Sister Ashlyn Brooke Unbedacht

Sister Ashlyn Brooke Unbedacht

Monday, May 25, 2015

May 25th, 2015 - Next Stop....BRASIL!!!

 As you can see from the title something exciting is happening very soon. I received a call this week from President Hobbs telling me that he has my flight information and I will be leaving the Rancho Cucamonga mission for the Fortaleza Brasil East mission on June 16th!!!!!!  At first I had mixed emotions about leaving Rancho because this place has become home, but I really am so excited to be going to Brasil in just a few weeks.  With me leaving so soon this means working even harder, so I can do all the Lord wants me to do here in Rancho Cucamonga.

This week consisted of a lot of finding. We have been trying to come up with things we can do to talk to more people and President Hobbs gave us the idea to make birthday cards for members in the ward and have their neighbors sign it. Luckily we had 4 birthdays this past week in our ward and so this sounded like a wonderful idea. Well, this week we have talked to more people than we have any other week and people have been super nice to us. It has been great!  We always mention to the person who is signing the card that we are from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the same church as their neighbor.  We have had some really good dicussions from this and have received really good feedback.  It"s all around a wonderful idea!  The member is feeling loved from their neighbors and builds trust with us as we meet their neighbors and they see that missionaries are nice, good people.  Many of the people we have talked to about it say that they really appreciate what we are doing and that they think this is such a cool thing that we are doing for their neighbor. Yesterday we had a cool experience because a girl who was signing one of the cards was interested in learning more about the church and so we taught her about the Restoration and gave her a copy of The Book of Mormon.  Sadly, she was "cat-sitting" for her neighbor and she lives in Chino (another city in the mission) so we will have those missionaries teach her, but still, more success then we were seeing before! 
Found this random sign left outside of our apartment one morning.

As I've said before, we don't get too many chances to do service but starting this week the missionaries are teaming up with the city and doing something called Cyber Seniors. Once a week a set of missionaries is going to be in the community center teaching the Elderly how to use technology.  Sister Lampinen and I got to go in on Wednesday and do this. It was so fun! I got to help out this lady named Teresa learn how to use a mouse, keyboard, and the internet! I couldn't even believe that she had never touched a mouse to a computer before! When I was teaching her how to use google and how she could look anything up, she started typing in random things she wanted to know. She decided to look up religions and a long list of them came up. She was looking and reading the names of them and then came across Latter-Day Saints and paused. She then looked at me and said, "Hey! I know a Mormon! She was one of my best friends!". I then showed her my tag and said, "No Way! I'm actually a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!". She was surprised and got this big smile on her face and said, "Really? Wow, I really think they are awesome people!". I explained to her a couple of things and then she had to go, but it was cool that I got to talk about religion with her. Because it is at the city and we are their guests helping, we aren't supposed to talk about religion unless they bring it up to us, and she did! Pretty cool!  Another service opportunity we had this week was clean out Rebecca and Sam's garage. They are the older couple who Sister Lampinen and I love dearly. It was so fun to get to help them out and spend more time with them. 
Moved into a new apartment this week.

This week Sister Lampinen and I moved into a new apartment. We had to move all of the furniture and clean and then move our things in, which took a while but we are grateful that this apartment is closer to our area, even though it was the Elders apartment before. We pretty much live on Route 66 now! I get so excited when we drive on it because it reminds me of the Disney movie Cars.
This week was really fun! For some reason Sister Lampinen and I couldn't stop laughing. I will share one of the funny stories that explains how the week went. I answered the phone call from the Elders and they said their names and I said "Hey this is Elder Unbedacht.. ugh I mean.. Sister Unbedacht". I heard Sister Lampinen in the other room bust up laughing and then we just died laughing for like 5 minutes! Little things like that have just made this week a really funny one.
I love you all so much!  Thank you for your prayers! 
Love,
Elder.. I mean...Sister Unbedacht ;)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 18th, 2015 - Are You Mormon? "Yes Siree; Died In The Wool; True Blue, Through and Through"

This week was very interesting. Looking back I can't even remember all we did,  I just know the week flew by.  We had a few potential investigators at the beginning of the week.  One of the potential investigators husband wouldn't let us teach her, and the others didn't answer when we had set up an appointment, so back to more finding.  We found a couple more people who we're trying to meet with this following week, so we will see how it goes. 

This week was a really good week with less actives. There are many people who are less active and haven't been to church in years in our ward. This week we got 4 of them to church! We're so happy that they had decided to come back again and feel the peace and receive the blessings that come through church attendance. How did we get them there? Well, it is simple, we didn't, the spirit did. The Spirit is the key. No heart can be changed or brought closer to Christ without the spirit. That is why it is so important that we try our hardest to have the spirit with us.  One of the less active woman who came to church said that she hasn't felt that good in such a long time and wants to come next week. It is such a wonderful thing to see these people's burdens lifted through Christ and see a change in their lives when they keep the commandments and have faith in Christ. 

