Monday, January 26, 2015

"I know my savior loves me"

Dear family,

This week has been so amazing. For sure on of the best weeks since coming to the Hodogaya Area. We saw so many miracles and people changing and progressing. We had interviews with President Wada, Zone
meeting, lessons, less active lessons, made cookies and banana bread,  went to primary, had dinners with members, set some great goals, gave  a church tour, talked to people, rode our bikes up and down hills to visit  referrals, and just had a great week!

We worked hard this week and we saw a lot of miracles. I feel like my desire to share the gospel just keeps to continues to grow and grow every week I am here. :)

We have been working with a lot of less actives in this Ward and it has been great to see some progress with some of them. On Sunday one came to church and it was a great experience. She also has been sharing the gospel with her friend. It is a great experience to see her change as she is invited to do so.

Another less active member we have been teaching has finally made some progress. It has been a long process to help her understand the gospel more, but she is finally starting to grasp it. We have been teaching her the Restoration (lesson 1) for the past month. Teaching her piece by piece and helping her understand all of the doctrine. It has been a really great experiment though, to really teach to her needs. She had never prayed before about Joseph Smiths experience, but this past week she told us that she prayed about it and she feels it is true. It is great to see her faith growing. Also, her work schedule is changing so she will be able to come to church soon. She is really excited. Her desire has increased so much and it has really been a testimony builder to me, that as we really teach to people's needs and their understanding, they will change and progress. We all change at our own pace and the spirit speaks to us all in different ways, but the gospel is for everyone. :)

We have been working with two sisters who are 8 and 10 years old. They come to church almost every week and love it. The other day we were able to teach them the "prayer sandwich" and oh did they love it!!! They love praying! Their enthusiasm for prayer has really strengthen my desire to pray from the heart. They are so cute and we love going
to primary with them. Yesterday the primary sang, "I know my savior loves me" and it was so cute to watch them sing. I love that song!! And I love it in Japanese!! So great.

Well I love my mission so much! I got a blessing from President Wada this week while at interviews and in it he told me so much that I needed to hear. But one thing what stuck out a lot was he said that as I work hard for these last 4 months of my mission and give my all to the Lord, I will receive more blessings then I have yet received serving my whole mission. I know that what is said is true, but I don't know how I can receive more. I have already been blessed so much, but I know that as I trust Gods promise and do my very best I will be amazed at the blessings in my life.

God is Good. :)

I love you all!!

Sister Ashby

Monday, January 19, 2015

Goodness is so Good

Dear family,

This week has been so much fun! I don't really feel like I have much to say. (Which is weird because I have a lot to say....) Haha :) But I will keep this one short. 3 things I learned this week.

1. The Spirit resides in clean tabernacles. :) This week we did deep cleaning in the apartment. It was a Mission wide cleaning week. We had to literally clean the whole apartment. But it was the best thing ever! I love cleaning. :) But it really feels good to be clean. And to reside in a clean place. I think that is the same not only for our houses but for our spirits as well. When we are clean and pure in mind and deed our spirits feel better residing in our bodies. They feel at
home and comfortable. It is so important to always strive to be clean and pure in all that we do. It creates a peace in our hearts that can only be felt because of that. I want to always strive to not only keep my apartment/house clean so the spirit can be there, but to also keep myself clean so that spirit can always reside in me. Always. :) That is the key. :) so grateful for the Atonement and the Sacrament. :)

2. When you work really really hard it feels so good. Okay so I have known this for a long time and it happens a lot, but this week we had a day where we set higher goals and worked even harder to reach those goals and it felt so good! We had to go to the hospital (by hospital I mean doctor, but in Japan it is all the same. Japanese people go to the "hospital" when they have a cold.....haha) this week because my companion needed her ear checked. We had a lot of travel we had to do there and back and we set high goals to talk to people and give out
Book of Mormons. We didn't reach our goals perfectly but we for sure went way beyond what we would've done had we set those goals. I love that principle. Shoot high and so if you do fall short you won't be disappointed. It was a faith builder that God helps good things come to
those who are looking for it. :) and we were looking for it. We found a new really great potential investigator and saw some other really cool miracles. :) happy day! Oh and Japanese hospitals are really funny and they are so kind of foreigners. They try so hard to speak English, but they just end up saying all the words you know in Japanese in English. It is the best! :)

3. Prayer is really a key to happiness. When you really communicate with God from the heart your soul can feel a peace that comes in no other way. :) I know God hears all of our prayers. He loves us and wants to Communicate with us. So talk to him. :)

This week was full of a lot of goodness and miracles. And laughter. I mean life has to be funny as well right? But the most important thing that happened this week was the spirit was felt and love was shown. The spirit and love always coexist. You can't have one without the
other. :) Because God is Love.

Have a great week my dears! I love you so much!


Monday, January 12, 2015

"Do as I am doing. Follow, follow me!"

Dearest Family,

The Primary song "Do as I am doing!" Is an inspired song. :) It is what Christ teaches us to do.  This song pretty much sums up what I was reminded of this week. A lesson I have learned in so many ways on my mission, but this week everything just made sense and came together. So much has happened. So many miracles have occurred and I am just left amazed at how the Lord never cease to bless his children as they, "do as he is doing", and "follow Him". I love the out pour of blessings we receive when we follow the Savior.

