Sister Ashlyn Brooke Unbedacht

Sister Ashlyn Brooke 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 

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