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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Merry CHRISTmas


So obviously it is past Christmas now but since I didn't get to email last week, since I got to call home instead :), I thought i'd write a Christmas special this week haha. Well Christmas is always the best time of the year but this year especially so. I really got to reflect on the birth of my Saviour Jesus Christ. Being away from all that you love and cherish really makes you realise what is most important in life. To me that is the gospel and then my family. I would give up all the cars, houses, nice clothes, all the riches and the luxaries in the world just for those two things. My knowledge and my family. This gospel is SO simple and yet that is why it is so hard for many to understand. It is completely about a fathers love for His children. That Father being God and those children being us. He loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son into the world so that He could atone and die for us. I don't know how to put into words the way I feel about my Saviour, my father, and this plan that He has for all of us.  I have so much I want to say but I really don't know how to even express it in words, much less in words in an email. It seems so insignificant on here as I am typing it but in my heart it is all consuming. I have never realised how insignificant I am, how weak, how small. But as I turn to God I am powerful, wise, and strong! I am so grateful to be here on my mission because I've realised one great lesson. Before I left on my mission I thought serving would help me know what I want to DO with my life. And since i've been down here I realise it isn't so much about what I want to DO but is now who I want to BE! And as I recognise who I want to BE it shapes what I want to DO! I want to be married for all of time and eternity in the temple of God to a worthy priesthood holder and someday become a righteous mother in zion, just like my mom and my gramma. I also want to go to Uni so that I can obtain the best education. God is a God of intelligence and He requires each of us to become intelligent as well.
As i've been here I have learned more about what I want to study when I go to Uni, and those studies are what will help me to BEcome better.  It is seriously so amazing! And I have learned all this as I am striving to serve others! Seriously guys the best way to find out more about yourself and to develop and to grow is to learn more about others and help THEM to develop and grow! This all makes sense!!! The gospel has never made so much sense! It is so simple. It is really so mind blowingly simple! Yes there are many things none of us will ever be able to comprehend or understand in this life, but really I think it is because it is to simple for us to understand. Think about that one.
Well yeah I think I am just rambling to much and getting to philosophical, sorry for that ha. Anyways the work is going well, actually it really isnt. We have very few investigators. We are getting really no referrals. We are getting SO fat in this area ha. And yet we are working our butts off! I often ask myself "Am I doing as much as the Lord would have me do? Am I giving it my all?" Most of the time I can say yes, and for those moments where I can not say yes then I know I need to step up my game. I would like to have more investigators, referrals, and just lessons in general but I know that it will come with time. We may not be seeing the results that we want but I know that if I can answer yes to my questions then the Lord is seeing my results and He is happy. I just think as long as I am not being struck by lightning then I must be doing okay hahaha. Well yeah. I know that maybe in this area I am just called to be planting seeds. Also it is SOOOO weird, really I have no idea what is wrong with me. I feel like I am getting lazy but really that isn't it because I can still answer yes to my questions. I think really I am learning to be relaxed! What a concept!! My anxiety is still there but I can control it because I've learned to give it to the Lord. I still get in bad moods and frustrated with my comp. but I am like so relaxed. I dont know what it is. I mean I wont lie there are still times I feel like I just need to take a nap or stop and if I dont then I will explode but for the most part I am just mellow. I think it has a large part to do with my companion because she is so relaxed and so hardworking. She pushes ME to work harder. Can you believe that? Sometimes it makes me feel sad because I dont want her to think I am a bad missionary or lazy because we really dont have so many lessons and she is always so happy when we get a return appointment. I just hope that I can be a good example to her. I still need to learn to be more patient with her though. Anywys I can't believe how fast time is flying by. I am almost to my six month mark which blows my mind. Everyone says once you get to that point it just flies by. I guess we will see.
WEll I don't know what else to say without rambling. I guess I would just like to leave with a thank you and a commitment :)
My thank you is this: thank you to all my family for all the sacrifices you ALL have made to support me and help me not only while I am serving but also from helping me to grow up during the years. Thank you to my friends for your examples and encouragement. Thank you to my God for being the most patient person with me even when I have seriously doubted Him.
My commitment: to all of you wether you are a member of this church or not I would like to invite you to really contemplate in your mind what you believe and then ask yourself if that really makes sense. Then I would invite you to pray and ask if what you believe is true. Some of you I know this will be hard. You may have known the truth once and maybe still believe it in some way, you may not have prayed in years or maybe ever. Some of you may be totally against "mormons" and their darn beliefs but really does what you believe make sense? I know what I believe makes perfect sense, because it is true. I know what I say may seem harsh or pushy but hey when Jesus Christ preached to the pharasees and saduccees wasnt he harsh and a pit pushy with them? Im sorry to tell you folks but... truth hurts, get over it and just accept it. For my family members who aren't members, I will be bold and I will not lie. You are missing out on some seriously awesome blessings and most of you because of pride. I will not push you to change your beliefs but I will invite you to learn more about the blessings that God has in store for you. I pray for you. I love you. And I invite you to take part in Gods simplistic and amazing plan for you! My greatest desire is to be with ALL of my family for time and all eternity but I know and I accept that it is your choice. Sometimes I will be driving and this work, this gospel, just seems like a fairy tale. It is just so simple and so pure. How could it be real? But the fact of the matter is, is that it is real and it is powerful! If any of you desire to receive the blessings God has in store for you I invite you to ask me, ask my parents or my siblings, talk to some missionaries like me, but most importantly ask God how you can obtain them.
I love you all and hope you had a very merry CHRISTmas and now have a happy new year! Love you!
Love,
Sister Boiteux




Zone leaders taking us out to lunch


MTC district reunited


Crazy house for Christmas


Making cookies


Results of cookies

Temple Trip


Matching PJs thanks mom!


