Sister Ashlyn Brooke Unbedacht

Sister Ashlyn Brooke Unbedacht

Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27th, 2015 - I Love Serving in Rancho Cucamonga!!

Hello Everyone! I hope your week has been a wonderful week! I know a lot of you finished up the semester at college and it's now summer. Congratulations! I hope finals went well and all is well!
This past week was slow, but it was great in Rancho Cucamonga. We had Zone Conference this week, so that took up a lot of time. We were filled with so many inspired words that I know it will help our efforts here when we apply the things we've learned! 

We did a lot of finding this week, which consists of walking around and talking to everyone we see and also knocking on a lot of doors. I'll try to just give all the highlights of the week. After I emailed last week we had our Zone activity for the P-day. We went to a members house who once again fed all of us and we played sports at his house. This Zone is great! I'm sad that transfers are next week so many of them might be leaving! Sister Lampinen and I don't think either one of us will be transferred, but you never know. Can I just say that the ward I'm in is amazing! The members here are so cool! They are all so supportive of the missionaries and are all doing their own missionary work in the ward to help us out. We have meals with the members pretty much every night and some come with us to our lessons. I really love the ward I'm in!

Wednesday was one of the best days of last week. Wednesday was exchanges, so I was with Sister Johnson, the Sister Training Leader. We were in my ward still and we had a great day planned out. We met with our investigators in the morning  and had a good lesson with him about the Plan of Salvation. He still has many questions because he is trying to think too much about it instead of feeling the spirit, but having Sister Johnson there was really good because he wasn't talking as much.  After that we taught a less active and that was a very wonderful lesson because the spirit was there. As I've said before, the lessons aren't any good unless the spirit is there. We then went to go recontact some former investigators. This was exciting! We actually talked to a lot of them and were able to share some things, but none of them were really interested on meeting with us again. Then we had a call from someone in Sister Johnsons ward who really needed help. She works with the Young Single Adult ward and there was a girl in that ward (a less active) who has a lot of problems going on at the moment. Lots of things happened this week, so she was really wanting to meet with us. We met with her and ended up at the Mission Presidents office so he could give her a blessing. As I listened to President Hobbs give her a blessing I just knew that blessing came from God. President Hobbs didn't know what was happening in this girls life, but the blessing was so direct and I just knew those words weren't from him. After that we went to try out one more former investigator and he was actually really interested, so we are meeting with him again this coming week! 
Loving the rain!!

Saturday was a great day.. It RAINED! It was so fun playing in the rain!  We thought people would feel sorry for us and want to talk to us if we were wet when we came to their door.. we were very wrong, it was door after door not wanting to listen to us! We just kept going though with smiles on our faces because Rancho Cucamonga was FINALLY receiving rain! We found a lady though that wants to do family history with us sometime so that was good.
Sunday is always the best day of the week! There is nothing better than going to church and partaking of the Sacrament. It is so refreshing and nice to learn more about our Savior and to be with others who believe the same thing. This week was exciting though because we had 3 investigators at church with us!  The whole time I've been here we haven't had 1 investigator attend church with us, but this past Sunday we had 3, it was great! Sunday my companion and I  performed in Sacrament meeting which was a good experience to have. I'm trying to become comfortable with being infront of people and I think it's starting to work because I wasn't that nervous. Sister Lampinen played the piano beautifully as one of the young woman sang with me. I thought it would be a good experience to sing with one of the young woman and I'm so glad I did! She reminds me a lot of Megan. She is also 14, and she is just darling! When I got up to sing I looked into the congregation and saw Tarah (She was in the MTC with Mckay and she also was called to Brasil). I was so excited to see her and actually meet her, it was a wonderful surprise! Only one of our investigators stayed for the whole 3 hours, but it seemed like the others really enjoyed it! We will be meeting with them this week.
Sister Lampinen played the piano and the YW on the right and I sang in sacrament.  She's only 14, but looks a lot older than she is.

