Sister Ashlyn Brooke Unbedacht

Sister Ashlyn Brooke Unbedacht

Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30th, 2015 - Hello California!! My first week in the mission field.

Hello from California!!!
This place is HOT! I have been living in 100 degree weather. It's a little crazy! This week was such a great week! It really is so cool being here! I will break down the days and try to update you as best as I can.

Tuesday: This was the day I left the MTC.  I left at 3:30 am and went on a long ride on Trax to the airport. There I was able to call on the phone (which was so awesome to hear from the people I love most!). We were challenged in the MTC to talk to the people we sat by on the plane, so I already knew what I was going to do. Our plane was tiny and it was just 4 people across. 2 and 2 split by the isle. I sat by a 68 year old guy from Oklahoma, going to California for work. He had his head phones in when I sat by him, but I smiled and gave a loud hello. He then pulled out his headphones. That was the start of a 2 hour LONG talk with this man. He told me all about his life, where he was born, his struggles, his family, what he admires, and religion. I listened as he went on and on. He was hilarious, so we were laughing on the plane. He told me how he never talks to people on planes, but he loved talking to me because there was something about me. He had heard about the LDS church. The church building in Oklahoma was actually right down the street. About 20 minutes before the plane landed we talked more about religion. I told him that he should try going to the LDS church sometime and check it out. He smiled at me and thought to himself for a second and said, "You know what.. I think I will!" He then told me how I need to come to Oklahoma sometime and talk with him more. I told him that by the time I visit he better have gone to the church, and he said that he now wants to go this week. I was so happy! When I finally said goodbye and he left, the Elder that was sitting in front of me was saying how he was listening to me the whole time and was so happy I was talking to someone because nobody else on the plane was talking! haha. Once off the plane we were greeted by President and Sister Hobbs. I absolutely adore them! They are AMAZING people! We then drove to the mission office. I was amazed to see what Rancho Cucamonga looked like. It is GORGEOUS! I'm shocked! There's two parts of this mission, the valley and the desert. I was praying I would stay in the valley because it is so beautiful and is a lot greener than the desert! We then did some training and went out and contacted with random Sisters. We met a random lady and set up an appointment for the next day for those sisters! Pretty cool. That night we stayed at the mission home, which is BEAUTIFUL!

Thursday: We were spoiled with a nice breakfast and then went back to the mission office. We then found out who our companions are. My companion is Sister Lambinen! Just wait. It get's better. She is from Finland! So Cool! She is darling. My area is a driving area. Because Sister Lambinen is from Finland, she can't drive here, so that leaves it to me. I drive a cute little Chevy Cruz.  It's great! Driving here is fun, but we like driving to our area and then walking everywhere else.  We got to work right away! We are serving in the VALLEY!  We live like 5 minutes away from the mission office and are in the middle of everything. Our ward is the Victoria ward, which in the past has been one of the hardest wards... they haven't had a lot of success here. So we started out the day visiting less actives. There are a lot here! So that was great! Then we decided to do some contacting. We don't get many referrals so we have to walk around and talk to people or knock on doors. We met a man on the street named sunny. We talked to him about religion for like 20 minutes and shared with him what we believe. He was interested and asked us to come back next Wednesday to teach him more! Then we also met another man and he said the same thing! I guess this hasn't happened in a long time to them here! Then we were fed by the members. We get fed like every night here. Then they send us home with TONS of food! oh no.. haha. 
Sister Lambinen and I 

Friday: All morning we did weekly planning, which took forever! We finally got out of the house and didn't have  any appointments set up, so that meant it was time to walk. We walked, and walked, and walked in 97 degree weather. Then Sister Lambinen and I both felt like we needed to go to this specific house. We walked up and nobody answered, but we felt like we needed to stay and wait, so we did. A few minutes later a 16 year old girl named Sarah came to the door. She talked to us and listened (which doesn't normally happen with younger people). She was very interested and asked if we could come back next week, so we set up an appointment. Such a miracle to have met her, we were so happy we stayed on the door step and waited. Then we also met a lady who wanted us to come back as well. I guess all of this is amazing according to Sister Lampinen because they never have this happen here. Kind of cool.. right? We made a goal to talk to everyone and It seems like it's working! We have met some pretty interesting people but also some that are just so cool! 