New Outfit/ Dinner at Bishops


Baptism!


I love LETTERS from home!!!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Konitchiwa?


Hi everyone. I am a complete mess right now ha. Everyone in the library is giving me looks like "what is up with this girl?!" I'm trying to stop crying ha but it just isn't possible at the moment haha. I just want you all to know how much I love all of you. Love isn't even a strong enough word. This week has been completely full on! I worked with Sister Bushnell (who is from San Diego) for 3 days before we both got our trainees. I hope that we will work together again in the future! I love her so much. I don't think I've felt so relaxed and laughed so much with someone here on the mission. It made me feel at home because she reminded me in looks to my friend Brooke and in personality and voice she reminded me A LOT of Drew. So drew if you are ever reading this I miss you cus haha. One time she said something to me and I took a step back because her voice sounded SO much like Drews. I was glad I could just be happy with my comp for a few days. We had some crazy adventures in our short time together. It felt like we were together a full transfer ha.
Now I have my new trainee. She is really nice. She is from Nagoya Japan and her name is Sister Keikyu (prounced like letters K and Q). So instead of learning French I am now learning Japanese haha.  Cool!
This past week was hard due to being shotgunned into an new area where the previous missionaries did not take care of it. But we've been trying to work hard! Yesterday we saw HEAPS of miracles. And also our new ward is awesome! Our bishop is the coolest ever! He is a recent convert of 10 years and was made bishop at 28. Him, his wife, and their kids are the cutest. And he loves missionary work! We are going to get so fat! We have a dinner appointment every night! We are working hard on trying to establish relationships and hopefully start getting some referrals. We have a few investigators but not many so we still need to find find find. Also our ward mission leader is also awesome! He is from tonga. And he to has a voice that reminds me of someone. Ray Angilau he sounds exactly like you! Everytime he speaks i'm like "ray? wheres ray?" haha. Makes me feel at home!
Anyways Yesterday was a great day! We went to visit a part member tongan family and the 17 year old daughter who is the member was asleep so we just met with her dad. Her dad is a single dad raising 3 kids on his own. Also he is sick with cancer and just had his second round of chemo. so he was feeling like crap! We talked about the atonement and weren't getting anywhere with him. He just feels like church, all churches, are not good. I guess the lds church in tonga that he knew of did some pretty messed up stuff so he had a bad impression. We talked about what church is for, the learn of Christ and god. By the end I just felt prompted htat we should sing a hymn. So Sister Keikyu and I sang my favourite hymn number 98 I Need Thee Every Hour. As I looked over at this man I saw a lone tear trinkle down his cheek followed by more and more. He was crying silently. His daughter, who at this point is less active, came in and listened as well. The spirit was soooo strong. It was amazing to see the influence and power of music! At the end we invited him to pray and he accepted! This was the first prayer he has ever offered! It was also the first time his daughter and two young sons have ever heard him pray. It was a very short and simple prayer but was very profound. At the end we saw that he was crying and that the kids had some glossy eyes. It was a very powerful testament to me of prayer and song. The spirit is the converting power, not us.
So yeah. Our flat is gross and full of cockroaches. I'm gaining weight. I'm stressed A LOT!  
and yet...
I wont give up. And weirdly I'm happy. I know this gospel is true and that is blesses lives! Im grateful that I could come be here and learn more about myself and gods plan for me.
Well sorry this is short. It was a stressful day so my mind is fried ha! I will try to be more diligent of writing a good email next week! Love you!
Love.
Sister Boiteux