So there you have it!  That was my week!  I'm trying to be good at updating everyone because I know that you all are just dying to hear how things are here in Rancho Cucamonga! To be honest things here are just so good!  I have been so blessed to just have wonderful people around me and I'm enjoying every moment here! There are moments that are tough, but everyday is just so good no matter what happens as long as I'm trying my hardest to be aligned with what the Lord wants me to be doing in helping the work progress! No updates on my visa status but that's alright, I'm loving it here in California even though my Portugues is not! It was cold this week here, but It's warmer here than it is in Utah! HA! I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

If you have some time go to this link and watch this video, "Unto all the world:  Missionary work in Brazil" ... I'm excited to serve here in California, but still look forward to when my Visa comes, so I can go and serve the people in Brazil
Sister Unbedacht 

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015 - Happy 1 Month of Being in Rancho Cucamonga!

Hello all! 

Here I am writing once again. I never really know how to begin my emails, so I'm pretty sure they all starts the same way. Sorry! This week was another great week, of course. We walked a lot and talked to many people. This week I also learned many important things that I hope to remember for my whole life. Being a missionary is great because you learn new valuable things often. I just hope that my mind can remember the things I learn.

As I said before, we walked A LOT this week. We have a car we usually drive to each area and just visit a couple of people and tract the street then drive to another area, but this week we decided that we needed to be out more. So, that's what we did. We walked everywhere! It was awesome! We met so many wonderful people while walking and we were directed to many different areas. At the beginning of the week we met many people who had actually met with missionaries before, but for some reason they didn't want to hear more about the church.  We also met a few people on the street that weren't living in the boundaries of our ward. We met a woman who had had a terrible day and she just cried to us as she asked us if we had ever been persecuted for what we believe because she had that day (she was Catholic and a woman was rude to her because of it). She wasn't interested in hearing  about the church, but maybe one day she will.   We also met the owner of Old Time Bakery! The bakery isn't in our area but we love the bread.  We talked to him for like an hour outside of his bakery. He was so interested in what we were doing. Then he told us that he wanted to hear more and that if he was to "Join us" he wanted us to answer his questions, so he offered to cook us a meal this week with his wife and over dinner we could talk about it.  It's always great being fed, but when it's by a professional, it's even better! 

I have kept you updated on Sonny, so I have to share what's happened with him this week. On Tuesday we felt like we should just go stop by real quick and see how he is doing. He said he was just thinking about what he read in the Book of Mormon when we stopped by.  He started asking about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and I was able to reflect on a talk I had just read that morning. My mom sent me a wonderful talk about the Book of Mormon the previous week and I had read it that morning during personal study. I was able to explain more about the Book of Mormon and he was super excited to continue to read it! He started from the beginning and is just taking it all in! On Friday we had a lesson with him. We again got stuck on the topics we had been talking about with him for a long time, which was frustrating, but we just continued to bare testimony of the Book of Mormon. He had some questions about his own baptism and about the baptism in the Church and was comparing them. We left him just with the invite to continue reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it. A few hours later we got a text from him saying how he had been reading and thinking about it a lot since we left and that he had questions that were pressing on his mind that he needs to ask us. We set up a time that would work that same day. Whenever we meet with him he doesn't stop talking, so it's really hard to teach him, but this time was different. He was quiet. He asked us the questions he had and we again bore testimony of the Book of Mormon. Isn't that interesting, that every question he has, we end up talking about the restoration and the book of mormon. Everything points to that Book. If you ever need an answer or comfort or anything.. the Book of Mormon is what we need to turn to. It really is the keystone to our religion. He asked about the church and more about why we are missionaries.  I told him a little of my story and why I am here. As I bore testimony of the truthfulness of this Gospel I could feel the love that I have for my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I could FEEL that the church was true. I have never felt something so strong like that before. After I said that, he looks at me and said pointing above my head, "what is that? Do you see that? what is that?" I asked if I had a spider in my hair or something and this is what he said, "while you were saying that I saw a halo over your head." I didn't know how to reply to that, but hey, it was kind of cool! I think he finally felt the spirit testify to him that it is all true. He wants to meet with us more and learn more! 