Saturday: This was a great day! We had a few appointments with less active members and then did more finding. This area needs some help, so we are starting from scratch and trying to find new investigators just because we didn't have any in the first place. The General Womens conference was amazing! I loved all the messages about protecting the family. Family is key to the Lord's plan! It's where everything starts! That's why it's so important we guard it. So thank you for all the examples I have that do just that. You are all such wonderful examples to the world. Saturday night was the first time I experienced a door being slammed in my face. It was great! You just have to shake it off and remember why you are a missionary. Also, I saw a Coyote! It ran in front of the car and It made me so happy! I'm telling you, this place is great! 

Sunday: Going to church was awesome! The members are very kind and very welcoming to me. After church we do what we do everyday, talk to everyone and teach. We visited one of the investigators that the the previous Sister missionaries had an appointment with and then set up more appointments. This week we will be BUSY!  Something funny for the day. We went to a random house and started talking to this man, he shared how he was not interested, so I asked him if he knew anyone that needed to hear a message about Christ. He pointed to two of his Neighbors. We went to follow up on the referrals and both of the neighbors were grumpy old ladies who did not like missionaries at all! Turns out to be that guy just really didn't like those ladies, so he sent us to them! People love referring us to their neighbors! haha. Seriously though. I love the people here. They are so cool! We have had a lot of laughs because of them.

Now just some random thoughts. Being companions with Sister Lambinen is awesome! Nobody can pronounce our last names! Then when they see Sister in front of the last name, they just die! It's almost a blessing that our names are so hard though. We have started many great conversations because of them, and people are more willing to talk to us. We laugh like all the time here. Being a missionary is hard, but also so fun! I have met A LOT of great people! The missionaries in my zone are really amazing people. I'm just surrounded by great examples! Being out here has made me realize just how blessed I am! I am so lucky to live where I live and experience everything I have experienced. I just can't even believe it.
Rancho Cucamonga, California

My testimony of Jesus Christ and this gospel has grown so much in this one week. I always knew the church was true, but I never thought much more about it. The knowledge I had just became something that was apart of me and I didn't do much about it. Being here has made me realize how important the message I have about the gospel is. I love sharing it with others! Honestly, I think my mission is changing me faster than I thought it would. Things finally makes sense that never did. It's incredible! The church really is true. Joseph Smith really did translate the book of Mormon by the power of God. I can't even express my love for the Book Of Mormon. It is one amazing book and I'm so grateful for it. I am grateful that I'm serving in Rancho Cucamonga California. This place is amazing and I know I'm supposed to be serving here at this time. No new updates on the Visa, but that's okay because I'm enjoying my time here. As long as I'm serving the Lord I don't care where I am! I love you all and I'm so grateful for you all! Keep smiling! Also, happy Easter! Everyone should get onto and look up the Because He Lives video. It's an amazing video! Share it with everyone! Thank you for the support, I feel all your prayers! 
Until next week!
Sister Umbrella (what I was called last night by this random lady we met haha). 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

March 23, 2015 - Leaving for Rancho Cucamonga tomorrow.

