wednesday with everyone from Eikaiwa, and the real thanksgiving dinner on Thursday at the Military base. Every dinner we ate amazing food, but we also had some very amazing opportunities to share the gospel with some amazing people. We got to testify often and I am so grateful for that opportunity. I love testifying of the things that I have come to know are true.

This past week has been wonderful and has caused a lot of reflection on who I am and who I am becoming. I was having a rough time on Thursday night because a few things that have gone on this week and I just felt stressed about somethings that I couldn't control. It was
frustrating, disheartening and wasn't how I should be feeling at all. So while my companion was in the shower I knelt down and prayed out loud. I have done this a few time one my mission. I poured out my heart to our Heavenly Father on all that was going on and how I felt
and where I wanted to be. After I was done praying I didn't necessarily feel better. I still had all of those worries and concerns, but it felt good to know that someone had listened. God had
listened to my prayer and I knew he knew who I am, and he sees how I am becoming. He also knows the same for all those around me and every person in this world. He will listen to all of us. I think that is one of the best things about our loving Heavenly Father. He listens. He is the best listener, and as we learn in turn to listen to him our worries and problems start to fade. We then realize that He has been I control this whole time. I am learning more than ever to trust God, turn my heart him, talk to him, and then in turn listen to what he has to tell me. As I do that I know all the things and people around me will be helped in the way God needs them to be. :) Our Heavenly Father Loves his children and he will help us help them and in turn we will be helped. :) Isn't that great!

Funny story. So before thanksgiving dinner on Thursday we were act the park. After having some good conversations with a few people, we were starting back to the Eki and we passed this group of elementary kids. So of course we start saying "hello!" And waving. Usually you can get a lot of them to say "Herro!" Back but no one was. Finally one boy had the courage and said "hello!" But by then we were a little farther away so we turned around and said "bye bye!" The little boys say "goodbye!" Then his eyes got wide and he turns to his friend and says (in Japanese), "She speaks Japansese!" He so was shocked. My companion and I started laughing so hard. Did you know "bye bye" was Japanese?!?!? Learn something new everyday! Haha :) cute kids!

Well I hope you all have a great week! We got transfer calls today and Sister Pugmire and I are staying together in Hodogaya!!!! We are way excited! :) it will be a very Merry Christmas!

Love you all!
Love, アシュビー姉妹

Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear family,

Happy best week ever! I love Thanksgiving! I am so excited. :) We have been invited to eat Thanksgiving dinner with a family on a Military Base. So we actually get to eat Thanksgiving dinner in Japan. Yay! But
Thanksgiving is not all about the food. There are so many things I am so grateful for from this past week. Here are 3.

1. First I am grateful for the Primary Program. I am so grateful for the primary program!! The theme this year has become one of my favorite songs. "The family is of God". There were 8 children who sang in the Hodogaya Ward Primary Program. 6 of them were members kids and 2 girls, ages 8 and 9 are non members. They have been coming to church for about 3 months now and we go visit them sometimes and invite them to activities. Their mom doesn't want them to be taught by the missionaries but she is okay with them coming to church and the missionaries visiting them. They loved singing in the program and I was praying the whole time that they will remember these songs for the rest of their lives.

There was so much good that came from the primary program. The elders had an investigator at church who has a baptismal date for next month. This investigator is a miracle boy. He is 18 years old and has a really rough family situation. He really wants to have a good family of his own someday. The theme of the program really touched his heart and his desire to be baptized increased. The Ward here hasn't had a baptism in 3 years and so this baptism is a miracle for them. We are all praying for him so much!

2. I am grateful for the inspiration that come from our leaders. We had president interview this last Thursday. I am so grateful for President Wada and his desire to help everyone come unto Christ. He helped me gain perspective on things that I need to do to be better and help my investigators more. He is not only helping us now with our investigators but he is teaching us principles that will guide us for the rest of our lives especially in future families and marriage. Lately there have been a lot of things running through my head of things that I am worrying about. While talking with him a lot of those concerns and worries were able to be resolved. That is such a blessing we have. God has given us leaders to help and guide us through this life. I a, so grateful for that.