Saturday, December 7, 2013

Power in the Word


Dear family,
so the news of the week:
I got transferred.
My new area is in a place called Bankstown. It is actually near the mission office which is cool but sadly they just made it so that the mission office is in a different zone now so I cant just go visit which is sad.  But anyways I am very scared to be here in this new area and not only that but I will be training again. I get my new companion tomorrow. I am very scared but I know that my mission president is inspired and that I am here for a reason. In my area there were Elders here before and not to dis elders but man the area book is a mess.... and my flat smells like boy..and cats :/
I was really really sad last night and all my confidence was just shot but then this morning I did my Book of Mormon reading in Alma 20-22 and one particular passage really helped me it was in Alma 21:12-17. It talks about Aaron who is preaching the word and nobody is listening, they are mocking him spitting on him and eventually throw him in prison where he is to say the least tortured. He was in miserable circumstances, and yet, he kept the faith. When he was rescued by his brother Ammon he again went to preach the word, where I think for most of us we would have just said "Alright that's it. I'm done. I'm going home" but no he went and endured and worked hard. And eventually the miracles came. So that is what I will do. I know it will be hard, scary, and at times disappointing but I KNOW that if I just work my hardest and put ALL my TRUST in my Heavenly Father and my Saviour that they will provide a way for me to accomplish their work.  I just can't think about everything that I need to do because it will overwhelm me so I just let God guide. It is a difficult thing to do for me but I have to or I will just fall down again and I can't let that happen, that was a really hard place to be and I don't want to go back to being super depressed.
So yeah.. that is my little spiritual speel for the day.
Anyhow I did get a car! Last Friday night actually so Sister Burgess and I had it together for 2 days before transfers haha. It was so nice! I have a car in my new area to but I left it at the mission office until tomorrow when I will get my trainee. I am currently working with a sister from California who will also be training so we are working together till then.
So last week was a great week. Monday we had "christmas" with Becci and Kiki. They are soooo sweet! She got us VERY nice christmas presents. She got us a diamond heart necklace each and earrings and lots of chocolate.  She is very giving. But more importantly than that she helped us to feel at home. Im glad I could somewhat spend christmas with someone I love since now I am tranferred and know noone.  I will miss her very much. Kiki (her 6 yr old) just started crying when she learnt I was leaving, it broke my heart.
On Saturday was Raymonds baptism. Again, everything was trying to stop him from getting baptised but in the end it was done. It was great to see how happy he was. I will miss his spirit and that of everyone I met. On Sunday we had a big dinner at a members before transfers. Sister Clegg and I were the only ones in our ward getting transferred. It was really fun to have dinner with them, all the sisters, the elders, and an investigator of the sisters.  I will miss my old area a lot.
I hope that I can learn to love this new area, and faster than I learnt to love the last. I am freaking scared.... but I will walk into the darkness with faith that I will find the light eventually.
I love you my family. I pray for you. Stay safe and have fun!
Love.
Sister Boiteux



Naughty elders listening to Pitch Perfect in the car...


Christmas gifts from Bec

Sunday, November 24, 2013

What will you give?


Dear Family,
This has been a really hard week all around. Everyday is a rollercoaster but all I can do is keep pressing forward in faith that the Lord will provide a way.  I won't go into details about everything but yeah it was a hard week and my faith was tested but everything always works out in the end.  Funny how that happens.
We had a baptism on Saturday for Melvin which was an interesting event haha. Needless to say it is funny how Satan does everything possible to get the baptism to not happen or to not be a good experience but he failed because it was a very good event and the spirit was felt. It was great to see Melvin be baptised into Gods church with someone by authority. The priesthood power and the ordinances done by that power changes our lives, and I am blessed to see that in the faces of those around me. 
This week we went tracting for like the first time ever which is always an adventure. If you've ever been on a mission you know what I mean.  However we did get a potential family to teach out of it. I hope we will start teaching them.  But after finding them tracting just went down down down hahah.  The last house we tracted was of a young family and the mom said "yeah you are probably right but we are not interested" after that I started to tear up.  I told my comp. it is hard because you have so little time to say the right thing. You want to leave something they will grab onto. I was worried that what I said wasn't strong enough. That we were in essence "leaving squishy bananas instead of a basket full of chocolates". My companion said something profound. We are not meant to leave chocolates but merely bread and water. Bread and water. Like the sacrament. Like the representation of the body and blood of Christ we partake of each week. To those who are not "starving" they will not partake but those who need the nutrients that can only be found in the gospel they will partake of what seems like just a simply meal but yet they will be nourished and filled. That is what we are hear to do is to leave that loaf of bread and cup of water to our brothers and sisters. If they are hungered they will eat.
I know that this work is important.  Even though this is the most frustrating, exhausting, hard thing that I have ever had the priviledge of doing I know how important is is to help the Lord do His work.  I don't know why I've been chosen, why I needed to come but yet here I am.  I know that in my weaknesses He will help me be strong.
I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be his mouthpiece.  I know all my trials are helping me to become a better person. Hard companions, tired muscles, pounding headaches, lonliness, and every other difficult circumstance just helps us become the best version of us, if we let it. He places us in the fire of our afflictions so we can become refined and perfect (1 Nephi 20:10 and DC 128:24). I believe that in greek to be perfect means to be whole, to be complete.  That is what he means when he says "therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect" (3 Nephi 12:48). That doesn't mean what the world was define as "perfect" but to just become whole or complete. And the only way to do so is through Him.
Here in Australia they obviously don't celebrate Thanksgiving, but they totally should ha, so instead they get ready for Christmas SUPER early. My companion and I discussed this in studies today and talked about how people really don't focus on the CHRIST part of CHRISTmas.  We focus more on Santa and me..me..me.  But take a moment and think.. what has Christ given you? I know you always here what will you do for Christ but really what will you do? He sacrificed his LIFE for YOU! He gave you the most sacred thing he could give, and he just keeps giving. So I ask you what will you give him? As you prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday and discuss everything you are grateful for (everything he has seen fit to give you) I want you to then talk about at the table as you are stuffing your face with turkey and dads delicious corn... what you will give him for Christmas. I don't just mean better prayers or scripture study but what are you really willing to sacrifice for HIM? I'm here sacrificing everything for him and I can even do better so I know that you there in beautiful Utah, California and Washington can do it to! Come up with something you will sacrifice and write it down as a family goal and do it! For example:
We will sacrifice our money by buying a gift for some who isn't as fortunate as us.
or
We will sacrifice our time by volunteering at a soup kitchen.
 