Wow! I can't believe that I leave the MTC TOMORROW! These last few weeks have flown by and now I'm leaving. This will be short, but I just want to express some of my feelings at this time. First of all, the MTC really is a wonderful place. Yes, I am sick of the food, BUT the spirit is so strong here. I have learned more things here than I have in my entire life about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One experience that I want to share is when we skyped last Friday for TRC. This time Sister Bredthauer and I got to skype a family. The family lived in São Paulo Brasil. They are all members of the church and the family had the mom, a 16 year old boy, a 14 year old girl and a 5 year old boy. They were so friendly and amazing right from the beginning. We taught them about having more faith in Christ and how we can do that. We were given the spirit and were able to communicate with them. This was such a sweet experience for us. We bore testimony of why we are on a mission and the love we have for our Savior. The mother and 16 year old boy started crying when we finished our testimonies. The mother told us how it was exactly what they needed to hear at that time and went off about something we didn't even think we taught. They all bore their testimonies to us and shared their love for the Gospel. This experience helped me remember why I am here. That experience will forever be with me because of the love I felt for this family I had just met. I am so grateful for the spirit. I may not know the language, but as long as I can invite the spirit and help the investigator know of God's love for them, I know the spirit will teach them what they need to know or hear. 

I have said this almost every week, but I love being a missionary. I am so excited to leave to California tomorrow and serve the people in Racho Cucamonga. I have felt this love for the people there and also in Fortaleza. I don't have my visa yet, and I might not get it, but I want everyone to know that I know I'm supposed to be in California at this time, and I am SO excited! As long as I'm helping people come unto Christ, I don't really care where it is! 
I love you all and I thank you for your prayers! I can feel them! 

Sister Unbedacht

March 18, 2015 - Dear Sister Unbedacht .......

Dear Sister Unbedacht, You will be serving a temporary assignment in the CALIFORNIA RANCHO CUCAMONGA MISSION!!!!!!!!! I'm going to DISNEYLAND!!!!!!!

 I know nothing about my mission, but there are 4 people coming with me from my MTC district. I am so excited!   So let's see.... my flight leaves at 8:36 am on Tuesday march 24th!!! 

March 17, 2015 - Elder Quentin L. Cook speaks to us

Hello Family and Friends! 

This is my last week here at the MTC. I won't lie, I'm a little sad to be leaving soon because I've learned so much here and have met so many wonderful people. It is such a cool place! Yes, I bet it isn't as great as being in the field, but it is awesome! This week was a very wonderful one, so hopefully I can share some of what happened in the time I have! First of all.. I was right! Last Tuesday night we had a apostle come! Quentin L. Cook came and spoke to us. Such a cool experience! I was like 5 feet away from him sitting on the second row. He just has the strongest spirit and you could feel it in the room. He taught about our purpose as missionaries and how we need to have faith in what we are doing. Something he quoted from President Hinckley was, "If I have more faith, I will have more success". I love this quote! The more faith we have the better we will be in life. Then he talked about the church and how it is the Lord who is guiding it and as long as we are trying our best we are doing what the Lord wants us to do. I absolutely loved hearing from him!

Wednesday was awesome because Sister McBride arrived in the MTC! It was so fun to see her! I was hoping I could sneak in and see her family but when I saw her they had already left! 
Sister McBride and I

Friday Sister Bredthauer and I had the opportunity to skype a boy living in Brasil.  His name is Darwin and he is living in Porto Alegre. He was so fun to talk to! He is a member so we just talked to him and taught him about becoming more Christ-like. We should all be working on this everyday. It is so important that we try to become like the Savior and follow his example. He is the BEST and PERFECT example and so when we follow his ways we are so blessed. It was awesome to skype someone actually in Brasil. His windows were open in the back of his apartment and he said it was so hot! And we could understand this. Still blows my mind I am understanding and speaking Portuguese!

This week we have talked a lot about enduring to the end.  It would be so easy to slack off the last week of the MTC here because so much goes on, but we as a District and as a personal goal are going to push ourselves a little harder and keep learning. We studied the last week of Christ and how that was one of his busiest weeks and yet he taught so many people and still was helping others. We also talked about the importance of enduring to the end. God is consistent. That is why we need to endure to the end because we are trying to be like God, so we must try to be consistent. When we are enduring to the end we are doing God's will and consistently trying to do better and keep our standards. Just a little though. Also, if things are hard at any time or if you want any lift for the day read Mosiah 24:15. God will ease our burdens and he wants to, we just need to ask for his help. It's interesting how that is. We have our agency and because of that God won't force us to feel his love, but when we want it he is more than willing to show his love and give us the help we need.