Sister Lampinen and I decided that we need to express our love for some of the members, so we decided to bake cookies. We delivered them to some of the families in our ward and also to some of our investigators.  It was a lot of fun to be in the kitchen again and do missionary work a little differently, but still be doing something. Doing service here is wonderful! There is so much joy that comes from it. It was such a fun day!

I said that I had learned some important lessons this week. I won't share everything, but I'll share a little bit of what I've learned.  One morning for personal study I read a talk in the ensign (I think it's this months ensign) called "It isn't a sin to be weak" by Wendy Ulrich. If you haven't read it yet, read it! It talks about how Sin always leads us away from God, but weakness can lead us towards him. This is something that I really needed to learn more about. It's easy to mix up our sins and weaknesses but we can't let that happen. Through our weaknesses we can be made strong by the Enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Those weaknesses can be the thing that helps us. We all have weaknesses, but how many of us see those as blessings? Remember the promise of the atonement. We can be made whole and we can be given strength. We grow as we "accept our state of human weakness, respond to it with humility and faith, and learn through our weakness to trust in God". I can't even stress how true that is. It is something I need to work on.  As I've tried to focus on it I've seen a change. 

This week we met with a single lady and a couple that when they told me their stories my heart just hurt for them. They had all experienced things that I couldn't even imagine experiencing. As I talked to the couple they helped me understand how they have overcome their trials, which was through the Atonement. Their stories all consisted of their loved ones, more specifically, their spouses passing away. After the tramatic experience they both were in a "state of limbo". Not knowing what to do and not really having a desire to live. They taught me a really important lesson though. They shared how in their hardest moments in life is when they grew the most and gained a testimony of the plan of salvation. They realized that Jesus Christ knew how they felt. In the darkest times of their lives they knew they could only rely on one thing, our Savior and Best friend, Jesus Christ. Whatever we are experiencing, whether it is the hardest thing we have faced or something little, we can rely on Christ to be there for us. He will help us. He will carry us and our burdens. Let our trials bring us even closer to him rather than push us away. Also, remember to try to look at the big picture during trials, it can help us. 
Anyways, just some things that have really helped me throughout this week. I love you all very much! I hope all is well and I hope to hear from my sweet siblings soon (cough cough Justin and Devin). 
Have a wonderful week! 
Sister Unbedacht 

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13th, 2015 - Another Great Week in the Mission Field!

Oi Everyone!! 

I hope your week has been a great one! It's been wonderful here in Rancho Cucamonga! This week was full of a lot of appointments and meetings, but it went by so fast! I think I'll only be writing about highlights today,  so I can send out some other emails. 
Package from the Taylor family

As I said before, this week has been wonderful! It started off great with last p-day.  After emailing we had a huge missionary BBQ with our zone at a members house. My zone is pretty awesome, so we all have a great time together! The member was so nice to make us hamburgers and let us play in his backyard. He had an area for hockey, soccer, baseball, ping pong, basketball and just for running around. P-day's are pretty great! On Tuesday we had a Zone meeting that took up a lot of time in the morning. They decided to give me (a fresh greenie) a 30 minute training. I had never been to a zone meeting before, but I think it went well! Sister Lampinen and I trained on having the spirit with us when we teach. It is like the biggest part of teaching! The investigator won't be touched and want to change unless they feel the spirit! I never realized how in tuned with the spirit you have to be on a mission. I love it though! I love the feeling of always trying to do my best and living how we are as missionaries.