Whatever it may be let it be a sacrifice.  I know if you do so that it will be the best Christmas you've ever had! Remember "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God" (Mosiah 2:17). Well hey now look at me I sound like a missionary committing you to act and change and become "perfect" hahaha.
Well my dear family, friends, or whoever you may be. I love you so much! Thanks for all your prayers and support. My family thanks for your sacrifices you do so that I can be here serving my God. I love you and am grateful for you!
Have a great week!
Love.
Sister Boiteux

Sunday, November 17, 2013

one...two...three..FOUR.. (VROOM..VROOM)


Dear Family,
I love you more than a missionary loves general conference, deep doctrine talk, and 10:30 pm (which means I love you a lot!) I hope you are all doing AMAZING! This week has been pretty interesting.
It has been bipolar weather it is rain, rain, RAINY! I love it!!! Last monday we had p-day with 3 zones so it was packed! The zone leaders planned it so you can assume what we did, yup sports. Original for elders. Not gonna lie it was a bit lame but whatever ha. We ate costco pizza and chatted it up which is all that matters I guess. There are SO many new missionaries, especially sisters! One sister from Vermont and we are actually Facebook friends due to the sister missionary page on facebook. When we saw each other we were both like "wait..." it was funny! She went to BYU so she knows tiffany and a bunch of my friends from high school which is cool. It is for sure a small world we live in!
Tuesday was zone conference. Yeah lets talk about an eventful day hahaha! We rode the train with the two elders we work with. On the way to Mortdale our train didn't stop so we went to far into a different area and had to switch back.  Luckily we had left REALLY early so we still made ti on time. Zone conference was fantastic.! We learned the mission just got 26 new cars and guess who is getting one?! yes that is right, moi! I feel very blessed, really. I guess our zone leaders are sick of driving us two sisters around ha. They talked the APs into giving us one so hopefully I should get that right before transfers (which is in 2 weeks). I can't believe how fast this transfer has flown by it is crazy!
Anyways after zone conference we again  rode the trains home. We learned we'd have to swith trains twice and we didn't want to so we thought we'd go to a different stop were we would only have to swith once. well we got on the train and 20 or 30 minutes into the journey I was sitting on the top looking out the window and saw apart of the bay. I thought "um we should not be seeing water" so we looked at the map and realized we had traversed into enemy territory, aka the north mission! i'm sure our faces were priceless.  The elders said we should call president and so they pulled out their phone to call but got to scared to actually do it so I did. Babies ha just kidding. Anyways president just cracked up and jokingly told us to close our eyes and be careful. We were all wishing we could have traveled a little farther so we could have seen sydney city, but no we were obedient. It was bittersweet but exact obedience brings miracles and we need all the miracles we can take :)
When we finally got back to our area we got pizza for dinner. It only took us 3 hours to get home...
Wednesday was a long day of work but it was good. We saw our 14 yr old investigator and taught about the 10 commandments. It was a really fun lesson. We tried to be creative. We taught the SNICKER BAR analogy and then when we asked if he wanted a snickers bar we tied it into obedience and how we can't receive the blessings of the commandments (the candy bar) until we obey them.  When he committed to obey we gave him his reward. It was fun and he enjoyed it.  Also we saw our investigator Raymond afterwards. His wife is from Vietnam and she made us and the member we were with authentic vietnamese food for dinner. It was so good! Blake you would have LOVED it! I thought of you with every bit muhahaha. Well anyways it was funny we had planned to teach the word of wisdom to him. Right before dinner his wife gave us a drink and we all took a sip well come to find out it was green tea. When we realized it was green tea we kindly said "sorry we can't drink this and we will tell you why during the lesson haha" it was a bit awkward but they undertstood.  It was a really good lesson.
Thursday was our weekly planning day-always fun, said no one...ever. Then we had a lesson with an investigator who hasn't been progressing in ages. She ended up dropping us and us her. It was a mutual dropping. We had called the night before to see if we could come see her and her daughter and she said yes with a smiley face so we were expecting a great lesson we had planned well we showed up and she gave us a gift and then left and didn't listen to the lesson. She has done this to us for a month now.  Sister Burgess and I stayed to help her daughter learn french for a bit and she told us her mom and her are just not interested.  It is sad but we can't force them. Hopefully someday they will have a desire and get their priorities straightened out. We just bore strong testimony and told them we loved them. Hopefully someday they will take the chance to nourish the seeds they have planted in their hearts.
Friday was another busy day. We walked. A lot. But we did see a miracle. All our appointments canceled on us so as we were walking down the street sad my body just stopped and spun around and I went up to the home of a less active family I'vve meet only once for maybe 5 minutes. I knocked on the door. I don't know why except htat I did and my companion followed. We saw this woman who has been less active for a long time. This was my first visit with her. She wouldn't let us in because of her dog but we did have a good lesson with her on her doorstep. She started to cry as she told us the struggles her and her family are facing. We bore testimony of the Plan of Salvation and Gods love for all of his children. It was a great lesson to me that this truly is Gods work. Everything happens for a reason! I hope in someway we helped that woman feel love again.
Saturday was a busy day too. Saw mostly members which was good for us to do. We had a lesson with Melvin then went to half of stake conference. It was really good. But we had to elave early for curfew. Becci came to melvins with us and then took us to dinner and took us to and from stake conference. I seriously love her. She has an amazing conversion story. She is the female version of Alma the younger. I love hearing her stories!
Then yesterday we went to the last session of stake conference. It was really good. Melvin had his baptismal interview afterewards. He is so stoked! But yesterday my anxiety was going NUTS and so luckily when I got home I took a power nap and I felt much better. Funny I never took naps before my mission, now all I want to do is sleep. When i woke up I felt much better. We ate lunch then went out in the pouring rain to visit less actives. Thank goodness for umbrellas!
So yeah that was my week. I hope thtat your week was good too!
You know missions are NOT easy! Not one wit~ I cray all the time, every night, in the shower. But as hard as it is i'd do it all over again. Yesterday was my four month mark. In my personal study yesterday I studied in Mosiah. I read the account of Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah being converted tot the lord. And Mosiah 27:25-26 really touched me. WE must be "born again". For me this is a daily process. As it should be for all of us after baptism.  Every day I am reconverted to the Lord. And every sunday I make the commitment that I am willing to follow HIm. I can't believe how much i've changed in the past 4 months. And I can't wait to see who I am at the end of all of this. This gospel can change us. It molds us. We are the potters clay being spun into the masters work. He knows what we will become if we yield to him and let him guide us.
I have a divine testimony that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Not beacause I saw an angel, not because I saw a vision or heard a voice but because I feel peace from its words. I can read it when I feel depressed, anxious and lonely and afterewards, if I truly feasted on the good word, I feel "reborn". Faith is for sure a hard principle especially when you are like me and like facts. But in this there can be no doubt. This gospel is true! Edler Holland said "Honestly acknowledge your questions and concerns, but first and forever fan the falme of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe"
And so my family if you start to douby, are doubting, or whatever circumstance you may be in FAN YOUR FLAME! Even a little spark has the potential to burn brightly!
I love you, I miss you, I pray for you!
Love,
Sister Ashley Marchel Boiteux