Sunday was a spiritually uplifting day.  Sister Bredthauer and I were called as Zone Sister Training Leaders. We will only have this calling for a week, but we are just to help all the sisters and to uplift others. Apart of this calling we are the ones to do things for the front office when it has to do with our zone. With that, we received a cell phone! This cell phone is a special one.. it is a BRICK! haha. The only things we can do on it is call the front desk, receive calls, and take pictures... which we can't even see. it's really funny to have it because it randomly will vibrate on us and so I think I'm going to pull out my Iphone and have a text from someone and it's just the front desk asking for someone in our zone, haha. Sunday we had the privileged to hear from Sister Jean Stevens, the first counselor in the Primary. She was amazing! I love Relief Society here because we have the best speakers. Sadly they are changing it and making it so Relief Society is in small groups and the Zone Sister Training Leaders have to teach it, so I will be teaching next week. Sister Stevens talked about how precious and special the gift of the Gospel is. We are so lucky to know the true and FULL gospel. Her talk made me think of how I can be a little better each day. How can I be a little better and being on the Lords errand. I want to challenge everyone to try to think that each day. Ask God to help you realize who's life you need to bless each day. I promise he will help you know who you could help and what you can do better.  Our temple walk was amazing because it was BEAUTIFUL outside.  It is always nice to get out!
Sister Bredthauer and I 

Monday was such a blessing. Sister Bredthauer and I taught Paulo (the less active member). We taught him last week about the Word of Wisdom because he was having some problems. He told us how he didn't keep his promise and we weren't sure what we should teach about because our lesson would not help him at all. We bore testimony of God's love for him and that God wants him to feel worthy and be worthy to receive his blessings of the Atonement. The spirit was so strong in that lesson and it actually felt like we were really teaching someone like we would in the field. After our lesson we went outside and we were blown away on how beautiful it was.  It was perfect weather, so we studied outside and guess who I saw... Kai! (I think that's how you spell it!) It was so nice to see him and welcome him somewhat to our family! I am so excited for Jadrie! It was awesome to talk to someone from outside of the MTC that I knew!

Today has been the best day so far of this week.. why? This morning I finished the Book of Mormon! The first week we arrived here one of the members of our branch presidency challenged me to read the whole Book of Mormon while being here in the MTC. I extended this challenge to my district. We started February 13th. I read it during any breaks I had and during some personal study time. Today I can testify of the truth that is in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon really is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. All of it is Testifying of his love and his ministry. I want to challenge everyone to read Moroni 10:3-5 and take the challenge in there. Read the book of mormon again, study it, and then ponder about it and ask if it is not true. I promise that you will feel by the spirit that it is true. The book was written to us in these days and it was translated by Joseph Smith by the power of God. It is such an amazing book!

I absolutely love being a missionary! It is an honor! Everyday I get to represent the Lord and help others come unto Christ.  What an amazing experience I get to have! 
I love you all and I'm so grateful for the example you have been in my life.  To my family: You are the BEST! I was reading your testimonies in the book mom gave me. All of you have such strong testimonies and because of you I am where I am today. I just couldn't be any more grateful. 
I will update you all tomorrow (maybe Thursday) on where I will be reassigned! 
Have a wonderful week and remember... JESUS LOVES YOU!

Sister Unbedacht!

Friday, March 27, 2015

March 10, 2015 - A Mouse!! A Bat!! All kinds of little creatures here at the MTC

Oi Family and Friends! 

I hope everything is going well and that things are better than ever!  This week was a great one! A lot has happened. Last Tuesday after emailing we went to the temple and had the opportunity to do temple sealing's for daughters. Such an amazing experience! I really loved doing them! Tuesday night we had a devotional that was very good (no general authorities yet, hopefully tonight!) 

