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.