Vietnamese Dinner


Costco Pizza


Huntsman Spider


Ashleys dream Kitty

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Perfection in Imperfection


Dear everyone,
I wish I could just tell you our show you everything I know, feel, and do. Emailing just doesn't cut it for me but oh well beggars cant be choosers. Right now I am sitting at my computer sitting next to a crazy man, I kid you not. It is entertaining yet extremally annoying. Oh well I must learn some charity for him.  ha. Well anyways this weas a really good week pretty much. Things are really starting to pick up! In the next month our small ward of maybe 80 active members will receive 3 new sheep to the fold. One of them being our investigator Melvin! He is AWESOME! We are so excited for his baptism. When we meet with him and set his date that was a miracle itself! But that miracle was apart of an even bigger miracle... but i'll discuss that later. Ill try to review part of this week.
Tuesday and Wednesday: We had trade offs with our traveling sisters whish is always a great experience. Tuesday night we went to a members and had amily home evening and dinner with them. I ate so much that I was looked like I was having a food baby. Everyone laughed at me as my gut was protruding from my skirt that I ahd to unbotton hahah. I am gaining weight... it is no bueno.  Anywaysd Is was so fun. The members house who we went to reminds me a lot of you Aunt Serena sometimes. She'd fit right in with the crazy Marchel sister clan hahah.  So yeah that was fun. We did the FHE in her daughter Kikis cubby house (fort).  They also gave each of us a box of lollies for Halloween! I almost cried by the gesture! I miss American halloweens!
On Wednesday I worked with Sis. Nunez and it was fun. She is such a great example to me. At 7 every Wed night the other sisters we work with teach an english calss so sister nunez and I went to help.  It was so intimidating but was actually a lot of fun.  I think I need to go to english class myslef, I was having difficulities teaching it hahah. Luckily some of the "students" are more advanced than the others so they come to basically just act as translaters for us.  Man it is rough to teach english if you don't speak persian, turkish, or chinese here ha. Before our traveling sistes left they gave us a cute present that will help us to become better missionaries. I really appreciated that.
Thursday: HAPPY HALLOWEEN! This day we didn't celebrate at all it was just normal work for us.  We had weekly planning and usually I detest planning but for once it went really really good. I was so happy usually it is so frustrating but this time it wasn;t. Later we had a meeting at a member of the ward council and the elders we work with came so that we could get the ward more organized and going. It was really good.  Halloween here is nothing like in America it isn't as big. 
Friday: Mom I got your Halloween card i loved it.  It missed Australian halloween but I got it on your halloween.  Good timing. We had zone traing and it was really good. Our dear zone leaders are the best! They stayed up virtually all night to make all of us candy leis for halloween.  It was such a kind gesture.  Afterwards sister burgess and I went to lunch at this delicious cafe and then went back to telopea to work.  That night all 8 of us missionaries in our ward went a another members for dinner but we stayed wayyyy to long. But hey at least the food was good. Next time we will be sure to say we can only stay one hour...
Saturday: Oh Saturday. What a great day this was! One of the hardest mornings I've had since being here though. Sister Burgess and I were just at a standstill and were not getting along. It was so frustrating. It was the most unproductive companion study ever. We were both just crying out of frustration. It was that time of the month for both of us.  Well as we were crying and both praying what to do our phone informed us we had a text.  Our favorite person ever, sister pemberton, was inviting us to dinner later that night. Of course we said yes.  We just decided that this was divine intervention and we just forgot our problems and tried to just relax for 10 minutes before we left the flat to work. and we worked! Once we got to work we were both happy. We saw some young boys we are teaching and we just read the book of mormon with them on the floor outside their flat as we couldn't go home since their grandma and mom wasnt home. It was a good lesson we ahd with them. Afterewards we saw some other investigators and then at 5:30 she picked us up to take us to dinner. We went to this delicious resturaunt that reminded me of Texas Roadhouse. It was yummyy! I felt back at home in America! I got steak with calamari, mashed potatoes, ceasar salad, and a HUGE dessert that sister burgess sister pemberton and I all shared. Man was it good! Is was so nice! Well the miracle started to unfold right here. We told Becci that we didn't have a member to come with us and she offered to come with us to meet M after dinner.  So after dinner we went and it was a great lesson. He had been reading the book of mormon and loved it! He was so excited. We talked about his reading and the gospel of jesus christ. Becci bore strong testimony and taught with us. Well last time we invited him to baptism he had said no but this time sister burgess again invited him and he said yes! It was sooooo coollll! The spirit was so so so strong. We extended a date we will work for and then I asked Becci if she could tell us how she felt when she was baptized. She bore strong testimony as she shared her experience. She cried, and I almost cried. It was great.  The other cool part was last week when we meet m he told us he already had a book of mormon some one had left in his mailbox. Well come to find out it was one that Sister Pea had written her testimony in and signed it from both her and I. Later when I got home the memory came flooding back of her doing that and us wakling to the mailbox and she slide it inside. I had no idea it was for him.  It is funny how things all work out. 
Well as we were driving home after seeing M. Becci told us how it had been inspiration that she had invited us to dinner because it was an answer to her prayers to come with us that night.  She had felt like her testimony or knowledgte wasnt strong enough to help others and look what she had just helped us do.  It was amazing.  We all her just shocked and amazed by the power of God. This work is truly just amazing! Yes it is the hardest and most frustrating thing I have ever had the pleasure of doing but it is also teh most rewarding!
This gospel changes lives.
Sunday: Church was as great as usual. I love church! And after church Well we walked...  A LOT! I seriously thought i was going to die it was hot and we walked so so so far. And it was fast sunday. We were for sure helped by the lord to keep going. Luckily that night some members fed us and our physical body was back to good health ha.
Well now it is monday and I am emailing you. I hope everything is well for all of you. I miss you all so so so much. Even though I may not write back to each of you I hope you know how much your letters and emails mean to mean. That is they mean the world to me! I thnak you from the bottom of my heart.