On Wednesday our branch got a new District, 7 sisters and 3 elders.  The MTC thinks that in the next few weeks the percentage of Sisters to Elders will be 50% to 50%.  I'm so happy to see so many sisters coming out to serve the lord.

 On Friday we did our last in Person TRC.  We taught 2 girls who served in Portugal on their mission. It was hard to understand them.. when they spoke Portuguese it didn't sound like words but just a slur. I'm grateful I'm speaking Brazilian Portuguese!! (No offense). We taught about the Holy Ghost and how we can be close to him. We felt like it went well! For the Next 2 weeks we will skype Brazilians for TRC!

Saturday we taught our investigators Paulo and Leila In our lesson.  With Leila we felt really good becasue she had a question for us that was on topic with what we felt we should teach but we felt like we were able to teach by the spirit and were directed to teach something else. It is so awesome to be able to search things and understand what is going on in the Portuguese scriptures! Saturday night was interesting. We went to bed on time and around 12 o'clock we were woken up with screaming. We all jumped out of bed wondering who it was because it sounded like someone was in huge trouble. My companion was out of bed faster than I was and then I hear another scream and it was a sister saying "A MOUSE, A MOUSE!!!!" We started laughing, but we went out of the room and couldn't find the mouse again, so basically  there is a mouse hanging out on our floor. It was so funny!  Also, the MTC is becoming a place for creatures, I guess.. During Relief Society on Sunday there was a BAT flying around the gym. I have no idea how it got in there. It was so weird. Strange things happen here everyday!

Saturday during class our teaching Irmao Henry Challenged us to have a question and pray to receive an answer on sunday. I had one about faith and I was really hoping that my question would be answered. Sunday during relief society the whole lesson was on faith and directed perfectly towards my question. It's so cool how the Lord is always willing to answer our questions when we ask him. Sunday was just perfect though! It was a beautiful day for a temple walk. We were all so happy getting out, even though we LOVE it here... Sometimes.

Monday my favorite District left to their reassignments. So sad that I'm meeting all of these people and we all have to leave each other, but it's cool because most of the Sisters are planning to go to BYU, so I'll see them after. I can't wait! Also, on Monday we had an English Fast. We didn't talk in English all day! It was really hard but I found out that my Portuguese is better than I thought! We could actually have conversations in portuguese that were not only Gospel related! The gift of tongues is real and so amazing!

I find out where I will be reassigned next week. I can't wait to hear were the Lord wants me to serve before I go to Brasil. We are all so excited and I'll make sure we record it so you can all see my excitement when I'm called to Idaho!! haha that's the joke here right now, but  I will serve wherever the Lord calls me!

Right now I am in Helaman in O Livro De Mormon. The book of Mormon is so amazing! Continue reading it. I have learned more than I ever thought I could from it and it just amazes me.  My testimony has grown so much here of the Savior and the Holy Ghost. I am so grateful for all the knowledge I've already gained here.

I'm so grateful to be a missionary! Continue to grow your faith in Christ. He really does love each and everyone of you. I know it. As a missionary you can just feel the love Christ has for everyone. It's incredible! Something I've learned here is how important the Holy Ghost is in our lives. He is the way God communicates with us. I never realized this until being here. It is amazing! That's seriously the only words I have for my experience at the MTC. HARD, but AMAZING. 
Love you all so much! 

Sister Unbe

March 3, 2015 - What do you think Christ was feeling?

Hello Family and Friends,

 I'm halfway done with being in the MTC! Thank goodness! I am a little tired of sitting in the same classroom each day, but I'm going to miss it though. We are so spoiled here, so very lucky!
This week was a great one, so much happened. Last Tuesday after emailing, we went and did a session at the temple and it was just the best! It felt so nice to be back at the temple.