3. I am grateful that when things don't work out the way you planned, there is still hope. This week we had a few of our lessons fall through because of other important things that investigators had come up. We also had a really hard lesson with one of our investigators. By the time we got to weekly planning this week it seemed like a lot of our current investigators weren't doing too good and our key indicators weren't looking too good. But looking at all of those numbers and such I didn't get too discouraged because I knew that there was still hope. Hope that God would guide us to help these people. That he has a plan, an individual plan, for each of them. He will guide us to find those that WILL receive our message. Not all weeks are perfect as far as numbers go, but God is still guiding us and helping the people we are trying to help. Just holding on to that
hope. :)

I love the gospel and I am so grateful for it!! I am so excited for this week. We have a lot planned and I pray that we will be guided to be able to do all those things God would have us do this last week of the transfer. I can't believe it is already the last week of the transfers.....time is going by way too fast! :)

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. :) keep being great! I am praying for you.


I just love Mount Fuji!!!! :)

Monday, November 17, 2014

"Boom, boom ain't it great to be crazy!"

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thanksgiving is coming.....the turkeys getting fat!

Dear family,

It has been a great week! I feel so happy to be in Japan. The weather is changing, the leaves falling, and it is cooling down! It is so happy. I love fall. :) This past week was good. Nothing too crazy happened but we met some good goals and it was really happy.
This past Thursday we had MLC and I don't know if I can put into words my feelings for that day. It was one of the most spiritual days of my mission so far. One that I will never forget and my spirit just felt so grateful. My whole experience of that day was sacred. I don't even know why or how to fully explain my feelings. Really though! Hah :) MLC really wasn't that different it was just normal but I think it was how I was spiritually prepared for it. It is amazing how much revelation and inspiration we can receive when we are spiritually prepare to receive it. I had been praying really hard to know how to help our investigator who struggling with truly knowing if the church is true. She has prayed with really intent and searched the scriptures so diligently but still feels like her answer hasn't come yet. During MLC we talked a lot about how we won't ever know 100% of things. 100% is perfect. We are not perfect and we can't have a perfect knowledge yet. But one day we will have a perfect knowledge and so we have to act on that faith and have HOPE that one day we will 100% know that God is there and Jesus is the Christ. Right now we act on Faith and Hope. I am so grateful for the faith that I have that I will one day know 100% with a perfect knowledge that God is there. But for now I will act on the faith and hope that I have that he IS there.
Sorry this week is short.... I don't have much time today but just so you all are aware.... Japanese primary programs are hands down the cutest thing ever.  I got to go to the Yamato Ward Primary Program
yesterday on splits because Naoko san our investigator was going to that Ward yesterday. It was so happy. :) please pray for her. She needs it. :)

Hope you all have a great happy week!!!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Happy One Year!

Dear family! 

This week was a Happy __________ week. Haha :) Happy One year! Happy Halloween! Happy November! Time goes by so fast! I can't believe I have been gone for over a year. It feels like just a few weeks ago I went into the MTC. This week has been such a good week and so many miracles have happened. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to meet, associate with, and become eternal friends with these amazing people. 

Just a few highlights of the week......

This week we had a 3 day Mission conference. The Zones were split up into three groups and get group had a conference on a different day. Ours was on Thursday. It was amazing! The Asia North Mission president, Elder Ringwood, and his wife came and spoke to us along with President and Sister Wada. That meeting was full of the spirit and revelation! I loved ever second of it. So many amazing thoughts were shared and it was so wonderful. Those are the type of people you want to grow up and be like. They are full of light, life, and love. Such wonderful examples. Elder Ringwood shared so many wonderful things but two things I took away from it were these: 
1. We have the spirit of Revelation when we testify of those things that WE have been taught, that WE know are true through the spirit. We have the spirit of Prophecy when we teach about Jesus Christ. It is the testimony of Jesus Christ. We can teach with the Spirit of Prophecy and the Spirit of Revelation just as the scriptures teach. I really liked that. 