Well I love you all!!
Love, Sister Boiteux


Zone Conference


Texas Roadhouse


Dessert


FHE

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Call Home...


Hello everyone!
So I am not quite sure what to say this week because I haven't had a time to write down what I want to say ha.  This week was really hard but it was good. We had some lessons, we walked, we talked, we ate, we survived. YES! Ha in all honesty this past week was all a blur, I don't remember anything that happened past Friday.  Um... we have 3 elders in our area we are working with now so that is exciting. They are really good elders. So in our small ward we now have 9 missionaries. It is really exciting! God has big things in store for this area! Well sorry this is so short I don't really know what to say but I just want to say hi and that I love you all. Have a great week!
Love.
Sister Boiteux

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mind of a Jaguar... RAWWWRR


This has been a very interesting week. Transfers were upon us but Sister Burgess and I are staying here together, it is bittersweet.  It would have been coool to see a new place but it would have been hard to leave here.  So anyways we are excited to stay and continue the work in the area.  I think our ward now has more missionaries than members haha we just got 3 elders who will serve with us which is exciting.
Yesterday was a great day. ALL of our appointments cancelled on us so we decided we would go visit one of our new investigators instead. We didn't really want to because it was SO hot and we didn't want to walk. There have been a lot of bush fires so the air is so smokey and hard to breath and it makes it even hotter here than usual, it is awful ha. But as missionaries you still just get to work, so we did. We went to visit her and it was an awesome lesson. She asked if she could be baptized! Of course we said yes and set a date but there are many things she needs to change first before that can happen. I know if she works hard the Lord will help her.
Anyways she is a very interesting aldy. She looked at my comps hands and said "sister burgess you are hurt" so she started massaging her hands (she had a cut on her hands but she has weak hands in general taht tire easily). Then she looked at me adn siad "sister boiteux you're hurting too" I laughed and said "yeah" because I thought she was talking about the many bruises on my legs from bumping into things ha.  But then she said "no it sin't on the outside its on the inside, in your mind" I kind of froze. It was a strange moment. I am pretty good at hiding my anxiety so I dont know how she knew. But it was funny becauxse she then asked if she could massage my head. and I didnt know what to say so i was like "uim yeah sure" so she did and she told me to close my eyes and relax. Then she massaged my temples and my head and kept saying "get out, get out, get out" to my thoughts aha and she told me to breathe deeply in and out in and out and then she told me to stand up and I proceeded to try and do so but she pushed me back down and siad "not physically but spiritually" i was trying ahrd not to laugh, it was veryyyy interesting but hey I got a free massage and it felt good ha.  She said God had told her to do those things that is how she knew and that she just knows things... interesting but okay ha. Afterwards she sadi something along the lines of "you have a stubborn mind, a mind or an eye of the jaguar" COOL HAHAH! Im a jaguar ha.  But in all reality it was a really good spiritual lesson we had with her, for all three of us.
Also sister burgess and I are starting to do a new tradition of one cute and one funny face picture a day. I like it. Also we need to sear off chocolate ha. We are getting FAT! A member got me a 56 ounce bag of Reeses from Costco for us to share. I almost started to cry! I was so happy! 56 OUNCES ahhhh!! The next day we made some of my peanut butter temptation cookes and also fundge and choco. covered strawberries. We shared it with the other missionaries in our district before transfers.
Okay spiritually now. Other miracles occurred this week. Remeber everyone that Heavenly Father loves us no matter what we look like or what we may have done in the past. He looks at who we ARE and who we will become! Life is NOT easy and it is not meant to be. My favorite talk from conference was Elder Hollands. Two things he said that I love are
"If the bitter cup does not pass drink it, and be strong. Trusting in happier days ahead."
and
"Know that one day the dawn will break brightly and that all shadows of mortality will flee."
Man that is powerful stuff right there. Be strong. Start Strong Finish stronger. Sometimes God has a plan prepared for us we may not understand but we need to trust him enough to follow it.  People may laugh and scorn us but as long as we know we are following the will of our Father nothing else matters. I HAVE to believe in that.
I want you all to know how much I love you. I want you to also know how grateful I am for my mission. It has helped me know who I am and who I want to become. I am very grateful.
I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Love,
Sister Boiteux


