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  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.
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!
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!
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