2. "Therefore what?" President Ringwood talked about after every meeting we go to we should ask ourselves "Therefore what?" What have we learned that we are going to apply to our lives and change about ourselves. When we sit in meetings we are spiritually nourished by the word of God. But when after the meeting is done if we ask ourselves "therefore what?" And apply what we have been taught, then we have the opportunity to change and become better. It is letting the spirit enter into our hearts and change us. That is a new goal I have. Also ask "Therefore what?" :) 

Such an amazing opportunity to meet Elder and Sister Ringwood. "Therefore" I will work harder as a missionary as the counseled us to do. :) 

That night after we came home from the conference we had the opportunity to teach with the elders and a member and a lady the elders had met on the street a few days earlier. She had lived in America for 20 years and has an amazing story with Mormons and Christians. She has met and associated with Many people of many Christian beliefs. She has also attend many churches and read the bible. But she has always had a problem with how Christians treat other Christian faiths. She kept saying, "Isn't God everyones God?" "Isn't he the same God?" She has always been impressed though by the Mormons. All the Mormons she has met have had so much respect for others. She just kept saying, "what do you have that other Christian churches don't?" It was an amazing lesson!! We were able to testify and answer some of her questions. She has been so prepared over the years! It is amazing to hear her story and see how God has been guiding her life all the way up to this moment until she has the opportunity to meet the missionaries. We will be teaching her tomorrow. We are so excited! She is amazing! Pray for her and that as she hears our message she will recognize the truth of it. :) 

We have had so many great things happen this week and I am excited to see what else is to come. The temple today was amazing. I saw a sister from Fujisawa Ward and it totally made my day!!! She is amazing! Another one of my Japanese moms. :) i love the temple. I also got to see some of the missionaries from my MTC district and Elder Clark who is Nic Clarks little brother!! So great!! 

Oh and I didn't mention this before I think but Elder Tanner Livingston is in my district right now!!! We went to high school together! It is so fun to work with him!!! He is such a good missionary. I love the church. The Book of Mormon is the word of God! 
Have a great week! And happy holiday season!! 

Love, アシュビー姉妹

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

They have great value in Japan!!!!!!

Dear family!
This week has been a week! Between transfers, disinfecting the house because of lice problems, and normal missionary work it has been an adventure! But fun :) I am now in Hodogaya and lets just say I LOVE it!!! And I love my new companion. She is so funny. :) We have been having fun together.

By reading the title of this email you might think I am referring to something of a more spiritual nature.... Yes they do have great valuein Japan! I mean I love the Japanese people. But I was literally meaning they have "great value" in Japan!!! Like the Walmart brand!!!Haha :) We went shopping today to a store that is actually owned by Walmart and we saw great value products. It was like I was back in America! So weird!!! Haha I laughed pretty hard! Gotta love "great" value... ;) haha I will send a picture.

Anyway this week has been great! It was so hard to say good bye to all
of the people in Fujisawa. There are so many people there that I love
and was so sad to leave, but at that same time I knew I had grown as
much as I could in Fujisawa. :) I saw so many miracles and made
eternal friends with some people. I am so grateful I was able to serve
in that ward. P.s. Mom my "Japanese mother" Sister Satou said she
wants to come to America and meet you. I think you would be great friends. She is so funny! You guys are pretty much the same age and so much a like. :)

On Thursdays we had transfers. I went to the mission home for a New STL training. There are so many new STL that they had a training given by 5 of the STL that were going home. It was so amazing and I learned
so much. One thing that I took from it has become the theme for my life right now. I really hope to apply this in all that I do for the rest of my life. Sister Wada shared this. She said, "A leader is not someone who leads, a leader is someone who serves. Just like Christ washed the feet of his apostles." The image of Christ washing the feet of his disciples has stuck with me this whole week. That thought might seem quite obvious to those who serve in the church, but it really hit me. Serving the way Christ served is so much more than just doing service. It is from the heart. 心から。It is fully of love, compassion, grace, mercy, forgiveness, honesty, truth, faith, etc. The list goes on and on. Christ served out of perfect love for Gods children. I want to feel that perfect love! I may feel a lot of love for those around me but that love isn't always perfect love. But I know that through the atonement of Christ I can become more and serve the way Christ did by washing the feet of his disciples.

Wow there is so much more to share but so little time....... Well one quick miracle and then I will have to just save the rest for another day. On the way to my new area we were on the train and I had the amazing opportunity to share with the girl sitting next to me the Book of Mormon. We were talking about faith and I asked her how much she believes in God. She said she doesn't know if he is there, but she has a desire to know. She almost quoted it like it says in Alma 32 talking about desire. I shared with her that scripture and she just smiled and said that is exactly what I said almost! It was such a cool experience to help this girl see how the Book of Mormon teaches those truths she knows and has a desire to believe. It was so cool! We were able to switch contact information and so hopefully some more good will come out of it. :)

I love life and I love my new area. :) share your favorite scripture with someone who needs it this week! :) it will bring the spirit of missionary work into your life.