All this weeks miracles seemed to take place outside of the current area I am working in, but I know they all actually had a lot of influence on the people we are working with. :)

Where to start.... Last week we got a call really really really late at night. Like 10:28pm late......Haha :) it was from the Elders in my Old area (Fujisawa) and this is what they said, "Sister Ashby! E-san is getting Baptised!! He just emailed us and said he wants to get Baptised!" And they was the length of our conversation. I just hung up the phone and practically screamed I was so happy. Long long long (like 20+ years long) story. I don't know if you remember, but a a month or so ago I shared a story with you about e-san. He was the investgators I talked to at stake conference and talked to him about
baptism. So much has happened to him over a period of 20+ years, but after a long time of faith building and miracles he decided to put his trust in the Lord, follow His example, and do what he knew he needed to do. He was Baptised on Saturday January 10th. And it was the
biggest miracles I have ever seen in my life. When I very I first met E-san he was a very different man, but because of Jesus Christ's example he was able to change and now he is a Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and so full of peace. There is so
much I want to tell you about this amazing miracle!! He asked me to speak at his baptism and it was the most humbling experience. The Spirit was so strong. I was back in the Fujisawa Ward building, surrounded by so many people that I love and who have changed my life
in So many ways. The feeling in that room was one I would never be able to describe. It was beauty and the spirit in its finest. It was the feeling that makes you say, "this is why we are here  on the earth. This is what LIFE is all about." It was love, peace, joy, hope, faith and everything thing that makes your heart burst and feel as though it can't handle anything else. It was just a foretaste of what I know heaven will be like. It was so Happy! And I felt so blessed to
be a part of it.

Sorry this is all out of chronological order but..... ;) Haha

Thursday we had MLC in Kichijoji. It was amazing. They talked a lot about repentance and working with Ward members. We also talked about "digital mission" which is how we are going to help members to missionary work online. Speaking of..... Here is your commitment for
the week. If you haven't not already, 1. Make a profile account and link it to your Facebook. 2. Go like and/rate all of the church apps on your App Store. Give it 5 stars and a review! :) please do this! You would be amazed at how much of an impact it could have on
the world and social media if every member of the church did this. :) お願いします。Anyway, MLC was amazing. After learning all of these amazing things and got to go to Kamakura to go on splits with Sister Matsusaka. We saw so many miracles. If you pray for miracles to happen, they happen. I prayed so hard these past few days for miracles and they have just been happening left and right. :) It is amazing. I think I have just been rambling now..... Haha :) We talked to some amazing people, and gave out some copies of The Book of Mormon. What a
great day!

On a fun note.... This week we had the Mochitsuki! Pounding rice into
mochi. Which I don't know how to describe. But it is SO good! I love Japan and their traditional food. :)

What more could you ask for in life then to love where you are and the people you are with. And I do! :) have a great week! You are wonderful people.

Transfer calls came and guess what?!? I am staying in Hodogaya and Sister Brox is my companion AGAIN! Yeah!!  :) so excited!

Sister Hannah Ashby

Monday, January 5, 2015

Mochi, Sparkling cider, Apple pie, snow, and everything else that makes New Years=Happiness.

Dear Family,

New Year! It is 2015!! What? Time goes by so fast!! We had such a great week this week and ate WAY too much food. But that is what New Years is for right? Setting goals to lose weight and not eat after New years....hahah ;)
This week we saw a lot of really cool miracles and happy times. We ate dinner with a lot of members because in Japan New Years is the biggest holiday of the year! There are decorations on every door, people buying and making tons of food, and it is family time! It is actually a wonderful holiday and they have some fun traditions.

New years eve was a lot of fun. We went over to a members for lunch and ate the most delicious food. They gave us Sparkling Cider from Costco, pizza, and Apple pie on top of all of the tradition Japanese food! haha it was SO much food! While we were riding back home from the lunch we rode by this house and heard a "thud, thud, thud" My instant thought was, "Mochi!" Which is pounded rice and they always make it during New Years. So i turned to my companions and said "Do you want to see mochi being made?" They were like "why not?" So we went back.... and they told us to come on over and see. We were able to talk with them for a long time. THEY WERE THE NICEST PEOPLE EVER! They let us try the mochi and took a picture of us. We were also able to tell them a lot about the church and who we were as missionaries. They loved it and we were able to invite them to come to church. They said they would try, so I hope they do one day!!! haha :) They were so kind. The spirit works in mysterious ways. Even through sticky mochi! Haha :)

On New years day it snowed for the first time this year! Not much.... just a little but it was so magical!Yesterday was such an amazing Sunday. Church was exactly what I needed. It is amazing how much you can get out of Church when you are prepared to receive revelation. I know that God loves us and will help us whenever we ask. "Ask and ye shall receive." I know it is true. I have ask a lot this week and I have received more than I asked for. I love my Heavenly father so much!
I love you all!

Have a great Week!

Love,Sister Ashby