Wednesday was a really good day. In the morning we had the 3 week training where I got to see the missionaries that came out to Rancho Cucamonga with me! I got to see the other visa waiters and catch up on what has been happening for the last 3 weeks. We spoke a little Portugues which was nice.  During the day we didn't have anything scheduled so we decided to do some finding. We knocked on every house on one street. Each house would kindly refuse us, but that's okay, we just kept going! We were looking for the one! We knocked on the very last house on the street and out comes this middle aged woman named Gloria. Outside of her house she had a quote that said "faith isn't to believe that God can do something, but that he will". I talked to her about the quote and we started talking about God. She believes that the world is so corrupt and so she hasn't been going to church because all of the religions are just not living what they say to be and because she is losing hope. She said that the world has started to change how she feels and that she isn't really sure if God is really there anymore. She said that a Priest told her that soon she would be having 2 angels come to her door to give her hope. WHAT?? How cool is that! She was being prepared for us. We testified of Gods love for her and of His church on the earth today. She told us to come by next week (this week) to talk to her more about it and that she thinks we may be her angels. My heart was so full as I thought about how we are peoples angels, we really are helping them be saved. It was definitely a tender mercy for us to find her. I can't wait to visit her this week. 

Wednesday night our dinner appointment fell through so we weren't sure where to go. We didn't want to waste our car miles, so we thought "hmm Cheesecake factory is closer than our apartment.. maybe we should go real quick since it shouldn't be busy".  Of course this sounded like a WONDERFUL plan!  When we got there the man seated us and then our waitress came over and guess what,  she was a member!!! She was so excited to have us Sisters there so she could be our waitress. Because we are missionaries we got the cheapest things on the menu but you know cheesecake factory.. it's expensive! At the end of the meal the waitress came up to us and said that she had paid for our check, so we could go. The kindness of the members here! She said to come back soon so she could be our waitress again! I wish I was more kind like her before my mission! I honestly am meeting wonderful people here! 

Thursday was our crazy busy day. We taught all of our investigators this day. We were running around from appointment to appointment. We taught Sonny twice this week. We have been having a hard time with teaching him because he likes to teach us about his beliefs and not listen to anything we say. He is strong Catholic so he believes in the Trinity and that the Catholics have the authority that Christ gave to Peter. We told him that the only way he can come to a knowledge for himself is if he read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it to receive an answer. (Moroni 10:3-5). We are meeting again with him this week so we will see how it goes. We taught Danny this day and he also is a talker. He believes everything we say he just still hasn't had the spirit touch him. We always teach him when his 7 year old son is there with him. I was testifying of how when we read the Book of Mormon and ask if it is true then we will know that it is. I said "You will come to a knowledge that the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints is.." and then the little 7 year old screams "TRUE!" hahah he's right! They will know it is true! The 7 year old boy already knows it and wants to be baptized! Missionaries have been meeting with Danny for over 6 months and haven't gotten really anywhere besides telling him all the information. Once again, he has to feel the spirit testify it to him! We asked him if he will be baptized and he said he will once he feels what we were telling him about the spirit! So we will see what happens this week! 

On Saturday we got to go to a baptism of some people Sister Lampinen taught. Pretty cool!  We had to get permission though because it was in the desert and we had to have the investigators drive us. So we asked Rebecca and Sam to. I love sam and Rebecca! They are so kind! They are catholics as well and they pretty much just love us and don't want to join the church. Which is really sad. We are trying really hard on them though! 

Sunday was a wonderful day! It was fast Sunday! Testimony meeting was great. This ward has been so kind to us missionaries! I have made so many friends here! For dinner we ate at the Bishops house. His son just barely got home from a mission, so it was fun talking to him about his experience. Also, he speaks Spanish so we spoke back and forth a little with my Portuguese. The bishop is also a HUGE Utah state fan!  He asked me tons of questions about when I was there and asked if I was going back.. when I said I didn't know he then thought he came to a conclusion of why I didn't get my Visa and was in that ward. He said that I was meant to come here so he could help me realize that I NEEDED to go back to Utah state when I got home! hahaha. All I told him was.. We will see.. haha. 