Have a great week!! Love you so much!!


Sister Ashby

Monday, October 20, 2014

"Bye bye bye bye bye!"

Dear family,

Well, after 6 months of being in Fujisawa......I am leaving.:(
Fujisawa has become like my home. The people here are like my family.
I love Fujisawa!!! But I am so excited for my new area! I will Be
serving in Hodagaya. My my companion is Sister Pugmire. :) I think it will be a great transfer. I will also be Sister Training Leader. So that will be a new fun adventure. The sisters I am over are the best and so I am really excited! Here is to new opportunities to grow, serve, and learn. I just love my mission.

This week has been a great one! Tuesday I went on splits with the
Atsugi sisters. It was so fun being in a 3 some again! I forgot how
fun it is to Dendo with three people. It is sometimes hard to talk to
approach people. But it is always a good time. We had some great success finding and giving away copies of the Book of Mormon. :) I love giving someone a copy of the Book of Mormon. I know I say that all the time, but it is for sure one of my favorite things to do. :)

On wed. We had a lesson with a former investigator and she also came to church this past Sunday! It was so great! She really likes the church, but her parents are a little against her getting baptized. But the lesson went so well and she wants to start taking lessons again. :) yeah!! That night a member invited us over for dinner for Sister Lamberts Birthday!! It was so fun!! :) Satou Shimai is the best! She has become like my Japanese Mother. She actually reminds me a lot of you mom. :) I will miss her so much. She has changed my life. :)

On Thursday was sister Lamberts birthday!!!! We had such a great day!! :) we were able to see our investigator that we had to transfer to the Hodagaya sisters because she didn't live in our area. (Ps I just got
transferred to Hodagaya!!!! Yay!!! I get to teach her again!!!!!!! Miracle and so happy :) She wants to become an eternal family so much. After talking with her we walked in to the church bathroom and say this huge thing sitting on the floor by on of the stalls. My companion got closer and it was a HUGE spider!!!!!!! So gross!!!! We caught it and let it go outside because we were to afraid to try and kill it. It was so funny and scary trying to catch it. But here is a picture. :) Happy Birthday Lambert Shiami!! Haha ;)

We had a really happy week!! :) found some new investigators, watched fireworks, and invited a lot of people to come into christ. :) what more could you ask for right? The fire works we watched were by far
the biggest fireworks I have ever seen in my life!! So cool. :)

I know that this church is true and that God has a plan for us. Today I read D&C 76 about the plan of salvation and the kingdoms of glory. It is such a good chapter! You should go read it. It is full of hope and happiness and the promise of the joy and fullness that we will receive is we are faithful to the commandments of God. My goal is the celestial kingdom!

I love you all!! Have a great week!


Monday, October 13, 2014

"And they shall have cause to howl, and weep, and wail, and gnash their teeth”

Dear my wonderful family,

This week has been so wonderful! I loved it and I learned so much! I feel the longer I am a missionary the faster I learn. Every week I learn more. I love learning!

We had a lot of cool miracles and a lot of just really happy tender mercies of the lord. I think I just want to tell you about a few of those happy tender mercies that helped strengthen my testimony that the lord is watching over me and all of his children and he wants us so be happy.

1. Tuesday after a full day of finding, a lot of inviting people to hear our message, some really good gospel conversations, and a lot of rejections, we were walking back to the eki to head back to shonandai.
As we were walking I was realizing how happy I was being in Japan. Because even though we weren't having the most success we were still inviting others to come unto christ and that just makes your heart
feel good! Anyway... We were walking and I saw this really cute girl who was probably 13 or 14 walking. We could tell that she might have some sort of disorder but we started talking to her. Come to find out
she only speaks sign language! I have learned a little Japanese sign language!!! And we had the best conversation ever! She was so cute! She loves America and actually knows ASL as well!!! So we talked in
both ASL and JSL!!! Such a cool experience! After I just felt so happy! It was probably one of the coolest experiences. She was so happy to talk to us. I walked away just thinking, "God loves us and her so much to put her in our path so we could have that experience." :) talking to her was what happiness feels like. :)

