Monday, April 27, 2015

Gracias :)

Watashi no familia,

So this week I learned how to pray in Spanish for our recent convert! :) It was the best thing ever! She was so happy. She has been having a hard time recently and so we have been trying to think of ways to help her more. :) She is the best person ever! :) I want to go to Peru someday.

Busy busy week. :) I felt like this week we were all over the place. Everywhere but our own area. :)  But we had meetings and exchanges 5 out of the 7 days. But it was so good! We saw many miracles and it was
cool to see that when we did Dendo in our area we saw the biggest miracles.

To start off the week we had a lesson planned with our investigator on Monday night, b it was raining and she had something come up so she had to cancel the appointment. We were both a little sad about that especially since it was raining. But we knew it would still be a great night of Dendo. So we prayed and went to go visit a member who has been struggling. She wasn't home. So we went with our back up plan #3. Housing! I actually really like housing. We were knocking on a few doors with not much success. We came to another door and rang the door bell. Through the little box the lady started talking. I introduced
who we were and that we would like to share with her about how she can find more happiness. Before I could finish she said, "Kekko desu." (Aka. not interested.)  But before she hang up the box I was able to invite her to church and asked if she would come, even though she said no once. And then we heard her say, "one minute please!" We were both
a little shocked. Haha :) She came to the door and we talked for a long time!! Come to find out she thought we were Jehovah's witnesses and that is why she said no... But when I asked her to come to church she realized we were different then them. We shared with her the restoration and the Book of Mormon and she has a ton of interest. She reads the bible too. It was a huge miracle!! We knew God was guiding everything that happened that night in order for us to meet her. It really strengthen my testimony that we are lead by the spirit. :)

So much happened this week. Some things seemed very unfortunate at first, but turned into great miracles and a learning experience.  I think what I have learned most this week is learning to rely on God. Not everything will go as planned. Sometimes you will be on a train
sharing the about the Book of Mormon with a girl and she is really excited about it and so are you, and so when your stop comes where you both get off you are all still talking and you forget you left your bag for exchanges on the train...... But then you see so many more
miracles because of it. :) and it gives you a good laugh! So in the end it was a great experience. :)

All I can say is we need to just rely on God. He knows us and all of his children perfectly. Sometimes I stressed when I don't know how to help an investigator, companion, Ward member, less active, or other missionary. But this week more then ever I have learned that that is okay! Because God knows and he will guide us to know what to do, if we follow the spirit. :) I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows me. He knows you. He knows the people we love and worry about. He will help them all! I promise.

Have a great week! It is feeling like it is getting warmer here!!! Yay!! Today we went and did a いちご狩り。Pretty much it is all you can eat strawberry picking. For sure the most delicious strawberries in the world!!!! :)


Monday, April 20, 2015

Flowers and happiness :)

Dear family,

It really is the little things that make life good and happy. I was reminded of that this week a lot simply by flowers. One day we were street contacting to an investigators house and on the way I complimented a lady arranging flowers in front of her shop. She took out two of the flowers and gave them to my companion and I. She was so cute. We had a great conversation. She was so happy and told us that the only way to speak to God was in Spanish! And so she wants to learn Spanish. :) She was so cute!

The second happy flower experience was while we were riding our bikes up this huge hill!! We stopped half way to not only take a break but talk to a women looking at the cherry blossoms. She was so in love with them it was so cute and reminded me of a child. We were able to sonars with her about the Plan of Salvation a little and set up a chance to go meet with her again. So this week I am grateful for flowers and the opportunity they give me to see Joy and share the gospel. It truly is the little things. :) Focus more on the small joys
of everyday life that make life happy.

This week we also met another old couple that taught me the importance of that same idea, this couple is in their late 80's. We found them housing and they let us into their home to share a message. First that was a miracle in it of its self! We were asking them how
they stayed so 元気 this long and the wife said she laughs a lot and that is why she is 元気. She laughed so much while we were there and it
just brought joy into that home. :) God is happiness and He wants us too to be happy. Laugh, smile and share your happiness with others. It will prolong your life and maybe make two missionaries really happy too! :)

This week our dear friend/investigator from India went back to India for a few weeks. She was so excited though to share the Book of Mormon with her family and others there. It was so cute. She asked us for extra copies so she could give one to the pastor of the church in her village and her father and brother. It was so cute. She wanted to share it with everyone. She has only read a little bit of it so far but she knows it is good. We are praying that she has the opportunity to meet the missionaries there. We looked up the closest churches to
her village and hopefully going there  will help her understand the gospel in her own language. English is really hard for her. :) But we know God will help her.

I love you all so much. Love is so important. Love life. Love to laugh. Love the little things. Love the gospel. Show more of your love to God. Keep the commandments and be happy. That is true love. :) Love of the good things in life. God is where that goodness come from. :)


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I love to see the temple!