Things really are great here! So many little miracles and tender mercies everyday. I know that we can count so many in each day, we just need to have our eyes open to them! If we looked for them, we would find them! God blesses all of us so much! I can't believe it took me this long to realize how amazing this Gospel is and how blessed I am to have been raised in it. It's amazing what changes the Gospel brings to us in our life when we are keeping the commandments and doing what Heavenly Father wants us to do. I am so grateful for my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I invite everyone to reflect on their own relationship with them this week and try to see the things we are blessed with everyday! I promise you will have your eyes opened! I love you all and I'm so grateful for you! Thank you for the support, love, and prayers! 
Have a WONDERFUL week!
Tchau Tchau! 
Sister Unbedacht 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

April 6th, 2015 - Oh, What A Beautiful Morning!

"Oh, What a Beautiful Morning",  I sing this song every morning as we wake up at 6:30 am! haha. I'm pretty sure Sister Lampinen is sick of it, but whatever! It's a good song!  Another weekly update. This last week contained every emotion possible, but it was just overall amazing. I'm so happy that I get to experience all of these things and that I've been able to see a change in my life as I've served a mission. Rancho Cucamonga is still just wonderful! This week I came to know the members better and our investigators as well. It's so easy to love the people here, they are all so kind and just amazing. 

Monday after emailing, Sister Lampinen and I went to Victoria Gardens (The shopping area like City Creek back home). It was really nice and GUESS WHAT.. They had the Cheesecake Factory! I was dying when I saw it! So happy! We walked around and just took it all in.  It was wonderful! At night we went to a members house for dinner and then went contacting. 

Tuesday was an interesting day. I said that I felt every emotion this week and this day was the day that I experienced a lot of them. We were so excited because we had an appointment set up with a 16 year old girl who seemed so excited to learn more. As we stopped by we were just so happy and then her dad came outside. He explained how they are Christian and how they don't need another religion and that we couldn't talk to his daughter. That was hard to hear.  We decided to just go around and talk to people and see if anyone else in the area wanted to hear more. We were turned down left and right. People were shutting doors on us and telling us how they didn't want to talk about religion and all different kinds of things. I was so discouraged. I had to remind myself of all the good things I had experienced during my mission so far to keep myself going. It was a very hard day. 

Wednesday was a little different than Tuesday. We had an appointment set up with our investigator, Sonny, who we had met my first day here. We had one of the members in our ward come with, so we were just praying he would be home. We walked up and there he was! He let us in and then he started telling us all about what he believes and what he's heard about us. He is a Catholic, but a lot of the things in the Catholic church bug him. He asked us about the rumors he's heard about Mormons and about why we are apart of the church. We helped him understand how what he see's on the television about us aren't all correct and we helped him get a better picture of who we are. Then we invited him to General Conference and he was so fast to agree. So wonderful! After meeting with him we met with Sister Allred, a 93 year old lady who is a member. Sister Allred is almost all the way deaf and blind. We have to sit really close to her and yell while talking to her. haha. She is an amazing lady! I want to be like her when I'm older. She was telling us about her husband who passed away about 9 years previous and their love story. It was so cute!  She taught me a great lesson though. She said that when she was 10 she was in a very difficult situation. There was a day though that she decided that no matter what, she was going to be happy.  Since that day she said she has been happy.  She has since then experienced MANY hard things, but she looks for the positive and is happy. What a great example to us all!  Also, on Wednesday Sister Lampinen and I found out that we are doing a musical number in sacrament in 2 weeks for the Bishops sons homecoming. If you know me.. this is like the most frightening thing! Sister Lampinen is super good at piano so that leaves me to singing. Wish me luck!  Kidding.  I'm actually really excited this time.
Thursday was another wonderful day! We went and visited one of our investigators, Edith. Edith likes to meet with us to do what she calls "bible studies".  She loves just talking about Christ, which is good,  but doesn't help when we are trying to teach her about more.  We felt like we needed to talk about Temples and the importance of them.  She was so excited about temples and wanted to go see one.  We told her she could look up more of them on  Hopefully that will get her more excited to learn how she can enter one of the temples.  In the afternoon we visited one of the less actives.  She is going through a divorce and is really struggling, honestly she just needs to feel like somebody loves her.  We talked to her for a long time and I got to know her. Something awesome about Sister Palacios, she works at Disneyland! How cool is that? We talked about Disneyland for awhile and she was telling me about all these things I didn't know about the place!  It was a good way to connect to her.  For dinner we went to a members house. These members are actually one of my favorites because they are just so real. The Packers are the sweetest family ever!  Sister Packer is from Peru and Brother Packer is from California. They are some of the kindest, funniest people I've ever met! The family actually reminds me a lot of the Taylor Family!  At night we had an appointment with another investigator.  Danny and his son have been looking into the LDS church for like 6 months, but the Elders and Sisters that were teaching them before didn't really commit him to do anything, they would just teach him.  So we told him about the importance of reading the Book of Mormon and asked him to read and he said that he would love to. He's had the book, but hasn't felt the need to read it because he didn't know the importance.  Thursday was just a great day full of sharing the gospel! 