annoying bird..


Slumber Party!! :)



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Shall I falter or shall I finish


HELLO FAMILY!!
This has been a great week!! Mostly because I got to watch general conference and got to go to the temple today.  It was so embarrassing I started crying when I stopped and saw a giant picture of christ in the hall at the temple and this little old man walked up to and was trying to comfort me but had to keep his distance haha.  It was cute, and I felt dumb ha.  Gotta count on me to bring the tears.  You know I got some letters from the Ortons in the mail... just replied to you today BTW. And it was great Aunt Serena you told me just what I needed to hear. And so did God today at the temple. As I sat in the celestial room I thought about why I am here and if I should go home and I just thought about Alma how when he was doing his missionary work he was cast out of the city but God told him to go back.. so he SPEEDILY did.  He probably wanted to go home, and maybe not preach to the people there. But he did... why? Because God told him to, and guess what he found Amulek.  So that is what I will do. I will stay here until God tells me otherwise.  Everyday I say my motto "have more faith today than yesterday" I tell my father in heaven I am in his hands. When I do that miracles follow.  Miracles occur every day here.  I don't know when or if my anxiety will crash down on me again, harder than last time, but I have faith that God, and you, will carry me through again.  President Uchtdorf said something proufound he said "Doubt your Doubts before you doubt your faith". President Monson posed the question "will we falter or will we finish" well I will finish what I am called to do.  That I am certain of. I have faith taht my mission president is inspired of God and wherever or whomever I am called to serve with or at next week is where I am supposed to go.  I am afraid for transfer but I have faith I will be okay.  That is a first step.
Australia... I don't even know how to describe this place.  I can't wait to see more of it.. Heck I want to see a kangaroo!!! Well we saw many miracles this week. We were deciding wether or not on sunday to go watch the general relief society meeting or go do what we planned.  Since I downloaded the talks on my USB and we already listened to them we decided to focus on our work and go back to our area and do what we planned. Talk about inspired planning! We are in need of new investigators so we decided to call all the potentials we could and we got an appointment with one man.  He is from South Africa and is awesome.  He is a HUGE soccer fan and was telling us about all these famous players he knows.  It was kind of hard to understand his heavy accent but we tried our best ha. Well end of the story is be asked if he could come to church on Sunday. He asked! It was awesome! So yes we will see him on sunday.  Other than that this was a very hard week! None of our investigators are progressing and they are what you call "eternigators" meaning they have been investigators for eternity. It is so frustrating sometimes, but oh well.  Well I don't really know what to say.  My cheeks are sunburned from the sun.... it is hot hot HOT here.  But don't worry mom I have sunscreen and I walk around like a nerd with an umbrella haha.  And we drink lots of water.  I have for sure learned about patience.  My comp always tells me to SLOW DOWN when I walk because I always rush way ahead of her and then have to stop and wait. We are usually good at walking side by side but sometimes I get impatient.  So yeah.... I can't really think of any funnies.  We just laugh at the stupidest things.  Im usually pretty serious out here, like usual I guess. I need to learn a sense of humor and not be so serious, that is half my problem.  But yeah all us missionaries always say "as missionaries we ahve a right to be awkward" because it is true there isn't more awkward work than missionary work.
Hm... I am recording all my adventures and feelings. Im almost done with my first journal. It depresses me a bit actually because I ahve written in it in three months and I only have one more left that matches it and then I will have to go and find a new one that wont be as great ha.  Umm... I dont really know what to say. If I get transferred I hope I go to the country or the coast or somewhere pretty. Im for sure not a city gal. 
I love the scriptures. Yeah. I love them! I love learning new things. It stresses me out that I don't have more time to study study study. I love to study! Yes I am a nerd.