On wednesday some of us were having a harder time with the language and our purpose being here on a mission, but then our teacher Irmao Henry taught us something amazing. He asked us the question, what do you think Christ was feeling as he was performing the Atonement? We all sat there not knowing.. we thought sad, hurt, in pain. Then he pulled out Matthew 26:57-67.  He talked about how even though Christ just finished suffering for all mankind and our sins in Gethsemane and being separated from God and having a spiritual death and after being betrayed and mocked by the people who were going to crucify him, he still had love for them and was atoning for their sins at that moment. I've never felt the spirit so strong as I did at that moment. Some of Christ's last words were asking God to forgive the people that crucified him. Christ had so much love even for those people. He related this to us missionaries on how we will be hurt and others will probably mock us at times, but we can follow the Savior and still love them. What a powerful message!

Friday was a big day for us. It was our first TRC.  TRC is where we teach volunteers who are usually members about a spiritual topic and try to see what they need help with. Sister Bredthauer and I taught 2 people about how to be better at having Christ-like attributes. We taught a boy who was really getting baptized the NEXT day! How cool is that! He is from Sao Paulo and was so nice! He said he needed to work on humility, so that's what we focused on and his faith in Christ. After that we taught a woman from Fortaleza who wanted to work on having more patience, so we turned in the scriptures and had a lesson with her on patience. The best part... THIS WAS ALL IN PORTUGUESE! So crazy! The Lord seriously has blessed me with learning this language. I'm not that good at it, but for being here for 3 weeks I'm just amazed at all I've learned.

Random update. Yesterday at gym we all weighed ourselves. Keep in mind that we receive treats like everyday here! You would think that we would have all gained like 10 pounds by now. I'm happy to say that I weigh the exact same! YAY! I don't know how!

Fast Sunday was awesome here! We had sacrament and then went to a 2 hour mission conference where we were taught so much! Then to leadership meeting, district meeting, our temple walk,  2 hours of free time,  dinner and then to Sunday night devotional. At the devotional we learned about becoming a Doer and also having Exact obedience. This is the goal of our branch is to have that EXACT obedience. We have already been blessed by having this exact obedience. It's cool when you stop focusing on all you can't do, but focus on what you can do here on a mission! That's when the blessings come!

The Portuguese is going well! I love singing Hymns in Portuguese and also just listening to it! It is beautiful!

My companion and my district are just awesome! We have all become like a family! My branch is amazing as well! I have met some of the best people that I hope I can reconnect with when I get home. Some of the people I've come to know the best, left this week. They were reassigned to Oregon, New York and Vegas. Those are awesome places! I will find out where I'll be reassigned to in like 2 weeks.  I can't wait to find out! Visa's are finally moving along, but we are almost positive they won't have ours by the time we leave, but that's okay, we get two missions instead! Not everyone get's to do that.
Let's see.. an update on our investigators. One has agreed to be baptized! After like 3 lessons I guess the spirit touched her enough. Our other investigator has been a little more difficult, but it's still going well.  I love teaching! It is such an awesome experience! I can't wait till they are real investigators. 
That's all the updates I have for this week. Things are still good here. Each day I find myself more and more amazed at the things I am experiencing and how I am growing. I know for a fact that our Savior loves us so much and that we are children of God. I know that if we are worthy and desire to have the Holy Ghost with us then we can, which is such an amazing blessing. Being a missionary has blessed my life so much. It's hard here, but I am experiencing things I can only experience on a mission. I'm being humbled everyday and learning new things. It's great! 
Keep Smiling and don't forget that Jesus Loves YOU!
I love you all!

Sister Unbedacht 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

February 24, 2015

Hello Family and Friends! 