2. Every week after Eikaiwa we play an English game with all of the classes. Tip his weeks game was telephone. :) I think that is enough said.....haha I LOVE LISTENING TO JAPANESE PEOPLE SPEAK ENGLISH! it is the happiness thing ever! Haha and so funny! :) I wish I could just tell you how much a just love these people that come to eikiawa every week but I can't, because I love then too much, they are like my crazy Japanese family and they are so cute. Half of them are all older retired men and women who love the missionaries and know a lot about the church but don't want to join. It is really sad, but they are such
amazing people. I love them and God blesses me with a tender mercy every week I get to associate with them. :)

3. Friday I went on splits with Feist Shimai the Sister training leader. :) She is just the best person ever and we have a lot of similar dreams so we had a blast! Haha :) that night we went to visit a LA in the ward. The actual visit was really sad.... Because she told us that she can't believe that the Book of Mormon is true. She only believes the bible. It is so sad to see people who have made covenants with God through baptism and/ or the temple and then lose faith a choose not to believe it anymore.  It really broke my heart. But the tender mercy happened before that. We were riding our bikes along this big beautiful river to her house. The sun was setting, the air was just a little cool and smelled great, we were riding next to huge rice fields, and we were in Japan. The moment was just perfect! Then Feist shimai says, "you know what would make this moment just perfect? If we could see Mount Fuji!" Just then I look up and see in the distance this perfect mountain..... Umm yes it was Mt. fuji!!!!!!!!!! Hahaha :) we both just stopped ridding and laughed because it was so crazy how great that moment was! 流石日本!!! Haha :) tender mercy of joy!

I have learned so much this week what happiness feels like. I am just happy! I feel like my heart is wrapped in happiness and even though life isn't perfect, I have weaknesses, I haven't seen 100's of baptisms, etc I am truly happy. My heart is just happy. It is the happiness that only comes from living the gospel. It is happiness that only comes from God. I am happier then I have ever been in my life or on my mission. It is just pure joy. It isn't perfect, but it is happy. And I am happy I feel it. :)

Wasn't conference AMAZING?!??? I loved so much of it! But I loved this line from Elder Bednar's talk!! Sometimes when you are trying to share the gospel with people they seem to do just that!  "And they shall
have cause to howl, and weep, and wail, and gnash their teeth” (Mosiah 16:2) hahaha :) Even though our message is so good!! Haha :) It was a great talk though. There were so many things I loved from conference.
So many prayers answered!

We have a prophet on the Earth. I know Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and as we follow his guidance we will be happy. I am so grateful for my testimony and the knowledge that I have of the restored gospel. I am so blessed beyond imagine. God guides this work! We are finding his prepared children who are ready to hear the gospel. Today for Pday we had a zone prayer meeting. It was so amazing. :) I know that through prayer we can receive revelations from God. :) he loves us. :) keep smiling and have a wonderfully happy week!


Monday, October 6, 2014

"It's all about the base TE kudasaimasu ka!"

Dear family!!!      

This week has been so so so good!!!!!! I love it here! I love Fujisawa! I love Japan! I love my mission! I love life! I love love. :) haha :) I have had a great week and I wish I could just share with you everything that happened everyday. I feel like a different person this week. I feel happier, more motivated, more excited to do the work I have been called here to do. I feel like over time I just feel happier and happier to be here on my mission. :) Maybe because I slowly feel time ticking down and so I have to make the most of what I
have. But I just feel happy. :)

Today we had a typhoon! And this wasn't like the "typhoons" we have had in the past. This one actually came!!! And it rained so much!! All day yesterday and it finally stopped this morning around 11. We were
told to stay inside this morning until 12:00. This morning is when the actual typhoon hit. It was cool to watch the rain come down that hard! Haha :) but now it is a beautiful warm humid day. :)