We had an interesting experience this week when teaching one of the less active members. He hasn't been to church for 20 years. We felt like we needed to talk about God, faith and share one of the His Grace videos on Mormon.org. The Lord prepared us perfectly for that lesson.  It was great! He felt like he never really had faith in God and hasn't felt Him in his life, so we taught him about prayer and got him to commit to pray (which he hasn't done for 20 years). I'm excited to see where things go with teaching him. Last thing with teaching. We taught Sonny once again this week. He isn't progressing anymore so we think it would be best to stop teaching him for right now, but leave him with the resources and hopefully one day when missionaries teach him again he will be more open and have a desire to listen and change. 
Cookies with Rebecca!  She's one of our investigators.  She helped make cookies for the wedding.  She is such an amazing woman!  Rebecca and her husband Sam take such good care of us.  I feel like I was sent here to meet them.  They have changed me!

Last week we got to do more service! We helped one of our Less Actives clean and then we helped set up for a wedding. The best part about this wedding, it was Disney themed!!! The Bride actually works at Disneyland putting together costumes for the parade. It was sad though because she was setting up for her own wedding by herself the day before, so when we heard we went over to the church and helped her set up for it, which was really fun! 

Funny story of the week. We were walking around and this guy kept honking at us. When he could, he pulled over and stopped right by and asked if we were Jehovah Witness missionaries. We told him no and then he drove off. We then had a little discussion on why he had thought we looked like them and said that we need to do more to look like Latter-day saint missionaries.   Right after we said that, this police officer honked at us while we were crossing the street and yelled, "Are you Mormons?" We smiled and yelled back, "YES!"  Then she gave us a thumbs up and yelled, "NICE JOB!" Hahaha. We were pretty happy! You know it is a good day when someone is nice to you for being a "Mormon".  Dad, you will appreciate this. When the lady asked if we were Mormons the first thing that came into my head was, "yes siree; died in the wool; true blue, through and through".  I'm glad that phrase was so ingrained into my mind when I was younger that I can still recall it. haha. 

Anyways, I am still loving it here in California!  Sister Lampinen and I are doing great! I love having her as my companion and as my trainer! We have a lot of fun together!

Love you all!
Have a wonderful week! 
Love, 
Sister Unbe

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May 11, 2015 - Outro Semana em Paraiso (Another Week in Paradise)!!

Hello! 

I feel like it was just yesterday that I talked to you all;) I LOVED being able to see all of your faces while skyping! I can't even believe how much Addie has grown since I've left. Hearing her cute voice made me so happy! She must have really good parents and influences:) It was such a blessing to be able to Skype!  I'm so proud of all you men in the family for cooking what I heard to be a DELICIOUS dinner. Everyone seems to be happy and doing well, which makes me so happy to hear! It was just so nice to see and talk to the people who have influenced me the most in my life! 
Sister Lampinen and I taking one of our weekly apartment shots

I shared a lot of the week with the family yesterday, but I guess there was a couple of things that I could still talk about. This past week was a blessing because we found 3 NEW people that we'll be teaching this week. One of them being a less active that hasn't attended church or even done anything to do with the church for the past 20 years of his life. The other two are people who aren't members. One being Gloria, a woman that we met a while ago (the one who said we are her angels), but then she went out of town and now she wants us to come teach her. The other being a 19 year old man who we met while we were walking. He asked us who we were and we told him and he asked "Do you have a pamphlet?" and I said, "Well we have a book you can read, if I give it to you, will you read it?". He looked at us for a minute and then said, "You have my word". We gave him the book and we are now meeting with him next Saturday.
 
Sister Thornley and I representing USU
This past week consisted of some funny stories that I forgot of when I was skyping, but I might as well share them. I do an hour of language study every day. I begin with a prayer and normally during the prayer I'm kneeling on the ground while my arms are resting on my chair. After I said my prayer I got up and Sister Lampinen told me how I had just said a 20 minute prayer. I looked at the time and realized that I had fallen asleep for probably about 15 minutes on the chair!! haha. I was pretty tired that day! Second story:  We were at less active members house this week and the mom was trying to get her daughter to take a bath for the night but the daughter didn't want to (She is like 11). That night they had one of their friends over who is a older lady in another ward in Rancho and she was talking to the little girl. Their family had just gone through some really hard things, so the older lady was comforting the little girl saying how she just needs to continue to be strong and how much she loves her. In the middle of her giving this encouraging talk she yells, "Jesus took Baths!!!". Oh I just wish you all could have been there! Sister Lampinen and I just died laughing! I know, it doesn't sound very funny over email but it was one of the highlights of the week!  Last story:  We skyped at the Packer's home and they were cooking breakfast in the other room while I was skyping (explains my smoothie:)). After I got off the phone Sister Packer comes up to me and calls me by my first name laughing on how she found it out! haha. Lots of the members like to guess our first names and are surprised when they actually find out our real name. Oh man, There are many funny things that happen everyday here, but I think they aren't as funny if you weren't there! 
The hibiscus has become one of my favorite flowers here.  Love it!