Not much happened on Friday, but it was another good day! We spent a lot of the day planning for the week. Something strange happened though!  We received an online referral from that person. So we went to go follow up on it and a younger (about 16) year old boy came out and it was him who the referral was for. He said he doesn't know how we had his name or anything and that he doesn't know any people apart of our church. There must had been some reason for us to be there, we just still don't know.  Wow my emails keep getting longer and longer. I need to find a way to shorten them. Sorry everyone!

Saturday and Sunday were AMAZING! Sonny came to conference on Saturday morning. We had him write down questions during the session and ask us them after. He had a lot of really good questions that I feel like we explained pretty well. We gave him a Book of Mormon and asked him to read the introduction. He seems so excited to learn more and invited us back to his home on Wednesday!  We watched every session of conference at our Church Building. The building had a lot of missionaries and a couple of investigators during all 4 sessions. I felt so spiritually uplifted. I can't even pinpoint one talk that I liked over the rest!  Two talks that really hit me on Sunday were Elder Holland and Uchtdorf's talks. I loved how they were centered around Christ, the Atonement, and Easter. During those talks I realized a lot of things that I need to improve on and felt such a gratitude for my Savior. I am so thankful for the atonement! I was so sad when General Conference ended because it felt like it was on for only an hour!  I can't wait for the next one, but until then, I have a lot to work on.

 Sunday afternoon we visited 2 of our investigators. They are this old married couple who I just adore. They are so sweet and loving. I'm excited because they are coming to a baptism with us this week so it will be a great experience.  My Easter Dinner was WONDERFUL!  One of the members is a professional chef, so he cooked us a huge Easter dinner that was really good! 
As I said, I'm doing so good!  My week was full of emotions and I learned a lot of things. Being a missionary is great!  I have met so many wonderful people and realized how blessed I am. I've become more and more grateful for my life and the people who are in it as I talk to people and learn more about the Doctrine of Christ. Family is what it's all about. I already loved my family before coming out here, but I now feel a love for them that I can't even explain. I am so grateful that I can be with my family forever!  It is such a good knowledge to have!  I'm so happy though that I can help others do the same.  I have come to love some of our investigators and I just want them to be able to have a marriage that lasts forever! I never imagined how much I could love people I barely know as I've taught them about something that is so important to me! Be grateful for what you have because I have come to learn how blessed we all are! 
Easter package from home

Thank you all for the love and support.  I really do appreciate it!  I wish I could write you all and express my feelings of gratitude I have personally for you, but unfortunately I'm a missionary and I don't have much time! I'm sorry my emails are all over the place, I'll try to work more on having them be more organized! I LOVE YOU ALL!  Keep smiling and Choose to be happy!!
Sister Unbedacht
Ps. I thought the funniest part of conference was when President Uchtdorf started speaking in German. All of us missionaries were laughing so hard! I'm sure you all loved that part as well!