I hope all is well.  Things here at the MTC are still wonderful and crazy! I will try my best to give a description of how it's been here! This week was a big one! We finished meeting with our first investigator. Sister Bredthauer and I had a great lesson! We feel better with the language this week. The key word is BETTER. haha. Portuguese isn't easy, but I LOVE speaking it! It is the language we will definitely be speaking up in Heaven, so it's good I'm learning it now. I'm finally adjusting to the MTC. I absolutely adore the Sisters in my district. They are the best girls ever! My district is just awesome! We all get along so well and all want the best for each other. They call my companion and I Sister Ale Moa's.. which means Sister German because we both have German Names. 
Ashlyn with Sisters in her district

This week was all over the place, so I'm sure it will reflect in my email. Let's start out with the things we did in class. We received 2 new investigators, Paulo and Leila. Paulo is actually a less active member. They are both very awesome though! We got lucky! When we teach we definitely have broken Portuguese, but the Lord provides a way for us to be able to communicate with our investigators. 

We had the pleasure of having Sister Reeves the 2nd counselor of the relief society speak to us. She spoke about loving our converts and being able to continue having them come unto Christ. We also heard from Sister Lindahl (I don't really know who she is), but she spoke on listening to the Spirit instead of the adversary. She talked about how loved we are and challenged us to leave all regrets, doubts and fears and use the atonement of Christ to never look back and continue coming unto Christ. It was so good and motivational! 

In class on Monday we went "Street Contacting" with a class that has been here for 4 weeks. It was a little terrifying... my Portuguese compared to theirs isn't very good, but it's coming along. I heard this quote this week that has really helped me with the language and everything else, "As long as I'm trying my best, the Lord will provide the rest". It's so true! The lord loves us so much and wants to help us but we first have to try and put in effort. Something that really hit me yesterday is that I get to wear Jesus Cristo name over my heart EVERYDAY. I get to represent him and be a tool in his hands. It's amazing! I am so honored to have this privilege and I'm trying to do my best at it! The spirit here is still so strong and even though at moments it's tough to be away from home (VALE A PENA), that has become our motto here. Vale a Pena means, 'IT IS WORTH IT' in Portuguese. It is so worth it being here. I have never learned so much about my savior and I'm so excited to teach real investigators and do the Lords work in Brasil or where ever I am reassigned to! The Lord loves all of his Children and I get to feel that love! It's so cool! 

Now let's talk about some of the funny moments here. Sister Bredhauer was sick on Wednesday (which is not funny), but she was so homesick and throwing up, so we got to be excused from class and go back to the residence hall where she slept for a while. Later on in the day she just needed a pick me up. We were trying to make her laugh, but it wasn't working. When we went to dinner the Ashlyn side came out of me. She was sitting right by me and as I was grabbing my water it slipped out of my hand and went all over her! That I guess did it! She was laughing for like ten minutes! I guess my clumsiness is good here! Let's see.. We found a spot on the 5th floor in my building that shows BYU campus. I never thought I would be so happy to see the campus! I was almost in tears looking at it... WEIRD! haha. But it is the most beautiful view! One night it snowed and all of the people who haven't seen the snow before were freaking out! It was so cute! I sleep great here and I wake up thinking about Portuguese. Time here is crazy. A day feels like a week but a week feels like a day. I really enjoy it! Sister Runnells left this week to Argentina. I loved being able to see her all the time here! How wonderful is it that I have girl friends that are all around the world and I get to join them!!
Sister Runnells and I

Being a missionary is seriously a blessing. My life is so different here (I laugh at every Best two Years jokes), but it is seriously worth it. If you're thinking about serving a mission.. DO IT. You won't regret it even though it is hard. 

I hope this week is a wonderful week! Remember that God loves you and wants you to be happy! Come to know Jesus Christ a little better this week and strive to do a little better! I love you all and I'm still so overwhelmed by the support I've had! Ps. Family besides mom and Jaz. WRITE ME! I want to here everything! 



February 17, 2015 - First week in the MTC

Oi from the Provo MTC!!!!

Wow, it is so weird to be on a computer emailing people! So awesome! There's so much to share, but limited time and so forgive me if this is all over the place. 