Dear family,

This week has been wonderful! We got to watch general conference!! I am so grateful for the words of the prophets and how inspired all of the talks were. We had an investigator with us to watch the Sunday
Morning session. It was so great! She really felt the spirit and she was able to see President Monson speak, so that was wonderful. I love the spirit that comes from hearing the prophet speak even if it is being translated in to Japanese. And don't think I am all fluent in Japanese.....  Haha I was following along in English to understand it of course...haha :) But it was a great experience. I loved that the theme of general conference was family and Jesus Christ. Those two things are the most important things in our lives. I felt that they were talking about all the basic things we need to do and believe in order to be happy in this life and the next. It was so focused on doing and being more. I am so grateful for the trust God has in us, His Children, to become more. And I know that through this gospel we can become all God has intended us to become.

It was also so wonderful to see all of the members from the Fujisawa stake! I have served in the  Fujisawa stake for about a year now. :) It is my home away from home. I love these people so much! It was great to be able to see so many of the people I love again! They have all influenced my life so much. So grateful for them! And I am so happy to be able to serve here until the end of my mission. It is such a blessing! :)

This week we had transfers and my new companion Murakami Shimai is the cutest person in the whole world. She is so funny! We do English day and Japanese day so that she can learn English and I can learn Japanese. This week I have learned so much from listening to her when she prays in English. It is so simple and so pure. It is from the heart and she really tries her best. It is the way we should all pray. Simply and from the heart. It is the cutest thing in the whole world! I am so grateful for the chance to be serving with her and learning so much from her!
Today we went to the Tokyo temple. It was my last time on my mission getting to go to the temple.  As I was sitting there, there were about a million things going through my mind and I felt a little stressed out. They were all good things, but just too much. So I said a simple
prayer and before I finished praying it was as if my whole mind was just wiped clean and I felt so much peace. It reminded me of the scripture 2 Nephi 33:1. The spirit can be all around us, but we have to let it INTO our hearts in order to feel it and be changed. I was in
the temple surrounded by peace but it wasn't until I let that peace into my heart that I felt it. It was a good reminder. Sometimes we need to remember that not only do we need to be in good places to feel the spirit but we need our heart to be in a good place as well.

I know that this is the Lords work and he is guiding and blessing us. The gospel is true and I am so grateful for it in my life.

I love you all so much!!

Sister Hannah Ashby

My new district before general conference in the "Easter room" they
had set up for church tours. :) Elder Mitabi is so tiny!! Haha :)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Happy Easter!

Dear Family!

Happy Easter! We had a great Easter Sunday. It was full of happiness, testimonies, and miracles. This week we had some happy days. Today I wanted to share three things that I believe are really important to understand.

1. God wants us to be happy. :) There are so many things that bring me happiness everyday. :) This week was Cherry Blossom week in Japan. Spring is here. Easter time! I was able to go on splits with the Shonan sisters. We had such a good time talking to so many people. But the best part of it was just thinking about all the things during the day that made me happy. And most of it came because of other people. The old man at the food stand that always waves to the missionaries. The jr. High school kids running, but who wanted to stop to say hello.:)  All the thousands of people at the park looking at the Sakura trees and enjoying the weather. God has made us a beautiful world and filled it with so many wonderful people, who just need the gospel in their lives! So happy I get to share it with them.

2. If you seek with real intent you will find. This week after eikaiwa I had the opportunity to testify to one of the elders investigators about finding answers through the words of the prophets. He has a baptismal date, but is still looking for an answer. We talked about general conference coming up, and the power of the words of the prophets. It was a great conversation and the end he committed to pray about his questions and then come to general conference to help him find his answer. The next day I put that to the test for myself, because you can't tell your investigators to do anything your not already doing... So I went to Mission leadership council with questions. (I always do...but this time I really really really prayed about them) And I received answers. To all of them. :) I know that as we seek with real intent the Lord will bless us with answers to all of our questions. And he will do it in his own way. :)

3. The most important thing is to love people, including yourself. :) President Wada has been talking a lot lately about loving ourselves as well as loving others. We have had a lot of missionaries being too hard on themselves I guess. But I know that if we really come to understand our true identity as sons and daughters of God we will learn to love ourselves because of not only who we are but whose we are. :) God loves us, so we need to love ourselves. :)

Well yesterday was the best day ever! We had a less active come to church with her sons!!!! It we way happy! And a huge surprise! We also had a ward prayer meeting for missionary work in the mountains yesterday morning. The spirit was so strong there. I am so So grateful for these wonderful Atsugi ward member.

We have transfers this week. I am staying and my new companion is Sister Murakami! So excited! :)
Thank you for all of the love and prayers! I am praying for you!