After skyping I started thinking about some of the questions that were asked and one thing that kept coming to my mind is what my favorite part of being a missionary is. There are many things I love about being a missionary. It has been such a wonderful experience. I have met many amazing people and I have had a lot of fun teaching and finding people. I would have to say though that my favorite is that I get to represent Jesus Christ everyday, all day. It is such an honor to be a full time missionary. As I've studied the attributes of Christ and tried to become more like him, I have seen many blessings and come to love my Savior more. When I think about what I've learned the most here it is that our Savior really is the PERFECT example for us and how he is the ONLY way for us to have eternal happiness. I love my Savior very much and I am so grateful for what he did and continually does for each of us. Never stop gaining Faith in him and learning more about him. 

I love you all and I am so grateful for your examples in my life. I really have been blessed to have the people I have in my life.  Be happy and remember to smile! 

Love,
Sister Unbedacht

Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4th, 2015 - I Made It Through My First Transfer!

Hello everyone!! As the title says, my first transfer in the mission field is done! The past 6 weeks felt like 6 days. My mission is already going by so fast. I can't believe it! Good news, Sister Lampinen and I are staying together in the same area. I am so happy about it!  Many people were transferred, actually all of the new greenies that came in with me were all transferred besides me, so I am very happy to be staying! 
Yay!!  I get to serve another transfer with Sister Lampinen

I finally got an update on my visa. The computer has a place you can check it and it's the 4 dots system. If you have 4 dots then it is ready. This whole time I have had 1 dot and on Saturday I had 4 dots! My visa is ready to be picked up! I have no idea when I'll actually leave for Brasil though, it could be really soon or at the end of this transfer, so we will see. It is a bitter sweet feeling knowing that I'm leaving soon. I have come to love the people here in Rancho, but I'm excited to serve in the place I was originally called to. Also, I'm pretty excited to be speaking Portuguese. I've missed speaking it to other people.

As you could guess this week was another good week!  This week in Rancho was a HOT one!  I think one of the days it was around 103 degrees. I was sweating so much! We are trying to spend the least amount of time we can in the car, so we were walking everywhere. This week we met a lot of people and had some interesting conversations. One man was talking to us all about aliens and how they are here on the earth and how corrupt the government is... it was just a little strange, but we shared the "Because He Lives" video with him. He said he would like to read the Book of Mormon, so that was good!  All of the other investigators we previously had aren't progressing and were super slow with contacting us so that has been a little hard.  

We're  still meeting with Sonny.  We met with him 3 times this week, so that was great! He is meeting many of the members and says that we all have this "glow". I'm telling you, the glow is real! When we met with him on Wednesday we had a really cool experience! We taught him all about the Plan of Salvation (The thing about him is that he wants to know everything and he talks a lot so we are slowly progressing with him in the sense of teaching the lessons). After teaching him about it I felt like he needed to pray right then and there if what we taught him was true. I asked him to and he agreed. We knelt down and he said a beautiful prayer! When he ended we all just sat there in silence for a minute. He started to stand up and then I asked him how he felt. He said he felt good and that he was feeling something he can't explain. The spirit was SO strong in the room and I told him that he was feeling the spirit. That's what we have been praying for him to feel and we got to be there with him when he received a witness that what we were teaching him was true. Truly a miracle! He is progressing and we are helping him prepare for Baptism. Besides him we just taught less actives and then members as well. This ward has a lot of less actives so we are really trying to help them.
I Love My District!  Training meetings are always hilarious with these guys.

Speaking of miracles, we see so many here. It is amazing the things that have happened just from sincere prayer. On Tuesday we weren't having any success on finding anyone. We were walking around all day and nobody was even outside to talk to. I'm being serious, not ONE person was outside. I asked Sister Lampinen if we could stop and pray that we will be directed to people. We prayed and then picked a random street. Down that ONE street we saw FOUR people. FOUR! It was awesome! We were able to talk to them and share a message with them. Prayers really work!  
Something that I have come to love doing is service. We look for service opportunities all the time. People in Rancho though don't let us help very often, but this week we got to do 2 things! We helped a lady move and then we also helped a member set up for a party. It was wonderful to get to help them out!

I feel like each week my testimony of The Book of Mormon grows. I love the Book of Mormon! Reading the Book of Mormon has strengthened my testimony more than I ever thought it would. I have been able to have my prayers answered through the Book of Mormon and I have gained a stronger love for my Savior. Read the Book daily! I know it blesses us in so many ways! 
Have a wonderful week!
Love,
Sister Unbedacht