Ashlyn and Sister Runnells
Let's start from the beginning. Wednesday, February 11th, I entered the MTC. Hermana Runnells was with me for a little while which was very nice. I was trying to hold back the tears the whole time but she helped with that! We dropped off my things in the residence hall and went straight to the classroom where we sat for three hours listening to Irmao Read (our teacher) talk in Portuguese. I understood like half of it, but I was so stressed! There, I met my companion and also the other sisters in the district. My companion is Sister Bredthauer. She is from Kaysville and is awesome! She is quiet, but hilarious. We love to joke around and laugh. We are complete opposites, but we work so well together. The other sisters are Sister Nielson (the one we saw earlier at the temple) and Sister Andrews. She is very similar to me. She is awesome! The sisters here are so close and we love all being with each other. Now the elders in my district... they are so fun and hard working! I really enjoy all of them. We all support each other and cheer each other on when it comes to lessons.
Ashlyn w/ Sister Bredthauer, Sister Nielson & Sister Andrews

Every day since Wednesday we have spent about 10 hours in class, mostly studying the language, and the rest of the time eating or sleeping or going to the gym. It's fun, but very hard! I've never been so busy in my life. The language is coming along. We have taught three lessons to our investigator Anderson and I can now understand everything he is saying to us. I just have a hard time saying what I want to say back. We are very simple here and teach the most basic things. I can now pray pretty well and also bear my testimony. We have taught about how families can be together forever, the Word of Wisdom, the Book of Mormon and other things. Tomorrow we are asking him to come to church with us and also explaining baptism. It's fun teaching, but also a little stressful because I can't say everything I want to say! I can speak and make simple phrases. 

I've learned more here in one day than I did all in seminary. Knowing Spanish has been a huge help though. I am able to use that knowledge and understand things and then guess certain words. On Thursday we had a meeting with the Branch Presidency. They interviewed all of us and picked a district leader and a sister training leader. I am now the Sister Training Leader for our District, but all I do is go to more meetings and do more things with the President, which is cool! Our president is President Jackson who is one inspired man! He is the best!

Ashlyn with her district

Sunday was a little different. We went to sacrament, which is all of our zone. People are randomly called up to share a talk in Portuguese. I wasn't called up, thank goodness, but it was a wonderful meeting! The Portuguese language is beautiful! After that we went to relief society with a HUGE group of sisters and it was amazing! I can't remember who spoke, but it was an older lady. We also got to listen to music and The Spoken Word. 

At night we had a night devotional which was by Brother Allen who helps create all the films and movies for the church. He talked about loving our companions and trusting in God. After that was movie time! We get to pick which film we want to watch so we watched Characters of Christ, which is a talk by President Bednar that he gave to the MTC a few Christmases back. It was amazing! It was about Christ's attributes and how He always turned outwards to help others. We have to do that. The work isn't about us but about God and Christ. He talked about how we all need to be converted into the church and not just have a testimony, but to know without a doubt and act on the feelings that the church is true. 

We are taught many inspirational things here. I love it! It's the best feeling to be in a holy place where everyone is trying to do their best. I have felt the Spirit so often and have been able to learn more. It's wonderful! On the other side, it's also very hard! This week felt like years!!! We are all a little homesick, but we try our hardest to cope with it. We are constantly praying that we can have the Spirit with us and that we can be the best missionaries we can be, which isn't always easy. Sunday afternoon we got to walk outside of the prison gates! (That's the joke here.) It was so nice to walk around the temple. I loved it! 

Thank you everyone for your support. I feel so loved here! The elders always make jokes about how many letters and packages I have received. It has helped so much to hear so many kind things from you guys! 

This letter says a lot of how hard it is, but I want to tell that it is also so rewarding here. The sisters in my district have become some of my really good friends (so fast because I'm with them ALL DAY LONG). It's great! I have already seen blessings and have felt the spirit more than ever. We also laugh here very often! It's awesome because in my district there are people from Arizona, Texas and Georgia so we get a different perspective of things. We have tons of inside jokes and most of them are about the language and the funny mistakes we make. It's awesome!

I don't have much more to say besides that I love you all and that I hope to hear from you guys again soon! 


Sister Unbedacht