I love you all!
Love,
Sister Boiteux


Monday, October 7, 2013

I am Esther

So this week has been very hard but it has been a week of miracles.  I finally called someone for help, the traveling sisters.  They came and on Saturday we had "time out for sisters" we just talked and it was really good. They shared the story of queen Esther with us and how Esther was willing to sacrifice everything, even her own life to save the life of her people.  She was forordained to be queen at that time.   And just like I am forordained to be here in Australia at this time. Sometimes it is hard to remember that.  They gave me good adivce to deal with my anxiety.  I had a nice cry and then we got to work.  So many miracles come when you are willing to humble yourself and ask for help.  Sometimes as missionaries, and as people in general, we are afraid to ask for help but I realize that this isn't weakness but spiritual strength.  Do all you can and then if that isn't good enough ask for help.  
Afterwards all our appointments cancelled on us and we decided to go visit some members as we were walking (or in my companions case limping) down the street I was telling my companion maybe we should call Sister Lew or go to the doctors for her. Her foot has been hurting her.  Well she was refusing but as we walked down the street we heard "SISTERS" we whipped around and it was our bishops wife running up to us asking why my comp was limping.  She took us to their home and helped sister Burgess and we were able to leave a nice message with their home.  
The work in this area is very hard but we are trying our best. Many of our investigators are not progressing and it is frustrating, but I know that if we just keep praying God will open doors.  
I love reading the scriptures and finding the peace that its words contain.  The Book of Mormon IS the word of God. I know that God will help make me strong.  There is a quote that i really love from Joseph Smith that says something along the lines of a religion that doesn't require sacrifice of all things never has the power to bring a soul unto salvation.  
This is so true.  I realize that as we sacrifice our time and efforts and give all our might, mind, and strength to the lord he will bless us.  
So yes, many miracles.
Also we had our first somoan feed which was awesome! I had the best chop suey ever!!! It was delicious!! Made me think of Madison hahah (you know why) :)

So now for some business.  So next Tuesday will be our P-Day because we are going to the Temple YAYYY!!! So I don't think I will get on till about 1 next Tuesday and then the week after that my p-day will also be on tuesday due to transfers.  So if you want to right me any letters maybe send it to the mission office po box because i don't know if I will be staying here in the oatlands area.  Also they might move us into a new flat.. let us pray.  
Well I love you all! Oh yeah yesterday we were confined to the flat due to my comps foot, and it was nice for me too because I have a cold again, so we just relaxed.  She taught me french.  I want to learn Our Purpose in french! It was fun.

Well I love you all!!!
Love.
Sister Ashley Boiteux

FUNNY OF THE WEEK: 
Sister Burgess: "Sister Boiteux what do you call the fingers on your feet?"
Me: burst out laughing "your toes!"  
oh the joys of helping others to learn English.  My comp is amazing she learns so fast!  

I will try to be better at getting funnies that our funny ha.  As missionaries you either laugh or cry at everything so we find the dumbest things funny ha.  Well love you!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Reap and Sow


Hello Friends, Family, and all those who care to read this.
This week was probably the best of my mission so far.  Mainly because we finally reached the Standard of Excellence set for us of 20 lessons per week and 1 baptism per month. The baptism went really really well! it was a great experience. I was so proud of myself.. why you ask? Because I held back the tears haha. I always cry here, im like a leaky faucet haha.  Anyways this week has FLOWN by! I hope the rest of the weeks fly by just as fast.  We had our traveling sisters here (they are like zone leaders for just sisters) and it was AMAZING! One of them, Sister Nunez from the Phillipines, gave me the best advice.  I really opened up to here about my anxiety and everything I've been feeling and she shared with me a great experience where she almost went home but she read Doctrine and Covenants and felt better.  She was my angel for the week.  Sometimes it is hard out here because your never alone but you feel lonely.  You think as missionaries you'd always feel the spirit but with my experience it isn't so.  you are literally walking into situations and places where the spirit does not exist.  And as missionaries it is our obligations to try and make ti a place were the spirit can come.  It is work to find how to invite the spirit.  that is why I LOVE going to members homes.  The second you walk in their doors you feel the spirit.  The home is truly like a temple.  The spirit can abide there if you make it a temple.  So yeah I have been working on trying to recognize the spirit. My companion and I are starting to work better together. We teach in unity but we are still working on planning in unity. it was ridiculous when the traveling sisters were here our daily planning took us an hour and a half AHHH (It usually should only take 30 minutes)  so yeah... but the work is progressing!

\On Friday we had a service project with the other 4 sisters we work with.  it was awesome.  We went to a palce called Kamballa Womens Factory which use to be like a concentration camp for women kind of, really bad things happened there.  So what our project was is this woman who was actually in the orphanage there is making something called the Memory Project where she is trying to get people aware of what took place and to remembver those that died.  We helped with the tea and lunch.  It was a fun expereince, kind of creepy but cool ha.  We also got to check out the insane asylum that use to be apart of it and is now still the psych ward. 
And then on Saturday was our baptism.  It was a great occasion.  so many members came to support him which was awesome!
But yeah the baptism was great.  It is amazing how the spirit touches the hearts of people.  This work is starting to move slowly but surely.  It is exciting. Also my companion and I are deciding to get healthy so today we are going grocery shopping and getting lots of veggies and fruit. We decided we can't eat any treats or chocolate except on Mondays.  It will be difficult but I know we can do it haha. I don't want to get any more pudgy than I already am haaha.
Today I think we are just going to try and relax and then we have a FHE lesson with a part-member family so hopefully that goes well.
Well I love you all and am very very grateful for the emails and support.  Mom and grandpa george I continue to get your letters and they make me very very happy!  I love you all so so so so much!
Have a great week
love always,
sister boiteux