This week we saw a lot of miracles. But since I don't have all of the time I will tell you three things....Tuesday: it was quite an adventure. We got lost on the way to zone conference. It was my first
time really getting lost....haha :) it was way funny!! But finally when we got to zone conference it was the best thing ever! President Wada is so inspired and so funny. He makes every meeting so much fun and so spiritual. We now have a new way of counting how we talk to people to help us find more people to teach. It is president Wada's way of doing the "litmus test" in people to see if they are ready for the gospel and it is using Base TE kudasaimasu ka? Or itadekimasu ka? Those are two bold ways to invite people to do things in Japanese. And as we have been inviting people more boldly we have been seeing some amazing success. I feel like this is the key to seeing so much more success. There are so many ways to make this in Japanese so polite and kind.... But we need to be bolder and invite with love. I love it! I feel like we are fulling our purpose more by truly using the language the way we should be. :)

On wed. We taught ________ for the last time. The sisters in her area will teach her from now on. But it was the best lesson!!! We committed her to be baptized and the spirit was so strong. Saturday she came to
the women's broadcast. After she met president Wada. The whole time she was just crying and kept saying that she was so sorry she didn't know what came over her. :) I am so sad we won't be teaching her
anymore, but I am more happy she is progressing in the gospel and feeling the spirit. She texted us the other day and let us know again how grateful she is for us. I feel so blessed to have been able to meet with her on the train and help her find the missionaries again. It is so happy to see the hand of God reaching out to not only guide us as missionaries but also touching the lives of all of his children. :)

On Friday I went to MLC. It was amazing!!! Probably one of the best missionary meetings I have ever been to!! :) I am actually not a sister training leader....but I was invited to come anyway. It was a hint that in the near future I might have to come to those meetings for real. But it was so fun to go to the Honbu and eat pickles!!! Man I miss pickles!!! :)

But it was a great week! I am so happy to be alive at a time where we can share the gospel in so many ways. :) be bold. Be kind :) share the gospel! Can't wait to watch conference next week!

Love you all! This gospel is true.


Monday, September 29, 2014

"Now behold the field is 'Rice' and already to harvest."

Dear family!!

This week has been so great! We had some miracles, fun times, and once in a lifetime experiences. Yay for being a missionary in Japan!! Wootwoot!

So to start... This week we got to do the best service project ever! Harvest Rice!!! So much fun. :)
A members father needed help harvesting his field, so a lot of the missionaries in the zone got to come join in and help out. :) We went on Friday morning and it was so fun. And we could see Mount Fuji from
where we were. It is was the true Japanses experience. While harvesting we saw frogs, crabs, and tons of bugs. The mud is so deep and I was again so grateful for my hunter rain boots. ;) haha :) got stuck in the mud a few times, but it was so great. :)

On Wednesday we had an amazing miracles with one of the ladies we
teaching. Sad part is We found out she doesn't live in out
we will be referring her to the sisters where she lives, BUT it is
okay because she is amazing!!!! When we very first met her a few weeks
ago on the train she said she had been taught English by missionaries
before and she loved it. She said she was okay with us teaching her
about the gospel as well, but she was happy with her life and didn't
feel she needed religion. The last lesson we had with her we committed
her to pray and she said she would. This week she practically ran to
the church and said "sisters I am confused!!! I have a problem. Can
you help me?" We said we could try. So we sat down said a prayer and then asked what her problem was. She said, "You know when I met you and I said I was happy? Well now I am confused, because last time I
prayed and I felt something different. And I feel like something inside of me is changing..... I love learning English and I still want to learn English, but I also love hearing what you teach about and I
want to learn more." We were just sitting across from her dying!!!! It was the best feeling ever. She has been so set on the fact that she is happy and now she is a completely different person!!! She has been praying all the time and she keeps telling us how much she feels like she is changing! That lesson was amazing! We were able to testify and she was so open to all we had to share. Prayer changes people. It was such a testament to me that what I am sharing with these wonderful people is true and it has the power to Change their hearts. I love seeing people change right before my eyes and it happens all the time.

I know there is a God. He is our Heavenly Father. He hearers our prayers. He answers our prayers. And he Loves his children.  I am so blessed to be serving in Fujisawa. This place is amazing and the ward is amazing!

I am so excited for these next two weeks! We have so many conferences
and then general conference! :) I can't wait to learn more about what
I need to do to change and become a better person and disciple of
Christ. :)

I love you all! Have a great week!


If you look you can see mt. Fuji is the way back. :)